MAK 2 Epic Brisket Fail...
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Thread: MAK 2 Epic Brisket Fail...

  1. #1

    MAK 2 Epic Brisket Fail...

    Sad, but true...especially on New Years Day! Here's the tale...
    Fired up the MAK at 7:30 last night, but it kept tripping the breaker. Went online and found that the igniter was likely bad, so I unhooked it, put a small handful of pellets in the firebox, lit the pellets with a torch, put everything back in the cooker, then set to Smoke. By 8, the MAK was smoking away and the brisket was ready to be put on the cooker, so in it went. I then changed the Pellet Boss to my User 1, which is set to smoke for 2 hours, then go to 220 and stay there.
    -At 4am, I got up and checked and the PB was flashing 60* and Igniting. Meat temp was 90*
    -I cleaned out the MAK, whose firebox was overflowing of pellets and went thru the manual fire up again and set the PB to 220. I checked a half hour later and all seemed to be going well and at 6am, I left for a couple of hours. When I returned at 8:30, the MAK was trying to reignite again and the Firebox was full.
    -This time, I put a 1/2 hand full of pellets in the box and restarted at Smoke. After 1/2 hour, I moved it up to 210. After 1/2, I moved it up to 225 and so on and now it's noon and the MAK is up to 300.
    Since the brisket may be salvageable, I'm trying to reach 350, to do a high temp cook. I don't know though, since the meat stayed between 90 and 100 for so long...but I don't know.
    Also, I wrote the painful details in hopes that someone can tell me where I went wrong and why the box kept overflowing. Oh...last night got down to low 40's.
    Please, someone, help and explain. Thanks

  2. #2
    Moderator scooter's Avatar
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    Cooking at such a low temp without a firerod to reignite the fire if the fire went out was likely the problem. If you had manually lit your fire then set your setpoint to 250-275F I doubt the fire would have gone out.
    - MAK owner for life! -
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  3. #3
    Moderator scooter's Avatar
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    Also, in general, if you fully cook your brisket (Especially to ~ 200F internal) you will have killed any bacteria that may have attached itself to your brisket during the night. Once fully cooked any poor handling prior to fully cooking the brisket becomes less important than how the brisket is handled after properly cooking it.
    Last edited by scooter; 01-01-2018 at 03:25 PM.
    - MAK owner for life! -
    2015 2 Star General prototype #0 with WiFi and beta FlashFire™ Ignition System
    2009 2 Star General #28
    2 BPS Engineered Drum Smokers, steel & stainless steel
    Smokin' Yankee's Competition BBQ Team
    CBBQA
    KCBS - MCBJ, CTC


  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by scooter View Post
    Cooking at such a low temp without a firerod to reignite the fire if the fire went out was likely the problem. If you had manually lit your fire then set your setpoint to 250-275F I doubt the fire would have gone out.
    Pretty much exactly what I was going to say. When I had an ignitor go out and had to manually light, I set the temp to a minimum of 225° to ensure enough pellets were fed often enough to keep everything going.
    <><
    MAK 1 Star General #651 - 2014 Model
    former owner - MAK 1 Star General #171
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    27 + year old 22.5" Weber Kettle (still works fine)
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  5. #5
    Do you think that's what happened? I can see that, however I do recall setting temp to 220 and having the same thing happen, with the fire pot overflowing. Maybe that was too low as well. Hoping someone from MAK chimes in with more info.
    I know I have to replace the igniter, but I've heard there's a new igniter offered at $200, so I'll have to put the MAK aside and start saving. Seems replacing with the old style is just putting off the inevitable and those dollars could go toward the new style igniter. As recall, this is my second igniter fail and both happened at the worst times. Isn't that always the case.

  6. #6
    Moderator scooter's Avatar
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    At those low temps there's barely a fire going in the pot. Often just glowing embers. I've seen it many times with the cookshack cookers we use in comps and catering. The Fire pot is fully exposed during the cook by opening the door. We keep the cookshack running all night at Smoke temps as an insurance policy in case something happens with our MAK cookers the cookshack will be already warmed up and ready to turn up to cooking temp quickly. When the cookshack is running at low temps like under 224F the pot is barely on fire. It's not far to go from barely ignited to going out. Once out and no igniter rod to restart the fire the auger will overflow the firepot with pellets.
    You don't have to take our word for it. Manually start your MAK then set the setpoint to 250F or above and you'll have a nice uninterrupted cook.
    - MAK owner for life! -
    2015 2 Star General prototype #0 with WiFi and beta FlashFire™ Ignition System
    2009 2 Star General #28
    2 BPS Engineered Drum Smokers, steel & stainless steel
    Smokin' Yankee's Competition BBQ Team
    CBBQA
    KCBS - MCBJ, CTC


  7. #7
    Moderator scooter's Avatar
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    Current MAK firerod type igniters are the result of years and years of R & D to make them increasingly reliable. The problematic part of a firerod igniter is that it is constantly exposed to the damaging heat at the bottom of the firepot. The ingenious aspect of MAK's innovative flashfire ignition system is it sits outside of the firepot never directly exposed to that constant damaging heat at the bottom of the Firepot. Supposed to get something like 10K lights out of it. It's also extremely quick at starting the fire at about 2 to 3 minutes from cold firepot to flaming firepot. It's well worth the price but the MAK firerod igniters are still some of the most reliable and hearty igniters out there.
    - MAK owner for life! -
    2015 2 Star General prototype #0 with WiFi and beta FlashFire™ Ignition System
    2009 2 Star General #28
    2 BPS Engineered Drum Smokers, steel & stainless steel
    Smokin' Yankee's Competition BBQ Team
    CBBQA
    KCBS - MCBJ, CTC


  8. #8
    Just to follow up, the cook turned out to be not a fail. In fact, somehow, brisket turned out great! I don't know how, with all the ups and downs of temps. I continued to have issues and ended up replacing the controller, igniter and thermocouple. All seems good on first test, but I'll post in MAK Central the final results. I have confidence that MAK will come thru.

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