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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 03-24-2013, 05:25 PM   #1
tish
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Default Mini WSM Fail

My son sent me a text yesterday saying he was kind of bummed because he had a flat out fail with his mini WSM, and doesn't know what he did wrong. He's been using it since last year, and has never had this happen to him.

He had marinated a pork tenderloin, and put it on the mini when his coals had ashed over. He wanted some smoke, so he put on a small chunk or two of pecan. He says he had vents open on top and bottom, and the cooker's temp gauge was reading somewhere between 300-325*.

When he was thinking it was time (not sure how much time had elapsed), he took the lid off to check the IT of the meat, and was shocked to see the coals had all but gone out entirely. Yet the mini's temp gauge was still reading hot.

I asked him if the charcoal could have been damp, and he said no. The only other thing I could think of is that maybe he had the vents open too much, and it just burned through all the charcoal really fast. But wouldn't the temp have gone up higher than 325* if that were true?

I've never cooked on a mini, so I'm at a loss here. I'm not really sure what to tell him, but he was kinda discouraged, so I thought I'd ask ya'll what he might have done wrong. Any help?
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Unread 03-24-2013, 05:32 PM   #2
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Most likely, with the vents open, the charcoal burned at the rate allowed by that cooker, he probably just burned through the load he had in there. But, then, there would have been no coals. So...

my first thought, and that is that the coals were burning fine, hence the hot temperature, as Webers do not hold temps like an insulated cooker. But, the pork had dropped enough liquid, that the coals appeared black, but, where still burning. Two ways to check this theory, one is to flip the coals over with a stick, and see if there is still heat. Option Two, my favorite, is to think 'well, dagnabbit!' and reach in there with bare hands and grab a still burning coal. You can figure out how I know a black coal can still be lit from this point on.
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Unread 03-24-2013, 05:34 PM   #3
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well, hard to tell how much coals he had. but vents all open could get him higher than that. how does he know if was not there ? if the temp was still up then i doubt the coals were out. also waiting for the coals to ash over really leaves you with less burn time. he needs to read about the minion method. its how many of us do it.
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Unread 03-24-2013, 05:36 PM   #4
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I'm not really sure what kind of charcoal he had left, but there had to be something because he didn't say it had burned out to nothing. He said they had "gone out". I'm at a disadvantage in that he didn't send me a picture of what was left in the bottom.
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*When all else fails, just ask yourself WWGALD???
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Just a little pyro at heart! Who's got the hot dogs?
Bubba Keg, Weber Genesis E-310 NG
Mini WSM, Shhh!!! Michael's surprise
<'\__!
.// .\\ Puppy baby says 'piss on it and walk away!'
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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Unread 03-24-2013, 05:36 PM   #5
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I'd advise that he invest 14$ in a river country thermometer off ebay.
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Unread 03-24-2013, 05:39 PM   #6
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Idk... I've got to try to question him better about it. Unfortunately, I can't always get him to talk on the phone. He's more of a text guy. But that makes it harder to get a good idea of what actually happened. He was discouraged, and didn't want to dwell on it, but I'm thinkin' he's never gonna learn that way. He ordered Chinese instead.
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*When all else fails, just ask yourself WWGALD???
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Just a little pyro at heart! Who's got the hot dogs?
Bubba Keg, Weber Genesis E-310 NG
Mini WSM, Shhh!!! Michael's surprise
<'\__!
.// .\\ Puppy baby says 'piss on it and walk away!'
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Proud recipient of a certifiably uncertified limited edition MOINK ball certificate!!
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Unread 03-24-2013, 05:40 PM   #7
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I would try again with a FULL load of coals.
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Unread 03-24-2013, 05:42 PM   #8
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I order Chinese too, nothing wrong with that. He just needs to try again, didn't he end up with meat that was edible?
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Unread 03-24-2013, 05:42 PM   #9
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mighta been right and the end of their lives. i don't cook on a mini, but my wsm will hold a temp even when i close the vents and kill the fire for quite some time.
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Unread 03-24-2013, 05:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trumpstylz View Post
I'd advise that he invest 14$ in a river country thermometer off ebay.
+1 mine seems to be right on. 32 in ice water and 210 in boiling water (my altitude)

Hard to tell without seeing the what's left of the charcoal .
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Unread 03-24-2013, 05:45 PM   #11
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I said I hoped he didn't toss it, because he could have cut it up into little steaks, and just grilled them. But he was mad at himself, and didn't want to be bothered starting over, so yeah... I'm thinkin' he probably pitched it, and just did the Chinese thing. After coming home from the sandbox, I'm noticing patience is no longer his strong suit.
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*When all else fails, just ask yourself WWGALD???
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Just a little pyro at heart! Who's got the hot dogs?
Bubba Keg, Weber Genesis E-310 NG
Mini WSM, Shhh!!! Michael's surprise
<'\__!
.// .\\ Puppy baby says 'piss on it and walk away!'
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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Unread 03-24-2013, 05:47 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landarc View Post
I order Chinese too, nothing wrong with that. He just needs to try again, didn't he end up with meat that was edible?
agreed. a tenderloin at 325 will be edible and quite tasty in no time, really.

wierd stuff happens from time to time, hope he doesn't get too discouraged.

once i couldn't get my wsm over 275. to this day, i have no idea why. i regularly can run it 325.
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Unread 03-24-2013, 05:52 PM   #13
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He'll be coming home in another month, or two. I'm hoping he'll bring it with him, and we can practice on it together with a few different kinds of cooks. Mostly, he's just been grilling on it because he hasn't had time to really smoke anything. I don't want him to get discouraged, either. Just needs to get right back on the horse.

They've been working him to death down there, and usually comes back to his barracks, and just passes out. When he wakes up, just enough time to grill something quick, load his head, and go back to sleep.
__________________
*When all else fails, just ask yourself WWGALD???
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Just a little pyro at heart! Who's got the hot dogs?
Bubba Keg, Weber Genesis E-310 NG
Mini WSM, Shhh!!! Michael's surprise
<'\__!
.// .\\ Puppy baby says 'piss on it and walk away!'
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Proud recipient of a certifiably uncertified limited edition MOINK ball certificate!!
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Unread 03-24-2013, 05:53 PM   #14
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My mini WSM cooks at 250 -- period. I don't think I could get it to 325 if I had to.

Now, my base is a SJG, so I can't speak for minis made with a SJS.

If he was cooking at 325, he should have easily been able to reach 145 IT, which is ideal for pork tenderloin. What IT did he reach?

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Unread 03-24-2013, 06:00 PM   #15
tish
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His mini is a SJG. I don't know what the final IT was when he threw in the sponge. I think he was just so irritated with himself that he scrapped the whole thing without analyzing what he did.

Now after hearing what landarc said, i'm wondering if it wasn't still chugging right along cooking, and the kid just didn't realize it was still burning. If the mini's temp gauge was still reading hot, and he just wasn't seeing smoke, maybe those coals weren't actually out, but he just thought they were and jumped to the wrong conclusion? Idk.

I'm gonna recommend he doesn't try to smoke again until he comes home. At least that way, I can stop a perfectly good piece of meat from ending up in the trash.

Keep asking myself if I had no patience for anything when I was 21. Too long ago.
__________________
*When all else fails, just ask yourself WWGALD???
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Just a little pyro at heart! Who's got the hot dogs?
Bubba Keg, Weber Genesis E-310 NG
Mini WSM, Shhh!!! Michael's surprise
<'\__!
.// .\\ Puppy baby says 'piss on it and walk away!'
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Proud recipient of a certifiably uncertified limited edition MOINK ball certificate!!
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