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Attention Keri C. Diamond Plate smoker info
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ceedubya
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Joined: 12 May 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07 06 4:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have eavesdropping on this thread as I am very interested in one of these myself. It's seems like a pretty good deal for the money. Now I must save my pennies for awhile.

Does anyone here do whole hog in one of these?
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AZBarbeque
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Location: Scottsdale, AZ

PostPosted: Sat Oct 07 06 4:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like to cook in a pan so that I can save the juices, but I too have done them both ways. Seems it is more tender and juice with smoking it in one of the pans.

But like Travis said, it is all personal preference and that's what makes BBQ so great. Confused

Post some pictures when you do your cooks so we can see these great DP's in action...
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BBQCZAR
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10 06 12:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok,I smoked this weekend with my new Diamond Plate and things turned out good.I will post picture soon.I have a couple questions though.What is the best temp gauge to get for the lid ?I have one from BBQ Galore it was made for the Bar-B-Chef and I screwed that into the lid fitting but it will only go about 1/2 way in and the probe is only about 3 inch so I don't think that is gonna work properly.Which heat gauge is recommended for the Diamond Plate lids with the already welded fitting, and where can I buy these temp gauges ? I also have a Maverick,accu-temp digital gauge and I "clipped " one probe to the cooking grate and then used the meat probe in the meat.There was about a 30 degree difference in temps between the digital probe and the lid gauge ! Is that because the lid guage probe is not long enough ? Or, is "clipping" the Maverick probe to the cooking grate not the way to get accurate temp measurements ? I am open to suggestions from anyone as to the best lid temp gauge to use in the Diamond Plate, and what is the best place to connect the digital probe to get accuarate readings,on the grate ? or somewhere else ? The smoker worked great,the only difference I had was that it seemed to take forever to cook the pork butts we were cooking,about 4 hrs . longer than the Bar-B-Chef or my WSM and I was cooking at the same temp as those .I never thought I would hit 195 deg for pulled pork,way longer than I expected,I now know how long it takes for pork and ribs ! Any temp and or cooking suggestions are welcome,I have got alot of practice and experimenting to do !!! Very Happy
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Robert & Keri C
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Joined: 31 Aug 2006
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Location: Broken Arrow, near Tulsa OK

PostPosted: Tue Oct 10 06 1:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Czar, we really like the Ashcroft thermos, but continue to monitor your grate temp as well - that's the temp that the meat is more concerned with. This weekend's cook, with 3 Taylor oven thermometers and half a dozen Nu-temp/polder probes stuck through potatoes all around the inside of the cooker lead me to the general observation that the door is showing ABOUT 50 degrees higher than the majority of the grate readings at any one time. Thus, the doors were generally sitting at around 300 when the majority of the probes were in the 240-250 range. The front of the racks run warmer than the back - you may want that, but in another post I mentioned where Robert drilled some 1-inch holes toward the back of the snouts at 10&2, which equalized our temps quite a bit from front to back.
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BBQCZAR
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17 06 1:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess I will keep the BBQ Galore thermometer in the lid then taht I have.I was not sure if the thermometer was way off or if the lid varies by that much from the grate temps. I guess the bottom line is don't pay much attention to the lid temps,just grate and meat temps. I have 3 mavericks that I will be using at a comp in a few weeks and will monitor grate and meat temps and that should set me ok. You said that the front of the grate runs warmer than the rear ,do you know approx how much ? I am also sure that will vary from smoker to smoker, and smoker size as well. I will be smoking this weekend,brisket,chicken,ribs,for a REAL dry run for the upcoming comp I will be in. I had fantastic compliments on the food I cooked last weekend and several people are now interesrted in purchasing one of these units so Travis may have ALOT more bussiness coming his way soon ! Anyone else reading this thread using the Diamond Plates please feel free to chime in with any experiences,advice,or information, good or bad, let us all know about it ! Thanks to everyone !
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OkieJay
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17 06 1:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ceedubya wrote:
I have eavesdropping on this thread as I am very interested in one of these myself. It's seems like a pretty good deal for the money. Now I must save my pennies for awhile.

