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Beginner Tips for the Pit Boss K24 from Costco.


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Recently purchased the Pit Boss K24 from Costco and have tried to cook a few things on it. Watched a great many videos and read to many different things, and with each person having their own take on cooking with a Kamado, I'm not sure who to follow. 

 

So I tried to cook two things so far, Steaks using high heat and a Brisket using low heat, but before getting into specific cooks I wanted to ask about loading the charcoal, when to use the Heat deflector and recipes I should try for cooking a brisket. 

 

- Kamados like the BGE have a line/marker in the ceramic that shows what the max amount of charcoal you should load in.  When cooking the brisket I definitely did not put enough charcoal and had to add more with about an hour left on the cook. Wasn't a big deal, but it was only an 8 hour cook at around 250. Where would you say the limit is when adding charcoal. 

 

- As for the Heat Deflector I may have misused it by.... well, by just using it in the first place when cooking the steaks. I had the temp around 500 but felt like by having the Heat deflectors may have impacted the steaks somehow because they took a bit longer than I thought for them to cook, and they ended up drying out.  When should one use, or not use, the heat deflectors, are they recipe specific or is there a rule of thumb?

 

- I tried cooking a brisket and well, lets just say it's not a brisket that you want to take home to the parents. It wasn't dry, but it was overcooked. I believe I had removed a little too much fat, and may have cooked it at too high of a temperature. I tried following the folks off the Kamado Joe website and cook it around 250-275. I know the mistakes I made and am wanting to try again but one thing I definitely need help with is..... Knowing when is a brisket "Done"?  Would anyone have any suggestions and possible a more complete recipe that I may be able to follow. 

 

This turned out much longer than I had originally thought and if you've reached this far, Thank you.

I really appreciate Forums like this and I look forward to cooking with you all. 

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Think of using the deflector in a kamado as baking.  You would probably not bake a steak.  Without the deflector, you are grilling.

 

Your temp cooking the brisket was fine.  I determine doneness with a toothpick.  When a toothpick slides  in with almost zero resistance, it's done.  This test applies to pork butt and chuck roast also.  All of these can finish anywhere from 190- 210 degrees, just depends on the individual cut of meat and, for all I know, the phase of the moon.  :roll:

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4 hours ago, scdaf said:

Think of using the deflector in a kamado as baking.  You would probably not bake a steak.  Without the deflector, you are grilling.

 

Your temp cooking the brisket was fine.  I determine doneness with a toothpick.  When a toothpick slides  in with almost zero resistance, it's done.  This test applies to pork butt and chuck roast also.  All of these can finish anywhere from 190- 210 degrees, just depends on the individual cut of meat and, for all I know, the phase of the moon.  :roll:

 

When you mean finishing, I normally read about finishing it in a cooler, but since you've mentioned a temperature, would you mean finishing it in the oven? Also is there anything you need to do to the brisket, for example wrapping it before placing it in the cooler?

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When I was getting started I referenced Malcolm Reed's website, "Hot to BBQ Right". Dude has videos and procedures that totally makes things simple and easy to follow for the newbies. I still use his Texas Brisket Recipe... Texas Brisket

 

Poke around his web-site and you'll find great recipes for ribs, pork butt, brisket, etc. etc. He uses various smokers/ grills but don't sweat that, just get your PB to the temps he recommends and follow his recommendations. As time goes on you'll find you can vary things some and still come out with great food. Also, he's looking to sell his rubs but don't be afraid to try other rubs whether they're store bought or your own concoctions.

 

As to your other questions:

  • Load the firebox up all the way regardless of the cook temp/time. If there is left over lump from the previous cook just load on top of it after knocking the ash out the bottom grate.
  • I use the deflector for everything except grilling steaks, burgers, etc. I have the deflector in for baking, low and slow smokes and for high heat pizzas.

HTH

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When I say "finished" I mean it's done cooking.  Foil, towel, cooler (FTC) is "resting" and can be beneficial to large cuts of meat, brisket, butt, etc, mostly for the flexibility it gives to serving times, letting you finish early by starting early, guaranteeing you won't make guests wait while your stubborn meat gets done or serving chewy BBQ.  

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On 3/20/2018 at 10:38 AM, scdaf said:

When I say "finished" I mean it's done cooking.  Foil, towel, cooler (FTC) is "resting" and can be beneficial to large cuts of meat, brisket, butt, etc, mostly for the flexibility it gives to serving times, letting you finish early by starting early, guaranteeing you won't make guests wait while your stubborn meat gets done or serving chewy BBQ.  

Thanks for clarifying that. I also didn't FTC as long as i should and will make sure I start a earlier in the day to give it some time to rest.  

