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Old 10-11-2007, 05:04 PM   #21
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Oh, and don’t EVER put lighter fluid on smoldering coals!! Seriously. The stuff vaporizes and is nearly as combustionable as gasoline! I’m not kidding. The vapors (looks like steam) spread all through out the grill and are extremely flammable. Even if you tossed a match from a safe distance, the fireball from that is something to be reckoned with!!!!

You don’t need an open flame to light your coals. If some on the bottom have “caught" and are red, it will spread throughout your pyramid. I promise! Just give it some time. Eventually, you'll see flames again as they get close to done and ash over!
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Old 10-11-2007, 05:04 PM   #22
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disaster. i failed. out of fluid and i let them soak for too long apparently.

first time this has happened to me, what a letdown

are you saying next time i should just spray fluid on the bottom of the pyramid, a hefty amount, then stack the rest on top of that, lightly sprayed, and light towards the bottom first?
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Old 10-11-2007, 05:08 PM   #23
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Just build your pyramid as tightly as you can, and squirt the fluid all over but make sure to “aim” in between some of the briquettes so that you get fluid inside the pile.

If the coals you have now are still stacked and smoldering, they will light. If you put your hand over them, can you feel any heat deep in the stack?
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Old 10-11-2007, 05:15 PM   #24
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hey guys look i snapped a pic..its been almost 10 minutes since i thought it went out...but there is still smoke coming out and it looks like some are gray...what should i do???? should i close the lid to make sure they dont go out? is there still hope?? here is pic...... please help!

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Old 10-11-2007, 05:19 PM   #25
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I canít see the PIC here at work due to IT filters, but if they are piled up, and there is smoke coming from the pile (even just a little), that means the bottom coals did catch. That also means those coals will spread the fire up through the rest of the pyramid. So, in about 15 minutes, you should see flames again as the stack gets hot and begins to ash over. So, leave the lid open and let that pile of coals do itís thing!
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Old 10-11-2007, 05:23 PM   #26
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Wow!!! Keltin you were right!!!

The fire has lit back up again! I stacked those coals that had fallen off the pyramid, which had become more of a plateau, so they too would catch. Then a big puff of smoke flew and the fire got even bigger!!! Sweeeeeeet

What percentage of the coals should be gray before i can throw my burgers on?


btw Keltin - The pics i posted earlier were of Kain from FFIV and Locke from FFVI.
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Old 10-11-2007, 05:29 PM   #27
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Now that the flames have broken through again, give it about 10 minutes, and you’ll start to see ash forming. No need to wait till they are completely ashed, just a little white for the most part.

At that point, spread the coals out, and arrange them with tongs or a long iron rod (an oven mitt helps to protect the hand holding the tongs....this is hot work!) so that all of the coals are touching one another. As long as they are touching, they will easily continue to burn. So, even if there are some spots that are still black after you have spread them, don’t sweat it. Just spread them out in a single layer, and bunch them a bit so that they are all touching one another.

Once they are spread, put the grate over the coals and then wait about 5 minutes. By that time, they will be completely ashed over, but very hot (you’ll still see small reddish/white flames). You can grill at this point, but flare ups are to be expected. Since it’s hamburger patties, I’d close the lid at this point (but don't put the patties on yet) and wait another five minute. This will let the coals cool a bit, and get the grate really hot for a good sear.
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Old 10-11-2007, 06:03 PM   #28
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Unlike a steak, the inside of the burger has been exposed to the world and you don't know what might be in there. Rare burgers are not a good idea.
Yep - that's why you can safely eat a rare steak where only the outside has been seared to kill the surface bacteria - but hamburger is a potential petri dish of e-coli and/or salmonilla that needs to be cooked to an internal temp sufficient to kill the bugs that were on the surface but during the grinding process get mixed up with the insides. You can't go by look, or feel, you have to use a thermometer and check for an internal temp of 160ļF.

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Cook 90 seconds, flip, 90 seconds, flip, 90 seconds, flip, 90 seconds. This will ensure the bugs are dead.
The only way to insure all the little nsaties in hamburger are dead is by cooking to 160ļF - confirmed by a thermometer. The flipping every 90-seconds doesn't ensure anything ... and Harold McGee in his book The Curious Cook demonstrated that frequent flipping is not necessary nor did it speed up the cooking.

But ... it makes the boss think you are staying busy ....
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Old 10-11-2007, 06:09 PM   #29
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Wow. This is quite the saga you guys got goin' here.....
Hey myleg, do you live close to a Hardee's?

