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Found 7 results

  1. skalls

    Flame Boss 300

    I've been meaning to write about this for awhile but I wanted to get a few cooks under my built before ranting about how awesome this piece of tech is. The Flame Boss 300 is a temperature controller for a smoker. Basically it comes with a fan that you hook up to the lower vent and 2 thermometers. One of which clips to the grate and the other gets shoved into the meat (you can buy y adapters and monitor up to 3 meat temps at the same time). The main controller is the brains and based on the temperature it's getting at the grate tells the fan to blow in air to maintain the temperature you want. It isn't cheap ($330US), but the plus side is you can maintain a set temperature throughout the life of the cook. There is less likelihood of major temperature swings. This is advantageous because when you drop big money on lamb or brisket you want to be able to cook the meat consistently and not end up with waste time, money and food. So the picture below shows the brains of this operation. You can cycle through the menus and do this or that to it, but I've found that it's just easier to control everything through their web page. It does need to be connected to AC power so eventually I'm going to have to MacGuyver a weather proof container for this thing. For now I'm only using it when it's not going to rain. The fan is held in place by gravity through an adapter you slide around the bottom vent. Unlike several other temperature controllers, this is a variable speed fan. So when the brain tells it to blow air in at 37%, it can do just that. Other controllers' fans are basically on or off, so they can at times blow more air into the fire pit than is needed. This is one of the reasons why I wound up choosing this product as it's much more precise than others. They do have adapters for other types of smokers as well. Since I have a kamado this is the one i needed. And here are a couple pictures of the full setup. Hooking it up to my wifi network at home took about 3 minutes, something other controllers isn't nearly as easy, and then it takes another minute to register your controller at their website. If i wanted too I could get a fire started before work, control it on my phone through their website and then have something tasty when I get home. I won't be doing that because I'd rather be at home when there's a fire (controlled as it may be). But you can manage the controller anywhere you have internet access. This is another benefit that this controller has over the others, you don't need to setup port forwarding (which isn't hard but can be tricky). And this is the screen you get when you log in. I'm an analyst by trade so I geeked out so much over seeing this lol. The blue line is my set temperature, red line is the bit temp, green line is the % the fan is running and orange is the meat temp. I learned that I let the pit get up to 150 or so before hooking this stuff up. I believe this is an image from one of my first cooks using it. Once it gets to temp it stays +/- 1 degree. It can also detect when the lid is open. When that happens you can set a delay on it to not blow air in for a period of x minutes (my setup is 3 minutes). THis prevents the fire pit from getting to hot. But I love this thing. It's sped up my beer can chicken cook by over an hour, probably speed up the pork butt cook time by 2 hours (testing that now as we speak) and all told the meat I'm smoking and grilling has come off the grill more moist and flavorful. Here's the pork butt I'm doing today.
  2. My brother couldn't make it up north for Easter so he came home this weekend. Gave me a good excuse to take a vacation day and make it a long weekend. With the day mostly over I'm glad he did. It's always fun to get out golfing and spend time with family. The day started out on the golf course at our hometown (Hawley, MN). Pat and I have played that course literally thousands of times in our lives and both of us could guide you through the course blindfolded. I didn't score as well as he did, a fact the little shit reminded me throughout the day, but some good did come of it. I lost my power fade over the winter and now am hitting it straight or with a bit of a draw. So that was definitely a plus. But for me it was a consistently inconsistent day. Wrong fairway here, bad chip there, lipped out put there. The last 6 holes I shot in even par so I'm feeling good about my chances tomorrow. And I had a near miss on an eagle put today, which is nice despite it not going in. Enjoyed a D4 (2014 box code, seconds) during a frost delay, that while may not have the prettiest looking wrapper has been a consistently enjoyable cigar. Also had the Magnum 50 from a 2014 box. I didn't want the Magnum 50 to end. Such a luxurious smoke, and doesn't want to pick a fight with me like the Magnum 46 does. After the round of golf Pat went back to our mom's place and I headed back to town. Ran to the liquor store where they were having penny wine sale. Buy 1 bottle at normal price and get a second for a penny. Good way to get through some unwanted stock. Last time I went there during the sale all I got was a 12 pack of beer. An old lady behind me in line was staring daggers at me that some uncouth individual would tarnish the penny wine sale by buying some lowly beer. But I do like beer. So I was there to get a 12 pack of beer. And figured what the hell, when in rome. Wound up with a Cabernet Syrah. $15 for 2 bottles, sure why not. Then I headed home to fix a bite to eat, then grabbed a gun and some ammo and headed to the gun range for some much needed and overdue gun therapy. I love going to the range and hate that I can be such a lazy slob on the weekends to not go into the range and get some trigger time in. Got there a bit after noon and damn near every lane was packed. I was shooting effectively a pea shooter compared to the guys on either stall to the side of me. My 9mm only pokes tiny holes into the targets. Guys around me were shooting 44 magnums and a desert eagle (which I got to shoot, good lord does that kick). After that I got back to my house and then it was about time to get the Kamado Joe (it's effectively a Red BIg Green Egg) setup to smoke a tri-tip steak. About the time i got the fire going my mom and brother show up. The tri-tip is a newish cut of meat that I learned of recently and fast becoming a favorite of mine. I smoke it with red oak wood until the internal temp is 130 degrees. Then I remove the heat deflectors and cook it at high temps, 400+, until the internal temp hits 142 degrees. Pulled the steak and then it was time to wait 30m before I could cut into the meat. Also had to have a Half Corona and another beer while the meat was smoking away. I promptly fell asleep on the couch due to the food coma I put myself in. My brother thought it was funny how I'd snore myself awake. Then it was back to the deck to have a beer and a Punch Punch. Standard brotherly BS was had during the cigar. He also managed to talk me out of the box of Quintero Favoritos and the rest of the HDM Epicure #1s. Apparantly I owed him money or something so he got the Favoritos for nothing. I didn't leave him off the hook for the rest of the Epicure 1s though. I think he's pulling a fast one on me though. So glad spring is here and look forward to more days like this.
