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  • Location:
    Calgary, AB, Canada
  • Interests
    BBQ / Homebrew Beer / Technology
  • Grill
    Big Steel Keg
  1. No more to say really... 2 years now with the keg, no regrets - Except for the time I cleaned the outside with cleaner and ruined the finish! But it doesn’t affect the cook!!!!
  2. Sorry, I meant the factory charcoal plate (not the diffuser) with kick ash basket on top... For low and slow, I didn’t think I needed full airflow (so kept the plate in place).. Sitting above that I have the factory diffuser dry, lined with foil and then a tray sitting on the foil to catch drippings.. The factory unit looks flimsy, but does the job at that temperature.
  3. Hi @Kozik... You mentioned you had the bottom vent closed so that only air from the flame boss would come in? Where is your fan located? I have a ThermoWorks Signals and Billows... fan mounted on the rotary bottom vent... I have the vent fully open (but sealed by the fan) I also leave in the factory diffuser and sit a kick ash basket on top - Maybe this limits the air input and temperature upswings? My last cook I saw steady within 6 DegF Setpoint of 240 (239.4 up to 245) for hours. I also had the top vent almost closed the whole time.. I was thinking maybe you didn’t have the coals lit enough - strange for there to be such a drop in temp - Could you hear the fan working hard when it was below setpoint? That would confirm the issue is more with coals / vent settings than the flame boss controls... Hope something in that rambling message helps!!!!!
  4. @&roid Agree - New app is much better - New icons (showing wifi, Bluetooth and fan status) are great, but they still need to add the fan status or speed to the graphs to please me!! They have improved the device status indication - When Signals is offline, it still displays temperatures?? But at least it now has a big red bar to say ‘Not connected to WiFi’ (don’t recall an alarm being initiated though?) Apple Watch interface would be awesome (I get alerts now on my watch if an alarm is activated in the app) and if they gave more functionality on the alarm set points for fan (along with the changes above) then it would be a contender with all the other apps on the market... For the chicken breast at the end of my cook, I used my ‘Meater’ probe rather than clearing the session on the Signals.. Three taps on the Meater app (add cook, poultry, chicken breast) then ‘start cook’ and I am away with alarms set... But different horses for different courses!! Going to send my feedback to Thermoworks after my next cook - Roast chook tomorrow night!!
  5. Hey all.. I commented on the Fireboard / Thermoworks posts in the accessories section... Basically, I wanted the Fireboard, but ended up with the Signals due to availability and shipping in Canada.. Not happy with my final decision, but still testing the signals (and the new app). But thought I would share how the Signals and Bellows works with the Keg 5000... Now for the mounting of the fan... I cheated!! I bought a BBQ Guru adapter for the keg some time ago and I cut it down to be able to mount the square Billows fan. Note: I just received a Pit Viper fan from BBQ Guru and it can still mount with this modification - See the pictures below - I butchered the mount, but I have still have options. As for function of the Signals/Billows combo - I cant fault the control capabilities... Graph of tonight’s cook is attached: Pork shoulder on at 10am.... Steady for hours, bumped up temp after a long stall to 250.. But I didn’t open the lid till I added the Wings and corn cobs on at 6pm... Pork came off at 7:20 then I cranked the temp to up to 350 to finish the wings till 7:40... Then, knowing I would have pork leftover for pizzas tomorrow, I cooked a chicken breast in the residual heat to shred for pizza as well! The new app (with notes and combined graph) is better, but still in beta with some minor issues... It is an improvement on the original ( looks good, status of wifi/Bluetooth shown)... But I couldn’t control the fan temp (probably as I had both apps running) and the beeps from the ‘MUTED‘ Signals still bug me!! Food was fantastic - Especially the wings - dusted with Weber chipotle rub, cooked at 250 for an hour and then 350+ for 20 mins to caramelise!, so juicy!! Let me know if you have any questions on Keg fit, operation or the apps!!
