Sunday, April 16, 2017

Hasty-Bake Ranger Mini Review and 1st Cook

I have finely got around to setting up my new Hasty Bake Ranger 380SS to suit me and then doing my first cook on it.

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I have it sitting on one of my service carts to make it much easier to use.

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Built a Stainless Steel second cooking grate for the cooker. 

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I also found a nice cover to fit this setup.

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Next step was to cut a firebrick in half and then adding one whole firebrick to make my divider in the firebox for my fuse burns which is the method I use for my longer cooks in my Hasty-Bake cookers. 

I figured my first cook could probably take up to 5-6 hours so I loaded the charcoal pan about 80% full of the Stubb’s charcoal and added a few hickory chunks for smoke.

My first cook was to be a Slab of Ribs cooked over a half pan of BBQ  Pit Beans so the drippings would go into the pan to give the beans some additional flavor, and a pan of Au Gratin Potatoes. Wife made up a Wilted Baby Spinach Salad to go with this meal. 

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Made up the pan of Au Gratin potatoes the evening before the cook and then did the same for my BBQ Pit Beans and put both into the fridge. 

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Started my fuse burn the next morning just before daylight and it took about 45 minutes to get the cooker warmed up and on temperature for my cook.

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While the cooker was coming up to temp, I prepped the ribs and then cut the slab into two pieces so they would fit over my pan of beans. At this time, I also added my brown sugar to the top of my bean pan. When the ribs reached the sweat stage, I started my cook. 

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The fire in the charcoal pan just before I loaded the cooker...cooker temp was at 180 degrees and climbing slowly. 

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This is about an hour into the cook and after I got the cooker vents adjusted for a nice steady burn.

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The first item done were the potatoes.

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Ribs were wrapped with some goodies about 2-3/4 hour into the cook.

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The beans were the next item to get done and I hadn’t stirred in all the drippings and smoke skum when this picture was taken. 

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The ribs were unwrapped and then glazed and this is my results for this treat. 

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Ribs cut for serving. 

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Wife’s Wilted Baby Spinach Salad to be served with this meal. 

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Everything came out great and it sure was a wonderful lunch.

And for the Hasty-Bakers that are following my progress with this new Ranger and my method with the fuse burn to operate it, here is some additional information.

This cook took about 4-1/2 hours which is quicker than I expected and only used the first row or half of the loaded charcoal. This would calculate out to about 8-9 hours total cooking time with my 80% full load of charcoal if I would have needed it. And I think with a full load of charcoal, a fellow could get up to 10-11 hours total cooking time with this method. 

Cooker control was about what I expected and about the same as it is with my larger Hasty-Bakes. My planned cooking range for this cook was about 220-275 degrees measured on the surface of the cooking grid and I had both the intake and exhaust vents all the way open at the start of the cook. I shut the intake vent down to about half open about 1-1/2 hours into the cook. After the 2-1/2 hour mark, I closed the intake vent all the way. The last vent setting I had to make was to close the exhaust vent down to about half open and this just locked in the temperature to where I wanted it and I think it would have run for several more hours if I would have needed it. It’s almost a “set and forget” method of cooking on this smaller Hasty Bake Ranger (tailgater size) cooker. 

The food was great, the cooker operation was great, and I am very satisfied with my new cooker. 

Update: There is not as much room between the firebox and the ash pan so I had to cut down my normal 4" clearance to 2" between the firebox and the ash pan for this fuse burn. Worked fine at this distance.