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Big Joe Food Taking Forever

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27 minutes ago, John Setzler said:

This is deja vu?  Ididn't I answer this question already?  Did you post this same question somewhere last week?

 

@davegravy

I posted last week but the questions were more about difficulty controlling temperature, and getting wild swings. I did what you suggested in that thread on my last cook and I had much better temperature control but the issue of food taking a long time didn't get fixed by that like I had hoped. Sorry if I'm asking too many questions!

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I don't think you're asking too many questions. 7 hours for pork ribs that still aren't close to done tells me that your temp is lower than you think it is. I'm not sure why that is, but your temp needs to go higher.

 

The lower your cooking temp is, the longer the stall will be, and the more water will evaporate (unless you wrap). You will eventually get very tender, very dry meat.

 

I would start shooting for temps around 275* in the dome. Even if everything is reading accurately, 275 will not cook most bbq too hot or too fast, unless you have a cut of meat with a ton of connective tissue. Even then, it will probably be only a little tough.

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Hi,

 

I’m new to all of this as well, but reading this thread it really does seem that your dome temp is off.  Any chance that the probe was touching the metal you boiled water in for the calibration?    Does a recalibration with the probe (dome thermometer) suspended in the boiling water still reach 212?  Last question, did you account for your altitude when you calibrated it?

 

These are just places I would troubleshoot next if I were experiencing what you are...

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1 hour ago, JosephH said:

Hi,

 

I’m new to all of this as well, but reading this thread it really does seem that your dome temp is off.  Any chance that the probe was touching the metal you boiled water in for the calibration?    Does a recalibration with the probe (dome thermometer) suspended in the boiling water still reach 212?  Last question, did you account for your altitude when you calibrated it?

 

These are just places I would troubleshoot next if I were experiencing what you are...

 

I'll try again but as I recall I held the gauge by hand so it didn't touch any metal. I seem to remember doing it without gloves and having to work fast because the steam was scalding me :P I'll try again with gloves. 

 

I'm pretty well at sea level here, so that shouldn't be it. 

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1 hour ago, Brave Sir Robin said:

I don't think you're asking too many questions. 7 hours for pork ribs that still aren't close to done tells me that your temp is lower than you think it is. I'm not sure why that is, but your temp needs to go higher.

 

The lower your cooking temp is, the longer the stall will be, and the more water will evaporate (unless you wrap). You will eventually get very tender, very dry meat.

 

I would start shooting for temps around 275* in the dome. Even if everything is reading accurately, 275 will not cook most bbq too hot or too fast, unless you have a cut of meat with a ton of connective tissue. Even then, it will probably be only a little tough.

This makes good sense. If 275 starts getting me cook times closer to what everyone reports then probably the temp my meat is seeing is closer to what theirs is. 

 

You made me think of something... Sous vide is based on the idea that you preserve moisture by cooking at the minimum required temp to sterilize and break down connective tissue. In bbq, where you have the stall (aka evaporative cooling) you're saying higher temp (to a point) actually leads to less moisture loss. Not at all challenging you, just interesting that the two are reverse of one another. 

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35 minutes ago, davegravy said:

This makes good sense. If 275 starts getting me cook times closer to what everyone reports then probably the temp my meat is seeing is closer to what theirs is. 

 

You made me think of something... Sous vide is based on the idea that you preserve moisture by cooking at the minimum required temp to sterilize and break down connective tissue. In bbq, where you have the stall (aka evaporative cooling) you're saying higher temp (to a point) actually leads to less moisture loss. Not at all challenging you, just interesting that the two are reverse of one another. 

From what I've read, that's exactly right. The stall only happens when the cooking temp is fairly close to the boiling point of water, and only if the surface water can freely escape. Moisture can't escape when cooking sous vide because it's trapped in the bag. At higher temps, 350+, the stall doesn't happen, because evaporative cooling can't dissipate energy fast enough to counter the energy being added. So higher temps can allow you to reach your final temperature with less water loss than lower temps. However, it takes time to break down connective tissue, so if you cook too fast, your BBQ will be tough.

Edited by Brave Sir Robin

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, 225°F is not the end all be all of BBQ. I’ll put my 275° 3 hour loin backs against anybody who says you can’t make outstanding ribs in that time and at that temp and walk away grinning because I know for a fact I proved them wrong. Same goes for pork or brisket, these temps are not needed in a Kamado and the only purpose they serve is to delay your time til done. I will cook at these temps if I have a large quantity of meat to cook because 1) that’s usually where Big Joe settles with 40-50 pounds of meat in it and 2) because I’d rather not rush the cook and have to hold that much meat at temp for health/safety reasons. 

