Smokers / Grills

Olebass

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I did another chicken tonight once I got home from the hospital. I used a pan last time, this time I placed a pan on the rack under it to catch the juices. We had brined it for about 8 hours in salt and I rubbed it down with lemon pepper, black pepper and sea salt. It cooked in just under 3 hours to 163.
I had the propane set to high and vents closed and it stayed at 230ish all 3 hours.
I went with the dynaglo because the burner itself was cast iron instead of steel so I am hoping it lasts longer.
This is mine.

Tonight was the 3rd time using it.
I am no longer using the water pan that came with it and instead using a aluminum roasting pan on the bottom rack for water and to catch droppings.
Still figuring out the wood chips. I have tried apple, cheer, hickory and love apple the most but they burn up fast once they start smoking like in 30 minutes.
Soaking them and wrapping in foil only delayed when they smoke, not how long they last. I think this is due to them being right over the burner and the fact I have to run it on high.
I need to get hi temp caulk for all the handles and stuff and a fireplace gasket for the doors and I will be 1000% happy with this sucker.

I'm still embarrassed and upset about the 2nd smoke in which I was handed 2 logs of pork, 2 chickens and a chunk of beef and I was cooking it based on assuming the pork was butt and the meat was brisket.
The pork ended up being tenderloin( I was at 150 internal when I found out so not totally wasted but overdone) and the meat was skirt steak folded over. I didn't do the marinating or anything so my handling was pull out of bowl and place on rack. $50 in meat not ruined but not as it should be. Rule #1 now in our house is I won't cook anything unless I know what it is. I should have known, I used to be a lead kitchen cook back in the 90s but I hadn't messed with those meats in ages. Still learning.

I want to tackle raw shrimp and wings this weekend for the first time on it. I had been using my grill below which still works great after 4 years and was a cross between direct/indirect with the plates making it infrared.

I'm mostly sad that the smoker cost 25% what the grill did and even with some mishaps, things taste better. If people don't own a smoker and you ever cook anything. Get one. Seriously.

I have much to learn but I have already learned that as long as you check temps and know what it is you are cooking, you are already doing acceptable grilling. The rubs, sauces, marinates and shit is just a bonus.
Since this is reviews, the reason I went with this one was price/feedback ratio. It is wide and tall. Some are pretty narrow and some have burner issues and issues with wind. It was gusting 20 mph today and while I have leaks I need to address, burner flame was never an issue. I looked for months at every brand, size and comments on walmart, amazon and anyplace I could find them. This was for me the highest rated for price range option for propane.

Why propane?
I have electric outside I ran myself but it feeds off the kitchen fridge circuit. I had concerns about running 1500+ watts on a circuit that already has at times a heavy load for long periods. Everything I read said propane favored charcoal in flavor more than it did electric and that electric had the least flavor. I assume due to the water/wood not getting the flame/super heat effect. Electric only had one real advantage to me and that was it was very easy to control temp due to being well electric. It just shuts off and on as needed to hold it.
I already had multiple propane tanks in circulation due to bitumen roofing back in the day and my infrared grill.
Charcoal is a bit more work and the best flavor I learned but the propane I turn off, unhook tank and set into my patio cabinet, throw the aluminum disposable pan in trash and done. Ready for next time.

For this model and 15,000 btu burner using AmeriGas propane exchange( which fills to about 15lbs instead of max of 20 ) it appears I will have ~22 hours per tank smoking in 80-90 degree weather. Exchanges around here cost $20. I may start taking them to the gas shop to get more and cheaper once these run down. Normally I was only using 2 20lbs a year and I have a 100lb tank I keep around in case the world ends.
 
