Smoke by Thermoworks

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Smoke by Thermoworks

I’m a big fan or Thermoworks. Years ago (maybe 7 now?), I received the Classic Super-Fast Thermapen as a Christmas present. 2-3 second readings, accurate to 0.7F, water resistant. What’s not to like? In all that time, I think I’ve only changed the battery on it once.

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Classic Super-Fast Thermapen 

 

About a year ago, I purchased the Chef Alarm. Originally, I bought it to check on my mash temperatures and to keep an eye on my wort as it came to a boil when I was brewing beer. It does all that well, but also gets used as a timer when cooking and to monitor temperatures of food being cooked in the oven or on the BGE. The ability to set low and high temp alarms is very helpful as you don’t have to open the oven or Egg to check and let out heat. The Chef Alarm will let you know when its ready.

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Chef Alarm

I’ve been looking at Smoke ever since it was first announced, before they ever released it. Monitor meat temp? Check! Monitor Egg temp? Check!! 300 ft range? Awesome!! Way better than my old Maverick ET-73, which crapped out on me anyway and would no longer send a signal to the monitor, and  which never did reach the 100 ft it claimed.

 

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What comes in the box

When I opened the box, I found:

  • Base unit
  • Pro-Series® High Temp Cooking Probe
  • Pro-Series High-Temp Air Probe
  • Grate Clip
  • Wireless Smoke Receiver w/Lanyard
  • Operating Instructions
  • a small bag of jellybeans which I found was a nice personal touch. Duke will enjoy them I’m sure
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Up close view of the Base Unit

You might have noticed, in the first picture the “Open Box Item” sticker. If you keep an eye on their website, or are on their mailing list, you’ll see that frequently they have sales and special offers. While the Smoke is regularly $99, I was able to pick up this open box item last week for only $76!! I wasn’t overly concerned that it was an open box item, but when I did receive it, I took the time to look it overly carefully. The box appeared to me to have never been open. After opening it, I looked over the base unit and the receiver, and it looked in pristine condition. No scratches anywhere or signs of use. As far as I can tell, it is brand new and I saved $23. Score!!

So far I’ve only used it once…and not really in the way the creators probably envisioned. The other day I brewed my first lager. Lager being a beer using lager yeast versus and ale using ale yeast. I needed to cool my wort down to 50F before pitching my yeast. So I sanitized the probe, stuck it in the carboy and put the carboy in my fermentation fridge. I set the alarm to let me know when it had dropped down from 68F to 50F. Then, I stuck the receiver in my pocket and went out and mowed the yard and did some other chores around the house. Not once did it lose signal!! It was nice to know that it was reliable and I can’t wait to try it out on an overnight brisket. Having the alarm sitting right next to me on my nightstand to let me know if my fire went out or got to hot will definitely let me sleep better…not that I usually worry about the temp on my Egg

Buy once, cry once. Don’t buy those cheap units that you might find at Home Depot or Target or Bed Bath and Beyond. Buy quality and you won’t regret it.

The only thing I do regret is that last night I saw an advertisement on FaceBook from Thermopen that it is now offered in 9 different colors. When I purchased this unit, grey was the only color it came in. Oh well, I think the grey looks pretty slick.

Disclaimer: This unit and the other thermometers from Thermoworks were not given to me by Thermoworks. They were purchased with my hard money or in the case of the Thermapen a Christmas present from my parents. I have no affiliation with Thermoworks, nor was I asked to give a review.

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Just an Update

We’re still here. Still kicking. Been real busy at work, short staffed, working lots of weekends so I haven’t been posting much. That’s all about to end soon…hopefully.

Anyway, got home from work and had a package waiting for me. A Kick Ash Basket. Heard a lot of hype about it. Can’t wait to try it out. Supposed to make cleaning out your Egg easier and allows the Egg to get up to temp faster. We’ll see.

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Kick Ash Basket

One thing’s for sure, it’s Duke proof!!

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Kid tested

I’ll let ya know how it works and just so you know this product was paid for with my own hard earned cash. I have no connection to, affiliation with nor ever been in contact with this company.

