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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 12-09-2010, 10:09 PM   #1
smokin smitty
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Default Bayou Classic Cypress Ceramic Grill

Just got one from Lowes. Anything I need to know before the first cook?
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Unread 12-10-2010, 07:48 AM   #2
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Ceramics are easy enough to use, and it will do fine right out of the box, but it will get better and better as it gets well seasoned.

Spray the inside with Pam and run your cooker without food for a few hours while you get use to temperature control. Start with the air intake open about 1/4" Close the big flap and open the small hole all the way on the top vent. See where the temperature settles in and adjust from there up and down until you are confident in your ability to hit your target and hold it.

Use lump charcoal, not briquettes or you'll get too much ash. If this is your first ceramic you will be amazed at how efficient it will cook and how little fuel you'll use. Good luck and have fun with it!
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Unread 12-10-2010, 08:18 AM   #3
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I've had mine since Spring of this year, so far it's been pretty good. I'd say it's not quite up there with BGE quality, but Bayou Classic has stood behind their product for me.

A couple of things to watch for:

o Check the tolerances around the lower vent. If you can slip a piece of paper in between the vent and the ceramic body, I'd suggest using a high temp silicone sealant (found in auto supply stores) and seal any gaps. Mine had a fairly large gap and until I sealed it, shutting down the grill was problematic. It would simply continue burning though all the lump in the firebowl. Since sealing it, temp control is no longer an issue.

o Depending on whether you got one with the new style firebox or the old, the firebox might be prone to cracking. From what I've read, this is typical of ceramic cookers. How do you tell whether you have the old or the new style? The new style has an intentional slit in it when it's manufactured to handle the stress of expansion and contraction. My original firebox cracked in a number of places and was essentially unusable after a few months. I contacted Bayou Classic who shipped me the new style under warranty and it's been problem free.

o My only other issue has been the single level SS grate has expanded in size to a point where it's difficult to fit down into the cooker. Kind of hard to believe, but it's a tight fit getting it into the cooker. The company sent me a replacement and that one fits better, but I've switched to using a Craycort Cast Iron grate anyway. I still use the 3" high SS grate it comes with for most of my cooks, but when I want to grill lower in the cooker I use the Craycort. The Craycort is a wee bit smaller than the diameter of the upper fire ring so I assist it with two metal straps to keep it in place.

o Every so often check the tightness of the nuts on the mechanism which holds up the lid. They do tend to loosen a bit over time after all the openings and closings.

I do wish it had a screen in the lower vent like my Bubba Keg does, but that's a nit-picky point. Usually I have the vent open a small amount anyway.

I'd suggest getting a BGE platesetter and a BGE grate lifting tool.

Have fun with your new toy! If I can answer any further questions, ask here or PM me.

-lunchman
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Unread 12-10-2010, 09:32 AM   #4
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Great feedback. Thanks a bunch!
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Unread 12-10-2010, 10:14 AM   #5
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I would take it back before you use it and go get a BGE or Primo.
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Unread 12-10-2010, 10:40 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1_T_Scot View Post
I would take it back before you use it and go get a BGE or Primo.
For the price it is a great deal. I have a Oval XL and spent bigs bucks. When you can get a unit with the stand, side tables and the cover for $699.99 how can you go wrong.
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Unread 12-10-2010, 02:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5-0 BBQ View Post
For the price it is a great deal. I have a Oval XL and spent bigs bucks. When you can get a unit with the stand, side tables and the cover for $699.99 how can you go wrong.
Mine lasted less than a year. Then not covered by warranty when the top broke. Ok so if it was my fault fine. I tried to BUY $$$ a replacement top and hinge. No dice they would not sell me replacement parts. Just me but that doesn't seem like great customer service.

Maybe now that the Big Box store is involved they will be better.
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Unread 12-10-2010, 02:36 PM   #8
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Ok I'll address this a little more.

When I cooked on one we made some great BBQ, Pizza, Burgers and Steak. I did 6 butts one weekend for a block party with no issues.

As in my LBGE that I have now I used mainly RO lump and chunks of Hickory or apple. Build the fire with a paper towel with Veg. Oil drizzled on.

Just be careful with the hinge and which I understand has been redesigned. The issue starts with the top and bottom not being aligned which lets in too much air.

