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Showing content with the highest reputation since 06/06/2020 in all areas

  1. 10 points

    Covid19 Pass Time

    Looking for something do while locked down, I started painting rocks with some acrylic paint pens I got off the internet. My wife wanted some pretty rocks to spice up the garden.
  2. 9 points

    Smoked Baby Back Ribs

    16 cooks into my Akorn, I took a first stab at the "big meats." Putting blind faith in kamadoguru.com, my test run with baby back ribs would be our main source of food for a dinner party. The ribs turned out great - everyone thought they were restaurant quality. One thing I realized about ribs is that they contain the holy trinity of tastes: sweet, salty, and savory. I have no clue what I am doing, so let me know if you have any suggestions! Prep: - At my local grocery store (HEB), I purchased 3 2.7 lb baby back ribs. - make rub - Before starting coals, I removed the membranes. The first rack didn't have one, but in my lack of experience I tried to remove it for a while. The second and third racks had obvious membranes, which I found easy to remove. - Patted ribs dry with paper towel and applied rub directly to both sides. No mayo, mustard, or anything like that. - Cut two of the racks in half. Two halves will go on the top rack, and the one whole and other two halves will go on grill. Cook: - Volcano method with Royal Red Lump, started with 1 alcohol-soaked cotton ball. - 2 chunks hickory + 1 apple placed near hole in volcano (starting light on smoke due to wife sensitivity). - Smokin Stone diffuser + 13" aluminum drip pan. - Average temp: 260 - Mopped with "The Jank" BBQ sauce (some random sauce I bought) at 50 minutes and 15 minutes before pulling. - Pulled ribs at 200 IT. - On my whole rack, I tried the "bend test" - the meat cracked pretty good, and the meat within was mostly white. - Cook time: around 5 hours (forgot to stop timer, as usual) - As far as timing, my original plan was for the ribs to come out around one hour before guests arrive, double wrapping them in foil to keep them warm. Instead, they came out 30 minutes after guests arrived, which was perfect. I mis-estimated my cook time, using example times for a higher temp. - Cut individual ribs out on cutting board. Learnings: - On the long rack, the ribs on each end were tough and dry. I believe that this was caused by direct exposure to coals. I did notice a lot of pork smoke, as well - not sure if this is normal, or a sign that lots of drippings were missing my pan. I will buy a rib rack, cut the racks in half, and attempt to keep all of them toward the center. - A few of the first drippings burned on the drip pan, before the pan filled up with juices - will create spacers for next time to minimize this. - Only 1.5 of 3 wood chunks ignited, since the first went in a direction I didn't expect. I had placed the chunks in a tight circle around my volcano, which was near the location of the bottom vent. The fire moved up against the vent, then headed across the front side.The smoke tasted good, and I could tell that it would have been even better if all 3 chunks had been engaged. - 260 average temp is lower than necessary, based on what I read here. Will shoot for 275-300 next time. - After stabilizing at 260 and adding the ribs, the temp shot up to 300 due to leaving it open for so long. I panicked and choked up on the top vent, which put the fire out. I blew a little into the bottom vent and got her going again. Watching the temp shoot up the other times after opening the lid, I noticed that minutes later it would fall back to the original temperature (although slightly higher, usually). - Opening the lid to baste seems to lengthen the cook time. The IT goes from steadily rising to dropping a little and stalling for a while. - I will definitely buy some high-temp gloves that you can handle meat with. Mine are leather and not good for grabbing ribs. - I will also buy a rub shaker. Was using an empty spice shaker, but it is too small, so I have to refill it several times, which is a pain with one clean hand. - I think I prefer Fogo Black to Royal Red. Fogo Black smells better, and seems to respond more gently to vent changes. Royal Red is less dense than Fogo Black and seems cheaper.
  3. 9 points

    Pizza on the classic

    700f, for around 7 min. Love it!
  4. 9 points

    My Baby's Last Day

    My daughter's returning to El Paso tomorrow, so I had to do yet another cook to ensure she remembers that all else pales in comparison to dad's cooking. So, I did my favorite cook – Plate Ribs. Restaurant Depot had them in stock again, I was overly anxious to get by there this last week to pick them up. So first, here is the typical look of USDA Institutional Meat Purchase Specification (IMPS), 123A Beef Plate Ribs... On the grill ~10AM Almost ready to pull @ 4pm Pulled @ 5pm probing tender and temp @ 205° in one plate and 199° in the other. Then wrapped to hold while sweet potatoes cooked.
  5. 8 points
    As the title suggests, this was not meant to be a challenge entry. I just happened to pull up the forum after putting the chicken on the grill to see the July Challenge up and realize my dinner on the kamado fit perfectly. Five ingredients: Chicken breasts, split in half Peach halves (freestone!) Lemon Goat Cheese Balsamic vinegar According to the challenge guidelines, the olive oil and lemon thyme do not count toward the total. For the chicken: Split the breasts if they're too thick. Slice the lemon four or five times, then juice the remainder. Marinate chicken in a bag with oil, vinegar, lemon, juice, and lemon thyme while preparing the grill. Peaches: Cut in half, then remove the pit. Use a small spoon to deepen any shallow hollows. While things are cooking, prepare the filling. Smash the goat cheese (~5 oz.) and add picked lemon thyme, along with a splash of balsamic. Mix thoroughly, then chill. Cook everything over indirect heat. The peaches go on a bit late and get pulled off early. As you flip the chicken, make sure to keep the lemon slices on top. When everything is done, scoop the goat cheese mixture into the peaches, plate everything, then sprinkle with additional balsamic. I can also confirm from lunch today that the peaches are just as wonderful served cooled, especially when eaten on a covered deck on an extremely hot day.
  6. 8 points

