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New 2 Star testing

rzrbrewer

New member
I'm fairly certain I've had 4 cooks since the last cleaning, I'll do my best to guesstimate what they were but can't promise 100% accuracy since I didn't record the cooks. In order starting with most recent cook that had temp issues due to full fire pot:

Boston Butt: 8 hrs; avg temp ~250°; Lumberjack Competition Blend
Tri-tip: 1 hr (45 min SMOKE, 15 minutes GRILL); Lumberjack Comp Blend
Brisket: 12 hrs (3 hours smoke, rest at 275°); Lumberjack custom mix 60/40 Oak/Hickory
Ribs: 5 hrs; avg 250°; Lumberjack Comp Blend
 

TentHunter

Moderator
Boston Butt: 8 hrs; avg temp ~250°; Lumberjack Competition Blend
Tri-tip: 1 hr (45 min SMOKE, 15 minutes GRILL); Lumberjack Comp Blend
Brisket: 12 hrs (3 hours smoke, rest at 275°); Lumberjack custom mix 60/40 Oak/Hickory
Ribs: 5 hrs; avg 250°; Lumberjack Comp Blend


1) Speaking from experience, Lumber Jack's Competition Blend (also called the MHC blend - Maple/Hickory/Cherry) is a great blend, which I love and use, especially for smoking sausages, hams and the like. BUT... I can tell you because it's 100% flavorwood and no oak it definitely produces more ash than an oak-blended pellet. You can mix some oak in with them for a little less ash.

The 60/40 oak is perfect. I custom mix oak with flavorwood pellets (hickory, apple, etc.) most of the time. I usually go with a 50/50 mix and they seem to work well. Great flavor, lower ash.


2) All of those cooks you listed were long cooks, which, even with an oak blended pellets, would require a firepot cleanout before your next cook.

About the only time we don't clean out the firepot was if it was a short cook (1 hour or less), and we're getting ready to do another short cook. Otherwise we clean out our firepot after every cook without fail. It takes less than a minute to do.
 

mcschlotz

Member
Went through a long search regarding pellet brands before I bought my first MAK. Results from that pointed to BBQ'ers Delight which I've used since, except for the first few smokes with the newer MAK. Since they were nice to include a bag (different mfg'er) I said what the heck and tried them. I'm now back to BBQ Delight and likely to stay there.

Bottom line: find what works for you and smoke on!
 
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ppilot

New member
TC looks fine, as long as it has the stainless color it will read accurate.
Again, depending where you place your roaming probe you will get different temps. The MAK TC is just measuring the average pit temp inside the chamber from it's location in the corner.

That's not what I am seeing based on some extensive testing with the Thermoworks Smoke. I have about six data points with the grill set at 240 that showed a least a 25-30 degree variance even when taking into account the normal temperature oscillation related to the pellets being fed.

Regardless I will PM you as I don't want to threadcrap.
 

MAK DADDY

Moderator
That's not what I am seeing based on some extensive testing with the Thermoworks Smoke. I have about six data points with the grill set at 240 that showed a least a 25-30 degree variance even when taking into account the normal temperature oscillation related to the pellets being fed.

Regardless I will PM you as I don't want to threadcrap.

Sounds good, we will get your issue figured out.
 

sschorr

Member
ppilot - I'll be interested in the results of your consultation with MAK. I reported the same variance anomaly earlier in this thread, with my testing using my Fireboard wifi monitor. Nothing conclusive in my communications with MAK. So, I decided that I would still monitor, but I will cook depending entirely on the settings of the Pellet Boss for desired temps - with the minor exception of expecting slightly higher temps on my upper rack.

One of first cooks has been a tri-tip - sorry, no pics as I have not mastered how to do that on this forum without an Imgur account. The plan was to cook until an IT of 127, then rest in foil, raise temp to 425 and sear on MAK grill grate. I set the PB for 225 and let it get to temp for 40 minutes. Using CookinPellets 100% wine barrel oak. PB showed 225, Fireboard showed almost 270.

2.5 lb tri-tip placed on upper rack. Now the interesting part - the Fireboard had been showing between 265-270 before opening the MAK to place the tri-tip. However, once the meat was in, with the expected momentary temp drop of the hood being open, once the MAK was back up to temp according to Pellet Boss, the FB showed temps at 235-240 - well within what I expected for the upper rack!!

Can't explain why. The tri-tip cooked the expected 60 minutes thereabouts, reached 127, pulled, wrapped in foil and placed in warmer box while I increased temp to 425. I should have waited 15-20 minutes for the temp to come up, but my side dishes were ready, so seared at a lower temp then desired. However, the final result was fantastic - medium rare throughout, moist, tender, as good as any higher-end roast - sliced thin and served naked with sweet potato fries. Rich smoke flavor. Could not be happier with the result.

Next cook I'll monitor with a Maverick XR-50 and see what that records. However, I will still rely on the Pellet Boss for temps and judge the results.
 
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