feedback on first cook in my 14.5 temp was a touch low.


 

Dave Car

TVWBB Member
My first cook in my 14.5 was a success (beer can chicken). the chicken took over 4 hours due to what I assume was low temps. In reviewing my notes the temp never got above about 210. I completely filled the charcoal ring and the wood chunks pretty much sat on top. I filled it in fear of running out of heat (likely a newbie issue). My next cook will be a biscuit. Planning to cut in half and use both cooking grates. Before I make the investment in the meat, I want to make sure I don't have the same issue. AND the forecast for cook day is only about 45F.

Please feel free to let me know your thoughts on the heat issue and if 45F might be too cold for an outside temp. etc.

Many thanks, Dave
 

Keith R

TVWBB Fan
just curious - was the 210 based on the WSM thermometer in the dome or with an external probe thermometer like a Maverick?

if it was the dome it has the reputation of both being way off in temp and also cooler then the actual grate temp

45F out should be plenty warm enough. was it super windy? did you have all the vents open? how did you start the coals? some more info might help solve the issue

I also assume you mean brisket instead of biscuit.
 

LinBerl

TVWBB Member
I have found in using my 14.5" that cracking the lid open with a screwdriver or a skewer of some kind adds necessary air flow (with all vents wide open) to hit around 300-350 degrees for chicken. I usually fill the ring 3/4 of the way with unlit lump, and then dump one full charcoal starter container of lit lump on top. I can't get the temp up high enough to cook the chicken skin unless I prop open the lid as noted. The lump burns a bit hotter than briguettes I think so that also helps. Finally, I completely remove the water pan when I do chicken - I let the fat drip on the lump and it makes it even tastier.
 

Dave Car

TVWBB Member
just curious - was the 210 based on the WSM thermometer in the dome or with an external probe thermometer like a Maverick?

if it was the dome it has the reputation of both being way off in temp and also cooler then the actual grate temp

45F out should be plenty warm enough. was it super windy? did you have all the vents open? how did you start the coals? some more info might help solve the issue

I also assume you mean brisket instead of biscuit.

Yeah, I meant Brisket... I used the dome thermometer, it was not windy, I had the vents totally open most of the the time then halfed them and the temp didnt change much. I used the minion method to start them and had a full bowl of water which I think was cold at the start. Hope that helps.

I just bought an additional air chamber probe and clip for my DOT thermometer - so i have that covered for the next cook. Woo
 
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Paul Pearson

TVWBB Super Fan
I think the water in the pan is most likely your problem. When i do chicken i never use water in the pan. My little 14" unit seems to run cooler than the 18 anyway, but no way will you get close to 300 with water.

I always start with a full ring of lit coals for chicken also. Lump will give higher temps as others mentioned.
 

Dave Car

TVWBB Member
good info! many thanks. I am planning to use the water bowl with the brisket. it will be just the flat and some where in the 6-7 lb rang cut in half. Is that a good plan?
 

J Bowie

TVWBB Member
Just my nicles worth but I do not put anything in pan. I think it is an excellent heat diffuser for even distribution but water is no help
 

Keith R

TVWBB Fan
Yeah, I meant Brisket... I used the dome thermometer, it was not windy, I had the vents totally open most of the the time then halfed them and the temp didnt change much. I used the minion method to start them and had a full bowl of water which I think was cold at the start. Hope that helps.

I just bought an additional air chamber probe and clip for my DOT thermometer - so i have that covered for the next cook. Woo

As others had said I bet the water, especially cold water, played into that. I am kind of new to this as well, and have used water each time, but after many comments on here I am going to try to use a clay saucer or something next time myself. Been too cold last few weeks (was minus 18 this morning in ohio) and I am itching to try a smoke without water asap

I also bet it might of been warmer on the grate then at the dome thermometer and it may not of been accurate anyway. still I bet no water etc will really help.
 

Dan A

TVWBB Member
When I first got my 14.5 I treated it like my 22.5 and 18.5. It's a whole different animal. With my 18.5 I use a whole chimney of hot coals, so naturally For the first few cooks on the 14.5 I used about half that amount. I had all my vents wide open and could barely get 225. Then I decided to try a full chimney and all my problems were solved. I use water with every cook too.
 

LinBerl

TVWBB Member
What I've found with my 14.5: slow and low (200-250 degrees) means a full water bowl, top vent open fully and bottom vents one closed and the other two about 1/3 open. Holds steady at 225 with a full load of lump for about 6-7 hours. High heat (300-375) means no water bowl at all, all vents fully open and the lid slightly propped open with a full load of lump and a very full chimney starter dumped on top. It took probably 10 smokes or more before the unit started to achieve some consistency in heat but now that it is seasoned, it is pretty much rock steady. If I'm cooking something really fatty, I sometimes crush a disposable foil pan in where the water bowl would go on a high heat cook to catch the drippings and make clean up easier; it does not seem to impact temperature as much as the water bowl.
 

Wayne Dimirsky

TVWBB Super Fan
The last time I used my 14.5, I could not get the temps up either. I do the Minion method with a foiled water bowl. The next time I'm going to try and start with more lit coals. I think I only started with about 15.

Wayne
 

 

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