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Light my (Hasty Bake) fire!

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    Light my (Hasty Bake) fire!

    I've titled this thread as an homage to the very successful thread started and maintained by fzxdoc (Kathryn) about lighting and managing temperatures in the Pit Barrel Cooker. It's time the Hasty Bake got its own similar thread.

    Being a newish Hasty Bake (HB) owner, I am still very much a novice at lighting and managing the fire in a Hasty Bake cooker. I figure I'll get this ball rolling in the hopes that other more experienced HB users will chime in.

    Videos by the Hasty Bake folks:
    Fire Management 101 -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yMO-SRKul4 (about 34 minutes long). This single long video is also available in ten shorter segments --
    Part 1: Airflow and Charcoal Amounts: How much charcoal to use, how to set the vents -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJx2CRcGycc
    Part 2: Lighting -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KC2Gisq68M
    Part 3: Vent Adjustments -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uu4VmUlsfyU
    Part 4: Firebox Positioning: Smoke, bake, and grill positions, use of diffuser -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lbwtPKHCcM
    Part 5: Hot and Fast Grilling, Low and Slow Smoking-- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idIZficFS4s
    Part 6: Standard Burn: Low and slow smoking -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTFEdHgFnFc
    Part 7: Using wood -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IYtq8vn7s8
    Part 8: Keeping your grill clean -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mf7wRrnNm5Y
    Part 9: Quick tips -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxwOH6mD_AI
    Part 10: Troubleshooting -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6Eir3GXA98

    The Long Burn: How to set up the charcoal for a long, slow fire -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mby_Bifu

    More Hasty Bake videos -- https://www.youtube.com/user/HastyBakeGrills/videos

    Other discussions about lighting the HB and ways to manage temperatures:
    Fire management: Sealing leaks, fuse burn, setting up and lighting briquettes. Stronger smoke flavor: Use dry wood chunks -- https://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/fo...with-questions

    Low and slow cook: Water pan, fuse burn, sealing the firebox door -- https://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/fo...charcoal-grill

    Fuse burn method: Set up briquettes in a U shape for a long, low temp cook -- http://olddavespo-farm.blogspot.com/...fuse-burn.html
    Last edited by IowaGirl; April 22, 2020, 05:04 PM. Reason: formatting tweaks

    Wow!! Thanks.


      Between this, you, and ecowper we're building a nice resource for Hasty-Bake owners. They are Meathead's favorite charcoal grills too! (I wish I could win one)


      • IowaGirl
        IowaGirl commented
        Editing a comment
        Also Bill P and DeanF have shared good tips on using the HB.
        Last edited by IowaGirl; April 30, 2020, 01:12 PM.

      IowaGirl Thank you! This cooker is on my MCS list, maybe...


        Awesome! Great way to kick this off IowaGirl .... I'm going to take some pictures and do some write ups as I build fires in my Hasty-Bake.


          IowaGirl Thanks for putting together a great compendium and starting the thread. Will be a tremendous resource.


            Lookin forward to this thread, HB is one of th few cookers I'd really love to acquire. When my Kingsford 24" finally dies, it would be th closest replacement to pull th same duties, although a tad bit pricier...

            In my own defense, have recently (homebound YT bingin) noticed both Cowboy Kent, an Malcom Reed usin a Kingsford 24"; kinda made me feel like summat less of a ol fool...
            Last edited by Mr. Bones; April 23, 2020, 09:37 PM.


            • jgreen
              jgreen commented
              Editing a comment
              Mcs strikes - never a fool, it just happens.

            • Mr. Bones
              Mr. Bones commented
              Editing a comment
              jgreen One of th many reasons choices had me doin some serious agonizin, mebbe even cold sweats: still, ain't 'fessin up. HB was among th choices, as mentioned ^ Still droolin.

              I made th Right Choice fer me, then, an still, to this day...
              Last edited by Mr. Bones; April 24, 2020, 10:07 PM.

