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Lone Star Grillz Adjustable Charcoal Grill & Smoker - 6 Months In

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    Lone Star Grillz Adjustable Charcoal Grill & Smoker - 6 Months In

    We've now had the Lone Star Grillz Adjustable Charcoal Grill & Smoker for 6 months. I've cooked on it every night except for maybe 5 or 6 times when my wife made Thai food or we ordered in pizza.

    So - is the bloom off the rose now that this pit is not a new toy anymore?

    No. In fact, the more I cook on it the more I appreciate it. (Dare I say "love"). It's so reliable and repeatable, it's kind of like a faithful old dog who knows what you want and is ready to do it eagerly. All it takes is feeding it and cleaning up after it. In the 6 months, we've smoked 3 briskets, 4 pork butts, 18-20 racks of ribs, and well over 100 everday type grillings. It's a natural 2-zone cooker and offset smoker, and with the adjustable charcoal grate, it sears like you wouln't believe. The pit is almost as efficient as a Kamado, and there's plenty of lump left over after a cook to use for the next day's BBQ with the addition of about a PBC chimney's worth of fresh charcoal. We go through a bag of Fogo Premium every 6 days or so. For the longer cooks, I've found that Fogo Super Premium or Kamado Joe Big Lump work better.

    There's a daily routine in place. In the morning, after breakfast, I open up the pit, move the cooking grill over the charcoal grate to the other side, knock off what little ash there is with a rake and pour in a bit of fresh charcoal. Then I raise the charcoal grate all the way up, open the left-side firebox door and remove the ash pan. The ash pan is larger than the charcoal grate and it catches everything (It weighs about 10 lbs). I dump the ash into an 8 gallon bucket and scrape and brush out any debris that's left in the pan. Put the ash pan back in the firebox, lower the charcoal grate back to the bottom and close up the pit. The whole procedure takes less than 5 minutes.

    About 3:30 pm, I grab the clear plastic briefcase that contains a Fireboard 2, a Pit Bull fan, power cord and temp probes, get 1 Light-a-Fire lighter cup and head back out to the pit. With the Fireboard and fan all set up, I put the lighter cup down in the center of the coals, and go make myself a drink. It takes about 3 minutes to do all that.

    When it's time to cook I use a JJ George torch attached to a 1 lb. propane bottle to light the starter cup and any additional charcoal depending on what the target temp is, that takes less than 2 minutes. In the Fireboard app I've set the target pit temp and fan to Auto, so the fan is running during the light-off portion of the cook. That's not how Fireboard recommends doing it, but I've found that the bellows effect of the fan running gets the pit up to temp in no more than 25 minutes when, without the fan it would be more like 45 minutes. This setup is by no means necessary to run this pit, but, because I'm doing this every day, I prefer to run at an accelerated pace, and can knock out meals in 45 minutes to an hour and 15 minutes depending on what's being cooked.

    When the meat gets within 3° of target temp, I pull the temp probes, shut down the Fireboard, remove the fan and put the silicon port cover in, and put everything back in the plastic suitcase, and then shut all the vents. That takes about 3 minutes. Then the meat comes off and it's time to eat. And we're done - until tomorrow.

    If you happened to read what I wrote when we first got this pit, "Our New Pride & Joy", then you know that prior to buying, I was agonizing over whether to get this or the LSG Mini Vertical Smoker (I was caught up in the romance of smoking.). I can tell you now with absolute certainty, that getting the Adjustable was the right choice for us. I'd recommend this pit, without reservation, to anyone in the market for new BBQ.

    #2
    Thanks for the review, and I look forward to seeing more of you on Farmers Insurance commercials on YouTube .

    Comment


    • AZ Fogey
      AZ Fogey commented
      Editing a comment
      LOL. I never noticed the resemblance in real life, but I can see it in the photo.

    • Steve R.
      Steve R. commented
      Editing a comment
      Bum ba dum bum bum bum bum!

    #3
    Great review - thank you!

    Comment


      #4
      It only took me 3 minutes to read the review and conclude you are in a happy place.
      Sounds like you having a lot of fun with your new old toy.

      Comment


        #5
        You just made me add that rig to my short list...

        Comment


        • Jerod Broussard
          Jerod Broussard commented
          Editing a comment
          I'm three hours from them, I could pick it up, we could meet halfway b/n Texas and Louisiana, I know that is out your way.

        • RonB
          RonB commented
          Editing a comment
          @Jerof Broussard - half way between TX and the Atlantic Ocean might work...

        • AZ Fogey
          AZ Fogey commented
          Editing a comment
          Pull the trigger. You won't regret it.

        #6
        A century from now you'll still be doing this every day, as a residual haunt, scaring the pants off whoever lives where you do now... but happy for eternity..

        Comment


        • AZ Fogey
          AZ Fogey commented
          Editing a comment
          JGo37 Have you been talking to my Thai wife's Buddhist relatives? LOL.

        #7
        Does the insulated divider between fireboxes cause any issues with cooking? Like if I was cooking a ton of burgers or wings, does the center of the grill not get hot? I’ve been saving up to buy one of these, but that’s about my only concern. I also wonder how well putting a pan of water over one firebox and smoking with all wood works, but I’ve got an offset stick burner already.

        Comment


        • AZ Fogey
          AZ Fogey commented
          Editing a comment
          @Killla J I've never actually fired up both boxes at the same time, but I don't think that would be problem. Where the cooking grate frames abut in the center is about 2" wide and the frames get as hot as the expanded metal grates. You've also got the option of putting Grill Grates across the entire cooking surface to make one enormous grate. If it were me, I'd want some help flipping that much meat. I use a full loaf pan of water over the hot side on the upper shelf when I'm doing long cooks.
          Last edited by AZ Fogey; September 30, 2020, 12:54 PM.

        #8
        AZ Fogey What is the temperature difference top to bottom and left to right when doing 2 zone cooking?

        Comment


          #9
          lostclusters Everything depends on how the vents are set and how much charcoal is lit to start the cook, and it's all infinitely variable. Typical 2-zone setup with a fire on the left side and the charcoal grate lowered fully, the cooking grate will be around 400-500° with the intake vent cracked about 1/4" and the hot side exhaust vent closed. The upper shelf over the hot side will be about 50-75° cooler. With the exhaust vent on the cool side open an inch to an inch and a half, the lower grill temp will be 225-250°, the upper shelf on the cool side will be about 75-100° hotter. You can also make adjustments to the temps in the cooker by moving the charcoal grate higher or opening the other two vents, although I've never found a need to do that. When cooking hot and fast, or when doing a couple pieces of chicken, I'll usually use the upper shelf because it saves fuel.

          Comment


            #10
            I think LSG says you can also use this as a stick burner. Is that something you intend to try? Wouldn't be for every day cooking, of course, but may be a low and slow option to see how the smoke profile compares to charcoal/chunks.

            Comment


            • AZ Fogey
              AZ Fogey commented
              Editing a comment
              JackJ Chris at LSG has a video where he uses the pit as stick burner. I haven't tried it, mostly because I'm lazy and don't have a good place to store the splits. However, my experience with using hardwood chunks tells me that more than 12 or 14 oz of smoke wood tends to oversmoke the cook because the airflow in the pit, when cooking with charcoal, is very restricted with the exhaust vent usually set at 1 1/4", compared to a 6" exhaust stack on a stick burner.

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