    (Sp)ham 3 ways

    This is my entry for this month's Nothing Fresh, Nothing Frozen challenge. We decided to try 3 different ways of preparing canned ham/Spam; Country fried (sp)ham, Jalapeno, cheese and (sp)ham fritters, and (Sp)ham kabobs. The results actually came out pretty decent, and we will be revisiting one of them for sure! The ingredients: Flour Packaged Gravy Mix Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix Canned Cherries Canned Pineapple Canned (Sp)ham Canned Jalapeno Fake Cheese Rectangle Buttermilk Powder Pork Skin chips Sweet Soy Sauce First the fritters: We chopped up some ham, mixed in a can of chopped jalapeno, diced cheese a the box of corn muffin mix. Instead of an egg, we added some buttermilk powder and water to get the right consistency. Then it went to the fridge to chill and firm up. Next was the Kabobs. We started by marinading cubed up chunks of ham with a mixture of sweet soy sauce, cherry juice, and pineapple juice. While that was chilling, we started the Country Fried ham steaks. I threw them on the grill to get a sear on both sides and add a little of that grill flavor. Next, I fried up some pork skins to use as the breading. and once cooled, they were smashed up for the breading. Then it was time for the dredge. I mixed up some of the dried Buttermilk powder with some water to make a thick wet coat. The steaks went from buttermilk to flour, back to buttermilk, and finally to the ground up pork skins. The result was a really thick coating that we were sure was going to come out perfect. Now to finish off the kabobs. We alternated between ham cubes, pineapple, and cherries. Now it's Grillin' time! I got the grill ripping hot and brought my oil up to about 375 degrees. I started deep frying up the fritters and pan frying the ham steaks. Once those were finished, I threw on the kabobs. As they got close to finishing, I brushed them a few times with the extra marinade. The only thing I didn't have pictures of was making the gravy, but there really isn't much to show when you pour a packet of powder into water and mix over heat until thick. Definitaly now how I like to make gravy, but I have to live within the bounds of this contest. Now for the final shot. The end result of all of this was actually really good. The fritters were packed with cheese and meat and had a just the right amount of punch with the jalapenos. They were nice and crispy on the outside and tender in the middle. I was expecting them to just melt into a pile of goo when they hit the oil since they didn't have eggs, but surprisingly they held up well. The kabobs were also really good! The sweet cherries and pineapple worked really well to tone down the saltiness of the meat. That one will need to be repeated down the road, but I'll also include some veggies that weren't allowed to be in this contest. The most surprising part of this whole experiment was the Chicken Fried steaks. The meat had some nice grill flavor, and the breading was KILLER! Thanks to the pork skins, it was super crunchy and very satisfying. The gravy was a nice extra touch, although I could make a much better gravy than from a packet. I would suggest if anyone is thinking about trying to recreate these, you may want to make them as separate meals or sides. This one is a heart attack on a plate! I wish my wife had not decided to save a few dollars and rather, purchased the actual Spam that I wanted. I had planned on calling this meal Spam-a-lot...
  7. 8 points

    Spam musubi

    Challenge cook! So my family was really looking forward to all getting together in Hawaii this year. Not only my personal family, but my parents, my sister her husband and baby, two sets of cousins with their families, my aunt and uncle and my grandmother, who are all spread out throughout the country. Covid 19 canceled those plans, and seeing the challenge cook immediately brought spam musubi to mind. Not only is everything completely shelf stable, but it paid homage to the family time missed. I actually don't think I have ever had spam in any other application, but this one is really, really good. Also, I couldn't quite get all ingredients that I was desiring due to covid supply related issues, but, hey, that just makes it fit better with the theme, right? Started with the ingredients for sushi rice..... Missing the rice vinegar, so I subbed apple Cider vinegar since it is similarly acidic.... It definitely worked. That was done in the instant pot, so no pictures about that. Then for the main event. The spam and the delicious glaze. Also tiny pieces of nori were available instead of the big sheets..... So I had to improvise. Sliced up the spam and got it on the griddle. Let it get a bit of color. But nothing too crazy. Then it's time for that glaze. Coat, turn, and cook until it looks scrumptious. Then it's time for layering. To do properly you need a musubi press. I was a little worried at this point because normally the nori wraps all the way around. I was worried this wouldn't have the structural integrity to be able to be eaten out of hand. It was more like a musubi sandwich kinda deal. Layer in the rice, then the spam You can do one layer of rice followed by spam, then the nori or you can do two. I did some of each. Here is what a two layer of rice musubi looks like. I just realized the picture was before I cut it. Oops. Still so delicious. So easy. So satisfying.
  8. 7 points

