PDF: The BBQ Wisdom of Harry Soo

Dustin Green

New member
Harry posted an Q&A article on his Facebook page last night.

It looks like he's contemplating switching out his competition gear!
 

Rusty Breaux

TVWBB Fan
First time seeing the PDF file.. GREAT info and i officially have the file saved for future educational reading.

Does anyone know what kind of wood Mr Soo uses for his brisket? He mentioned what he uses for pork and chicken, but not brisket.

rb
 

SJ Weiss

New member
This is indeed fantastic info. But I'm confused by his advice on where to put the wood: "Don't put your chunks on the middle. Put them all on the side to ring the charcoal basket ring." Is he recommending putting the wood outside the charcoal ring? Or just around the edge of the inside?

Either way, that seems confusing. If you're only putting a small amount of lit charcoal in a hollow in the middle to start the process, when (if ever) will the wood smoke?
 

Rusty James

TVWBB Guru
This is indeed fantastic info. But I'm confused by his advice on where to put the wood: "Don't put your chunks on the middle. Put them all on the side to ring the charcoal basket ring." Is he recommending putting the wood outside the charcoal ring? Or just around the edge of the inside?

Either way, that seems confusing. If you're only putting a small amount of lit charcoal in a hollow in the middle to start the process, when (if ever) will the wood smoke?
I read Harry's PDF, just now, and I think he is suggesting that smoke wood be placed around the inside of the charcoal ring.

Smoke

A common beginner mistake is too much smoke. See my wood process in the previous section. A thin plume of
smoke is all that's needed. Don't put your chunks on the middle. Put them all on the side to ring the charcoal
basket ring.
Remember less smoke is better. Top vent is always open.

For what it's worth, I put my wood chunks in a plus sign "+" diagram in the middle of the charcoal grate (before adding charcoal). I haven't tried Harry's placement method, but I may give it a go, although it seems like it would take a long time for smoke to appear.
 

Bill.Craven

New member
Harry puts several chunks of wood evenly spaced inside of the fire ring leaving a little gap that allows about a one briquet layer of charcoal next to the steel ring. Nothing is placed outside the fire ring. Then he fills the ring with briquets leaving a hollow in the center of the fire ring for the lit charcoal from the chimney. He cooks at two temperatures primarily for low and slow: 250 and 275. If you put too much live fire in the ring, the fire will be too hot. With a full load and proper damping you can get a 12 hour burn. There will be plenty of smoke added to the meat. I attended one of his classes, and one of the things that he showed us is that a proper fire doesn't really produce much VISIBLE smoke. I was very surprised, but the proof is in the pudding.
 

Rusty James

TVWBB Guru
Harry puts several chunks of wood evenly spaced inside of the fire ring leaving a little gap that allows about a one briquet layer of charcoal next to the steel ring. Nothing is placed outside the fire ring. Then he fills the ring with briquets leaving a hollow in the center of the fire ring for the lit charcoal from the chimney. He cooks at two temperatures primarily for low and slow: 250 and 275. If you put too much live fire in the ring, the fire will be too hot. With a full load and proper damping you can get a 12 hour burn. There will be plenty of smoke added to the meat. I attended one of his classes, and one of the things that he showed us is that a proper fire doesn't really produce much VISIBLE smoke. I was very surprised, but the proof is in the pudding.
Bill, I wish you would post a sample photo of that arrangement including the starter coals. I have had fits with regular Kingsford, but Harry seems to swear by it.

Welcome to the forum by the way!
 

Bill.Craven

New member
Hi Rusty, Thanks for the welcome. (this will be my first attempt at adding photos here.

Harry tries to use items that he can find anywhere in the country. When he is competing he can go to the local Wally world and get items that he has experience with and knows that it will work.

I have just been buying whatever Kingsford is on sale. In this case it was the professional that I got from Costco.
Here are some photos from my last burn:

after adding charcoal:


After starting the chimney. I have been playing around with starting the chimney right on the rest of the new charcoal.


After dumping the chmney:
 

Rusty James

TVWBB Guru
I have been playing around with starting the chimney right on the rest of the new charcoal.

Bill, I've never seen anyone light their chimney this way. Does this method work well for you?

Speaking of wood placement, I place mine on the grate, first, as per your image. The only thing I did different was to bunch the pieces in the middle in the shape of a cross (+). I'll experiment with spacing my wood out.

Are we looking at the 18" WSM here? Looks like you could use more coals if you're going for a 12-hour cook. At least it appears that way to me. Then again, I see you're using a motorized heat control system too.
 

Bill.Craven

New member
Rusty,
It is an 18.5, bought 2 months ago after attending Harry's class. I have 6 burns on it so far, 2 of those being seasoning.

I have done a few mods on it:
The lid hinge
Stoker II from Rock's Bar-B-Cue
Gasket for the lid
Sensor grommets from Rock's

Extra handles for the barrel and front of the top lid


Hold down clamps for the barrel to the base.



I started lighting the chimney this way because I didn't have any where else to set the chimney while lighting, and it made sense to me. I am VERY, VERY, VERY careful to make sure that I have a solid base for the chimney to sit on before I light the starter cube.
I don't see a down side to this method.

I wasn't going for a full 12 hour cook on this run. I put some ribs on and ran at 260 for 5 hours.

This is what was left after shutting it down and starving the charcoal: (probably about 50% burned)




I ran a test of the Stoker II controller after smoking some ribs on a previous cook and was able to hold 140 degrees for over 12 hours within 5 degrees




Getting back to Harry's smoke chunks:
He doesn't use any wood chunks with bark on it, especially for competition. It would be a wildcard variable.
He mixes types of wood depending on what he is cooking. He might have 2 pieces of apple and 2 pieces of hickory, and one piece of cherry. In my photos above, I have 2 pieces of red oak and 3 pieces of hickory.


On another note:

This is what he forced us to eat for lunch at the class:
 
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Kobe Hoppa

New member
Hey first post here! I've been approved to post on this forum but I'm unable to download the PDF in the opening post. Any help?
 

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