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Big Steve

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About Big Steve

  • Birthday 10/03/1962

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    Southern California

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  1. Everyone is giving you solid information. The best info is "start earlier than you think", you can hold the brisket once it's done. I'm of the 250-275 temp group. A slightly higher temp will help it plow through the stall. I take the brisket to 160 degrees then I wrap tightly in foil with some wrapping fluid. This helps it plow through the stall quicker (about 1.5 hours quicker) and produces au jus. Once you take the brisket to 198 AND it is probes like butter then get it out of the fire and vent it off to stop the carry over cooking. Drain off the au jus and separate our the fat. Return some of the au jus to the brisket and wrap and hold brisket, after venting of course. Add the au jus to your favorite sauce and serve. If you chop the brisket you can mix in the au jus to add more moisture. If you slice the brisket you can dredge slices through the au jus or pour au jus over the sliced brisket. Dang tasty.
  2. The Pitmaster IQ 120 was set on 1, the smallest opening. I started it up on the 1 setting and was going to move it to 2 once it stabilized but the train was already down the track by then so I left it at one. I don't recall the fan running at any point that I was looking at it during the cook, so air is getting in somewhere. As for the smoke test I only saw faint smoke coming from the lower kamado inlet air setting area. I used duct tape to seal it up on this cook. The food came out really good. Lessons learned when the kamado is steaming away at 350 and you put meat on the lower rack it is too close, at that temp, to the heat deflector which causes the bottom of the chuck roast to get crispy around the edges. I'm going to do a full seal of the bottom vents with high temp RTV, replace the thin nomex gasket (I never see smoke coming from lid gasket area) with thicker material. Ceramic Chef what tips do you offer out on a Vision Grill Classic (Costco model)?
  3. This is probably one of the most frustrating cook days on my Vision Grill Kamado. Cleaned it out, vacuumed out ash. Added new charcoal and some wood chunks and chips to the mix. Lit one cotton ball and buried it in the middle of the lump pile. Left lid open until I saw smoke and felt a little heat. Closed the lib, set top vent at 1.25 and put on the Pitmaster IQ 120 with set point of 225. Set unit inlet air damper to 1 setting small available and the unit picked up and temp climbed at a normal rate. The unit shut down as it should at 220 but the pit temp kept climbing to 350. I've checked for air inleakage around the kamado's bottom vent and used some duct tape to seal everything up as a precautionary measure. Burped the lib over the course of an hour but temp just stayed at 350-ish. Decided to put two 3 lb boneless chuck roasts on the lower rack (heat diverter in place by the way. Probes are located above the heat diverter and not directly above the firebox / heat diverter stone gap. Anyway the chucks are cooking away and looking great. 2 hours later I added 3 racks of baby backs to the top rack. Temp has fallen a little but not like I'd expect. I replaced the lid gaskets last year with nomex ones. Maybe time to return to felt gasket which from memory was thicker. It's frustrating when the temp gets away and you can't get it down no matter what you do. Gotta be an air leak but for the life of me I'd expect a fairly good size leak to get the results I'm seeing. So I marshal forward and am cooking away. I'm using Rod Grey's "Eat BBQ" Zero to Hero rub and IPO sauce on the pork and am using his "Most powerful stuff" rub and his matching "Next big thing" sauce. I'm taking the beef to about 195 then will brush on with sauce and set it and let it climb to 200, then hold for shredding. As for the pork I'll foil with some brown sugar, fake butter and apple juice after about 2.5 hours of smoke then after about 30 minutes (at this temp) of wrapped steam stage I'll set the sauce. While I'm frustrated at the temp control I'm looking forward to eating some BBQ later. Any tips on air inleakage?
  4. I've got most of the products John listed. The instant read Thermopop is great. The $100 folding probe fast read is fantastic but you have to open/close it with each use. I know, I know, the injustice of life. The one item that I love, especially in competition cooking is the Thermoworks Timestick. I competition we cook on a large reverse flow offset smoker which requires attention, not like our kamado's which are sit it and forget it cookers. With some much going on at competition it's nice to have a timesick with lanyard around my neck which reminds me it's time to add another chimney of charcoal, then it's set for the next action on the cook timeline to prep for.
  5. My VG lava stone has a "V" chunk that broker out of it. I keep using it and abusing it, as is, and it keeps going. Once it breaks into pieces I plan to use 1/4" to 1/2" thick metal plate for the diffuser.
  6. I added 2 tablespoons of powders honey to this rub. Don't know if it was detectable or not but it didn't hurt it at all.
  7. This rub is fantastic! The spice undertones are what make it.
  8. You've JB Welding the crack in the firebox and it holds up? How long have you been running with the JB Weld fix? I've got some in the shop just waiting for purpose.
  9. So I've had my Vision Classic a year now. It's served me well and cooked lots of great food. The original felt gasket fell apart and was replaced with nomex. The dome thermometer has some condensation in it now. The firebox has a crack in it. The lava stone is cracked, actually a "V" chunk broke out of it during a cook and after all that guess what? It's still awesome and cooks nicely. I might call Vision and inform them of the firebox and the thermometer issues but since I use a shop vac to clean out the ash I'm not worried about the firebox too much. If I was lifting it out then perhaps I'd be more concerned. Long live the Vision Grill Kamado.
  10. I just did a pan sear steak for my Sunday main meal and after seeing those ribeyes I'm drooling. Completely agree, reverse sear is the way to go. Do you know if they were wet pack (also called wet aged) or were they dry aged? Personally I prefer dry aged for that melt in your mouth intense beefy flavor with buttery tenderness.
  11. Here is a pic of my cook. I went with a tongue sandwich on sour dough with onion slices and horseysauce. The rest of the clan went with tacos.
  12. I'm starting off 2014 in grand fashion, hope you are also. I'll be smoking up beef tongues today for lunch. If you haven't tried them you are missing out. What you plans?
  13. I'd be all over it for $60. Keep us posted.
  14. Looks good to me. Nice job. I can't tell from the picture but did you use a difuser? What was your vent settings?
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