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On 3/17/2018 at 11:54 PM, EZ smoke said:

When I was getting started I referenced Malcolm Reed's website, "Hot to BBQ Right". Dude has videos and procedures that totally makes things simple and easy to follow for the newbies. I still use his Texas Brisket Recipe... Texas Brisket

 

Poke around his web-site and you'll find great recipes for ribs, pork butt, brisket, etc. etc. He uses various smokers/ grills but don't sweat that, just get your PB to the temps he recommends and follow his recommendations. As time goes on you'll find you can vary things some and still come out with great food. Also, he's looking to sell his rubs but don't be afraid to try other rubs whether they're store bought or your own concoctions.

 

As to your other questions:

  • Load the firebox up all the way regardless of the cook temp/time. If there is left over lump from the previous cook just load on top of it after knocking the ash out the bottom grate.
  • I use the deflector for everything except grilling steaks, burgers, etc. I have the deflector in for baking, low and slow smokes and for high heat pizzas.

HTH

Wow! Thank's for the advice and the tips. About to try another brisket tomorrow or Friday morning and am going to follow Malcom's recipe. I have a few more questions before giving it a go though. 

 

 

Last time, I don't think i put enough wood pieces with my lump coal. I put 4 or 5 pieces in, and as I"m typing this right now, I'm thinking it may have been the fact that i put them too close to the center and they may have just burned to quickly early on during the cook.

 

Talking temps, I had trouble keeping my temps at 250, they kept going right above or below. I'm thinking that It was caused by not having enough lump coal in the Kamado. Where do you all keep your air vent positioned?

 

Last question, Does top or bottom rack matter when doing a long cook BBQ?

 

Thanks for your help guys. Look forward to some win or fail pictures tomorrow or Friday!

 

 

17 hours ago, Txbullets said:

I agree. Heat deflector is for indirect heat or “not grilling”. So smoking, baking, etc. 

 

i am curious if it matters what direction the deflector is. Legs up vs legs down. 

 I will be trying it out legs up so i get some more room for a drip pan. I'll be sure to let you know how it goes. 

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3 hours ago, Bromar said:

 

Last time, I don't think i put enough wood pieces with my lump coal. I put 4 or 5 pieces in, and as I"m typing this right now, I'm thinking it may have been the fact that i put them too close to the center and they may have just burned to quickly early on during the cook.

 

Talking temps, I had trouble keeping my temps at 250, they kept going right above or below. I'm thinking that It was caused by not having enough lump coal in the Kamado. Where do you all keep your air vent positioned?

 

 

Distribute your wood pieces throughout the charcoal that way as the charcoal burns you leave one piece of wood and it moves on to the the next piece throuout the cooking tme. Also fill the fire bowl up to the line with charcoal not to the top but there is a seam between the firebowl and the rim of the piece that you put your deflector on look inside you will see what i mean.

 

dont worry about waste charcoal as when you have finished cooking you can shut it down and the the charcoal will be there for your next cook. and also some of the charcoal will be thhe part burned wood pieces you put in last time.

 

Good luck

 

Nige

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On 3/17/2018 at 8:08 AM, Bromar said:

Recently purchased the Pit Boss K24 from Costco and have tried to cook a few things on it. Watched a great many videos and read to many different things, and with each person having their own take on cooking with a Kamado, I'm not sure who to follow. 

 

So I tried to cook two things so far, Steaks using high heat and a Brisket using low heat, but before getting into specific cooks I wanted to ask about loading the charcoal, when to use the Heat deflector and recipes I should try for cooking a brisket. 

 

- Kamados like the BGE have a line/marker in the ceramic that shows what the max amount of charcoal you should load in.  When cooking the brisket I definitely did not put enough charcoal and had to add more with about an hour left on the cook. Wasn't a big deal, but it was only an 8 hour cook at around 250. Where would you say the limit is when adding charcoal. 

 

- As for the Heat Deflector I may have misused it by.... well, by just using it in the first place when cooking the steaks. I had the temp around 500 but felt like by having the Heat deflectors may have impacted the steaks somehow because they took a bit longer than I thought for them to cook, and they ended up drying out.  When should one use, or not use, the heat deflectors, are they recipe specific or is there a rule of thumb?

 

- I tried cooking a brisket and well, lets just say it's not a brisket that you want to take home to the parents. It wasn't dry, but it was overcooked. I believe I had removed a little too much fat, and may have cooked it at too high of a temperature. I tried following the folks off the Kamado Joe website and cook it around 250-275. I know the mistakes I made and am wanting to try again but one thing I definitely need help with is..... Knowing when is a brisket "Done"?  Would anyone have any suggestions and possible a more complete recipe that I may be able to follow. 

 

This turned out much longer than I had originally thought and if you've reached this far, Thank you.

I really appreciate Forums like this and I look forward to cooking with you all. 

1) As long as the charcoal is not touching the deflector, you are good.  One big mistake new owners make is not putting in enough charcoal.  Another is lighting too much of it.  For a long low cook, fill it up and light a little of it and you will be able to controll the temperature.  For a hot cook, fill it up and get more of it lit, but keep in mind you will need hours to cool back down.