 

For reference, Aaron Franklin himself has confessed to cooking his briskets at 275-305°F in his offset pits, so you can clearly make “the world’s best brisket” at higher temps. Try the higher temps and see what happens. 

 

There is also the initial “seasoning” of the grill to take into account. Both my Akorn and Big Joe had some interesting cooking characteristics with the first few weeks of use. Initially, I was a little frustrated with my Big Joe because I was experiencing these same issues. After everything sealed up and got broke in, the thing ran like an oven and I’ve not had any issues like that until the top vent got gummed up. I disassembled it and cleaned it as the daisy wheel and slider were really clogged up from many many low n slow bbq cooks. A little scraping and it’s back to the usual. 

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16 minutes ago, Mr Cue said:

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, 225°F is not the end all be all of BBQ. I’ll put my 275° 3 hour loin backs against anybody who says you can’t make outstanding ribs in that time and at that temp and walk away grinning because I know for a fact I proved them wrong. Same goes for pork or brisket, these temps are not needed in a Kamado and the only purpose they serve is to delay your time til done. I will cook at these temps if I have a large quantity of meat to cook because 1) that’s usually where Big Joe settles with 40-50 pounds of meat in it and 2) because I’d rather not rush the cook and have to hold that much meat at temp for health/safety reasons. 

 

For reference, Aaron Franklin himself has confessed to cooking his briskets at 275-305°F in his offset pits, so you can clearly make “the world’s best brisket” at higher temps. Try the higher temps and see what happens. 

 

There is also the initial “seasoning” of the grill to take into account. Both my Akorn and Big Joe had some interesting cooking characteristics with the first few weeks of use. Initially, I was a little frustrated with my Big Joe because I was experiencing these same issues. After everything sealed up and got broke in, the thing ran like an oven and I’ve not had any issues like that until the top vent got gummed up. I disassembled it and cleaned it as the daisy wheel and slider were really clogged up from many many low n slow bbq cooks. A little scraping and it’s back to the usual. 

 

 

I couldn't agree more. I aim for 250-275 for these types of cooks and I am certain my results are considerably better than what I was getting a 225. More predictable cooking times too. 

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You either need to increase the amount of cooking time at the 225 or increase your heat cto shorten.  Try  275 next time.

 

At 225, I give a butt a good 18-20 hours to get to 200.

 

The logical part of your brain tells you that a smaller butt would cook quicker, but they don't.

 

 

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What @Mr Cue said. I cook in the same area mostly. Though, I start a little lower, I like to raise the temps around 275° near the end of the cook- a little higher if I am compromising my target pull time. Also, I got over cooking @ 225° for the duration very quickly, even then, my final cook times were no where near what has been listed above.

 

Finally, I just chalked my initial Big Joe issues to inexperience in Kamado cooking in general

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18 hours ago, davegravy said:

I posted last week but the questions were more about difficulty controlling temperature, and getting wild swings. I did what you suggested in that thread on my last cook and I had much better temperature control but the issue of food taking a long time didn't get fixed by that like I had hoped. Sorry if I'm asking too many questions!

 

Not at all.  I am still concerned that your digital temperature probe is the root cause of your problem.  Take it out of the equation and see what happens.  If your dome thermometer is accurate your food should not take any excessive amount if time to cook.  

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15 hours ago, freddyjbbq said:

You either need to increase the amount of cooking time at the 225 or increase your heat cto shorten.  Try  275 next time.

 

At 225, I give a butt a good 18-20 hours to get to 200.

 

The logical part of your brain tells you that a smaller butt would cook quicker, but they don't.

 

 

 

Pork Butts stall 2 time during a cook.  Once at 140-150 F and a second time at 180-190 F.   I usually run at 225 F until I hit 180 and crank up the temp to 250-275 F at the 180 mark.  

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On 9/25/2018 at 2:00 PM, Charcoal Addict said:

 

Pork Butts stall 2 time during a cook.  Once at 140-150 F and a second time at 180-190 F.   I usually run at 225 F until I hit 180 and crank up the temp to 250-275 F at the 180 mark.  

 that's a good way to do it if it works for you with results you like. 

 

 

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