Weekend festivities have me worn out - so one post to cover two topics...
First cook with new Hi Que grate this weekend was pork butts. I picked up two butt family packs on sale at the local grocery store. One was 7+ lbs between the two butts and the other was 8+. Lit the Egg at 5 am, butts went on about 5:45. Cooked them indirect, with drip pan, at about 275. I placed my el cheapo internal thermometer probe into the smallest roast and ran it up to 200 deg. Checked them all at that point with the Thermopen and all my readings were 200 - 205. Pulled them off at about 2:30 pm and pulled them.
Now, back to the Hi Que... I filled my firebox with all new lump. I cleaned my Egg out prior to this cook and didn't have much old lump in it. I left it aside and only used new lump for this cook. Filled to top of firebox only - none into fire ring. I have been using Royal Oak exclusively since starting with the BGE except for one back of BGE lump that I talked my dealer into tossing in on the deal. This bag of RO was a green bag that I picked up on sale at Menards a few weeks ago - usually use the red bags from Wally World. Only difference I saw was the green bag did seem to have a few chucks that were much larger than I am used to seeing in the red bags. The Hi Que worked good. Very steady temps throughout the cook. I lit the lump pile on top, center - as soon as the lump was lit, I put the plate setter, drip pan, and cooking grate in and closed the lid. Bottom vent wide open and no daisy wheel to start with. Seemed to take its sweet time getting going - longer than I expected with the Hi Que. I dumped the lump - no stacking. Once going, it was rock steady. Now, today, I opened my Egg to see what the results were. The lump had burned a nice hole down through the center of the lump pile. Very little ash accumulation. I could see the Hi Que through the lump. Pretty impressive. However, it seemed to burn a lot of my lump. I'd estimate only having about 1/3 to 1/4 of my load left. This was on a 9.5 hr cook at 275. There was enough left to go another 2-3 hours or so, but I sure could not have gotten anywhere close to 20 hrs out of that load. I seemed to have done a lot better on lump efficiency in the past, but again, this is the first time I've used the green bags of RO. Maybe there is a difference? Even still, I am very happy with how the HQ grate performed. I cleaned it out again today and there really wasn't that much for small pieces that dropped through the grate - some, but less than I expected.
Pulled pork turned out great. I tried two different rub recipes and took great care to keep them separated for the trial - right up until I pulled them off the Egg and lost track! LOL!! I did find a sauce recipe on the net that I tried. It was a thin sauce that is apparently popular in the Carolinas. I like a sauce with kick - not that crazy about the thick, sweet BBQ sauces. We use Open Pit for chicken and ribs - it is thicker, but has some snap to it. I did buy a bottle of Sweet Baby Ray's and offered the choice since some in my extended family likes it. Below is the homemade stuff - I thought it was absolutely great! Tangy, tart, with some heat!
3/4 C white vinegar
3/4 C apple cider vinegar
1 Tbs sugar (I used turbino since i had bought it for one of the rubs)
1 Tbs cayenne pepper
1 Tbs Tabasco
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
The original recipe called for 1 cup each of the vinegars, but I thought that would be too tart for my taste. I think I might increase the sugar just a bit next time too. Anyhow, mix it all up and put into a bottle to pour on. Need to give it a shake each time since the spices will separate out.