  3. Ok, this is a stupid simple cook and it's virtually impossible to screw up. I saw virtually because I still managed to do just that, ah well. I'm using red oak for the smoke and lump charcoal for the heat (vision grills to be precise, absolutely love this lump charcoal). Step 1: Wipe down the meat with paper towels. Step 2: I'm using a 50/50 mix of coarse ground black pepper and salt. It's beef, and in this case the simpler the better. Step 3: Place on the grill when its above 200. Looking for a target temp of 260-275. Step 4: Wait 2 hours, or until the internal temp is 140. The picture below is after an hour. Step 5: Pull when it's 140 and allow to rest for an hour. And this is where I screwed up. I let the internal temp get to 147. If you pull at 140 the carryover won't get it much above 142-143 so it stays medium rare. More juicy and beefy basically when it's time to eat. I let it go 10 minutes too long and pulled at 147 degrees. I also stupidly set my thermometer to warn me at 150 degrees instead of 140. Ah well. Step 6: The Results. After an hour there was a good bit of juices that came out of the steak, but when I started to slice it thing for a nice sandwhich the meat retained it's moistness and was overall very delicious. I now have lunch meat for my short work week. If you pull it at 140 degrees the smoke ring looks even better.
  4. After playing a game last night that involved making my kidneys and liver hate me I needed to make some real food and eat something good for me. Chicken it is. And if i'm going to eat chicken I'm going to smoke a whole chicken. Smoking a whole chicken is pretty much the easiest thing to smoke in my opinion. It's virtually impossible to screw it up. So what's a beer can chicken for the uninitiated? Basically you shove a can of beer up the opening of a chicken and then put said chicken on the grill. Does it work? Yes but it's subtle. In my experience each of the beer can chickens have been slightly more moist than the non-beer can ones I've smoked. You don't have to do this in order to smoke a chicken. But since I have this handy ceramix beer can chicken holder I may as well use it as often as I can. So I selected a 6 pound bird. I wanted a big one because I not only am I a huge fan of leftovers but I also wanted to have lunch meat for the next three days. Another thing with chicken is since it's so cheap, if you do screw it up, your not out much money at all. Not so with brisket lol. A whole bunch of paper towels later I've managed to dry up the chicken. The bird felt thawed but there were surprise ice chunks all over the inside of it that took a while to clean that off. Next up is to fill the beer can holder with beer (a 2 week old, slightly stale Summer Shandy). Don't use good beer here. Bad pisswater (bud, bud light, miller light) works plenty well here. Now you can add some herbs and whatnoit to the beer for some additional flavors but I've never done that. Then I lather the chicken up with some olive oil and hit it with my spice ribe. Black Pepper Kosher Salt Cayenne Peppr Paprika Garlic Poweder Onion Powder 3 through 6 are small amounts. Pepper and Salt make up 90% of my rub. I don a latex glove so I don't have to wash oily hands And then I shove the bird on the beer can holder. And off to the grill. I want 275 at the grates. Once the breast hits 165 the thighs should be 175. I will not pull the chicken until both of those temps are achieved. I have a drip pan below to lessen the mess and helps to absorp some of the heat coming off the grill. I'm using cherry wood. I love love love cherry wood and how well it pairs with poultry. I'm looking for a 3-4 hour smoke. I put the chicken on the grill when it hits 225. At 1 hour. Temp never got to 275,. Did maintain 245-250 which is good enough. At 3:15. Temp did creep up to 265 for the last 45 minutes of the cook. My wireless thermometer went off when the breast hit 165 degrees. Probed the other one and both thighs. Bang on with the temps. She's done. Off the grill and into a tray with foil over it. Placed in the oven set to warm for 50 minutes. You need to let it rest otherwise all the juices will run out of the meat and your left with dried out chicken. That is not good eats. While I wait for it to rest I started some rice in the rice cooker. When that is done I should be ready to tear this chicken apart. Now one thing I should point out. I don't try to crisp the chicken up. My friends swear by tossing it on a gas grill at 400 degrees for 10 minutes and it does the trick. As it stands the skin is rubbery and not edible, so I just pull it off and don't eat it. Then it's time to tear this chicken apart to get to the tasty bits! So here's the results and the waste.
  5. Recently (today actually) I was asked to design a logo for a friend in deepest, darkest Indiana for a Ribfest type BBQ smoker party. Since so many of you guys probably do the same thing, I figured you could get use out of it too. Feel free to download it and print it on anything you want, like invitations, menus, stickers, whatever. If you need a higher resolution for something else, just drop me a line and I will be happy to provide it for you by e-mail. Have a great summer!
  6. Hey Guys, Been thinking about having a little get together here at Casa Ginseng in Northern Virginia this summer. A little cigaring, a little drinking, a little grilling. What say you? Are there any folks nearby who might be interested? Ideas? Wilkey
  7. Was thinking of doing this for Australia Day. Has anyone turned their 4 burner BBQ into half coal and half gas? I could having the middle section coal and the outer running gas..Use some of the foil trays for the coal and poke holes in em for air or is this really stupid and dangerous?? Alternativly can you dodge up one of the BBQ rotisseries for a weber? My back up is another pulled pork.

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