Need Excel 20 help

Page 1 of 3 1, 2, 3  Next

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Need Excel 20 help

Post  BowtieBill on Sun Jul 27, 2008 1:37 am

OK, I hope I am posting this in an OK place.
When I got home from vacation, my Excel was waiting for me. Very Happy
That is the good news.
First burn, going to do Baby Back ribs. Filled the charcoal basket with Royal Oak lump, a few hunks of Hickory and Apple wood (dry), and added almost a full chimney of Kingsford briquettes on top. Had two vents full open to start.
Lined the water pan with foil. First mistake, I filled it with warm, not hot water.
Waited .5 hour, temp to only 195. Open all vents. After 1 hour, still 195.
It is now 2.5 hours, never got hotter. Just added some more lit coals, not much help, came up to 200+.
It is warm outside, 90F+, but there is a breeze that may be having an effect. Also I wonder if I affected the draft by using the foil on the water pan, since there is not much room on sides for air flow to rise.
The coals just don't seem like they want to burn.
I am experienced at using stick burners and other charcoal smokers, so I did not expect this problem.

Thanks,
Bill
avatar
BowtieBill
Charcoal Starter
Charcoal Starter

Number of posts : 88
Location : Ventura County, CA
Registration date : 2008-05-09

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Need Excel 20 help

Post  ILBBQS.com on Sun Jul 27, 2008 3:48 am

Hmm...though I have yet to fire up the Excel sitting in my living room (I'll take it outside when it comes time to add fire), I am curious to see what others have to say about this. You're right, the water pan is humongous...I too am wondering if that has anything to do with the low temps? We'll see. Hope you got it lined out and the temps up.
avatar
ILBBQS.com
Smokin Hot
Smokin Hot

Number of posts : 535
Age : 46
Location : In the Land of Lincoln...Illinois USA
Registration date : 2007-12-05

View user profile http://www.ILBBQS.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Need Excel 20 help

Post  Dr_KY on Sun Jul 27, 2008 8:49 am

BowtieBill wrote:OK, I hope I am posting this in an OK place.
When I got home from vacation, my Excel was waiting for me. Very Happy
That is the good news.
First burn, going to do Baby Back ribs. Filled the charcoal basket with Royal Oak lump, a few hunks of Hickory and Apple wood (dry), and added almost a full chimney of Kingsford briquettes on top. Had two vents full open to start.
Lined the water pan with foil. First mistake, I filled it with warm, not hot water.
Waited .5 hour, temp to only 195. Open all vents. After 1 hour, still 195.
It is now 2.5 hours, never got hotter. Just added some more lit coals, not much help, came up to 200+.
It is warm outside, 90F+, but there is a breeze that may be having an effect. Also I wonder if I affected the draft by using the foil on the water pan, since there is not much room on sides for air flow to rise.
The coals just don't seem like they want to burn.
I am experienced at using stick burners and other charcoal smokers, so I did not expect this problem.

Thanks,
Bill
I didn't get any pictures when I stated up the 20 for the first time but I remember NOT filling the basket more than half way and adding about half a chimney to it. Could you be choking it out? As for the pan we added water straight from the tap to about half full with no foil or sand. I don't think the foil is needed as cleanup was very easy when finished.( the pan ran dry sometime that morning but the burnt stuff came right off)

We used some cheap lump them switched to the coconut briqs.Try firing her up and letting it sit without the stackers for a bit.
avatar
Dr_KY
Smokin Hot
Smokin Hot

Number of posts : 642
Location : England
Registration date : 2008-04-21

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Need Excel 20 help

Post  ILBBQS.com on Sun Jul 27, 2008 4:20 pm

Outside of this forum, I've never heard of coconut briquettes. Do they add any flavor?
avatar
ILBBQS.com
Smokin Hot
Smokin Hot

Number of posts : 535
Age : 46
Location : In the Land of Lincoln...Illinois USA
Registration date : 2007-12-05

View user profile http://www.ILBBQS.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Need Excel 20 help

Post  Dr_KY on Sun Jul 27, 2008 4:42 pm

I didn't think so but they burn very well and leave little to no ash. They can be expensive as I'm told from Ian so I havent used any outsie of that contest.


