The Assassin 24!!

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by freiesleben, Dec 14, 2015.

  1. freiesleben

    freiesleben Meat Mopper

    I just got my latest toy today, the Assassin 24. 

    I have added a couple of pictures of it and considering making a review of it once I have got it going.

    But first impression is really good. Really professional work and nice details, a Pitmaster IQ120 is included in the price and I am really looking forward to try it. 

  2. b-one

    b-one Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Congrats looks like a great addition!
  3. freiesleben

    freiesleben Meat Mopper

    Thanks b-one, I think it will be. I did not have enough space in my WSM 18.5 and I wanted to have a good smoker to bring back to Denmark, Europe. 
  4. halfsmoked

    halfsmoked Master of the Pit Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    [​IMG]   Super looking new toy there my friend. Enjoy looking for future photos.
  5. freiesleben

    freiesleben Meat Mopper

    Thanks, will keep you guys updated with more photos as soon as I get it seasoned :)
  6. darbinco

    darbinco Fire Starter

    Looks just like mine!

    Your going to love it, here's a few things I've learned with mine.
    I've burned brickets and lump in mine and prefer the lump more so for the flavor but I also think it burns slower too. It should go 14 hours or so at 225 with a chute full of lump. Just be sure to break up the large pieces so they don't bridge in the chute. Soak your smoking wood real good, it doesn't last long in the ash pan.

    When I first used mine I started my coals with a small propane torch. It worked but a weed burner is much easier. Don't get them too hot though. Better to start low and let the IQ120 bring it up to temp. Before you light the coals make sure the valve is open. I know.. Sounds ridiculous right? But you will at one point or another not be able to get a decent fire going and it will be because that valve is closed! lol

    I have never nor will I ever leave the chute hatch open when starting a fire. It lessens the chance of having a chute fire. It will vent properly thru the cabinet if your stack is open. It doesn't take long to warm up either.

    Also, don't forget to put an aluminum pan underneath to catch the drippings.

    Enjoy it, it's a great unit!
  7. freiesleben

    freiesleben Meat Mopper

    Hi DarbinCo,

    Thanks for providing your findings, it is much appreciated and I will really make use of what you say(seems that we are not that many in the "Assassin Family" yet) :)

    What brand of lump do you use?(I have not used lumps before) And what brand is the weed burner? 

    I was actually thinking of using my "strike a fire" matches to light the charcoals, but would you not recommend that.

    What have you been cooking on yours and is there anything I should keep in mind. 

    Have you more pictures from some of your cooks etc? Could be pretty interesting to see. When did you get yours?

    Sorry for all the questions, but nice to have another one on the forum with an Assassin :)

    All the best

  8. darbinco

    darbinco Fire Starter

    I got mine just before Labor Day. I didn't waste any smoke, I did a pork butt in it while I seasoned it.

    I use Royal Oak from Walmart and it burns real good. I've also used the BGE brand which I think is Royal Oak in a different bag. I didn't care for the brand sold at SAMs club, black bag can't remember the brand (vision or something like that?) but there was lots of fines and dust in it.

    The weed burner is just one of those that you use with a 20# propane cylinder. It's much faster and easier than a match or any start stick etc..

    I came from a reverse flow stick burner. The smoke from the Assassin is lighter vs. the stick burner so the flavor is a bit different.

    Since getting it I've done around 10 pork butts, a dozen or so racks of ribs, 4 briskets, a pork belly, some chickens and about 15 pounds of jalapeno sausage.

    I don't take a bunch of pictures anymore, but I know there's a few someplace, I'll see if I can find them.

    I use a remote temp unit to watch my cabinet and meat temps from inside the house. Other than that there's not a lot of secrets about it. You set the temp on the 120 and let it roll. It's really amazing how steady the temps stay, I'm super impressed with this unit.
  9. darbinco

    darbinco Fire Starter

    Heres some before and after brisket pictures.  

    I can't remember if this was one of the ones above, but a sliced ready to eat picture it is. 

    These were the pork butts I did when seasoning the Assassin, notice the perfectly clean racks LOL 

  10. darbinco

    darbinco Fire Starter

    One of my only complaints is the rack spacing. It would be nice to have some additional guides installed so you can move the racks around some. As they are you can put pork butts on them as the butts are too tall and hit the rack above. It would be nice to have guides for 3 equal spaced racks to put butts on all of them. I have a welder to do so, probably a spring project before I get into the season again.  
  11. freiesleben

    freiesleben Meat Mopper

    Wow, thanks for your guidance first of all. 

    Those are some nice looking brisket. I know you mentioned that the smoke flavor is quite much less than a stick burner, which is also understandable. But I have a WSM as well, and in that one I managed to get more smoke flavor and I believe that should be possible on the Assassin as well. Do you know what I am doing wrong, I have the wood chunks in the ash pan, do you mix it with the lump coal as well. 

    I did this over the weekend and the smoke ring is actually pretty nice, but would have liked some more smoke flavor:

    I love the controller part, it is really good at keeping the temperature. 