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StJesuz

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I'm somewhat of a traditionalist. I have a Weber kettle and an XL Green Egg. I hardly use the kettle anymore though, it just sits in the garage mostly unless I'm cooking for a lot of people, maybe once a year. I'm a big fan of Meathead at Amazing Ribs and I've had great luck following his advice. I wish I could use plain wood for all my cooking but it's just too hard to maintain the correct combustion and account for all the variabilities, so I go with lump charcoal. Royal Oak has been my go-to but I just got a huge bag of Costco special, I'll report on it when I have used it it's a bit cheaper.

I'll put in a plug for the temperature controller that I use made by BBQ Guru, it's the DigiQ model. It's so nice to be able to set up a long smoke and go to bed with no worries of checking temperatures. I cooked pork shoulders for pulled pork a couple weeks ago and I didn't even open the lid once to peek during the whole 24 hour cook. This thing is somewhat fragile and there are a lot of cords to snag or trip on, I've had the unit about 4 years and it has been replaced on warranty. I also screwed up a fan and replaced that on my own dime, but easily done once I found the correct part on amazon that bolts into their holder. If you get one of these, get yourself a nice box to store it in.

I also recently upgraded to a better dome cap for the egg, now rain won't get in and the air holes don't move around whenever you open the lid. I've had the egg for a good long time, and nothing much has gone wrong with it. My plate setter has a crack in it which seems to be traveling across so we'll see how good their warranty is when it finally breaks in two.

 

Lenardo

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Put the pork in at 1:30 am set the profile on the gmg app temp 225 cook until food temp is 195, then keep warm. At 10 am the pork looked like this:
IMG_20180526_094913.jpg
Temp was 150 ish using a thermoworks smoke and the built in probe to track temp
It is now 4:20pm and the pork is at 191/192 taking it off when it hits 194 or 5pm. Whichever comes first. I got 3 sauces for the meat. A North Carolina vinegar sauce, a Carolina mustard sauce and a bacon molasses Bourbon bbq sauce
 

chaos

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I did not take pictures, but check this out. It ended up taking 23 hours to finish my pork. It was an 8ish lb butt, I'm concerned that I did something wrong. I followed the Methead site, used one of his rubs, kept fairly consistent temperature between 225-235, used hickory this time. The end product was on point, bark was fucking superb and it was super tender and tasted great, nice smoke ring and nice subtle smoke taste not super aggressive like when I used mesquite before. It just seems like I am doing something wrong, I'm reading people online talking about 10ish hours for similar sized pieces of pork.

Also, did ribs along with them. Fucking rofl at my 23 hour smoked ribs. Yeah, should have taken them off before, there was alcohol involved. I actually liked them, they turned out super crispy and flavorful. But yeah, I'm sure anyone who loves ribs would have been upset as fuck at what I did to those ribs.
 

Lenardo

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hmm. you have a 3rd party temp monitoring setup (igrill/thermoworks/10 billion other brands)? cuz really the only thing i can think of offhand is maybe the thermometer for the cook temp (not the meat) was off significantly(reading ~20ish degrees high) which caused it to take longer. my gmg unit -without adjustments-, reads about 18 degrees low (ie 3rd party temp probes are reading 18 degrees warmer(3 different brands all read within 3 degrees of each other 18 degrees higher than what the gmg says the temp is)) compared to the actual temp, and the thermometer built into the cover reads lower than what the display reads(3rd party says 240 gmg says 222 cover thermometer says ~210.... yours could be reading the opposite- thermometer says it is 225, yet the cook area is 200 or less.

tip for cooking pulled pork, if the temp reaches about 140-150ish wrap it well in aluminum foil and add about a quarter cup of apple juice into the foil wrap. what that will do is force the temp rise to the meat so in ~2hrs the temp will go from 140 to the 180ish range- it hinders the bark but can speed the cooking up by several hrs.

my cook took from 1:30am-5pm --15.5hr for my 9lb pork butt, but i didn't wrap.

another way -if you have a good temp control setup- is setup smoker to run at 325 for 45min to an hr initially, then drop the temp to 225 for the rest of the cook until internal is 193ish.

