Barbecue (alt.food.barbecue) Discuss barbecue and grilling--southern style "low and slow" smoking of ribs, shoulders and briskets, as well as direct heat grilling of everything from burgers to salmon to vegetables.

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Old 08-11-2007, 07:11 PM posted to alt.food.barbecue
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Default The end of the WSM experiment

I think this is the perfect time to post something like this. Traffic
on the group is slow, no one seems to be ****ed off about anything, so
a good time to make some equipment observations. This is the long
windup on the first post of my WSM experiment. I guess I took the
time to do this as I have never has a pit that would maintain temps
like this one does, much less do it on so little fuel with no
fiddling.


All times noted below are approximate as it was late, and I had a full
work day of about 12 hours before I started this.

I put the charcoal in the ring with the preburned oak mixed in. Lit
25 coals in the chimney as per the Minion method. Waited until ashed
over, poured them all over the fuel mix in the ring. Waited about 1/2
hour, assembled the cooker, and put the brisket on. I chose a little
guy, about 15+ pounds since I wasn't sure what I was going to get as
results with the "unattended" method. (I frankly didn't believe it
would work.) All times noted below are approximate.

All vents were open all the way, and it crawled up over a period of
about two hours to about 220. It sat for another 30 minutes that way,
and then spiked to about 350 degrees in another thirty minutes,
probably due to the sand finally being as hot as it could get, and the
chill from the meat being absorbed. I didn't panic, I just closed the
vents on the bottom completely, and the top vent about 1/2 way.
Thirty minutes later (*whew*) it went back down to about 245.

I almost always cook my briskets around 250 - 275, and don't worry too
much if it is a little more. I was shooting for 250, but 245 is close
enough. I opened up the vent on the top all the way, and the bottom
vents about 1/3 of the way. Temps started to go up, so I carefully
closed the vents, actually three more times in the next hour or so.
It went back down to 240.

I observed that the vents were open about 1/8" all the way around,
except the top vent which always stays open. I kept waiting for the
fire to die... and waited... and waited. Then damn thing was like an
oven, it just sat there at 240. I waited another hour or so, and it
didn't move at all.

By now the fire has been burning for about 4 - 5 hours. I never
opened the top to look at the meat or the fire. The smoke was
perfect, thin enough I only caught a wisp every once in a while in the
moonlight. Around 4 am, I didn't give a crap about the experiment
anymore and I went to bed. The unattended part began.

Woke up the next day about 6 hours later, and went out to check the
machine. In the cool night we had, honestly unattended for all that
time, the temp went to an even 225. I thought the thermo was broken,
and tapped it a couple of times. No smoke at all was visible.
I pulled off the dome for the first tiem in over 10 hours and the
brisket was beautiful. There was some smoke in the chamber but not
much. This thing was just cruisin'. I was in disbelief. I opened
the access door, and there was still plenty of coals to cover the
bottom of the grate in a single layer!

I threw on a about another 25 briquettes, and went back in the house.
The brisket was cut in two, partially seperating the flat and point to
about the same size so I could get the whole thing in the cooker. I
checked the flat, and it was at 176, the point was at 182. I put the
remote in the flat at that time and went in for breakfast.
With the sand in the cooker, it was back up to 230 in about 15
minutes, even with the new charcoal in it. The radiant heat off about
6-7 pounds of sands in incredible.

Meat finished a couple of hours later, pulled when the flat was at
190.
Let it rest, and sliced it up. It was absolutely great. The rub was
a little weak, but that can be fixed. The beef had that really nice
smoky flavor of oak, with no bite at all. It was a nice piece of meat
and it cooked up very well.

So the unattended method is a success. I would have NEVER believed
it. Moreover, I would never have believed any cooker could hold temps
that steadily without more fuel. I have had the WSM go 6-8 hours with
no problems, but it went just a little more then ten without adding
fuel. When I added the fuel and finished the cook, I checked on the
cooker 6 hours later after that, and it was till holding steady at
230. Two hours later it went to 200 and stayed there till I dumped
out the few remaining coals.