I read the review from here but I think it had a very good burn time. http://www.nakedwhiz.com/lumpdatabase/lumpbag46.htm


Here is a link to the site of the Mfg...
Go through a few pages and check out the pictures on the right side of each page.
http://www.sigmabbq.com/about.html

They are hand packed though.. Suspect



avatar
Dr_KY
Smokin Hot
Smokin Hot

Number of posts : 642
Location : England
Registration date : 2008-04-21

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Need Excel 20 help

Post  Don Marco on Sun Jul 27, 2008 4:46 pm

Coconut briquettes burn very very clean and long, and leave no flavour at all.

I use them as often as i get any cheap since they are quite expensive.
Whenever i cook with them i use a bit more wood than i would with using lump charcoal for heat.

DM
avatar
Don Marco
King of Q
King of Q

Number of posts : 266
Age : 41
Location : Germany
Registration date : 2007-11-11

View user profile http://www.mybbq.net/forum

Back to top Go down

Re: Need Excel 20 help

Post  BowtieBill on Sun Jul 27, 2008 5:48 pm

Thanks, Dr.
I have some theories, and choking out the fire is one of them, because that is what the coals looked like. The lump I used had a lot of small pieces, which I think restricted airflow. I will try using briquettes only next time and see what happens.
I have quite a few boxes of the Kamado Extruded Cocconut briquettes left, I do not use them often. They are expensive and hard, even though there is a distributor in San Diego. Of the 16 boxes I bought at the time, maybe 6 were covered in mold. I did get them replaced though. They also seem to leave a fine white layer of ash over everything. I think they are a great product for use in Ceramic smokers, where you can shut it down after cook and reuse the un-burnt coals again. I will use up what I have in the Excel to see how they do.
The foil lined pan is what I have seen/read WSM users do, so that is why I did it. I do not think that is the problem. Has anyone tried the other tricks WSM users do, like using foil balls or sand in the pan? I will experiment.
I was also thinking that I should of let the coals ignite more initially with the unit open, then assemble and throttle down with air intakes. But that is opposite of how I have used charcoal baskets in stick burners.
I did not have access to my other thermometers, so I will try measuring grate temps over the dome temp gauge. The thing did settle in around 200d, and was still running there when I went to bed, about 8 hours.
And the good news is that my ribs came out fantastic. Cooked 2.75 hours, wrapped in foil for 1.25, and unwrapped for .5 hours. I did through them on my gassers during the foil process, indirect, just to make sure we would be eating on time.

Thanks for the advise.
Bill

Dr_KY wrote:
BowtieBill wrote:OK, I hope I am posting this in an OK place.
When I got home from vacation, my Excel was waiting for me. Very Happy
That is the good news.
First burn, going to do Baby Back ribs. Filled the charcoal basket with Royal Oak lump, a few hunks of Hickory and Apple wood (dry), and added almost a full chimney of Kingsford briquettes on top. Had two vents full open to start.
Lined the water pan with foil. First mistake, I filled it with warm, not hot water.
Waited .5 hour, temp to only 195. Open all vents. After 1 hour, still 195.
It is now 2.5 hours, never got hotter. Just added some more lit coals, not much help, came up to 200+.
It is warm outside, 90F+, but there is a breeze that may be having an effect. Also I wonder if I affected the draft by using the foil on the water pan, since there is not much room on sides for air flow to rise.
The coals just don't seem like they want to burn.
I am experienced at using stick burners and other charcoal smokers, so I did not expect this problem.