            Tonight I’m going to cook a Tri-Tip on the Hasty-Bake. Here’s how I set up for that. But first, let’s talk about what I’m trying to achieve
            • Run the indirect side of the grill at 275F (give or take) and maintain that temp for about 45 minutes
            • Have enough fuel left to bring the direct side to 850F (or more) very quickly
            • Cook the steak (whether Tri-Tip or something else) to 130F internal and then sear both sides
            • Give the steak some smoke since this is Tri-Tip and it should be traditionally cooked over red oak
            I use a Dragon chimney. I need about 80 briquettes ... 50’ish lit and 30’ish unlit .... to achieve what I want in the Hasty-Bake Gourmet. I fill the Dragon to level with the top and use a "Light-A-Fire" fire starter to light the chimney. I put the other 30’ish briquettes in the firebox, surrounding a chunk of red oak. When the briquettes are well started ... grey and flames starting to leap out of the chimney, I dump on top of my briquettes in the firebox. Then close up the firebox, crank it to the middle position and close the HB up. I’m all set in about 15 minutes, with the indirect side at 275F, give or take.

            Hope this helps .... I’ve got a pic of how I set up and a link to my fire starters on Amazon. THis is generally how I set up for any cook that is 90 minutes, or shorter.

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            Attached Files
            Last edited by ecowper; April 25, 2020, 06:31 PM.


            • ecowper
              ecowper commented
              Editing a comment
              IowaGirl I would scale the briquettes accordingly for the Continental. Y
              80 briquettes would probably be much too hot

            • IowaGirl
              IowaGirl commented
              Editing a comment
              I would agree. I'm doing a cook this afternoon and will keep notes.

            How movable is the 256? I must store my Performer in the garage, but I can wheel it out easily. I fear not so with the Hasty Bake. (Hope this is a legit question for this thread; I'm planning ahead for the Great Giveaway. Only 30 more days to go.)


            • ecowper
              ecowper commented
              Editing a comment
              I don’t see how you can be the next Great Giveaway winner when it’s actually going to be me ;-)

            • fkrall
              fkrall commented
              Editing a comment
              If you should receive a package, open it immediately.

            • WillieGee
              WillieGee commented
              Editing a comment
              I move mine in and out of a screened area without much trouble. My all stainless weighs 170 so it can be a two hander.

            I wanted to do a cook similar to ecowper but using my smaller "Continental" model 83.

            I wanted to smoke two pork tenderloins I had cured for Canadian bacon (see recipe here .... and cure calculator here....). I soaked the tenderloins in fresh water for only 30 minutes before cooking. I hoped the meat wouldn't be too salty with only this brief soak. The recipe recommends smoking the bacon at a grate temp of 325F to an internal temp of 145F.

            I also wanted to smoke a couple of ribeye steaks for supper while I was smoking the tenderloins. Just salt, pepper, a light dust of garlic powder, plus smoke for my steak seasoning.

            I expected this bake/smoke stage to last 1 to 1 1/2 hours. If I had coals enough when hubby got home from his motorcycle ride, I'd sear the steaks on the HB. If not, I'd use my gas grill to sear.

            I lowered the firebox until it was at the "Smoke" setting and added a heaping coffee can of Kingsford original (blue bag) briquettes (KBB) -- about 45 briqs -- to the firebox.

            Past experience has shown me that about 40 briqs will give me a 2 hour cook at 275-325F/135-160C, 80 briqs will give a 3-4 hour cook in that temp range, and 160 briqs is 7 hours or more. These numbers are without sealing the firebox door (more on that later). I don't know how -- or even if -- sealing this door will change these times.

            I arranged the briqs into a compact bunch with the topmost briqs just peeking over the sides of the firebox. I used a firebrick laid flat at the open end to corral the briqs and nestled a couple of wood chunks in the middle of the briqs. The firebrick is an optional touch -- it just keeps the briqs at that end of the firebox heaped up without a lot of fiddling.

            I put the wood in the middle-ish of the briqs with the goal of having the chunks start to char and smoke about the time I put the meat on the grill. I didn't want the wood to start burning too early during the lighting process, but I also didn't want it to light too late toward the end of this short cook.

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            Since I don't (yet) have a charcoal chimney, I proceeded to light the briqs with the alcohol gel fire starter that HB sells.

            Where you put the alcohol in the ash pan makes a difference in how the fire burns. You can put the gel close to the fire door or put it at the other end furthest away from the fire door. You can put the gel in a corner or somewhere in the center. I'm not sure I have any grand opinions about any of these options, except to say the temp seems to rise slower if you light the briqs in a front corner as opposed to front-and-center.