Does anyone here do whole hog in one of these?


My new (yet to be photographed) Diamond Plate is designed with whole hog in mind. I will be posting some pics and details very soon.

That being said, You can do a small to medium hog in the Fat 50 and medium to larger hogs in the 60s and 70s without any problems. The Fat 50's large cooking shelf is about 35" wide and 40" deep. Place the hog at an angle and you should be able to get a 42" (or bigger) hog in with no problem, not too bad. The 60s & 70s have even larger shelfs.

Please feel free to email me at oklahomadpp@yahoo.com if you have any additional questions or would like more info.

Jay Potts
Diamond Plate Dealer and #1 Fan
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BBQCZAR
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Joined: 15 Sep 2006
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Location: Phoenix,Az.

PostPosted: Mon Oct 23 06 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I have put my Diamond Plate to the test !! I have smoked on it 3 times already,doing whole brisket,ribs,pork butts,sausage,and chickens.Worked fantastic !!! I was able to get the temp to settle to about 235 deg for about 3 hours at a time with the firebox vent out 1/4 open and exhaust vents pulled out about 1 inch.The temp gauge in the lid(Bar-B-Chef,4 inch probe) reads exactly 32deg cooler than the middle grate temp.I found the front of the cooking grate run about 15 deg hotter than the rear grate area. I did not use the steamer unit yet,I am going to try it this weekend with some chickens and some ribs. I used some lump charcoal, and apple and cherry wood.One thing I was wondering is,with the exhaust running almost closed would the food get oversmoked with using a stronger wood,say oak,hickory,or pecan ? Travis you may know this,if I use stronger wood should I leave exhaust wide open ,then control heat with firebox vent ? I don't want to oversmoke the food.Other than that,I am REALLY learning alot about this smoker and I feel pretty confident I can run it in a comp.I have this weekend to practice then it's on to a comp the following week here in Phoenix.Travis,Keri C. Ranucci's,anything you want to add,or any tips please feel free,Thanks !
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Robert & Keri C
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Joined: 31 Aug 2006
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Location: Broken Arrow, near Tulsa OK

PostPosted: Tue Oct 24 06 1:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Czar, we've been using a small-medium (3-4 small logs or splits) clean fire of only wood from start to finish so far. Air vents typically about 1/2 to 3/4 open, stack vents closed and then pulled out to about 1 finger's length open, and that's been working great for us. Definitely no over-smoking has occurred. She does NOT like old very dry wood - she much preferred the 9-12 month old oak that we fed her this weekend over the 3-year-old pecan that we had previously used.

Temps: We're finding that the door thermos are reading higher than the grate temps, due I suppose to the hot air pathway coming through the snouts. I haven't been able to identify a particular pattern yet, so I'm still keeping a few Polder-type probes located throughout the cooker. We can easily maintain 250 at the grates, with very small hotspots - we don't lose NEARLY as much cooking space to hot or cold spots with the Fat 50 as we did on our OK Joe's offset clone. Out of 31 sq ft of cooking space, we have to watch areas totalling MAYBE the size of one foil pan, and that's easily planned around, and can be taken advantage of in some situations. We noted that, in higher wind situations, temps did strange things within the cooker. A higher breeze would blow through, and the temp on the right side might jump to 300 in response, then she'd settle back down within a few minutes. Some tweaking of the stack dampers helped that, but I'm still learning how much tweaking has how much effect.

Observation on cleaning the Fat 50 - we discovered after this weekend's comp that a simple fireplace shovel with a flat end on it is absolutely great for cleaning out the bottom of the cooker. The small head and straight edge of the shovel is great for scraping across the bottom and getting around the snouts, and the handle length is perfect. Thus, if you're considering a DPP, find a reasonably heavy-duty fireplace set at a garage sale, and chunk everything but the log-poker, which is a perfect length to deal with logs in this firebox, and the shovel.