2 sliders i made - left one is a carolina mustard sauce, right is a north carolina vinegar sauce- both were delicious

IMG_20180527_211604.jpg
 
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chaos

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Yeah, I have a dual probe thermoworks with the remote reader to monitor temp. Maybe it's the placement of my probe in the smoker itself? I don't know, I will have to figure this out because 23 hours is a bit much. In general I've been placing it near the meat on the same rack as the meat.

For me, it stalled at about 150ish for several hours, then stalled again at 192 for like 5 hours. I had to go crank the heat (it was starting to rain, my eternal foe) and cranking the heat to 280ish broke the stall and it went from 192-203 inside an hour.

For rubs, I'm doing a keto diet so I was really hesitant to use the Meathead rub, which has a TON of sugar. But I talked it through with some people and we figured the amount of sugar you're actually eating probably isn't that much. Still, I'd like to find a rub that doesn't have much, if any, sugar and can still generate something approaching a bark on the pork.
 

Lenardo

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ahh you have the Smoke? i have that with the wifi gateway addon.

ya that 150 stall is a fucking killer---wrap that motherfucker up.

you can take the meat off anywhere over 190, but 195 is the normal recommended temp. just remove the probe and insert in a diffferent spot, if it goes in like a knife thru soft butter, it's done.


it most likely was done at 192.

it -could- be the placement of the probe but i don't know.. that is an excellent unit.

one popular recipe that goes over what to put in the wrap

Slap Yo Daddy Bone-In Pork Butt
 

Lenardo

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found this wholesaler in new jersey that sells iberico and kurabuta pork at reasonable/comparable prices, to try them out, and since i have a good freezer in the basement...

i got 20 lbs of ibereco pork belly to make bacon and or a meal based on pork belly
and 12 racks of iberico baby back ribs(about 18lbs)..which i will make ~2 or 3 at a time...
 

The Dauntless One

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I trust you guys more than most forums so I'll ask my question here. I've had 2 (crap) BBQs in the last 10 years and with the extra grills/parts I'm ready to splurge for a nice one. I was thinking of getting either the Weber Spirit or Genesis, but someone told me to get the Broil King Sovereign as it's the only made in American option in the same price range. Are these solid choices? Any recommendation is appreciated.
 

Adebisi

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I trust you guys more than most forums so I'll ask my question here. I've had 2 (crap) BBQs in the last 10 years and with the extra grills/parts I'm ready to splurge for a nice one. I was thinking of getting either the Weber Spirit or Genesis, but someone told me to get the Broil King Sovereign as it's the only made in American option in the same price range. Are these solid choices? Any recommendation is appreciated.
Drop the propane and get into charcoal cooking.

The flavour difference is beyond comparison.
 

The Dauntless One

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Drop the propane and get into charcoal cooking.

The flavour difference is beyond comparison.
Thanks for the suggestion. My friend use to have a charcoal BBQ and it does make a huge difference. It's too much work for me as I only BBQ maybe 10ish times a year. I just don't want to deal with low quality BBQ that rusts and shit. I also have a natural gas line so its super convenient for me.
 

Lenardo

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Tim

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For anyone wanting to try out kamado style but not wanting to spend a lot of money, the Akorn (link)is pretty solid. Under $300 and I far prefer it to the standard large BGE, since it has a much larger cook space and comes standard with a lot of features you would be paying extra for with the Egg(second level removable rack, cast iron grate). It's not a ceramic so its not quite as insulated and you wont be getting quite as high temps if you want them. On the plus side it's light enough pick up and throw in the back of the truck no problem to take camping or whatever. Some good prices to be had if you keep an eye out.

If you really get into that style of smoker then spend the money to graduate to an extra large BGE or another XL style equivalent, and keep the akorn as a camp grill.

And Akorn and a weber One Touch Gold together would run about 400 and get anyone a solid backyard set up to do just about anything you would want to on a budget.
 

