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Unread 04-07-2010, 02:53 PM   #1
dmprantz
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Default FEC-100 Legality Question

I asked this basic question over in Q-Talk and got no responses yet, so to prevent a full thread-jack, I'm cross posting here: Are FEC-100s "legal" to use in KCBS competitions if the electric igniter isn't dissabled? Has this ever come up before? I asked if you could turn it off to ensure it did not come back on, and no one seemed to say yes. The following rule from 2009 seems to indicate that if the ignitor comes back into play while the meat is in the smoker, it's illegal.

6) Fires shall be of wood, wood pellets or charcoal. Gas
and electric heat sources shall not be permitted for cooking
or holding. Propane or electric is permitted as fire starters,
provided that the competition meat is not in/on the cooking
device.


I'm really not trying to pick nits here, but FEC-100s get a LOT of traction at comps these days, and can any of the pitmasters who use them guarentee that the igniter never turns on? Does any one believe that it would not be a rules violation if it did?

Thanks,

dmp
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Unread 04-07-2010, 02:57 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmprantz View Post

I'm really not trying to pick nits here, but FEC-100s get a LOT of traction at comps these days, and can any of the pitmasters who use them guarentee that the igniter never turns on? Does any one believe that it would not be a rules violation if it did?

Thanks,

dmp
Pretty sure it is not kosher to blast your firebox with a weedburner while meats are on an off-set pit. I would think the FEC igniter is just a smaller version of that. So if we are nitpicking, yes that may be construed as illegal.
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Unread 04-07-2010, 03:00 PM   #3
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Maybe I should read before answering! Forget my post!
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Unread 04-07-2010, 03:01 PM   #4
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I think the short answer is yes, they're legal. I believe it was determined that even if the ignitor came back on, it wouldn't generate enough heat to actually assist in cooking the meat.

If they weren't legal, I don't think so many folks would be openly using them.
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Unread 04-07-2010, 03:09 PM   #5
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I'm not trying to make a bigger deal than it should be out of this, but can you provide any documentation for the "determination" mentioned above? I'm interested in how this reconciles with rule 6 stated above which appears to completely contradict it. Also, I had purposely planned on not adding an igniter to my own pellet feeder for this purpose. If I can do so, it'd be good to know!

dmp
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Unread 04-07-2010, 03:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmprantz View Post

I'm really not trying to pick nits here, but FEC-100s get a LOT of traction at comps these days, and can any of the pitmasters who use them guarentee that the igniter never turns on? Does any one believe that it would not be a rules violation if it did?
I don't have a specific reference, but i believe Dann is correct. The board or the comp committee determined that the ignitor doesn't generate enough heat to impact the meat. However, the ignitor only comes on when the pit is started up. It doesn' randomly come on during a cook. If the FEC went out and had to be restarted, the smart thing to do would be to remove the meat to restart it, regardless of whether the ignitor coming on is legal of not. the pellets smoldering before catching would probably generate some bitter smoke anyway.
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Unread 04-07-2010, 03:21 PM   #7
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I think Ron covered it.
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Unread 04-07-2010, 03:22 PM   #8
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Or just have one that the ignitor is broken. Then you don't have to worry about it. You just have to remember starter gel.
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Unread 04-07-2010, 03:39 PM   #9
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So is the ignitor in an FEC guarenteed to only heat up when it is first turned on? If the fire does go out for some reason and then more pellets are added, will it not automatically re-ignite the new pellets? It's not that I doubt any one here, but because the rule, as written, specifically forbids this, I'd really like to see the written evidence that it doesn't apply.

Thanks!

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Unread 04-07-2010, 03:44 PM   #10
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You could try e-mailing Karen Walker at the KCBS to get the clarification you are looking for. I don't want to post her e-mail here to get picked up by the spammers, but you can find it on the contact page on the KCBS website.
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Unread 04-07-2010, 03:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmprantz View Post
So is the ignitor in an FEC guarenteed to only heat up when it is first turned on? If the fire does go out for some reason and then more pellets are added, will it not automatically re-ignite the new pellets? It's not that I doubt any one here, but because the rule, as written, specifically forbids this, I'd really like to see the written evidence that it doesn't apply.

Thanks!

dmp
Sometime in the past I think the BoD addressed this...sort of. They decided that the igniter did not produce enough heat to violate the rules if I recall correctly. you might find that info in the board notes available via kcbs.us. Beyond that, I'm not familiar with ANYTHING in writing that addresses your specific question.
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Unread 04-07-2010, 03:46 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmprantz View Post
So is the ignitor in an FEC guarenteed to only heat up when it is first turned on? If the fire does go out for some reason and then more pellets are added, will it not automatically re-ignite the new pellets? It's not that I doubt any one here, but because the rule, as written, specifically forbids this, I'd really like to see the written evidence that it doesn't apply.

Thanks!

dmp
Yes. it only comes on when the unit is first started. If the fire gos out it will not come on automatically. The pitmaster has to turn the FEC off for a couple of minutes and then start it up again. If that's not good enough please contact Cookshack directly.

If you want written evidence, contact KCBS. Nothing that we can post here is going to be as good as something directly from KCBS.
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Unread 04-07-2010, 03:56 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron_L View Post
Yes. it only comes on when the unit is first started. If the fire gos out it will not come on automatically. The pitmaster has to turn the FEC off for a couple of minutes and then start it up again.
Thanks! That makes my question mostly moot! I was concerned about the ignitor turning on during a cook without the pitmaster telling it to do so. If that can't happen then the pitmaster must intend to turn it on. If that is still not a rules violation, well that's a different story. Thanks!

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Unread 04-07-2010, 04:03 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smknwhlswife View Post
Or just have one that the ignitor is broken. Then you don't have to worry about it. You just have to remember starter gel.
Our's resembles that
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Unread 04-07-2010, 04:19 PM   #15
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dmp,

it's not a electric element by any standards, it simply will not heat anything. a lighter will do a better job than the ignitor in a FEC.

In a contest, if you have a problem with a fire, or temps in a FEC, your problems are way BIGGER!, no igniter will ever fix that. probally why it's legal.
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