Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Hasty Bake Fuse Burn for Dummies

After seeing and hearing about some attempts at using a fuze burn, a maze burn, a snake burn on the Hasty Bake, and it NOT working, I think I can help folks to get this simple task right. 

If it is not working and the temps are getting too high or running away with you, the problem is that you don’t have a fuse burn as all the coals are either getting lit at once or you are using way too many coals to start with. 

There are several problems that can cause this method to fail and can be easily fixed with some simple steps and when it is right, it is just super simple to load the cooker up with something like pork butts or briskets and then do a low and slow smoke at temps around 250 degrees for hours without touching the cooker.

Fuel is the first problem I see on the forums......lump is a fine product and I use it a lot but NEVER for a fuse burn. It pops and cracks and blows chunks of fire all over the firebox and will end up lighting the whole maze every time. I like to use a good charcoal brickette that is made with only hardwood and a binder like wheat paste to hold it together. There are several brands out there that will cook as good as lump charcoal and don’t have a 10 ingredient content. 

Next is the maze and it must be tall enough and is better if not constructed out of metal. Metal is a wonderful heat conductor and kinda difficult to make work in this type of cooker. I think it is much better to use a couple of inexpensive fire bricks for this task. 

Fire bricks measure about 9” long, 4-1/2” wide, and 1-1/4” thick and can be found at most hardware stores of it not, they will order them for you. They come six bricks to a case and work great for the fuse burn. 

Ok, lets cook some butts.....

I figure I need about 8-9 hours for my two large butts so I start by using two fire bricks to make a maze in my charcoal pan like you see in the picture. Notice that I have loaded the charcoal to about level and not over in the pan. This is all that is required for this length of cook.

Another view of the charcoal pan and I think you can see how high up the fire bricks protect in the pan. The fire will usually not jump over the taller bricks and light the other side of the maze.

To light up the fuse burn, I place a Weber fire cube on the one side that I want to start as seen in the picture. 

I then place my smoke wood in the charcoal pan....notice that on the side I light, I keep all the chunks away from the fire bricks as I don’t want to light the other side if they would flame up when they ignite. 

You need at least 4” of space between the charcoal pan and the ash pan so crank it up some to prevent hot coal chunks from falling thru the bottom of the pan and rolling under the unlit side of the pan and starting the whole maze up. 

The last important step in my process is to be sure that the area on the cooking grid that is not protected from the fire by the heat deflector must be protected so that no hot grease will fall on the hot coals which may flame up and ignite all the coals. I usually use a drip pan on this side.

Now, isn’t this simple?? And you know, it will work every time you use it if you can follow the directions. 

Let’s finish this cook.

The butts were injected with Chris Lilly’s pork injection recipe and then covered with some Slabs Pork rub.

I then lit off the Weber fire cube and left the door opened until the flame went out and then closed it up. I let the cooker burn for about 30 more minutes and then loaded my meat.

This setup will allow me to run about 250-270 degrees with just using the intake air and exhaust vents on the cooker with my fuse burn. Once it is set, it will run for hours without attention. 

Be sure to use a thermometer on the cooking grid to be sure your temps are safe and correct for the cook.

I cooked the butts a little over four hours or until I had the color I wanted and the bark looked about right and then I foiled each butt with a half bottle of that great Stubb’s pork marinade. 

The butts went back on the cooker for about 2-1/2 more hours and they were pulled when done.

Just as soon as I got the butts off the cooker I opened up the foil to reset the bark and then let them rest for about an hour before I pulled them. 

They made a nice pan of meat.

Look at that great color and smoke ring....A fellow would be proud to serve up this meat. 

This is the charcoal pan after the cook and is mostly just ash remaining. The cook ran about 8-1/2 hours with very little attention.

This type of burn can turn a standard charcoal grill into a very easy to control low and slow smoker. Along with my Hasty Bake's, I also use it in my Char-Broil CB 940X and in my Weber kettles. I get up to about 10 hours total non-interupted cooking time with this method.

1 comment:

  1. Great idea Dave, I plan to try that myself. Thanks for the post!