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SnS HELP!!

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    #16
    Try to limit your vent adjustments to the top vent only. When I add the lit coals I have the bottom vent fully open along with the top vent. After that, I close the bottom vents to about 1/3 and leave the top open. I then will usually make one or two adjustments with the top vent. One thing to keep in mind is that once the water evaporates - it usually takes about 4 hours - temps will begin to climb. So, if you have the top vent mostly closed at 2 hours in and it's running at 275 or so you will probably need to make a bottom vent adjustment at the 4 hour mark or so. One thing the success of the Pit Barrel Cooker has taught the amateur BBQ crowd is that 225 is vastly over-rated as a benchmark temp. The Pit Barrel typically runs in the 260-290 range and produces great results. So, as some others have advised, don't chase temps. If you are in the 230-300 range you are all good. The only exception is baby backs. With those you really want to have 270-275 as your ceiling temp. In my experience the Weber kettle with SnS really settles in and holds a steady temp for hours.

    Comment


      #17
      Do you use the SnS in a Weber kettle, or do you have the SnS kettle? If Weber, the vent handle pic collage at the bottom of this page may be helpful to you.

      Comment


      • nunyaz
        nunyaz commented
        Editing a comment
        Huskee - yes those pix are very helpful ... many thanks! And yes, SnS in Weber kettle.

        Peace,
        Nunyaz
        Last edited by nunyaz; November 18, 2022, 05:29 PM.

      #18
      Okay folks, I tried another 'dry run' yesterday - got a slightly longer burn time but still not happy with the fussiness of temp control 🥴 Sorry, only a few pics, AND my inkbird dropped connection (and therefore the data 😡) twice yesterday.

      I'm ready to try CHNeal's version - dump briqs on one side, disposable water pan on the other and see what we see. As much as I wanted it to, the SnS doesn't do it for me 😩

      Two factors I'm trying to hone in on with my Weber kettle (Master Touch 22.5) - a large indirect zone AND set n forget temp control for low n slow (preferably in the 225-250 range - which is HAMMERED home on most of the recipes and pages here at AmazingRibs.com).

      2nd Test Run of SnS - 12 briqs & Weber Lighter Cube
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      SnS Test - ready to button up with two Inkbird pit probes and some hickory chunks
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      Lower vent setting
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      Upper vent setting
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      Any helpful suggestions greatly appreciated 😀

      Peace,
      Nunyaz

      Comment


        #19
        You keep saying you arent fixated on a temp, and you keep saying "Two factors I'm trying to hone in on with my Weber kettle (Master Touch 22.5) - a large indirect zone AND set n forget temp control for low n slow (preferably in the 225-250 range - which is HAMMERED home on most of the recipes and pages here at AmazingRibs.com)." Those don't match.

        Remember that Meathead developed the recipes for his book on a MAK 2 star pellet rig. So dialing in a temp is literally that - setting the temp and walking away. The only way to get that kind of control on a kettle is to add a fan and a controller.

        Also, what was wrong with this test? Are there leaks? etc. If you want very tight temp control, a kettle without a fan isn't the tool to use. But then tight temp control is not needed, IMO.

        My weber takes maybe 45 minutes to settle in and, like i said earlier, can vary. I don't worry about it and the meat tastes great.

        Personally, I think things like the Inkbird, Fireboard etc are distractions and encourage people to focus on pretty graphs and numbers. That's fine, but it's really beside the point of "does the meat cook nicely and taste great?"

        PS: What's the temp outside? I find it takes MUCH less heat to get to ~250 if it's 80F and the kettle's in the sun than it would for me now when it's 40F. Not only because of the actual temp difference initially but because of the ongoing heat loss during the cook.
        Last edited by rickgregory; November 19, 2022, 12:39 PM.

        Comment


        • nunyaz
          nunyaz commented
          Editing a comment
          Rick, What I've said all along is that I'm not fixated on a set/specific temperature; I AM fixated on LOW & SLOW (have a PBC which I don't enjoy, not enough smoke profile for MY taste). Also, I use the Inkbird not for "pretty graphs" but for understanding what's going on & how to fix it IF needed. Last thing I wanna do is throw $50-100 bucks worth of meat on the kettle and come back when it 'should be' done only to find out it's either crispy crittered or dangerously under-temp.
          Peace, Nunyaz

        • rickgregory
          rickgregory commented
          Editing a comment
          Look, you came here looking for advice. More than one of us have told you that low and slow is anything in the 200s, not 225-250 only. Then we tell you that variation of the temps during a cook is fine and won't affect the outcome much, if it all. But you keep arguing with all of us. So why are you asking?

          The simple solution to very predictable temps without fuss is either a pellet grill or a fan+controller for the kettle.

