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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 09-28-2011, 04:28 AM   #16
Guamaque
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I like the article, it's thought provoking, but it is dead wrong. I am a physics major, and this article blows smoke. Pardon the pun. The reason for the stall is detailed in the thermal equilibrium curve. The higher the thermal mass of your pit, the longer you will experience the stall. Heat approaches equilibrium after 2-3 hours, then slowly approaches the equilibrium over a long time, as the curve graft shows. Once it is achieved, the pit and surrounding can not take in more heat and the meat temp will rise. A few examples. This is why professional pits ( bbq restaurants ) never let the fire die out, you don't have a stall and the meat can be cooked based on time alone. Place a nice large piece of meat in a sealed crock pot, dutch over or ceramic slow cooker. Low and slow on your pit as you normally would, guess what, you get the stall. There should be no evaporative losses when the meat is under water and sealed. But there is still the process of thermal equilibration. Evaporative cooling is based on one main event, that is continuous convection. In order to even consider this theory plausible the airflow through the pit would have to be significant , and much more than any of us would do on a low and slow. The humidity of the pit when the airflow is controlled would not allow for evaporative cooling. You would basically need a full size fan pushing air constantly across the pit and the meat. One last point. The premise of this theory is that when the meat dries out and can no longer provide evaporative cooling, we then get a rise in temps and the pause ends. This would imply all our meat turns out like shoe leather. Try it yourself, low and slow cook anything in a pot of water and the temp curve will always have a pause at 2-3 hours. If, you were to bring the pit temp well above your intended cooking temp ( 350 ) for 3-4 hours prior to initiating your low and slow. Then allowed the temp to fall after placing your brisket in the pit, you would experience no pause. Thermal equilibrium has been reached prior to the cook.
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Unread 09-28-2011, 04:43 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guamaque View Post
The premise of this theory is that when the meat dries out and can no longer provide evaporative cooling, we then get a rise in temps and the pause ends. This would imply all our meat turns out like shoe leather.
I think you might be misinterpreting the article... I believe the idea is that the stall ends when the outside dries out, not the whole piece of meat (as the evaporation on the surface is what is preventing the interior from passing that certain temperature)
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Unread 09-28-2011, 05:12 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by infernooo View Post
I think you might be misinterpreting the article... I believe the idea is that the stall ends when the outside dries out, not the whole piece of meat (as the evaporation on the surface is what is preventing the interior from passing that certain temperature)
I think you missed the entire point... This article defies physics. Plain and simple. Experiment yourself. That's the best thing about physics, you can test the theory yourself and nobody can deceive you. Remember , the earth really was flat for a long time, and the experts said so..... The thermal mass of your entire pit and the surroundings is much greater than the fine outside crust of your meat. So when the meat's crust dries out, all of a sudden the stall is shut down and the meat temp is allowed to move on. I don't think that is science... The temperature has to equilibrate with the dirt, meat, metal, bricks, patio etc. over a long period of time before the meat temp can rise. Unless you overshoot the temp and step down as described. Experiment yourself, use a plain pot of water with a sealed lid and a digital probe inside. Low and slow, 225, you will have the stall for 3-4 hours, once thermal mass equilibrium is reached, the internal temp of the pot of water will shoot up..
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Unread 09-28-2011, 05:41 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guamaque View Post
I think you missed the entire point. The article defies physics, that was just one point of many. The temperature has to equilibrate with the dirt, meat, metal, bricks, patio etc. over a long period of time before the meat temp can rise. Unless your overshoot the temp and step down as described.
Not trying to be an azzhat but,

You're saying that once my cooker and surrounding area are up to temperature, and my meat temperature is climbing, I dare not risk moving my cooker, or the internal temperature of the meat will begin to fall due to the need for the surrounding areas need to equilbriate again?
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Unread 09-28-2011, 06:08 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by B-Lazy BBQ View Post
Not trying to be an azzhat but,

You're saying that once my cooker and surrounding area are up to temperature, and my meat temperature is climbing, I dare not risk moving my cooker, or the internal temperature of the meat will begin to fall due to the need for the surrounding areas need to equilbriate again?
Absolutely !! Thermal mass knows no boundaries. To demonstrate an extreme example , if you moved your cooker at equilibrium, with pit and meat temps the same, to a snow bank, of course the meat temp will fall , even if you keep the pit temp the same, all the heat is going into the snow and not your meat, until the snow temp is equilibrated with the pit.
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Unread 09-28-2011, 06:15 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guamaque View Post
Absolutely !! Thermal mass knows no boundaries. To demonstrate an extreme example , if you moved your cooker at equilibrium, with pit and meat temps the same, to a snow bank, of course the meat temp will fall , even if you keep the pit temp the same, all the heat is going into the snow and not your meat, until the snow temp is equilibrated with the pit.
That's a bit extreme, but I kind of see your point. I work on high vacuum furnaces (10e-9, 2000+°C) so I kind of understand thermal dynamics. I just have yet to do a brisket at work


