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First cook on the M1

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    First cook on the M1

    Kept it super simple for my first cook on the M1. I had some kinda small, thin pork chops in the back of the fridge. Marinated them for about an hour in a garlic-soy-ginger mixture. Meanwhile, got some lump charcoal going in a chimney, dumped that into the lower firebox and added on a small split (6x3) of apple wood from Fruitawood. Click image for larger version

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    So, first off, these splits are very small and the grate temp only got up to about 220.

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    I added a second split, then a third and got it up above 300.

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    This is definitely going to be a learning process as I adjust the fire size, tinker with different size splits and just generally figure out how to get the temp where I want it for a different cooking situations.

    Anyway, once the first split was added, a few minutes later I got a nice thin stream of white smoke coming out the chimney. It doesn't really show up in the pictures I took but if I can get a video uploaded you'll see it better. (Nope, can't upload the video). Click image for larger version

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    Now, these pork chops being pretty thin, they cooked fast so no real smoke flavor imparted to them.

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    'm sure that will be different when I am doing several hours low and slow but that's a project for another day. Got the chops up to about 130-135 then stuck them under the broiler for a few minutes to get a nice sear on the outside. I thought about moving some coals from the lower firebox to the upper charcoal grate and using that to sear the chops but the family was getting hungry and that just seemed like too much effort at the moment. Forgot to take a pic of the finished product cuz hungry.

    Final result: Some tasty pork chops cooked nicely. Easy to get a fire burning and keep it going, really enjoying tinkering with the grill and looking forward to many more experiments. Next up is probably a thick ribeye. Trying to decide if I finish it on the sear burner on my gas grill or try to use the charcoal grate to accomplish that. I'm definitely going to have to invest in a small shovel that I can use to move coals between the charcoal grate and the firebox. Maybe if Travis is reading this he'll consider adding a tool like that to the available accessories.

    #2
    You can also do a two zone fire in the adjustable fire grate without having to use the lower chamber. I do it all of the time. This way you can raise the fire grate to sear stuff. I really only use the lower chamber if doing longer cooks or need the entire cooking grate for smoking.

    When doing two zone fires this way, it doesn't take much lit coals to get a decent temp. I cooked a pork tenderloin awhile back using this method and only got about 12 briquettes lit in the chimney and then put them in a corner next to some unlit and I cooked the tenderloins for two hours at about 250 and had a lot of unlit coals left.
    Last edited by 70monte; June 17, 2021, 11:18 PM.

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    • Tuckmonster
      Tuckmonster commented
      Editing a comment
      Yes, definitely an option but the thing that attracted me to this grill was the stick burning capability. I'm playing with that for my first few cooks. I've been using a Weber kettle with charcoal and chunks for years so I'm comfortable with that method. I'm sure in the future I'll use the upper grate for most quick meals and the lower firebox only for low and slow multi-hour cooks, like ribs, pork shoulders ,briskets, etc. For now I want to experiment with wood splits on some low-risk meals.

    #3
    Didn't want to start a new thread for every cook so I'm posting to this thread. Cooked a 1.5"-thick ribeye. Used 10-12 inch post oak splits from Fruitawood. Forgot to take pictures. Had a little difficulty getting the fire started b/c I tried something different and it didn't work out. Anyway, I needed about 2.5 logs to get the grate temp up around 325 where I wanted it. Seasoned the steak with oil and a basic SPG blend and let it smoke until it hit 115 then gave it about 2 minutes per side on the sear burner on my gasser. Came out really well, solid medium-rare throughout. The oak smoke was very light, noticeable but not overpowering.

    I should also mention that clean-up on the M1 is a breeze. Once everything cools down just shake the firebox to get any remaining ash down into the catch tray, pull the tray out dump it all into my ash bucket. Because you're not cooking directly above the fire, there's no grease or drips to gum up the spent ashes. One minor complaint: To pull the ash tray out completely you need to pull the firebox out and it is heavy. It would be nice if there was a little bit of room below the firebox so you could just pull the ash tray out without moving the firebox itself. Would also make it possible to quickly dump ashes while cooking if you needed to for some reason. As configured, you wouldn't really be able to do that without risking some serious burns. Minor complaint tho, overall still happy with the purchase. Next up: Ribs!
    Last edited by Tuckmonster; June 25, 2021, 10:10 AM.

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