A longer burn process for kettles


 
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Dave L.

TVWBB Pro
David, Putting indicating marks on the grill is a great idea. Do you have any pictures to show how you did it?
 
I need to get a new camera. I don't have any pictures to show how I did that. I just took a permanent marker and made a notch above the lever at fully closed, 1/8, 1/4, 3/8, etc. It isn't real exact, but it is close enough to get the job done.
 

David-B

TVWBB Super Fan
Originally posted by Dave L.:
David, Putting indicating marks on the grill is a great idea. Do you have any pictures to show how you did it?
If you have the OTG model with the ash pan just put a couple of marks on the air inlet piece the pan sits in with a permanent marker. The one touch lever sits right below the inlet holes. The first mark i have indicates the vents are about to crack open and the very last mark i have shows the vent is now fully open. I also put some marks in between showing 1/4,1/2,3/4 open positions.
 

Jesse Miller

New member
Originally posted by J Reyes:
Pics including a cook log:
http://www.flickr.com/gp/10170855@N05/Xq4m9b

I am just starting with all of this. I am the proud new owner of a new 22.5" OTG, and I am very impressed with it so far.
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I was wondering what you are using for the cook log. Is it from a spreadsheet or a specific program? I would like to use something similar but I am not sure where to find.
 
I'm not aware of a specific program. It isn't hard to create a spreadsheet file to fit your specs.

Cooking logs are very good when you are new to this or when you want to experiment with a process to tweak one or two variables at a time to see what kind of results you get. I'm sure that people who compete would also do well to track their results as they try out different processes.

When you are new I think it is good to keep things relatively simple at first. Find a baseline that works well for you and then try manipulating just a single variable to see how it changes the results. If you try a different rub, a different charcoal, a different cooking temp, a different specialty cut of meat, a different method of testing for done, etc, then it becomes hard to know which variable was the one that really mattered when you nail it.
 

Jered Crews

TVWBB Member
I wanted to bring this to the front for the pros again. I've used this method numerous times for baby backs and 5 pound butts. Has anyone done an over nighter on a kettle? I'm thinking about doing a 9-10 pounder and have it be done late morning early afternoon. Any opinions or advice would be appreciated.
 

Chris Hill

New member
Originally posted by Jered Crews:
Has anyone done an over nighter on a kettle?

Yep, check this thread. Controlling the airflow is key. I dialed it down a bit too much before going to bed, but I was also concerned that the temp would take off and use all the fuel by morning.
 

J Reyes

TVWBB Pro
Jered, I'd cut a larger butt like you mentioned in half and start early in the am.

Advantages are a decent night sleep, shorter cook time and more bark. Cook in the high 200s(260-290)and you should be fine. If the temps spike don't sweat it, close down the vents some and allow the temps to get down.

John
 

Jered Crews

TVWBB Member
Thought I'd share with you know how it went. John, I already had my 9 pounder on there when I read your recommendation. Next time I'll have to try that.

Well I finished up cooking dinner Friday night on the Blue OTG and got my Black OTS/OTG that I mainly used to smoke with all set up. Used 3 left over briq from the dinner cook for mini MM. Dialed in my temp at about 230, expecting it to rise another 20-25, around 9:30 and the butt and a fatty were cooking away. Took the fatty off about 12:30am and my grate temps were near 300. Didn't want to worry through the night so I put my water pan (old bread pan) that holds about 3 cups of water over the coals for an additional heat sink. Before I read about this method, I had always used the water pan for a heat sink in the kettle to kind of mimick a WSM set up.

Went to bed and set my alarm for 6:00am hoping for the best. Luckily I have a 4 month old alarm clock that woke me at about 4:00am. She saved my butt, literally. Temps were down around 200 and nearly all my fuel was gone. Butt looked fine so I didn't really panic. I've still got some perfecting here to do managing my fuel obviously. So I added more unlit briq, refilled my water pan, tured it over, gave it it's first mop and went back to bed.

Real alarm went off still at 6:00am and after numerous hits on snooze went to check the butt and temps were right about 240 and there was still plenty of fuel and water. Mopped again and went back to sleep until 8:30am. Butt was looking beautiful, checked the internal temp for the first time and it was between 185 and 200 depending on where I checked it. Pulled it off the grill, wrapped in foil and towel and put it in a cooler. Fixed breakfast and went for a walk with my girls (wife, 4 month old, dog). Came in an pulled pork that just fell apart with a great bark. All in all, pretty good experience.
 

r benash

TVWBB Emerald Member
Two questions - when adding fuel are you simply dumping in or removing and setting only a few lit on top again to keep the burn slow? Thinking that just dumping fuel into the lit would risk getting the fire burning to fast or hotter than you want.