I'm not arguing, I just posted this to put me on the road to being a farker
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Unread 09-28-2011, 06:28 AM   #22
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I thought that the cologen didn't break down until 190* and above any how? Interesting theory presented for the stall though. I can appreciate the interest, I just look at it as more time to drink beer and play with the kids though!!!
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Unread 09-28-2011, 06:33 AM   #23
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Guamaque, that is why my tuning plates in my cooker are 3/8" thick cold rolled plate. Same reason why I "pre-heat" my cooker for a good 2 hours before I put the meat on. Once all that steel is equalized, it chugs along at a much more even and stable temp. I don't have any scientific data to back up my claim though, just years of cooking experience with my pit.
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Unread 09-28-2011, 06:59 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolinaQue View Post
Guamaque, that is why my tuning plates in my cooker are 3/8" thick cold rolled plate. Same reason why I "pre-heat" my cooker for a good 2 hours before I put the meat on. Once all that steel is equalized, it chugs along at a much more even and stable temp. I don't have any scientific data to back up my claim though, just years of cooking experience with my pit.
Carolina Q,

You are right on. You added thermal mass to your pit. Pre heating will eliminate the pause we speak of. The downside of this is that it is wasteful and not efficient to heat your pit / cooker to 400 degrees for 3 hours with nothing in them just so you don't get a dip or pause. The best idea is to work with the pause, as it is predicted and needed.
However, our published guest has made a " factual statement" as to the cause of the pause based on false science. This theory could have been made by a hobbyist with just a theory, but not a theory based on physics. The explanation for the pause is wrong. The site should not have published his theory as science, but just as an opinion as we all have them. Once you speak science, you need facts. And the data is clearly non scientific.
The thermal mass conservation theory is well established.

Q.
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Unread 09-28-2011, 07:24 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy_Shuford View Post
I saw it as explanation of what happens, not as how to change anthing!
Whoa. Read it again. I'd say that only smoking for a couple of hours and then wrapping in foil is a bit out of the norm.
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Unread 09-28-2011, 07:47 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guamaque View Post
Pre heating will eliminate the pause we speak of. The downside of this is that it is wasteful and not efficient to heat your pit / cooker to 400 degrees for 3 hours with nothing in them just so you don't get a dip or pause.
I'm gonna try this for my next brisket and see what it does to the stall. I have a BGE so figure it's a valid example as the ceramic has decent thermal mass. The bigger question is will avoiding the stall provide for a moister product since it's not clocking unnecessary hours and losing unnecessary moisture to reach tenderness?
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Unread 09-28-2011, 08:32 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guamaque View Post
Carolina Q,

You are right on. You added thermal mass to your pit. Pre heating will eliminate the pause we speak of. The downside of this is that it is wasteful and not efficient to heat your pit / cooker to 400 degrees for 3 hours with nothing in them just so you don't get a dip or pause. The best idea is to work with the pause, as it is predicted and needed.
However, our published guest has made a " factual statement" as to the cause of the pause based on false science. This theory could have been made by a hobbyist with just a theory, but not a theory based on physics. The explanation for the pause is wrong. The site should not have published his theory as science, but just as an opinion as we all have them. Once you speak science, you need facts. And the data is clearly non scientific.
The thermal mass conservation theory is well established.

Q.

Well, I don't go as hot as 400*. I tried that a couple of times and had issues with getting the pit back down to my cooking temp. I will say that my target pre-heat temp is 30* or so above my pit temp so when the meat goes on, that cool mass of meat brings the pit temp down to my cook temp.

As far as those couple of hours of extra fuel in regards to wood and efficiency...there's always some thing to do during that time. It's all a matter of perspective I suppose!

Tim
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Unread 09-28-2011, 09:02 AM   #28
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Thanks -- I got something out of that. That site has some good recipes -- their reverse-engineered Vous dry rub is great on ribs. I'd used it three times and get consistently awesome results.
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Unread 09-28-2011, 09:13 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolinaQue View Post
Guamaque, that is why my tuning plates in my cooker are 3/8" thick cold rolled plate. Same reason why I "pre-heat" my cooker for a good 2 hours before I put the meat on. Once all that steel is equalized, it chugs along at a much more even and stable temp. I don't have any scientific data to back up my claim though, just years of cooking experience with my pit.
I think you're correct.
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Unread 09-28-2011, 12:56 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolinaQue View Post
Guamaque, that is why my tuning plates in my cooker are 3/8" thick cold rolled plate. Same reason why I "pre-heat" my cooker for a good 2 hours before I put the meat on. Once all that steel is equalized, it chugs along at a much more even and stable temp. I don't have any scientific data to back up my claim though, just years of cooking experience with my pit.
We cook a lot of comps and what you are doing is very similiar to how folks use their Jambo pits...

double insulated direct flow cooker with large exhaust stack for maximum airflow that is pre-heated for a few hours....Design of those smokers certainly cuts cooking time down considerably and foiling takes place at much lower internal from my experiences...Of course with a stick burner it is easier to get desired color quickly and then finish cook in foil with charcoal/lump if you wanted etc...
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