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toddwchandler

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  • Content count

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About toddwchandler

  • Birthday 11/07/1974

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location:
    Buford, GA
  • Grill
    Akorn
  1. I was kicking around the idea of trying to smoke a turkey, but didn't know if there was any chance of getting one to fit on the Jr. Anybody been able to pull this off?
  2. 0-2 On Babyback Ribs, Help Please

    I’m still new to all of this, so go easy on me when I ask this question. What exactly is the boiling water test and what steps do I take to go about doing it?
  3. 0-2 On Babyback Ribs, Help Please

    So my dual probe thermometer came yesterday and I went ahead and did a little test. I attached one probe to the grate. I did not have the Smokin’ Stone Jr. in for this test and did not have any meat on the grate. I set my thermometer to alert me when it read 350 degrees and then I closed down the vents to slowly walk it up to 400 degrees. When the thermometer read 400 degrees I went out to compare the dome thermometer to the digital reading at the grate. I found that the dome thermometer was reading 320 degrees while the digital one sat right at 400. I know there is debate on whether the 80 degree variance between the two makes a difference. I am just sharing my findings. I am curious how/if this will impact my next rib smoking session. I’m going to try again next week, relying on the digital readings to dial on my temps. I’ll let you guys know the results. Thanks for all of the feedback.
  4. 0-2 On Babyback Ribs, Help Please

    Ordering a dual probe thermometer today. The dome thermometer reading being off has to be what is going on. I had previously said that I thought it was reading higher than the actual grate temperature, but I had it backward. I'm pretty sure it is reading lower. I think you guys are right about the brown sugar simply burning. There is just no reason that it should have at the temps that I thought I had the smoker at. First thing I'm going to do when I get the new thermometer is fire up the Akorn Jr. to about 300 degrees and then compare the dome thermometer to the digital. Should be interesting.
  5. 0-2 On Babyback Ribs, Help Please

    I definitely need to get a new digital thermometer that has two probes so that I can monitor the grate temperature. Everything that I have cooked on my Akron Jr. seems to have cooked faster than I anticipated it would. If I follow a tutorial that says something should take around 8 hours to reach a particular internal temp for instance, mine might take 7 hours. My gut is starting to tell me that the dome temp is possibly reading higher than the temp really is at the grate.
  6. Well, I read all kinds of articles about smoking baby back ribs and have pretty much ruined a rack each of the last two Sundays. Last Sunday I curved the rack and stuck skewers through it since the whole rack won't fit on the Akron Jr. I just left them on the grate, no mopping, no basting, no fouling and they turned into a dried out disgusting mess. Today I tried this: https://snapguide.com/guides/smoke-baby-back-ribs-2/ I cut the rack I half this time so it would all fit on the Jr. Everything was going beautifully until the foiling. The ribs were looking good but I went ahead and fouled them with the honey, butter, and brown sugar. After pulling the ribs after an hour in foil, a found a charred black mess all over the ribs. It was like the brown sugar burned and turned into a nasty black mess. I was able to ding through the burned crust and salvage a little good meet but it was mostly a disaster. I am guesssing that a lot of these articles online describing how to smoke ribs are for traditional smokers and maybe not kamado cookers. Maybe the kamado cooks faster and I'm overlooking these ribs. Can someone one point me to a definite guide on how to smoke baby back robs on the Akron Jr? Two racks of innocent ribs have been sacrificed and I don't want to waste any more. Thanks guys!
  7. I have been smoking most everything I've cooked on the Akorn Jr. since I got it. I use the Smokin' Stone Jr. and use the volcano method to light the lump charcoal. I plan to cook some burgers tomorrow at about 400 degrees over direct heat. Obviously I will not have the Smokin' Stone Jr. in there, but do I still use the volcano method to light the charcoal? Will it cause a hotspot near the center of the grate? Do I need to light the charcoal in multiple places?
  8. First Beer Can Chicken

    How hot does it need to be? I cooked this one at 300 degrees.
  9. First Beer Can Chicken

    Well, I decided to take everyone's advice and try spatchcocking a chicken tonight. Holy smoke did this thing turn out amazing. Incredibly tasty and juicy. Thanks for the great advice!
  10. Question About Bark On Boston Butt

    Think I got it right this time! Thanks for all the feedback!
  11. Question About Bark On Boston Butt

