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Everything posted by RoodyPooBBQ

  1. If trying to cook at around 500, are you more concerned with the dome temp, or the stone temp? Specifically, should I be cooking when my Maverick grate-clip probe says 500, or when my infrared says the stone itself is 500? I assume the stone will be at 500 prior to the dome hitting that... but today will be my first time.
  2. Philly / King of Prussia. BJs in South Philly is exactly the same.
  3. ^^ that’s basically what mine look like. I always get from rest depot as it’s half the price of Costco, but I’ve noticed that they do tend to be longer but “thinner” than elsewhere - possibly due to how they’re stacked? i thought about the smoking wood but thought maybe it’s not safe without fouling it. Would it be ok to that or would it need to be wrapped in some kind of foil? As as for the can/mug, I was afraid that would get really hot and cook more in that area or impact the bark some. You’ve never had that happen?
  4. Bringing this back from the grave. I'm getting new steak knives and am either getting the Gladiator (smooth) or Shogun from Dalstrong. In terms of performance, is the Shogun worth the >2x price difference? They certainly look pretty, but while I like Asian-style knives for some tasks, I've always read more positive things about western-style steak knives.
  5. I joined SCA to get a RD card, and it paid for itself with only one brisket purchase. $3.29/lb for "superior" choice vs. $7.99 @ BJs or Costco. FWIW, mine is basically in the parking lot of the Eagles Lincoln Financial Field, across from Citizens Bank Park. It's the only place I get Brisket from, and they have a great selection of Dexter knives and large cutting boards and accessories that you can't get in regular stores. I don't get pork butt there because it's usually 20lbs or more, and I never want anything more than around 10.
  6. I find that I can't get more than around a 10lb brisket inside the akorn without having to bend it over something. I've been using a rib rack and just folding the brisket over top. As it cooks, it usually shrinks enough by the time I wrap that I can get rid of the rack, but it's necessary in the beginning. I'm going to do a 11lb (before trimming) tomorrow, and it's around 20" long, so it'll need to be folded over something too. Anyone come up with anything better than some kind of metal rack to fold over? I also considered separating the point before the cook and cooking it over top of the flat on an expanded-metal "upper deck" I made, but I'm afraid it'll be too high up in the dome.
  7. That's a good suggestion, just not always practical in every situation. I go the other way on the R5 - all the way the f out to Paoli. Esposito is my butcher of choice, but for BBQ I go to Restaurant Depot by the Linc.
  8. My bottom vent is always closed. I use TipTopTemp which controls the air at the top vent, so once I get close to to target temp I shut down the bottom and just roll from the top. Works pretty well for maintaining temps for long cooks. I will try the wood on the bottom. I usually either mix it in with the lump, or (like today) get the lump going, then insert a few chunks into the already hot coals right before I put the deflector and grate on. FWIW, while the nasty smoke certainly didn't smell right to me (and irritated the f out of my eyes) it turns out that it didn't really impact the wings much, if at all.
  9. Cooking on an Akorn but I suppose it's similar for all Kamados. After I get my fire going, I give it quite a while to come to temp and for the smoke to turn "good". This can often take 45-60 mins (for some reason my smoke takes a while to clear up, which I think is another issue.) Occasionally I have to open the dome for more than a minute or two - for example, I'm cooking 7 lbs of wings on two racks and have to 1) arrange them on each rack, and 2) flip each one. Normally when I open the dome to grab a brisket or pork butt for wrapping, it's only open for a few seconds. The nasty smoke returns, but goes away very quickly. If I have it open for around a minute or more, the nasty smelling white/gray smoke returns and stays for a very long time... while my food is in there. I know that the extra air that's getting in while the dome is open is contributing since more combustion is occurring, but is there any way to combat this besides "simply" not opening up the dome? I'm not sure of ways around that for some things.
  10. I find that the factory gasket barely covers the vents, so any shifting - like opening the lid - can move it just enough to create an air leak - even with the plate hangers. Anyone come up with any mods to improve the seal without mounting it permanently? I really like the device, but would like to improve the seal just to remove as many variables as possible.