        #20
        You don’t have enough charcoal for a long burn time. My method differs slightly from SnS instructions. I completely fill the SnS with briquettes. I then remove 16 briquettes (I use B&B which don’t burn as hot as KBB) from one corner and light in a chimney. Once the briquettes are fully lit I dump them back in the corner they were removed from. I put wood chunks across the top of the briquettes, which prevents the hinged part of the grate from laying flat, but who cares. I have put sharpie marks for my lower air intake at full open, 1/2 open, 1/4 open, and fully closed. I set the air intake at 1/2 open and the top vent at 1/2 open until the grate temp is 200. Once it hits 200, I close the bottom intake to midway between fully closed and 1/4 open. I leave the top about 1/2 open. It will settle at 225 and typically slowly rises up to 250. Using B&B briquettes I easily get 12 hours without refilling, which is longer than I ever need. I typically got 6-8 hours using KBB.

        Comment


        • nunyaz
          nunyaz commented
          Editing a comment
          Red Man - I'm referring to the fluff in the SnS brochure which came with mine: "For best results, add charcoal at the 6-8 hour point during the cook." My pit temp has dropped off the map by then (Note for Rick above: which I ONLY know cuz my Inkbird!). I DO appreciate the suggestion of B&B as well as leaving the hinged grate open for more coal/chunk capacity, most helpful!
          Peace,
          Nunyaz

        • rickgregory
          rickgregory commented
          Editing a comment
          You don't need a graphing thermometer to monitor temps. They're fun, but the tend to make people OCD over the temp variations during the cook. But again, we're all different.

        #21
        I almost mentioned this the first time, but decided not to. Why does it matter if the grate isn’t level above the charcoal? You can easily add 25-30% more charcoal…

        Comment


        • rickgregory
          rickgregory commented
          Editing a comment
          It not only doesn't, I leave that flipped up. I'm not cooking on that area and it makes it easier to add more wood, a bit of charcoal, etc.

        • Sid P
          Sid P commented
          Editing a comment
          rickgregory Yep, same here.

        • nunyaz
          nunyaz commented
          Editing a comment
          Yup, that was a "D'oh!" 🤪 moment, for sure and as replied to Red Man above, makes perfect sense 😬

        #22
        From the SnS webpage that Huskee so graciously referred me to:
        [quote] Temperature Maintenance for Cooking Low and Slow


        Charcoal requires oxygen from the air to combust and make heat. Grill vents regulate how much air the coals are allowed to receive. This process takes time, both in raising and lowering the temperature.

        How to keep your charcoal grill at 225° F

        Make very small vent adjustments, and allow 5-10 minutes for these changes to affect the temps. Do not expect instant results as if adjusting a gas burner. Do not simply take the lid off to lower the temperature, as this will only temporarily work. This will actually allow the temp to climb even higher due to the large supply of fresh oxygen this adds into the grill.

        Resist the urge to make large adjustments if the temperature goes too high or too low. Remember, when cooking “low & slow” at 225° the grill does not have to maintain 225° precisely for great results. A little variation is normal and will not harm things. Try to stay within a range of 200-250 degrees, with the target being 225°. [/endquote]


        THIS, among other sources - including HUNDREDS of pages here at AmazingRibs.com, is where I get the numbers for my low n slow "fantasy" ... IF a kettle can't get me there and keep me there (within reason, as stated: "a range of 200-250"), then I guess it's time to look for something that WILL. 🤷🏼‍♂️

        Or, perhaps I'm just a cranky old buzzard

        Peace,
        Joseph

        Comment


        • rickgregory
          rickgregory commented
          Editing a comment
          /shrug. Go buy a pellet grill if you want low and stable temps like that without fuss. It's what Meathead did.

          We've repeatedly told you that obsessing over a particular temp is not worth it, but you keep doing it so... do what you want.

        #23
        A quality pellet cooker is your answer. I stress the word quality.

        Comment


          #24
          nunyaz This is a bit off the subject but could be helpful to you. With a little effort, your grates/grill can be cleaned in between cooks.

          Comment


            #25
            There’s one other factor that hasn’t been mentioned - you’re not cooking anything. Having a big hunk of meat in there absorbs the heat and modulates the temperature just like the water pan does.

            There are always variations, but I cooked two pork butts a month ago, and for hours it seemed like every time I checked the grate temp it was either 237 or 238. I didn’t lift the lid or adjust the vents, I just let it roll, and if it had settled at 255 or 265 I still would have let it roll, and the pork would not have known the difference.

            I’d buy a $15 pork butt and cook it if I were you, but I get the feeling you won’t. Good luck either way.
            Last edited by Sid P; November 19, 2022, 05:38 PM.