            For this cook, I put a 3-4 inch circle of the starter in the center front of the ash pan closest to the fire door. (My finger in the photo below is about 3 1/2 inches from the tip of my dirty bandaid to the knuckle.)

            The alcohol fire starter is a slower method of lighting compared with using a chimney, because fewer briqs start to burn at first. That means temps don't rise as quickly. I'm learning the cook will work out reasonably fine if the temp at the grill grate is rising into the low 200F/95C range after 20-30 minutes, about when I want to start the cook.

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            It's important to keep the top lid as well as the fire door open long enough to get the briqs burning well. The other trick is remembering to close up the cooker at the right time, so the briqs don't start burning too fast and the temp shoots too high. It's a bit of an art, and I don't always get it right.

            I lit the gel with the top lid, fire door, and all vents wide open. There are two sets of vents -- one set in the fire door and one set at grate level on the opposite side of the fire door. It takes about 5 minutes for the gel to burn off. About 10-15 minutes after lighting, I closed the fire door but left the fire door vents full open. I left the top lid and the grate vents open.

            I checked the briqs about 5 minutes later and saw about two large fistfuls of briqs were mostly ashed over and burning well (that would be two normal sized fists for many of you guys ). I added the heat diffuser over the firebox and put on the meat. The lid and fire door were closed, but I left the fire door vents and grate vents wide open. The grate temp was about 200F about 5 minutes after putting the meat on and closing things up.

            When smoking or baking, I have learned I can use both racks for cooking. With the firebox down low (in other words, in the Smoke or Bake positions) and the heat diffuser in place, I've found the temp on the upper rack is often surprisingly close to the temp on the lower grate. My previous experience with a propane cabinet smoker (Smoke Vault) and a gas grill (Weber Genesis) showed the temp differences inside these cookers is often quite large.

            It's surprising how much meat the HB cooker will hold if I take advantage of its more consistent temp profile by using all of the real estate inside the cooker area. The ribeyes went on the top rack and the tenderloins on the lower.

            I raised the firebox from "Smoke" to "Bake" and the grate temp started slowly rising. About 30 minutes later, it was about 245F. That was lower than my target of 300-325F, although the internal temps were rising nicely and the meat was getting plenty of smoke.

            In the interests of following the recipe, I cracked open the fire door for more airflow to the fire. Another 15 minutes later, the grate temp had bounced up to 360F, and I closed the fire door. I should have closed it sooner to keep the fire from burning too strongly and overshooting the goal temperature, but a kerfluffle in the kitchen distracted me.

            In hindsight, I wondered what would have happened if I had had the patience to simply wait a little longer rather than fiddle with the fire door. Next cook I'll try to remember this.

            About 15 minutes later, the steaks had reached the internal temp I wanted them to get to (125F), so I pulled them to cool until hubby came home. Another 30 minutes later, the tenderloins reached 145F internal, so I pulled them. The steaks took about 45 minutes. The tenderloins took about 1 1/4 hours. The coals started to drop in temp about 2 1/4 hours after I put the meat on. So 40-45 briqs gave me a 2 hour cook.

            Hubby came home from his ride early enough that I still had coals to sear the steaks. I raised the firebox to "Grill" and seared them to the rare side of medium rare. Served with rice-and-beans, green salad, and a cold beer. Yum.

            The Canadian bacon turned out scrumptious -- the meat was cured through to the center, salty but not too salty, with a moist yet firm texture. I sliced the meat and froze the slices in meal-sized portions for eating with pancakes or on sandwiches. I recommend the AR recipe -- either pork loin or pork tenderloin work well in my experience. One advantage of using tenderloin is it needs a shorter cure time than loin does -- the cure calculator recommended 7-8 days.

            Sorry, guys, no food pics this time. It got kinda crazy at the end and I was seriously hungry. I hope the fire building pics are helpful.
            Last edited by IowaGirl; April 27, 2020, 10:43 AM. Reason: fix typos, minor edits for clarity


              I took ecowper's suggestion to add Lavalock gaskets to the fire door before I started the cook in my previous post. With only one short cook post-gasket, I'm not yet sure how the new fire door gasket has changed things, but it sure hasn't made matters worse.

