Author Topic: New Smoker Startup  (Read 10741 times)

Offline Gizmo

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New Smoker Startup
« on: September 06, 2006, 09:59:12 PM »
Yes, another newbie to the BS family. 
Was hoping to have the play time with the BS over the long weekend but received the box on Friday and didn't receive the bisquettes until Tuesday (at 8:30 PM).  No local stores in the San Diego area carries them so I will always have to rely on pony express. 
Saw some posts on the temp variations on the Digital and thought I'd share my first timers observations at least with the box seasoning.  From the information I have gathered from the experience freely shared here (of which I totaly appreciate), temp fluctuations in an empty box are very normal.  Anyway, set up the BS as directed in the guide, 1 hr, 150 deg, 5 pucks, all shelves, deflector, drip pan, and 1/2 filled water pan.  Placed digital probe in top of cabinet (through the vent which was slightly open).  Probe was hanging free style although after the hour was up, I slightly opened the door to see the exact position and notice the very top edge of the probe at the wire crimp was touching the top of the box.  The oven started out with the BS temp reading about 30 degrees below the reading of the remote digital probe.  Suspect differences in top of cabinet vs. back/bottom of cabinet, no load variations, and the total cabinet not being preheated.  All pucks dropped right on que at 20 minute intervals.  The cabinet temperature reached a final high of 180 degrees and was at that temperature for most of the last 20 minutes.  I was surprised that the temp was not lower with the 150 deg setpoint.  It was interesting that after the high of 180 was obtained, the remote digital did drop to about 10 degrees below the BS temp reading but for the last 5 minutes of the 1 hour cycle, the two readings were only 9 degrees apart (remote digital being lower around 171 deg).  I decided to purchase a Bradley Digital after years of using charcoal and then electric water smokers but just couldn't get the low and slow with the temperature regulation I was looking for in those units.  I also was tired of stacking and unstacking the food to load and mop.  On the electric I was seeing temperature variations from 190 deg to 250 deg as the unit cycled on and off.  I was disappointed that the BS Digital doesn't have a tighter regulation than 10 degrees.  It is still better the 50 to 60 with the R2D2 electric.  I have 2 bone in butts to throw in next.  Decided to use one of the recipies from the board here and will let you know how it goes.  My recent trip to BBQ University (courtesy of my lovely wife for our 25th aniversary present) has peaked my interest in using more variations on cooking techniques.  As if BBQ doesn't have enought appeal on its own, I guess there is something to being in a "Burn Area" that is aptly named for the 40 or so grills and smokers to play with.  (The Tim Allen gurnts would be appropriate here).  Any way, even with out food in the box, smoking wood still has a great smell. ;)
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Offline manxman

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Re: New Smoker Startup
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2006, 02:09:38 AM »
welcome to the forum Gizmo, interesting first post. Good luck with your first smoke. ;)
Manxman

Offline icerat4

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Re: New Smoker Startup
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2006, 08:18:43 AM »
Hi gizmo. Good luck with the new toy. ;)




Just another weekend with the smoker...

Offline Gizmo

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Re: New Smoker Startup
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2006, 04:15:42 PM »
Thanks Guys.  So far looks like a no-fault process.  I really like the FTC process.  I have used similar (less the cooler) for Prime and Ribs in the past.  Haven't seen any posts yet were someone had to absolutly throw out the meal because they were choking on shoe leather that tasted like ash.
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Offline Oldman

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Re: New Smoker Startup
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2006, 01:55:22 AM »
Greets again Gizmo.

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Offline manxman

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Re: New Smoker Startup
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2006, 09:09:15 AM »
Quote
Haven't seen any posts yet were someone had to absolutly throw out the meal because they were choking on shoe leather that tasted like ash.

You obviously missed my post on smoked liver a while ago, strangely Iceman seemed to have had a very similar experience as well. We both agreed that smoking mud from the local harbour would have probably tasted better! :-[ :-[ ;D ;D
Manxman

Offline iceman

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Re: New Smoker Startup
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2006, 09:14:12 AM »
Geez Manx ya had to bring that up did ya. ::) ;D My mouth just got all dry and gritty and gave me the shivers. I have to admit when we do something (right or wrong) we go all the way!!! :D

Offline Gizmo

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Re: New Smoker Startup
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2006, 11:25:59 PM »
I'll try not to disappoint.  Not a liver lover (chicken gizzards and hearts yes).  The two 5 lbs. butts are in the fridge with the rub.  Used two different rubs.  One rub that Chef Hess (Hoss's  BBQ) at the Greenbrier uses for brisket (which is actually 2 different rubs that can be used seperatly or together and I can't wait to try it on an actual brisket).  The 2nd rub is one I throw together and use on almost every piece of meat I ever want to season.  I am putting on a small spread for the gang at work so looking forward to seeing the reaction on their faces.  Hoping for  ;D and not ???
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Offline West Coast Kansan

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Re: New Smoker Startup
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2006, 09:26:41 PM »
BBQ Galore at Lucadia and El Camino Real has a few boxes of pucks. They also have a new origional (should say unused) in the warehouse. Dont mess with them though. Just order from Chez Bubba and they will be at your door as you need them.  I tried to buy a BS Origional from them...(at the leucadia store) it looked like it was on the floor for about two years.  The thermometer was missing.  They did not have one that fit so I thankfully did not buy.  Discovered this forum and thereby Chez Bubba.  The Bradley Digital does swing around set points.  Continue to monitor your tower temps and you will soon learn your machine and it will be repeatable time after time.  The update time seems very slow for something called digital and the temp probe is heat sinked to the metal box just to slow down the response even more.  Bottom line is it really does not matter at 4 hours of smoke time - given it is repeatable. You may see more temp difference inside the box on a 6 rack.

