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Learning - the embarrassing way

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  • holehogg
    Club Member
    • Nov 2017
    • 1537
    • Port Elizabeth, South Africa

    Learning - the embarrassing way

    Having read another post asking about multi-rack cooking leads me to share my experience this week, that was unfortunately somewhat embarrassing and a not so desirable experience for the some of the eaters I feed every day. Smoked 40 chicken ¼’s using 3 of my cookers racks (I can fit 10 racks stacked). The oven temp averaged around 320F and monitored in the centre of the cooking chamber that in this cook was just below the bottom most rack. In hindsight I did not take into account and made the following schoolboy errors that I should not have.
    1= The food had to be served at 1pm. I started the cook at 11am trusting I had more than enough time given when I cook spatchcock birds on multiple racks the birds are done within 80 minutes.
    2= I packed the ¼’s to close to each other on the 3 racks.
    3= I am aware of a fairly big temperature swing from bottom of cook chamber to the top and didn’t even consider taking this into account as the racks were all just above the centre part of the cooker and one on top of each other.
    4= 20 minutes before serving time I did a temp test on the top rack of pieces as they were easy to get to and the IT was @ around 155F. I was happy that I had enough time to finish the cook. I DID NOT check any of the pieces on the lower racks.
    5= Dishing time the pieces on the top rack were around 160 - 165.
    6= Served the food without checking any of the 2 lower rack pieces IT.

    Well there were a whole lot of not properly cooked pieces served. Those that returned with their undercooked pieces (some didn’t) I deep fried until done. Like I said it was heart-breaking.
    Important lessons learnt that will prevent same happening again.
    1= The top rack will always be hotter than those below and rotating them is needed.
    2= The moisture that seeps to the pieces below cools the meat and will need more time to cook.
    3= Always check doneness of product on all racks.
    If I’ve missed anything else that I need to take into consideration please tell.
    PS. I have very forgiving customers - they didn’t shoot me.

  • RonB
    Club Member
    • Apr 2016
    • 10675
    • Near Richmond VA
    • Weber Performer Deluxe
      SNS
      Pizza insert
      Rotisserie
      Smokenator 1000
      Cookshack Smokette Elite
      2 Thermapens
      Chefalarm
      Dot
      lots of probes.
      CyberQ

    #2
    The more embarrassing the mistake, the less chance there is of you forgetting it.

    Comment


    • EdF
      EdF commented
      Editing a comment
      Damhikt!

    • holehogg
      holehogg commented
      Editing a comment
      yip
  • Troutman
    Club Member
    • Aug 2017
    • 6266
    • Republic of Texallence

    • OUTDOOR COOKERS
      22" Weber Kettle - Red Premium Limited Edition
      6 Burner Weber Summit Gasser
      22" and 18" Weber WSM Smoker
      18” Jumbo Joe
      36" double door Lyfe Tyme offset stick burner (SOLD !)
      Pitts & Spitts Pellet Pro 2436
      BBQ ACCESSORIES
      Classic Thermopen
      Thermoworks SMOKE
      Fireboard Pro with Pit Viper fan
      Grill Grates
      SNS for the 22" Weber kettle
      A-MAZE-N Smoker 12" Tube & Tray
      Weber stainless veggie basket
      Weber stainless fish basket
      Weber stainless rib rack
      Phat Mat cooking mats
      Barbestar BBQ Cooking Gloves
      WOOD & PELLET PREFERENCES
      For Beef (brisket, beef ribs, large clods/roasts) = 100% mesquite, oak or hickory
      For Chicken & other fowl = competition blend, cherry/oak/hickory
      For Turkey = 100% hickory or competition blend
      For Pork Shoulder = mesquite, oak or hickory
      For Pork Chops or Ribs = 100% applewood
      SOUS VIDE
      Anova Immersion Circulator 900 watt & 12 & 18 quart Rubbermaid containers with hinged sous vide lids
      INDOOR COOKWARE
      Generic Calphalon non-stick cookware set of pots and pans
      12" & 14" All-Clad Stainless skillets
      Cast Iron 12" skillet by Victoria
      La Creuset Cast Iron 7 quart Dutch Oven - Yellow Round
      La Creuset Cast Iron 7 quart Dutch Oven - Cherry Oval
      Old Revere Wear Copper & Stainless Pots (handed down)

      JA Henckels 15 piece Stainless Knife Set
      Victorinox 12" Fibrox Pro Slicing Knive
      Victorinox 6" Curved Boning Knife
      Set of Dalstrong Japanese Steak Knives

    #3
    Yup to what you should have done. Multiple probes at various points top to bottom.

    Comment

    • Bumby
      Club Member
      • Oct 2017
      • 248
      • NYC

      #4
      Mistakes -- we all make them and we've all made them. Thanks for sharing. One of these days, I'll write up my biggest mistake for the Pit's enjoyment (in fact that's probably a good thread to start if it hasn't been yet...)

