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Ballistic147

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About Ballistic147

  • Birthday 01/07/1970

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location:
    Central North Carolina
  • Interests
    Grilling, working in the lawn, and hanging out with all my dogs.
  • Grill
    Pit Boss

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  1. I use denatured alcohol from the hardware store just because I always keep a gallon in the shop for other things. The 91% you can buy in the drug store works too so either one is fine.
  2. For low & slow I use a cotton ball soaked in denatured alcohol (sometimes it takes a second one) to start only a couple lumps of coal. At this stage all vents and lid are wide open. Once a couple coals are lit and doing well I put in the heat deflector and food grates as well as my Smoke grill temp probe. Give that a few minutes and close the lid with vents wide open. As grill temp hits about 175 I begin closing vents slowly and by 225 to 250 vents are set for low & slow. My process takes 1 to 2 hours to get the grill to temp. I've found this method leads to more consistent temps throughout the cook. Getting too much coal going and bringing temps up too fast will have you fighting to maintain a constant temp. For high temp cooks, I use either a chimney or mapp gas torch to get a hot fire going quickly.
  3. I'm no expert. Only cooked 2 briskets so far, both packers, and they were in the 14 to 16lbs range. Neither were injected nor wrapped and both had a drip pan half full of water. Grill temp stayed in the 220 to 240 degree range for the entire cook and both wound up taking 16 to 18 hours. Start them plenty early and if they get done early pull, wrap in foil, then put in a cooler wrapped in towels. It will stay hot this way for hours. Both got excellent reviews from family members who aren't afraid to hurt feelings.
  4. I think the reason my "levels" cooked at different rates was due to the size variation between each rack of ribs more so than heat distribution. Some were a little bigger/thicker and those seemed to take longer to cook. For me, baby backs go at least 4.5 hours at 225 to 250 degrees so I never lift the lid until that point. At 4.5 hours I'll probe each rack at both ends and the middle with the Thermapen to see where they're at. Not really looking at internal temps but feel how easy they probe. Once the probe "falls in" I pull them. With the 22" Pit Boss the ends of the ribs hang over the heat deflector and thus are a little more done than the rest of the rack. I went with the Pit Boss based on price to get my feet wet in Kamado cooking. Two years later I'm looking into the Big Joe for doing larger cooks like this.
  5. They seem to cook fairly evenly. Last cook the bottom 2 racks were done a little earlier than the others and the first cook the top 2 racks were done first. I just remove the racks as they get done, no big deal.
  6. So far I've done 6 racks two different times on my K22 Pit Boss. It's tight but works very well. I used the main rack, the extra rack, and then built one from a Weber replacement rack and some carriage bolts/nuts/washers I picked up at Lowe's. Both times I heard no complaints on the ribs and these people were all family.
  7. I just did 6 racks of baby backs over the weekend on a 22" Pit Boss. Actual cooking surface is about 17" so not a lot of room. This was my second 6 rack cook. Bought a Weber replacement rack at Lowe's along with a few nuts, bolts and washers to make a 3rd rack (the one on top). The bottom two racks were done about 45 minutes before the top two. All ended up in a pan foiled over and wrapped in towels while I brought the grill temps up to 400 to cook the baked beans. Ribs were awesome! It's definitely a tight fit but works. I seriously doubt I could get another rack in there.
  8. In the photo I posted earlier I was using the meat probe to check the temp higher in the dome. I was cooking 6 racks of ribs on 3 levels of racks and wanted to see the temp difference at different levels inside the grill. On the Smoke, the bottom temp is the grate probe located on the middle rack. The top temp is the meat probe which was stuck down through the top vent. The goal was to make sure all the meat was being exposed to about the same amount of heat. It was surprising how even it was throughout the gill. If you notice the dome thermometer was reading 150 degrees which is why I did the experiment. The photo was taken 4 hours into the cook which indicates the dome thermo is about 80 degrees low. Going by the dome thermo would have put me into the 300+ temp range.
  9. A couple months ago while doing a rib cook I did a little thermo test. Basically, I had checked both the grate probe and meat probe of the Themoworks Smoke in boiling water. Both came up within .2 degrees of each other. Then checked the dome thermometer and it was way, way off in left field. During the cook I decided to use the meat probe (I don't use it when cooking ribs) to measure dome temp near the dome thermometer to compare readings. This cook was 6 racks on a 22" Pit Boss using 3 layers of racks to fit them all in. Grate probe on middle rack and meat probe inserted through top vent to put it within about 1" of the dome thermometer. While the two Smoke probes never got more than 8 degrees from each other the dome thermo was easily 85 degrees off. Granted, this is a cheap Pit Boss thermometer and it seems to work just fine for higher temp grilling but I would never trust it for low and slow. Here's photos of the set up:
  10. I usually spend around 1.5 to 2 hours bringing it up to temp for low and slow. I've found with my Pit Boss anything much faster than that and it seems much harder to stabilize. For lighting a low and slow I use a cotton ball soaked in denatured alcohol. For a quick hot fire, sometimes I use a chimney and others I use a map gas torch and it takes about 30 minutes to get to temp.
  11. Occasionally I use a chimney like the others have said but most of the time I use a map gas torch. Just light 4 spots on the outer edge and one spot in the center. I find it's just as quick and a little less mess than the chimney.
  12. Thank you. I have a soft spot for dogs. Soon I'll be fostering for one of our local rescue groups. We got Xena, the American Pit Bull Terrier from them. I've got a great pack and feel they would benefit from having new dogs coming and going. Plus I want to do something to help out with all the homeless and abused/neglected dogs. I actually live in Lexington where we are well known for our pit cooked pork BBQ and the vinegar based sauce (known as dip around here). Also home to The BBQ Festival every year in October. I've heard attendance is close to 200k people. To be honest, I might eat BBQ from one of the many restaurants maybe twice a year. I much prefer to do my own thing at home.
  13. Yes, she is one of my 5 dogs and all are rescues. She was taken from her owners when they found both of her parents too weak to walk from starvation and she was the only puppy in the litter to survive. She is a sweetheart and loves all people, dogs and even gets along with cats. I also have 2 rat terriers, a shaggy mutt dog, and a boxer mix that were either abandoned or dumped at the animal shelter. Hard to imagine anyone treating animals like that. My wife isn't quite the dog person I am but she never really complains much when I bring a new one home. Here's a photo of my gang plus my parents two dogs. Everybody is gathered around for treat time.
  14. Just picked up a 22" Pit Boss this weekend. Been cooking on gas, charcoal and over wood fires now for about 25 years and never knew what I was missing with the kamado. Only cooked twice on it so far and it is fantastic! Got a lot of things that I want to try in the near future and look forward to the knowledge of all the folks here.
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