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First stick burn on the M1

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    First stick burn on the M1

    Well, it took me a bit to get around to writing this one.

    ​​​​​Last Sunday I did my first stick burn on the M1. I decided something simple and forgiving (and cheap!) Would be the best bet, so I went with a whole chicken. I unfortunately didn't get many pictures. In fact, no pics of the finished product and only 2 pics worthy of showing lol.

    I spatchcocked it and seasoned both sides with a seasoning I made that is mostly just salt, pepper, and garlic.

    I took this time to do a little reseasoning on some parts that maybe weren't hit as well when I first seasoned or were missed. I also sprayed some oil on the underside of the grill after reading that it was unfinished.

    For fire set up I reused some charcoal left over from grilling and added a little more. After a good bit of coals were going I added a split of oak (from one of my own trees even!) and let the smoker get up to temp. Well my split was about 12" long and maybe 3in thick and that proved to be too big. Temps over shot by a lot and I had to let that log burn down to get the temp where I wanted (around 250). I had some 6in splits of hickory I planned on using during the cook and they were much better of a size. The M1 is amazingly efficient and doesn't require much wood to keep it hot. I added another 6in of cherry probably every 30 mins or so, but also a small piece of hickory I had. The smell was phenomenal!

    One issue I started to run into was that it is so efficient it only takes a small coal bed to keep temp, but those coals tend to fall through the fire basket. Even though it sits about 1.5in or so above the bottom of the firebox it wasn't close enough to the coals falling through to make sure new splits reliably started so some took a little bit and smoldered more than I would have liked. I think next stick burn I will just take the basket out and build the fire in the ash pan or on the bottom of the firebox so the new splits can sit right on the coals.

    ​​​​​​​I found it pretty easy to maintain the temp between 220 and 250 once I realized I didn't need much wood at all. I cooked the chicken at that temp for maybe 1.5 - 2hrs, checked the internal temp in the breasts and it was around 145. At that point I added some extra wood and got the temp up to about 325 - 350 and cooked it another 30 -45 mins (can't remember exactly) to crisp the skin and finish cooking it until the internal was about 165 - 170. At this point I pulled it off and it slid off the pan onto my deck 😂. Not one to waste, especially after working hard on something, I dusted it off and rolled with it. My wife (who doesn't eat meat other than fish) had quite the laugh.

    ​​​​​​​Skin was crispy and the meat juuuiiiiicccyy! I have never made chicken that was that juicy. I don't think I even knew it was possible for chicken to be so juicy. I can't wait to try a turkey and see what I can do with it.
    Attached Files

    #2
    Fantastic write up. I think you may like that ash basket over time. My builder (different BBQ) gave me a sturdier charcoal grate that had large gaps. I hated it at first for the reasons you stated. I adapted by adding my wood before the charcoal was fully lit. I really appreciate the added air flow.

    Comment


      #3
      Sounds tasty. I have found the long burn charcoal "hex style" logs have made less work of fire tending as they tend to burn consistently and longer. It has also cut down on the problem you stated of the briquettes falling through. After reading of your experience, I now find myself hungry. I probably wouldn't mind the brief rest on the patio either. God made dirt and dirt don't hurt. (Or something like that.) Lol.

      Comment


        #4
        Now that you have first hand experience with split size you too will be able to pass that on when someone else asks. Glad the chicken turned out beyond expectations.

        Comment


          #5
          I have the M36, which has the same firebox size as the M1. I’ve been stick burning for the last 10 months or so. I have gravitated to using larger splits and using 2 at a time. I haven’t had any issues with the charcoal bed in the basket. I have kept the temps in the range I want by adjusting the firebox slats and the damper and which keeps the convection under control. By using larger splits, I get a good coal bed. I’ve used a combo of thinner and thicker splits side by side, which keeps the flames in check and lengthens the time before having to add another split - the temps run more consistent as well.

          Comment


          • drsefu
            drsefu commented
            Editing a comment
            I did end up relying more on the vents for temp control. Using the vents I was able to stabilize the temp in the low range, but I did still have to use smaller wood pieces. I certainly have larger pieces so I will experiment with your way as well. Thanks for the input!

          #6
          Wish I would have taken some Q-View pics but had a rather successful cook this weekend for my sons grad party. Loaded 4 10 lb butts on my Timberline and 3 11 lb butts on the M1. Was off to the races with the Timberline kicking off at 11pm and the M1 loaded up at 1am. I expected the M1 to run a little hotter. I placed some hex logs in the basket with a few lbs of Jealous Devil XL briquettes and spaced 4 qtr splits of Wild Black Cherry wood and 2 qtr splits of white Oak. Closed the door on the M1 Firebox and hooked up the Thermoworks Signal and Billows fan to the hole in the firebox door. I set the pit temp at 235 and went to bed . I had set an alarm on my phone to get up at 5am to do a pit check (assuming none of the temperature alarms went off while sleeping). Woke up at 5, checked both cookers and they were humming perfectly. I threw 3 more qtr splits and 2 more handfuls of briquettes in the M1 and went back to bed. By 9:30 I had wrapped all 7 and back on they went for the homestretch. I threw a few more hex logs in the M1 and went to Costco. Before I left Costco, both pits were within 5 to 10 degrees of my check target of 195. I remotely turned the temps down to 195 on both pits and headed home. I was home by noon and every single butt probed like butter. Into the cooler they all went for a few hour nap. I started pulling at 2pm and the rest is history. Among the many comments I overheard, 3 vegetarians ended up eating some. I took it as a compliment when I heard they hadn't eaten meat in a few years but couldn't resist the pulled pork. Mission accomplished....
          Last edited by MichTexan; June 21, 2022, 05:22 AM.

          Comment


          • drsefu
            drsefu commented
            Editing a comment
            That's awesome! These things are super efficient. I was out of town for a bit and haven't had a chance to do another run on the M1 but hoping to this weekend.

          #7
          Well good luck on the next cook and give those hex logs a try some time. I was extremely impressed with the temperature stability and long burn time. It almost felt like I was cheating. I seem to remember reading about a fellow member producing and selling his own hex logs. I will have to give his a try next time. The meat had a great flavor, great bark and great smoke ring and best of all, I got some sleep.😴💤

          Comment


          • drsefu
            drsefu commented
            Editing a comment
            What brand of hex logs did you use? Also it is kinda ironic; I forgot to mention in my other comment where you said you were using wild black cherry wood as a couple weeks ago my friend dropped off a big branch of wild black cherry that broke off during a storm. I was wondering if anyone used it.

          #8
          Nice sounding cook. I use the B&B charcoal competition logs in my M1 quite a lot and they work well.

          Comment

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