              I have 1/8" thick, 3/4" wide Lavalock, so I split it into narrower widths. I put a 3/8" wide strip of gasket on the top of the door frame and a 1/2" wide strip on the latch side. The gasket is definitely doing its job here -- you can see an indent (photo below) where the door is pressing into the gasket.

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              I put the 1/4" strip left over from the latch-side gasket along the hinge side of the door. I suspect the door does not actually compress this strip of gasket. Maybe that's a good thing, because I'm honestly not sure the door would be able to close and latch otherwise. I would like to think this hinge-side gasket will slow the air flow some, but I can't be sure.

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              I didn't add any gasket to the bottom edge, because there isn't a good place to put it. The finished results --

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              Last edited by IowaGirl; April 27, 2020, 10:50 AM. Reason: fix typos


              • phil huff
                phil huff commented
                Editing a comment
                i'm new to the site. I can't figure out how to create a new post/question. I know this is an add spot to ask this, but can't figure that out either. haha.

              • phil huff
                phil huff commented
                Editing a comment
                i'm new to the site. I can't figure out how to create a new post/question. I know this is an add spot to ask this, but can't figure that out either. haha.

              Great stuff IowaGirl! Lots of food for thought there. I've never used the gel. I started out using fire starters under the firebox, but that tending to light too much charcoal and I wasn't happy with temps. That's when I switched to a chimney. Not convinced a chimney is the absolute best way to go, just what I've become used to.


                I think it's all what you get used to, and that's OK. There are many ways to get good results.

                Somewhere on AR (and of course I can't find it now), another HB owner made a brief comment about the grill temp normally being on the low side at the beginning of a cook. That little tidbit got me to thinking that I need to have more patience with a low starting temp if I'm wanting a more controlled, longer cook. (Grilling hot and fast is another story.)

                Using the alcohol gel method, I've been closing the cooker up when a double fist full of briqs are burning well -- 3/4 ashed over or more -- and get the meat on. As the cooker temp comes up, the meat is warming too so all is not lost. With a more gradual warm up, my thinking is there is less chance of overshooting the desired temp range.

                But it's all theory at this point .... I'm getting more confidence that I can master this, but I'm definitely still learning.


                  DeanF posted a nice tutorial in 2018 for setting up a fuse burn in the Hasty Bake. He gave me his kind permission to repost it here.

                  Fuse Burn for the Hasty Bake!
                  by DeanF

                  There are several problems that can cause this method to fail and can be easily fixed with some simple steps. When it is right, it is just super simple to load the cooker up with something like pork butts or briskets and then do a low and slow smoke at temps around 250 degrees F for hours without touching the cooker.

                  Fuel is the first problem I see on the forums...... Lump is a fine product and I use it a lot, but NEVER for a fuse burn. It pops and cracks and blows chunks of fire all over the firebox and will end up lighting the whole maze every time. I like to use a good charcoal briquette that is made with only hardwood and a binder like wheat paste to hold it together. There are several brands out there that will cook as good as lump charcoal and don’t have a 10 ingredient content.

                  Next is the maze. It must be tall enough and is better if not constructed out of metal. Metal is a wonderful heat conductor and kinda difficult to make work in this type of cooker. I think it is much better to use a couple of inexpensive fire bricks for this task.

                  [Note: In the smaller Continental and Suburban models, you need about 1 1/2 firebricks to form the partition down the center of the maze. Either cut a brick in half or overlap two full-size bricks. --IowaGirl]

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                  Fire bricks measure about 9” long, 4-1/2” wide, and 1-1/4” thick and can be found at most hardware stores of it not, they will order them for you. They come six bricks to a case and work great for the fuse burn.

                  Ok, let's cook some butts.....

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                  I figure I need about 8-9 hours for my two large butts so I start by using two fire bricks to make a maze in my charcoal pan like you see in the picture. Notice that I have loaded the charcoal to about level and not over in the pan. This is all that is required for this length of cook.

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                  Another view of the charcoal pan and I think you can see how high up the fire bricks protect in the pan. The fire will usually not jump over the taller bricks and light the other side of the maze.

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                  To light up the fuse burn, I place a Weber fire cube on the one side that I want to start as seen in the picture.

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                  I then place my smoke wood in the charcoal pan....notice that on the side I light, I keep all the chunks away from the fire bricks as I don’t want to light the other side if they would flame up when they ignite.

