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Pic Heavy- My Set-Up for Low and Slow

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    Pic Heavy- My Set-Up for Low and Slow

    I'm not saying this is the "right way". It's just "My way". I would love to see pics of how others set-up their Hasty Bakes. I'm sure I can learn something to augment my method and improve upon it.

    Academy was out of B&B, so I'm using Kingsford, which you will see requires restocking about every hour. I'm stocking up the freezer, and am cooking up some ham to portion into vac bags first. Hams never seem cooked enough for my liking, straight out of the bag. Especially near the bone. So, I'll try to push past that, and add some smoke.

    I'm monitoring four sections/areas. No probes in the meat itself, and using a Weber iGrill.

    #1) Upper Left (furthest from fire)
    #2) Upper Right (above heat deflector, top grate)… no food here today
    #3) Lower Left (convection heat exits from under the deflector and goes to this area first)
    #4) Lower Right (directly above heat deflector, sometimes gets some radiant heat off of the deflector... depending on it's height)

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    Ya, the grates are dirty... I'm on foil today though.


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    The first load of coals. No wood. All I'm doing is pre-heating the cooker. I often won't start the meat until I'm starting the third set of coals. I have no coals up near the 'front'. I want them ALL under the deflector after I slide the grate back inside the HB. They were started in a pile, and spread out after all were lit (well, one got away from the pile, as you can see, but I just tossed it in the mix).

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    So I have some sort of a consistent placement, I choose to have the coal box/grate up next to the door. I leave it sticking out of the cooker maybe half an inch, then shut the door... pushing the grate in as the side door closes.

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    And this is about where I typically run the heat deflector. I'll monitor how fast temps rise in different parts of the grill, and where the temps level off to determine placement after I get her warmed up to temp.


    I don't know how large of a post I can make... so I'll continue in a reply.
    Last edited by journeymanjohn; June 21, 2020, 03:22 PM.

    #2
    Continued from above...

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    With the door closed, the ash bucket gets set pressing against the door slightly. It's a good habit to get into, of you haven't adjusted you door latch to pull it really tight (I haven't), or added a Nomex gasket/seal (again, I have not). It works for me.

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    It's been about 40-50 minutes. Temps are falling off. The cooker still really is NOT saturated with heat yet. I would typically run another set of coals to fully saturate and get it leveled off, before adding meat.

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    This is what I see when I open the side door, and slide out the ash pan and coal grate. I usually don't let them get this low, but I also usually run higher temp, with 235 being my low setpoint, and 275 being the high.

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    New coals get rather evenly distributed on top.

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    The lit coals are small, and temps are rather cool, so I use some wood slivers to help speed up lighting the new coals, as well as the oak burns a bit hot, and will help raise temps. It's more wood than I normally use before adding meat (depending on outside temps, but it's 80*F outside, so this is too much.

    To be contimued....

    Comment


      #3
      Question: why not do a minion style load of charcoal, where you light the amount you used, but set it against more unlit charcoal across the charcoal try? Then It can gradually ignite and burn across the pan like a fuse, and you refuel less often? That is what a lot do in other smokers.

      I have to feed my offset every 30-60 minutes, but like to get a little sleep on long cooks when using charcoal...
      Last edited by jfmorris; June 21, 2020, 06:21 AM.

      Comment


        #4
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        After a bit, the smoke clears up and the temps are somewhat stable. I add the Hams. All hell breaks loose....

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        It's pretty easy to see where I added the hams. All that cold meat and foil definitely disrupts the 'draft' through the HB. One probe is skyrocketing. others are dropping. I spend a good amount of time double checking that the probes aren't touching grates or meat, adjusting meat for good spacing between, etc., etc.... The answer turned out to be adjusting the heat deflector inwards about an inch. I finally get it set where they all are reacting together, in unison. It's as much about how fast they change in relation to each other as it is about the actual temp in each zone.