            Comment


            • nunyaz
              nunyaz commented
              Editing a comment
              A $15 dollar pork butt?? Sam's Club has pork butt for $2/pound in my area but we try to buy local/pastured and typically pay closer to $8/pound (i.e. Porter Road, while not local does provide pastured pork - a half butt is $42 (4-5 pounds) - you can do the math
              We DID buy a spiral sliced ham on sale for that second test, which took longer to come to temp but did help stabilize for an hour or so ...
              Thanks!
              Nunyaz

            • Sid P
              Sid P commented
              Editing a comment
              If you’re regularly eating $8 pork butt you can probably afford some temporary MCS abatement therapy. May I suggest a Yoder or LSG pellet grill 😉?

            • nunyaz
              nunyaz commented
              Editing a comment
              Sid P - define "regularly" LOL 😂... we had a 9# butt roast in September, don't remember when we had one before that ... and don't have any in the freezer right now

            #26
            FWIW, my kettle always settles in around 240°-250°.

            Comment


            • nunyaz
              nunyaz commented
              Editing a comment
              Mosca, with or without SnS?

            • Mosca
              Mosca commented
              Editing a comment
              I ran it for 5 years with S&S, no rim gasket, top closed and bottom just a crack. 240-250. It ran that just on the leak around the rim. Then I added a gasket and a blower last summer, and with both vents just a crack, 240-250. It won’t go lower.

              The 40° swing you mentioned, gaps in the snake, wood chunks on top, etc. could do it.

              Try putting a gasket around the rim, It’s like $10. Do upper and lower.

              1/2' x 1/8' Nomex High Temp BBQ gasket smoker pit seal, self stick https://a.co/d/0AKUJtq

            #27
            My kettle runs hot. It will not run at 225. It runs 245-275. Almost anything I smoke does well in that range. My temps spike as unlit coals ignite. My bottom vent is usually open a fraction of an inch and I control with the top vent.

            Ive also discovered the SnS performs better if there is a little space between it and the side of the kettle.


            Finally, I’ve discovered not to let the first lit coals get totally ashed over before adding the chimney. Same for lighting a half chimney for a hot/fast cook with the SnS.

            And affirm everyone who suggests not chasing temps. Biggest lesson I learned about smoking. AR emphasizes 225. It’s ideal, not required.

            A couple of more cooks and you’ll have it figured out.



            Comment


              #28
              Slow N Sears are great! I cut up a Weber chimney and made an insert for the SNS so it runs like a snake method. It’s great for cooking ribs, but I have to push the coals over and refill for longer cooks. I did this to force the ignite and burn rate of charcoal to regulate the heat.
              I set the intake vent to 25% open and make all the other adjustments with the exhaust vent.
              Attached Files

              Comment


                #29
                nunyaz

                Joseph,
                Don’t get discouraged by the frustration you are feeling and actually reading here. This is a great place with many many fine folks willing to help, and like any group some are more patient then others…

                I really want to see you get the results you are looking for and I really believe it can be done with the kettle if you are willing to overlook that it will never be set and forget for more then 2-3 hours in stock from the factory configuration.

                I can and will help you with the temp control and burn time but it will always need baby-sat with real bbq in it. My methods will see you at the grill every couple hours to either add wood or tap the side to knock off ash if it feels cooler then you want. Its not science ( yes I know everyone wants it to be) and I may have oversimplified it but I have yet to find something that will fit on the Weber kettle that I cant cook with the Weber kettle.

                If you are interested, send me a PM and let’s exchange phone numbers and I’ll show you my setup ( FaceTime?) and we will get you all set up and ready to go. I would say Ill just send pics or a video but videos are too big for email and pics will require a bunch of typing I struggle with!

                Anyway let me know if I can help.

                I wish you well
                Clay
                Last edited by CHNeal; November 20, 2022, 09:18 AM.

                Comment


                • Finster
                  Finster commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Going above and beyond.
                  The epitome of what the pit is all about...imo.
                  👍

                • Sid P
                  Sid P commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Good for you, Clay. While I was trying my best to be helpful, I was still getting frustrated and had to erase some of my post that was a little sarcastic. Thanks for showing me a better way 👏👏👏.

                • fzxdoc
                  fzxdoc commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I commend your generosity of spirit, CHNeal . It's members like you that help to make this site so wonderful.

                  Kathryn

                #30
                Clay,
                You're correct - and I should not have allowed my frustration at a simple, inanimate object be expressed to fellow humans, especially here where all have been gracious and helpful.

                I ask that you all forgive my irritation and outburst(s).

                I GREATLY appreciate your offer, Clay & will definitely take you up on it. In all honesty, I wrestle between truly wanting the kettle to work for me and that cursed MCS which some of us struggle with (the rest have given in to, but that's another story and for a small donation I'll connect you with a great 12-step recovery program )

                I'm happy to accommodate your schedule as available.

                Peace,
                Joseph​

                Comment

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