Just to keep this food related, we did bring the Mini out of hibernation this weekend. Don’t think its seen any action since June I think.

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Jalapeno cheese sausages

Sunday, I was taking the large Egg apart to clean it out and install the Kick Ash Basket when I noticed this

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Cracked fire box

That’s a bummer, but I’ve already sent an e-mail to BGE this morning along with pictures and my replacement has been approved and as soon as it shows up to my local dealer (Elliot’s hardware in Plano), I’ll go pick it up. I’m sure there is still plenty of life left in this one, but the day it does break into a million pieces, I want to have a replacement on hand. Gotta love BGE and their lifetime warranty. 🙂

I guess the only other “Eggciting” thing to share is that Mrs. G gave me the go ahead to start working on a new table/outdoor cooking area for the Eggs. All I have is a rough sketch so far.

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Sidewalk chalk…not just for kids

Hopefully, we’ll have something a little more exciting to share with you shortly.

Soy Vay Island Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin

Picked up some pork tenderloins the other day at Sams’s. 3 went in the freezer and one took a 24 hour bath in this stuff.

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First time trying it out, sounded interesting. For this cook, I decided to use the Mini since it’s been sitting dormant for a while. Went and ahead and hooked up the new Flame Boss 100 to see how it would work on the Mini and a direct cook. Set it for 400.

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Tenderloins sure do take up a lot of room on the Mini. Almost done.

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Took about 30 minutes or so to hit 145, I was shooting for 140. Don’t tell anybody.

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You  noticed the tooth picks sticking out of one end? I like to fold over the skinny end of a tenderloin and secure it in place. I find that if left alone, that skinny end will end up being way overdone. I’ve tried using butcher’s twine, but the skinny end tends to slip out when the tenderloin is flipped. Toothpicks just seem to work better for me.
As always with large proteins, I let it rest about 10 minutes before slicing.

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Look at all that juice!! We served it up on a bed of rice and drizzled on some of the reserved marinade. When using marinade that has touched raw meat, I boil it for 10 minutes and then let simmer until it reduced and thickened up a bit. I don’t know if that is technically “safe” and might not be restaurant approved, so do it at your own risk. I’ve never gotten sick, nor has anybody I’ve ever served, but I’m throwing out a little warning there for you to heed or not.

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I was actually a bit surprised. It came out really good. Not really like your average teriyaki at all. Not overly salty, but had a sweetness to it that was very interesting. Even though I overshot the temp I was gonna pull it at by 5 degrees, it was still plenty juicy and oh so tender.  The leftovers are gonna make some great sliders served up on some King’s Hawaiian rolls. 😀 I just wish I had made some kind of slaw and/or caramelized onions to go along with it.  Will definitely use this marinade again in the future.

 

Brisket, ABTs and the New Flame Boss 100

Flame Boss 100 Trial 1
Flame Boss 100 Trial 1

This is the follow up post on the new Flame Boss 100. For its trial run, I figured go big or go home and nothing tops brisket! I had a 13 pound brisket all trimmed up. I rubbed it down with mustard and a mix of Fiesta Brisket Seasoning and Dizzy Pig Cow Lick. Normally, I just use a 50/50 mix of salt and freshly ground black pepper by weight for brisket, but after realizing just how many spices and rubs I have during our move, I thought it was time to clear some out. No more Fiesta. Started the Egg around 10:30 Friday night to allow plenty of time for the Egg to get dialed in with the new controller. I wasn’t sure how long it would take to get up to temp and didn’t want to mess up the finishing time on the brisket. Nothing worse than having a horde of starving masses at your house and you don’t want them filling up on chips and dips and such.

Brisket on the Egg
Brisket on the Egg at 235F

Played with the temps a bit between 10 and 12 and it did a really good job responding. Brisket went on at midnight with B&B oak lump and mesquite (both chips and chunks scattered in the lump) for smoke. Temp set at 235F. Went to bed around 1:30 and all looked good. Not sure what time I got up, but the Egg was steady at 236. 1 degree difference. I think I can live with that.

