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Having trouble getting temps back up on chargriller ...

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redrum801 rare
rare

Posts: 24
Ok so I started a fire using the minion method , unlit Lump mixed with apple chunks , got the temps to about 280 then added a 11 pound brisket and a 12 pound Boston butt .

I know I messed up by not letting food get down to room temp , so I'm guessing the opening of the main chamber and the cold food is what is keeping my temps down it was floating at 180

Just added some more wood and another 1/2 chimney of lit and only got a 20 degree bump ??? It's at 200 and dropping again , I'm confused both vent and chimney are wide open ! Is it the lump charcoal ?? I thought it was supposed to burn hotter than briquettes ?? I got the strap mod in the fire box charcoal box is full and fully lit ..... Any suggestions ??
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Post Sat Jun 23, 2012 1:52 am
Dyal_SC well done
well done

Posts: 3712
Location: Lexington, SC
Are you reading the grate level temperature or the gauge mounted on the face of the MC? They could be completely different, especially with that much meat on the smoker. If the latter, I suggest sticking a probe through a tater and placing that next to the meat on the grate. That way you'll have a more accurate reading. Please, disregard this suggestion though if that's what you're currently doing. :) Good luck!
Large BGE
CG Duo with SFB

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Post Sat Jun 23, 2012 2:02 am
redrum801 rare
rare

Posts: 24
Right now I got a temp probe through a red potato ( I knew this thing was gonna be bad luck , I always use Idaho lol ) and one in the brisket , haven't put one in the Boston butt yet . I'm using an igrill thermometer and the app on my iPad , I'm gonna wait another hour or so and switch thermometers at grate level with my maverick to see if this gadget is really accurate .

Got the ash pan inverted and got a water pan with some beef stock and water , on top of pan right over ther firebox hole , maybe it's that ? I might have to push back the BBQ or buy more beer and liquor to distract them from the fact there's no food lol
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Post Sat Jun 23, 2012 2:07 am
redrum801 rare
rare

Posts: 24
Temp in the brisket is 116 , it was at about 55 when I put it in at midnight eastern time it's 2 now .... I can't even add fuel the box is full , I think I might take that water pan out I'm stumped right now ...
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Post Sat Jun 23, 2012 6:29 am
HoosierTrooper medium-well
medium-well

Posts: 299
Location: Jeffersonville,In.
I'd suggest getting rid of the pan of water, that's just more mass to heat up and I doubt the water is going to add anything to the final product. And the best thing I ever did was take the ash pan contraption out and throw it away since it's just more mass that absorbs heat. I think mine works better with an empty cooking chamber that I line with foil for easier cleanup.
If there's no such thing as a stupid question, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask?

Post Sat Jun 23, 2012 9:24 am
Dyal_SC well done
well done

Posts: 3712
Location: Lexington, SC
Is she still trucking along? You're right, you can't get an accurate temperature utilizing a red potato, due to the starch content. You have to use Yukon Golds. :lol: So was the water pan the issue?
Large BGE
CG Duo with SFB

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Post Sat Jun 23, 2012 12:28 pm
redrum801 rare
rare

Posts: 24
I think it was a mixture of cold food and the water pan , after I took water pan out it took a couple hours but I finally started getting a steady 250 , unfortunately I had to put the ribs in and that set me right back to square one . Probe says 185 right now , I'm gonna go look for cork to place the probe in , I doubt the red potato has me off by 40 some odd degrees lol , wishful thinking :P
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Post Mon Jun 25, 2012 7:00 am
jfm0830 well done
well done

Posts: 2638
Location: Northeastern MA

I'm going to respectfully disagree about the water pan. I've had my CG for seven years and have hundreds of cooks under my belt, both with and without a water pen. The water pan help stabilize the temperatures and it also serves a secondary purpose of keeping some moisture in the cooking chamber to make up for the moisture lost during the cooking process. If anything, I'd say the water pan probably helped keep you from getting more of a loss.

The big problem (pun intended) as you found, was putting that much meat on the CG where the meat was very cold. That's a large mass of meat to introduce into the cooking chamber. I've found that the CG is nicely dialed into a temperature range between 225 and 250° when using the SFB as the heat source. Trying to go higher than that can be somewhat of a hit or miss proposition. You have to have decent weather and you have to have a charcoal that can go that high. I use all natural hardwood briquettes, which are similar to lump but I find that their uniform shape helps them burn more evenly on long crooks. Most of these all-natural briquettes will get you up to 275, others will reach 300 and still others will reach 325. The trick is knowing which charcoals will get you the higher temperatures. Even though you were shooting for temperature around 280, I would've used the charcoal that I have found I can drive to the highest temperatures for a cook like this to ensure that you could compensate for putting those big massive pieces of meat on the CG.

In fact anytime I'm going to be cooking over 250 I take some extra precautions. I use a lot more charcoal in my chimney or chimneys-sometimes double my normal amount. This way I have a large body of lit charcoal trying to maintain my temperature and I can run with the vents closed down somewhat. This is opposed to using a small amount of lit charcoal where I have to run with the vents pretty wide-open just to maintain the temperature I want. Introducing cold meat into the picture runs a lot better when there's a large amount of lit charcoal already going. I try to take my meat out of the fridge early, to help get its temperature higher before adding it to the CG. But in addition to that, I'll often let the CG run up to 30 or 40° higher than my target cooking temperature to help make up for adding cold meat. You'll just need to watch your temperatures a little closer when you start to recover, so you don't overshoot your mark.

BTW all of this is done on unmodified CG, other than adding charcoal baskets to the SFB. I'm running the charcoal tray flat side up / round side down which makes holding one or more water pans easy.

Good luck next time. I think it's a matter of taking the meat out earlier, using more lit charcoal to get the CG up to where you want to be and possibly overshooting your temperature mark by 30 or 40° to make up for adding that much meat to your cooking chamber. Oh yes and for large pieces of meat, I would still use the water pan with water or some sort of juice in it to add additional moisture to your cooking chamber.

Jim.
2 Large BGEs
Kenmore Elite 6 Burner Gas Grill
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BBQ Site: http://grillinsmokin.net

Post Mon Jun 25, 2012 2:30 pm
YardBurner BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5376
Location: Damascus, Maryland
Any of you Einsteins ever think to start with hot water?? :wink:

Just like BCC. Use hot liquid in the can and the cook
time drops by a third.

-YB

Oh yeah. Be sure to use hot water to top
off the pan when needed as well.
Weber Summit E-470
Weber 22" MasterTouch
Performer One Touch
Traeger Lil Tex
New Braunfels Hondo
Bar-B-Chef
Weber Q-220

Post Mon Jun 25, 2012 2:35 pm
jfm0830 well done
well done

Posts: 2638
Location: Northeastern MA

YardBurner wrote:
Any of you Einsteins ever think to start with hot water?? :wink: .
That's a given.

Post Mon Jun 25, 2012 3:06 pm
YardBurner BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5376
Location: Damascus, Maryland
I figured as much from you, but ya never know.

Like the hot liquid in the BCC.

Most of them were just pulling
a can from the cooler and
proceeding with the recipe.

-YB
Weber Summit E-470
Weber 22" MasterTouch
Performer One Touch
Traeger Lil Tex
New Braunfels Hondo
Bar-B-Chef
Weber Q-220


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