 

2) The temp was probably not 500 where the steaks were, and yes using the deflector for a hot fast grill is a mistake.  You could use is in a reverse sear steak cook though.  Start the steaks with a very low temp say 200 or so and let them absorb smoke from wood chunks for a while.  Take them off and remove the deflector.  Let the grill get raging hot, and then quickly sear the steaks.  Not everyone likes a smokey steak, but it is something you can try.

 

3) Brisket is something that troubles people not familiar with it, but it isn't all that complicated.  Brisket needs to be cooked at whatever temp (above about 140) until it is tender.  There is no specific time per pound, internal temp or any other secret formula that will work every time, but you don't need one.  You determine when it is tender by poking and proding it.  When done, it will have the consistency of a blob of meat jello and a probe will go into the meat like warm butter with very little resistance.  If under done it will seem dried out which most people associate with overdone so they cook it even less the next time.  If in doubt cook longer not shorter.  Overdone brisket falls apart, but that is not the end of the world.  Shred it and add sauce and make some killer sandwhiches.  Underdone brisket is tough and dry and not all that good.  A full brisket (flat and point) will get done better if cooked a little warmer.  250-300 generally works better than 200-225 and gets done a lot quicker.  Wrapping with paper or foil makes it cook faster and makes it slightly juicier, but destroys the bark.  Paper less so than foil on both counts and for many is the "happy medium" but once you understand brisket you can make a good one naked or wrapped.    

 

The recipee quoted above was written by someone who doesn't really understand what they are doing. 

 

"Monitoring the internal temperature of the meat is important now"  NO!  That is pure bunk!  You need to know the internal temp of a steak you want to be medium rare or poultry you want to be safe.  When cooking a tough piece of meat until tender you need to know when it is tender not what temp it is.

 

"Once the alarm sounds at 200⁰ the brisket is ready to come off the pit."  Maybe.  Depending on the piece of meat, the pit and the cooking temp among other variables, it could be ready to come off at 195 or it could be under cooked at 205.  Relying on a digital temp reading to tell you how tender the meat is it not a reliable or sensible method.  Just poke the darn thing.  Once you know what a done brisket feels like it is obvious, and 100% reliable.

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On 3/21/2018 at 3:10 PM, Bromar said:

Wow! Thank's for the advice and the tips. About to try another brisket tomorrow or Friday morning and am going to follow Malcom's recipe. I have a few more questions before giving it a go though. 

 

 

Last time, I don't think i put enough wood pieces with my lump coal. I put 4 or 5 pieces in, and as I"m typing this right now, I'm thinking it may have been the fact that i put them too close to the center and they may have just burned to quickly early on during the cook.

 

Talking temps, I had trouble keeping my temps at 250, they kept going right above or below. I'm thinking that It was caused by not having enough lump coal in the Kamado. Where do you all keep your air vent positioned?

 

Last question, Does top or bottom rack matter when doing a long cook BBQ?

 

Thanks for your help guys. Look forward to some win or fail pictures tomorrow or Friday!

 

 

 I will be trying it out legs up so i get some more room for a drip pan. I'll be sure to let you know how it goes. 

 

I forgot to answer these.  

 

For smoking BBQ, and almost anything else, precise temps are not important. If 250 is your target temp, try to keep the swings mostly between 225-275 give or take.  The Kamado can be much more consistent than that, but it isn’t critical. Most home ovens have greater than 25 degree swings, but people don’t monitor them so they don’t worry. As you gain experience, temp control will get much easier for you. All I can tell you is to maintain 250, my vents are mostly closed. Maybe 1/8” on the bottoms vent? But it can vary a little.  Make small adjustments and wait a good 15-30 minutes for it to settle before adjusting again.

 

If I only need one grate, I use the top one. The further you are from the deflector and closer to the dome, the more even the heat (generally). If the bottom grate is too close to the deflector plus drip tray, it will be cooler, especially in the center. 

 

 Yes, definitely legs up on the deflector for a brisket smoke. 

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Thanks, M-fine Rock solid advice. By luck I happened to choose legs up and made changes temp wise about every 20 minutes or so but used the bottom grate with a drip pan, so I'm sure that helped in deflecting more direct heat. In the beginning I had quite a bit of trouble with keeping the heat low and at the same time found out how inaccurate the default temp gauge is, very glad I went and got a dual temp gauge for around $20. About "Doneness", used the butter texture method, turned out great. I'm learning good BBQ is about taking your time, made that mistake the hard way, but won't forget it. 

 

Thanks for everyone who helped me out, because of all the help, I was able to go from hotdog flavored meat to real BBQ. Still need some ways to go, it's getting there. Tasted Great and cut like butter! Thanks again. 

Whole Brisket resamp.jpeg

Brisket with Bread.jpeg

Cut Brisket.jpeg

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