    Scratch Tofu

    Originally for the challenge I wanted to make my favorite salad with all of the ingredients from my garden, and make tofu as a part of that. When I realized the garden was a no no, I thought I would stick with tofu. I found an "easy" recipe, got some dried beans and coagulant, and then put it out of my mind because there was so much time left. Yesterday, I realized the month was ending and I got started. Thankfully I did not wait until today... Step one is to take dried soybeans and soak them in water overnight. "Wait overnight" seemed like the fastest and most exciting step of making tofu. Next is draining the beans and then blending with more water to make the precursor of soy milk. Then you strain the milk, heat it up, and then let it cool again. Then you heat it. Again. And cool it. Again. "Make Tofu" could be the next "Wax On/Wax Off" if there is another Karate Kid remake. At this point you add the coagulant and wait "a couple minutes", but guess what, we are MAKING TOFU, and that means it is "a couple hours". After you take a look at how many more hours you would get if you decided to use "Hawaiian Time", the curds form, and you put the "solids" inside of cheesecloth and press it, again, "for a few minutes". By this time, it is dark, everyone else has gone to bed, and you are left to wonder about your choices. If you decide to do this, I hope you have a nice long book. If not, write a book. You will have the time, and in the COVID era, as Ina Garten says, "nobody is dropping by". My pressing certainly resulted in a 3x reduction, and most certainly did not result in "extra firm tofu". I got it out of the cheesecloth, "cut" it, and then got it in a nonstick pan (no chance I was gambling with carbon steel with this gluelike stuff). Thankfully, this is where things started to go right, and I have a lot of experience making the tofu that professionals make delicious. Fried with olive oil and Cabela's Tequila Lime Seasoning. Finally, things are turning a corner. Tofu is fried, looks good, smells good, holds form. After a 15 minute dry-out at ~350F in the kamado with hickory for smokewood I am left with enough tofu for an appetizer for one. Ta da! Taste is excellent, rub is perfect, smoke is perfect, crunch is perfect. While I cannot imagine making my own tofu again for normal reasons, I suppose I might do it with the kids sometime, or if the apocalypse really comes and there is a period with no power and I am out of everything else but the dried beans, and I decide to cook it up for one last meal (and NOT cleaning any pots) before hitting Fury Road. Tofu made this way is delicious, we will continue to make it, but definitely not from scratch. I could see, "make your own tofu!" in a pamphlet from the power and water company. The fact I can buy enough to feed the whole family for $2.49 seals the deal. No time or money savings here, from now on I trust the pros. Glad I did it, do not want to do it again (but just in case the feeling hits me, I have a 500 year supply of Nigari Flakes).
  9. 7 points

    Buffalo wings on new Joetisserie

    My wife surprised me with a Joetisserie for my new KJ Classic II as an anniversary gift, so tonight I took it on it's maiden voyage with some wings in the napoleon basket I picked up to go with it. It all worked like a charm and turned out what might have been the best wings I've ever had. They were smokey and crisp, but still very juicy. My favorite is to keep things traditional to the area here, so I like to just toss my wings in plain old Frank's hot sauce. I tossed my wife's in some Dinosaur BBQ Wango Tango bbq sauce (haha waste of good wings) and she loved them. Lol, I've been cooking up a storm ever since I pulled the trigger on the kamado I've always wanted, but I'm not in the habit of taking pictures or writing out recipes so I never think of it in time for pics to post. I'm still learning the paces, but everything I've made so far has turned out wonderfully (chicken, tomahawk steak, smoked Italian sausage, I even grilled up some smoked mozzarella garlic bread). This site has been a wonderful resource for techniques and advice, so I wanted to share my appreciation of all of your knowledge. Hopefully I can bring myself to get in the habit of documenting my future cooks so I can share the experience!
  10. 7 points


    Inspired by some of the previous posts on here, I thought I would give Paella a go on the Monolith, so I bought myself some Bomba rice, some Saffron and a Paella pan. First up, I fried off some chicken thigh in olive oil Then I sautéed some onions, garlic and added some fresh vine tomatoes that I had grated earlier, plus some smoked paprika Then added chicken stock plus some white wine that I had soaked saffron in. Added the chicken back and the rice. Then after a while, in went peppers, peas and beans plus shrimp and clams. I gave it about 10 minutes with the dome closed until I could hear and smell the soccarat forming. It came out great! The family voted with their forks and there was only an empty pan for the dogs to lick.
  11. 7 points

    The random pictures thread...

  12. 7 points
    This is the most amazing rack of beef ribs I have ever cooked.
  13. 7 points

    Show your BBQ area

    We added our first kamado option , an Akorn Jr, to the GASJOE 32 after visiting this site recently. We will probably have to replace the GASJOE with a Blaze if we can't find replacement parts that fit, so far no luck. Looking forward to some kamado style cooking and these pics are of the first fire. The addiction is real, my wife can't believe how much I've already spent on accessories, and I haven't even gotten the Temp control unit yet. I'm seriously considering the DIGIQ DX3. Are there any better options for less money? Thanks for this site and all your help.
  14. 7 points

    More Big Bird!