    Well, I am using a drip pan, but on the Akorn Jr. there is very little space between the deflector and the cooking grate. As a result, the dripping do pretty much get scorched and I'm just left with a drip pan full of black mess. I'm smoking another butt this weekend, so I'll share the results. I think I'm going to resist the urge to foil it and just let it go until it hits 205 degrees.
  12. The more I continue to read and learn about smoking Boston Butts for pulled pork, the more I get the impression that one of the measuring sticks for a good solid cook is having a nice layer of bark on the outside of the meat. Maybe I'm in the minority here or maybe I'm doing something wrong, but I kind of find it unappealing to have a tough piece of bark mixed in with the pork that I pull. I have smoked two butts so far on my Akorn Jr. The first I pulled off at 160 degrees, double wrapped in foil, and then put back on the smoker until it his about 205 degrees. When I got ready to pull it, the bark was honestly mushy, but the meat absolutely fell apart and was super juicy and tender. The second time, I took a butt about half the size and this time left it on the smoker the whole time without foiling it. I pulled it off at about 198 degrees, which I think was too soon. The result was a good firm bark, but the meat came out less tender and juicy. I don't know if it would have improved if I'd waited until it hit 205 to take it off or not. So I guess my question is, what does the perfect bark mean to you in terms of texture, flavor, etc. I just feel like I'm missing something here.
  13. The more I continue to read and learn about smoking Boston Butts for pulled pork, the more I get the impression that one of the measuring sticks for a good solid cook is having a nice layer of bark on the outside of the meat. Maybe I'm in the minority here or maybe I'm doing something wrong, but I kind of find it unappealing to have a tough piece of bark mixed in with the pork that I pull. I have smoked two butts so far on my Akorn Jr. The first I pulled off at 160 degrees, double wrapped in foil, and then put back on the smoker until it his about 205 degrees. When I got ready to pull it, the bark was honestly mushy, but the meat absolutely feel apart and was super juicy and tender. The second time, I took a butt about half the size and this time left it on the smoker the whole time without foiling it. I pulled it off at about 198 degrees, which I think was too soon. The result was a good firm bark, but the meat came out less tender and juicy. I don't know if it would have improved if I'd waited until it hit 205 to take it off or not.
  14. Well, I gave it another try. This time I put on a smaller butt (4lb) just to give it another chance. I tried a different rub recipe to fix the issue with the overly salty meat. This time, I decided to just leave the butt on without wrapping at all. Everything went pretty well. I pulled the butt off at about 198 degrees. The bark was much more firm, however the meat wasn't nearly as moist and tender. It wasn't bad, just not as moist and tender as the first attempt. Seems like I need to find the happy medium where I get a good bark but the meat is still really moist and tender. The flavor of the second butt was alright but nothing to write home about. I used the Man Cave Dry Rub recipe that some have recommended on this forum. Thinking maybe I just need to buy a few store bought rubs and keep trying them until I find the one that tastes just right to me. I'm honestly not sure what to try next to get the bark right and the texture and moisture of the meat right on the same cook. Thoughts?
  15. *Disclaimer - This is a lengthy post. I apologize in advance. This was my first time smoking anything and I'm really trying to learn how to get better. I took the plunge and went for my first low and slow Boston butt the other night. Here are my thoughts, observations, and questions. Just to set the stage, I picked up a 7.75lb but from the butcher shop on Tuesday afternoon. The goal was to have dinner on the table for my mom and dad and my two kids and their significant others at 7PM on Thursday night. Since this is my first time smoking anything, I've been reading, researching, etc. how long to anticipate the cook taking ad nauseam over the past week or so. I've read estimated anywhere from one hour per pound of meat to two hours per pound of meat. Deciding to err on the side out caution and wanting to be sure that the hungry crew wasn't still sitting around at 9PM waiting to eat, I planned to put the meat on the smoker at 3AM Thursday morning. I figured this would give it plenty of time to smoke, even if it did end up taking two hours per pound, and give some time to rest in the cooler before serving. Wednesday night I unwrapped the butt and scored the fat cap, and then went to work applying the rub. I did not trim off any of the fat. I used the following rub recipe: http://www.thatsusanwilliams.com/2012/06/slap-yo-mama-butt-rub/ I slathered the butt with a layer of yellow mustard and pretty liberally applied the rub all over, wrapped it in plastic wrap, and stuck it back in the fridge. At