We are a competition BBQ team that follows the circuit on the West Coast. We have a new YS1500 and having difficulty in food and set temp management. We do not run hot and fast but like to cruise at 225 - 230 for the large meats, 250 for ribs, and 275 - 300 for chicken. We ran 3 butts on the lower grate along with a 16lb Brisket in a full pan to the right, set temp at 240 and cremated the brisket. Butts were OK. Wrapped after 7 hours and the brisket was already at 287. Our best call was tied for 5th in Pork, out of 57 teams. I did a single practice brisket the other day on the top grate not in a pan with a 265 set temp. Wrapped at 7 hours, internal was 159, pulled at 203 internal at about 10 hours. Came out dry with a hard chewy bark covering the flat (cooked it Flat side down). So we need some help with loading the pit with the big meats for competition. i.e. placement and set temps. That first comp I did all four KCBS meats on the one 1500.
Thanks in advance, Paul - Bar-B-Q's-2Go
The Yoder cooks from the bottom up, so if you have a fat cap, it should be down. With a set temp of 240, the net temp in the pan should have been around 220. The right side (chimney) does run a touch cooler, so not sure how the brisket was cremated, as it was cooking in the 200 to 220 degree range because of being on the right and in a pan.
The brisket on the top shelf should have been fat cap down, again as the cooker cooks from the bottom up. At a set temp of 265, the top shelf should have been in the range of approximately 240, depending on where the brisket was placed.
Are you opening the HMS or closing the chimney damper?
Not sure what the problem is, as for brisket I always separate the point and flat, never use a pan, and cook between 250 and 275. If I wrap, I wrap when the color is about right and bark is hard set.
Hi Yoder Herb,
I need to correct my post as I always cook a Brisket as a full packer and I always cook them fat cap down. I actually panned the three Butts to the left on the lower rack and cooked the brisket on the open grate right side, With a 240 set temp the panned butts must have forced the heat to flow to the right where the brisket was. I know at one point during the cook the lower right pit lid temp gauge was a little over 300. I have not really done anything with the HMS so I run with it closed and the stack fully opened. I tried opening the heat damper during the comp and It seemed to work against the computer set temp so I closed it back up. (the pit started cooling off as the temp probe was exposed to more heat?) I've cooked enough briskets over the years that I can pretty much count on a 14 - 16lb brisket at a pit temp of 230 to be ready to wrap in roughly 7-8 hours with good color and an internal temp of 150+. I like to catch a brisket for wrapping prior to 170. I'll wrap and bump to 250 to finish usually around 202+. You and I have a different cooking style as I never separate the muscles until the meat is pulled off the pit to rest. Then I'll go back into the pit with the point for Burnt ends, set temp at 250 for1 to 1 1/2 hours or until rendered and done. To be able to cook with an average pit temp of 230 what meat placement pattern and set temp would you suggest I should use for cooking 3 to 4 8lb. Butts and a 14-16 lb. packer all at the same time? I need to have the big meats pretty much done by around 7:00 am so I can start at least 4 St Louis racks running at 250, and then chicken at 275 - 300 around 10:30 to make KCBS turn ins. Thanks, Paul
These are direct quotes from 2 comp cooks who cooks on Yoder:
2 butts in half pans on the left, 2 briskets on the right, with points placed right. When it's time for ribs, butts go on the top shelf, ribs go in their place. Chicken goes in a pan to the far left. When the point and flat are separated to wrap, points go on top.
I put the pans to the far right so they block the least amount of airflow across the cooker. Briskets on the left to utilize the higher radiant heat above the fire box. The briskets could go on the top shelf on the left as well, if desired. I ultimately went away from pans for pork. I wanted pork out of pans and in the heat, fat cap on. I want tubes in my box, and want them to have color, and pans can't give me that, Pork far right out of pans and briskets to the left if the pork. Cook ribs on the top.
I'll give a try putting the brisket to the left lower and Butts on the right. I can see by doing this using pans for the pork it would help force the heat to stay towards the middle. I have no problem with pork color if you place the butts on a rack inside the pans. (I'll also try without pans). Did these other comp cooks happen to mention what set temp they run at during a comp to achieve there expected results? Thanks,
Thanks, Herb. Thought I would mention that we did tie for 5th Place Pork at he Newport Beach Winter Q Comp in Ca. Jan 28th 2017. This was the first comp cook in the YS1500. We ran all four KCBS meats in the new Yoder so it has the capacity and was easy to manage. Just need to manage your time schedule closely and pay attention to your pellet requirements for the cook your doing.
My son and I make up our team. He told me a couple of days ago he ordered a new YS1500. We plan on doing 12-15 comps this year and get better at what we do. We managed to stay in the Ca top 25 last year only doing 6 comps. Our next comp is Sam's Club Reno to start off the season. Thanks again.
I too use a 1500 for comps. However I also have a 640....
The big meats go on the 1500... the butts IN trays and the briskets on paper or directly on the grates until they are ready to wrap. I seem to rotate them about 3-4 hours in and like you, about 7 hours they are ready to wrap...
For cooking temp, I start at, believe it or not, 215 F. Sometimes lower. This is for the first few hours. Once bark is set and color established, that is when I start to adjust temp.
For the most part, I cook in trays for the butts and brisket.... mainly for moisture control and allowing myself the ability to baste, mop and create aus jus.
One thing I might suggest is starting an hour or two earlier so you can get them off the 1500 in time for the ribs to start. Holding can be your friend at a comp.