New smoker break-in - Bell Fab

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Hockeydudde

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Jan 31, 2022
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New Mexico
Received my new Bell Fab 24" x 48" Thursday night. Spent yesterday seasoning and breaking it in. Did 20 lbs of skinless chicken thighs. Wanted to do something like a biscuit test, but my wife is gluten free, so no cheep store bought biscuits for me.
Ran it at 375 for about 3 hours before letting it drop down to 250.
Left the chicken at 200-250 for about 1 hour before flipping. There is a definite hot spot right where the baffle ends. Chicken there was 175, while 140 everywhere else.
Glazed some with some homemade KC style sauce and returned to the smoker for 30 minutes. Served with kale salad and rice. The chicken was a little over, was focused on figuring out the temp distribution, not so much on cooking perfect thighs. But the smoker flavor was just right.
Sealed and froze the rest.
I'm pretty sure I want to take the baffle out. To me all it does is push the hot spot right to the middle so there is no large even area. Trying to decide whether to try a pork butt cook and see how that goes, or just pull it out. I'll be doing bacon and ham next weekend, they are so long, they won't really fit on either side of the hot spot.
 

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Displaced Texan

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Nov 11, 2020
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I get even temps across mine, 24x48. Just a matter of figuring out your particular pit. But, certainly not trying to talk you out of removing that. I see he didn't put the warming plate on the firebox. Is that something you asked him to do?
 

Hockeydudde

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Jan 31, 2022
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I get even temps across mine, 24x48. Just a matter of figuring out your particular pit. But, certainly not trying to talk you out of removing that. I see he didn't put the warming plate on the firebox. Is that something you asked him to do?
I asked for the cooking grate and he said they don't really work together. I didn't really care, never used it before.

Do you use a water pan? I've typically in the past, but side from putting it right in the middle of the pit, not sure where it would go.

I'm doing ribs tomorrow and will put TCs where I think the hot and cold spots are now that I have an idea and compare.

Thanks!
 

Displaced Texan

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Nov 11, 2020
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Burr Ridge, IL
I asked for the cooking grate and he said they don't really work together. I didn't really care, never used it before.

Do you use a water pan? I've typically in the past, but side from putting it right in the middle of the pit, not sure where it would go.

I'm doing ribs tomorrow and will put TCs where I think the hot and cold spots are now that I have an idea and compare.

Thanks!
Yes, I use a water pan all the way on the left side near the firebox. Looking forward to pics, if you can, of the cook and the ribs. TCs?
 

912smoker

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That's a lot of good looking thighs there and a nice 1st cook ! You'll get her dailed in with a little practice!

Keith
 

Hockeydudde

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Jan 31, 2022
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New Mexico
Yes, I use a water pan all the way on the left side near the firebox. Looking forward to pics, if you can, of the cook and the ribs. TCs?
TCs = thermocouples.
That's a lot of good looking thighs there and a nice 1st cook ! You'll get her dailed in with a little practice!

Keith
Thanks!

I lost my phone the morning of the cook, so it "didn't happen". But if it hypothetical did happen, the hot spot felt about the same, but it was useful because one rack was way thinker than the other two and was lagging. 2 hours over the hot spot caught it right up. While hotter, it's not scorching hot. The very tips of the ribs were charred after 2 hours in the hot spot but the meat was moist and tender.

Since the ribs fit, the loin and bacon should fit in the cooler spots no problem. Going to leave the baffle in for now.
Nice thing is that it's just tacked, and if I want to put it back, I can just weld it right back.
 

Hockeydudde

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Jan 31, 2022
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Trying out using the hot spot today. Have 2 cured loins for brown sugar ham and a cured belly for black pepper bacon in the cooler spots. A beef shoulder roast in the hot spot and chicken thighs in the top rack.
38 lbs total.
 

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Hockeydudde

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The belly went in the side by the firebox, so it comes fast. Was only on about 1.5 hours, took off at iIT of 145. Smells like bacon!
The fat is certainly rendered, but out all gets pan fried so was going to eventually happen anyway.
 

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Hockeydudde

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Glazed the thighs and put back on for 20 minutes. Tasty lunch. Also pictured are some left over ribs that I reheated on the smoker.
 

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Hockeydudde

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thighs look great, great looking lunch!
Thanks!

Pulled the ham at 135. 18 minutes later IT was up to 139. I'll slice the bacon and ham today or tomorrow.
PXL_20220909_185819031.MP.jpg

Beef shoulder came off because we needed to get some canning done.
Went into the oven in a pyrex dish at 215 until bed time. Turned down to 165 for the night. About to prove it to make sure it is tender. It's on the menu for dinner.
PXL_20220909_191923138.jpg
 
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Hockeydudde

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Still haven't sliced the ham and bacon. Hopefully tonight.
Yesterday we got an important milestone at work, so celebrated with some left over smoked beef shoulder, refried in tallow. Served with Chile rellenos and fried okra. Finished the night with a cocktail.
 

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Hockeydudde

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Thanks tbern tbern . I know at least one person is watching, lol.

Finally wrapped up. Sliced and packaged the ham and bacon today. I typically brine the ham and bacon together, but decided to do separate this time. It paid off! The sweeter ham is 👍🏻.
Looks like I missed talking a picture of the ham, but there is the bacon. I sliced done ham 1/2" thick and we are going to try breading and frying it, like chicken fried ham. I'm sure it will be terrible... I'm probably just buy the family take out to spare them the burden of eating it. Lol.
 

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