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Have ya'll started the Holiday Cookout prep prep? - Page 2

post #31 of 36
Thread Starter 
Well I've finally made it to the point in the process that I can start with the liquid medications. ie Margarita. Golden to be exact.:cool:

The meat has been set in finish molde and now all I have to do is keep the temp from dropping. The DW has been keeping me company outside this afternoon as she is busily gardening and getting the yard ready. Right now all the millions of acorns we had fall from the Oaks last year are beginning to sprout. This pulling no less that dozens and dozens of sapplings is becoming a weekly event. Although one good thing about the trees other than the obvious cover they provide is the yearly trimming will provide wood for the new smoker. We have Hickory, red and white Oak as well as Maple at out disposal and I did save some birch from a clump we cut earlier.

Well I'll check back later.
post #32 of 36
I have the charcoal basket for my Klose for the days I want to be lazy and not play with fire every half hour or so. 99% of the time I burn straight wood though so my technique is a bit different than the charcoal/wood mix. A clean burning fire is super important for me or the food will taste like creosote.

The doors on my Klose don't leak. If you have ever seen one up close the quality of the construction is well worth the price. All 1/4 inch steel in mine except the firebox, thats 1/2 inch. I use a 3x3x16 inch log every half hour once it is up to temp. Get all that steel hot and the temp stays steady even in light winds and rain. Heavy winds and rain I put the sides on the canopy :smiles:

Smoke ring looks nice and adds flavor, on ribs it is often all the way through the meat. But thats only part of the overall flavor. Fire control, rub, marinade, brine can all change the flavor profile.

I used to cater on site (duck the health regs that way). Biggest party was butts for 200 on the Klose solo. I am getting to old for that now :lol: I still follow the health regs as far as temps and food handling but cooking on site gets around a few restrictions like only stainless steel in the cooker and prep tables. When I say I BBQ I usually mean I have my hands in the sink on and off all day long!
post #33 of 36
Basically what you described is what we do. We increase toward the end of cooking to 225-250. Our butts are not taken off the smoker until they reach 200+. That's the best temp we've found for pulling. I didn't explain the entire technique very well. We smoke very little beef, just not our thing and mostly cook ribs more quickly closer to the firebox or indirect on the charcoal grill......again, something we don't cook a lot of as they're just not our favorites. We do chickens and turkey breasts sometimes at a higher temp.....225-250. They do in during the latter stages of cooking the pork butts as they don't take as long and we do them at a higher heat the entire time.

As far as the mods go, we've both read a lot about the modifications for our cooker and have done our research. At this point, it's not something we've had the absolute need to do so haven't gone any further than researching. Once we get the temps stabilized, it will hold well. We've gotten the point of being able to sleep for a couple of hours with no issues during an overnighter. Most of the time, we start in the morning and finish up in time for dinner that evening. With experience, we've learned our timing pretty well and only had a real time issue the first time we smoked anything on it.....many mistakes made then.

I am always open to suggestions and learning new things. Please never hesitate to pass along information! That's the reason I joined a few bbq forums and have read extensively on the subject. The main reason we started our hobby was because we couldn't find decent bbq in northeastern Indiana and since I was raised down south and he lived in the south for a while, we both love it and missed it greatly.
post #34 of 36
Thread Starter 
That's cool.:cool: I wasn't sure. Not that I was judging your technique.:)

I know what ya mean about that area. I grew up in Chicago and although there were Rib Joints........Rarely did you find a BBQ like the south. It was great spending the last 24 years moving between GA, SC, KS/MO and VA. There was some time traveling throigh TN and NC so there was always a stop at places there too.
The more time that passes for me right now the more I forget. Right now I'm only able to muster enough to do this twice a year so with that said I just hope I make sense when I post something.:o

An update to my escapades today would be disaster!!!!!!!

No I didn't drop my margarita although I wish I had.....:look: Went to get the last bag of wood and it was infested. I guess I didn't have it as high off the ground as I thought but then again we've had a bit of issue with rain flooding the back yard this Spring. Evidently it got soaked and then the wood roaches moved in. So the shoulders had to be pulled a bit too early. No wood....no heat. I did have some tree trim that was available but no way to cut it up (saw cracked the case) and it was too green anyhow. It was cut only 2 months ago.

I am so pizzed at myself right now. If I've said it once I've said it a thousand time throughout my career.....Make sure you have enough and make sure it's all useable! Looks like it's gonna be the oven to finish these. :(
post #35 of 36
Been there with having to pull food off early but never for not enough fuel. Twice in a snowstorm for Super Bowl cooks and once for 75 mph straight line winds (that trashed my canopy).
post #36 of 36
Holding temperatures isn't the point of the mods discussed. Steady temperatures are more a product of learning to use the vent on the side door and using decent fuel than anything else. I'm sure Mary will agree. Most of these mods have to do with using feul efficiently and regulating temperatures from end to end, so product doesn't need to be turned and rotated so often.

Also, "a couple of hours" is not good. Three hours is barely adequate, four hours is good. It's not just the time, it's the amount of fuel and the amount of damage you do to the product by opening the doors and losing that good hot humid air, which is replaced by cooler drier air, which dries out the product; and by starting new fuel -- which burns dirtier as it ignites, rather than continuing to use fuel for a longer time while it burns at a slow steady pace. Recirculating the air in the cooker is the key to great cooks. Exchanging it for fresh, makes for poorer product.

The stock setup loses heat by radiating it out of the firebox metal (corrected by using a charcoal basket -- $15 bucks worth of expanded metal and angle iron, no welding required), and out the flue (corrected by extending the flue -- $3 worth of stove pipe, or $0 for an old can that fits right). The stock setup also puts all the smoke and most of the heat on one side (corrected by adding a manifold -- $5; and by using an inexpensive metal loaf pan as a water pan -- $2).

If you're happy with what you have, fine. However, these cheap changes make your smoker run much better and much cheaper. I guarantee you'll taste big improvements on your first cook, and even more so on your second because it takes a cook to get used to the differences in timing. I guarantee you'll save at least 1/3 in fuel, too. How long will it take for the basket to pay for itself? About five 8 lb bags of charcoal at your old pace. What's that? Two or three cooks?

I find the timing odd for whole butts cooked at the temperatures reported. The average whole butt is between 6 and 8 pounds. At a steady 235, that's between 9 to 14 hours. About an hour a pound to get to the stall (165ish), a two hour stall, and an hour to an hour and a half (depending on weight) for each 10 to 15 degrees to the finish.

At the temperatures described -- 190ish start for the first several hours, bump to 250ish (which is a pretty high temperature at grate height, middle of the cook-chamber, for an unmodified SnPP) finish, your times should run 12 to 16 hours, with a wicked stall at around 150. 250 deg isn't hot enough to bust through a pork butt stall -- at least without foiling. Long day for a butt. But my point is -- you're either cooking halves, bone-outs or your temperature reading/estimates are off.

To quote Rudyard Kipling, "You're a better man than I am, Gunga Dun." With most of the equipment and all the experience in the world, I'm still making many mistakes. But if it works for you, it works.

Well, all righty then,
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