around 2:30AM on Thursday, I fired up the Akorn Jr. I had the firebox loaded up with lump charcoal (minus the paper towel roll sized hole in the middle) and threw about four chunks of hickory on top. I put the Smokin Stone Jr. on next, then an aluminum pan to catch the drippings, and finally the grate. Following the awesome directions that I have found on this forum, I started with the vents wide open, closed them down to about 20% open when the Jr. hit 175 degrees, and then finally closed them down to minimally open when it hit 225 degrees. I waited a few minutes to make sure the Jr. was stabilized at 225 and then put the butt on right around 3:00AM. The dome temp pretty quickly dropped down to about 175 degrees, I assume from the lid being open to putt the butt on along with the fact that I had put the cold meat in there. Resisting the temptation to start screwing around with the vents, I went back inside. I went back out there about 4AM to check the dome temp and it had settled right back in at 225 degrees. Satisfied that I was good to go, I went to bed for a little while. My intent was to get up around 6:30AM and stick the temp probe in so that I could start monitoring for the butt to reach 160 degrees ( I planned to foil it at 160 degrees). The first thing I check was the dome temp. It was still holding steady right at 225 degrees. To my surprise, when I opened up the lid and stuck the temp probe in, the meat was already at 167 degrees. I went ahead and pulled the butt off briefly to double wrap it in foil, stuck the probe back in, and closed the lid. Assuming that I was going to have several house before the butt reached the target 195 degrees that I was aiming for, I crawled back in the bed. Around 10AM I got up and went back out to check on the butt. Again, to my surprise, when I picked up the remote part of the temp probe, it was showing the internal temp of the meat to be 210 degrees. I observed that the drip pan really didn't have much liquid in it, but black, burned liquid remnants. I quickly pulled the meat off of the Jr., drained off all of the liquid, double wrapped it in some fresh foil, and shoved it down in my small Yeti with towels on top and bottom of it. Now I had a dilemma because it was only around 10:30AM when I got the butt settled into the cooler. Even letting it sit in foil for a couple of hours in the cooler, it would only be 12:30PM when it was ready and my dinner guest weren't coming until 7:00PM. I ended up leaving the butt sitting in the cooler until around 2:00PM and then transferred it over to a crock pot on the Keep Warn setting. I left it in the double wrapped foil inside of the crockpot. Around 6:30PM I pulled the butt out of the crock pot, unwrapped it and started pulling it. It pulled beautifully and was very moist and tender. I was a little disappointed in the bark because it seemed a little on the mushy side. I had pulled a piece of pork from inside the butt earlier to taste it and it was really good. Unfortunately, after pulling the whole butt and removing the minimal fat that was left, the meat had too much of a salty taste for my liking. The texture and moisture of the meeting was spot on and it was edible, but it was definitely too salty. Overall, not terrible for my first time smoking a butt, but a lot of room for improvement. So on to my observations/questions: 1. As far as prep goes, I applied a pretty darn liberal amount of rub to the butt. I rubbed it into the meat pretty extensively as well as put a pretty good coating all along the surface. Was this the reason for the overly salty flavor? Was the problem the contents of the rub itself or did I just put too much? Should I have trimmed any of the fat off during prep? 2. I clearly allocated WAY too much time for smoking this butt. In this case, the timing broke down to right at about an hour per pound. I would have been even less if I had been awake and pulled the meat off at 195 degrees as planned. Can I expect this same general performance from the Junior every time when smoking a butt or does it vary every time? I'd like to be able to hit a little closer to my target dinner time. I understand that the key factor is internal temperature and not so much time, but is there a way to better strike a balance? 3. When your meat does get done way too early like mine did, how do you handle it? Should it be put in the fridge and reheated closer to dinner time? Do you just do what I did and let it sit in a Crock Pot? Is there a better way? I've got to figure that if you do much smoking at all, there are going to be times when your cook finishes earlier than anticipated. 4. Why was my bark kind of mushy? Did I rub on too much mustard? Was it the way I smoked it? It wasn't terrible, but I would think that a bark with a little more substance to it would have made for a better cook. I appreciate any feedback that you guys can give. While the meat turned out decent, I just want to get better next time. I really like the Akorn Jr. Held the temperature the whole time and still had plenty of charcoal still in the firebox after the cook was done.
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