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Author Topic: How to arrange meat on WSM for hot and fast cook?  (Read 7004 times)

jdefran

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How to arrange meat on WSM for hot and fast cook?
« on: April 24, 2016, 12:05:58 PM »
I'll be smoking a brisket and 2 butts on my WSM next weekend at around 325. I will wrap the brisket but was planning on keeping the butts nekkid. I'll be starting the cook at 5am as it needs to be ready by 12 and rested by 2.

Would cooking the butts on lower grate be ok? I may need to modify my rub as my pork rub usually has sugar..not sure if it'd burn. Also, would I want to cook fat side down? Do I need my terra cotta plate in there or would it prohibit reaching 325.

By having the brisket up top it'll be easier to wrap and check for probe tender, where the butts won't need any attention (I'll put a probe in em to have an idea).

For fuel, would lump be best? I usually grill with lump and with kingsford.

pbe gummi bear

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Re: How to arrange meat on WSM for hot and fast cook?
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2016, 12:53:25 PM »
I would be worried about the radiant heat from the water pan due to the hot fire right below it. My vote is to keep the brisket on the top grate but make sure to measure your grate temp.
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swamprb

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Re: How to arrange meat on WSM for hot and fast cook?
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2016, 06:17:12 PM »
Loose the terracotta plate
Cover the waterpan with foil

Nekkid butts Hot n Fast????

I think not and you better do your homework on this if you are on a schedule.

Full ring of KBB

Those butts on the bottom are going to act like a heat sink to the brisket on the top grate. You are going to play hell trying to maintain high temps with all that meat.

If I only had one WSM, I would start the butts early. Since I'm usually thinking comp cooking I go by color and an internal of 156-165* and wrap in foil. I would put the butts in a 325-350* oven and then start cooking the brisket. Its gonna pop in 1.5-2.5 hours depending on the size before you wrap.

Foil is your friend cooking Hot n Fast!! 

But thats just me.

There are guys cooking direct on drums cooking butts in 3.5-4.5 hours. Mine are usually @5-6 hours max @7-9 lbs. then Cambo'd for as long as I can stand. I flip my meats fat side down to start then "turn n burn"!

Another thing: If you start at 5AM, I'm assuming you'll be taking the meat out of the refer and go on the cooker?
They need to go on at room temp at the very least.

I cook on: Backwoods Gater, Lang 36, Hunsaker Smokers, Pellet Pro 22" WSM, BGE's, WSM's, Cajun Bandits, PK Grills, Drum Smokers, Genesis Silver C, Weber Q's, Cookshack 008, Little Chief, La Caja China #2, Lodge Sportsman...oh yeah! Weber Kettles! Kamado restoration and pit modification hack!

addicted-to-smoke

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Re: How to arrange meat on WSM for hot and fast cook?
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2016, 03:39:49 AM »
So should both levels of WSM only be used when it's the same type of meat everywhere?
It's the iconic symbol for the backyard. It's family/friends, food and fun. What more do you need to feel everything [is] going to be all right. As long as we can still have a BBQ in our backyard, the world seems a bit of a better place. At least for that moment. -reillyranch

jdefran

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Re: How to arrange meat on WSM for hot and fast cook?
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2016, 06:40:15 AM »
Loose the terracotta plate
Cover the waterpan with foil

Nekkid butts Hot n Fast????

I think not and you better do your homework on this if you are on a schedule.

Full ring of KBB

Those butts on the bottom are going to act like a heat sink to the brisket on the top grate. You are going to play hell trying to maintain high temps with all that meat.

If I only had one WSM, I would start the butts early. Since I'm usually thinking comp cooking I go by color and an internal of 156-165* and wrap in foil. I would put the butts in a 325-350* oven and then start cooking the brisket. Its gonna pop in 1.5-2.5 hours depending on the size before you wrap.

Foil is your friend cooking Hot n Fast!! 

But thats just me.

There are guys cooking direct on drums cooking butts in 3.5-4.5 hours. Mine are usually @5-6 hours max @7-9 lbs. then Cambo'd for as long as I can stand. I flip my meats fat side down to start then "turn n burn"!

