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Everything posted by mstewart39

  1. I'm going to be cooking 2 fatty's for a get together this weekend. One I believe will have onions & peppers on the inside. (Unless someone convinces me otherwise.) I'm looking for ideas for the 2nd. One person at the party cannot have dairy or gluten. So no cheese. She mentioned that she's a big fan of olives. Anyone do any olive / something stuffing for a fatty? I'd welcome all ideas. Thanks in advance!
  2. So I got up at 6am yesterday to make Clay's Pulled Beef BBQ. I have to say, this is an amazing recipe. I don't bother with the tomato based sauce but other than that I followed the recipe word for word and it was amazing. But that's another thread. My problem is that I couldn't open my Big Joe!!! It was in the mid 20's with a "Real Feel" of 19 degrees, so sure it was cold. But I couldn't get the Big Joe open. I tried a hair drier for about 10 minutes but it wouldn't budge. I didn't have it covered, which was obviously my mistake. I had to wheel out my Akorn, which still did a wonderful job. Has anyone else had this issue? Does this basically mean that I have to cover it all the time? The reason I didn't cover it was that I had it covered for about 2 weeks in the very rainy spring (I travel for work and don't get to use it all the time.) and I had a huge mold issue. I figured that the cover made it difficult for any of the moisture to leave, and it caused an environment for mold growth. I had to do a long, hot burn just to get rid of all the mold. So my answer was to leave it uncovered, but now I have learned I can't do that! I'm going back to covering it for now. But has anyone else had this issue? I didn't want to force it because I didn't want to rip the gasket. But that was a bummer!!
  3. They're amazing. I have a lot of family in Buffalo. We go camping in the Adirondacks every summer. Someone is always tasked with bringing the Sahlen's hot dogs. Cooking them over an open camp fire is simply wonderful. They pop and split perfectly. They are by far my favorite hot dogs.
  4. KamadoJoe KJ23RH Classic Joe Grill on Amazon for $696. https://www.amazon.com/KamadoJoe-KJ23RH-Classic-Joe-Grill/dp/B00IIUO06Y/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8 This is the old version, but that seems like a really nice price.
  5. That looks perfect!!! I'm struggling with whether I want to do beef (which I do a lot because I love it and so does she) or seafood. I know she likes most seafood as well, and that doesn't typically take as long to cook. I was thinking of doing crab-stuffed-something, but I haven't come up with the "something" yet.
  6. My wife turns 40 this weekend, so I want to have a special dinner for her and some family. Unfortunately, the weekend is pretty well slammed with Father's Day events, so I'm going to have people over on Monday. I need some ideas for something that can feed about 13 people, but can cook relatively quickly or can be made-ahead because I need to come home after work and do the cooking. One thought was to do a beef wellington. I'm not sure what part if that I can make ahead. (And it may be risky to do that on a week night for 13 people when I've never made it before.) Does anyone have any other ideas? Suggestions? She likes most anything. But I want it to be pretty unique and special for her 40th. She likes short ribs, but her favorite to this point have been sous vide short ribs. So that's a consideration, but I've never done that physically large of a sous vide cook! I'm not sure what container I'd have for a 48 hour sous vide for 13 people. Thanks in advance for the input!
  7. My girlfriend used to like medium-well-ish steak. (I like rare.) Now that she's had my kamado reverse sear steak she's eating medium-rare steak. So that's a step! She won't order steak in a restaurant anymore. Here's my extremely easy method: 1. Buy pretty good steak. Her favorite is filet. I really like it too, so that's what I typically get. 2. Make sure it's thick. 1" is the thinnest steak I'd even consider. I prefer 1 1/2" - 2" especially for filet. 3. At least 2 hours before you want to start to cook it, sprinkle salt on both sides of the steak, put them in the fridge covered. 4. Start the smoker and try for 225 degrees. (But don't worry if it's anywhere close.) I like adding a chunk of mesquite. It's a strong smoke but you only have it smoking for about 30-40 minutes. 5. Take the steaks out and pat them dry with a paper towel. The salt draws a LOT of moisture to the surface. 6. Cook the steaks with a probe to get them within 10 degrees of your goal temp. I take mine off around 117. But you can take yours off at 120 and leave other steaks on longer. 7. Remove the steak, cover and set aside. Open the vents fully and let the grill get at LEAST 500 degrees. I like even hotter. 8. Sear the steaks for 1 minute per side. I typically turn them at 30 seconds so I get the cross-hatch pattern. That's it. No other seasoning. Just the salt as the dry-brine. A little bit of smoke and the actual beef itself is all that you need. The salt really brings out those flavors.