    Slowly working my way through the box of Ostrich that I got online,"Top Strip " for dinner tonight which is supposed to be one of the better cuts. Couldn't be bothered going to the store so threw together a catch all 'dark fluid' pantry marinade with balsamic, soy and Worcester sauce for a few hours. Fired up the keg with all vents open as this is supposed to be very easy to overcook so I wanted a fast sear and had the instant read thermometer ready to go. 4min each side and pulled at 130°, recommended range is 125-150 and my last attempt was a little overdone so I was not gonna make the same mistake again! Threw on some Halloumi to add to the salad that I had to go with it, can't go wrong with squeaky cheese! Turned out pretty darn good! It's Ostrich so keeping with the theme, we cracked a bottle of S.African red which was pretty tasty too! The wife was very impressed, didn't know it was ostrich until I told her either.... Overall, I'm pretty impressed with Ostrich and the selection of cuts I got (burgers, thigh, loin, ribs and ground). The whole ostrich order was sparked by my cardiologist telling me my cholesterol levels were bad and I need to cut down on saturated fats/red meats. I find it to be an excellent substitute for beef and will probably keep it in rotation in some form and I'm keeping the ostrich ribs for next weekend and my big bird finale!
  15. 6 points
    nightmarish start... deflectors which should have been cleaned after my last 550° cook started smoking like crazy as soon as the ribs started to sweat fat... Got everything under control now... waiting in the wings...
  16. 6 points

    First pizza cook on Monolith

    Well, my sourdough pizzas came out pretty good in the end. Despite cocking up the dough hydration via a schoolboy error, the dough ended up nicely workable, but didn't rise as much as normal. But for a first cook on a new oven, I was pretty pleased. We managed to eat 7 pizzas! These were all cooked in the range of 350 to 400C (650 to 750F) as I didn't yet fancy seeing quite how hot the oven would go. The Kamado would have been good for 10-12 pizzas on the initial load of charcoal. I used cheap non-Buffalo Mozzarella and some random 00 flour we had in the cupboard. Next time I'll do it properly with Caputo flour, San Marzano tomatoes, Buffalo Mozzarella and a 48 hour cold proof.
  17. 6 points
    This is my Challenge Cook Enchilada Casserole Ingredients Didn't put lot of stuffing in because, one or the other wouldn't like it, so went basic. Season the Chicken and let it sit bout a hour(no pic, oops) Added some Mexican Rice for the side Got it layer with chicken, taco shells, Enchilada sauce, white cheese sauce and put on grill @390* for bout 40 minutes. Was a little soupy.put way to much white cheese, but the flavor was there. You know when you going to do a plated shot, you have see it in your mind but this time I felt I miss my mark. Cause each food looks the same, in color, & texture...well anyways. Guess I need to stop beating myself up ...lol I'm already looking for the next Challenge. Plated Shot.........(won't say Money shot this time) Thanks for looking Skreef
  18. 6 points
    Crab stuffed scallops served with cream corn and Ciabatta crustini's. My COVID-19 Challenge Started by making a rustic ciabatta biga. After a 24 hour biga counter rise I mixed up the main ingredients then did a 4 part stretch and fold. Into the refrigerator for a couple of days. The ciabatta in my new Emile Henry pan. Making crustini's Cream corn from a recipe by @philpom. I guess he never envisioned it made with powdered milk - Anything for a challenge cook Stuffed scallops. The large ones stuffed with crab the small ones with salmon. The crab version turned out good. The salmon ones tasted like tuna and were sort of yucky.
  19. 6 points

    Thai Canned Chicken Noodles

    Hmm.. nothing frozen nothing fresh challenge cook…( @ckreef curse you....) what to make…definitely a challenge. This one has really had me thinking, hardest challenge yet.... At some point I thought about chicken, canned chicken. I’ve never used canned chicken before, so that became the starting point. I love various Asian cuisines, so this is my take on Thai Chicken Noodles. Basic recipe/ingredients. 1 12oz can cooked chicken Rice noodles, half bag about 8oz. Sauce: 3-4T soy, ½ T rice vinegar, ½ T sugar Dry spices: ginger powder, garlic powder, onion powder, basil 1/2 cup of dried veggies (carrots, onion, red pepper, green pepper, corn, leeks) To bring a little “heat” and some floral notes, I used my new mixture of Sichuan peppercorns that have been soaking most of this week in several ounces of vodka. I used 2 teaspoons of the Sichuan Vodka. I’ve read and heard how Sichuan peppercorns have a numbing effect, they really do…one hint… be careful not to sip too much liquid when sampling it. For the Kamado portion of the cook, I reconstituted the dried veggies on the Big Joe, as well as smoking the chicken for about 10 minutes I brought it altogether in the wok, over a high heat propane turkey fryer burner.
  20. 6 points
    I was going to call this "Covid Baked Beans", but my wife said that would be less appetizing (she's always accusing me of trying to put the "fun" back in "dysfunctional"). I followed my usual recipe for baked beans, which is to say there isn't one. I presoaked the beans for a day, rinsed them, added a package of fried onions for my aromatic element and cooked them about 1-1/2 hours on the Joe at 300 until almost tender. Added molasses, dry mustard, salt, brown sugar and a package of Bacon Jerky and cooked, covered, overnight on the Joe at 230 and then uncovered them while I was bringing the Joe up to baking temp to form a crust. I made up a batch of New Orleans Black Muffins (https://www.bigoven.com/recipe/new-orleans-black-muffins/115521 ) using 1 small can of Carnation Milk in place of the 1/4 cup fresh. When I was a kid my Mom often made baked beans on Saturday night and served them with B&M canned brown bread, sliced, buttered and toasted. The black muffins are a good substitute and make a great breakfast bread when split buttered and toasted. That was a pretty good batch of baked beans and didn't strain my imagination too much to meet the standards of 'Nothing Fresh, Nothing Frozen". Oh, and I used Ghee instead of fresh butter on the muffins, it sits right next to Crisco at my Wally World.
  21. 6 points