Thanks,
Bill
I didn't get any pictures when I stated up the 20 for the first time but I remember NOT filling the basket more than half way and adding about half a chimney to it. Could you be choking it out? As for the pan we added water straight from the tap to about half full with no foil or sand. I don't think the foil is needed as cleanup was very easy when finished.( the pan ran dry sometime that morning but the burnt stuff came right off)

We used some cheap lump them switched to the coconut briqs.Try firing her up and letting it sit without the stackers for a bit.
avatar
BowtieBill
Charcoal Starter
Charcoal Starter

Number of posts : 88
Location : Ventura County, CA
Registration date : 2008-05-09

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Need Excel 20 help

Post  Dr_KY on Sun Jul 27, 2008 7:35 pm

Sounds like a plan Bill.
I too have choked a few fires with that 'shake' from the bottom of a bag of lump that's why I mentioned it. It's tough if not impossible to get fuel here in the winter so I may buy a box or three of the extruded stuff to get through the tough times.


I say load the 20 with baroquets then top it off with a bit of lump so it starts off hotter and gets to temp easier then the briqs will keep you in the zone. I use this theory with my drums and it seems to work well.

I have figured out that only using lump in my smokers is a bad idea because lump likes to burn hot VS coal wanting to be consistent. It could just be my thinking but hey I'm from Pomona. Razz Razz Razz
avatar
Dr_KY
Smokin Hot
Smokin Hot

Number of posts : 642
Location : England
Registration date : 2008-04-21

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Need Excel 20 help

Post  ILBBQS.com on Mon Jul 28, 2008 3:08 am

Dr_KY wrote:Here is a link to the site of the Mfg...
Go through a few pages and check out the pictures on the right side of each page.
http://www.sigmabbq.com/about.html
I found this interesting from their website...

"Food grilled with coconut shell barbecue briquettes are known to eliminate fat and associated cholesterol. Thus it contributes to a healthy way of enjoying barbecued food."

I'm not a scientist so could someone please explain how cooking with this charcoal eliminates fat and cholesterol in food??? Question
avatar
ILBBQS.com
Smokin Hot
Smokin Hot

Number of posts : 535
Age : 46
Location : In the Land of Lincoln...Illinois USA
Registration date : 2007-12-05

View user profile http://www.ILBBQS.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Need Excel 20 help

Post  lilham on Tue Jul 29, 2008 4:26 am

Fill my excell slam full this past weekend. Sorry no pics. I promise I do better next time.

I fill my basket with briquettes, foil my water pan and filled it full of hot tap water. Started 20 briquettes in my chimney. Dump the chimney in at 5;45am, alll bottom vents were open. In about 15 minutes my temp was at 200, closed one vent.About 15 minutes later 225. Placed a 9lb picnic roast(shoulder) on the bottom rack. About 45 minutes later 250, closed second vent. Temp settled around 235. Toss in a few hickory now and then, little apple juice about every hr. At five hours I flip the roast, temp still great. At noon I added five racks of ribs to top rack. Temp dropped, then max at 200. open second vent and tossed it more hickory,back to 230-240. At 1:00pm add 4 chic halves on bottom rack, temp max out at 210. open third vent and reached 240 within 30min. At 3:00, foiled ribs and add about 20 abt's. temp max at 195. Add extra hickory, temp only reach 220. Filled chimney full and started burning. AT 4:30 add chimney and went ahead and unwrapped ribs. Temp increased to 250, closed a vent, temp dropped to 240. At 12 hrs from the start, ribs were ready, chic was good, abt's were abt's, however roast was at 175. Took everything off but shoulder, open third vent, temp rose to 255, Hr later, temp was at 240,roast was at 180, another hr 230, meat was 180, another hr 215 , meat was at 180. Took the roast off, had to slice it, done , just not pullable. Excel held temps better than any other store bought smoker I've used.

lilham
Sausage Burner
Sausage Burner

Number of posts : 7
Location : North MS
Registration date : 2008-06-19

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Need Excel 20 help

Post  ILBBQS.com on Tue Jul 29, 2008 4:38 am

Lilham...sounds like you've just about have it down pat! Good show!
avatar
ILBBQS.com
Smokin Hot
Smokin Hot