        Do note... top left and bottom right typically run together, while the upper right and lower left run together. It is normal, and has to do with how and where the heated air leaves the deflector and convects in the cooker towards the exhaust vents, I believe.

        Anyway, by the time I get it straightened out, temps are dropping, and it's time to add coals again. That was kinda rough for a bit...

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        Bear in mind... this is what the dial thermometer showed. No where close. Also, no indication of what is goin on in different parts of the oven.

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        Things were fairly uneventful after I got her stable and figured out where the deflector needed to be for the "load". As I said, about every hour, give or take, I have to add coals. The temps come up faster when I add a bit of wood with the coals. With B&B, I can go an hour and a half between. Can also see two dips at each charcoal re-stocking. The first being when I open the lid, check the temp of the hams, and spritz. The second being when I open the side door to add the coals and wood.

        continued....one more time.
        Last edited by journeymanjohn; June 21, 2020, 03:07 PM.

        Comment


          #5
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          I use little more wood than this, once things are heated up.

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          I split the chunks into jumbo matchsticks....

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          They ignite very quickly when small, and it really doesn't take much smoke to flavor the meat.

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          I pulled one off @ 155F, another @160F, another @170F, and the last @175F.... currently resting.

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          I also got this, twice. It should flavor up some rice quite nicely!!

          Like I said, this is just how I do it. It seems most don't show their HB set-ups on here. I would love to see that change, and learn some other methods & tricks.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by jfmorris View Post
            Question: why not do a minion style load of charcoal, where you light the amount you used, but set it against more unlit charcoal across the charcoal try? Then It can gradually ignite and burn across the pan like a fuse, and you refuel less often? That is what a lot do in other smokers.

            I have to feed my offset every 30-60 minutes, but like to get a little sleep on long cooks when using charcoal...
            jfmorris I can get an hour and a half between feeding with B&B.

            I personally don't know anyone who has successfully used the fuse method in a Hasty Bake, although I have heard of it being done. More often than not, it ends in disaster, with the whole fuse going up at once.

            It's not really airtight, and when wood pops and sparks, it lights hot charcoal. Also, the coals that fall to the ash tray, maybe an inch or so below will light it off. I've seen where people actually have made metal mazes for the charcoal... I still read more of fails than successes. Also have seen barriers made with fire brick. Same story.

            I'm not saying it can't be done. I just don't believe it's right for this cooker. Possibly others who use the snake/fuse method will start posting up their cooks and show me how.

            At least with this method, I can get a rather consistent cook, and not loose sleep worrying about the fuse.

            I definitely hear you on wanting some shut eye on the long cooks. I'm usually pretty cranky by the time I finish one, and napping after the meal while the rest of the family is playing dominoes, or cards, or what-not.
            Last edited by journeymanjohn; June 21, 2020, 03:11 PM.

            Comment


              #7
              Interesting. Thanks.

              Comment


                #8
                I use a modified minion method. I’ll have to take pictures of it. I can run the HB at about 240 for 8 hours with a fully loaded firebox. I only use KBB or Kingsford Pro, never lump charcoal for long, slow cooks. Basically, I fill the entire firebox with briquettes, right up to the top. Then I pull about 25-30 from the door side of the firebox and light them in a chimney. I put my wood right at the boundary where I will dump the lit coals. When the charcoal is burning clean (I don’t worry about “ashed over”) I dump the briquettes in the open spot in the firebox right at the door.

                The only mods I’ve I’ve to the HB is I sealed the door and I bought the new door handle that can be adjusted for tightness. Makes an enormous difference on air control.I would love to see HB release a new door for the Gourmet with the slider type vents.