  11. Man this is weird. I took it off to wrap it. Admittedly, it was off the grill for longer than it usually would have been since I was also monkeying around with the smoker temp to try and bring it back down to 230ish. While i was doing that, I had it resting (wrapped) in the oven at 170. The IT dropped to 147. At first I thought I was sticking the probe into the paper incorrectly, so I unwrapped and used my thermopen, and same reading. So I'm unwrapping, putting back on the smoker (it's at around 270, there doesn't seem to be anything I can do at this point to bring it back down short of starting over, and LOL to that.) I figure it's already "cooked" to 175, and I'm basically reheating it to there before it'll cook more. Going to wrap (foil this time - nuts to butcher paper... too wet and messy) around 170 and let it roll from there. 1) Is it normal for IT to drop that much if it's out of the cooker for a little while? Again, it was in the oven while out of cooker. 2) Is rolling for the first roughly 7 hours at 225, then having a... "delay", then finishing around 270 the worst thing in the world? Second worst? Or no big deal? 3) I still do not understand how I got to the stall so fast - any ideas? 4) I'm now thinking that I overreacted a bit to the IT reading, and that since it was at the stall with roughly 25 degrees to go, it still would have probably taken within a couple of hours of my expected time. 5) Is it highly recommended to wrap employ the "crutch" at the stall? Or is that just to help it along if you can't wait it out, meaning literally a "crutch"? I think that maybe if I didn't worry about wrapping, I could have just rolled with it after re-stabilizing my temps.
  12. Grill = Akorn. Temp control by TipTopTemp. No leaks. Probes = Thermoworks Smoke and Thermopen MK4. I've confirmed that the probes are accurate, and there was no obstructions on the pit probe. Put on a 16lb Packer (probably a few pounds less after trimming) at midnight. According to the Smoke's graphs, the pit temp held between 215-235 all night. The brisket hit the stall after only 3 hours of cooking, so IT of 160 by 3AM. When I woke up to make some pit adjustments (it jumped to around 250 at 6AM, probably when the sun came up and the TTT compensated for change in ambient temp) the meat was already at around 180, so I'm wrapping in butcher paper, however it's going to be finished - including resting - in under 12 hours, which just doesn't seem right. Had I wrapped when the stall hit, that would have been at 3AM, and maybe it would have been done around 8. How is that even possible for a 16lb packer? Everything was timed so that it would be done (including rest) in around 16 hours, though obviously every piece of meat is different. I would not have expected a piece to be THIS different though.
  13. I've done the opposite - bottom totally closed and controlled temp strictly at the top. The TTT instructions actually say to do that, and it's worked for me. Lately I've been cracking the bottom just a tad, even with TTT in place, and been able to leave unattended for up to 6 hours without needing to make any adjustments.
  14. Since I started using TTT, I've felt more comfortable leaving it unattended, whether it be so I can sleep, or go to store, or a jog, or... fun with the lady. I just ordered the Smoke with Gateway, so at least I can check when I'm out around the city while it's going. My only issues have been with slowly falling temps, not rising, because as mentioned, the TTT simply won't open enough during a cook to cause runaway temps. Consistent temps are obviously desireable, but I haven't noticed falling temps to kill a cook. Even if I'm aiming for 250 and it gradually falls to 190 (which is extreme and very rarely actually happens), simply opening the vents and gradually brining it back to 250 doesn't have any negative effect, other than the time of the cook will be a little longer since it fell. The great thing with the Akorn is the fire never goes out during a low-and-slow. You might think it has gone out, but trust me - unless your vents have been totally shut down for hours, there's still enough going to bring it back up to temp by opening the vents and being patient. Patience is the key word with Akorn.
  15. I've had some weird results as far as timing goes with brisket on Akorn. 1) 5 lb choice flat - took around 7 hours. That includes wrapping through the stall and resting in a cooler for an hour. Tasted great, but not much smoke ring (though I was the only person at my gathering that even knew what that was.) 2) 14 lb "select angus" packer from RD - somehow only took 7 hours for the flat to come up to temp! I didn't have a meat probe in, because I figured I wouldn't even need to bother checking for 8 hours or so, but when I checked at 7, I was shocked that it was already up to 205. It made it through the stall and everything without even wrapping. I brought it inside, separated the point, wrapped the flat and had it in cooler for 4 hours since guests weren't coming until way later (since I had figured a much longer smoke time.) Point went back on for a few more hours. It was technically done, but extra smoking time doesn't seem to hurt burnt ends. So I'm not sure what to expect anymore with brisket, if my 5lb flat took as long (with wrapping) as my 14lb packer (without wrapping).
  16. I've never tried lighting right at the very bottom - I figured it would cause it to burn straight up, but you've found that it actually burns up and out? That might help me a lot, as I'm finding that many of my wood chunks are left untouched even after 10-hour low-and-slow cooks. Also - I love the Tip Top Temp. I started out my first few cooks with it by following the directions and fully closing the bottom vent, but recently started doing what you're doing and leaving the bottom vent open a tad. I originally thought this would be counter productive and cause the TTT to be closed too much, but it seems to create a good balance and reduce temp drops. I've noticed that with the TTT I usually stay within 10 degrees plus-or-minus target over several hours, but have had instances where it slowly drops and keeps dropping below that 10 degree variance so I have to manually adjust. Not the worst thing in the world but if you're trying to get a good night's sleep, you don't want your alarm sounding, so keeping the bottom vent open just a tad has helped with that.
  17. I use the Akorn once a week, alternating between long low-and-slows and hot-and-fasts, and might only have to dump the ash once every 4-8 weeks (even then I could probably go longer some times) - it simply doesn't generate a lot of ash. I tend to dump it more often, just out of routine, but by no means would I have to. I don't see any way the ash build up could interfere with my cook, and it simply doesn't accumulate enough to warrant mandatory dumping.
  18. I was gonna use some extra little terra cotta pots to rest the stone on, but I was afraid that maybe there was some chemical or something bad that would get in my food as they got hot. Is there any danger with using regular bricks or pavers or any other stone that you'd find at Lowes or similar?
  19. Is it true you should use a deflector in addition to a pizza stone rather than simply the stone? Going to try my first pizza this week and been reading that best results are when using the smoking stone as a deflector while still elevating the pizza stone up into the dome a little bit.
  20. I'm a relative noob but once I'm confident that the TTT is keeping the temp stable, I have no problem going to the store or taking a walk or a nap. I think being away for a couple of hours the most it's ever changed was 5 degrees which was still within my target range.
  21. It's really impossible to give you vent settings. I've noticed that mine are different than most people's here (I need my bottom just barely cracked and top also very low in order to prevent rapid rises after a certain point.) I think each one is different, everyone's fire is a little different, and each environment is a little different. It took me many uses of the Akorn to figure out how to work it to suit my needs, and even then I decided to get a TTT (though I only use that for low-and-slow, not high temp.) I usually go 30 mins before considering it "stable", as even small vent adjustments can take 15 mins to take effect. Not to be repetitive, but there's a lot of trial and error with these things.
  22. Oh OK got it. I don't actually make the literal volcano shape either - not sure what benefit that is. Mine seems to burn straight up , not left->right or vice versa. It'd be great if it did.
  23. Thats basically the volcano, you’re just lighting the wood chunks at the bottom instead of the lump. I’d expect your method to generate a ton of white smoke, but I haven’t ever lit the cotton directly against the wood chunks. BTW- the alcohol-soaked cotton ball method is fantastic. I was previously cutting Weber cubes down into 1/4 size, and even that lit too much too fast. The cotton has been perfect.
  24. Maybe I’ll try that. Gonna try building the volcano but try to build a “spiral” of wood chunks so there’s one on each level of the volcano hole, rotating around. I love a apple/hickory mix, but that might be tough to get considering how efficient the Akorn is and how litttle it needs to burn to sustain an extended low and slow cook.
  25. Interesting - wouldn't even cracking the bottom vent a little bit create more of a struggle for the TTT? I absolutely love the thing - I was really struggling to work both vents to "dial in" a temp, and it's made it so easy - but it's almost too good, since like I said, only the bare minimum of lump seems to light, and it doesn't spread. I guess if you were bringing more air in the bottom, more lump would light and it could spread, but then the TTT would need to remain mostly - if not all the way - shut. Not sure if that's good for the food since there's no longer any exhaust.
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