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SNSK First Cook - A Play by Play

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    SNSK First Cook - A Play by Play

    Ok boys and girls - this will be a running post that I will update several times today.

    Alarm went off, and I popped up and shuffled out to the garage to get charcoal and starters, and then roused up the dogs to go outside to "take care of business", and shuffled over to the SNSK. I pulled everything out of the SNSK, and filled the fire bowl with lump from the bag of B&B Hickory Lump, and nestled 3 large chunks of hickory wood under the charcoal, per lighting recommendations in the manual. Put a single Royal Oak Tumbleweed in the center, nestled it in, and lit. Left lid up, and bottom vent fully open.

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    One thing is for sure! That grill won't be the pristine white inside for much longer!

    Coals in the center were nicely lit. Went ahead and installed the upper charcoal grate, the diffuser (plate setter), and decided to try using the Drip 'N Griddle (DNG) as a drip pan on TOP of the diffuser, with some water to prevent it getting gunked up. Installed the grate, an air temp probe, and closed the lid. Left the vents on top and bottom wide open.

    The temp was up to about 150F, so I closed the vents down a bit to "2" on both top and bottom.

    The temp was approaching 200F, so I went ahead and grabbed the butt from the fridge where it had been dry brining overnight, rubbed it down, and put it on the grate.

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    At this point, I adjusted the vents down to "1", took a few outside shots, and I've been monitoring things.

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    The temp was hovering just above 200F with top and bottom set to 1. I opened the top vent to 1.5, and the bottom vent to 2.

    The air temp is 230F, the meat is at 28.2F (it had been in the deep freeze until 2 days ago). Vents still at 1.5 top, 2 bottom. I may adjust the bottom a little to try and increase the temp, but right now, this is looking pretty good. The plan is to throw 2 slabs of Saint Louis style spares on at noon, and eat those for dinner at 6pm, and have the pulled pork over the weekend.

    Grate level temp is up to 242F, dome thermometer reads around 280F. Going to leave vents alone for now, as I really wouldn't mind things stabilizing around 275F for this cook, to get the butt done faster.

    Grate level temp is up to 256F, dome reads about 320F. Adjusted top vent down to 1, bottom vent to 1.5.

    Grate level temp is at 259F.

    Per some advice, I decided to put some spacers between the DNG and the diffuser. Probably a good idea, as all the water in the DNG had boiled off, and drippings were burning. I used 3 nuts I found in the garage. During this, I put the grate from the DNG on a side table, along with foil, and set the entire 22" cooking grate over there. After putting everything back in the grill, I discovered a casualty.... my Thermoworks Smoke! Still working... but no longer pretty... . I gotta get used to these smaller side tables apparently!

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    Had to head out the door to a medical appointment, and with the upward trend having the temp at 262F, I dropped both top and bottom vent to "1", and ran out the door.

    Back home with two slabs of ribs, prepped them, salted, then rubbed with MMD, and out to the grill. Temp had dropped all the way to 230F - so I suspect settings of "1" top and bottom will be good for running at 225F. Since I need more heat, I cranked top to 1.25, bottom to 1.5, and we will see where that takes us. I tried two different ways of fitting two racks of SLS ribs on there. First, nestled around the butt, second using the elevated grate. I don't like the crowding, so used the elevated grate.

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    With the spacers in place there was still a little water in the DNG, and no burning drippings. Probably no more photos until the cook is done, as I think there is a limit of 10 in a post, but I'll continue a play by play. Hopefully the temp will start coming back. There were spikes up and down as I moved things around. And I am aghast! I got some rub and pork rib juice on the gasket to the left, looks like. Better go back and wipe that with a wet paper towel!

    Right now, I will comment that at this point in the cook, using my kettle+SNS, I think the butt would have more bark 5 hours into the cook. Bark seems lighter (to me) in Kamado mode, than what I am used to.

    Temp is still down at 205F, butt is up to 136F. I need to go check probe placement on the grate probe. I will say that the probe will be super high if not above the diffuser or drip pan, and is much lower in the thermal shadow of the diffuser and drip pan. Adjusted top to 1.5, bottom to 2. We will see where that takes things in the next hour or two.

    Yvonne told me it was time to go meet the new grand-daughter, so we took off, grill left unattended! At this point the pit was back to 225. meat was 145.

    I was tapped to go pick up a prescription for my daughter, but came by and brushed a layer of Sweet Baby Rays on the ribs, and checked on things. The off away right again. Pit was 230, meat was 157. I opened the bottom vent to 3, top vent to 2.

    We got back, threw together a salad and some veggies, and I pulled the top rack of ribs. We were hungry! Pit was 260, butt was 158 - still in the stall!

    First rack of ribs was great! Not my best work, but really good. They could have gone a tad longer - most of the meat pulled cleanly from the bone, but not all.

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    Pulled the other rack, leaving the butt. Pit 260, but 162 - getting out of the stall. Set top vent to 2, bottom vent at 3.

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    Pit 262, butt 172. Tempted to go open all vents wide and crank it, as I want to go to bed in 2 hours!

    Pit at 263, meat at 178. Opened bottom vent to full. Left top vent at 2.

    Pit up to 288, meat at 184.

    Pit up to 300, meat at 185.

    Pit up to 311, meat up to 189.

    Pit was 330, meat probe hit 203, and I pulled that bad boy!

    Let it rest for about 30-40 minutes on the counter, then pulled/chopped/panned and into the fridge for the weekend meals.

    I'll draw up some conclusions after I think about it over the weekend. For now, pleased, still learning!

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    Last edited by jfmorris; January 22, 2021, 11:33 PM.

    How accurate is the dial therm compared to your grate probe?


    • jfmorris
      jfmorris commented
      Editing a comment
      During the burn in, with no water/drip pan and no cold meat, the grate level and dial thermometers were spot on the entire time. So I know the dial thermometer is very accurate.

      Today... I just ran out to check. The grate probe is 240F, the dial thermometer is reading about 280F - so in that expected 40-50 higher than grate level.

      I suspect over time, and as the Kamado gets soaked with heat, that the two readings will approach each other.

    Jim, a couple of things on the DNG, line it with some alum. foil for easier clean up, also create an air space between the DNG and the diffuser. I use 3 canning jar lids.


    • jfmorris
      jfmorris commented
      Editing a comment
      The handles on the drip n griddle pan are just below the cooking grate. I have some big thick galvanized washers out in the garage. I will grate a half dozen of those, and stack them in a few places, to lift the pan up off the stone. Off to open everything up briefly!

    • RonB
      RonB commented
      Editing a comment
      jfmorris - please don't use galvanized anything in your grill. The fumes are very toxic. I have no idea what those fumes will do to any meat it comes in contact with.

      Great thread BTW.

    • jfmorris
      jfmorris commented
      Editing a comment
      RonB I used 3 stainless steel nuts.

    Nice write-up. Sorry about the Smoke.


    • jfmorris
      jfmorris commented
      Editing a comment
      Well, thankfully it is only cosmetic. Would be worse if I had killed it totally.

    - Way to grab the bull by the horns on the first cook!!!
    - I used the canning rings for years. Then when I ordered stuff from the ceramic grill store for my Primo I noticed they had various size and thickness ceramic spacers and added those to my order. Use them in my BGE's and Primo.
    - Ouch on the face of the Smoke. I know thermoworks repairs there thermapens maybe they can reface the smoke.


    • jfmorris
      jfmorris commented
      Editing a comment
      Haha I would be hesitant to ask them to replace the face of the Smoke, but may call and see what they would charge. I put it on my stupidity, setting a hot grate overlapping it. I just didn't notice it in my flurry of looking for places to set stuff...

    • jfmorris
      jfmorris commented
      Editing a comment
      I will look for those ceramic spacers in the future. Right now the nuts are doing the job.

    jfmorris Excellent thread Jim, thank you for posting.


      I'll be waiting with a fork for updates.

      So exciting!


        Love the "going all in" and cooking pork butt and ribs for the first cook! Even though I don't have a kamado of any sort, let alone the SnSK, I'm following along cause this is fun. Plus, if I ever am the grand prize winner, I'm going to need your threads on this to learn from :-)
        Last edited by ecowper; January 22, 2021, 01:37 PM.


        • Huskee
          Huskee commented
          Editing a comment
          Lol, I have an SnSK and I am using this to learn!

        Cool. Great post of a great cooker.


          This is fun, thanks for having us along! Love the battle scar on the Smoke. Chicks dig scars.


          • jfmorris
            jfmorris commented
            Editing a comment
            Haha. Not sure they like scarred electronics though!

          Great write up. Making it tough for me to choose when I win next month


          • ecowper
            ecowper commented
            Editing a comment
            You mean when you win in March, since I'm going to be the winner next month.

          • Alabama Smoke
            Alabama Smoke commented
            Editing a comment
            Now I told you once already klflowers that you can win in March. February is set aside for me!

            Looks like I am [email protected] beat me to the draw!
            Last edited by Alabama Smoke; January 22, 2021, 05:18 PM.

          Great write up. Super happy for u!


            nice post, You Done Good.


              Great post! Enjoying this and will need the info when I win in Feb!


              • ecowper
                ecowper commented
                Editing a comment
                Just like I told @klfowers, you are going to have to wait your turn because I’m the February winner :-D

              • klflowers
                klflowers commented
                Editing a comment
                Alabama Smoke ecowper both you guys got it wrong. I'll make sure I post some nice pics of my prize next month...

              jfmorris waitin on those pictures. SnS has their SAVE10 deal today if you want to grab the kick ash bundle 10% off . I did


              • jfmorris
                jfmorris commented
                Editing a comment
                Good to know about the discount. I'll have to pass for a while though - medical bills are coming in again right now. That wire basket is pretty pricey!

                I put new pictures up top.

              • jhapka
                jhapka commented
                Editing a comment
                jfmorris not to worry. The 10 off discount has come up 2 or 3 times at least since I got my kamado in October. Most promos are product specific but it will come up again. The ash has been a pain so I’m glad to have mine on the way.


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