  6. I remember reading this thread a few weeks ago whilst researching which controller to buy... The good advice / feedback turned me to the Fireboard, but my local shop only had the expensive ‘ultimate’ bbq pack ( 6 probes - I don’t need that many) and buying direct from website (with USD to CAD conversion and shipping) was going to cost me $531 CAD (without a fan!) I rang around locally and found the ThermoWorks Signal and Billows pack in stock for $449 CAD. - So went and picked that up! Will post a thread under Broil King a keg section with full details of my first test... But John’s words are ringing in my head - The app and software are not ready for prime time!!!! Once I managed to mount it on the keg and got the vents right, it was rock steady for hours... But a few things really bug me: - Beeps!! Even on mute, the Signals unit beeps every time you push the buttons. And twice when I was playing with connection to my phone / iPad and firmware, it started beeping the alarm even though it was set to mute and alarm set to off. - No fan output value displayed in app or on Signals - I really want to trend it against the temperature to make sure my vent settings were optimum and as early warning of issues with the coals... But they seem to want you to rely on alarms (set 25 degrees above/below set point and CANNOT be adjusted). - No connection status displayed clearly... Couple of hours into my first test, it asked me to update firmware... no worries, updated and it seemed fine, but it actually lost wifi connection - I left the test overnight and went upstairs (which lost the Bluetooth signal).. got up in the morning and checked.. it was still within 15 degrees, but I had no trends to see how it controlled for the 7 hours... The website implies that if wifi strength is indicating in the settings then it is connected - Not true in my case (unless the firmware flash caused a glitch). Another weird one: The app indicates above the temperature reading that it was ‘updated at xx day and XX time.. - I changed the update rate to 10 secs and saw this info updating regularly... But when I shutdown the signals this morning, the temperature display held at the last reading in the app... The only indication that the signals and bellows was off was the update message not changing - Thought I would get an message to say power had been lost?? I will do another test today and a cook tomorrow... I think a lot of the issues were caused by me playing / testing / updating firmware etc... but the alarm functions on the unit and info missing from the app have fizzled my excitement.
  7. Hey Peter... BBQ Guru offer an adapter for the Keg 5000.... I bought the adapter the other day to see how it fits, looks like you have to remove the daisy wheel centre screw to mount the adapter - So not sure if it will be easy to take on/off (switch between controller and manual operation) Hadn’t bought the controller yet, not sure if I wanted the basic model or the cyberq... Lucky I held off as it looks like they are releasing a new controller - Not sure if I want to be a ‘tester’ of a new device - but they look pretty cool! I assume only bbq guru fans work with this adapter - it is 35mm diameter for the fan connection.. Flame boss fan has a square connection, but smart fire might work if you know the diameter of the fan outlet.. Cheers
  8. This is my last low and slow pork (from my Meater probe)... No temperature controller, no mods or sealant, just dumb luck!! You can see I opened the lid once to wrap it (stall had me worried at 3pm that I was a bit behind schedule).. Otherwise I never disturbed it and temperature held perfectly.. Was a small shoulder - Just under 7 hours and I would have had coals left... I’m sure I have done an 11 hour cook before..
  9. Hey Spaggy, it does take a while for the temperature to settle... my suggestion is that you had too many changes in a short time - 5-10 mins between closing to 1, temp dropping at 9:40 and then opening up to 2 again. Once I get to 50 below target, I close top to 1 and bottom almost fully (just a crack showing, can’t remember number). Then I am just moving the dials by millimetres every 20 mins or so.. Big steel keg forum has some great info, but as per my previous post is is closing down soon... So I copied some key points (sorry if that has broken any site rules): Starting a fire:***Important: The keg is extremely efficient at heat retention. This means that getting the keg up to temp is VERY quick. Once it gets to a temp its harder to bring down. You will want to set a target about 50* less than where you want it to settle at and slowly bring it to that temp.*** Low and slow vent setup (225* - 275*): Be sure to have a way to deflect direct contact of the flame with the food. A diffuser in place works the best but so can tin foil. Close lid and keep bottom vent at 2 and top vent at 3. DO NOT allow temp to rise above 175*. Once it hits 175* back the vents down about 1/2 to full notch each respectively. Temp should begin to close in on 250* slowly. At around 225* begin creeping the vents down a little to slow the rise. The end result is usually vents sitting at 1 or under for bottom vent and 2-1 at the top. *For the bottom vent the typical opening is about the width of 1/4 - 1/2. Top vent typically would be between setting 1 1/2 and 2. Allow it to run with no food at the stabilized heat a minimum of 30 min and upwards of an hour. This will help in heating up the Keg entirely and account for wind gusts, etc. which may require tweaking of the vent. you also mentioned this is a new keg... might take time for the gasket to settle in: What to look out for during seasoning process. Leaks are possible just simply due to the mass production of any grill. Typically around the lower or upper vents and also around the lid gasket is where you will see leaks. High heat silicone will seal up the leaks at the bottom vent. Seasoning and running the keg will help with the top vent. The gasket may require a break in period. It may leak a little but over time it should diminish. if after 5-10 cooks your still not happy consider sealing the vents...
  10. Hey all.. Just glanced over at the other forum and they have announced it will be closed down on March 3rd... if there are any good posts on modifications or recipes that you wanted to keep, better head over there and save an offline copy. I had signed up to it when I bought my Keg, but never used that site... Cheers!
