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    • John Setzler

      Let's Take Sides Challenge!   12/06/2017

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mstewart39

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  • Content count

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Profile Information

  • Location:
    York, pA
  • Grill
    Akorn

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1,196 profile views
  1. I bought this Inkbird 6-probe temp probe I saw on another smoker site. I buy probes a lot, and they all eventually die. So I decided I wanted to try a cheaper probe since they all have problems eventually anyway. https://www.amazon.com/Inkbird-Digital-Wireless-Bluetooth-Thermometer/dp/B071H6MLH9/ref=sr_1_17?ie=UTF8&qid=1512850514&sr=8-17&keywords=inkbird%2Btemperature%2Bprobe&th=1 At first I had some issues with it, but now I’m going to have to give it some kudos. So the first one I got had issues where a couple of the probes would read hundreds of degrees off. They said the issue is that you need to use alkaline batteries. I was, but I still had the issue. The sent me a replacement, and it is great when I use new batteries, but gets really strange when the batteries get low. Like I’ll have 5 probes in the air reading 67 degrees, and the one probe will read 232 degrees. As long as I have new batteries they’re all within 1-2 degrees. If you can get past that, it’s great. It uses a pretty generic BBQ Go app which you can customize so I like it. But what made me really decide to write a review is that I decided to use my iGrill2 at the same time as this Inkbird for today’s brisket cook. The smoker was in the driveway. When I am sitting in my kitchen the Inkbird stays connected 100% of the time. Literally 0 disconnections. The iGrill2 would only stay connected when I was closer to the smoker, or outside and had a line of site. It would disconnect every time I came back inside the house. They both had relatively similar temperatures, so I was fine with that. But the fact that the cheap Inkbird with 6 probes stayed connected the entire time made me really like it. So if you’re willing to make sure you have strong batteries, I’d recommend giving it a shot.
  2. First pork spare ribs help!!

    My two cents: I don't do 3-2-1. I do about 2 to 2 1/2 hours untouched, then I open and look and maybe spritz with apple cider vinegar (and sometimes bourbon mixed in.) I do that a few times for an hour or two, and when I think they're getting close, I brush on honey. My goal is about 45 minutes to an hour after the honey. They're done when they're done. I do the bend test. Don't check IT of a rib. Look for the meat cracking when you bend it. Some twist a bone to see if it will twist. Some put a toothpick between the ribs to check for tenderness. I think they're all probably great. I never wrap. The kamado grills are great at keeping the ribs moist. But try out both ways! Try ribs many times. Everyone will tell you something a little different. They're all probably right. But don't adhere to a strict time. If they're done earlier than you wanted, wrap them and put them in a cooler for a couple hours. Good luck! Don't stress. They'll be great.
  3. Akorn to BJ upgrade and questions

    In January I did the same thing. I went from the Akorn to the Big Joe. You won't be disappointed. I used the divider probably twice. I've found it's really not that necessary. I just pile a small pile of charcoal if I'm doing a small or short cook. I'll often times pile the charcoal on one side to do a reverse sear, but I don't bother with the divider. I don't have a big issue with the amount of charcoal it consumes. If you shut everything down, the fire goes out. I typically have some charcoal left over to start my next cook.
  4. This makes me happy

    Woohoo!!! Go Bills!!!
  5. Unfortunately we're beyond most of the sales. Walmart had sales on WSM's, Akorns, and some ceramics if the local one had them. I started with the Akorn 3 years ago. LOVED it. It can do anything. But mine lasted about 2 years before I had some rust issues and my ash pan wood handles burned away. I have a small Weber Smokey Mountain. LOVE it. But you won't get really high heat with it, and I've found the kamados to be easier to hold temp. I got a Big Joe to replace my Akorn. LOVE it. There's nothing it can't do. The only down side is that it is expensive. I have an Oklahoma Joe Bandera vertical offset. LOVE it. But it's only a smoker. You technically can use the firebox side as a grill too, but I haven't. As a smoker it's incredible. Such a fine smoke compared to the charcoal. But you can't walk away from it for more than 40 minutes without putting a log on it. Bottom line, get a smoker. There are only a few "bad" smokers. (Cheap Offset Smoker is a bad idea...although my Bandera was only $89 at Walmart during their close-out sales.) If you're not sure if you will get into it, get the Akorn. It's great and cheap. If you're confident this will be the way you cook from now on, get a ceramic. They cost more, but they're MUCH easier. I"d set an alarm for every 2 hours while doing an overnight Akorn cook. I sleep soundly with an overnight Big Joe cook. (I don't sleep at all with a Bandera cook.)
  6. Turkey Cook Temps

    I did 2, and loved it.
  7. Thanksgiving Turkey Practice

    I'm pretty sure the birds will sit vertical in the Big Joe. If not I will try the rotation trick!! i have my deflectors in the low position and my accessory rack above it so my drop pan is elevated off the deflectors. I even considered using my expansion rack if there is enough space. Thanks for the input!! I will admit turkey is scary for me considering there will be almost 70 people at thanksgiving. I want mine to be the best turkey(s)!!!
  8. Thanksgiving Turkey Practice

