Close to final report on Grand Champ XD tinkering.

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Master of the Pit
Original poster
Jan 18, 2020
I've been trying some different things and frankly, none have hit the sweet spot, as of yet.
Today I did a test burn in preperation for a primal rib cook tomorrow and I may have solved issues I was (or thought I was) experiencing.
The possible final combo of changes is as follows;
I put the original fire box tray and cook chamber charcoal trays back in place and added a water pan but I deleted the factory heat baffle plate that leans on the right end of the charcoal tray.
Both the charcoal tray and tuning plates are moved all the way to the right, no large gap that would allow hot gasses to go straight up.
I also added some fire bricks to the firebox tray but I did so because I wanted a place to lean my smaller sticks to keep them above the coal base.
Rigged with 8 temp sensors, four top, four bottom, I started a largish lump coal bed and then added some sticks to get temps above 300 everywhere.\
Once the hot parts hit 400, I closed down the inlet air flow and the temps reduced nicely to a point where I had 250 to 300 on all readings and they stayed that way for an hour until it needed more fuel, which I did not add as I think I'm done for the day, and am currently confident I can properly cook these plate ribs that are calling to me as I type.


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Looking forward to seeing how your changes work out….and I’m sure those ribs will be excellent!

It's been a process but glad your getting her dailed in ! I have the same collapsible pan and love it !

Agree, anyone who smokes meat has to have that pan.
It does everything, I marinated a packer pastrami in it a while back and it did not spill a drop.
My former pastrami pan, covered with foil, sloshed some out every time I turned the meat over, which was every day for a week..
The base is also a cutting board AND I no longer get side eye from the wife when I sprinkle dry rub all over the kitchen, as all the overspray is contained in the pan.

Here's the start of the primal cook.


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Looks like a good start! And now you got me thinking about that pan.


The tuning plate did help but when I let the coal base get too big I still had some "overtemps".
My fix was simple and crude, I just raked out most of the coal base and added another small split.
My second option as to where to place the meat (based on temp zone testing) was the middle of the upper cook grate, that's where I'm going next.

Here's the results, they got done much quicker than I had anticipated.
My plan all along was to pan them at 170/180 and finish in the oven to save wood, but the thinner one hit 180 before noon and I panned both. (On rethink, I should have left the thicker one in the smoke longer).
Result is slightly less smoke on them but when they hit 208 internal, my probe was hitting clouds, so I called them both done.
Wish I could figure out a use for those bones, they are massive and would be good for something!


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