  11. I bought a ‘big boy kamado’ electric stick lighter which I use if I am in a hurry, it lights up quick and then the blower helps to really kick the coals into gear - Cost around $80... But more recently I have been using Xtraflame natural firefighters.. 1-2 per cook, never had a failed start, but takes a bit longer to get the coals going.
  12. I bought the Meater+ and pretty happy with it.. Main reasons I bought it were new technology (something cooler than my igrill) and to use on rotating meats on the Joetisserie as you mentioned. Construction is solid, but you have to be careful about temperature limits and ensure the ‘internal’ part of the probe is inserted fully into the meat. I like that i can see/ trend both internal meat and external ‘pit’ temperature on low and slow with the single probe. The meater+ base is a Bluetooth extender, so the base generally has to stay beside the probe at the bbq (range from probe to base is very small especially when probe is closed inside my broil king keg) and I connect the base via the stronger Bluetooth extender signal to my iPad in the kitchen. I also link my phone to the iPad via the meaterlink (wifi) so if I leave the house, I can see the cook in the app on my phone anywhere with wifi. Negatives: I typically grab the meat off the bbq, walk inside to put it in the cooler for a rest and lose the signal as the base is still outside. Very minor issue! And a couple of times I had trouble getting it to connect, but just put the probe back in the base and try again (same issues early on with the igrill, but it improved with updates.) I have done a 9 hour pork with no issues, but never thought to look at the remaining battery level. Cheers!!
  13. Hey all.. Noticed a lack of activity in the Keg section of the forum... and I thought this would be good to share... I had searched around the web to confirm that the Joetisserie would fit on the BKK... A few posts said yes whilst some said no, but last month I decided to up one and try it for myself... The result..... It works but a couple of minor issues: - Handle clearance - When the motor is on the bracket, it doesn’t clear the handle on the left side (photos below). I have taken my handles off the keg which also means I lose the shelves, but that is just more incentive to build a new outdoor kitchen bench for the Keg and gas BBQ. - Bottom seal - the keg seal is fixed to the lid, with no seal on the bottom of the keg and no seal on the Joetisserie. I ended up buying some big green egg gasket and sticking it to the bottom of the Joetisserie to see if it would help with temp control - more photos below. - Temperature control - Even with the vents basically fully closed, temperature control is difficult with the gaps around the spit rod (and probably the poor seal fit.) I have done a solo chicken, boneless leg lamb and twin chickens and they have all worked out well (typically 350 to 400 deg) but it just feels like I have limited control over the temp with no ability to lower it by closing the vents. Also bought the kick ash basket divider to hold the coals at the back of the basket to limit smoke from the drippings. Planning to build some plastic caps and shorten the screws to cover the old handle mounts on the Keg body. Hope this is useful for Keg owners...
  14. The original CI grate is the same (18.5 inches) the only issue I am having is the KJ half moon griddle has a 1" high lip around the curved edge (I guess it is that high to provide an edge on both sides - double sided plate).. That lip means it doesn't sit quite right at the lowest position in the BKK as this 1" lip hits the mounts for the top position - The KJ CI grate (half moon as well) slides in under the mounts and sits nicely, but not so the griddle. I'll use it in this configuration for a few cooks and then see if I want to mod it further for the Divide & Conquer frame. Will post photos tonight or tomorrow of how the KJ parts fit... Can't right now as I am warming it up for a set of Beef Ribs I found at the supermarket this morning!!!
  15. Hi all.. I’m an Aussie who is living in Canada with the family for the next few years... My old charcoal cooker in Oz was pretty rusted and in no shape to be shipped to Canada when we moved, so it’s in storage over there. Last spring I went down to the local BBQ store in Calgary to buy a replacement Weber and after drooling over ceramic Kamado’s on the showroom floor, I walked past the Broil King Keg... The two key features of the material/build that opened my wallet were: 1. There was no way a ceramic cooker was gonna survive the trip back to Oz (eventually) 2. External temperature - The sales guy mentioned it and he was spot on - I have had the coals roaring and kids (both under 4) can run around the deck whilst I am cooking with the only risk being that they spill my beer! When I got home, Wifey wasn’t impressed with the increased spend... But oh well! Stumbled across this site when looking for ideas on setting up the BKK for indirect cooking (only thing that stock Keg doesn’t do well) I bought a KJ half griddle last week, but I keep going back to the photos of the D&C setup on ‘SmallBBQr’s keg - think I’ll be back to the local store soon for more parts.. Cheers all - Also looking forward to trialling some recipe ideas from this site and the community!
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