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Old 04-09-2007, 09:16 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AllenOK
Do you have a Lowe's anywhere near you? Two years ago, I bought a "Char-Griller Professional" grill for $119.00 + tax. It has an optional side-mounted firebox for $54. I don't have the firebox, yet, so I use the off-set smoking method. I build a small fire on the right side, near the air inlet. I take the grates off that side. The meat goes on the grates on the left side, with a drip pan underneath it.

The grates are cast iron. The fire pan is adjustable relative to the grates, for better heat control. There is a thermometer built-in on the lid. Spare parts are available from the manufactorer, if you want.
AYE! For the Char Griller! I bought the side fire box. You can have meats smoking on the main surface and burgers/dogs on the fire box. Excellent grill IMHO.
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Old 04-09-2007, 04:09 PM   #12
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I'm a total nut job - I went ahead and bought the BGE ! I'll post what I think of it once I receive it and such....
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Old 04-30-2007, 10:07 AM   #13
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All I can say is WOW, that thing works really well.

We received the BGE about a week ago and so far have made a spachcocked chicken, a pre-marinaded tenderloin, a grilled salmon and some smoked ribs.

The results have been fantastic! I'm not a chicken fan so we tried that first - I figured if it can make a good chicken, it all should be good. The chicken came out very evenly browned and about as juicy as one could expect without a brine. I'd say even that a brine is not necessary. I rubbed with salt and pepper and a little bit of sugar based rib rub, not too much though because cooking temp was 350 I think.

The egg maintained temperature very easily in spite of my lack of experience. My wife thought that it could be the best chicken she's ever tried.

The pork loin only came out ok because my instant read thermometer is only instant if you're considering galactic time scales: I yanked the loin when it read 135 because I just couldn't bear to leave it on the grill any longer. When I cut, it was obvious that something's wrong with my thermometer because it looked closer to 160. The loin was overcooked but still edible - my fault, not the eggs.

The salmon was awesome! I grilled it at around 500 degrees on the first side for about 4min, then 650 on the second with some soaked chips thrown on the coals. I pulled it a little bit too late (should have pulled it about 30 to 45s sooner) but this was definitely the best grilled salmon I've ever had. The browning on the salmon was so even - something I could never achieve on my little webber.

I took a sample to a buddies house to try and he was completely shocked that the fish only cooked for 10min could have such a smokey flavor. As I mentioned, I thought it was a smidge over cooked but my wife and buddy dissagreed as it was very tender and moist.

BTW, all three of those cooks were done on a single load of charcoal.

Ribs - the ribs also came out pretty **** well but were not my best, my fault though. This is only the second time I've bbq'd ribs so there's still some learning curve going on. I did half brined and half dry rubbed to experiment.

Temp control again was a breeze. I did over shoot initially because I still don't know what the vent settings should be for 250~275 but once I got it (about 1:30 into the cook) it held it for the duration. I used the "plate setter" accessory to provide indirect heat.

Summary - If you can afford it, the BGE is an awesome BBQ useful for both smoking and direct grilling. The ceramic construction must have something to do with the evenness of the cooking I found - Uneven browning and done-ness is always something I've had difficulties with on both gas and metal smokers/grills. With the electric charcoal starter it's only slightly less convenient to use than a gas grill.

I cannot wait to do an over night pork butt with this thing!
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Old 05-10-2007, 05:01 PM   #14
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I'm going to do an overnight BBQ of a couple pork butts on Saturday, for mother's day you know. Wish me luck. Perhaps I'll take a couple pics.
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Old 05-13-2007, 09:04 AM   #15
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Pork Butt

So, did the over night smoke thing last night and must say things went pretty darn well.

Ended up doing two eight pound butts.

Set up the charcoal, fired her up and gave it about an hour to get up to temp and stabilize at 250. I then put in the butts and checked back every 30min to check on temp. Went to bed at around midnight and temp was holding at 250 but I was a bit concerned because the vent openings looked a bit on the "big" side to me even though I don't have too much experience with the egg yet.

Anyhow, I woke up at about 7am and the egg was still going. Temp had crept up to about 325 ~ 350 over night and the butt was at 201o - Done a few hours early but no biggie.

Overall, it tastes great and was just about a set it and forget it type of thing. Never got such a pretty smoke ring on my ECB (not that it really matters, but it feels kinda nice) Other notes:

Usually when I do butts I buy the day before and brine over night. So I bought the day before and then realized that I didn't have overnight to brine so I went ahead and just dry rubbed - This butt is pretty good but I definitely prefer a brined but.

These buts had the bone removed - I should have tied them so that section of the butt didn't fall apart while cooking - some of the thinner parts are a bit over cooked.

It's tough to come to grips at how small a vent opening you need to hold such a low temp, about 1/8" on the lower vent and almost nothing on top.
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Old 05-13-2007, 10:13 AM   #16
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beerco, sounds like a success!

You really don't have to brine the butts. The internal fat, and there's plenty, will melt and baste it as it cooks. What I do is apply the rub, wrap it in plastic and toss it in the fridge for a couple of days.

What kind of wood did you use for smoke?
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Old 05-13-2007, 10:47 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Andy M.
What kind of wood did you use for smoke?
I used Mesquite because that's what I had laying around but actually prefer hickory. I'm not sure if it really makes that big a difference but the hickory seems to produce more smoke which makes me feel better about the whole thing

I have a bunch of ash from a tree I had to take down (thanks emerald ash borer) and will someday get around to splitting it into chunks for smoking.
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Old 05-13-2007, 10:53 AM   #18
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For how much of the cooking time did you have smoke from the mesquite?
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Old 05-13-2007, 11:00 AM   #19
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I should have taken a pic of the charcoal setup too. What I did was take chunks and spread them through the charcoal so that as the fire spread, it would find fresh wood to burn. There was a heavy smoke for maybe an hour after I put the chunks in and a light smoke pretty continuously there after. When I went to the egg this morning there was a nice light stream of smoke coming out the top.

I briefly looked into the firebox and there was still a lot of un-burned charcoal and chunks left.
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Old 05-13-2007, 11:48 AM   #20
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Beerco...

I have never cooked the illusive "perfect pork butt". I really don't want too!!
As the journey to reach that pinacle of perfection is where the fun lies.
From the pictures it seems you may have pulled one of my old tricks and "oversmoked" them as they look very black. You may find this outside black layer somewhat bitter, maybe not. A nice golden color is what I shoot for which will require a whole lot less smoke. No matter I wish I had one of them right now!! Thanks for sharing your process and you pictures!! Good job!
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