Observation on the steam injector: If we fill it completely full, it will dribble water down the back wall of the cooking chamber for a while before starting the steam process. We solved this problem by filling the 3-gallon chamber with only 2 gallons of water. No more dribble. We also discovered that a 4-gallon pot of New-Orleans-style red beans will softly simmer merrily away for hours if you set it on top of the steam injection unit - kind of like having a few extra low-simmer burners in addition to the propane burners.

The more we use it, the more we like it! We gave MANY guided tours of the Fattie this weekend at Jenks - it was attracting a lot of attention, and we passed out the website and/or Jay's phone number to quite a few.

We're feeding 110 this weekend for our Senior-Q, and she'll be the star attraction - wish us luck!

Keri C, still smokin' on Tulsa Time
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BBQCZAR
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 25 06 12:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the info ! I am cooking for about 30 people this weekend and then it is on to the first comp at Lake Pleasant here near Phoenix,Az. Travis says that the steamer holds the temps to about 225 deg,that would be ok,I may try that this weekend.Keri,do you see a noticeable difference in the moisture and or tenderness of the meat using the steamer,than not ? The warmer front grate does good for chicken cooking,while I do the ribs,brisket near the back. I think at the comp I will cook using lump,apple,and cherry wood.I have another comp coming soon that I will use pecan and apple on.
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Robert & Keri C
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 25 06 3:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I typically like to cook hotter than the 225 that Travis mentioned that the cooker would try to hold with the steam injector going, but when I first put my cold briskets on, I do try to stretch out the lower temps for a while to increase my smoke ring - once the briskets reach 140 and won't form any more smoke ring color, the steamer has run out of water anyway, and higher temps are no problem. I've decided that I like the initial shot of humidity into the cooker while meats are heating up, but haven't been worrying about keeping it going throughout the cook as we've been cooking such large loads that I think the meat is putting out a good bit of its own moisture by that time. I've used the steam injector top as a simmering area for sauces, water for tea, and a big bean pot as much as I've used it for steam injecting into the cooking chamber.

Be sure and have a helper at Lake Pleasant. These cookers really attract a lot of atttention, and you'll have people stopping by constantly to look at it and ask questions.

Some Jenks Cookoff Pictures are here, by the way: http://www.kodakgallery.com/I.jsp?c=iyt9005.5po5l5qt&x=0&y=lgc35y
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AZBarbeque
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 25 06 5:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Keri, Congrats on the great job, your turn in's looked very good.

As for the steamer, I fill it all the way up and like was mentioned before, some of it will leak into the main chamber which I like as it adds a bit more humidity and moisture to the main box and keeps the initial temp down so that the smoke ring has a chance to really take hold. Once the steamer runs out, I do not fill it back up as like you stated, by that time, the smoke ring is already formed.

It is a great food warmer on top as well, but make sure it doesn't over cook anything you have on there, we overcooked some food on there before because we didn't pay attention to it.

Also, make sure people coming to look at the smoker during the competitions don't touch it, I don't know what it is, but everyone wants to touch the steamer box. You tell them it's hot, but they just need to find out for themselves...

Grainer does sell temp gauges for these units, they have ones with 3 different stem sizes, 4 inch, 6 inch, 9 inch or 12 inch. I like to use the ones with the 6 inch stem. Here is the link... http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/wwg/viewCatalogPDF.shtml?browserCompatable=true&adobeCompatable=true&toolbar=true&CatPage=934

Enjoy!!
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Hoochie-Que
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 26 06 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Really nice lookin' turn-in... Killer lookin' pork... You and Mike from Smokedelics have "that look" with your pork down!

Have you considered smoking your chicken on your Fat 50, but then putting it on your WSM with the lid open and a grill temp of 300+ the last 3-5 minutes to crisp that chicken just a little more?