Good luck with your new Ceramic!
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Unread 12-10-2010, 04:10 PM   #9
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Instead of a BGE grate lifter, look into Thirdeye's Thirdhand.
http://thirdeyebbq.com/ThirdHand.aspx
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Unread 12-10-2010, 04:46 PM   #10
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One other recommendation after seeing the cooker in the store, for which the stand wasn't assembled as well as it should have been. The Lowe's floor model's uprights weren't tight against the cooker and it appeared there could be a tendency to scratch or damage the ceramic since there was too much play.

On mine I added felt pads with sticky backs on the metal uprights and press the felt against the ceramic rather than the metal arms. Just something you might want to consider.

Other than the issues I noted, so far, so good with this unit for me. I've turned out quite a few excellent meals on it and for the most part don't have a real preference between it and the Bubba Keg with the exception that the BK seems to do better with fuel consumption. I hope it holds up better than 1_T's.

-lunchman
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Unread 12-10-2010, 04:52 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1_T_Scot View Post
Ok so if it was my fault fine. I tried to BUY $$$ a replacement top and hinge. No dice they would not sell me replacement parts.
If you would like, send me a PM and I may be able to help you out if you still need parts.
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Unread 03-17-2013, 09:41 PM   #12
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I have a Cypress, and have used it 50-60 times with no issues. As stated in a previous post, make sure the door on the bottom is sealed tight. as for the grates, the new models grate can be flipped and another grate added on top. Overall its not a BGE then again, its half the price.
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Unread 03-24-2013, 01:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by groux12345 View Post
I have a Cypress, and have used it 50-60 times with no issues. As stated in a previous post, make sure the door on the bottom is sealed tight. as for the grates, the new models grate can be flipped and another grate added on top. Overall its not a BGE then again, its half the price.
I purchased mine last week from Lowes. Smoked a brisket yesterday. Smoked for seven hours and didn't have to do much to keep it at 225. I did notice that my top vent was leaking from the bottom. Has anyone had this problem? There was steady stream of smoke coming from the bottom of the top vent when I had it completley close. I was thinking about removing the top vent, adding a bead of JB Weld to the neck of the cooker, and then putting the top vent back on? Any thoughts? I will be using JB Weld for the bottom vent.

Two things I was slightly disappointed with. I filled the fire bowl to the top with coal. After seven hours, I had used almost all of it. I was under the impression that it was more efficient than that. With that said, I think that was due to the air flow and leaks. I'll try it again and report back.

Way off topic here...do any of you ever use a water pan when smoking brisket? I tried for the first time and it was almost too moist. I'm being very picky here. It was good no doubt, but there is always room for improvement!
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Unread 04-23-2013, 11:07 AM   #14
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kengland,
Remove the top, and use a high temp silicone caulk around the inside. It will seal the top to the ceramic, preventing the leakage. Also, make sure your vent bolt is tight and somewhat difficult to move. Do not use JB Weld, as it may produce harmful gasses that will permeate your food.
Remove and seal the bottom draft door also, as you are probably getting to much air movement through the smoker. I use lump, and get a 20-24 hour burn out of a 15# bag.
Finally, you need indirect heat in a smoker, so a water pan used with or without liquid provides that. I use apple juice sometimes, or another fruit liquid, if I want. But a little water helps to keep the meat moist.

My only gripe with my cypress, is the thermometer is way off. I use a DigiQ and have seen the temp vary by as much as 50 degrees. I would recommend using one for any smoker, their not cheap, but to spend 18 hours on a cook and find out the hard way that the thermometer is no longer working properly will ruin your day.

Good luck.
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Unread 04-23-2013, 11:28 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Bob View Post
Ceramics are easy enough to use, and it will do fine right out of the box, but it will get better and better as it gets well seasoned.

Spray the inside with Pam and run your cooker without food for a few hours while you get use to temperature control. Start with the air intake open about 1/4" Close the big flap and open the small hole all the way on the top vent. See where the temperature settles in and adjust from there up and down until you are confident in your ability to hit your target and hold it.

Use lump charcoal, not briquettes or you'll get too much ash. If this is your first ceramic you will be amazed at how efficient it will cook and how little fuel you'll use. Good luck and have fun with it!

I see no reason to spray it with Pam.It's not going to rust.I don't know why you would.
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