    Pulled Pork

    For my first overnight cook on the Monolith, I decided on pulled pork. Nice and easy and very forgiving. I scored a lovely Organically raised 5Kg shoulder from the butcher - neck end, blade bone in, backbone removed, skin off. Or.....as you call it in the US, Boston Butt (our butchers don’t speak American!). I kept the skin and make pork crackling with it separately. Rubbed with my Memphis style rub: And at the end of the cook about 14 hours later: And finally, pulled: It was damn good. I’ve got the leftovers in the freezer right now and will be doing carnitas tacos later in the week. On the process, I did this after cooking paella so I had to wait for the grill to cool down enough. Once it was at about 260F, I put the pork on and went to bed. When I woke up in the morning, the temp had fallen to about 180F and I was worried it had gone out. So I cracked the bottom vent a little more and sure enough, the temperature started to rise. I levelled it off at around 240F and waited for the internal temp to get up to 198F when I took it out, wrapped it in foil, towels and put it in a cooler to sit and wait for dinner. Learning from this cook is that I had the vents set a little too closed so the K didn’t maintain the correct heat. However, looking at the graph from the thermometer it is amazing how long the heat is maintained for. The internal temp of the pork itself just kept climbing slowly, even while the K was cooling down, so no harm, no foul! Also, for cooks like these, it’s going to be easier to start with a cold grill rather than trying to chase temperature downwards. Anyway. The pork was great and that’s all that matters!
  22. 6 points

    Covid19 Pass Time

    My buddy wanted a pic of an Acorn Woodpecker, I don't want to get into taking requests, but the guy is a BFF and feeds the wife and I pizza from his WFO, so he is allowed special requests.
  23. 6 points

    Covid19 Pass Time

    Cool. It is fun to give them away, and then hear people trying to figure out who is doing it. This is my take on a Spotted Tohee which frequents our area in the spring and summer. and a pygmy owl dressed for July 4th
  24. 6 points

    3rd Cook - Monolith - Chicken Wings

    First of all, I am going to stop numbering the cooks after this one.... Anyway, some chicken wings for lunch. I gave them a little bit of Cajun rub and oil, then grilled on the Monolith for 40 minutes at 230C (c. 450F) turning once. Used a little bit of Plum wood to add som smoke flavour. Knocked up some sauce using equal amounts of Frank's Original hot sauce, some unpasteurised French butter with sea salt and some flame roast habanero hot sauce. Lovely:
  25. 6 points

