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Everything posted by Chasdev

  1. I went Masterbuilt for the ability to burn largish chunks of hardwood, period. So far so good, lots of real wood smoke and smoke flavor in the meat. I love my pellet spitter for LONG low smokes but for ribs and hot and fast briskets, it can't compete with the gravity unit.
  2. Congrats! Welcome to the brotherhood of "we who hate stupid instruction writers". That's not to imply that you were not already a member in good standing.
  3. Question? Too many beers or not enough? I ended up flopping mine around at different angles as the required pieces went on, that whole tape the gasket in place this was a farce so I tipped it so gravity held the gasket in place. The screws that hold the control panel to the body are hard and need a LONG screwdriver plus a small diameter long stem flexible magnet works great to get the lost handle mount screws out of purgatory. I had a slight advantage being an ASE Master auto tech with about $100,000 worth of tools about 30 feet away....
  4. I visited the Kingsford website today and they make a bunch of stuff I had never seen or heard of before, it's worth a look, although I can argue the fact that no retailers near my abode carrying ANY of the upscale items, is responsible for my ignorance. They also say there's a "NEW" product going to be revealed Jan 20, so stay tuned for whatever that is. I would love to try the oak hardwood version of their briquettes, but no worries the KamadoJoe lump is working nicely.
  5. I think there may be confusion over the grate opening size and the type of charcoal used. If you use the smallest pieces of lump then some of them will fall into the ash bin but even if they do, they still burn once the larger lump pieces burn down enough to fall into the ash bin and cause them to catch fire.
  6. I did the break-in burn with kingsford and have been cooking with KamadoJoe xxl lump and I can state for a fact that the KamadoJoe lump is vastly superior. Enough of it falls through the grate to ignite the hardwood chunks and they burn to completion emitting lots of great smelling smoke. So much so that from now on, other then placing one chunk of wood at the bottom of the charcoal chute to get the party started, all my smoke wood will be in the ash bucket.
  7. Don't consider it a mod but I like to use a drip pan and raise the meat above it so the smoke can get to all sides. I also like to elevate the drip pan off the cast iron grate in the hope of lowering it's temp.
  8. Here's my thoughts while he's putting his together.. It's a great deal for a gravity cooker, nowhere on earth can you get into this type for anywhere near the dollars. If it lasts 10 years it will have been the deal of the decade, if it lasts 5 years it was still a good deal. It hits all my sweet spots and while my first brisket cook is delayed a few weeks I already love how it holds temps and keeps me in my living room chair instead of slaved to a pile of wood or bag of charcoal.
  9. Problem there is I'm the only one eating them these days as the wife is tired of bbq. I just did four racks of baby backs which will take me a few weeks to eat (not wanting to over indulge), next will be a smaller cheap brisket just to see how it will go, followed by an expensive brisket as long as the cheap one went well. I did half a dozen briskets last year very low and very slow in my pellet spitter so this year I'm going to dabble with hot and fast.
  10. I'll post up when it crumbles into scrap.
  11. My view on warranties is that they protect me from buying a right out of the box defective unit, such as a dead controller or a major part missing from the box. I don't look for longer term protection other than electronics.
  12. Cook grate temp setting from 150 to 500 (if memory serves) a count up and count down timer and four extra temp probe docks plus bluetooth and wifi capability. The charcoal chute and ash grate both work flawlessly as long as the largest lumps and chunks of wood are stacked so they can't jam each other.
  13. Most of the stuff on the right side of the page is already put together, that's just a complete list of the parts. In fact the upper right side of the page is already put together and bolted to the main cooker body. The lower half of the right side of the page has to be attached by owner. 39 and up are already in place. 35 and below are the job. The main lid is also already installed. Most of it is super easy, there's only a few bits that require inspiration.
  14. Cover just arrived, $50 with free shipping. Very well made, nice thick material, fits like a glove.
  15. Here's the drip pan set up, one large removable tray that loads from the rear and covers the entire area under the cook grates along with a small catch pot which loads from the front of the cooker. Both are very lightweight and the smaller one is a bit fussy going back in..
  16. It connects to bluetooth or your wifi and when working allow you to raise or lower the cook temp, set and monitor timers. No graph over time function and mine has been such a pain in the rear to use I don't use it anymore. The amount of smoke you see may be charcoal starting up like kingsford does, producing tons of smoke OR it could be when a lump of wood has dropped down to the active fire area and is starting to burn. My method, because I don't want to wait until burning charcoal bits fall into the ash catch bin and ignite the wood I placed there, is to place a layer of charcoal in the chute with some wood right over that layer followed by more charcoal followed by more wood. I think burning coal bits falling into the ash bin and igniting the wood there probably produce the cleanest smoke. As far as temp drift, mine stays within 10 degrees of the set point and for the most part less than that. I've got a crowded screen porch and I find it to fit nicely into the mess.