Congrats on the call... Cool
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Robert & Keri C
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 26 06 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the kind words! My best chicken is almost always on my "Turbo" WSM - empty waterpan or none at all, two chimneys of full-flaming lump, and no thermo at all - it'll run up to near 400 right at first, then settle down around 325 for the next couple of hours. I do chicken like this for dinner during the week on a regular basis, and the skin comes out edible. I baby chicken for a comp, and VOILA - tough skin. I'm going to start doing comp chicken exactly as I do my home dinner chicken during the week, and see what happens. Rolling Eyes

A couple of years ago when I figured out that oven temps worked great in the WSM, I posted what I called my Turbo Chicken over on the Weber Bullet board, at http://tvwbb.infopop.cc/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/4880069052/m/1690028482 Robert couldn't keep his hands out of it. Very Happy



We'll be doing chicken (along with sausage and pulled pork) for 125+ this weekend on the Fat 50, so please send lots of positive thoughts my direction. This is our free-for-all-residents Senior-Q for my grandmother's apartment complex. Just finished making up 5 half-pans of Hog Apple Beans. Will inject a case of butts tomorrow night, to go on the WSMs Friday night. SStory and wife Kim are going to come do smoker duty with us. Any of ya'll other folks in the Tulsa area wanna come watch a Fat 50 in action, ya'll are welcome!

Keri C, still smokin' on Tulsa Time
(who will indeed try the slower smoking of the chicken and the higher temps at the end, to try to improve her bird-flesh.)


Last edited by Robert & Keri C on Fri Oct 27 06 12:24 am; edited 2 times in total
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AZBarbeque
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 26 06 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wish I was in Tulsa, I would gladly come help out. Nothing like serving and preparing BBQ for people who truly appreciate it.

Besides, I love seeing the look on their faces when they see it all.. Like Kids in a Candy Store. Shocked
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Hoochie-Que
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 26 06 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Best wishes / karma / mojo to you this weekend on your on your Senior-Q... You and your husband are to be commended for making/taking the extra effort and time to do that... If I can get my act together a little better next year, several of us plan to do the same in our neck of the woods...

I think your "Turbo Chicken" may be the route to go, especially in comp in order to minimize/eliminate the "rubber"... I don't brine (as yet), but I understand that possibly can help as well... Plan to "experiment" with that some here during the "off-season" myself to see if it helps any with the rubbery skin thing (along with going to a really high heat the last few minutes, which I have already been doing this past season)...

You and your hubby and Fatty will do just great this weekend!!... Cool
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BBQCZAR
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 28 06 12:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well its friday again and time to think about smoking for the weeknd.I am going to put a 10 lb brisket and some ribs on the Diamond Plate tomorow and try the steamer system and see how that works. I have a question for Keri,Travis,or anyone else.I have used lump and wood in the Diamond Plate,but I just got a big load of pecan and apple and I was thinking of using all wood this weekend,is there any worries about oversmaoking ,especially the brisket,when using all wood for the whole cooking time ? I could start a load of wood,burn it down to coals,then put the meat on and add wood when needed from there.I just don't want to oversmoke and ruin the food .
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Hoochie-Que
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 28 06 1:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, Czar...

There has been a pretty good thread about cooking with wood on this BB recently... Know it doesn't address the DPP smokers specifically as such, but some good info none the less... Might be of some help to you...

Here is a link to the thread:
http://www.thesmokering.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4813
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Robert & Keri C
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 28 06 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Czar, everything we've done so far has been 100% wood, and we did not preburn. Other than some sooting problems caused by using extremely dry old pecan on the first cook, we've had absolutely no problem with all wood. Oak about a year old and apple from 1.5 years to 9 months old have been great. No over-smoking. Using lump for the first time in it tomorrow for the Senior-Q and 56 lb of chicken thighs, 33 lb sausage, and 5 half pans beans (case of butts going on WSMs tonight so I can get some SLEEP!).

I do NOT do this for a living, and I do NOT WANT to do this for a living. I'd go broke. For fun, though - you bet!

Wood is good.

Keri C
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BBQCZAR
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 28 06 5:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not doing this for a living,but I am going to be doing some jobs on the side for very good money.I have 4 events booked so far and all I have to do is make the BBq meat and beans,they serve it and all the other sides and the money is VERY good. I will try all wood this weekned and see how it does,thanks everyone !
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Robert & Keri C
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 28 06 6:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Take pictures! We love food p*rn.

kc
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