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.

How To Build Your Fire For a Low and Slow

Over the years, I’ve seen and heard countless people ask about how to build a fire in a Kamado style grill in order to get smoke through out a low and slow cook. In fact, just this morning I was asked in a PM about this very topic. If you just put wood on top of the coals, it will burn up at the beginning of your cook. You can always take out your plate setter or your heat deflector and add more wood, but you lose heat, its awkward (where do you place that hot plate setter?) and will end up adding time to your total cook. Who wants that?

The answer is pretty simple. When filling up your firebowl, add wood mixed in with the lump charcoal. Place a layer of charcoal on the bottom, then add your wood chunks (or chips. Or a mixture of both), add more charcoal, then more wood chunks and repeat until your firebowl is full. As the fire burns down, it will continue to hit fresh wood which will ensure smoke through out the cook. Voila! Easy peasy. Simple as could be.

Note that on a low and slow, you will have a small fire and it will be contained pretty much too a small cylinder in the middle of you bowl. For that reason, just add the wood to the center. No need to spread it out towards the edges as the fire probably won’t ignite any wood there.

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I’d like to be able to take credit for creating the above illustration, but in truth it’s been floating around the ole interweb for years on various forums. I believe credit should go to a guy named Stike, but sadly he is no longer active on the Egghead forum.

Happy Smoking!

A Few Projects We’re Working On

We don’t have any new recipes to share with you today, but I thought I would give you an update on some of the things we are working on right now and some of the projects we will be taking on this year.

Often touted as the Bible when it comes to Charcuterie
Often touted as the Bible when it comes to Charcuterie

     A while back, and I don’t even know how long ago, I got a copy of Michael Ruhlman and Brian Poleyn’s Charcuterie. I had every intention to dive right in and make some home made bacon and Canadian bacon. You know what they say about the best of intentions? I pulled it off the bookshelf, dusted it off and have now committed myself to finally attempting some of those recipes.

Just about 5lbs of raw pork belly
Just about 5lbs of raw pork belly

     At some point, I must have mentioned to my brother, the other Mr. G, that I didn’t know where to find pork belly. He told me to try an Asian market. Later on, he brought me right around 5 lbs of pork belly which got dumped into the freezer and lost.

While I wish it was one solid slab, I'll work with tehe4 smaller ones I have now.
While I wish it was one solid slab, I’ll work with the 4 smaller ones I have now.

     Getting into Charcuterie was one of my New Year’s Resolutions. From what I have heard, store bought bacon does not even compare to the stuff you can make at home. It does require curing the meat for around 7 days with a basic cure of Kosher salt, sugar and Cure #1.

Ingredients for the Basic Cure
Ingredients for the Basic Cure

I’m thinking that since I am doing smaller slabs instead of one big slab and since there will be more surface area, the cure won’t take the full seven days. I’m hoping to pull it Saturday, rinse it, rest it overnight and cold smoke it on Sunday. We’ll see how that goes…

A Book Review!!
A Book Review!!

     The other thing I need to get underway is a book review of Sausage! by Johan Akerberg and Jesper Lindberg. The nice folks at Skyhorse Publishing contacted me back in November and offered me the opportunity to review this new book. Unfortunately, the holidays got in the way, but now that things are returning to normal, I’m looking forward to diving into it. They gave me permission to reprint two or three of their recipes, so I’ll be scouring the book looking for the ones that most appeal to me and I’ll share them with you. The pictures are very appealing so it might be hard to pick, but I’m leaning towards one of their pork sausages, a duck sausage (if I can find some duck) and possibly a seafood sausage.  They have one they call Moules de Mer, crab and lobster sausage with moules mariniere (a bowl of mussels) and French fries. I know Mrs. G will be a fan of that one.

Moules de Mer - I know Mrs. G is going to love this one.
Moules de Mer – I know Mrs. G is going to love this one.

     The authors have also included quick and simple recipes for sides (such as sauerkrauts, pickled red onions or German potato salads to name a few) and home made condiments (mustards, ketchups, curry sauces and more) to go along with each sausage. I am really excited to get started on some of these right away.

The Flame Boss
The Flame Boss

     Don’t think we’ve forgotten about the Flame Boss. We’ve used it a few times here and there and so far our initial impressions have been really postitive, but we are going to really put it through its paces now. Expect a thorough review of how it performs and what we like and/or don’t like about it.

     Along with dabbling in some Charcuterie and stuffing some sausages, we will strive to bring you new and fresh recipes this year including grilled foods, smoked foods and even some prepared solely in the kitchen. And we’ve got a few reviews that will be coming up early in the year of some new products that I am excited to try out. So that’s what we’ve got planned. As always, we love hearing from each and every one of you, whether it’s you sharing your opinions with us, offering us suggestions or asking questions. If you have any ideas or recipes that you would like us to try, feel free to tell us about them. If you have a recipe that you would like to share with us and possible see here on the blog, send it our way. We love interacting with you, so make sure to leave us a comment. Here’s to a bigger and better New Year in 2014!

 

Disclaimer: Michael Ruhlman and Brian Poleyn’s Charcuterie was purchased with our own hard earned dollars. We have had no contact with either of them or their publishers and have received no monetary compensation from them. The publishers of  Sausage! and the makers of  Flame Boss contacted us and sent us their products free of charge. There has been and will not be any monetary compensation from them for reviewing their products. We have always been and will continue to be a non-profit blog, doing it for the love of it and not in the pursuit of money.

Welcome to Griffin’s Grub

After much encouragement from friends and family, I have decided to start my own blog. Welcome to Griffin’s Grub, a blog where I discuss barbecue and cooking on the Big Green Egg, from low and slow cooking, direct grilling, pizzas and even some baking. I might also include, from time to time, things we cook inside, restaurants we visit or anything else I find worth sharing. I hope you follow along, learn some tips and tricks you can include in your ‘cueing and get inspired to try things you have never thought about before. Please feel free to share any comments or ask any questions.  And remember, “If you’re looking, you ain’t cookin’ !”

~Jason

Me and my Big Green Egg