Number of posts : 535
Age : 46
Location : In the Land of Lincoln...Illinois USA
Registration date : 2007-12-05

View user profile http://www.ILBBQS.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Need Excel 20 help

Post  BowtieBill on Tue Jul 29, 2008 4:06 pm

Lilham,
Nice play by play, thanks.
That is what I wanted to hear. Sounds like briquettes is the way to go.
FYI, if your shoulder is not getting up to temp fast enough, try foiling it. After 165d or so, you will not lose any smoke flavor, but you will lose the nice crispy bark. It sure does speed up the cooking process though.
Thanks again,
Bill

lilham wrote:Fill my excell slam full this past weekend. Sorry no pics. I promise I do better next time.

I fill my basket with briquettes, foil my water pan and filled it full of hot tap water. Started 20 briquettes in my chimney. Dump the chimney in at 5;45am, alll bottom vents were open. In about 15 minutes my temp was at 200, closed one vent.About 15 minutes later 225. Placed a 9lb picnic roast(shoulder) on the bottom rack. About 45 minutes later 250, closed second vent. Temp settled around 235. Toss in a few hickory now and then, little apple juice about every hr. At five hours I flip the roast, temp still great. At noon I added five racks of ribs to top rack. Temp dropped, then max at 200. open second vent and tossed it more hickory,back to 230-240. At 1:00pm add 4 chic halves on bottom rack, temp max out at 210. open third vent and reached 240 within 30min. At 3:00, foiled ribs and add about 20 abt's. temp max at 195. Add extra hickory, temp only reach 220. Filled chimney full and started burning. AT 4:30 add chimney and went ahead and unwrapped ribs. Temp increased to 250, closed a vent, temp dropped to 240. At 12 hrs from the start, ribs were ready, chic was good, abt's were abt's, however roast was at 175. Took everything off but shoulder, open third vent, temp rose to 255, Hr later, temp was at 240,roast was at 180, another hr 230, meat was 180, another hr 215 , meat was at 180. Took the roast off, had to slice it, done , just not pullable. Excel held temps better than any other store bought smoker I've used.
avatar
BowtieBill
Charcoal Starter
Charcoal Starter

Number of posts : 88
Location : Ventura County, CA
Registration date : 2008-05-09

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Need Excel 20 help

Post  ThomEmery on Mon Aug 04, 2008 4:43 am

Has anyone given the flower pot bottom a try?
I understand Guys are having great results with the
clay trays from the bottom of flower pots in the water pan.
avatar
ThomEmery
Charcoal Starter
Charcoal Starter

Number of posts : 84
Location : Indio Ca.
Registration date : 2008-06-30

View user profile http://www.bbqthom.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Need Excel 20 help

Post  Dr_KY on Mon Aug 04, 2008 11:40 am

Hey there Thom how the devil are ya?

I haven't used the flowerpot thing, is the reasoning because it makes clean up easier?
avatar
Dr_KY
Smokin Hot
Smokin Hot

Number of posts : 642
Location : England
Registration date : 2008-04-21

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Need Excel 20 help

Post  BowtieBill on Mon Aug 04, 2008 3:45 pm

Dr_KY wrote:Hey there Thom how the devil are ya?

I haven't used the flowerpot thing, is the reasoning because it makes clean up easier?


I think using the flower pot thing is for a few reasons. One, it is a big heat sink, once it heats up it helps keep the temp consistent.
Two, clean up (some even are wrapping it in foil I believe).
And three, you do not have to keep adding water during the cook.

It is a similar theroy as using sand. Then there is the Foil Balls that some use.

I might experiment with some of the ideas once I get more familiar with the Excel20. Us Excel users can probably get some good ideas from the Virtual Weber Bullet web site.