Another thing: If you start at 5AM, I'm assuming you'll be taking the meat out of the refer and go on the cooker?
They need to go on at room temp at the very least.
Thank you for the insight @swamprb. I never thought of the butts acting as a heat sink..I guess it an offset that wouldn't be the case (just thinking out loud for comparative analogy).

Perhaps I can either:
  • Start the butts overnight and switch to kettle or oven in morning
  • Do butts on kettle while brisket is on WSM

I'm liking the idea of overnight butts as my fire would already going and I can just refuel before the brisket goes on. At which point I can move the butts to a 26 kettle to finish off. Then wrap and cooler when needed.

To clarify on start time; I will get up at four, get fire in order, and get meat on at 5. I will prep/trim and rub meat night before so I don't slice a finger while groggy.

jdefran

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Re: How to arrange meat on WSM for hot and fast cook?
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2016, 05:00:27 PM »
Although I have no photos I wanted to share that my cook was successful and will continue to cook hot and fast brisket as my go to method.

The two butts (8 lb each) did not act as a heat sink surprisingly. I did notice though the grease generated from the butts did seem to burn. Perhaps I can experiment with removing the water plan and using something else as a diffuser.

pbe gummi bear

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Re: How to arrange meat on WSM for hot and fast cook?
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2016, 06:54:48 PM »
Although I have no photos I wanted to share that my cook was successful and will continue to cook hot and fast brisket as my go to method.

The two butts (8 lb each) did not act as a heat sink surprisingly. I did notice though the grease generated from the butts did seem to burn. Perhaps I can experiment with removing the water plan and using something else as a diffuser.

Glad your cook was a success. You can buy a cheap baking pan for a lower profile drip tray that is sturdy and lower profile than the water bowl.
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jdefran

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Re: How to arrange meat on WSM for hot and fast cook?
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2016, 02:22:26 AM »
@pbe gummi bear  Are you suggesting replacing the water bowl with some round baking to be the heat deflector? Is this your set up?

addicted-to-smoke

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Re: How to arrange meat on WSM for hot and fast cook?
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2016, 03:35:25 AM »
My terra cotta plate has already cracked in 3 places. Amazingly, it hasn't fallen through into the charcoal. Might be just barely holding together from the foil I wrapped around it.

But that's on a mini WSM.

Question applies to any however:

Find an aluminum plate or a SS one? I haven't looked for either yet but was wondering if cheaper aluminum would be OK or if it would be nasty.
It's the iconic symbol for the backyard. It's family/friends, food and fun. What more do you need to feel everything [is] going to be all right. As long as we can still have a BBQ in our backyard, the world seems a bit of a better place. At least for that moment. -reillyranch

G19

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Re: How to arrange meat on WSM for hot and fast cook?
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2016, 04:08:33 AM »
Loose the terracotta plate
Cover the waterpan with foil


Would you please elaborate on this.  I go round and round with using a water pan with and without and a terracotta plate. 

pbe gummi bear

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Re: How to arrange meat on WSM for hot and fast cook?
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2016, 04:46:50 AM »
@pbe gummi bear  Are you suggesting replacing the water bowl with some round baking to be the heat deflector? Is this your set up?

It's not my setup but it's a cheap and easy "diffuser" setup to try.
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addicted-to-smoke

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Re: How to arrange meat on WSM for hot and fast cook?
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2016, 05:32:01 AM »
Loose the terracotta plate
Cover the waterpan with foil


Would you please elaborate on this.  I go round and round with using a water pan with and without and a terracotta plate.

I'll try, until swamprb steps in again.

The original purpose of the water pan (when filled with hot water or sand) is to act as a heat sink, to help stabilize temperature swings. The density of a terra cotta (clay) pan, also filled with water or sand, is meant to serve the same purpose. If you have a WSM (real one, not mini WSM) then you shouldn't need a terra cotta pan, right?

Weber began to include a deeper water pan on the 18 a few years ago, for more water capacity/longer cooks. Similar in capacity to a 15" Brinkmann water pan which can be swapped out on the older 18" WSMs, http://www.amazon.com/Brinkmann-812-0002-0-Charcoal-Discontinued-Manufacturer/dp/B0049EYYCS << be careful, build quality/paint quality on those isn't great.

So yes, opinions, methods, vary about whether or not you should use a water pan for water. But I don't see why you'd use one with a terra cotta pan.

My opinion is that a WSM often seals poorly unless you either: 1) have a new one that hasn't yet had anything get bent 2) have an old one sufficiently gummed up to seal with grease 3) have one you added gaskets to.

So a heat sink/water pan becomes a crutch to compensate for the increased airflow you don't want. I'm not convinced the added moisture keeps food juicy. That's called "steam" and it goes out the top.

**************
I don't use water anymore, because my results didn't improve when I did. And it's a messy sludge you don't want to toss in the yard or down the sink. SO, my "water pan" is only functioning as a diffuser and drip pan, covered in foil for easier cleanup.
It's the iconic symbol for the backyard. It's family/friends, food and fun. What more do you need to feel everything [is] going to be all right. As long as we can still have a BBQ in our backyard, the world seems a bit of a better place. At least for that moment. -reillyranch

jdefran

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Re: How to arrange meat on WSM for hot and fast cook?
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2016, 09:42:02 AM »
@addicted-to-smoke, I too, don't use water in my pan..just foil. I figure if I can use something to divert/block direct that is more shallow you can either load more charcoal if cooking on top grate or increase distance between fire and drippings in the hope they don't burn.

I think I saw somewhere that @swamprb used a steel disk.. Perhaps he can shed some light on the topic.

swamprb

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Re: How to arrange meat on WSM for hot and fast cook?
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2016, 04:01:28 PM »
@addicted-to-smoke, I too, don't use water in my pan..just foil. I figure if I can use something to divert/block direct that is more shallow you can either load more charcoal if cooking on top grate or increase distance between fire and drippings in the hope they don't burn.

I think I saw somewhere that @swamprb used a steel disk.. Perhaps he can shed some light on the topic.

You guys worry too much!


Here are some pics of the steel discs that I have in my Cajun Bandits & WSM's.

This is the 18" Cajun Bandit setup - 1/8" steel laser cut





I use a pizza pan that I foil over and use it for a drip pan. Toss the foil after each use for easy cleanup.



Disc for the Performer with Cajun Bandit Stacker





A disc in the Pellet Pro by Smoke Daddy "Pellet Poopin' Bullet" shown with the foiled over drip pan in place. This pic is I'm using a disposable aluminum catering party platter foiled over. Got them from Restaurant Depot, but have pizza pans as well.



These days I'm using the Hunsaker Smokers Vortex Firebaskets in my 22" WSM's and Drum Smokers. No need for a waterpan or heat deflector- even heat with the benefit of an extra flavor profile from the fats dripping on the Vortex plate.













http://www.hunsakersmokers.com/products/vortex-charcoal-basket-for-22-kettle-smoker

I will mention that there are some top WSM Competition teams using the Hunsaker Vortex firebaskets but don't expect to see them posting anything about them-they want to keep it their secret weapon.

@jdefran @addicted-to-smoke @G19 @pbe gummi bear take a look at my FB page and troll through the Albums, there are many HH cooks on the various cookers I use here at the Bone Shack R&D wing of Left Hand Smoke "Fire it up!" Competition BBQ.

https://www.facebook.com/Left-Hand-Smoke-116187658462391/

Any questions - feel free to ask!
« Last Edit: May 03, 2016, 04:06:22 PM by swamprb »
I cook on: Backwoods Gater, Lang 36, Hunsaker Smokers, Pellet Pro 22" WSM, BGE's, WSM's, Cajun Bandits, PK Grills, Drum Smokers, Genesis Silver C, Weber Q's, Cookshack 008, Little Chief, La Caja China #2, Lodge Sportsman...oh yeah! Weber Kettles! Kamado restoration and pit modification hack!

Easy

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Re: How to arrange meat on WSM for hot and fast cook?
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2016, 03:24:13 PM »
So if you own a 18.5 WSM what size pizza pan wiuld you need to buy?
Thanks for any info.

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