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                  You need at least 4” of space between the charcoal pan and the ash pan so crank it up some to prevent hot coal chunks from falling thru the bottom of the pan and rolling under the unlit side of the pan and starting the whole maze up.

                  The last important step in my process is to be sure that the area on the cooking grid that is not protected from the fire by the heat deflector must be protected so that no hot grease will fall on the hot coals which may flame up and ignite all the coals. I usually use a drip pan on this side.

                  Now, isn’t this simple?? And you know, it will work every time you use it if you can follow the directions.

                  -- DeanF


                  Dean also included these helpful tips from "Stamper" Dave. Once you build the fuse per DeanF, then get it lit and manage the cooker temps as follows --

                  Low and Slow Cook with a Fuse Burn Setup
                  by "Stamper" Dave

                  It looks like you have your stuff and are ready to do a low and slow cook.

                  You want all the vents opened in the cooker for starting the fire and getting the cooker up to temp.

                  Start the fire cube and do leave the side door opened up on the cooker. Be sure to turn the cooker downwind as you don't want too much wind blowing on the fire. I usually leave the hood down, but I don't think it would matter very much.

                  Let the cube burn until it goes out on its own, and then close the side door on the cooker. Cube may flame for about 10-15 minutes at the start. Leave all the vents open at this point. Let the cooker go about 30 more minutes like this, and then load your meat.

                  In my cooker, the temp at this point measured on the cooking grid would be about 130 degrees. That is fine, but do keep track of it and start shutting the intake vents down as the temp comes up to about 200 degrees F.

                  From this point on thru the cook, I just use the intake vent to control my cooker. I can usually leave the exhaust vent open all thru the cook.

                  Another thing, don't get all hung up on these very low temps you may read about on the forums as many of them are unsafe. The lowest USDA and FSIS recommended smoking temp is 250 to 275 degrees F measured at the cooking grid.

                  I have the Gourmet cooker. With the above instructions, my cooker will run a lower temp the first 90 minutes and then will get up to about 240-270 F as the cook progresses. I keep it in this range with the intake vent and the cook will last about 8-1/2 hours.

                  If your cooker would start to get too hot, shut down both the intake and exhaust vents.

                  I published a new Hasty Bake Fuse Burn for Dummies a couple of days ago, so if you haven't seen it, give it a look.

                  Good luck with you cook and be sure to let me know how you come out.

                  -- "Stamper" Dave
                  Last edited by IowaGirl; April 28, 2020, 03:36 PM. Reason: fixed typos


                  • WillieGee
                    WillieGee commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Great info! After reading other forums was convinced it couldn't be done. I have seen the light, pun intended.

                  • WillieGee
                    WillieGee commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I have tried the fuse method twice. First time was disastrous, with fire jumping to other side and overall too high temp. This time I cut back on charcoal to a 1 1/2 to 2 briquet depth. Brought cooker to 200 in about 40 minutes and put on pork loin. I was able to keep temps around 225 only adjusting vents. Guessed correctly on how far in to place apple wood and got a very good smoke. My all stainless steel gourmet door seems to shut better than most.

                  • IowaGirl
                    IowaGirl commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Sometimes it's really helpful to have nuts-n-bolts tips. No more than 1-2 briquettes deep is a perfect way to explain things, WillieGee -- I really get what you mean. Thanks for the tip.

                  Next time I'm cooking two pork butts, I will do one on the WSM my normal way and one on the Hasty-Bake using DeanF's maze approach ..... only question I guess I had is where to put a water pan. Maybe on top of the heat deflector.


                  • ecowper
                    ecowper commented
                    Editing a comment
                    You could put it on the other side of the grate, if you have enough room

                  • DeanF
                    DeanF commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I haven't felt the need to put a water pan in HB - it seems like things stay "fairly moist" in the HB; but I do use water with my Slo 'N Sear in the Weber 22"

                  • ecowper
                    ecowper commented
                    Editing a comment
                    DeanF I've always found in the HB Gourmet that I get a hotter cook chamber than I want without water. Otherwise, I probably wouldn't bother .... do you get flare ups on the fuze from the meat dripping? or do you put a drip pan on that end of the firebox?


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