Bill
avatar
BowtieBill
Charcoal Starter
Charcoal Starter

Number of posts : 88
Location : Ventura County, CA
Registration date : 2008-05-09

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Need Excel 20 help

Post  Roxy on Mon Aug 04, 2008 8:03 pm

With my first cook using the Excel I had no troubles at all getting to cooker up to temp. I left all three vents open after adding a full chimney of lit coals to my basket of unlit charcoal. In about 30 minutes I had the cooker up to 300 degrees with hot tap water in the pan. I closed off two of the vents and lifted the lid to let out some heat. The cooker came back up to 225 within 10 minutes or so and hummed along there like a good thing.

I don't think you need to use the ceramic pot method with this cooker as from what I experienced it works pretty dang good holding temps. I myself prefer a moist environment over the dry but this is just MHO.
avatar
Roxy
King of Q
King of Q

Number of posts : 222
Location : Canada
Registration date : 2007-11-12

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Need Excel 20 help

Post  ThomEmery on Tue Aug 05, 2008 3:46 am

BowtieBill wrote:
Dr_KY wrote:Hey there Thom how the devil are ya?

I haven't used the flowerpot thing, is the reasoning because it makes clean up easier?


I think using the flower pot thing is for a few reasons. One, it is a big heat sink, once it heats up it helps keep the temp consistent.
Two, clean up (some even are wrapping it in foil I believe).
And three, you do not have to keep adding water during the cook.

It is a similar theroy as using sand. Then there is the Foil Balls that some use.

I might experiment with some of the ideas once I get more familiar with the Excel20. Us Excel users can probably get some good ideas from the Virtual Weber Bullet web site.

Bill
Indeed
avatar
ThomEmery
Charcoal Starter
Charcoal Starter

Number of posts : 84
Location : Indio Ca.
Registration date : 2008-06-30

View user profile http://www.bbqthom.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Need Excel 20 help

Post  BowtieBill on Sun Aug 10, 2008 4:05 pm

Well, doing my second cook on the Excel, but seems I am having similar issues as the first.
Smoking two Butts, so I filled up the charcoal basket with Kingsford briquettes, a few large pieces of Royal Oak lump, and some Hickory and Apple wood chunks. I added a 3/4 chimney of lit coals on top, all 3 vents wide open. Filled the water pan with hot tap water. Weather is very nice, in the 70's this morning, no wind at all.
It got up to 200 in over 30 minutes. After an hour it was about 225. I could not wait any longer, so I placed the butts on.
I verified the temp with another gauge. I am still running with all 3 vents wide open.
Maybe I need to start with more lit coals. I will try that next time.
FYI, I am an experienced pitmaster, just not with this smoker.
I will keep you posted.
Bill
avatar
BowtieBill
Charcoal Starter
Charcoal Starter

Number of posts : 88
Location : Ventura County, CA
Registration date : 2008-05-09

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Need Excel 20 help

Post  Roxy on Sun Aug 10, 2008 4:10 pm

I use less water in the pan.. Just about an inch and a half is fine for 3 or 4 hours. If you fill it all the way it takes a real long time for it to come up to the simmering point and that will absorb a lot of heat.
avatar
Roxy
King of Q
King of Q

Number of posts : 222
Location : Canada
Registration date : 2007-11-12

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Need Excel 20 help

Post  BowtieBill on Mon Aug 11, 2008 1:05 am

How are you guys filling the charcoal basket? Are you filling it with unlit and pouring a chimney of lit on top? Or are you placing the unlit charcoal to one side and pouring the lit on the other?
I am still seeing an airflow problem.

Thanks
avatar
BowtieBill
Charcoal Starter
Charcoal Starter

Number of posts : 88
Location : Ventura County, CA
Registration date : 2008-05-09

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Need Excel 20 help

Post  Roxy on Mon Aug 11, 2008 1:12 am

BowtieBill wrote:How are you guys filling the charcoal basket? Are you filling it with unlit and pouring a chimney of lit on top? Or are you placing the unlit charcoal to one side and pouring the lit on the other?
I am still seeing an airflow problem.