                Comment


                • ecowper
                  ecowper commented
                  Editing a comment
                  journeymanjohn I learned by trial and error, honestly. When I bought a Hasty-Bake the only reasonable stuff about it was Meathead’s review and the FAQ’s on their site. There were a few bbq forums with a few ideas, but not much. I decided to modify the minion method. I didn’t like the idea of using firebricks for a snake. If I lived in Tulsa, would be a very different story. Everybody there cooks on HB :-)

                • journeymanjohn
                  journeymanjohn commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I haven't taken HB classes. I've seen a good bit of what they have posted on youtube, but it just doesn't work for me. I like more control without leaving it to chance, running a smaller & cleaner fire, without choking it off. It's cool going to the HB annual competition, and watching what everyone is cooking. It's a quick competition, so no chance for REAL low and slow. Wish that would change, and they wouldn't make one use HB lump. You are using a Smokey Mountain instead of the HB for smoking?

                • ecowper
                  ecowper commented
                  Editing a comment
                  journeymanjohn a few years ago, I added a WSM to the mix. I tend to use it for big smokes .... several pork butts, whole brisket ... I have ribs really dialed in on it. That said, I learned to do all that stuff on the HB first. And still do occasionally .... However, the things I really like doing on the HB are steak, tri-tip, chuck roast, chicken, turkey, salmon

                #9
                That seemed like a lot of work to smoke something. I'm glad that works for you. I don't have that kind of patience. At some point I'm going to try to seal the door on mine but the metal is so thin on these grills that it seems like any heat at all will warp the door to where it will no longer seal.

                IMO, HB could do some improvements to their grills so that smoking something is not a hassle. I envy the people who seem to be able to keep the temps below 300 degrees and not have to constantly feed the grill more fuel. So far that has eluded me.

                Comment


                • journeymanjohn
                  journeymanjohn commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Ya, it is a bit of work. Probably no more than one would do on an offset, or feeding logs in a KBQ. It does take patience, I agree. Both to learn it, and to actually cook it this way. I have run across the door expanding with heat, and temporarily not sealing well. That is good indicator the fire is to hot, often with too much fuel. Just my take on it...

                • jfmorris
                  jfmorris commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Yeah, feeding the fire throughout the cook is what I have to do on my offset - and is why I avoid it, and use my kettle+SNS when I can get the cook to fit on the 22" kettle.

                #10
                I'm actually a bit surprised to the responses to my post.

                I remember reading Meathead's articles on the free side many, many years ago.... and some of the lessons I learned. You know.... things like a small hot fire being better than a big one for producing clean smoke, how keeping plenty of air available instead of choking it off is important for clean smoke, how it only takes a few ounces of wood at the beginning of the cook to get a good smokey flavor on the meat, how it's important to not let the wood smolder and getting it to light quickly, how it's important to know your grill & it's hotspots... as well as how to master controlling temps within your individual pit. How dial thermometers are not to be trusted.

                Everyone of those "basic" ideas were used & expressed in this write-up. Especially the part about 'knowing your cooker', 'hot spots', and 'how to control temps within it'. It's taken me years to figure all this out... lot's of trial and error.

                I read all these post with people upset that they cannot keep temps below 300 on a Hasty Bake. You were just shown how, with pics and temp charts to back it up....

                I see how people here praise Aaron Franklin, his methods, and his Q. Funny, I don't see his videos showing how he loads his firebox to max capacity so he can walk away and not worry about tending a fire.... Instead I see him choosing just the right pieces of wood at just the right times,... tending a fire,... all night long.

                So, again, I'm a bit surprised that no one noticed any of that, but instead decided to plug their favorite cookers... and methods that go against what Meathead has been teaching from the very beginning....even before there was a "Pitmaster Club".

                This write-up was written for those who are interested in smoking low and slow on a Hasty Bake, and to not just use it as a two zone or Santa Maria type grill. And while I can easily see my final post here being deleted after I'm gone, I hope the instructional portion will remain, for those who truly wish to master a low and slow, long term cook, on a HB... producing top shelf Q. It'll save someone some time.... I promise.

                Now, for those of you who want easy.... I'll suggest a bottle of liquid smoke and your indoor oven.

                I'm out....





