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  1. 44 points
    John Setzler

    How to Cook a Boston Butt

    The Boston Butt is one of the “Holy Grails” of barbecue meat. Sliced and pulled pork barbecue that comes from this cut of meat is one of the tastiest treats you will ever have when it’s cooked properly. The Boston Butt comes from the upper part of the shoulder on the front legs of the pig. This cut also usually contains all or part of the scapula (shoulder blade) unless a particularly large butt has been trimmed into multiple pieces. The Boston Butt is also a perfect cut of meat for a beginning barbecue cook. It’s easy to cook and very forgiving. Even if you make some mistakes in your cooking or preparation, the resulting meat should be really good! What you Need: · 8 to 12 pound Boston Butt · ¾ to 1 cup of Pork Dry Rub · Meat Thermometer (digital/quick read/analog/whatever) · Grill or Oven · Drip Pan / Roasting Rack · Cooler large enough to hold the cooked meat You can certainly find Boston Butts that are smaller than 8 pounds and might even find a few larger than 12 pounds. I recommend 8-12 pounders because I have had my best results with cuts in this size range. Smaller cuts (6 pounds and under) seem to give me mixed results. Cuts in the 6-8 pound range work fairly well, but the larger cuts always give me the results I’m looking for. When you go shopping for your Boston Butt, look for cuts that are vacuum sealed by the manufacturer. These vacuum seal packs are sometimes called “cryovac” packaging. Avoid the cuts that are on Styrofoam trays and shrink wrapped from the local butcher. These are usually smaller cuts from a larger Boston Butt. When choosing the size of the Boston Butt you wish to cook, buy one that is at least twice as large as you need in terms of cooked meat. A Boston Butt has a very high fat content. Your Boston Butt will shed nearly 50% of its weight during the cook! An 8 pound cut will yield 4 to 4.5 pounds of cooked meat. When you are ready to cook your Boston Butt, it must be completely thawed if it has been previously frozen. You can determine this with a probe thermometer. Insert the probe thermometer into the center of the meat. If the meat is still frozen in the center, it will be very difficult to insert the probe. Preparing Your Meat: Start out by cleaning your kitchen sink. When the sink is clean and rinsed out completely, place your cryovac packaged Boston Butt in the sink and remove the packaging. Discard the packaging and rinse the meat completely with cold water. Pat the meat dry with several clean paper towels and move the meat to a large cutting board. One side of your Boston Butt will be completely covered in fat. This is called the “Fat Cap.” Most of this fat is a hard fat that will not dissolve and render out during the cook. I like to trim most of this fat and toss it out. Some people like to trim it to a thickness of about ¼ inch, leaving some of the fat on the meat. Some people just like to score the fat with a sharp knife and leave all of it in place. It’s up to you. You will either cut it off before you cook or afterwards. I prefer to cut most of mine off so I can season that surface with my barbecue rub. If there are any other surfaces of your Boston Butt that have a heavy amount of fat, trim it as you see fit. After the meat is trimmed to your satisfaction, it’s time to season it with your barbecue rub. There are a lot of commercially-available dry rubs for barbecue on the market or you can make your own rather easily. If you search the web for barbecue dry rub recipes, you will find tons of them. Use a shaker bottle or jar to apply a liberal coat of your barbecue rub to ALL surfaces of the meat. When I say “liberal” I mean a coat thick enough where it completely covers the meat to a point where all you see is the rub, but no more than that. Each time you coat a surface, use the palm of your hand to pat the rub in place where it won’t fall off. I typically season one side at a time and let it sit in place for a few minutes before flipping it over to season the opposite side. Some people like to use a “binder” to help hold the rub on the meat. You can smear a thin layer of plain yellow mustard or a cooking oil on the outside of the meat before you apply your rub to help bind it to the meat if you wish. Once your barbecue dry rub is applied, let the meat sit for 20-30 minutes on the counter. You will notice that the rub will get wet as it draws moisture from the surface of the meat. You can also wrap the meat tightly in plastic or a vacuum sealer bag and put it in the refrigerator overnight if you wish. The overnight process allows the seasonings to penetrate the meat a little deeper but the results aren’t significantly different in the final cook. If you choose to wrap it and let it marinate in the refrigerator overnight, re-apply a little extra rub to the surfaces of the meat before you get ready to cook. Cooking the Meat: Preheat your grill, smoker, or oven to 250°F. If you are using a grill or smoker, add 4 to 5 chunks of smoking wood such as hickory, apple, oak, pecan, or whatever your available options might be. When you first start the grill or smoker, there will be a good bit of white smoke coming from the smoking wood. Let the grill or smoker stabilize until that white smoke dissipates into a thinner blue-colored smoke. If you are cooking in an oven, place two 2-cup measuring cups of hot water on the rack to help keep the humidity at a higher level during the cook. You may have to replenish this water during the cook. When your grill or smoker is stabilized at 250°F it’s time to get the meat on the grill. If you are placing your Boston Butt directly on the grill grate, you should insert a drip pan underneath it to catch the fat drippings from the meat. There will be a LOT of fat drippings. You can also put the Boston Butt on a roasting rack in a roasting pan on the grill to catch these drippings. This is the method you should use if you are cooking in an oven. Do NOT let the fat drip directly into the bottom of the oven. If you are cooking in an oven, you should also loosely cover the roasting rack with a sheet of aluminum foil. Monitoring the Cook: At 250°F, you can expect your Boston Butt to take approximately 1.5 hours per pound to cook completely. That’s 12 hours for an 8 pound Butt! THIS IS JUST A CLOSE ESTIMATE! Monitoring the internal temperature of the meat with a thermometer or digital temperature probe is the ONLY way to know when the meat is ready. That being said, there is no exact temperature when the cook is perfectly done. It takes a little experience to nail this part of the cook perfectly every time. To determine when the meat is ready, you are looking for a condition known as “probe tenderness.” This simply means that when you insert a temperature probe, skewer, or other probe type object into the meat that it will slide in effortlessly with very little resistance. This condition usually happens on a Boston Butt when the internal temperature of the meat reaches somewhere between 195-205°F. If you are unsure if your “probe tenderness,” It’s a good idea to remove the meat from the grill or oven when the internal temperature reaches 197-198°F. You will be close enough for most people! The best type of thermometer to use for a cook like this is one of the digital meat thermometers that has a temperature probe on a long cable that you can insert into the meat and view the meat temperature from outside the grill or oven. This will allow you to monitor that temperature without having to open the grill or oven during the process. Opening the grill or oven just adds to the cook time. Keep the oven or grill closed and let your thermometer tell you what’s going on inside. Finishing the Cook: Once your Boston Butt cook has completed, remove the meat from the grill or oven. Have a double thickness of aluminum foil sheets prepared that are large enough to completely wrap your meat. Place the cooked meat on the foil and wrap the meat around the side and leave the top exposed. Let the Boston Butt sit uncovered in this position for 10 to 15 minutes. Tightly wrap the meat in the foil and place it in a cooler. Take an old clean towel and fold it up and place it on top of the meat in the cooler and close the lid. Let the Boston Butt “rest” in the cooler for at least one hour and up to four hours. After the meat has rested for at least an hour in the cooler, you may remove it, place it in a large pan and use a couple forks to pull the meat apart. During this process, remove any chunks of fat that you might find. Serve it!!! Left-Overs: Leftover pulled pork should be dealt with immediately or as soon as possible to keep it from drying out. After you have pulled the pork, place any leftovers in vacuum seal bags if possible. Ziploc bags will work OK but for freezing leftovers, it’s hard to beat a vacuum sealed bag. When you place the meat in a vacuum seal bag or Ziploc bag, add a tablespoon of a 50/50 mixture of apple juice and cider vinegar to the bag to add moisture. If using a Ziploc bag, remove as much air as possible. The magic of a vacuum sealed bag of frozen pulled pork is in the reheating process. To reheat this properly, all you need to do is drop the bag in a pot of simmering hot water until the meat has reheated. Frequently Asked Questions: Should I inject the meat with a marinade/brine before cooking? You can if you like. I have done it and have experimented with a lot of different injection combinations. If you are just learning how to cook a perfect Boston Butt, I’d recommend skipping the injection and focus on the basic techniques first. Should I cook the meat with the fat cap up or down? This is another rather large debate in the barbecue community. You will get different answers from different people. I cook mine with the fat cap down. I like the way my bark forms on the outside of the meat much better when I cook this way. Should I put a pan of water in my smoker or grill during this cook? If your grill or smoker was designed to use a water pan, then I recommend doing it. I don’t see any smoke coming out of my smoker or grill. Should I add more smoke wood chunks? No. In fact, a good clean burning fire will not have much visible smoke at all. It IS possible to over smoke your food, so in many cases with barbecue meat, less is more! Should I soak my wood chunks or chips in water before putting them on the smoker? No. This won’t make a significant difference in how long the chunks or chips last. I don’t recommend using chips, but if you do, make a sealed pouch out of aluminum foil and place a cup or so of chips in the pouch. Press all the air out of the pouch. Poke one or two small holes in the pouch and place it on top of your lit charcoal. They will smoke for a long time. After I put my meat on the smoker, I started seeing more thick white smoke later in the cook. Is this bad? Usually, it’s not bad. If the fat is dripping directly into the fire or onto a heat deflector that is very hot, you will see this thicker white smoke. If the drippings in your drip pan get too hot, this will also occur. It’s nothing to worry about at this stage in the cook. Should I spritz the meat during the cook? In the beginning, I would say no until you are confident with this cooking technique. Should I try this, this that, this, that, this and that or this and this and that? As you advance in your barbecue cooking skills, you will discover lots of tips and tricks worth trying. My advice is to try new things as often as possible with one restriction. Try only ONE new thing at a time! If you try a bunch of different new tricks at once, you won’t be able to determine which tricks had what effect on the final results in terms of taste and/or texture.
  2. 38 points
    This topic comes up over and over all over the place. I am thinking it might be good to post a sticky or have a new section that new AKORN users or even new Kamado users in general can be directed for common issues and solution. I will attempt to detail exactly how to start a fire for slow low cooks. 1. Use only 100% lump 2. Pile the lump in the middle of the coal grill to form a "volcano". Your pile should extend from edge to edge and come within a few inches of the bottom of your diffuser. As much as 2 or 3 inches deep around the edge but remember "volcano" You want a little hole about 2.5"X2.5" wide and deep in the center. (as close to the grate as possible since you need this air flow) 3. At this point you can add 1-4 chunks of wood to you pile if desired. Spread them around in different locations and don't cover you hole. 4. Open top and bottom vents all the way. ***NOTE for step 5 - Veggie oil works well but now I use alcohol on the cotton. I cram a plastic jar with cotton balls and dump alcohol in it. Then I always have a stash near the grill and ready to go. The alcohol isn't as finicky as the oil. I also use SUPER JUMBO cotton balls so 1 is enough. - edit 6/23/2012 5. Do not use a chinmey of any sort to light it. Even a Weber light cube it too much. (maybe 1/4 of one would work I have not tried it). I use 2 large coton balls. I stretch it a little and drizzle a little vegetable oild on it (too much and this won't work so this part might take a little practice but cotton balls are cheap). Light it and drop it down in your little hole. Wait a moment to ensure it lights well and then repeat with the next one. When you drop the 2nd one in the hole be careful not to smother the first. 6. Carefully place 1 or 2 pieces of small lump over/in the hole in such a way that it does not starve or smother the cotton but it exposed to the flame. 7. Once you are certain the cotton is going well you may place your diffuser and cooking grate back on the grill. and close the lid. 8. Watch the temp carefully. It may take 5 to 15 minutes or more to see it move up in to the 100+ range. No worries, have a cold one while you wait. 9. Once you hit 160 you want to start closing it down. Start with 2 on top and 2 on the bottom. The idea at this stage is to slowly ease up to around 200. 10. Once you hit 200 cut it back a little further. 1 on top and 1 on the bottom. Watch your temp very careful. 1 of 2 things will happen at this point. It will continue to rise slowly (this is good, cut back to .75 on top and .5 on teh bottom) or it will stall or even drop in temp a litle. (if this happens open it an additional .5 on top and .5 on the bottom) 11. Coming out of step 10 you should be able to get your cook to stabilize at your targer temp near the 2 and some change mark. Once you have eased in to your target put the top at .5 and the bottom at .5. Observe and you should be at a pretty stable point. 10 and 11 take the most practice and I can't stress enough how important it is to work the vents in .25 to .5 point increments, allow at least 10 minutes after an adjustment to observe the difference before making further adjustments. In general terms each set of adjustments represent 1/2 the movement of the previous (roughly) and you will narrow in on your target over time. The more you do this the better you get and the faster it can be done. I have burned for over 20 hours and hardly put a dent in my fuel supply, refilling should not be required. Now - why cotton balls and not a chimney or even weber cubes? The chimney will certainly light too much lump at once and believe it or not so will the weber cube. After using the cotton ball you can observe that the very edge of 3 or 4 pieces of lump are actually lit. This is all that is needed bring the tmep up in a kamado cooker. Other methods like using paper, fluid etc light way too much lump and will cause issue with your burn. Lighting in this fashion I would expect a look of shock on your face when after 8 hours of burn you look to see that there is only a little charing to all the lump you put in the cooker. Give this a try, use plenty of patience the first 3 or 4 times and let me know how it works for you. Works miracles for me and I feel pretty good that it will work for you. I am also interested in any modification to this basic procedure you coem up with that helped you out. No doubt others would also benefit. For example, there are other ways to light insteaf of a cotton ball I'm sure. It just seends to be very small. Good luck and happy grilling!
  3. 37 points
    Ingredients: Meat: 3 to 4 lbs. of good quality Chuck Roast Hot sauce (I used Tapatio) Steak Seasoning (I used Kirkland) Ground coriander Ground chipotle pepper Veggies & Broth: Two green bell peppers (Chopped) One red bell peppers (Chopped) One yellow bell peppers (Chopped) 1 large red onion (Chopped) 1 large brown or yellow onion (Chopped) 1 large jalapeño (Diced) 1/4 cup of Worcestershire sauce 12 oz. of Guinness Extra Stout (or any good dark beer) Directions: Take meat and Sprinkle with hot sauce and rubbed down for even coverage. Now rub with steak seasoning, ground coriander and chipotle pepper for even coverage and to taste. Wrap up in plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge a minimum of 4 hours. (8 is better) Once rested, set up your kamado for indirect cooking and preheat to 250. Add a chunk of your favorite smoke wood and place meat on grill. Let it cook until the I.T. is 165 degrees. While the meat is cooking, cut up your veggies and place them in an aluminum chafing pan. Pour the Worcestershire sauce and the beer over the veggies. (You can add more chipotle powder to the veggies if you like) Once the meat I.T. has reached 165, remove it from the grill and place it in the pan on top of the veggies and tightly cover with aluminum foil. Return the chafing pan to your kamado and bump up the temperature to 325 to 350. Cook this until the meat I.T. has reached 210 degrees. Now remove the chafing pan from the kamado and remove the foil. Do a loose pull of the meat being very careful not to splash the hot liquid on yourself. Once you’re done pulling return the chafing pan to the kamado to reduce the liquid to your desired level. (I like mine fairly thick) Once the liquid reaches your desired level remove it from the kamado. Pull any larger pieces of meat to your desired size and it’s ready to use. (Step by step pictures of this process are below) I originally posted this cook as Chucky’s Nightmare. I have decided to post it as a recipe as well. I got the inspiration for this from “The Wolfe Pit” but since I wanted mine for Tacos I switched up a few ingredients. Start with a good Chuck Roast. Here are the rub ingredients. (Note: I would’ve used Cummin but I was out so I used Coriander instead. It turned out so good I’m not sure if I’ll change it.) My Chuck Roast was huge (6.3 lbs.) so I cut it in half. Rubbed it down with some hot sauce. Now with the steak seasoning, ground coriander and ground chipotle chili pepper. (I just eyeballed it) Wrap this up and rest a minimum of 4 hours. (Overnight would be better) Light up the kamado. Throw on the chuck once it reaches temperature (250) with some wood chunks. (I used Mesquite) Here are veggies to I used. Once I had chopped up the veggies I sprinkled on 1 tsp. of ground chipotle chili pepper. Then I poured in 1/4 cup of Worcestershire Sauce and 1 Stockyard Oatmeal Stout. (Guinness is used a lot but any dark beer will do) After the chuck roast had reached and internal temperature of 165 I placed it on the bed of veggies. I then covered the pan with foil and placed it back on the kamado along with some appetizers. I cranked up the temp to 325 and let it cook for another 2 hours. After 2 hours the IT was 209 so I removed the foil. And pulled it apart and let it cook for another hour to reduce the liquids. Here it is ready to eat. I warmed up some tortillas and proceeded to make tacos. And enjoyed them with a Stockyard Oatmeal Stout. Due to the Tapatio and chipotle powder the meat had a bit of a kick. As we ate our tacos my wife gave it a "this is awesome" comment. Now to understand exactly what that means you have to remember that she doesn't like red meat. (Or so she thinks) Every time I buy beef she asks me why. So if she said it was "awesome" you have to believe it.
  4. 33 points
    I skipped cooking on Big Red this weekend and took the family to Famous Dave's. While we are halfway through eating my 9 y.o. son (in all sincerity) told me I should work there because he couldn't taste the grill (his interpretation of smoky flavor) on his pulled pork like he does on the ones I make. Then he said "maybe you can teach them how to make it juicy too". The look on my wifes face was priceless. It's like she knew it was validation of my buying the new kamado. They all then concurred. Absolutely made my day. Best part is, he still doesn't get just how much it made my day. I think because he didn't mean it as a compliment as much as an observation. That kid is gonna get a raise in his allowance.
  5. 33 points
    Howdy fellas. Well, the Mrs. wanted some burgers Sunday night and I didn’t feel like running to the store just for buns….so bunless burgers it was….which she was fine with since she’s on this whole “carbs are evil” kick. I also had a new lens for my camera that I’ve wanted to fart around with so I decided I was going to do a post about this ever-so-ordinary meal….BUNLESS BURGERS. So, I got out my APL book and decided to do a rough rendition (when I say rough, I mean like my drunken karaoke version) of his….you guessed it….Burgers With Griddled Onions! HEEEYOOO! “Now, let me see…where did I put that photo…oh, yes. Here we go…” In order to make these burgers in less than ideal conditions, I must first get myself headed to more ideal conditions. That pop you just heard…. Ok, here we go… The Mrs. does most of the shopping and she likes to stay fairly healthy, which is in direct opposition to how my taste buds like to feel. Therefore, I am working with a much leaner choice of ground beef than I would like… …so I pulled some bacon fat out from under the sink and added a glob when she was in the other room. “Now we’re starting to get somewhere!” I learned something new while reading APL’s description of his burgers, which was that adding seasoned salt to your burger meat makes them rubbery, so I decline from mixing in any other ingredients and put them in my butter baste. (butter, garlic, mixed herbs, dash of Tony’s) I divide the burger meat into two half-pound balls and mold into patties. Here they are hanging out back stage. Now, I fill up my second glass of wine and head out for the ceremonial lighting of the fire. Primo style… Got the grate/griddle combo going. This is where I stop to finish my wine and admire one of God’s greatest gifts to us. *GULP* Ok, wine is gone. Back inside to cut the onions. I always talk to myself when cooking…“Let’s see here….there’s only two of us…half of an onion should be plenty.” Ok, fire is already roaring. On to the griddle goes some canola oil (good way to tell how unlevel your grill is) and the onions. THESE PUPPIES ARE SIZZLIN’! (Basting butter on too) Back inside, I’m looking for some cheese to put on these burger beauties and I find some swank stuff that the Mrs. is probably planning on eating with some cracker that I can’t pronounce…I’ve got a couple glasses of wine in me and I’m feeling a bit rebellious so…BAM…on the cutting board it goes. “What is this crap? Blue, Roquefort? Dah, who cares.” *GULP* ”Smells funky…Oh, yeah. Time to check the onions.” *GULP* “Lookin’ good…” Looks like it’s burger time, baby! Let’s get these things on the FIYAH! “Let’s see…brush on a little of the butter baste….let’s flip these suckers…a little on top….BAM!” (wine brings out my inner Emeril) On the grill… *GULP* tick…tock…flip I’ve got everything under control at this point, then she pops her head out…. ”That’s all the onions you’re going to cook?” “Huh? Wha? Naw sweetie. You see those are the test onions to see how quickly they cook on my new grill. I’ve got the REAL onions coming. Don’t you worry, baby.” *GULP* …need another glass of wine and more…. “Ok. Everything is under control. Burgers are looking good. Got more onions. My baby is happy……” (Door opens) “Are you putting the Brussels sprouts on?” “What Brussels sprouts?” “The ones I got at the store today.” “Oh, THOSE Brussels sprouts. Yeah, baby going to put those on real soon. Don’t you worry. B.S.” B.S. = Brussels Sprouts. I swear. (Door closes) (Wine *GULP*) (Sigh) Inside I go. Turbo style. Brussels sprouts out. Wash? No. Cut? No. Wait. Yes. *Chop, chop, chop* In bowl. Canola oil. Garlic powder. Pepper. Headin’ back out. Wait. Back it kitchen. Grab wine. Head back out. Try to open back door with ninja forearm open trick. Doesn’t work too well. Spill some wine. Take my house shoe off. Mop it up with sock. Out to grill. BAM! Dump ‘em on. Burgers need to be on griddle. Gotta move onions. Go back in. Grab bowl. Back out. Onions in bowl. Move burgers over. Back in. Grab cheese. Back out. Lots of flames. Cheese on burgers. Wine back in hand. Camera and ACTION! I’m three quarters of the way through my wine at this point so I get a little brave and stick my head in the door…. “Baby!” “Yes?” “Make a salad!” I close the door and feel a little manlier. Then I realize I need to flip the Brussels sprouts. *sigh* Done… Ok, BS look done and I pull them from the grill. Open the door and my baby has the salad made and table set. Mission accomplished. Until the next fire… Cheers!
  6. 32 points

    Smoked Italian Beef Sandwich

    Every weekend this month was busy for me, so I had to throw together something quick in order have an entry into this months challenge. I'd made Chicago style Italian beef sandwiches before in a crock pot, so why not in a cast iron pot on my Big Joe, and why not add some smoke! I took a nice chuck roast and blasted it with smoke for about an hour and a half a 225 degrees. I was ready to rip off a chunk of it at this point, but I resisted. Next, I threw in the rings of 1 sweet onion, and a whole jar of pepperoncini peppers and their liquid. Throw the lid on and wait! 6 hours later, the beef is ready for eating. After splitting and lightly toasting the inside of the rolls, I filled them with beef and peppers (for those of us that wanted them), threw on some provolone, and on the smoker for a few minutes to toast the outside of the bread and melt the cheese. Toasted and tasty! The final product along with some blue Tortilla chips, and a dollop of homemade sauce for dipping. The sauce consists of sour cream, horseradish, dill, garlic powder, onion powder, parsley, salt and pepper (you could also simplify and use a packet of ranch). I can tell you that I'll be revisiting this one in the future. It was crazy simple to make, but it tastes awesome! The smoke flavor added a nice touch on this sandwich, so I can't see going back to the crock pot method anymore.
  7. 30 points
    As some of you may know I have been waiting on delivery of my Komodo Kamado 23", well the wait is over. My Komodo was delivered yesterday the first thing I asked the driver was "can you bring it in the backyard" his reply was"oh boy! This thing is heavy". With alot of huffing and puffing we managed to pull the pump cart with the Komodo in the backyard. This is what the crate looks like... The crate is so well constructed and with some well thought out features. One feature is the top of crate turn into a ramp to roll the Komodo of the skid... This is my new girl, its probably the only girl that likes being called huge. She is huge in person... The Komodo is loaded with goodies... The interior and firebox is second to none. No cracking this this bad girl... The heat deflector is, how can I say it, solid. Its at least 1.25" thick... With this charcoal basket you will have no issues with ash blocking the air holes... Now I've seen some quality grids but the Komodo grids are fabulous 3/8" of 304 stainless steel the build and finish is impressive. The lower grid has a flap thats open too... Next is the main or middle grid. It is the same quality and it has a flap too. The lower grid is below with the flap open... The upper grid is perfect for a spatchcock... All grids have handles to make life easy but Komodo says not everyone may have welding gloves so I better include these grid lifters. The handles must be teak and they look great... I ordered a cover with my Komodo. The cover is made from the Sunbrella fabric it comes with a bow nice touch... Heres the stocking stuffer all kinds of extras just in case. No nickel and diming you Komodo sends them even though you won't need them My Komodo with her new friends still not sure about exact placement... If you have never handled a Komodo the dome is self opening. Undo the locking latch and the dome opens up. The dome is also easy close, two fingers of pressure is all that is needed due to this massive spring... Remember what I said at the beginning about the crate features well here's another a handy crow bar included in the crate... Here's a close up shot of Komodo... The behind shot of my grilling area... The Komodo under her fancy cover... Thats it for now. I told you it was a lot of pictures, all kamados are under cover their big brother pizza oven too...
  8. 30 points

    bosco's Brisket

    I have three cooks on my new classic since switching out my black grills for red and needed to break in the big joe. So I went to my local butcher with ticatfan14(Rich) and picked up a couple of birds and a brisket yesterday. I got a 13 LB brisket at 4.45 a LB which is unheard of up here in the North, and two chickens. Last night I did the birds and they were awesome!!! The classic was a little cramped for 2 spatchcocked chickens, But I managed. Today, I got up very early as per Wilburs post about my early morning. Last night I aggressively trimmed my brisket. I cut the heavy fat between the flat and the point right out and used KJ sea salt and pepper rub. Let it sit over night. At 5 am, I fired my brand spanking new big joe up and decided on a hot and fast brisket at 275. Big guy locked in at 275 and stayed there all day!!!! Used white Oak and whiskey Oak barrel chunks for smoking I added a tray under the meat and filled it with some water to catch the drippings. This really changes the moisture content inside the kamado. I know it is not needed but I did it anyways!!! I cooked fat side down for 3 hours, flipped it and 3 hours fat side up. Pulled it, and wrapped it in butchers paper and spritzed with a little worcestershire sauce and water prior to wrapping. IT at this time was 185 Put it back on the grill for about 2 hours and it was probe tender with an IT of 205 Pulled it and wrapped it in a towel and placed it in a cooler for 2 hours until dinner While that was resting, I added some wings and asparagus to the big joe. I did half with plowboys bovine bold and the other half with Oakridge Habanero Death Dust. here is the brisket after letting it rest for two hours. It was super juicy and sticky. Not a super dark bark, but I loved the texture. It pulled apart easily like it is suppose to and the fat rendered perfectly after resting. This brisket was so tender and juicy compared to my first brisket. I was blown away with how good it tastes with just salt and pepper!!!! sliced up, I did thicker cuts for everyone. I have to say..... I have cooked a lot of things on the kamado over the past year and change, but honestly this was the best cook I have done to date. No plated shots but a great BBQ to end the weekend with my family. My parents and my inlaws as well as my brother in law and his family were over!!!! I have to say, there is nothing better than seeing peoples reactions to BBQ when they haven't really had BBQ before. It makes this very long long day worth every moment!!! Thanks for reading!!
  9. 29 points
    My wife asked me to make wings. I hadn’t tried that yet on Smaug, and it’s been a little while since I was able to grill anything. I’ve been somewhat out of commission since the weekend after New Years because of my shoulder locking up on me. I think it’s a frozen joint that can be traced back to a shoulder injury I got in college from baseball. In any case, I was barely able to lift my right arm, which gets in the way of opening and closing the lid. Two weeks of physical therapy later, and I’m in much better shape. I’m still not 100%, but my arm moves enough so that I can do some cooking. I used this recipe for cooking wings from Serious Eats. Basically, I mixed up 1 tablespoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of baking powder (not baking soda), and tossed 3 lbs. of wings with it until it was all absorbed by the wing pieces. I put them in a baking dish and let them sit in the refrigerator for 8 hours. Then they went into Smaug. I cooked them indirect at 400ºF for about 45 minutes, flipping the wings about halfway through. They came out great. The skin was nice and crispy, and not greasy at all. We had a variety of sauces to try with the wings, since we all have different preferences in terms of how spicy we like our wings. I used Buffalo Wild Wings medium sauce. My wife and kids had the Buffalo Wild Wings honey BBQ sauce. There were two things that helped make the skins so crispy. The first was the baking powder/salt mix. This has the effect of raising the pH, which improves the browning process. The second was the time sitting in the refrigerator. This allowed the wing pieces to dry out, which helps with making the skin nice and crispy as it cooks. This is the same reason I hung a duck in my backyard before cooking it. In fact, next time I cook a whole bird, I’m going to try the baking powder trick. In any case, I can say that this was easily the best batch of wings I have ever made. Even better, my wife said the same thing.
  10. 29 points

    Nothing but the money!

    Tonight's surprise (session cancellation) sous vide filet with blue cheese compound butter, twice baked potato (bacon, havarti, greek yogurt), and balsamic honey green beans:
  11. 29 points
    Greetings and welcome to Kamado Guru! Please take a moment here to introduce yourself to the forum. Tell us anything you would like us to know about you including what type of Kamado oven you have or hope to buy! Please don't forget to update your profile information through the User Control Panel!
  12. 28 points

    Imperial Shrimp

    My heritage cook - Imperial Shrimp My relatives have been born in the US for many generations. I really don't relate at all to my "Heritage". I'm not German American, I'm just plain American. With that said I was raised in the Chesapeake Bay Region. Phillips Crab House was a popular restaurant. I even worked there for a summer at the beach (18 years old). They had a Crab Imperial that they would use as stuffing for fish, lobster and Shrimp. In my early 30's I moved from that region and haven't eaten (or found) Crab Imperial since. I looked up the recipe online and here is my version. Although not blue crabs it is what I had in my freezer. I steamed/defrosted them on the Komodo in a croker sack. We use to call this place Red Slobster as it was considered very low end seafood - but cheddar biscuits are the bomb. Grilled asparagus with Imperial sauce and cheddar cheese ready for the outdoor broiler. Frozen U-15 shrimp for only $11 lb. Yea, couldn't believe the price and at Walmart none the less. I bought all they had. Unfortunately only 2 bags left. This is a little over 1 lb. Butterflied them open leaving the shell on the bottom so they wouldn't burn. Added some Crab Imperial stuffing. Onto the Komodo Kamado they go. Pulled from the KK and then added some Imperial Sauce and grated Asiago cheese, ready for the Blackstone outdoor broiler. At about 900* broiler temperature it only took about one minute. And the money shot. This was about 30 years in the waiting. I will definitely make this again on special occasions. One of the best meals me and Mrs skreef has eaten in a long time - and that is a hard statement to make but she totally agrees.
  13. 28 points

    Won a BGE

    I just found out I won a large Big Green Egg. It includes the base, Eggmates, a bag of charcoal, ash tool, and grate lifter. All this compliments of Lipton Pure Leaf tea. I just sent the paperwork back on Friday. I can't wait to see the difference between this and my Akorn. My wife of course asked what will we do with the Akorn? My reply...cook twice as much food.
  14. 28 points

    bosco's easter feast

    Happy Easter everyone!! I am working the nights all weekend, but staid up after shift to prepare for our family get together. Any chance I have to spend with my family is always a great day! Started with the aromatics for the turkey Loaded up the big joe first. Dialed it in at 225 and added some peach wood for smoking. The plan of attack today was 1 hour of smoke then bring it up to 350 for approx. 4 hours of cooking. Used the kamado joe poultry seasoning and man this stuff is the real deal!!! I normally put the turkey on the grill but decided on using foil pans today. Less mess as I am working night shift again tonight. The bird hit the grill around 11:30am, and I bumped the temp up at 12:30pm. Pulled it at 3:30pm and let it rest for a half hour. IT temp in the breast was 165 Onto the ham. This will be a double smoked ham. I put this in the pan, and hit the ham with Dizzy Pig Pineapple head rub. Smoking this at 225 with heavy peach wood for smoking. Put this on at 12:30pm and glazed it with a cinnamon and sugar glazed syrup that came with it. Very delicious. Pulled the ham at 4:00pm My wife took care of the inside and made a beautiful set up for the kids and us Here is the bird after it rested for 30 min. The Kamado Joe Poultry is my new go to for poultry!!! We had mashed potatoes, scalloped potatoes, bean casserole, Brussels sprout casserole, corn, fresh baked buns and fresh baked apple crisp for dessert. After dinner we set up an Easter egg hunt in the basement. It was suppose to be outside but it was snowing. And this is why I do it!! My kids and my nieces and nephews best of friends!! Happy Easter to all of you and your families from the bosco's
  15. 28 points

    Super Jr Does Easter

    Crazy, drunk, neighbors showed up in the middle of all this which made for an interesting cook to say the least. Scallops were a little overdone but other than that the meal was spot on. Menu has the details. Cheese cake coming along. A violet kiss. Hasselback potatoes and Fresh pineapple. Stuffed lobster and scallops. Mrs skreef hit a home run with this desert.
  16. 28 points
    I bought my Akorn because of the price. I figured at $300 i couldn't go wrong, and I was correct. This grill performed as I expected it would. It took a little finesse to make it do all the things I wanted it to do, but it did them. Which ceramic grill I would choose if it were free is irrelevant. This isn't an apples to apples comparison. Most people choose the Akorn, not because it's the BEST choice, but because it's the most economical choice in terms of initial cash outlay. I don't see much sense in this argument.
  17. 27 points
    So I got the cast iron griddle and grate a few weeks ago, but I haven't used them yet, until today. I figured I'd try something different and make breakfast this morning. One lesson I did learn from this first cook on this, is to start a smaller fire and aim for a lower temp. This is what I was afraid of when using the cast iron because they absorb heat so much. So some of the food burned a little and cooked way faster than I wanted. I'll shoot for a lower temp next time. Anyways enjoy the pictures everyone. Don't forget to click on the pictures to enlarge them. they look better once you click on them. Thanks, Blair Getting the ingredients ready for the hash browns "chunky style" lol To start off, I threw the chopped potatoes into the cast iron skillet. After about 25 min or so until the potatoes started getting soft, I threw in the bell peppers Next, a couple of jimmy dean sausage patties. I love this stuff. Love the crust you get from cast iron. After searing the sausage for a few min on each side, I wrapped in foil and set to the side. Next up the star of the show, PANCAKES. HA HA . These are made from scratch with "real buttermilk" Getting bubbly.. These cooked really fast, the cast iron was way to hot. Had a couple burn pretty bad. Nice golden brown Breakfast is served with a glass of oj on the side. Added the butter and syrup. Time to dig in Thanks for looking everyone.
  18. 27 points

    Nothing but the money!

    Midnight pizza with sausage, homemade meatballs, cherry tomatoes, homemade sauce, garlic herb butter crust:
  19. 26 points

    Cedar corner table

    Product of several weekends working with my son. Table turned out to be more expensive then SS unit sold by KJ (don't tell my wife)...
  20. 26 points

    1st Rotisserie and Duel KK Cook

    Rotisserie chicken on Cassiopeia with scallop potatoes and asparagus on Prometheus. Chicken seasoned and loaded in th rotisserie basket. Scallop potatoes and asparagus on Prometheus. Chicken spinning on Cassiopeia. Rotisserie chicken. My plate of money
  21. 26 points

    Let's all take a step back

    John Setzler, at zero cost to us and at a tremendous cost in time and effort to himself, has provided an unbiased forum for members of the kamado community to bounce ideas, ask questions, and share success stories of Kamado cooking with others of the same interest. I believe I can speak for each and every member, John, when I express sincere thanks for your vision and efforts here. For those of us who participate here, I believe we owe it to John and to ourselves to take an objective look at what this board is all about. Given the fact that there are subforums for every brand of kamado it seems obvious to me that the site was founded with the intent that kamado owners of any brand could happily, freely talk with enthusiasm about their cooker without being sucked into a "Ford vs Chevy" discussion and without being belittled by others with a "mine's better than yours" attitude. The fact that the site name uses the word "kamado" as opposed to a particular brand or type of kamado clearly illustrates the intent of the site. We all share the same passion for good BBQ and the equipment we use to accomplish the job is truly irrelevant. There is no disparity in the quality of cooking between the owners of different brands, no matter how true the arguments of quality, performance, and value are. I think we all know, if we are honest about it, where our equipment stacks up against the others, and there's no reason be be uncomfortable if my cooker isn't the absolute best cooker out there. After all, it's the cook, not the cooker. When I joined this site quite some time ago I was honestly amazed at the sense of camaraderie here among kamado owners, seasoned old salts and beginners, Akorn and Komodo Kamado owners alike. Other than an occasional newbie or tire kicker doing his research, the subject of which kamado was best for the person involved seldom came up. Recently, actually only very recently, I am troubled to see the type of bickering, chest pounding, and flat out arguing about the merits of owning Brand A vs Brand B that I am seeing here. Honestly, folks, does it matter? Ask yourself that question again, and answer honestly: Does it matter to you what kind of cooker another person 1000 miles away owns, why he bought it, and what he likes about it? Does it matter? I truly hate to see the mellow, positive atmosphere of this forum continually stained with these pointless, endless debates that we all know will never get anywhere. Another thing we all need to realize is that, from time to time, we are all wrong on some point, even if it is hard to admit. I would like to call on everyone to find in themselves the ability to be wrong. It's not that hard, and we don't always have to change our own mind necessarily, but we must realize we are wrong if we think we are so right that we owe it to others to change their mind for them. We deceive ourselves. It won't happen. And the result of that, I'll call it like it is, arrogance, is a constant butting of heads. Stating our opinions is perfectly OK. Becoming a self proclaimed "smartest person in the room" and pressing our viewpoints to the last man standing is counterproductive to everything but the overstoked ego of the person possessing it. A good debate involves presenting every possible viewpoint so that those involved and those listening in can have enough information to draw their own knowledgeable conclusion. A good debate will seldom if ever end in a single answer for the entire populace. This holds true in all aspects of life, from politics to religion to buying automobiles and kamados. If we can present our viewpoints and leave them to stand or fall on their own merits, we not only provide valuable food for thought for others, but we also open our mind to the possibility that I might be given another viewpoint worthy of consideration. We need to think of others' opinions as gifts that we are free to adopt or dismiss as we feel would be beneficial, not as adversarial darts that are thrown to unseat me from my throne. I think I make myself clear. In the spirit of Kamado Guru and out of respect for the vision of its founder, my suggestion is that we take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Let's go back to the positivity of sharing and enjoying each other, our views, our successes, our advice, tips, tricks, and so forth, and leave the negativity and infighting behind. Let us not even begin down the path of tearing the site down from the inside out, and also let us not forget that John has the ability to take this site off the server without a moment's notice if he ever gets frustrated with our inability to comport ourselves in a respectable fashion. Cheers to all gurus! It's a beautiful day out there. Let's go hustle up some world class grub on our kamados!
  22. 26 points