Anyone try this with lump?
 

Jered Crews

TVWBB Member
When I added more fuel, there wasn't really much burning left. I shook out all the ash and added unlit to the remaining coals. Again, I had the firebricks and the water pan for a heat sink and this seemed to really help keep the temps down. The vents weren't open much more than 1/8-1/4 of the way the entire time. I was using Kingsford so I have no advice for the lump.
 

Bobby Dress

New member
If it helps anyone, i got my firebricks from Gulf Eagle Supply. They sell them individually for $1.30. It was nice to not have to order a pack of 6 from Ace's website and the $/brick is less.

bd
 

Darryl.O

TVWBB Member
Hey guys,

I'm not at home right now. Can anyone give me a measurement between the lower grate, and the top cooking grate?

I'm stuck at work, so I'm sending someone to pick up some fire brick for the brisket cooking this weekend. Just want to make sure I get a few that are usable. I called ahead and it seems they've got a lot of sizes to choose from
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Thanks in advance!


EDIT: Thanks to timothy who measured for me. It's a hair less than 5 inches
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Robert Terry

TVWBB Fan
I've been using this method for over a year, as I was saving for my WSM. I foiled the bottom grate, used two firebricks slightly offset, loaded kingsford with wood chunks mixed in, and let 'er rip using a modified minion method, lighting a dozen or so coals to start.

I began with a water pan simply because I did not read thoroughly enough here to know it wasn't necessary. I didn't think 7-8 hours in a kettle with no water pan would be ok. I used a 13x9 foil pan, because I didn't want any meat directly over the coals anyway. I had to bend the edges a little for fit.

I used the foiled charcoal grate and a rib rack to have a "first story" smoke of ribs, chicken legs or whatever. Temps were 20 degrees cooler down there than at cooking grate level. I did a 9 pound butt once, then tended to get 8 or 9 pound butts and half them for the main grate. Also did brisket, and almost always threw a few sausages on any unused grate area.

The lid temps were 20 to 25 degrees higher than the cooking grate, for a total differential of 50 to 55 degrees between top and bottom of the 22" platinum kettle. I got a maverick smoker probe to monitor chamber and meat temps, which made it all possible.

Water needed to be added every 3-4 hours. I used an electric tea kettle to bring the water to boiling before adding, and between the firebricks and water pan, and hot water, temps stabilized in 5 minutes or so. Coals were added or stoked at water intervals. I will likely try it without the water pan while awaiting Amazon's delivery of my new WSM.

A bit more work than a wsm, but the awesome results brought the wife onboard the wsm wagon. Only a couple more weeks...
 
RT can't wait to try this method. I just got a new 22.5" otg and the rotisserie. I also own three WSM's of which you are gonna love when you get yours. This method of cooking sounds very interesting.
 

TimS

New member
I tried this method with a butt for the first time yesterday. A couple of lessons learned:
Since I didn't have chunks, I mixed some chips in. I got the expected result: the chips caught fire and spiked the temp initially (it's pretty cold here, and I thought this would mitigate the temp jump, but obviously not).

After the temp settled down, I did get a good steady 275-300 at the dome for about 7 hours. I was sweeping the ash (OTG) every 30 minutes. So even though this method allows you to keep the lid on, I still found a need to sweep the ash frequently to keep the vents clear.

When the temp started dropping, my son called me (at my other son's basketball game), and I told him to open the bottom vents a bit (I was on my way home soon). When I got home and checked under the lid, there was a lot of ash buildup that hadn't dropped through the gate. About 2/3's of the fuel was consumed. I knocked the ash off the surviving coals, put in some more, and let her go for another 6 hours.

Overall, I was very satisfied with this method. I'll just use chunks next time, and make sure I keep on top off the ash build up. I'm not sure I'd feel comfortable trying an overnighter, due to the need to keep the vents clear of ash. Just my opinion; I'm still VERY new at this!

Tim
 
I think this method would probably work real good with lump considering it produces much less ash but it does burn hotter so you would have to keep an eye on that.
 
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