    You guys are alright

    Hey everyone. Jason here in The City of Chicago (not the burbs). I'm going to give you way too much of an introduction. 43 years old; totally cool dude. Tomorrow will be 9 years married. Wife and I married after "dating" for 13 days. About the time we were together for a year, I saw a BGE in a hardware store. I'd only ever owned (several) of the little Weber grills, and I had never seen a grill that cost as much as the egg. I was intrigued. I started to lust after them. For years I kept telling myself that I'd get one when we finally settle in somewhere. We've lived in 4 states. I moved from here to Albuquerque, NM where we met. 6 months later we packed up the dog (a sweet and loving blue nose APBT named Ryno (after Ryne Sandberg, of course)) and we moved to Portland, OR because that's what all the cool people were doing. Then I figured out I'm not cool. Well, not in the way those guys are. As a huge coffee lover and die-hard bicycle kind of guy, it was sort of paradise. But I'm cool in the badass DJ, car-free, hip hop, City Boy kind of way. They're cool in the be all weird and sensitive and drink over-priced cocktails kind of way. Which is cool for them, but I just didn't click there. Our first son, Theodore, was born there. (He just graduated kindergarten today!) Man oh man I miss the weather and the insane amount of green, but it was time to move on. Wife (Erin) was really growing as a pastry chef, getting kind of famous, and we decided that she needed to take a bigger role in her company and we relocated to Denver where she was one of the team to open a second location of her Portland restaurant. That was kind of a rough patch for us. Opening a new restaurant is brutal. 18 hour days, 7 days a week for the first six months. Salaried, of course. So while I was home alone with Theo the whole time she was getting burnt out. Eventually after 2 years of compromise and frustration and no work/life balance, she decided to leave the job. Finally, it was going to be my turn to leave our crappy, over-priced apartment get back to work! (I'm a career waiter) While I was out looking, she decided to come here to Chicago to do a "stage" (which is sort of like either an audition or apprenticeship in a kitchen) at Alinea, just for fun, as it's one of the top restaurants in the world. She did such an awesome job (of course) that the offered her a job immediately and two weeks later we packed up the boys and headed back to my sweet home, Chicago (not the burbs). That job was a terrible idea. Very toxic, this industry can be. She quit two weeks later. But then we both wound up finding jobs that suit us just fine, and we started to settle in. Lots of Cubs games with the kiddo, reconnecting with all the old crew, and just generally feeling a sense of wholeness, belonging, home… and I started thinking about that BGE again. Got the boy in kindergarten, and just when things start looking good, BOOM we get news that baby 2 is on the way. So Simon was born last November. Once everything finally got settled I started lusting again. Grill… GRILLLL my brain would say. I would spend endless hours researching all the types, brands, and styles of Kamado grills. I started telling Erin about all the great stuff I would make her, how she would be Done With Dinners Forever. She couldn't get over the price. Then, a couple days after getting a vasectomy, she must've felt sorry for me (or was just tied of hearing about it) and told me to go ahead and get the grill. I already knew just what I wanted, and ordered to a KJII with a DoJoe. I had already spent so much time on this forum, lurking, that when the special day came I knew just what to do. I have not had a "bad" cook yet (there were a couple learning experiences), and really feel I got the hang of this, or that I'm comfortable beginning my learning journey. I have already done things I've never tried on a grill before: ribs, packer brisket, smoked fish, pizza. While I wouldn't say I nailed restaurant quality BBQ yet (ribs and brisket) they were still pretty good and thanks to you guys I'm pretty sure of what I need to do next time. The wealth of knowledge here is so helpful. My steaks, burgers, sausages, and veggies are better than any other grilling I've done before, not so much because of the grill (it's only one part of the reason), but because of your shared experience teaching me how to do things proper. Reading about cooking methods, wood varieties for smoking, science of grilling/searing/smoking etc has, in very short order, elevated my game. No more am I throwing a half bag of soaked mesquite chips on the tiny Weber kettle to cook two burgers, marveling at how intensely smokey it tasted. Now I'm understanding the chemical reaction of a smoke ring, moderation, patience. I owe it all to you. I feel like this is 50/50 introduction/thank-yous. To close out, here are a few notable pics from my first 14 days as a KJ owner. (Nobody needs pictures of burgers, brats, corn, peppers etc). Got some pizza made with naturally leavened (no commercial yeast) sourdough crust (I roast tomatoes after cooks before shutting the grill down to make my own sauce). Smoked steelhead was delicious. The ribs…there are a lot of differing opinions on how to do them so I went with the method with the least variable: unwrapped for the entirety of the cook. They were just slightly dry, but great texture and super tasty. Definitely felt proud of them for my first try. The brisket… I started it at 06:30 thinking it would be done in time for dinner. It wasn't. 15lbs at 225° (I love how this thing dials into a temperature and just holds!). Probably need another half hour+, and I cut the cooler time short as well; it came out a little toothy. But, again, spectacular flavor. Tomorrow night is reverse-seared filet with a cambezola and cherry tomato sauce with grilled asparagus. Anyway, that's it for me. Thanks for being here, and sharing all the great insight and creativity. You guys rock!
  26. 5 points
    I had my first cook using my Anova Precision and Grillgrates to cook Costco ribeyes on my Vision Kamado. I have to say they were the best Ribeyes I have ever had. They were not kidding how even the cook was through the entire ribeye and the grill marks were outstanding. Can't wait for my next cook.
  27. 5 points

    First cook success!

    Finally got my KJ 3 on Friday, about a month after ordering. Tonight I did my first cook, a spatchcock 5lb roaster chicken from the local butcher and it turned out incredible. Shoutout to @Smokingdadbbq for his method: sloroller at 400F With 1 piece of wood chunk (I chose apple) on the bottom of the charcoal . Seasoned with Steven Raichlens KC BBQ smoke rub the night before. No sauce was necessary! Looking forward to many more cooks
  28. 5 points

    Burning out tree stumps

    For far too many of my relatives, that petroleum based odor and taste is an essential part of the flavor profile.
  29. 5 points
  30. 5 points

    Akorn > Weber Kettle > Kamado Joe

    So I have myself an Akorn for about 4 years. Through a couple moves while building a new house, it was pretty neglected... sat outside, uncovered through winter, rain, etc. Needless to say due to the metal build, it rusted something bad. I ended up getting rid of it and decided I'd see what the Weber Kettle hype was all about. I picked myself up Kettle Master Touch.......... wow... I freaking hated it. Was horrible to keep temps. Took forever to get up to temp. Was terrible to use with lump (as it fell through the grates)... just a bad overall experience. Cooked on it about 4 times then sold it. Now... I live in a VERY windy area. Like 10-15 mph winds almost constantly.... so I'm sure that played a part... but it was no enjoyable. I decided to pick myself up a new Kamado Joe Classic from Lowes for $650..... I'm in love.
  31. 5 points

    Covid19 Pass Time

    We have or had a number of craft art shows on our town square. One time we walked a show, there was this fellow that had turned burl bowls. They were made of maple and juniper, and some had walls so thin you could actually see through them. I was just completely taken with the craftsmanship, and bought one. During the transaction, I asked the guy how did you ever learn to do this. In reply he stood up and held his hand over his head. Of course, I took the bait and asked what is that. To which he replied ,the height of the pile I threw away before I got the hang of it. Well, he was a much more talented individual than I, but the same element applies here, as well. Here are some pics of the turned burl I bought.It weighs pretty much, nothing. Only skill and a couple layers of wood hold it together. It is probably been 12 years since I bought it. It hangs out in a display case.
  32. 5 points

    Brisket for dinner!