What a sight to greet you first thing in the morning!
What a sight to greet you first thing in the morning!

I’m pretty sure I pulled it at 1PM (13 hours or so) when the temp had hit around 200F in most places and the probe went in like “buttah”. Forgot to take a pic. Sorry, totally gotten out of the habit of writing posts and documenting the cook with pictures. The brisket was wrapped in foil and placed in a cooler (FTC or foil, towel, cooler) to rest for a few hours as it wasn’t time to eat just then. Then it was time to bump the temp to 250F the ABTs on.

ABTs, poppers, ass burners (new one to me)...whatever you want to call them.
ABTs, poppers, ass burners (new one to me, JB Smith)…whatever you want to call them.

Yes, there were 3 nekid, vegan ones for my cousin. How a Griffin became a vegetarian? I blame it on living in California for a few years. 😕

Just in time for the Baylor game!
Just in time for the Baylor game!

The brisket was so tender after sitting in a cooler for a few hours. I was able to separate the point and the flat with the back of a knife. Here’s the flat. For some reason I can never get a smoke ring on a brisket on the Egg. Not that effects taste, just cosmetic.

The flat
The flat

Some people really like the flat or the “lean” portion of the brisket. Not me.

Look at that!
Look at that!

I could cook a whole brisket, toss the flat and just eat the point or “fatty” portion of the brisket and be totally happy. A little bend test. Fork tender.

Yep. That's bendy and tender and juicy!
Yep. That’s bendy and tender and juicy!

After pulling the ABTs, I raised the temp from 250 to 375 so my cousin could cook his vegan patties. The Flame Boss had no trouble bringing it up to temp in less than 15 minutes. No pictures of that cuz well they  were frozen vegan patties. Who cares?

So what are my thoughts? I did notice when installing the Flame Boss, that the new fan does not have those two bendy wires that attach it to the adapter. Kinda freaked me out finding that at first after having a few drinks. I thought mine must have been defective.  Turns out it has a new lip design that keeps it attached. Forgot to take pics of that.

Old fan. You can see the 2 bendy wires?
Old fan. You can see the 2 bendy wires?

Do you need a pit controller to take care of your Egg? Absolutely not. Is it nice not having to worry about the possibility of your fire going out overnight? You betcha!! Is it nice to just light you egg, plug it in, walk away and know that it will hit your desired temp and not overshoot while you’re prepping your meal? Or watching tv? Or having a cold beverage? You’re darn tooting!

As far as performance, I’m totally happy. Works like a champ. Besides the way it attaches, the new design of the controller itself (the most obvious change and appears to be just cosmetic) and new wires that I have no info on, it works just like the original…perfect IMHO. Quickly brought the egg up to temp, held it there for over 13 hours then quickly brought it up to a higher temp to direct grill some burgers. The “Open Dome” function works just as it should, stopping the fan from coming on when you are checking your meat.

No it doesn’t have internet or wi-fi. No it won’t keep track of your temps and graph them. No it won’t tie your shoes or open your beer, but then again I don’t want or need a pit controller that does all those things. If you do, hey, that’s your thing and this one isn’t for you. No biggie. Different strokes and all. Actually, if it could open my beer…

If you want a controller that just controls your pit and that’s all without all the fancy bells and whistles, this one deserves looking at. Obviously, I’ve only used it once, but I’ll keep testing it to see how it does over time and how durable it is. So far, I am pleased with it. In fact, I’d love to try it out again this coming weekend but I’ve already got plans on Saturday. Maybe there will be some time for ribs on Sunday…

 

**Edit – since I wrote this, I was asked on the Egghead Forum by a fellow named BRushOO “Here’s the bottom line of the Flame Boss 100 as I see it:  If this flame boss was stolen/broke/you were no longer it’s owner….. would you buy another one at retail cost?” I thought about it and quite honestly I would say that yes, I would. I would not hesitate to buy one. Unless, I opted to check out the DigiQ just for sake of change and in order to do review a different brand.

