Some completed build pics

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aakelley
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Some completed build pics

Post by aakelley » February 17th, 2019, 2:21 pm

My build was finished at the end of October, but I have been so busy I am just getting back here to post a few pics of the completed build and some of my initial attempts to use my slightly extended mini. Overall: two thumbs way up. I've had a Big Green Egg for years and have often said that it may be one of my favorite possessions. It has some competition now.

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My first cook was for a annual "pig" roast I host at my house for my church. There are usually 60-80 people that show up and pig is in quotes since over the years, everyone seems to prefer brisket over pork, but I still do a mix. When I started doing the roast 7-8 years ago, I cooked a whole pig over an open fire. It was fun but a PITA to keep from catching fire and cooking evenly. A few years later I found someone with a smoker who would come and cook everything for a flat $100. Not sure what happened to him, but he stopped returning my calls a few years ago so I started renting a smoker from a BBQ store about an hour south. It worked fine, but there was now the extra hassle to go get the smoker, smoke and then clean it all up and get it back on Sunday. So this year I decided to invest in a larger capacity smoker and ended up deciding on the mini.

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I am an engineer by training, but am not good with metal, specifically welding, but I am good at making friends ;-). One of my friends worked at a local steel company as a welder, so after a few beers he was convinced he could do it. The whole project took him about two months from begging to end and I couldn't be happier with the result.

I picked it up the Thursday before I was going to use it for the pig roast and did a test run. I had the pieces / parts for the heater meter, but didn't have it built yet, so this first test and the cook the next day were "naturally aspirated". I was able to get it to an even 250 degree in about 45 minutes an then park it there.

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The cook the next day came off without a hitch. It ran for about 20 hours overall, smoking butt, ribs, brisket and sausage. There wasn't much left over ;-)

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I used it again about two weeks later, this time making a smoked prime rib. My only regret is that it took me this long in my life to find out that smoked prime rib is a thing.

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Two weeks after that I had the heater meter and damper/blower all assembled and tested and did a cook for the steel company that my buddy works at. This time it was brisket, butt and ribs and they came out amazing. The heater meter did its job and kept a perfectly constant temp for the duration of the cook. This was starting to get too easy.

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A few weeks after that, another cook, this time butt and brisket, for the same steel company. They like what I made them the first time so much that they asked me to cater the meat for their Christmas party!

I rolled it out most recently for the super bowl, making brisket again and some chicken wings (smoked chicken wings are also amazing!). There wasn't anything left of what came out of the smoker and several people commented it was some of the best barbecue they had had (none of the people form Texas, but hey, I am still learning!)

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Overall a great experience that would not have been possible without the plans from smoker builder and the great community here. Only thing left to do is paint it (once it warms up a bit).



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towtruck
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Re: Some completed build pics

Post by towtruck » February 17th, 2019, 7:59 pm

Sweet! I have been eye balling the mini for a while myself.



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Re: Some completed build pics

Post by Big T » February 17th, 2019, 9:37 pm

It looks like you've put that joker to work!! :beer: :needfood:
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Re: Some completed build pics

Post by ajfoxy » February 18th, 2019, 12:51 am

Nice job on the mini, and excellent job on the Q. It all looks amazing. Well done! :kewl:


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Re: Some completed build pics

Post by Pete Mazz » February 18th, 2019, 5:02 am

:yth:


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mp4
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Re: Some completed build pics

Post by mp4 » February 18th, 2019, 7:43 am

I love the dinner bell on your chimney cap - nice touch!



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Re: Some completed build pics

Post by Chromeski » February 18th, 2019, 4:16 pm

Food and smoker look great. With cooks like that I can see a double pan in your future



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Re: Some completed build pics

Post by Dirtytires » February 18th, 2019, 4:25 pm

It doesn’t take long to get the hang of it. It takes even less time to find excuses to cook!

Nice job.



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Re: Some completed build pics

Post by aakelley » February 19th, 2019, 7:47 am

mp4 wrote:
February 18th, 2019, 7:43 am
I love the dinner bell on your chimney cap - nice touch!
I wish I would have done that ;-). It’s actually a dinner bell mounted on a pole in the background. It’s close enough to where I cook to be useful though.



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Re: Some completed build pics

Post by aakelley » February 19th, 2019, 7:50 am

Chromeski wrote:
February 18th, 2019, 4:16 pm
Food and smoker look great. With cooks like that I can see a double pan in your future
Maybe, but with the added shelf in the mini I feel like I have so much capacity already, it would have to be if I decided to do it commercially. I can cook for 80-100 and I don’t have more friends than that ;-)



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Re: Some completed build pics

Post by JKalchik » February 19th, 2019, 8:11 am

That was sort of running through my tiny little brain as well.... until I built my double pan a year ago, I'd never really cooked for more than 20-30 (and thoroughly struggled with my old pit....) First cook in my DP was for 70 people, and I've already done that again. I don't have to use the extra capacity, but I sure can't use if I don't have it.


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Re: Some completed build pics

Post by Gracin » February 19th, 2019, 3:01 pm

JKalchik wrote:
February 19th, 2019, 8:11 am
That was sort of running through my tiny little brain as well.... until I built my double pan a year ago, I'd never really cooked for more than 20-30 (and thoroughly struggled with my old pit....) First cook in my DP was for 70 people, and I've already done that again. I don't have to use the extra capacity, but I sure can't use if I don't have it.

Exactly! It's always better to have and not need, than to need and not have.



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Re: Some completed build pics

Post by Weldun » February 19th, 2019, 8:16 pm

aakelley wrote:
February 19th, 2019, 7:50 am
Chromeski wrote:
February 18th, 2019, 4:16 pm
Food and smoker look great. With cooks like that I can see a double pan in your future
Maybe, but with the added shelf in the mini I feel like I have so much capacity already, it would have to be if I decided to do it commercially. I can cook for 80-100 and I don’t have more friends than that ;-)
Trust me! You keep cooking like that and you're gonna have friends you never knew you had.


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Re: Some completed build pics

Post by Chromeski » February 21st, 2019, 4:23 am

I'll be your friend for a slice of brisket... shoot I'm your friend just for the pics



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