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Old 04-29-2012, 06:11 PM   #1
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New to Low and slow

Ok guys/gals.. Im new to Low and slow and had a go at it with my Char-Griller Duo... I kept a journal on the smoking so I cold go back and see how I can improve.. Im cut and paste it below.. Any suggestions would be great..

Ok after reading a week’s worth of blog post I decided to start Hot Rodding my “BEAST”. I extended the Smoke stack to the Grate first. Then I added the side fire box, and purchased a Veggie Griller to use as a Coal basket. I also lined the inside of the grill with foil, and flipped the stock coal tray upside down to use as a baffle… I ran some test runs but more of the time the smoke chamber was way too hot (300-400f). So I decided to do a test run with a slab of rims using the minion method. I’m typing this up as the ribs are smoking so I will post what I did and a reflection at the end...

10:20am: Pour about 15 hot coals in a basket with about a chimney full of unlit lump coal (Cowboy Brand), and placed a water dish inside the smoke chamber to control the heat.
10:45am: The Grill reads a temp of 110f with stock thermometer.
11:00am: The Grill reads a temp of 140f with stock thermometer.
11:15am: The Grill Reads a Temp of 160f with stock thermometer.
11:30am: the Grill reads a Temp of 210f and the grate temp was 190f with oven thermometer.
11:45am: 200f at grate and with stock thermometer.
12:00pm: 230f at grate and with stock thermometer. ***Put the Meat on….
12:15pm: Temps dropped to 210f on both thermometers.
12:45pm: Temp dropped to 190f on both thermometers. Decided to take out the water pan.
12:55pm Temp dropped down to 180f on both thermometer. Decided to add more lump coal...
1:10pm Temps up to 230 on grills thermometer and 210 on Grate... Sprayed the ribs with apple juice...
1:30pm Temps up to 250f on grill and 240 on grate, so I decided to add some smoking wood. I also closed the vent on the Side box half way because I didn’t want the temps to get over 250f.
2:00pm Grill Temps read 250f.
2:30pm grill temps read 225f
3:00pm Grill reads 210f at the Grill and 200 at the Grate... Took the meat out to wrap it and added coals (and Smoking wood) to the Box.
3:30pm: The Grill read a temp of 250f…
4:20pm: Temp dropped down to 210f and I added some Stubbs Charcoal…
430pm Temps at grill was 210f and at Grate it read 195… Unwrapped the ribs.
5:30pm DONE!!!!! At 240f
Over and hour after I took the meat off the grill read 190f and the grate read 175f..


Conclusion...

First I wasn’t happy with how quick the Cowboy Lump Coal burned out…. I went through a bad and still couldn’t keep my temps steady. Secondly, I don’t know if the pan of water helped any…. I believe it kept the temps low while it was I the smoker. I’m not sure if inverting the coal tray made a different. I also week like the grill am not able to hold the heat the way it should. I’m wondering if fireplace bricks of even ceramic bricks would help insulate the heat.










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Old 04-29-2012, 06:30 PM   #2
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Re: New to Low and slow

Holy temps Batman!
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Old 04-29-2012, 08:57 PM   #3
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Re: New to Low and slow

Perhaps were/are you a science major? Lots of data points. The Grilling section is for HOT and fast, the general BBQ has more information about slow and low. I will move this thread to where the people with experience with slow and low hang out.
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Old 04-29-2012, 09:08 PM   #4
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Re: New to Low and slow

thank you... sorry for the mix up...
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Old 04-29-2012, 09:12 PM   #5
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Re: New to Low and slow

No problem, here to help. Your food looks good, pics are always appreciated and we are glad to have you here. Personally, I hope the liquid in you glass is vodka or gin!!!
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Old 04-30-2012, 03:19 AM   #6
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New to Low and slow

My advice is to look at a WSM. Some of us started on pits like the one you are using. Did all the mods and were still frustrated with the temp issues.
Good luck. Bricks wii help maintain temps along with a better brand of charcoal. I don't care for the cowboy brand. Check out Royal Oak.


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Old 04-30-2012, 03:29 AM   #7
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New to Low and slow

The important question is how did the ribs come out? Were you happy with them.


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Old 04-30-2012, 08:20 PM   #8
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Re: New to Low and slow

Start with a ring full of coal next time. Dump 1/4 chimney, or better of lit coals on top. If you're going to use water in the pan, use hot water. Good job with monitoring the temps. It gives you a clue as to where your problem might be. Adding water, meat or just plan lifting the lid will play havoc with your temps. When you add mass, it will make the temps drop as in the water and the meat. When you lift the lid it has no choice but to drop temp.
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Old 04-30-2012, 09:14 PM   #9
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Re: New to Low and slow

Although modding is the road some people take, you should get a feel for your smoker, or bbq in it's original state. If you are going to change things up, do only one or two things at a time to see how it effects the base line. Just a little advice. All we are missing from your post is flow charts and pie graphs. lol J/P....
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Old 04-30-2012, 11:30 PM   #10
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Re: New to Low and slow

I owned a Chargriller Pro for many years and made some great BBQ on it. I also did and tryied all the mods you mentioned...some worth it others not. The stack mod is a worth while mod, while the charcoal tray as a baffel is not. I always used a aluminum loaf pan with water about 1 inch from the firebox vent on the cooking grate to help with temps and pushing the heat down., also I used the firebox cooking grate for my charcoal, 2 full chimneys unlit then one chiney lit. gets alittle cramped but trust me it fits. Also you can close your firebox vent fully if need be because the ash drawer normally warps and lets some air in. And for god sakes do not open the cooker for atleast 2 hrs unless cooking chicken, temps will drop hard and takes a chargriller along time to recover. Well hope I made somethings clear. Please feel free to ask anything we are all always here to help. I'll post some pics of my old setup....how ever after learning the joy of smoking I also upgraded to a WSM but I had a chargriller for 4 yrs plus and learned a great deal with it and they are great cookers when you get the hang of them. Also I did not wrap at the time, I do know
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