Thanks

Filling it as full as you can get it and then add about 3/4 of a chimney on top is what I do.

It is worth checking out the http://www.nakedwhiz.com/lumpindexpage.htm?bag web site to find a hotter burning charcoal. I use one from Argentina that burns longer and hotter and I have great results with my ProBBQ's.
avatar
Roxy
King of Q
King of Q

Number of posts : 222
Location : Canada
Registration date : 2007-11-12

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Need Excel 20 help

Post  BowtieBill on Mon Aug 11, 2008 3:48 am

Roxy wrote:
BowtieBill wrote:How are you guys filling the charcoal basket? Are you filling it with unlit and pouring a chimney of lit on top? Or are you placing the unlit charcoal to one side and pouring the lit on the other?
I am still seeing an airflow problem.

Thanks

Filling it as full as you can get it and then add about 3/4 of a chimney on top is what I do.

It is worth checking out the http://www.nakedwhiz.com/lumpindexpage.htm?bag web site to find a hotter burning charcoal. I use one from Argentina that burns longer and hotter and I have great results with my ProBBQ's.

Thanks, Roxy.
The first burn I used Royal Oak (the USA version, highly rated by the Naked Whiz). This time I used Kingsford Briquettes to hopefully help with airflow. Also added some large hunks of Royal Oak during burn. I load the basket the same as you mentioned. Just not seeing temps everyone else is seeing.
I will be at a contest next weekend, so I will not get a chance to play with it for a couple of weeks.
But I have to admit, both times the product came out well. Pulled my butts off after 11.5 hours. Did not have the smoke flovor I am use to with the stick burner, but I will adjust my amount of wood chunks next time.
Also, a distrubutor is bring some Wicked Good charcoal to the comp for me, can't wait to try it.
avatar
BowtieBill
Charcoal Starter
Charcoal Starter

Number of posts : 88
Location : Ventura County, CA
Registration date : 2008-05-09

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Need Excel 20 help

Post  ThomEmery on Mon Aug 11, 2008 1:44 pm

Bill Try it with something other than water in the pan
avatar
ThomEmery
Charcoal Starter
Charcoal Starter

Number of posts : 84
Location : Indio Ca.
Registration date : 2008-06-30

View user profile http://www.bbqthom.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Need Excel 20 help

Post  BowtieBill on Mon Aug 11, 2008 3:32 pm

Thom,
I think that is my next plan.
I really need to verify the temps better as well. The probe thermo I had with me did not fit through the probe hole, so I just dangled it through the vent. It read the same as the pit thermo, so I just stuck using it.
Also, my water is burning off way to fast. I will try either sand, foil balls, or maybe even the beach pepples like Mista did in his SpiceWine.
I bought this so I can have something to allow me to get a few hours sleep. It seems to hold the temps fine for quite a long while. Just hoping I can figure it out.
Hmmm, maybe a new toy like a Guru or Stoker is calling my name. Very Happy

ThomEmery wrote:Bill Try it with something other than water in the pan
avatar
BowtieBill
Charcoal Starter
Charcoal Starter

Number of posts : 88
Location : Ventura County, CA
Registration date : 2008-05-09

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Need Excel 20 help

Post  jenks_24 on Mon Aug 11, 2008 8:04 pm

Bill,

I find that leaving a little area around the vent seems to work wonders. Around the vent, I leave an open space for airflow. My temp really picked up and was maintained for a longer time. That ash can be a serious issue. All the charcoal seems to burn better also.

Jenx
avatar
jenks_24
King of Q
King of Q

Number of posts : 234
Age : 44
Location : Kindsbach, Germany
Registration date : 2008-07-13

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Need Excel 20 help

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Page 1 of 3 1, 2, 3  Next

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum