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First cook ruined, guess I need help.

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    First cook ruined, guess I need help.

    So, did a burn in last Saturday and got up early today to do my first cook on the new offset. In the second stall now and opened the pit to check the water pan and noticed I’ve wasted $30 of hickory on a butt that’s going straight to the garbage as it’s covered in soot. I’ve stayed on top of the fire all day keeping it for the most part between 200-300 degrees and pretty clean smoke whenever I look. Get a little white each time I add a log, but it’s usually thin again in a few minutes. What am I doing wrong? Luckily, it was an $8 pork butt, but I hate to be wasting meat right now.

    Mr. Bones jfmorris Huskee Tagging afew stick burners I remember off top of my head.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by glitchy; March 21, 2020, 03:08 PM.

    #2
    Doesn't look to me like anything's wrong. I say don't count it out until you finish it properly, shred it and taste it.

    Comment


      #3
      Looks like good bark. Welcome to stickburners. You're fine.

      Comment


        #4
        How have you tried to control the temp. Exhaust, intake, both?

        Also how big is your fire? Small hot fire tends to work better than a big one. Also keeping the ash cleaned out if you are having fire management problems will help. I have something similar and have to scrap the ash a couple times on longer cooks.

        Comment


        • glitchy
          glitchy commented
          Editing a comment
          I’m only controlling by feed rate. I’m throwing small pieces on every 20-30 mins. Stack wide open, side door wide open. So trying to keep that small hot fire and trying to knock ash through or to sides every hour or two.

        #5
        I think your butt looks good...

        Comment


        • surfdog
          surfdog commented
          Editing a comment
          Hey now... LOL

        #6
        Haveta agree with th others; looks like a normal stickburner pork butt to me, brother!

        In fact, I'd haveta compliment ya on gittin such good bark, first time out.

        Comment


          #7
          I'd eat it, but next cut the amount of hickory in half. And do not put any in there after two hours. IMO

          Comment


          • Dewesq55
            Dewesq55 commented
            Editing a comment
            Yeah. Can't stop adding wood to a stick burner.

          • randy56
            randy56 commented
            Editing a comment
            Ahh ha, sorry did not realize all wood. Thought charcoal was base.

          • glitchy
            glitchy commented
            Editing a comment
            I did get a charcoal basket in case I decide to try it that way, but would likely just use the WSCG for that and save a ton of charcoal. This purchase is definitely MCS from watching all of BBQ w/Franklin thinking I need to learn to sling logs. I'm figuring it will help me up my game to be able to cook about anything anywhere. Would the end result be much different between charcoal on an offset versus the WSCG? I suppose it might be a little cleaner smoke on the offset, but use a lot more fuel?

          #8
          It's gone bad...ill give you my address, bring it to me, I'll dispose of it for you.

          Comment


          • Mr. Bones
            Mr. Bones commented
            Editing a comment
            Lol, very brave an noble of ya, Brother! I was considerin makin a similar offer, as th pic was causin some droolin issues...

          #9
          It looks like everyone I’ve cooked. Pull it and taste it before disposing.

          Comment


            #10
            Looks ok. Next time run it 300F the whole time and drink more liquid refreshments to calm your nerves. If your still having problems I will come over and drink them for you.

            Comment


            • Mr. Bones
              Mr. Bones commented
              Editing a comment
              I'm in, givin til at least it hurts, mebbe more, after a brief pause

            • Troutman
              Troutman commented
              Editing a comment
              Liquid refreshment always puts things in proper perspective. How was your Texas trip?

            • Ahumadora
              Ahumadora commented
              Editing a comment
              Troutman. Was a flying trip that got cut short so we could get back home. As it was we were on the last flight from Mexico to Argentina before they closed the border.
              Last edited by Ahumadora; March 22, 2020, 06:42 AM.

            #11
            It was definitely smoky and barky. I might need to try some fruitwood with pork. I could definitely see smoking something here for 4-6, then finishing in oven and having plenty of smoke. I’m fresh out of wood now though, ended up plowing through almost $40 worth of Lowe’s hickory.
            Attached Files

            Comment


            • Mr. Bones
              Mr. Bones commented
              Editing a comment
              Find ya a firewood seller, or summat on CL, etc. Goin rate fer Hickory round these parts is ~$150-$200 a cord...Seasoned, an split. Lil more fer delivered/stacked.

            • glitchy
              glitchy commented
              Editing a comment
              I definitely need to find something on CL or FB. It’s just what I found quickly for a first cook. I have some pecan and cherry coming at half that price, but found a couple places on FB I need to call and should be quite a bit cheaper yet.

            • texastweeter
              texastweeter commented
              Editing a comment
              Also, that department store stuff is usually kiln dried, burns super fast.

            #12
            Butt looks good, but unless you find a real wood source you need to stick to charcoal and wood chunks. That’s one expensive pork butt! I use oak and a little hickory or apple wood. Straight hickory could be real strong.

            Comment


            • texastweeter
              texastweeter commented
              Editing a comment
              If you wrap once you get bark and the color you want, you can cut the smoke profile back.

            • jfmorris
              jfmorris commented
              Editing a comment
              texastweeter if he is buying wood in bags from Home Depot, he probably should move to charcoal or the oven inside once he wraps in foil. Good point though - wrapping is a good way to stop taking smoke.

            • glitchy
              glitchy commented
              Editing a comment
              Yeah, first stick burner cook ever so lots to learn for sure. I have been watching Aaron Franklin's series and noticed he pretty much wraps most things in butcher paper or foil for things like ribs. I could easily move to oven or even pellet grill at that point and save a lot of fuel, but get the good stick burner smoke early. Part of it is just wanting to occasionally tend to a fire too. I don't see doing many more butts or any briskets start to finish on the offset though, it's a lot of work.
              Last edited by glitchy; March 22, 2020, 11:36 AM.

            #13
            I had ordered a baffle/deflector plate too, but they were out of them. I would generally cook more than a single butt when I fired it up and put in that much effort tending a fire, but didn't want to risk it until I know the pit better and as well as get the temps evened out a bit. There was a 30-60 degree or more discrepancy left to right all day. I'm thinking on top of the evening of temps, a baffle plate might also knock down quite a bit of what I perceive as sootiness, but still leave stronger smoke than I get from a pellet grill and maybe even the WSCG. They are supposed to let me know when they have more baffles in stock. For $10-15 more, I want the stainless instead of raw steel. Not that either would not last longer than a box store offset, but figuring if I learn to love this thing, I can replace it every few years and keep the baffle.
            Last edited by glitchy; March 22, 2020, 11:37 AM.

            Comment


            • jfmorris
              jfmorris commented
              Editing a comment
              I was seeing a left to right gradient of 50F on my custom offset, and constructed a "baffle" of two 9x13 foil pans, tilted and leaning against the opening into the firebox. It blocked the direct heat entering from going straight up, and deflected it to the corners at that end of the smoker, giving me more useful cooking space, and it cut the different from left to right down to 20F. I have to replace the pans as they burn through eventually, but it was cheap and easy.

            #14
            glitchy I don't know if this helps, but here goes a couple of ideas. I've got a Chargriller, similar to the OKJ, though I think the metal is a bit thicker on yours and your smoke stack, imho, is in a better place, so ymmv. I tried using a water pan like you had setup, tried it below the grate near the firebox, and tried adjusting the bottom grate. Used a lot more wood chunks and mini's and finally gave up on the water pan. Then I switched to cowboy lump charcoal to get things started, then mostly using chunks while splitting the minis by hand and that's been my most consistent burn. Using less wood/charcoal and for the most part getting a bit better at the fire management. Tried a different technique today, and for the first time ran out of hot coals (that was fun), but, eventually recovered. I don't have the door clamps or seals, but still use a lot less wood. Sorry for being long winded here. Short answer, dicth the water pan, go for a combination of charcoal, chunks, and split minis, and it might work out better. I'll defer to others who have more experience, but that's what's worked for me.
            Forgot to add, I don't know if you're using a thermometer, but that's made a huge difference for me as well. I'm using the Smoke, with the grate probe in the middle of the smoker.
            Last edited by DesertRaider; March 22, 2020, 10:50 PM.

            Comment


              #15
              That’s a nice looking butt! Personally, I want my pork shoulders to come out looking like a meteorite. With that goal, I rarely wrap butts until I rest them. Always keep that water pan full. And as many others have said, find a good local source for wood. Buying at the big box hardware store is way over priced for not good quality wood.

              I use oak on just about everything I smoke (my local guy always has a huge pile of oak); small amounts of hickory is nice, but too strong for my preference.

              Comment

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