    Hi All! Doing as brisket today and will update with pics along the process. Feel free to throw in some pointers. Started last night with a 12.5lb whole choice brisket picked up a couple days ago. Cleaned it up a bit and shed probably 1.5lbs. Gave the KJ a fresh cleaning and loaded up 4 fist size pieces of apple wood under the lump. Then I closed everything up for the night so it would be ready for a 5am lighting and a 6am start for the meat. Started a little later than I was planning but still had the temp dialed in to 225F and meat on by 6:45am. I used one of my favorite rubs for all types of meat and even some vegetables, Bad Byron's Butt Rub. I have yet to try that on something and not love it. I also added a little more salt and fresh ground pepper. Was thinking of pulling around 170F - 180F, depending on how the bark looks, to wrap in foil to take to the finish line. I plan on making burn ends from the point but unsure if I should separate the point before wrapping and then cube it up and mix with butter in a separate foil pan and put back on or if I should just wait until the entire brisket is done and then separate it and cube the point and mix with butter and BBQ sauce and put back on for another 20 minutes or so. I've done a few briskets in the past but I've never done the burnt ends so any and all input will be greatly appreciated. Thanks again and I'll update along the way today!
  33. 5 points

    Pizzas for dinner

    So not sure what sparked it, but I got a hankering for homemade pizzas this week. So used a different recipe that i found from a pizza dough calculator (stadlermade pizza dough calculater). Which calculates how much flour, water, salt, yeast depending on how many pizzas and what size you want to make. The results were great I thought. So will use this again I think. Did three pizzas with toppings we had on hand. Made a quick sauce, cooked them at 650f to 700f for a few minutes. One turn each.
  34. 5 points

    Been a bit....

    Carpet and seats are installed and we drove it for its first drive since 1996. needs a tune up, oil change and we now have a small oil leak. It also has an aftermarket exhaust that is seized on. We drive it to the shop Monday for some mechanical work!! but.... it’s road worthy and insured and appraised way higher than we had expected
  35. 5 points

    Show your BBQ area

    Its a work in progress for many reasons. 1st off new to the Kamado Joe (just delivered today. We had planned to have a new patio poured and covered to extend our outdoor space. But at the start of this pandemic...our home had other plans...new HVAC, new motherboard for once computer, and added a computer so the kids each have a space for school and play, a new alternator in one car and AC work in the other. So the patio will have to wait. So I improvised with a shovel, some paver sand and pavers and made a spot for my KJ Classic where I can set up our pop up canopy for longer cook’s when i want to sit in the shade some (plus the deck has some issues and will be replacing boards until we can get the patio done. Worked well for the first cook and some delicious burgers.
  36. 5 points

    Beef cheek ragu

    This was amazing!!! . .
  37. 5 points
    So for my second experiment with the Monolith, I went for a sourdough boule. I've been making these in the regular oven for a while now with pretty good results, so thought I'd give it a try on the Kamado. For anyone who wants the recipe/technique, it's classic "country loaf" from the Tartine Bread book 90% bread flour 10% wholemeal flour 75% water 2% salt 20% active sourdough starter Having no idea of how to bake bread on a Kamado, I went for the pizza stone approach and brought the grill up to 260C (500F). The stone temperature was about 245C measured with an infrared thermometer. I did not add any water to the drip pans or anything. Just straight forward bread on the stone and off we go. 20 minutes closed, then I checked it and gave it another 10 minutes. Here's what we got: It's still cooling, but I will add a crumb shot later. All in all, pretty good. It looks like a sourdough boule! I'd like the crust be more glossy, but I think that's a function of having no steam in the oven. Next time, I think a couple of big ice cubes on the drip pans before I put the bread in. If I can find a big terracotta flower pot of the right size, I might experiment with using that upside down over the bread as a kind of "cloche".....
  38. 5 points

    2nd Cook - Monolith - Sourdough Bread

    And the money shot. It came out great! Now to chow down with some lovely egg mayo, cheese and cold meat.
  39. 5 points
    My Monolith Le Chef Pro 1.0 arrived today as promised. Between conference calls, I managed to put it together, fire it up and get a test cook going. Nothing special - just a spatchcocked chicken with honey mustard sauce and some roasted vegetables. It came out great. The chicken was really good, cooked perfectly (45 mins at 170C/340F) and super juicy. My wife commented that the meat was like sous-vide chicken which is a good thing. I think next time I will ramp up the temp for the last 10 minutes as the leg skin was lovely but the breast skin could have used a bit more heat. Anyway, everything went according to plan. The Monolith is a beast. Super well made and holds temperature incredibly. Next up while I learn this thing....some other cooks including reverse seared steak, chicken wings and lamb shoulder....
  40. 5 points

    Turkish Chicken Shish Kebabs.

