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About mstewart39

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  • Location:
    York, pA
  • Grill

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873 profile views
  1. San Antonio, TX

    I went for the first time in May. It was a nice trip. I recommend the Alamo, and do the audio self guided tour. We went to a place called the Smoke Shack. Their brisket is better than mine. Their ribs are similar to mine. Their pulled pork was NOT as good as mine. Their sausage was really good. (I haven't made my own yet.) For dinner we went to Bella on the River. It was expensive but excellent. It's right on the river walk. It's a tiny little place, but the food was very impressive. Then really close there is a church that does a light show at night that was surprisingly impressive. They call it "Saga at Main Plaza". Then you need to find some little Mexican place for breakfast tacos. I don't remember where we went, but it was incredible. We also went to a little French bakery for a breakfast that was amazing. Home made pastries, etc.
  2. OKJ Bandera Smoker

    I think you're correct on the family tree. But I'm pretty sure this one already has the deflector. I did a LOT of reading online. The smoker weighs 200 pounds. So I'm assuming it's relatively thick. I got a gasket for the door, and some silicone to seal up some of the gaps based on what I read. I also found a guy on craigslist where I can get a load of hickory logs, so I'm SUPER excited to get this thing put together this weekend!!!!
  3. Pork Tenderloin direct or indirect heat?

    Not me. I can't tell you how many times I invited people over just because I want to try something new. Some of my best work has been done with guests when I'm trying something for the first time!
  4. Maiden voyage of the WSM 22

    I really do like both. I have the Kamado Joe Big Joe that I typically use at home, but I also have a 14" WSM that is my camping / tailgating / "Baby" smoker. One thing I liked about the WSM is that you can get a rotisserie that will work on your kettle and WSM for like $50. I have an off-brand for my kettle, and I wish I could use it on a smoker.
  5. Pork Tenderloin direct or indirect heat?

    I do John Setzler's recipe and method from this video. The peach flavor is insane. (This meal caused a friend to go buy a kamado grill.)
  6. Max Temp

    I've gone to 700 with mine without a problem. However, it can go significantly higher than that. I left the vends wide open and went into the house, and came back a little later than expected. The dial was pegged, and the flames were insane. It actually burnt all the coating off the grates, and I had to re-season them. It also bubbled the gasket on the top vent. Neither issue was a show-stopper, but it was very intimidating to shut the vents. It was NUTS!!! So I wouldn't be nervous about 700, but don't just leave it unattended with the vents wide-open.
  7. OKJ Bandera Smoker

    I just bought the Bandera Vertical Smoker from Walmart. https://www.walmart.com/ip/OKJ-Bandera-Smoker/38429443 It's on sale for $89 at my Walmart as they close out grills & smokers. I was always curious about offsets, so I figured this was my chance. I see some mods online for basically making sure the seals are good. Does anyone have this? Anyone use this? Anyone know mods that I should try? Anyone use any vertical offsets? What am I getting myself in for?????
  8. Akorn Accessories

    Here is someone's review on Youtube, and they show how it fits on the Akorn.
  9. Akorn Accessories

    No, I left the top assembly on, but wide open. You can get a plate holder (I know it's weird, but it works) either from TTT or from Home Depot or something, and it clips around the TTT and attaches to the bottom rim of the top assembly. So it's not permanent. It's something you'll put on & off. And the TTT gets sticky and gummed up on occasion. If you wash it with soap and water it will rust. So I tend to try and brush it instead of actually wash it.
  10. Lightning Brisket - What Now?

    Briskets are always fatty unless you just get the flat. The point is REALLY fatty, and there is a layer of fat between the point and the flat. The flat has the fat cap, but isn't nearly as fatty inside as the point is. So if you get a full brisket, expect there to be a lot of fat!
  11. Akorn Accessories

    I had a cover and I was happy I did. I also got the charcoal grate from a weber kettle, and I used that to put on the 3 tabs. That way you can put anything down there. (Drip pan. cast iron skillet, wok, etc.) I also like the Tip Top Temp for the Akorn. It's a little cap that you can attach to the top and it helps to keep temperature stable. It's a nice-to-have, not a need-to-have. https://tiptoptemp.com/ The stone is a great one too, but you already have that. Have fun with it!!!
  12. I struggled with ribs on my Akorn for a while and realized I was overcooking them. I usually put them on around 250 with just the rub, don't touch them for 3 hours. After 3 hours I sometimes would spray them occasionally with apple cider vinegar and bourbon. I do that for approximately 1 hour I put honey on them and start checking for done-ness. I do the bend test when they start to rib apart. Others do a toothpick test, others do a bone-twist test. But I found that I was cooking them 3-2-1 (without actually foiling, just the 2 hours was with occasional sprays) and especially the ends were dry. I have cooked them as low as 4 hours now, and they're MUCH better. You just need to experiment with how long to cook for the tenderness you like best. And yes, for ANY cook start with a full load of lump. You can always shut it down and re-use what doesn't burn up. And like you noted, even "pretty good" ribs on the kamado grills are way better than most ribs!!!
  13. Lightning Brisket - What Now?

    My last brisket cook I had 2 ambient probes in there. (I put in the iGrill2, found out they ruined the app and didn't let me set ranges, and so I brought out my cheaper ivation probe.) I had times during the cook when one probe was reading 210 and the other was reading 280. The dial on my kamado read 225 so I didn't change a thing. It took about 20 hours for my 14 pound brisket. But in the same chamber I was getting drastically different readings even though both probes typically are good for me. In my mind it goes back to messages that John has said many times. Cook to the dial. Use the probes so you know when to check the meat for done-ness, not to actually determine done-ness. If it goes in like butter, you're good. I say this, but I still feel that I'm not great at brisket and I cook them every few weeks now just to get practice. But don't overthink it. Just let the cooker cook the meat. If it's good, you did a good job.
  14. Best way to cook tomahawk steak?

    I've done them twice as my typical reverse sear, and I was actually disappointed both times. I only had time to salt them about 1 hour before cooking, and I usually try at least 2-3. But it simply wasn't as flavorful as when I do the reverse sear on a filet. Next time I'll try Sous Vide with some sort of flavor component in the bag, and do the sear on my kettle or kamado.
  15. SiriusXM for $5 a month

    I have had Sirius for about 8 years now. I typically call at the end of the year and get about $100 / year. They try to give me the service that doesn't have everything, and they say, "So what do you typically like to listen to?" My answer is the same all the time: Howard Stern, NFL games, and I also stream on my laptop at work". Those three things kick you up to the full blown service. The down side is that I have a second car capable, and my GF has Sirius, and I can't seem to get a good deal on additional lines. That's annoying. But as much as I travel, it's worth $100 / year.