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xring01
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Joined: 03 Sep 2010
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 23 17 12:54 am    Post subject: Need Advice Reply with quote

Lets start this out with some background...
Born and Raised in Texas, and I like BBQ Texas style.. not super sweet or vinegar...

I have a Pitts/Spitts offset, WSM's, Weber Ranch, and recently played with a Jen U Wine Jerry Pellet/wood smoker..

I am hoping to find a smoker that puts out the same flavor as a offset, that I dont have to tend to every 1-2 hours. I would like to be able to cook 4-5 briskets, a couple racks of ribs, and beans all at the same time.. without tending a fire all the time.

Maybe even save some money on charcoal and wood. Cause I go thru alot with the Pitts/Spitts..

Ohh. Living in SoCal, getting good smoking wood is a bit difficult, so Charcoal and wood chunks is pretty much required. We can get oak locally, butt its decent but not great for smoking.

I am not happy with the flavor of a Pellet Grill...
Will a cabinet style have the same flavor as offset?
Should I look for a insulated firebox offset?
Any thoughts?

Please let me know your thoughts.

Thanks in advance.
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JohnH12
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 23 17 2:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

First let me say I feel very sorry for any displaced Texan who has to live in that left handed state.
To answer your question, I think you could probably find a way to make any smoker turn out great tasting BBQ but the ability to cook as much as you indicated all at once is why we put up with the constant tending required by offsets.
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xring01
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 23 17 2:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A few times a year, I do lunch and learns for my customers on the last day of training..

It suxs staying up all night to cook briskets, then get up early in the morning to finish them, prep them, get them ready to transport, then show up at lunch time ready to serve..

With no sleep... Remember, this is work related, I need to be at my best, mentally..

Either modify what I have to get it to work, or sell what I have and build/buy what I need.

I have a pretty big cook coming up next week... So no sleep for me.. I am not looking forward to it.
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JohnH12
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 23 17 4:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One suggestion. You may not like it but I think you should try it.
Put the meat on the offset the evening before and go till it's about 150* IT or so. Foil wrap it and finish it in the oven as low as the oven will go. Go to sleep and get the rest you need. It s/b done in the AM.
The meat has got enough smoke to be BBQ flavor and doesn't care where the temp is coming from after it's foiled.
I've finished several meats in the oven due to storms or other reasons and it has always been great.
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Old Dave
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Joined: 04 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 23 17 9:36 am    Post subject: Re: Need Advice Reply with quote

I am hoping to find a smoker that puts out the same flavor as a offset, that I dont have to tend to every 1-2 hours. I would like to be able to cook 4-5 briskets, a couple racks of ribs, and beans all at the same time.. without tending a fire all the time.

I would think your Ranch Kettle would do the above cooks and do them quite well. Have you tried to do that kind of cook on the Ranch?
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xring01
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 23 17 10:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have not tried,

How would you recommend that I set it up?

Because if you set up snake, then you will be rotating the upper grate, with 100lbs meat on it, thats not gonna work..

THen I would expect rotating the meat..

How do you envision that working?
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Old Dave
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 23 17 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

xring01 wrote:
I have not tried,
How would you recommend that I set it up?
Because if you set up snake, then you will be rotating the upper grate, with 100lbs meat on it, thats not gonna work..
THen I would expect rotating the meat..
How do you envision that working?


I wouldn't run a snake as like you say, it probably wouldn't work.



I would use a couple of the Weber 7402 Charcoal Rails down both side like you see in the picture. Then start with about 50 good all hardwood briquets on each side. Then you can load up a big Weber charcoal chimney with a full load of the same charcoal and once it it all heated up and ashed over, pour half in each side of the cooker on top of the cold briquets. Then add your smoke wood chunks on top of the two fires. Control the cooker with just one of the bottom vents leaving the other ones closed. Try to keep the top vent full open unless it gets too hot. This should get you about 4-5 hours and then you will add more cold all hardwood briquets to both sides as needed and you will probably have to do it twice during the cook. Kingsford will not work with this method!! Use something like Stubb's.



Place two full sized hotel size drip pans in the cooker under the cooking grate and in the one to the rear of the cooker, you will have your beans. I would place my ribs over this pan as I would want the drippings to go into this bean pan to add additional flavor to my beans.



I don't have any pictures of whole brisket packers on the Ranch but I have a picture of a few brisket flats (9) that I am making pastrami out of to show you how you could load the cooker.

I use this setup for many different cooks on the Ranch and it works great. Very easy to control, very little clean up, very even cooking and smoking, and just an overall nice way to handle the Ranch kettle.

If you have any questions, let me know and I will try to help.
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xring01
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 24 17 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

First and Foremost, Thanks for the detailed response, I appreciate it.

