Trial by Fire and Wind

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by evilsmoke, Apr 5, 2016.

  1. Whats up SMF. Wife got me a GMG DB smoker for my Bday, and I picked it up Saturday. I'm impatient so naturally I immediately planned to do the burn-in that night, and to prep a 10lb pork butt for a smoke on Sunday. It was a great plan and a bit of a learning experience being my first smoke, first time running a pellet grill, and just so happened to be the most ridiculous wind storms all day throughout Saturday and Sunday.

    When I picked up the grill I grabbed a 27lb bag of GMG texas blend pellets, which would surely be enough for a first smoke, right?

    Fired up the grill Saturday night to do the burn-in, 350F for 30 minutes, no problem right?

    Note the snow falling almost sideways in the ridiculous wind.

    So, I tended to this machine throughout the night trying to get it to my target temperature of 350F. But the wind was so bad that I was having a really hard time reaching the temp. It was staying just below the set temp, about -10F. At one point I lost power and had to restart the machine, tried to hot restart it but the temps were just dropping. I vacuumed out the firebox and threw some pellets into tit thinking I had to re-prime it and got it back up and running. Not the next day did I realize that I just had to have it restart the initial startup process, but that's besides the point. I decided around 4:30am to give up and give it a go in the morning. The pork butt was already prepped and ready for the morning in the fridge.

    I got up on Sunday fairly late due to my all-night grill babysitting and got started getting the machine fired back up and attempting to get to my burn-in temperature of 350F. Again, the temperature was having difficulty getting to my set temperature. It was then that I had an epiphany. I thought to myself, what the hell is going on here, this grill says that it can be set from 150F to 500F but I'm having problems getting it up to 350... DOH! I set the controller 10F higher to 360 and bam it immediately goes right where I wanted it. I thought you have got to be kidding me, why didn't I think of this earlier. Lesson learned, the variation on the temperature controller plus the wind was the only thing giving me difficulty after all. So I got it up to burn-in, held for 30 minutes and finally got the meat placed into the grill. I also made a small wind screen to try and protect it as much as I could and placed it near a wall under my overhang. Smooth sailing from here on!

    So, it's cooking away for hours, looking really good but I notice that I'm starting to run seriously low on pellets, the hopper was starting to look thin, and my 27lb bag of pellets are all gone. The dealer where I got the grill has closed for the day, and I have a few hours left. Oh no. I frantically search the internet for a source of pellets, and finally find a depot about 20 minutes away that stocks traeger grills and pellets. So I check the hopper and push the pellets into a spot where they will all go into the hopper, cover the low pellet alarm with tape so it doesn't drive my neighbors(or wife) crazy, check the meat temp which was getting up there at 187F for my target of 195-205F, and I head out. Grab the pellets and get back to an empty hopper, and a grill with falling temperatures. Loaded it up, fired it back up and finished the first smoke. Pulled pork came out really good. Lots of lessons learned, and really had a great time even with all the hiccups. Looking forward to my next smoke, which should go much smoother.

  2. mowin

    mowin Master of the Pit

    Congrats on your first cook on the GMG. Get yourself the thermal blanket. Your pellet fund will thank you. You can grab a welding blanket from harbor freight for a temporary fix.

    :points: on overcoming the weather and not giving up. Oh and for some great looking PP. :drool
  3. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Pork looks great! Nice first smoke!
  4. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

    That's the way to persevere, EvilSmoke! It's hard not to try a new smoker, especially when you have the meat all prepped to go! You have to do it, right?
    Went through the same thing Sunday with my new offset. It was cold but OK 'til the wind picked up to 18mph in the afternoon. Couldn't keep temps up but couldn't call it off, either!
    Warmer weather is coming...

  5. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Great job with your first smoke on a new rig!

    The PP looks amazing!


  6. GaryHibbert

    GaryHibbert Smoking Guru OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Nice looking PP.  Aside from the weather (and you can't do anything about that), it was a great first smoke.  Well done.



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