    I used buttermilk instead of yoghurt this time and I think this is the perfect combination of flavors.
  41. 4 points

    Porcetta -prep and cook

    Well with it all said and done I was very happy. KJ sat around the 150c and it took about 2.5 hrs it had hit an internal temp of around 65c. The skin was still very rubbery but it had areally good amber colour. I opened the lid and bottom vent. Maybe another half hour to 45 minutes and skin puffed up nicely. Inside Served with some roast veg and a quick heavy I made with the juices. I think I could have cooked it a little slower and a lower temp. Allow more of the fat to render down. Still, it was juicey, the flavour and smells amazing. Plus there is plenty left over for sandwiches this week! NB: the char in top happened when I stopped the rotisserie top take the temp. Tasted great though!
  42. 4 points

    Tacos al pastor

    This cook has been on the list for quite awhile but it was going to take some time and effort to make a trompo and gather the ingredients. I finally got my stuff together and the results were fabulous. I put my trompo together with a pizza pan and made the skewer out of 3/16 stainless rod - threading the rod was my least favourite part of the process. After putting the pastor marinade together I sliced a 5 pound pork shoulder on 1/4” slices and let it do it’s thing for all most 24 hours in the fridge. I stacked it with a slice of pineapple on the bottom, middle and top. Cooked indirect at 450° it took about 2 hours or so, and I pulled it out and sliced off the cooked and charred parts 3 times before it was cooked all the way through. I reheated it all back up in a frying pan at dinner and pressed out fresh tortillas. With a couple fresh mojitos this made the absolute best tacos al pastor I’ve had.
  43. 4 points

    First in person look-C8 Z51 Stingray

    11 months ago my 87 year old neighbor ordered a 2020 Vette. This weekend it finally showed up. It looks amazing in person, it already looked great online but man, wonder in person. He is a bit of a car nut and already has a '63, '72, '84 and '14 Vette along with 2 Deloreans. For anyone unaware C8 designates the 8th redesign of the Corvette. The 2020 Vettes are the most anticipated new car, maybe ever. It's the first ever mid engine Vette and boasts 495 hp in the base model and does 0-60 in less than 3 seconds. Imagine the Z06 or ZR1. It's a super car for $65k. I am a Corvette fan and just wanted to share in the event there are others here.
  44. 4 points

    The random pictures thread...

  45. 4 points

    (Sp)ham 3 ways

    At work about three years ago, we had a Remembrance Day Potluck. They asked us to bring in variations of foods that soldiers would have eaten in the WW’s. I brought in grilled Spam on a stick. If I remember correctly, three cans got me 24 skewers. I lightly dusted with Tony Chachere’s and then grilled them. At lunch they were then reheated. Did a little presentation about the origins as well. People either were curious, had previously eaten Spam or were disgusted with the idea of “poor people food” (someone did say that). All 24 were gone in no time, and I won the prize for the event.
  46. 4 points

    Covid19 Pass Time

    If I'd been born talented instead of so darn good lookin, I could paint like that too.
  47. 4 points

    RV build

    I finally got most of the little projects standing in my way taken care of and have now started to build a Teardrop RV from scratch. I'll warn anyone interested in following this build that this is a complex and labor intensive project. While there will likely be spurts of progress this is going to take time. Here is my concept drawing although my projects tend to evolve as they progress so we'll see in the end. I have a few requirements that can't change. It must be able to boondoggle. Teardrop are small campers designed for 2. This one will be roughly 5' wide and 9' long not counting the tongue. Some of the key features I'm looking for: Air Conditioning and heating 12 volt and 120 volt power Solar and utility power options I have already built a 3/4 ton trailer for the project and started buying doors, windows and hatches. I plan to use skeletonized plywood construction so I must have exact dimensions of all components before major construction can begin. I am planning on the AC being in the rear as pictures but will offset that weight with batteries in the tongue box. I will insulate the roof and wall pockets but probably not the floor. A major consideration for one of these is weight. I hope to keep this under 1400 pounds but less is better. My tow vehicle is a Sierra so that's not a concern however you should be able to pull them with almost anything. I'm guestimating the cost right now at $2500 but that is from the hip. RV parts are expensive for example the door was nearly $400, each window nearly $200, a hatch $125 etc. If I top at $3000 I'll be happy, a 5x9 queen from a dealer will set you back $10,000. Now that I have set my targets, started to purchase and build let's see where this goes!
  48. 4 points

    Covid19 Pass Time

    Went for my morning walk and saw these local examples. All in a two block radius. There are many more nearby with Covid references as well. In the photos below, some are little mini galaxies, a tribute to the Jellybean houses in St. John’s NF, etc. Enjoy!
  49. 4 points

    The random pictures thread...

    The Man's remote:
  50. 4 points
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