The New Flame Boss 100

The new Flame Boss 100
The new Flame Boss 100

Hey guys, remember me? Yeah, sorry I haven’t been very active lately. I’d love to say that the reason I haven’t been posting is that we, and by we, I mean Mrs. G, is in her third trimester, but that’s not it. I’d love to say that it’s because we moved into a new house, but we stopped posting long before that. I’d love to say that it’s because lately I’ve been super busy at work, which I have, but it’s not that either.

I think  what it really boils down to that I got burnt out. Burnt out on posting. Burnt out on cooking. Burnt out on food. I think since August, I’ve really only been eating to survive, not caring what it was. Mrs. G would ask what I wanted for dinner and I’d tell her that honestly I didn’t care. It didn’t make any difference to me. So we’ve just been eating a lot of plain Jane normal stuff. Cheeseburgers, tacos, spaghetti, maybe a steak of two. Honestly, just your quick throw it together dinners. Hell, we’ve been in our new house 3 weeks and I’ve only fired up the Egg 3 times!! The crockpot has gotten more love than the Egg. 😦

But I think I’m finally snapping out of that. Getting a little creative spark back. I’d love to dive back in here, full throttle, but I think I’d burn out again. I’d love to say that I’m gonna try and post at least once a week, but let’s try and just ease back in. Say two posts a month? That doesn’t seem like to hard a goal to meet. Hell, there might not be anybody out there anymore paying any attention to this blog for all I know. Let’s just see how it goes, shall we?

That’s not what this is about, though. What this is about today is the new Flame Boss 100. I received this a few weeks back to try out. The owner said that since I was the first person to really write about the original, he thought he’d send me the new version to try out.

What comes with the new Flame Boss 100. Hey, you like the new granite counter tops?
What comes with the new Flame Boss 100. Hey, you like the new granite counter tops?

I don’t have all the details on what all changed from the original to the 100, so I’ll just share with you my observations. The most obvious is the pit controller itself. It’s got a fancy new makeover. We’ll get to that in a moment. The fan has also been changed. It no longer has the two metal wires that slide into the adaptor and lock it into place. Instead, it has a lip on the edge that locks it into place. You’ll notice that it also has two adaptors. They claim that it will fit on any size Egg. I believe them, but can only vouch that it will fit on the Large and the Mini. They also say that it will fit all size Kamado Joes, Primo Grills, Grill Dome, Char-Griller Akorn, and others. There is another version that will fit the Weber Smokey Mountain, offset smokers and other smokers. I can only speak for performance on the Large BGE, however. The meat probe and pit probe have also changed in, but whether that is in appearance or if some of the specs have changed, I have no idea. I do like the “plastic-ey” wires on them. No more metal wires that can get bent or crimped. We’ll have to see how they hold up in the long run.

The Pit Controller
The Pit Controller

I really should have taken a side by side pic of the new controller and the old one, but it didn’t cross my mind at the time. If you want to see the old one, click HERE. The new version looks more sleek, more modern to me. No clicky, push buttons. The display looks the same. The biggest thing is the mounting bracket that comes with it allowing you to mount the controller on a table or wall or anything near your smoker.

New Mounting Bracket
New Mounting Bracket

I didn’t mount mine yet as I’m still getting used to the new location and I’m not sure I’ve got my grilling station set up just how I want it. Once I do, I will mount it for sure.

Easily pivots for viewability.
Easily pivots for viewability.

The new mounting bracket will allow you to mount it to any horizontal or vertical surface and then pivot to give you an easy to ready screen.

Testing it out
Testing it out

While everybody else was Trick or Treating, going to costume parties, or haunted houses, we stayed in and played with our new toy. Here it is in action. I’ll let you know what we cooked and how it performed in our next post, but I will say for now that I am impressed so far.

Again, sorry for our absence and I hope y’all are still out there. I promise I’ll work harder to get some more posts up and some new recipes soon. Thanks for still tuning in.

**Disclaimer – I was not paid to promote this item nor compensated in any way. I do not work for Flame Boss, nor have any affiliation with anybody in the company. This controller was sent to me for free as a gift and I was not asked to review it or give my opinions one way or another. And any and all other legal mumbo jumbo that should be noted here.