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Cooked two butts today, and I now know


Woodman
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what my next accessory will be for my Classic Joe.  It's going to be the KJ temp controller.  Got home from work this morning, put two butts on.  I was shooting for a temp between 225 and 300--wasn't going to stress over this.  Got my grill up to temp at 225, and then when I opened the lid to put the meat on, the temp went up to 375.  What??!??

 

Finally got the temp back down, and then the roller coaster started.  It wasn't that windy today and temps were all over the place.  Diving down to 210, then spiking to 325, back down to 240 in a matter of ten minutes, back up to 300.  Don't know why I was chasing temps today, but I'm worn out.  I have to work tonight and I've been baby sitting this thing all day.  

 

So, with that, I'm looking forward to the KJ temp controller so I can set it, forget it, and sleep.  When, oh when, is the temp controller being released?  

 

 

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If you're into tinkering and like the idea of DIY projects, have a look at the HeaterMeter controller. The latest revision of it has thermocouple pit probe support, which is nice for high heat cooks. Being able to monitor and monitor it remotely is really nice.

 

I'm sure the KJ temp controller will sell when it finally hits the market, but after using a heatermeter for 1.5 years, there's pretty much no other temp controller than I would consider using.

 

Head on over to the forums if you have any questions. We're pretty friendly there!

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Woodman - I think your problem could have been that you had too much lump afire. If you have too much lump going, when you open the dome, you let all that lump take a big gulp of oxygen and it rises up and goes to town. That would easily explain the 375 and chasing temps.

On any low-n-slow I only light one spot of lump. I also know exactly the vent settings that give me 225° or 250° or any other common cook temp. I don't know that you really need a controller as much as knowing the vent setting that yield the temps you're looking for.

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Just need to get used to temp control. CC has multiple threads out there where he suggests getting a few beverages of choice and spending the day learning the grill. I highly recommend doing that as well.

How were you measuring temp? A probe touching the meat can do weird things. Those swings are not characteristic of a kamado. It will take 30+ mins to drop from 325 to 240.

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I can, from experience, state that there are those occasions where the devil gets in the Kamado and it seems like nothing you do can or will  stabilize the temperatures. Fortunately as long as your rub has  no more than a token amount of sugar in it, the pork will still be a happy cook as I proved with my high heat pork butt cook experiments.

 

I just chalk up those devil temperature days to being on the wrong side of the statistics for that cook.

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I too have only experienced "set it and forget it" slow cooks. Once I have that baby locked in, it just rides that temp for hours on end. I only light one location within the lump and let it come up to temp slowly and never let it overshoot my lock in temp.

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I used to think that I needed a temp controller.

 

 

Now, I doubt I'll ever buy one.  

 

 

 

I've yet to find the need on any cook I've done thus far.....butts, brisket, chuck roasts......no need.

 

 

That may change if I ever encounter a need....but after 5 years of frequent kamado grilling it has yet to present itself.

 

 

YMMV, but quality lump, clear firebox holes, proper vent settings and patience between adjustments seems to go a long, long way.

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