Lenardo

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so i made that iberico pork belly into bacon...put a salt brown sugar honey cure rub on it, sealed it for a week then smoked it at 190 until internal temp 155..
sliced up/cooked some for the family for BLT's..

omfg, totally worth the price i paid (9 bucks a pound). wife has DEMANDED that we never run out. i have 4 more slabs of pork belly in the freezer. once i get down to 1 i'm going to reorder more. it was that good.

might try kurabuta(Berkshire) pork belly too. see which is better.
 

slippery

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I should really stop reading this thread, or I'm going to end up doing things
 

Lenardo

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Ok. Been over a month since I got the gmg jim bowie. Quick review time for those think of getting a pellet grill.

Brought the grill home, assembly was fairly simple if you follow the directions, solid sturdy grill. Initial built quality looked good. For the parts that are not important. Customer service is excellent. Which as you will see is a good thing.
Fired up the grill, no lit pellets. Restarted it worked.. turned on the app WiFi worked etc. Fairly simple.

After the First week of having the grill, issues started, first the ignitor stopped working, called gmg and they shipped out a new one asap,replacement was a simple procedure. Then a week or so later WiFi started being weird, no working, then working on a factory reset, but last week, WiFi complately stopped working.. called gmg again explained the issue and...they sent out a replacement master control module asap, installation was 2 bolts and 2 plugs. Simple.. it I has worked fine since. However I told the cs personwhen I called that I was not impressed with the build quality of the electronics of the machine if after a month I have had to replace 2 major components -out of 4. Other 2 are the auger and the fan. So far they have been fine.
The grill looks like most other grills except on the left is a box hopper which contains the control panel and the fuel storage hopper. The hopper holds 17 lbs of pellets. The control panel has a rocker on off switch a led display, a thermometer plug (looks like a guitar amp plug) and 3 buttons, temp up, food and temp down. The temp up/down changes the set temp of the grill by 5 degrees each step pressing food allows you to set food Temps and displays current food temp. With grill off if you press hand hold the food button, turn on grill with button depressed for 10 seconds aftervturn on, the grill will do a factory reset.

Working the grill. Plug it in, fill hopper with pellets, flick switch press thetemp up button and wait for ignition. Once the display changes to a temperature, set grill temp by pressing the button.

The WiFi model has an app where you can set food and grill temps, run cooking profiles, tweak the temperature profile vs 3rd party sensors..ie If you have a good thermometer, and it reads hotter than the "grill" temp on the display you can adjust the controller to match the difference if 3rd party is 10 degrees hotter, set the adjustment to 10, the displayed current temp will jump 10 degrees and the grill will adjust the feed to drop the temp to the set temp. You can also set the grill to server mode where the signals will be sent to gmg and then you can go anywhere that you have the Internet and you can see and adjust your grill.

WiFi password for the grill is the serial number of the grill, once you connect to the grill input your network settings/password and it should be all set.


More coming in the morning. Pardon the typos doing from tablet.


Good grill, once I fixed the issues. If I was going to buy another pellet grill, i would buy comparable the rectec brand since all gmg grills are made in china...price is similar, rectec is made in usa, and..well the above issues I had.
 

BrutulTM

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The igniter can be a little fussy if it gets too many pellets in it before it gets them lit. I have had it fail a couple times in my Yoder. You either have to dig all the pellets out and try again, or just skip the igniter and light the pellets yourself with a propane torch. I think if my igniter goes out I will probably not even bother with replacing it because it takes about 9 seconds to light it manually, and a good propane torch is a nice thing to have in any house because it makes it super easy to light shit on fire and we all want to do that from time to time. The Bernzomatic TS7000 is the one that you want. The one with the little trigger on it is garbage.

