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Catering, Food Handling and Awareness *OnTopic* Forum to educate us on safe food handling. Not specifically for Catering or competition but overall health and keeping our families safe too.


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Unread 11-10-2013, 07:48 PM   #16
landarc
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No, the one of the far right?
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Unread 11-10-2013, 08:37 PM   #17
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Quote:
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No, the one of the far right?
You got it, it was a shade darker than the ones that came off the FEC
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Unread 11-13-2013, 07:12 PM   #18
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Well the first run with butts on the FEC is complete. I did 7 butts on Monday night. I put them on at 9:45pm at 225 degrees. They were huge butts 10 to 12lb average. I slept a full night at 7am they were 161 degrees, at noon they were still only 183 so I bumped the pit temp up to 260 because I had to leave with them at 2pm for a school fundraiser. I pulled them from the cooker at 1:50pm and they were at 194 degrees so they spent right at 15 hours in the FEC. Color was great I'd give them a 10 there, texture and tenderness another 10 they were on the money. Aroma gets a 10 as well. Taste ........ well the jury is a little confused here. I want to say there was not enough smoke but i know that is not so because 15 hour in smoke and a good smoke ring was there. There was a taste difference and I'm not going to say bad better or worse but just a difference that I can't put my finger on yet. I used the Cookshack hickory pellets that came with the cooker (burnt 20lbs in 16 hours also) I believe the difference is that the FEC is getting it's heat from fire instead on a coal base and that it is burning much cleaner by doing so. I also think that the wood pellets are much fryer than firewood that I use and I think that makes some difference. Another factor is my Lang and my other offset have either a tuning plate or reverse flow plate that is extremely hot that rendered fat drips on to and and produces some of the smoke good or bad as well where the FEC has no heat from below and does not produce this effect. Over all I think I can work things out to produce a great quality on the FEC. I'm going to play around with a few different wood pellets and see what happens. Ultimatley with my business growing I need some sleep and can not continue to wor 36 hours straight 2 and 3 days a week and try to work a full time job on top of that so the FEC is going to be very nice. I posted a few pic's below but the pic's do not do the color justice. I turned the top 2 fat cap up as they suggest and the rest are cap down.



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Unread 11-13-2013, 07:22 PM   #19
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Congrats on your new toy and good luck.
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Unread 11-13-2013, 07:37 PM   #20
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The difference in wood pellets might help, or so I have heard. Those sure look great, and your customers will tell you about the end product.
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Unread 12-01-2013, 08:13 AM   #21
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I've just cooked for the second time on the new FEC, I have a tasting at noon and I have not tried the meats yet but I think that I have put my finger on one key difference between a stick burner and the FEC. I believe a major difference in the smoke comes from the fact that there is much less humidity in the FEC. When I first cooked on the FEC there was a noticeable smoke difference, I first thought that it was due to a much cleaner burn and I still believe that is a part of it but last night I put two butts on at 225* with a heavy coat of rub on them but instead of waiting for the rub to liquefy I put them straight on the pit. Sometimes if I am in a hurry I do this on the Lang as well. This morning at 7:30am the butts were ready to come off the pit yet the top layer of the rub still looked raw in a lot of areas. If I do this on the Lang they will liquefy and bark up nice. This leads me to believe that the firewood going in the lang has more moisture. I did read that the pellets are 8% moisture but I do not know what the moisture content of firewood is and we all know that more moisture will result in more smoke. My next cooking I will place a water pan on the top rack below the convection fan so that it hits the moisture and see if this makes a difference. My only problem with doing this is that I bought the cooker based on it holding at least 150lbs of meat and I would loose one rack to a water pan by using this method so I will mainly use it to see if it makes a difference and try to figue something out from there. The cooker makes great barbecue just as it is but I do think with some learning curve and adjustments this thing can cook awesome barbecue. Oh and the best part is I slept all night last night
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Unread 12-01-2013, 04:28 PM   #22
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Is it possible to put a water pan on the bottom? I don't think you would need it right near the fan. As the water evaporates it would circulate with the other air. I am looking at getting a pellet smoker also. It is good to see that quality is not sacrificed for convenience. My reason for getting a pellet smoker is so that the staff can put meat on at close and it would be ready in the morning.
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Unread 12-01-2013, 06:10 PM   #23
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Pyle on the FEC120 the heat source comes in on top and a convection fan blows the heat down and exhausts on the bottom. The grease drip holes are on the bottom so I am not sure a water pan would work down there but I will investigate that. I am very happy with the unit but it is just one of 3 cookers that I have and the other two are stick burners. There is a difference in the BBQ from the pellet cooker vs the stick burners, not better or worst just different. I'm just trying to tweak things to get the finished product closer to each other so that the finished product is not drastically different when cooked with pellets. I'll try but it may not happen.
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Unread 12-01-2013, 10:19 PM   #24
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I'm really not worried about having all the same product. It will be my main cooker and I really don't think anyone would notice.

If you are doing mostly pulled pork on different cookers, I would take a but from each cooker and mix them together and see how it turns out. Just like painter mix different batches of colored paint to make sure there isn't a color difference.
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Unread 12-09-2013, 09:34 AM   #25
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1st here let me say that I am keeping this post going and loading it with info on the FEC120 because I found as a caterer a lack of detailed info on the unit other than "it's great" and I want other caterers who are interested in it to be able to see some real life cooking info on the unit.