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Offline Gizmo

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Re: New Smoker Startup
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2006, 07:04:53 PM »
Thanks WCK for the lead on BBQ at Lucadia and El Camino Real.  I purchased my BS 6 Rack from Jacks.  Not to dis Chez (sorry Chez) but the $240 or so for shipping made me switch to Jacks that had free shipping.  Not much difference in unit price between most of the online sites so the shipping was a huge factor.  I did purchase Chez pucks and some more bisquettes (Blended). 

I completed the 1st smoke but not without some extra unexpected effort.  Started Sunday at 9:00 am after a preheat to 220 deg (up to temp and hold for a total time about 1 hour, butts on the counter coming up to temp).  Put the 2 butts in on the same rack (3rd down from the top of the six rack) with a rack of bacon on top.  3 pucks of hickory followed by oak for a total of 4 hours of smoke.  Kept the digital oven set at 220.  Box temp read around the 210 to 220 mark most of the time.  Digital thermometer place in free space just under the shelf of the butts varied from mid 190 to 210.  After the 4 hour mark, opened box, change out water bowl, sprayed down meat with Apple cider and closed box.  For the next few hours I increased the oven temp to 230 Digital thermometer in meat was around 158.  Meat stayed around 158 for at least another 2 hours and then gradually came up to 190.  Shortly there after, I turned off the oven and waited for the hot water to finish warming up the cooler which had about 15 minutes left from a total water in cooler for 1 hour.  Pulled meat, sprayed down again with apple cider, and double wrapped in Heavy duty foil.  Wrapped in large beach towl and placed in cooler.  This was around 6 PM.  At 10 PM, pulled meat out of cooler to pull but the butts were not falling apart.  Sprayed, re-wrapped and placed in the oven over night at 145 deg.  Check again at 6:30 AM and still was not tender.  Sprayed 1 more time and back in the oven at 190 deg.  11:00 AM removed from oven and falling apart (not as tender as my previous methods used before the BS).  Not too sure but suspect maybe the digital thermometer in the meat may be off and of course I forgot to double check with the instant read (too much excitement with the new toy).  Despite the extra processes, the taste was fantastic (both rubs worked well) but the Greenbrier Hess recepie has a much deeper spicier flavor and I prefer it.  Dropped the pulled pork on some french rolls, topped with some cole slaw (combined ingredients from 2 different recepies) and had a vaunted vinegar on the side just to bring it up a notch for those that needed.  The crew at work all had smiles, raved and one employee commented that it reminded him of some Kaluah Pork he just had in Hawaii on vacation.  The same employee was also taken back home to yester-years as he also thought the slaw was similar to some his Grandmother use to make.  All-in-All a very successfull 1st go.   If anyone has any suggestions on what they think might have caused the butts to not be pulling apart tender after the FTC, please let me know.
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Offline Arcs_n_Sparks

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Re: New Smoker Startup
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2006, 07:14:04 PM »
If anyone has any suggestions on what they think might have caused the butts to not be pulling apart tender after the FTC, please let me know.

Gizmo,

Cannot answer your question. However, after all that explanation and work, I'm having a drink. :D

Arcs_n_Sparks

Offline Gizmo

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Re: New Smoker Startup
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2006, 07:30:37 PM »
Maybe that's what I forgot.  Previous recepies I used a good dose of Jack for the meat and me. :D
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Offline bubbagump

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Re: New Smoker Startup
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2006, 10:24:13 PM »
Hi Gizmo,

My first suggestion would be to use more paragraphs.

Questions: How much did the butts weigh and what was the total time in the smoker. Also, were the butts choice or select. If you don't know, that might be part of the answer.

It sounds to me like you cooked them too fast. IMO 230 is too high a box temp. I never exceed 205 and usually figure about 2 hours a pound in the smoker. You can't rush it. When it's done it done. I know from experience. The first brisket I did I got impatient and cooked it too fast. It turned out nasty. You know it's bad when the dog growls at you when you try to give him a piece.

From your post it appears you are very thorough in what you do, which should yield great results. It'll keep getting better with each one you do. Just remember Low & Slow and use Choice. :)

Bubbagump

Offline Gizmo

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Re: New Smoker Startup
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2006, 06:27:14 PM »
Thanks Bubba for the advice on the paragraphs.

Each butt was just over 5 lbs for a total of just over 10lbs.  I didn't look at the grade.  My wife picked them up at Smart and Final (cryovac package).

For the over temp or on cooking too fast, the set oven temp was 220 for most of the time, the BS temp gage never read above 225, the digital temp gage in free space just under the rack with the butts never exceeded 210 and most of the time was around 190.  I was actually thinking the temp was not high enough for the meat to reach 190 and stay there long enough for the connective tissue to break down.

Total time in BS was 9 hours(4 hours of smoke).  4 hours in a preheated cooler, 9 hours in an oven at 145, then 4 hours at 190 when the meat was finally pulling apart.  Total time was 26 hours.

Is the average time per piece of meat or total of all meat in the box?  I never picked up on that through all the member posts.
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Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: New Smoker Startup
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2006, 03:38:17 AM »
Gizmo;

Just as added information; connective tissue begins to break down at 165°F internal temperature. Placing the butts in the oven at 145°F, would have only keep the meat at a safe temperature to prevent the growth of foodborne bacteria, not high enough for connective tissue to break down.


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