Fine tuning the Bull

bmh143

Member
Messages
14
Location
Philly Burbs, PA
Grill(s) owned
Bull
Have had my 700 since May now and to say I love it is an understatement. Just wanted to pick some of the more experienced users brains on fine tuning this bad boy.

I’ve noticed my long cooks usually take about 20% longer than a recipe would call for. Example would be ribs taking 4-5 hours to pass the bend test in a recipe when mine will take about 6. I tested the unit with an independent thermometer and it runs pretty darn close to what the bull tells me. So I don’t think it’s a feed rate issue.

I’ve seen where guys seal around the inside of the lid/opening. Do you think the escaping smoke is causing my longer times?

No real concerns as I’ve figured out my pork butts take 12+ w/o wrapping to get to 203 and I’ve planned accordingly. The finished product is always amazing, just want to make sure I’m not doing anything wrong.

Thanks in advance and any other “secrets” anyone would like to share would be appreciated!!
 

Greg Jones

Well-known member
Messages
154
Location
Berea, Kentucky
Grill(s) owned
Bull, Bullseye, Matador
If you are getting the results that you want, I wouldn’t worry that it takes longer to get there. Frankly, I’ve found that low and slow cooks can be a crap shoot when it comes to total cook time. I’ve had pork butts of similar weights vary by several hours of cook time. I’ve also ruined a rack of ribs by waiting to what I though was the minimum cook time to wrap only to find them over cooked.

On the subject of sealing the lid, I’ve sealed mine but I can’t imaging it helps in shorter cook times. There is a lot of fine BBQ made on cookers that don’t seal nearly as well as a stock Bull!
 

Mastertech59

Well-known member
Messages
1,420
Location
Burlington CT
Grill(s) owned
Bull
I was having the same issue you are having, cooks taking a lot longer than recipes called for. I found the pit temperature on my Bull was lower than what was being registered on the controller. I measured the pit temperature using a trusted thermocouple and meter and performed the offset calibration to the controller, cooking times and pit temperature is a lot better now.
 

bmh143

Member
Messages
14
Location
Philly Burbs, PA
Grill(s) owned
Bull
I was having the same issue you are having, cooks taking a lot longer than recipes called for. I found the pit temperature on my Bull was lower than what was being registered on the controller. I measured the pit temperature using a trusted thermocouple and meter and performed the offset calibration to the controller, cooking times and pit temperature is a lot better now.
I performed tests as well with my own digital thermometer and it was registering the same as the bull for the most part at a variety of temp settings. That’s what’s kind of baffling me.
 

Wslayer

Well-known member
Messages
207
Location
ND
Grill(s) owned
Stampede
The time it takes is going to jump all over the board, depending on the meat itself. Have had ribs done in 5 hrs some at 6 hrs. Butts, the same. Some couple hrs longer than others.
 

bmh143

Member
Messages
14
Location
Philly Burbs, PA
Grill(s) owned
Bull
The thing is my low/slow cooks always take longer. Never anything else. 5.5 lb butt on now at 225 for 15 hours now and still only at 200. I don’t wrap bc I like bark, I understand wrapping speeds things up. Like I said before, my finished product is always great.

just checked the calibration again and my thermometer is running at about 258 in the grill center with the bull set at 250. I’m so confused. Lol
 

cookingjnj

Well-known member
Messages
495
Location
Branchburg, New Jersey
Grill(s) owned
RT-680
I always use low and slow recipes as a guideline. No two pieces of meat are ever the same, even if they are the exact same size and weight. They will all cook differently and each will tell you when THEY are done. Some may take longer than others. I always plan for meat to take longer than I think just in case. If it does finish earlier than the extended time planned, FTC is a great way to keep it hot for hours.
 

Waterboy

Active member
Messages
37
Grill(s) owned
Bull
The other thing to consider is that those recipes you are using may have been cooked on grills that are actually cooking at a higher temperature than the author thinks. It may be that their temps are off and when you try to replicate on a grill that is actually cooking at the right temperature it takes longer.
 

Grilltreats

Well-known member
Messages
75
Cook by IT not time. If you want fast food with no smoke ring go to a restaurant. You can bump temps up just a little over desired (to cut time) with same results if you don't go overboard.
 

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