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Christmas came early

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    Christmas came early

    Looking forward to firing this up. Happy to share impressions of the 357 if folks are interested.
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    Last edited by Smoldering Flea; December 16, 2020, 09:07 AM.

    - Congrats on the new 357.
    - I am still waiting for my 1 or 2 used briquettes under the tree.


      Wow, congrats! Of course we're interested in your impressions. Meathead raves about it, he said "It is just about the perfect charcoal grill/smoker combo" in his review.


        Pictures! We need pictures!


          Pics or it didn't happen!


            Congrats. Always fun getting and playing with new BBQ equipment. Look forward to hearing about it. Of course if it is really a Christmas present, then you can’t open it until Christmas Day or else the curse of Christmas early will follow that grill forever


            • Smoldering Flea
              Smoldering Flea commented
              Editing a comment
              Does that mean i'll get coal in my stocking? cuz that would be pretty convenient.



              Great! Have fun and let know how it works for you.


                Guess who will be grilling dinner, and all the trimmings.


                  Don't see nuthin but a box strapped to a pallet! I thought this was Amazing Ribs, not a UPS depot!

                  Seriously, I will be interested to hear what you think of your new cooker. And I want to see pics of what you cook on this beast.


                    Congrats, look forward to getting your opinion of this beast.


                      Congratulations. That is the only current new HB I would be interested in though I don't know if I want to drop the coin for one. I got to actually see one in person last month when I stopped at the Hasty Bake store on my way out to AZ for vacation. I definitely want to hear your thoughts and impressions on it. Did you buy it during HB's recent 20% off sale?


                      • Smoldering Flea
                        Smoldering Flea commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Yes, waited to see if it would go on sale. Was looking at that vs the wscg—Have an egg so had a slight bias towards HB. Have not cooked on a HB before so won’t be able to give much comparison vs other models but happy to answer any questions. Assume interest mainly around air leakage/smoking?
                        Last edited by Smoldering Flea; December 18, 2020, 09:33 PM.

                      • 70monte
                        70monte commented
                        Editing a comment
                        I have a HB Legacy so I'm familiar with cooking on them but I think the 357 is a little more air tight than my Legacy was. I had to add gaskets around the side door and along the bottom under the door to be able to control temps on mine. Before that it wanted to run 350+ no matter how I set the coals up. I love the food that comes off of mine and since adding the gaskets, it's more of a pleasure to use. I also have an M1 which is like a HB on steroids'. I am curious if yours has any leaks.

                      Initial impressions:
                      Did my first cook earlier this week (high heat grill). The summary conclusion is that one should not do their first cook in 18 degree weather in the dark. And if they do, they should employ better planning than yours truly i.e. not trying to rummage through the overfilled storage space while the ripping hot internal side of the door continues to bounce against their shoulder. Operator oversights notwithstanding, some (throwaway) observations.

                      Charcoal consumption rate was fast. Probably similar to a weber, maybe a bit slower given i don't recall ever using my old one in temperatures quite this cold. I'd had maybe ~60min. with a basket half full (though i was near the bottom of a bag of RO so charcoal was a bit more crumbly. But big difference vs. ceramic kamado

                      Though double-walled, the thickness is still a bit on the thin side and this showed given the ambient temperatures. The grill made some ungodly sounds--my mind jumped immediately to the movie "crimson tide" when the alabama was approaching crush depth. at some point the upper left end of the side door jutted out an inch despite the door being latched shut. not a particularly encouraging observation given questions on air leakage, but conditions were a bit extreme.

                      Another issue that i hope is limited to cold days is that it became impossible to slide the ash pan or the charcoal box out during the cook to refill. i gave it a few good yanks but given the sounds coming from the grill i didn't want to force the issue and i was stuck trying to throw handfulls of charcoal dust onto the pan. all this while the ridiculously hot door kept closing onto my shoulder. good times. It appears that the lower rail as well seems to expand such that once things get hot i wouldn't count on the ability to slide things in or out once things get hot which could be an issue if you used the deflector and wanted to sear afterward.

                      The exterior of the side door was generally at most warm to the touch with the exception of the front side (the part that seemed to jut out) which was very hot. The handle of the side door seemed to stay cool to the touch

                      Nothing that seems overly surprising in hindsight.

                      The other observation i would make is that i was a bit surprised that there seemed to still be some growing pains that i would not have expected for a unit that has been on the market for over a year (nevermind the "flagship" offering). I.e. i've seen 2 different rotisserie installation instructions and also the mounting equipment is different for the 357 but there doesn't seem to be an option to specify that when ordering from the website so i've had to contact them after the fact for the correct equipment (FB comments suggest this was not an isolated incident). Their griddle accessory doesn't allow a closed lid with it in place; the instruction manual could be better etc. In short the support architecture seems less "flagship product" and more "lower volume niche product." Shouldn't be determinative in anyone's decision calculus but just something a purchaser might want to be mindful of.

                      In the middle of my first test fuse burn today. will post fireboard logs later.
                      Last edited by Smoldering Flea; December 22, 2020, 01:44 PM.


                      • ecowper
                        ecowper commented
                        Editing a comment
                        surprising things you are saying. I've never had my Gourmet have such issues as the ash pan not being able to slide in/out.

                      • Smoldering Flea
                        Smoldering Flea commented
                        Editing a comment
                        i wonder if the combination of cold temperature plus something about the 357 being double walled is causing this? During today's fuse burn it was pretty clear how near the door there was a ~1 inch gap between the end of the rail and the main part of the deflector collapsed to nothing (and was the cause of the 'stick') towards the opposite end of the door (where the fuse was burning)

                      Santa brought me an SnS kettle. You must have been better this last year than I was.

                      Can't wait to see pics!


                        An aborted fuse burn test run. Can post a photo of how my firebox was setup but it was basically like the review photo with lump charcoal. Going in my thinking was, if i don't mind refueling, could i leave vents open and just throw one (or two) deflectors and a water pan at the smoke height to get to a ~275 temp anywhere on the grid (likely above the water pan). This test run suggests the answer is no. at least not with a one turn fuse.

                        FYI channel 1/2/3/4 is upper left, upper right, lower left, lower right. up until 2pm i had a water pan in the top rack on the left and a deflector on the lower rack to the right. at 2m i wedged a 2nd deflector where i could on the left lower rack.

                        1.5 hours in, the fuse was just getting to the turn and temps were heading in the wrong direction so figured i'd try shutting it down (at least this will test whether you can cut off enough airflow to shut down the fire, though i do have the grease drain rod port open.

                        Will report back on how well closing the vents snuffs out the fire (one hour after shut-in, temps down 110 degrees to 236). I think for future burns will want to test:

                        i) if i setup a fuse burn with two turns, both deflectors and waterpan in from the start and vents wide open will that overshoot temps

                        ii) doing the one-turn fuse burn but choking in vents from the start.

                        Not sure if folks find this helpful. if there are any questions / suggestions please fire away.

                        Click image for larger version  Name:	Capture.GIF Views:	0 Size:	128.9 KB ID:	960762
                        Last edited by Smoldering Flea; December 22, 2020, 02:44 PM.


                        • Smoldering Flea
                          Smoldering Flea commented
                          Editing a comment
                          the coda: closing out all vents and even removign the grease drain rod and closing the exit opening did not extinguish the fire. it had flatlined at ~160 and the fuse continued to burn. temp jumped up to 200 after i opened the door to remove the rod. nb: HB says to leave some ash in the pan to snuff out the fire. i had a pretty clean ash pan so that wasn't an option.


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