The sand was a key player in this thing. God bless whoever thought of
that. And cleanup? Rolled up the foil and pitched it in the trash.
There was a layer of grease on the foil, but another layer of crusty
stuff on that, so it all went in the trash without a spill. No pan to
clean up, no nasty, smelly water to get rid of... and of course the
big thing, no refills. Better still, as stingy as the WSM on fuel
use, it is better still with sand. I only used about 11 pounds of
charcoal, and probably about 2 - 3 lbs of oak for the whole cook,
including the monitoring time after the cook to see how long it could
hold temps without adding more fuel.

Next time, I can have everything set up the day before. When I get
off work, I can light the chimney, put the fuel in the cooker, get out
he brisket, and have everything going in 30 minutes. After a couple
of hours to make sure it is regulated, I can go to bed! As far as I
can tell, if this was not set up to cook in inclement weather or
radically changing temps, I would feel fine with sleeping about 6 -7
hours leaving this thing alone. As it was, I only took the dome off
one time waiting until the next morning, to make sure the brisket was
still there and to put in the thermo.

All this machine for $200. What a steal. For anyone goofing with
those ECBs, check this thing out. But the best part of the cooker is
the virtualbullet site, which will answer any question you could
imagine about this cooker. Combine this with a good offset pit/grill,
and you can really get serious about this stuff.

Finally... a piece of equipment that works. I should have bought this
thing years ago.

Robert


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Old 08-11-2007, 10:19 PM posted to alt.food.barbecue
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Default The end of the WSM experiment

On Nov 8, 1:04 pm, "Dave Bugg" wrote:
wrote:
I think this is the perfect time to post something like this. Traffic
on the group is slow, no one seems to be ****ed off about anything, so
a good time to make some equipment observations. This is the long
windup on the first post of my WSM experiment. I guess I took the
time to do this as I have never has a pit that would maintain temps
like this one does, much less do it on so little fuel with no
fiddling.


Snip of report.....

Good onya to post your experiences and observations, Robert. I agree with
what you wrote.

Now, imagine the capabilities of the WSM on steroids, with even longer burn
times and using even less fuel. And with the ability to also use it as a
grill capable of quickly topping 750F.
--
Davewww.davebbq.com


Hmmmm, wonder what THAT could be...........

Does is come very late with promises made and not kept? Does the
company have an abysmal record of customer service?

I was gonna buy one figuring if I had too many hassles they were a 3
hour drive from me, but then they moved to Mexico. No way Jose.


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Old 08-11-2007, 10:39 PM posted to alt.food.barbecue
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Default The end of the WSM experiment

Tutall wrote:
On Nov 8, 1:04 pm, "Dave Bugg" wrote:
wrote:
I think this is the perfect time to post something like this.
Traffic on the group is slow, no one seems to be ****ed off about
anything, so a good time to make some equipment observations. This
is the long windup on the first post of my WSM experiment. I guess
I took the time to do this as I have never has a pit that would
maintain temps like this one does, much less do it on so little
fuel with no fiddling.


Snip of report.....

Good onya to post your experiences and observations, Robert. I agree
with what you wrote.

Now, imagine the capabilities of the WSM on steroids, with even
longer burn times and using even less fuel. And with the ability to
also use it as a grill capable of quickly topping 750F.
--
Davewww.davebbq.com


Hmmmm, wonder what THAT could be...........

Does is come very late with promises made and not kept? Does the
company have an abysmal record of customer service?


I have a Kamado, but any of the ceramic pits would do as well. As far as I
can tell, the Komodo-Kamado is a great product. The Primo, BGE, and a few
others will do the same job.

I was gonna buy one figuring if I had too many hassles they were a 3
hour drive from me, but then they moved to Mexico. No way Jose.