Just to clarify a few things.
Coal Consumption... You are able to Run 5 hours ish.. and only have to add coal once for the entire duration of the cook?
On the initial set up of charcoal, are you running 8lbs/side? More/Less? Stubbs is not to common were I live, any other recommendations?

Are you rotating or flipping the briskets during the cook.

Are you putting water in the full size foil pans?

Have you ever ran your Ran with a Guru? I have one for my WSM, wondering if I should install it on the Ranch for this cook?

Thanks again for all of you advice
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Old Dave
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 24 17 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

xring01 wrote:
First and Foremost, Thanks for the detailed response, I appreciate it.
Just to clarify a few things.
Coal Consumption... You are able to Run 5 hours ish.. and only have to add coal once for the entire duration of the cook?
On the initial set up of charcoal, are you running 8lbs/side? More/Less? Stubbs is not to common were I live, any other recommendations?
Are you rotating or flipping the briskets during the cook.
Are you putting water in the full size foil pans?
Have you ever ran your Ran with a Guru? I have one for my WSM, wondering if I should install it on the Ranch for this cook?
Thanks again for all of you advice


Yes, I do get about 5 hours out of my initial fill. When I add charcoal, I usually add about 12-14 cold
briquets to each side. Ok, here is how I do my setup with the charcoal ... I load a big Weber chimney heaping full of cold briquets and pour half in each side of the ranch. Then I load the chimney again and fire it off and when it is ready, I pour half in each side. I'm not sure how many pounds that would be. The best charcoal to use is one without an ingredient list. Just an all hardwood briquet with something like a wheat paste to hold it together. Something like Kingsford will stink up your food when adding briquets cold. I place briskets on the grill with the larger or thicker side facing the fire and I don't usually rotate or even move them until they are done. I do put a cupful of water in my drip pans at the start of the cook to help keep my drippings from burning. I don't care for any automatic temperature control on my kettle grills.
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k.a.m.
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Joined: 12 Dec 2007
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Location: Southeast Texas.

PostPosted: Tue Oct 24 17 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All of your cookers will produce great tasting meat but the only one that will produce what you're wanting is the offset. While I love my UDS's and WSM's they do not compare to wood fired smoked meat in my opinion.
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xring01
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 25 17 1:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Old Dave,
Thanks again, your advice is greatly appreciated..

KAM,
I used to really like reading your posts, but that last one... Now I will be up all night... You just confirmed what I was thinking..

You just cant duplicate offset flavor with any cooker...

Its more work, and worth it most of the time...

Now, we have to think long and hard, on just how important these customers are...
Are they worth an All Nighter?
Or can I get away with using the Ranch, or just start the cook on the smoker and transfer to the oven, or Ranch or somethign else...

I think I will be up allnight.. my reputation is on the line, and cant mess with that...

UGGG.
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JohnH12
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 25 17 1:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't claim to be an expert but I think most will agree that once the meat is foiled, it has no idea where the heat comes from.
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 25 17 3:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

xring01 wrote:
KAM,
I used to really like reading your posts, but that last one... Now I will be up all night... You just confirmed what I was thinking..

Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing
Start it on the offset and when she pops 165°/170° pan or wrap and drop it in the oven.
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xring01
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 27 17 7:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I cooked 2 Briskets (17lb & 15lb) and 3 Racks of St Louis Cut ribs yesterday..

Got started with putting the meat on around 2pm ish... Meaning the first brisket went on at 2pm, Then I prepped the second put it on then the 3 Racks of ribs.

Put them on the Offset smoker, ran between 210-230 degrees till about 7:30pm. Pulled the ribs, Foil panned the briskets, bumped the temp to about 275-295 ish...

One was done about 10pm ish at 203 degrees, and tender, The other I had to let run to 208 degrees before it got tender..

Been awhile since I had to run a brisket that I, and my suspensions where right.. It was a bit tough, not to tough. I dont think it had the fat content as the other one..

I basically fed 20 people for the Lunch and Learn. Everyone complimented the food, several people told me it was the best Brisket they had ever had...

No I am not letting that go to my head... They are from California, they have never had brisket cooked Texas style.

So for fire manaagement:
Setting up the offset, I used my charcoal basket. I removed the metal that I had in it for snake method. I filled the basket with Cowboy Lump Coal and 5-6 chunks of mesquite. Poured 1/2 Chimney of lit lump on the far right side. Minion Method. Let it come up to 250degrees and closed off the vent to a small crack and it ran for about 4.5-5 hours at 210-230 degrees, it was pretty much used up all the lump.

After I foiled the Brisket. I was feeding it lump about 1/2-3/4 chimney every 1-1.5 hours.

I really like the Cowboy Lump, Burned alot cleaner than Kingsford, Very steady burn. I used my IGrill to monitor the grate temps via Bluetooth to my phone the entire time.

So, I am thinking of making another charcoal basket, that would give me about 10 hours of cook time, with a swap at the 5 hour mark...
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