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Help with BBQ Guru: Trying one out tonite

BuxwheatBuxwheat Posts: 727
edited 8:40AM in EggHead Forum
Borrowed a friend's Guru for a cook tonite. Having to work until 9P, so hoping this will assure me that the cook will go w/o a hitch. 9.5# pork butt and trying to have it done in time for a 3P lunch/dinner. Any tips? Set up will be my usual: Spider w/ legs down, pizza stone, drip pan, Adjustable Rig w/ bars 2nd setting from top, cooking grid, and finally the butt on V-rack.
Looking at info on the Guru, I see the pit temp probe clipped onto the cooking grid. My friend plugs his into the dome. (Uncle) Phil Hanna clips his to the meat probe, away from the meat. What works best?
What pit temp should I set the Guru to? I'm used to doing butts @ dome temp of 225-250.
What about the Ramp Setting? Should I use it or not?
Blower damper setting? 10 cfm Pit Viper and a LBGE.
DFMT? Slider and Daisy settings.
Lastly, how about the fire: should I start it like I usually do w/ MAPP at 10, 2, and 6 or just in the center? Guru instructions said to mound charcoal pyramid style and light center. When should I place meat on grid? I usually let egg stablize at set temp for 45-60 min. Didn't know if I should put butt on when pit temp reached, assuming Guru is going to keep it there.
I know these are a lot of questions, and each cook/egg is different, but I need a starting point since I've never used this gadget before. Thanks for any info.

Comments

  • JeffersonianJeffersonian Posts: 4,244
    I start my fire as I always do, but I don't use a MAPP torch. I'd say just do it normally, making sure you don't let the Egg get too hot for too long, or it'll take forever to get it cool again.

    My personal preference anymore is to plug the meat probe into the Guru's "pit" receptacle, then remove my dial thermo from the dome and slide the meat probe into the hole. That way I'm sure I'm getting an apples-to-apples comparison between the dome temperature of the dial thermo and the Guru. I use a different digital thermo for sensing meat temperature and, needless to say, I don't use the ramp function of the unit. If I need to hold the butt for any length of time in the Egg, I'll ramp the pit setpoint down manually.

    My butt setup - for 1-3 butts - is to use an inverted plate setter with a drip pan set on three wads of aluminum foil to keep it from scorching. I sometimes put a little liquid in it, too. On top of the plate setter's upturned feet I'll put my grid, then the butts. The whole shebang cooks at 250* dome.

    I have the 4 CFM blower, so I keep it wide open and it usually evens out at around 10-20% blowing time. If you've got the 10 CFM unit, you might choke it down about 50% so the Guru has a little room to work.

    Remember that you'll want to pull the butt at around 200* internal a couple of hours before serving it to let it rest in a cooler, wrapped in towels. I've found this is a very important step and makes the final product that much juicier and more tender.
  • BuxwheatBuxwheat Posts: 727
    Thanks. I get the idea of two "fire temps" (Dome and Pit) and using a third separate probe for meat temp. Plan on doing something similar by placing one of my remote temp probes into the dome. That way I don't have to go outside to check the Guru readings so frequently. Can adjust pit temp to get dome temp to where I usually cook.
  • If you want to maintain a specific dome temp clip the pit thermometer to your dome thermometer.

    I clip mine to the meat probe or to the rib or V-rack if using one. The temp at the dome and grid level usually start out 25* or so apart but during long cooks the temepratures get closer to each other.

    One thing I have learned is to set the guru at a lower temp than I plan to cook at. Usually 25* less than the temp I plan to cook at and let it stabilize. Once the smoke thins out I set your cook temp. If you put the food on while the temp is rising the fan tends to help create more smoke. If you don't want the smoke you can just wait until you hit your desired temp. This helps avoid overshooting your temperature. I overshot once and it was really difficult to get it back down and stabalized.


    Good luck!
  • tjvtjv Posts: 3,485
    On the guru, let it the blower go 15 minutes full open, then back it down to half open. Since this is your first time, set the intial pit temp 25 degrees below your final target temp. Then after loading the meat and the guru stabilized the pit temp to -25, jump it to your actual desired temp. This will help you to prevent over shooting your final temp and add no real extra time to the cook.

    On the rig set up, do set up pictured and forego the v rack. One less piece to clean with no material affect on final product. This way all your stuff is on the rig for easy access to the lump. Just before loading the butt, lift the rig set up out and drop a wood chunk or two on the burning lump for immediate smoke. Also, bury a couple chunks along the firebox side in the lump when loading the lump. When placing the butt on the grid, it is fat side down.

    To lift out the loaded Rig, just put on welding gloves, slip your hands under the Rig's top ring and lift. Have your landing area close to the cooker and remember the Rig set up is hot. Total move: out, chunks and back in will take less than 30 seconds.

    Rig_indirect_13.png

    - light the lump, one spot at the center, I use a mapp torch.
    - ramp mode will slow your cooking time as the pit
    temp get lower when the meat temp approaches final temp.
    - you'll find the cook is the same as all your other cooks, except you'll have less to do....or worry about.

    t
    www.ceramicgrillstore.com ACGP, Inc.
  • BuxwheatBuxwheat Posts: 727
    Thanks, t. I usually use the V rack so it's easier to place the meat on the egg and take it off it one piece, w/o having any meat stick to the grid. Also, if I see a hot spot developing, it's easy to spin the rack around rather than trying to lift meat or spin grid. Will try it your way this time. I'm in the "Fat Cap Down" camp, too.

    I see you have new design in rods for adjusting levels. I have the old ones w/ nuts on each end. Where do you clip pit probe? Also, if I usually aim for 225-250 Dome, should I allow for difference in Pit/Dome or just set the Guru for 200 to start, then up to 225?
  • HatchHatch Posts: 149
    Sounds like you got some spot on advice there..
    Lets us know how your cook goes..

    Kenny
    Dir. of Operations
    The BBQ Guru
  • tjvtjv Posts: 3,485
    i usually clip the probe to the front side of the grid, couple inches from the butt. I go 235 degrees on the pit and 6-8 lb. butts run 11 to 13 hours. Since your butt is a little bigger, closer to 13 probably. What sticks to the grid is usuallly fat, so you are not loosing anyting, plus what meat that does stick is good eats for the cook......LOL.

    t
    www.ceramicgrillstore.com ACGP, Inc.
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