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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 10-11-2012, 10:13 PM   #1
Enkidu
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Default Firebrick v. Ring of Fire methods on a OTG

Okay, since getting my 22.5" OTG for my b-day back in March of this year, I've done a fair amount of BBQ'ing on it in a short time -- ribs, briskets, butts, etc. In every case, I've used the firebrick method. This works just fine as long as I am around to baby the grill, adjust vents, add water to the water pan, etc., or, if I don't want to worry about it and just cook HnF. I've had some pretty solid results. But the one glaring weakness has been when I am doing an overnight cook. I am constantly needing to wake up throughout the night. Yeah, now that I have my Maverick ET-732, I can get a bit more shut eye, but the wake-ups ares still pretty regular. Another down side is that, in order to get the temperatures down to the range of LnS cooking, there is very little margin for error with my bottom vent and things can go awry with ash clogging the vents and extinguishing my fire (this happened to me on my first overnight cook).

Soooooooo... on a whim, I decided to give the "ring of fire" method a shot. I had an uncooked fatty left over from last weekend's school charity bake sale, so I decided, why not cook it tonight and test out a new method. I gotta say, this might be my new method of choice based on what I am seeing so far. First, no water to replenish. Second, it appears to be quite easy to get the temp to run in the LnS range. Moreover, my bottom vent can be a bit more open than it would with the firebrick method... that means far less chance of a clogged vent in the middle of the night.

Admittedly, I haven't given it a full test run for a longer cook, but I found that once the temp stabilizes, it stays within about a 5 degree variance. I've been playing with the vents as I cook to find how far open they need to be to stabilize at the next temp range. So far, I've found ~220 and ~240. I am absolutely amazed at how well the OTG is holding its temp!

Brother moose had suggested I give this method a try several months ago at the meet-up at his place, but for whatever reason, I decided "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." I wish I had listened to him earlier. I can only imagine how much more confidence I would have getting some sleep on an overnight cook using this method.

So now a question for you who have experience with "ring of fire" on a kettle: what are the approximate cook times you are able to get using the method? I know from past experience with the firebrick method, that I can count on only about 5-6 hours or so. I am curious if times are similar with the "ring of fire" (again, I am using a 22.5" OTG).

If I didn't have to be up very early tomorrow morning, I might otherwise turn this into a test burn, but given that I am not going to do that, and the fact that I am now itching to give the RoF a try on something like a decent size brisket on an overnight cook, I thought I would tap into some of your experiences.
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Unread 10-11-2012, 10:22 PM   #2
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I can get between 12-16 hrs on RO lump with the temp running 250-275
This butt was 13 lb and finished in 13 hrs if you look ant about 10 o'clock there i a wisp of smoke where the fire is and you an see how much lump is left.
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Unread 10-11-2012, 10:38 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bludawg View Post
I can get between 12-16 hrs on RO lump with the temp running 250-275
This butt was 13 lb and finished in 13 hrs if you look ant about 10 o'clock there i a wisp of smoke where the fire is and you an see how much lump is left.
That is an amazing cook time! Wow... I am definitely thinking this is gonna be my method of choice from now on! That is one fine looking butt, sir!
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