I want pics of those burgers when they're done

FWIW, I flip mine when I think they've "released" from the grill, which is usually when the top of the burgers starts to change color like they're cooking, but it's still basically red. I never tried oil or onion on anything with fat in it.
After you've flipped them once, start looking for the red juice to start rising to the top and flip them again. In a short time the juice rising on that side should be clear. They're done.
And DON'T be pressing on them with your flipper! Leaving the juice inside is a good thing.
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Old 10-11-2007, 06:33 PM   #30
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frequent flipping is not necessary nor did it speed up the cooking.
Frequent flipping is also a culprit in dry burgers. cook the burger halfway through then flip once and only once and finish cooking. this will help you retain as much moisture as possible.
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Old 10-11-2007, 06:39 PM   #31
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Wow. This is quite the saga you guys got goin' here.....
LOL ... don't you just love how something as simple as grilling a burger can be elevated to the level of seemingly impossible?
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Old 10-11-2007, 06:55 PM   #32
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Hey Hey Hey! Easy now!

Would have taken some pics fella, but the burgers got gobbled up.

They were solid in flavor, but i lost heat so i had to finish them under the broiler.

No biggie, came out good.

Next time should be much easier.

Thanks so much guys!
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Old 10-11-2007, 07:20 PM   #33
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Well, I can finally see the pics. That IS a small grill. It looks like a firebox, but thereís nothing wrong with that. Iím not hating. In fact, one of my grills is a Smokey Joe, Weberís smallest, and itís great for cooking for two people. A half chicken on that thing is perfect, as well are two steaks 6 burgers, etc, etc, etc.

The only thing I did see wrong is there is no charcoal grate in the bottom of it. Probably designed that way (as opposed to having been lost), but Iíd change that ASAP. Itís one of the reasons you lost heat this time aroundÖ..without good airflow, the coals choked and died out.

They probably donít make a grate for this rig, but you can improvise by getting a cheap Gas Grill cooking grate (a cheap one) and putting it in there. Those are rectangular and should work nicely if you shop around and find the right size. If youíve got a cutting wheel for your drill, then it doesnít matter what size you get since you can customize it!

A grate in the bottom will lift the charcoal off the floor and allow that lower air vent to bring in air under the charcoal where it will then rise and fan the coals. With the charcoal laying on the floor like that, the air just swirls around the charcoal, and worse, gets heated and rises above the coals and doesnít fan them.

One of the biggest flaws with the old ECBs was that they just threw the coals into a closed pan (basically a water pan) with no ventilation and no clearance from the floor. A mod that added ventilation and raised the coals off the floor drastically changed the way those things cooked.

If youíre going to use this particular grill much, give some serious thought to modifying it with a lower charcoal grate to get your coals off the floor. You will see an amazing difference in performance!
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Old 10-11-2007, 07:43 PM   #34
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Keltin, dude, it DID come with a second grate. But there was no mounts on the bottom, it would just rest there...so i assumed it was a backup grate for the top.

Wow, thanks for the tip man. I'm gonna use the bottom grate next time.
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Old 10-11-2007, 07:44 PM   #35
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Now that i look at it - it's too small to fit at the top.

Again, many many thanks.
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Old 10-11-2007, 07:48 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mylegsbig View Post
Keltin, dude, it DID come with a second grate. But there was no mounts on the bottom, it would just rest there...so i assumed it was a backup grate for the top.

Wow, thanks for the tip man. I'm gonna use the bottom grate next time.
Excellent! Iíve seen many grills that allow the charcoal grate to just rest against the sides. They expect you to properly position it (they donít place pegs but it should rest with no angles, make it level) but the shape of the cooker pretty much handles that. The grate is rectangular right, so it should sit perfectly without moving. Just move it around a bit after positioning to make sure itís level, and youíre good to go.

Glad to hear it has one! Use it and I guarantee you will see a difference!
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Old 10-11-2007, 08:16 PM   #37
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We have propane here......
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Old 10-11-2007, 09:02 PM   #38
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LOL pacanis.

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Old 10-12-2007, 10:12 AM   #39
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Legsbig, you might want to serious consider getting a charcoal chimney. You pour charcoal into the top, and either wad up newspaper in the bottom, or take a few pieces of charcoal, soak with lighter fluid, then light. It will get all the charcoal caught really quickly.
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Old 10-12-2007, 01:30 PM   #40
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thanks allen, ill be getting a whole new rig as soon as i get ahold of some cash.

Couple questions, i know at least a couple of you are bored at work ;)

1. Can you guys reccomend an online site with some amazing high quality charcoal?

2. Can you guys give me any tips for grilling up some bone in - skin on chicken breasts? Baste them? open or closed? etc...turn them?

3. Can you guys give me any tips for grilling up some 1" thick sirloin steaks on this thing?
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