I had cook last night for a drop off today, we had a blizzard of an ice storm that started yesterday morning. I had some worries about cooking with a down pour of sleet and ice. I went out at 8pm last night to start the FEC, I had a cover over it but for a brief time yesterday it blew off. So when I went to turn the unit on the switch was frozen with ice, I laid my hand over the switch for 30 seconds and this gave me enough heat to thaw the switch to turn the unit on. Then I went to open the firebox door and it was frozen shut and I wanted to make sure the fire started so I went in the house and grabbed a hair dryer to thaw out the door. By the time I got back out side I could see the smoke rolling and the heat from the fire had thawed the door. I did have to heat the slam latch to get all the ice off of it because it was frozen and would not latch the firebox door. I went back inside for 30 minutes and the temp came up to 220* and I put the butts on. About 6am this morning my tv went to a snowy picture (I left it on so I would know if the power went out) The unit had reset and stopped cooking so I had to reset it, all went well after that and butts came off at 9am. So far I will say the unit uses closer to 1lb of pellets per hour and not the 1/2lb that is listed in the specs unless warmer weather will make a difference (I'm sure it wont hurt). One issue that I do not like and I am going to have to put a safe guard in place for is that if the electricity does go off and come back on the unit defaults and stops cooking. So if I went to bed with 150lbs of meat on and the electricity went out at 1am for a minute I would wake up at 7am with a huge problem. I am going to rig up my Maverick and get an alarm to put in my bedroom that plugs in a wall outlet and sounds an alarm if power is interrupted. I found a great deal on the Chargriller Pellets and have used them the past 2 cookings and they seem to be working as good as the Cookshack Pellets and with shipping they were half the price.
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Unread 12-09-2013, 04:17 PM   #26
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I have an FEC 100 that I use for competition cooking. Just a couple of comments from my experience that you might find helpful:

Foil the bottom of your cooker with each use. Put multiple layers of foil. MAKE SURE YOU POKE THE DRAIN HOLE THROUGH THE FOIL. And if you find the need to make a big increase in temperature, you can just pull off the top layer of foil and you have a clean cooker right in the middle of the process and only had the door open for a few seconds. Aside from making the cooker easier to clean, it will reduce your risk of grease fires.

To increase the smoke flavor, you can start off big meats at 180 degrees for 6 or 8 hours. The pellets do not burn as efficiently at the low temp, and put off more smoke. Competition cooks will often go 6 to 10 hours at 180 to 190, then wrap the meat and bump the heat up to mid 200s. (Remember, this is the FEC100 I am talking about, you may have to adjust your results.)

Are you opening the door much? If so, that explains your pellet use. When you open that door you loose a HUGE amount of BTUs that must be replaced. After you learn your cooker, stay out of it.

All pellets are not created equal. Stay away from Traeger, no matter how cheap they look. Mostly filler wood, less BTUs, less smoke. It takes more pellets to cook and impart less flavor.
I hear lot of good things about BBQ Delight, but I have not used them yet. I bought a large stash of 100% hickory (no filler woods) from Fast Eddy last time I was in Kansas City. I also hear good things about cookingpellets.com.
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Unread 12-09-2013, 04:29 PM   #27
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One more thing. Fast Eddy told us this weekend that he puts his brisket trimmings in the empty spots in his cooker. He thinks its increases moisture and flavor. It will increase your cooking time, but no more so than having to heat a water pan; you may wish to consider that solution before you resort to a water pan. If you use trimmings - see my comment on foiling the bottom.....
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Unread 12-09-2013, 04:48 PM   #28
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Quote:
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One more thing. Fast Eddy told us this weekend that he puts his brisket trimmings in the empty spots in his cooker. He thinks its increases moisture and flavor. It will increase your cooking time, but no more so than having to heat a water pan; you may wish to consider that solution before you resort to a water pan. If you use trimmings - see my comment on foiling the bottom.....
Very interesting.

I too have an FEC-100 I use for competitions occasionally and doing some cooking for the masses for my son's cub scouts etc.

You can put a battery backup UPS of some sort on to handle the electrical issues. Just make sure it can handle the amperage draw and for how many hours you'd like to be covered. If the 120 is much like the 100 it will draw very little amperage after igniting the pellets. I'm thinking 1/2 amp or so based off my memory.

I really like this thread, and hope you post some more as you use it more. One modification I made to my FEC-100, which I don't think would work for the 120 is a small grate of expanded metal attached to the outer side of the firebox for me to add wood chunks for more smoke.

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Unread 12-09-2013, 08:21 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonjax View Post
Very interesting.

I too have an FEC-100 I use for competitions occasionally and doing some cooking for the masses for my son's cub scouts etc.

You can put a battery backup UPS of some sort on to handle the electrical issues. Just make sure it can handle the amperage draw and for how many hours you'd like to be covered. If the 120 is much like the 100 it will draw very little amperage after igniting the pellets. I'm thinking 1/2 amp or so based off my memory.

I really like this thread, and hope you post some more as you use it more. One modification I made to my FEC-100, which I don't think would work for the 120 is a small grate of expanded metal attached to the outer side of the firebox for me to add wood chunks for more smoke.
Oh, man, this is great! Exactly how did you attach the metal to the firebox? That's the only problem I have with my FEC...how to get more smoke flavor! Thanks in advance! Oh, and do you just hang the chunk slightly over the firebox to get it started?
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Unread 12-09-2013, 09:31 PM   #30
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Know Bull - I never open the door so heat BTU's getting out that way. I bought it so I could sleep and I have been sawing some logs

Weardc - I like your smoke adapter I have thought about adding something small like that. There is room in the firebox for it, the firebox is on the back of the 120 where I think it is on the bottom of the 100. I could add a few chunks of wood for the first few hours, then go to bed.
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