I wouldn't even think of buying a Richard Johnson Kamado again. But I'd
definitely replace mine with another company's version; the ceramic pit is a
superb concept.

--
Dave
www.davebbq.com


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Old 09-11-2007, 07:05 AM posted to alt.food.barbecue
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Default The end of the WSM experiment

On Nov 8, 4:39 pm, "Dave Bugg" wrote:

SNIP

I wouldn't even think of buying a Richard Johnson Kamado again. But I'd definitely replace mine with another company's version; the ceramic pit is a
superb concept.


Previous to the WSM, I wouldn't have believed that something that
wasn't in the auto pellet/feed/Stubbs mode would ever keep that kind
of temps for a backyard cooker.
I will happily Q away with the WSM as I have a lot of different things
to try on it.

But reading what I have about the ceramics, I will probably have an
eye out for one sooner than I would like to think. Longer cooks....
less fuel....

Why the cooker almost pays for iteself! (Working no my sales pitch!)

Robert



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Old 09-11-2007, 07:51 PM posted to alt.food.barbecue
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Default The end of the WSM experiment

On Nov 9, 8:59 am, "Dave Bugg" wrote:

Don't get me wrong, Robert, the WSM is a great piece of equipment; and at its price-point you can't ask for better. A ceramic pit was the only thing
that could pull me away from my WSM.


And as for service, check this out: When I got the WSM from Amazon,
the bottom section had come loose, and what ever part they had in that
box had scratched the bowl in several places on the inside. A couple
of the ears on the bottom vents were bent, but nothting major. After
assembly I also noticed that the access door had a bow in it,
something noticed on the WSM group as a common problem.

I called Weber and asked them if the scratches would do anything to
the firebowl, because if I wanted to use it as a simple cooker with no
water bowl the meat juices would fall directly into the bowl, some
getting burned up if they hit the fire, but others on the edges
hitting the bowl to be cemented on by the fire.

The service rep asked me, "why take a chance?" With no further
explanation they asked me for an address and sent me an entire
firebowl. When they asked me if there was anything else I was
concerned about or if there were any other questions, I told them
about the access door. The put a new one in with the firebowl.

Hard to beat that kind of service. It could really make a guy loyal,
especially since they are backing a really good product.

Robert

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Old 09-11-2007, 10:25 PM posted to alt.food.barbecue
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Default The end of the WSM experiment

wrote:
And as for service, check this out: When I got the WSM from Amazon,
the bottom section had come loose, and what ever part they had in that
box had scratched the bowl in several places on the inside. A couple
of the ears on the bottom vents were bent, but nothting major. After
assembly I also noticed that the access door had a bow in it,
something noticed on the WSM group as a common problem.

I called Weber and asked them if the scratches would do anything to
the firebowl, because if I wanted to use it as a simple cooker with no
water bowl the meat juices would fall directly into the bowl, some
getting burned up if they hit the fire, but others on the edges
hitting the bowl to be cemented on by the fire.

The service rep asked me, "why take a chance?" With no further
explanation they asked me for an address and sent me an entire
firebowl. When they asked me if there was anything else I was
concerned about or if there were any other questions, I told them
about the access door. The put a new one in with the firebowl.

Hard to beat that kind of service. It could really make a guy loyal,
especially since they are backing a really good product.

Robert


Yup, I think Weber's service it hard, if not nearly
impossible to beat.

I have a Weber Silver B gasser as well as the WSM. Well, my
better half's work group wanted to borrow the Silver B for a
department lunch. Fine, no problem, you just come and pick
it up. Long story short, they loaded onto the pickup with
the back down. Naturally the lid wasn't real impressed with
that and it opened HARD, snapping the cast iron where the
lid connects to the main body. They felt horrible and said
they'd fix it. The called Weber and told them exactly what
had happened. Weber sent a new lid AND someone to install
it. Charge? NONE. Unbelievable. Tell me one other company
who would do that when it was obvious user negligence which
caused the damage.