    Kamado Guru Family Portraits

    As a forum "newbie" (less than 4 months), this is my short story: My wife, Jean, and I have been married for 50 years and have 2 grown and married sons. One lives in Ohio and the other in Illinois. Jean and I are retired with our 2 schnauzers in Fort Myers, Florida. We hail originally from New England. I like to cook almost as much as I like to eat. I really enjoy the camraderie and esprit de corps that is found here on the Kamado Guru forum. It's like I found a home
  23. 25 points

    bosco's apple smoked apple roses

    watched a cook video circulating on Facebook and as soon as I saw it, my wife and I said that I should try it. I have been dying to try an apple pie on the kamado, and just never got around to it. Well today I got the joe up to 375, and added a little bit of apple wood for flavour. So here is my spin on apple roses. Turned out really good... a few things that I may do differently next time but the overall flavour was wild!! Thanks for looking and these were really fun to make. List of ingredients cut some apples into thin slices. mixed in a bath with water and a half of a lemon to prevent discolouration. Then microwaved the apples for 3 minutes to soften them. rolled out some pie crusts and cut them into rectangles mixed some apricot pure with water and microwaved it for a few minutes Ok now to put it all together. Coat the pastry in the apricot spread. Add apples, slightly overlapping them and then sprinkle with cinnamon slowly roll them up and place them in the rack there they are ready to bake!! Throw them on the kamado at 375 and hit them with some smoke and let them go for about 45 min. I went slightly over that but keep an eye around the 40-45 min mark. Brought them in and let them rest for a few minutes then took the out of the rack. And last but not least... sprinkle with icing sugar. The mix of the smoke and the sweet from the apricot pure, apples and icing sugar was a home run. The pastry crust was crisp and really good!!! Man I will do these again and again and again !!!!
  24. 25 points

    ckreef's Sunday Night Pizza Thread

    Sunday has become pizza night at my house. I thought I would start a thread and update it every Sunday with that nights pizzas. Let's get started. The ingredients: Tonight's lineup: Steak pizza. A special steak pizza sauce. A sprinkle of 3 cheese mix (Parmesan, Romano, Asiago), leftover steak chunks and topped with a sprinkle of fresh grated mozzarella. My son's Hawaiian. Sauce, sprinkled with 3 cheese mix. Ham and pineapple chunks topped with fresh grated mozzarella. Balsamic reduction tomatoes. Sauce, sprinkled with a tomato/basil feta cheese. Roma tomato slices drizzled with Balsamic reduction. Topped with fresh sliced basil and fresh grated mozzarella. Akorn ready to roll. Dome temp is about 50* lower than actual temp. Hold on to your britches, things happen fast at this temp. First up is the steak pizza. 2 mins total cook time. Next up is the Hawaiian pizza. 2 1/2 mins total cook time. Every successive pizza I have to add an extra 30 seconds as the Akorn and pizza stone are cooling down. Finally we have the tomato Balsamic reduction pizza at 3 mins total cook time. All pizzas could have taken an 30 seconds cook time. Next Sunday I will peg the dome thermometer at a full 700* before I start. The steak pizza was to die for but........ The star of the show was the tomato Balsamic reduction pizza. This one was just mind blowing. This will be a regular on the Sunday night menu. My wife and son really like Sunday pizza night as each Sunday I keep getting better at pizza cooks. Stay tuned for next Sundays Pizza Night.
  25. 25 points

    Like Button

    When I poke around Kamado Guru for interesting recipes and ideas or share some knowledge and to see some interesting cooks I click the like button if I like it. I am flattered when someone clicks the like button when I post a comment or a cook. If you see something or read something you like, don't forget to click the like button, it makes many folks feel good, they get to see the little red Number at the top when they log on. Everyone needs to be validated.
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