                Comment


                  #11
                  Me personally I found your post pretty informative. Pretty much checked the "Mizzou" (show me) box for me.

                  Comment


                  • Jfrosty27
                    Jfrosty27 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    +1 on this

                  #12
                  Originally posted by journeymanjohn View Post
                  I'm actually a bit surprised to the responses to my post.

                  I remember reading Meathead's articles on the free side many, many years ago.... and some of the lessons I learned. You know.... things like a small hot fire being better than a big one for producing clean smoke, how keeping plenty of air available instead of choking it off is important for clean smoke, how it only takes a few ounces of wood at the beginning of the cook to get a good smokey flavor on the meat, how it's important to not let the wood smolder and getting it to light quickly, how it's important to know your grill & it's hotspots... as well as how to master controlling temps within your individual pit. How dial thermometers are not to be trusted.

                  Everyone of those "basic" ideas were used & expressed in this write-up. Especially the part about 'knowing your cooker', 'hot spots', and 'how to control temps within it'. It's taken me years to figure all this out... lot's of trial and error.

                  I read all these post with people upset that they cannot keep temps below 300 on a Hasty Bake. You were just shown how, with pics and temp charts to back it up....

                  I see how people here praise Aaron Franklin, his methods, and his Q. Funny, I don't see his videos showing how he loads his firebox to max capacity so he can walk away and not worry about tending a fire.... Instead I see him choosing just the right pieces of wood at just the right times,... tending a fire,... all night long.

                  So, again, I'm a bit surprised that no one noticed any of that, but instead decided to plug their favorite cookers... and methods that go against what Meathead has been teaching from the very beginning....even before there was a "Pitmaster Club".

                  This write-up was written for those who are interested in smoking low and slow on a Hasty Bake, and to not just use it as a two zone or Santa Maria type grill. And while I can easily see my final post here being deleted after I'm gone, I hope the instructional portion will remain, for those who truly wish to master a low and slow, long term cook, on a HB... producing top shelf Q. It'll save someone some time.... I promise.

                  Now, for those of you who want easy.... I'll suggest a bottle of liquid smoke and your indoor oven.

                  I'm out....




                  Some of us got spoiled by using other smokers first that allowed either fuse type burns or minion type burns. I started my smoking career using an 18" WSM on which I used the minion method of burning charcoal and I typically never had to refill my charcoal and I never had an off tasting food from the lit coals lighting the unlit ones.

                  I then started using a Weber Kettle with a Slow N Sear, a PBC, a Good One Open Range, Good One Marshall, PK Classic, PK 360, and recently an M1. All of these either didn't require refills of charcoal or only after about 5 hrs or so.

                  When I got a HB, it was a different animal as far as smoking went. On all of my other cookers, regulating temps was fairly easy. My HB is not.

                  I appreciate your post and do like to see how others do smoke on a HB because there does seem to be a lot of different methods people use or have tried and so far I have not mastered any of them so it is kind of a challenge for me to learn. I still like the HB even if it's not my first choice as a smoker. I used it last night to cook chicken tenderloins and vegetables and everything turned out great.

                  Comment


                    #13
                    Here are several methods I've tried for smoking on my HB. None have worked very well.
                    Attached Files

                    Comment


                    • tiewunon
                      tiewunon commented
                      Editing a comment
                      70monte in your 3rd picture it looks like you are using B&B char logs. How did that work out for you temp wise? Looks like they are setting on a bed of lump. I have played with those on/in my PK. Takes a while to light burns hot lasts along time. Somewhat like coconut charcoal in performance.

                    • 70monte
                      70monte commented
                      Editing a comment
                      tiewunon, I was using the B&B char logs on top of lump. I love the char logs because they last a long time but during this cook, even though I only got about one fist size area of coals going before I shut the lid and side door and had my vents mostly closed, the fire spread too quickly and my temps got very hot, probably around 380 on the gauge.

                    • tiewunon
                      tiewunon commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Thanks 70monte

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