  17. I also read some negative faceplant comments, and I feel sorry for the guy who's unit arrived smashed but mine has had none of the issues delineated. Today's 3 2 1rib cook taught me to use the lowest cast iron cook grate, it seems to get hotter than up in the air. (and of course not to stuff too much wood and charcoal in the hopper at one time) I've cooked a lot of baby backs but todays are the best I ever tasted. Cooked at 225 for 3 then 240 for 2 and up to 300 for 20 minutes to set the newly applied sauce as they were for all intents done after 5 hours. Raising the temp at the end solidified the sauce and firmed up the meat. I found some natural aged hickory for this cook to go with the natural aged post oak and the smoke profile was strong, which is just what I wanted. Perhaps the Kamado Joe lump was a plus as it had no smell when it burned at all, or not enough for me to smell before the flames hit the hickory.
  18. You can select 150 but I have no idea if it will cook that low. I managed to pull off my first owner mistake today...I stuffed large piece of hickory and a large hunk of jumbo lump charcoal in the bin at the same time and they trapped each other and failed to proceed down the feed chamber. I noticed all smoke had ceased, discovered the log jam, removed and corrected the lump and wood sizes and all is well again. I'm three hours into a 3 2 1 rib cook.
  19. No biscuits for me, I use digital temp probes.. There's a guy on youtube who posted his results with temp measuring in different places perhaps somebody can find that and post it.
  20. I cooked some baby backs and they came out pretty good. No wrapping, no rub, just a thin vinegar based mop every hour. Started with them up on rack over a drip tray but that set up seemed to be taking too long so I dropped them down to the cast iron bottom cook grate to see if I could shorten the cook time, which it indeed did. I placed the wood, both oak and hickory in the ash catch bucket and it worked like a champ, just like the maker states. I pulled them at 195 internal but they were a tad underdone for my taste although my wife loved them. She prefers them cut into four rib slabs before cooking so it's hard to tell then they are fully done other then internal temp testing. I think next time 200/205 will be my target but todays leftovers will tell the true tale.
  21. Yes the temp left to right were the same, in fact much better than my fancy new GE electric oven and without the up and down cycling of the one in my kitchen, rock steady until I told it to rise or fall. For the burn-in it burned half a 15lb bag of generic Kingsford briquettes but I did not strictly adhere to the exact burn-in times or temps as instructed in the owners manual. After the 1.5 hour split temp burn-in, I moved the temps up to 500 and down to 200 and all around in between just to get a feel for how it runs, all of which is to say that the amount of lump consumed may be due to my playing around rather than a statement of it's appetite. It does seem to like to burn cheap charcoal rapidly so for todays cook it's going to run on Kamado Joe jumbo lump. Lastly, adding hardwood to the ash bin, under the burn box rather than mixed with the unburned lump, worked great. I could smell hickory but could not see any extra smoke which to me says complete combustion of the wood. I'm going to add some wood to the hopper this time, about three inches above the drop grate to give the cooker time to heat up before the wood starts to combust and will report back on this method as well. Probably going to place a chunk in the ash bin under the fire later into the cook as well as I like hickory on my pork.
  22. Just got done with the initial burn-in, 250 for an hour and 400 for a half hour. Been shut down now for 15 minutes and it seems to shut down and kill the fire pretty fast, which was one of my main concerns in terms of wasting briquettes. My first impression is that is has no hot spots, the cook grate temp is the same left to right. My second impression is that it changes temp VERY quickly and holds almost exactly the temp I selected. It was right at 250 and held 402 the whole time during burn in. I commanded 300 and in less than 10 seconds it showed 300. I commanded 350 and in less than 10 seconds it showed 350. There was no variation from the set temp, if I set it at 300 it went to 300, not 310 or 295. I think the internal temp sensor must be fairly high quality (I'm hoping that means it will last a long time) as it responds to temp change inputs very quickly, much faster than my Maverick probe rig. The exterior does not get super hot, even on the burn chamber so it's not a hazard to humans or structures (the instructions call for a lot of space between the cooker and any structure but I'm sure they have to say that). I have mine in a screen porch and have fans rigged to suck the smoke out of the porch and with it no more than a foot away from the porch wall and screen the temps got nowhere near dangerous. I know, proceed at your own risk gents... Tomorrow or Sunday I'll push some babybacks through it and then later a cheap brisket before trying an American Wagyu. Anyway, so far so good, it looks like a winner!
  23. I don't use it much but I really like monk fruit sugar when it comes to ultra low carb sweet.
  24. I'm trying limited calories, I can't hack pure keto by myself and the wife thinks its a scam and won't go along in any way shape or form. I would like to reduce to 1500 cal a day and see what happens. All the veg and salads I want if I avoid too much salad dressing.
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