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Let's Get this Party Started


elbatiger
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Let’s get this party started!

 

I got my Vision Pro S grill a week ago today, un packed and a test run for temps the next day; used an oven thermometer to get an idea how close my grate temp was to my dome thermometer low temps off middle temps matching, high temps off changing vent openings a little then waiting 20 min for corrections before checking. Got a good idea that a lot of further testing needed to be done (used off brand cheap charcoal). Thursday bought BGE charcoal set 4 double hand full of charcoal started with electric starter took longer to start than cheap charcoal but started as temp got to about 125 I started shutting things down Bottom r vent closed bottom l vent ½, top vent ¼ open dome temp settled @ 250. I used the lava stone for indirect cooking, placed a hen on its stand and a Boston butt on grill rack both on top of dual rack placed a drip pan on grill rack under chicken & butt with about an inch of water in it. Directions from Vision said cook the chicken 2.5 hours and butt 4.5. At the end of the chicken time it looked done but skin was not crisp added an hour. At the end of 4.5 hours butt looked done but added an hour to it as well. Yes I know I am getting an instant read thermometer. Did not use any smoking wood, fire held at 250 from 8 until midnight @ 4 am I checked on butt temp was @ 150 took but off and placed in in oven because it looked as if it had been boiled,  I don’t think I need to use the liquid in the drip pan, I just made a sauna. The next day when everything was cool I checked my coals; I had a ring around the outside that did not burn but almost a complete burn in the center? (I set the charcoal with a little pyramid in the center but mostly flat) any help would be appreciated.

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Hi there.

 

Load much more lump next time and consider using a starter like rutlands or a cotton ball saturated in high octane rubbing alcohol (91%).  create a little cavity in the lump and drop it down in there vents wide open.  Then basically do what you did from that point.

You really don't need the water.  Pork butt will cook for 8-14 hours depending on size @225 while chicken is much happier at 350º - 400º for a much shorter time (1 to 2 hours depending on all factors).

Pull your chicken at an internal temps of ~170 and your butt ~200(probes tender).  Yes, you need an instant read but it doesn't need to cost a fortune.  You can get one that works well from Walmart for $15.

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+1 what philpom said. You won't get crispy chicken skin cooking at 250. You need to get up in the 350+ range for that to happen. I don't know the weight of your butt, but it won't get done in 4.5 to 5 hours. No need for water, ever. A big thing, as was pointed out is to start with a full load of lump all the time. You can never have too much lump for a fire, but you can have too little.  A little more experimentation and you'll dial in what you need and what works for you. Keep on cookin'.

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The water pan some like it and some don't ,I myself use it and the reason is to catch the drippings ,if the drippings land on lets say a foil covered lava stone ,it will smoke ,since the grill is outside this will go on un - noticed, but it is the same as in the house if your pork butt dripped on to the bottom of your oven it will stink up your house. So for this reason I use the water pan. I think you did great for 1 of your first cooks, the only thing I would suggest is trying 1 type of food at a time. The dome thermometer is fairly accurate ,the only way to test that is you would have to have a digital thermometer up in about the same area as the dome .The grate will be much hotter. Pork butts are very forgiving ,next time you could even wrap it in foil crank up the temp and still finish it off on the grill. I would say if you were happy with the electric igniter keep on using it.I use electric in the summer out lit about 6 inches from my grill, In the winter its on my deck and I use a chimney. 

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I have a Vision Classic B, for me I start with a full load of lump, I start mine with an electric starter, I just prefer it, this is really a personal preference. I do not use a water pan, If I have a cut that is dripping a lot of fat and I start getting white smoke from it I might add a drip pan with just enough water to prevent burning of the drippings. I do not typically foil unless I need to speed up a cook. There is so much moisture retention in a kamado style grill that any added moisture does just what you experienced and creates a sauna and you end up steaming your food.

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The water pan some like it and some don't ,I myself use it and the reason is to catch the drippings ,if the drippings land on lets say a foil covered lava stone ,it will smoke ,since the grill is outside this will go on un - noticed, but it is the same as in the house if your pork butt dripped on to the bottom of your oven it will stink up your house. So for this reason I use the water pan. I think you did great for 1 of your first cooks, the only thing I would suggest is trying 1 type of food at a time. The dome thermometer is fairly accurate ,the only way to test that is you would have to have a digital thermometer up in about the same area as the dome .The grate will be much hotter. Pork butts are very forgiving ,next time you could even wrap it in foil crank up the temp and still finish it off on the grill. I would say if you were happy with the electric igniter keep on using it.I use electric in the summer out lit about 6 inches from my grill, In the winter its on my deck and I use a chimney.

For the same reason i use a sand pan, drippings smothered no smoke & i feel the thermal mass makes a great diffuser.. Or im just superstitious..

Best

Ray

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