--
Steve
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Old 10-11-2007, 02:06 AM posted to alt.food.barbecue
Dan Dan is offline
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Default The end of the WSM experiment

Steve Calvin wrote:
wrote:
And as for service, check this out: When I got the WSM from Amazon,
the bottom section had come loose, and what ever part they had in that
box had scratched the bowl in several places on the inside. A couple
of the ears on the bottom vents were bent, but nothting major. After
assembly I also noticed that the access door had a bow in it,
something noticed on the WSM group as a common problem.

I called Weber and asked them if the scratches would do anything to
the firebowl, because if I wanted to use it as a simple cooker with no
water bowl the meat juices would fall directly into the bowl, some
getting burned up if they hit the fire, but others on the edges
hitting the bowl to be cemented on by the fire.

The service rep asked me, "why take a chance?" With no further
explanation they asked me for an address and sent me an entire
firebowl. When they asked me if there was anything else I was
concerned about or if there were any other questions, I told them
about the access door. The put a new one in with the firebowl.

Hard to beat that kind of service. It could really make a guy loyal,
especially since they are backing a really good product.

Robert


Yup, I think Weber's service it hard, if not nearly impossible to beat.

I have a Weber Silver B gasser as well as the WSM. Well, my better
half's work group wanted to borrow the Silver B for a department lunch.
Fine, no problem, you just come and pick it up. Long story short, they
loaded onto the pickup with the back down. Naturally the lid wasn't real
impressed with that and it opened HARD, snapping the cast iron where the
lid connects to the main body. They felt horrible and said they'd fix
it. The called Weber and told them exactly what had happened. Weber sent
a new lid AND someone to install it. Charge? NONE. Unbelievable. Tell
me one other company who would do that when it was obvious user
negligence which caused the damage.



I've been a Weber fan for years. When I lived up north I would go
through the $99 Sunbeam-type gassers on a yearly basis with year-round
cooking even in the snow. I'm on my second Weber gas grill and my first
WSM. I only upgraded my gasser for size and to get the stainless
burners and cooking surface.

Service reports like this are great. I may never need a part but I know
they are there to help and these are the rare type of companies that
earn their (small) premium price.


Dan
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Old 10-11-2007, 02:18 AM posted to alt.food.barbecue
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Default The end of the WSM experiment

I have a Weber Silver B gasser as well as the WSM. Well, my better half's
work group wanted to borrow the Silver B for a department lunch. Fine, no
problem, you just come and pick it up. Long story short, they loaded onto
the pickup with the back down. Naturally the lid wasn't real impressed
with that and it opened HARD, snapping the cast iron where the lid
connects to the main body. They felt horrible and said they'd fix it. The
called Weber and told them exactly what had happened. Weber sent a new lid
AND someone to install it. Charge? NONE. Unbelievable. Tell me one other
company who would do that when it was obvious user negligence which caused
the damage.


Obviously, someone high up at Weber _gets it_ as far as customer service is
concerned. I have a really old Weber charcoal grill, so old it says
Weber-Stephens Arlington Heights on the top vent, and I wonder what they'd
do if I called about the charcoal grate rusting out....

-John O


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Old 10-11-2007, 06:37 AM posted to alt.food.barbecue
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Default The end of the WSM experiment

On Nov 9, 8:06 pm, Dan [email protected] wrote:
Steve Calvin wrote:


SNIP

Service reports like this are great. I may never need a part but I know
they are there to help and these are the rare type of companies that
earn their (small) premium price.


I know what you mean. But... to add a little more to this, since they
were so nice, I went ahead and ordered a new cooking grate and
charcoal grate, one for another project and the other for the WSM.

They were cheaper than Home Depot, and much less than BBQ Galore.
Charge for shipping? None. They said they would just put it in the
box they were sending me with the warranty items since they were
nowhere close to going over the flat fee shipping weight. Really hard
to beat that kind of common sense service.

Robert




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