    The racks you have for yours, are those the stainless steel they make at C&C or have you made them yourself. The standard ones are a bit rough.

    I get what you mean with the spacing between racks. 

    Do you use water pan when cooking in yours, I did this weekend as that is what I always do on my WSM.
  12. darbinco

    darbinco Fire Starter

    About the smoke...
    I know the wood chunks burn in the ash pan and the smoke has to go over the meat thru the cabinet. But.... It has to pass thru the red hot coals to get there. I can't help but wonder how much smoke is lost when it's super heated by the coals. ive often thought about putting the wood chunks in front of the coals on the heat inlet. That way every bit of smoke is in the cabinet and none is burnt off via the coals. I don't mix any with the coals but I've thought about it.

    I used the water pan on the first couple smokes. I had a hard time getting a nice bark on my meats, I think it was too much moisture in the cabinet. Without it the drippings also hit the heat shield at the bottom and turn to additional smoke too. I removed it and haven't had a problem since. The meat doesn't dry out so I'll keep the water pan in my storage shed. Give it try without the water, your meats will bark up much nicer. Also, If your just headng a few items use a rack towards the top of the top of the smoker. Your heat source is low so keep your meat as far from it as you can.

    The racks... Little safety/public service announcement here for everyone!
    Expanded metal racks can pull the little wires out of those wire brushes some use to clean them with. Long story real short here. I made expanded metal racks for my reverse flow stick burner. One day I brushed down the racks and scraped out the smoker into a box. I was in a hurry to get some meat on so I fired up the smoker and started the cook. My 4 legged best friend Bella the Boxer got into those chunky greasy flavored drippings when I wasn't looking and those little wires that got pulled out of the brush almost killed her. She ended up having a few stuck in her throat and 15-20 perforating her stomach and intestines. She had a tough week and it was touch and go for the first few days but with a great Vet and no doubt grace from the Lord above she pulled through. I made the mistake, was in a hurry, placed that junk where she could get to it and she paid the price. For what that weeks worth of vet bills cost, I could have bought 2 assassins. I love that dog more than most people in my life, while it hurt the wallet, she's worth every penny. Yes, I had Jeff build me some racks out of something besides expanded metal... Im just not a fan of it anymore, for some reason...

    Bella's says watch those expanded metal grates and wire brushes. It almost killed me just think of what would happen to a friend or a neighbor who ate your BBQ with a wire in it?

    Last edited: Dec 23, 2015
  13. freiesleben

    freiesleben Meat Mopper

    Thanks for above. I am however so sorry to hear about Bella, but so pleased that she pulled through. I would have the exact same way if that happened to one of our cats(have two American Shorthairs and one British Shorthair).

    But the racks you have in your Assassin now seems different, are those some you have made yourself? 

    I need to make a new cook on my Assassin ASAP, but I am not allowed to put the Christmas Duck or Pork Roast into it :( (my wife want it to be made the traditional way). But when I am going to cook the next time, I will mix wood chunks into the lump coal, and make sure that they are not too big, so that there is no risk of them getting stuck in the chute. Then I will give you an update, because I agree on the smoke having to pass through the red hot coals seems not to be working properly. 

    I think I will try to make the next cook without the water pan as well, I see Stumps are not even having that option for their Gravity Feed smokers, but it is always best to have the option at least. 

    Merry Christmas to you and your family. 

  14. darbinco

    darbinco Fire Starter

    The racks were done by Assassin, I requested something other than expanded metal.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours.
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2015
  15. freiesleben

    freiesleben Meat Mopper

    Thanks :)

    I should have ordered the same racks, I see that now :(

    But I can really recommend mixing a couple of layers of the wood chunks into the chute with the lump coal, just see below very nice smoke :)

    I am making pork roast in it today and sausage as well

  16. darbinco

    darbinco Fire Starter

    How did it turn out?

    Did you put any rub or seasoning on that roast?
  17. freiesleben

    freiesleben Meat Mopper

    It turned out great :)

    I used salt and pepper for seasoning and put bayleaves between some of the scored skin. I pulled it from the smoker when it had an IT of approx 165 F and then let it rest for a couple of hours until I put it in the oven to get the skin to pop(had the oven on 500 F)

  18. darbinco

    darbinco Fire Starter

    Interesting idea on the skin, I seen that on a YouTube video with a pork belly.

    I got 3 racks of ribs and a couple ducks going on here in a few minutes. My neighbor wants the ducks done.. I could care less for duck, I told him to pan them because I didn't want any quacky drippings ruining my ribs!
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2015
  19. freiesleben

    freiesleben Meat Mopper

    Sounds good, can I see the results or did you not take any pictures :)
  20. darbinco

    darbinco Fire Starter

    I didn't take any pics. Never even thought about it. 

    Placing the smoking wood in the heat vent passage into the cabinet worked real good. I think Ill do this for future smokes. 

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