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Dumb Technique Question

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    Dumb Technique Question

    I stole the idea of placing my meat on top of a 1/2 foil pan with a baking rack on top ostensibly to help with 1) keeping the grill racks clean and 2) keeping the heat shield (pellet grill) clean. At my age, I don't need to prove anything by using all the old school methods and spend a lot of time cleaning up after a smoke. Ergo, that slight technique mod fit nicely into my lifetsyle.

    I distinctly remember smoking a rack of ribs before this technique mod and it took about 6 hours at a temp setting of 225F. Yesterday, with the mod, I smoked another rack of ribs at the same 225F temp setting and after 8 hours I began to scratch my head. They just weren't fall-off-the-bone tender as the last time after only six hours. I began to ponder and concluded that the raised platform must be the reason for longer cooking time. (A 6:00 pm dinner time became a 9:00 pm dinner time, not that we mind eating late. It gives the cicadas and other noise makers time to quieten down and there are no flies around.)

    Am I right about this? If so, how much do you compensate with the temp setting on a pellet grill to achieve the same outcome for about the same duration? Or, should I just buy more beer and accept the inevitable?

    On another note, who else among us has tried both the Meat Church Honey Hog Hot rub AND the S. Raichlen pork rub recipe in his How to Grill book? I found that they were very similar in taste and spiciness (heat). I wouldn't walk across the street for the difference, just curious if others have done a similar comparison.

    #2
    I would doubt your pan method had a big part in your cook time but it may have inhibited the heat a little from enveloping your ribs. Each rack is different, one is fattier, one is thicker, larger etc. Do you monitor the ambient inside the cooker with something else other than what the controller tells you? I know my Rec Tec 680 can bounce inside temps somewhat.

    I always start ribs at 200 for an hour to get good smoke before upping the temp to 250 for the balance of the cook. Sometimes I wrap and spritz, sometimes I don't it just depends how the ribs are cooking/looking.

    I do run a Traeger pan liner on my drip pan with a disposable cookie sheet on the pan liner directly beneath what I am cooking. In the seven years I have had the RT the grease bucket has never seen grease. Click image for larger version

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      #3
      Buy more beer. Oh, and start your cook earlier?

      But seriously, I think the variance in the cook time is more related to the meat than the added pan. I run a pellet grill without any added pan and I get big cook time swings routinely. But hey, who knows really?

      Anyway, smoke on!

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by WayneT View Post
        "how much do you compensate with the temp setting on a pellet grill to achieve the same outcome for about the same duration? Or, should I just buy more beer and accept the inevitable?"
        Compensate? None, nada, zero, zilch, nil. Just cook to temp/doneness like always.

        More beer? Yes, please ...

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Redwng View Post
          I would doubt your pan method had a big part in your cook time but it may have inhibited the heat a little from enveloping your ribs. Each rack is different, one is fattier, one is thicker, larger etc. Do you monitor the ambient inside the cooker with something else other than what the controller tells you? I know my Rec Tec 680 can bounce inside temps somewhat.

          I always start ribs at 200 for an hour to get good smoke before upping the temp to 250 for the balance of the cook. Sometimes I wrap and spritz, sometimes I don't it just depends how the ribs are cooking/looking.

          I do run a Traeger pan liner on my drip pan with a disposable cookie sheet on the pan liner directly beneath what I am cooking. In the seven years I have had the RT the grease bucket has never seen grease. Click image for larger version

Name:	RecTec 680 w-cookie sheet.jpg
Views:	114
Size:	75.4 KB
ID:	1080726
          Thanks for the wisdom. I do not monitor the ambient when I smoke ribs but I'm going to start now. I may monitor at both the grate level and the food level (atop the baking rack on the 1/2 foil pan) just to get a sense of how they are different during a smoke.

          I like your smoke/cook temp suggestion. I started mine at 225F and only cranked it to 250F about 45 mins from the end.

          Comment


            #6
            If there’s room on your upper rack, cook on it with the pan on the main rack. You’ll get better airflow around the food and still contain the mess. I wouldn’t worry about the ambient on the main grate, where you are cooking is all that matters, so if you want two probes place on two sides of meat on upper rack.

            My MAK has almost a square grate system, so I rarely cook on the main grate and use drip pans a lot. I see a lot of other MAK users do this too. I did this on the SmokeFire and Woodwind as well when I wasn’t cooking more food than could fit on the upper rack.
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            • Oak Smoke
              Oak Smoke commented
              Editing a comment
              My word, those are beautiful!

            #7
            Yeah, you have to be real careful proceeding with yer cookin at yer age. I mean when ya git old, well, ya know what I mean. 🕶

            Comment


              #8
              Originally posted by FireMan View Post
              Yeah, you have to be real careful proceeding with yer cookin at yer age. I mean when ya git old, well, ya know what I mean. 🕶
              I become a septuagenarian next Wednesday so age, not size, matters now. (You gotta smile if you call me that! 🤣)

              Comment


              • Oak Smoke
                Oak Smoke commented
                Editing a comment
                I had to look it up, (not my birthday, what a septuagenarian was) but I become one next Aug. 16. I’m still a sexagenarian for another year. I don’t what rocket scientist came up with that name. He was about as sharp as the wet edge of a graham cracker.
                Last edited by Oak Smoke; August 21, 2021, 03:42 PM.

              • FireMan
                FireMan commented
                Editing a comment
                Welcome, both of ya.

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