    This may have been the best turkey I’ve ever had. I bought a frozen butterball turkey Thursday night with 8% brine. I was frustrated. I wanted fresh and I wanted plain turkey. But I put the turkey in a sink of cold water for a few hours to soften the outside of the turkey, and then put on a Harvest Brine Dry Brine that I read about on another BBQ site. I have pleated Food Saver bags, so I was able to vacuum seal the brined turkey. I checked Saturday morning and the turkey felt pretty frozen. (Ugh.)I got it out Sunday morning, and it felt soft but there were big ice chunks in the inside still. I was nervous.I put it on my Big Joe with 2 chunks of apple wood, and had it settled in around 320 all day. I had 4 probes from my Ink Bird thermometer. Two in the breasts, two in the thighs. The breasts were done before the things, so I had to leave it on a little. I took the turkey off when it reached about 160 in the thighs and 167-168 in the breasts. I wished it was the exact opposite truthfully. I did let it rest. I read that it’s not required, but i wanted to make sure the whole thing hit 165. (Even though I read that you need 165 for a second, or to hold it at 155 or so for a few minutes, and I had 155 for close to an hour!!). I did baste it a couple times, but not many. I think twice. I had a tray under the turkey with water, the neck and giblets, some onions and carrots and garlic. I ended up making “gravy” by just reducing this. It was extremely flavorful. I didn’t add any flour because I was trying a thin gravy. Next time I’ll add a little, but I liked the thin gravy so I won't add much. Anyway, the skin on the top was great. Crispy and excellent. The skin on the bottom was mushy and wet. I just ordered a turkey vertical roaster from Amazon that I'm going to use for Thanksgiving. It says it's for up to 8 pounds, but I think it should work for a 15-ish pound bird.The turkey was flavorful, juicy, and just absolutely perfect. It had a faint smoke ring, but the 2 chunks of apple didn’t make an overpowering smoke flavor. It’s there, but not overpowering. My girlfriend couldn’t stop saying how great it was, and she had wanted me to take it up to 185!!! So she was nervous to eat it at all, but ended up eating a lot of it. I will have a few things I’ll change a bit for Thanksgiving, but not much!!!! If it’s frozen I’ll get it in the refrigerator a couple days sooner. But the brine was perfect. I never dry-brined a turkey before. This was actually my first kamado turkey. It will not be my last. I've been asked to make 2 on Thanksgiving now.
  9. Multiple requirements...?

    I have...for lack of a better word..."trained" my girlfriend to like more rare steaks. First, she wanted medium to medium-well, and I like rare. But I'm fine with medium rare. So I'd cook hers around medium, and mine medium rare. The trick was that her kids tried mine, and loved it. It was so much "easier to chew". So then I'd start to make theirs medium rare, and hers closer & closer to medium rare. Now if I accidentally have hers close to my rare steaks, she's fine with it! She still needs pork to be well done and chicken to be horrible & dry. Those are going to be a little more difficult...
  10. Sure, temperature gauges are terrible. But you can cook great ribs at 225, 250, 275, probably 300. You do need to pay attention to ribs. I let them cook for probably 2 hours without looking at them. But then I check, I spray (sometimes), I twist, I bend, I touch. I kept making dry ribs, and realized that I was just overcooking them. I never wrap ribs. I want to be able to see them the whole time, and kamados keep them wonderful & moist. (I don't even wrap on my offset.) One thing I do is when I feel that they have about 30 minutes left, I'll put honey on top and brush that in. It gives them a nice, saucy, sloppy sweetness to complement my rub. I use temperature probes for a lot of things, but I don't for ribs. Like ICDEDTURKES said, do the bend test. (Although that's tougher on half-racks, and coiled racks.) Or twist a bone. Or poke the meat with a toothpick. And don't overcook them.
  11. Impending first brisket

    I've never tried it, but some people say that they will hold a brisket in a 160 degree oven if they need to hold it for a very long period of time. I've done pork shoulders for 6, and it was still too hot to touch.
  12. Homemade Liquid Smoke

    I guess if you do this while you're cooking something else, like a pork butt, it would get undesirables in the liquid smoke, right? My first thought was to put something like this together when I'm smoking something else. I just don't want to get something in the liquid smoke that would make it "go bad" quickly.
  13. Do you like the InstaPot?

    You're looking at my question backwards....I want one. I just can't seem to figure out WHY I want one. Every sous vide / smoker I've purchased had a specific thing in mind that I wanted to cook. I'm struggling to find that excuse on the pressure cooker!
  14. What is so great about tri tip?

    Woohoo!!!! Found a local butcher shop who will let me special-order tri-tip. I don't know what they'll charge me yet, but I'm at least going to give it a shot again. I can't wait!!
  15. Do you like the InstaPot?

    I've been thinking about getting one for a while based on my addiction to smokers and sous vide. But I can't seem to justify it. I can't think of anything that I would use it for. The only thing I use my slow cooker for is to re-heat chili when I make it on the smoker. Are there particular things that Tonya makes that you think, "yes, this makes the instant pot worth it"?
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