 

Lenardo

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The initial ignitor was about a half inch diameter ~3 inches long ceramic rod. the replacement, was a 3/4"x3" steel coated thing that weighed about twice as much. it has worked perfectly since i installed the replacement part. i have 2 propane torch setup's. that one and the cheaper one...cheaper one works great too.

the only issue with having to do manual is....the heat deflector is a fucking precision placed item. screw it up by a half inch and the left half of the grill is 50 degrees hotter than the right half (or vice versa)
that and the grease tray is a bitch... manual, take all parts out...turn grill on, get to ignition stage/fan turning on. use torch, put deflector on, make sure it is accurately placed(i scored/scratched the auger tube so i know where to put the deflector)- put lower grease tray on, put upper grease tray on(i have the 2 piece grease tray..and the one piece on), put grill grids on....it takes a few minutes, i'd much rather just turn on and go :)
 
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Lenardo

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review continued:

app - the one thing the app does not do is graph your cooks, it just keeps track of the temps, it does have 2 timers where you can do a timed cook, or time the cook(or both) under grill options is the option to lock or unlock the temperature reading on the grill (if locked, the grill gets to "225" it will always say 225, even if the grill is actually 250 or 200...) settings for c or f. etc. it is a decent app, and if they added the time tracking option it would be even better.

doing long cooks on the GMG,...worked ok- i have not done a long cook since the replacement controller came in so i have to defer a bit until sunday when i am doing ribs (4 hr cook but the graph will tell)... set temp, and the prior controller would have the temp swing ~15 degrees hotter and cooler in a pattern...with the new controller, i am hoping the temp swing is significantly reduced (+- 5 degrees or lower)

shorter cooks on the grill- work ok, the grill does take a while to get up to ~400 temp (20 minutes or so) but once it is at temp, hamburgers steaks etc cook fine, though getting a good sear marking is not great - i'd recommend getting "grill grates" putting those on your grill and having them be hot, you can get an awesome looking diamond sear marks on your meat/veggies.

the smoke from the pellets is good, it adds a subtle flavor to meats cooked "grilled" and the smoke ring on ribs was pronounced, and the flavor is there from the smoke on the long cooks, but, it has a ..smoother? softer? not sure how to term it taste...wife likes it.

grades so far

build quality- not electronics - A- thing is built like a tank basically.
build quality - electronics - D - having to replace the controller and ignitor within the first month of ownership-even if free replacement- SUCKS.
cooking low and slow- B-(temp grade) - the temperature swing was significant(30 degree range total) for long (4+hr) cooks i have done,while previously using my propane smoker or charcoal with the bbq guru, i would have minimal temp swings(in the order of 5-10 degree range total once i was at temp) for the vast majority of the cook, i think this issue was due to the controller being faulty on the GMG but will not know for sure until i actually have a long smoke to confirm my suspicions.
cooking -grilling- A - once at temp, steaks/burgers etc can be cooked in ~10 minutes or less depending on the internal temp you want, the grill is also good for reverse sear style grilling where you cook the meat for an hr at ~225 degrees, then jack the temp for the final sear or so of cooking to get a decent sear on the meat (use grill grates)-but again it takes about 7 minutes for the grill togo from 225 to 400.-if you use grill grates, i'd have the meat off the grill for ~12 minutes before putting on the grates to ensure that the 3rd party grates were hot enough.. then it's put meat on grates, wait a minute, turn 45 degrees or 90 degrees wait a minute, flip,,,wait a minute and a half turn, wait a minute done. meat should be done by then. (i like my steak low end medium/high end medium rare - 135 degrees- according to amazingribs.com medium rare ends at 135, medium starts at 135.)

overall grade B-

if not for the electronic issues, this would be an A. I will revisit the review after the summer is over and after using the grill for ~3 months to see if the replacement parts have fixed the issues I previously had with the electronics.
 

Olebass

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What is the best affordable remote temp sensor anyone has found?
I just had 2 pork tenderloins hit near 160 again in under 2 hours when I was shooting for 145-150.
I know they make the probes with cord that goes to a unit you set outside the smoker/grill and displays it/sends you alerts but the reviews and prices are all over the place.
What is one people actually use that is very affordable?