      Comment

      • Thunder77
        Founding Member
        • Jul 2014
        • 2488
        • Halethorpe, MD
        • Weber 22.5" Kettle with SnS Brinkmann 5 burner gasser. Akorn Kamado, and Akorn Jr kamado. Love grilling steaks, ribs, and chicken. Need to master smoked salmon Favorite cool weather beer: Sam Adams Octoberfest Favorite warm weather beer: Yuengling Traditional Lager All-time favorite drink: Single Malt Scotch

        #5
        Ouch! So sorry about your misfortune. I bet you learned some valuable lessons though. I have been there and done that!

        Comment

        • jecucolo
          Club Member
          • Nov 2015
          • 1178
          • Schertz Texas
          • Pit Barrel Cooker
            Slow 'n Sear for 22" Kettle
            Weber 22" Kettle (Craiglist)
            Slow 'n Sear for 22" Kettle
            Weber Rapid Fire Chimney
            Maverick ET-732
            Kingsford Original Charcoal
            Kingsford Competition Charcoal
            Anova Sous Vide

          #6
          Sucks! Sometimes the adrenaline gets the best of us! Cheer up Amigo! Tomorrow is another cook...

          Comment

          • JGo37
            Club Member
            • Apr 2018
            • 1307
            • the LOU
            • Cookers:

              22" Blackstone Griddle, with stand & hood
              CharGriller Portable Firebox - so modified you'll BLOL
              Kitchenaid #810 Charcoal Grill - highly modified
              Weber BI-code Black Performer w/Igniter
              Weber DE-code Red Limited - 'Lucille'

              Accessories:

              Ancient heavy CI Propane Turkey Fryer, for lighting chimneys
              BBQ Dragon kettle shelves - 2
              Fyre Dragon Kettle Drippin' Ring, Burnin' Cone & Drippin' Pan - 2 sets
              Fyre Dragon Kettle Ribbin' Ring
              Fyre Dragon Kettle 2-Zone Smokin' Sheet
              OneGrill Rotisserie for the Kitchenaid
              Smokenator
              Smoking Tubes: 2x12" & 1x6"
              SnS
              Weber Gourmet Grill w/Griddle, Pizza Stone & Wok

              My Helpers:

              Anova 900W Sous Vide Cooker w/Radios
              Instant Pot 6Q Duo
              Nesco Tabletop Roaster
              & the PIT!

            #7
            There ain't no other way to learn. Only Yogi Berra can learn by having someone else teach him their experience. The rest of us are not so fortunate.

            And keep the people that are upset away from the ones that are undecided...

            Comment

            • Nuke em
              Club Member
              • Jun 2016
              • 735
              • Nj

              #8
              As gi joe once said...and learning is half the battle. Good notes for everyone. Thank ya for manning up and reminding all of us.

              Comment

              • Skip
                Founding Member
                • Jul 2014
                • 2367
                • Blue Earth, Minnesota
                • Memphis Pellet Grill, Large BGE, Weber Kettle with SnS, Weber Gasser, Pit Barrel Cooker, Cast Iron Pans & Griddle, Grill Grates

                #9
                For today I'm only going to tell of you that I was holding a VERY BLACK CHICKEN when my neighbor came around the corner of my garage several years ago. Long before joining AR Website. Details will not be following later. Enough said!

                Comment


                • EdF
                  EdF commented
                  Editing a comment
                  None needed. I think a lot of us can get that one by memory rather than imagination!

                • DoubleUpOrQuit
                  DoubleUpOrQuit commented
                  Editing a comment
                  The first time I used my rotisserie on my gas grill I forgot a drip pan. I also had a VBC.
              • tbob4
                Charter Member
                • Nov 2014
                • 1919
                • Chico, CA
                • BBQ's
                  _____________________
                  California Custom Smokers Intensive Cooking Unit
                  California Custom Smokers Meat Locker
                  Santa Maria Grill
                  Vision Grill

                  Beer
                  _______________________
                  Sierra Nevada IPA

                  Wood
                  _______________________
                  Almond
                  Oak
                  Madrone
                  Cherry
                  Peach
                  Apple

                #10
                That's a great story and something I'm sure we have all done in one manner or another. I have a rack system in my BBQ and while the racks are very close in temp, top to bottom, I have found that large volumes of food definitely change the timing of the food. I also find that the food on the bottom rack requires more frequent turning and mopping. There are times I mop nothing on the top racks. It sounds counterintuitive because I would assume that the juices dripping down would work as a mop of their own. Instead, the moisture from the meat on the bottom works almost like a water pan for the meat above it.

                Comment

                • FireMan
                  Charter Member
                  • Jul 2015
                  • 6575
                  • Bottom of Winnebago

                  #11
                  I bet your glad no one got sick. Ya really dodged one there. Keep workin hard!

                  Comment

                  • DoubleUpOrQuit
                    Club Member
                    • Dec 2017
                    • 326
                    • Minneapolis, MN
                    • Old Country offset smoker, 22” Weber Kettle, 4 burner gas. Oak logs, Royal Oak Lump, Kingsford Briqs, Gas.

                    #12
                    Sorry for your embarrassment. Thanks for sharing your story, it's a great reminder.

                    Comment

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