  8. OK, now that makes perfect sense. Thanks! (I feel silly that I didn't think of that...)
  9. I'm confused by your graph. I have the Big Joe (and love it.) I see a few times when your pit temp appears to be around 220, and within 15 minutes it's around 160-170. Mine physically can't do that. Unless I put a block of ice in there, nothing will cause the temperature to drop that quickly. Does the air blowing initially reduce, and then increase the temps? I'd love to see a similar graph without the controller. I'm on the fence with a controller. The geek in me wants one, but I'm not sure the Big Joe needs it. When I used the Akorn all the time I would have loved one, but I'm not sure I'd need it on the BJ.
  10. 3 Racks fit easily. I feel that you may be able to figure out a way to make 4 fit but it would be tight. I would use my second level if I needed 4. (I got the Grilla Grills Kong Upper Grate and it works well. https://store.grillagrills.com/collections/kong/products/upper-grate-1) You'll probably want to get a rib rack or second level rack.
  11. I think there will be times when you want more space. I sure did on my Akorn, But before you buy a second kamado (...I say that even though I have the akorn and the Big Joe) you may want to try the expander. https://www.amazon.com/Kamado-Joe-KJ-SCS-Stainless-Expander/dp/B003EV6MIG/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1523538689&sr=8-4&keywords=kamado+joe+expander I even have a second rack for my Big Joe and I use it probably 20% of the time. That won't help with a large brisket, but it will allow you to do a lot of ribs, and it will also work nicely for putting a drip pan under a pork butt.
  12. Let the kamado heat up naturally. You'll have white billowing smoke while it's heating up. You don't want to cook with that. A pretty strange test I do is I basically shove my face in the smoke. If it burns my nose and makes my eyes water, it's not right yet. If I can smell the sweet hickory / apple smoke, it's ready. If you want 250 and it settles in nicely at 24 or 260, I usually just leave it alone. I hate trying to chase a specific temperature. I am more going for a "close" temp and I modify the time accordingly. And I pretty much always start with a relatively full load of charcoal. It's easy to re-use if you have any that doesn't fully burn. Just close up all of the vents and it will go out. I would tend to over-cook ribs in the beginning. Don't do that. The bend test is great. It's nice to make sure your ribs still have a little bite to them. I typically do the rub for about 2 1/2 - 3 hours and then spray with Apple Cider Vinegar and bourbon a few times for an hour or so. Then I spread honey on the ribs for the last hour or so just to let them get sweet and a little sticky. Good luck. You'll love the Big Joe!!!
  13. I use a temp probe to get me close, and then try to make sure it's probe tender. That's what I'm not good at. But this weekend my temp probe inside was reading right around the 195 range, but I must have been somehow reading wrong. Because I went out to check for probe tenderness and I was reading 208, 212, depending on where I was. The brisket was dry. It tasted wonderful. We made nachos with it last night for dinner and they were great. But it needed sauce the first night. I feel that I need to try next time with no probes at all. I'll just go by look and feel. I was spraying to add a little flavor, and this thing looked BEAUTIFUL about an hour or so before I took it off. I wish I would have started with the probe test at that point. Because by the time I took it off, it was pretty much a shriveled mess. I let it rest for about 3 hours wrapped in foil, and when I opened it up the foil was still completely dry. THAT'S a bad sign... I'm working on it. I usually know what I do wrong. I just need practice.
  14. I've never cooked a flat, only ever full packers. I could fit about a 12+ lb brisket in the bandera diagonally. I was trying the "hot and fast" brisket, but it certainly wasn't my best. I need to practice. I've found even with my kamado that brisket is my downfall. (I cooked a pretty bad one this weekend!) I struggle with knowing when to pull it off. And yes, the Big Joe is sort of cheating. Yesterday I did a 9 pound (after trimming) brisket on the Big Joe and once it settled in around 260, I never had to touch anything ever again. (Although I wish I would have pulled it off about a half hour before I did...)
  15. Thank you, yet again, for a great idea. I changed just 2 things. I used the orange marmalade and bourbon (my favorite) for the glaze, and I just cooked mine on the grate with a drip pan and without covering it. This was probably the best ham I've ever had. The smoke really does come through, especially on the edges. And the orange / brown sugar / bourbon mixture was awesome. This is the way I will cook ham from now on. Thanks a lot!!
  16. I'm not sure if this is the correct place, but what's the difference between the 200 and 300? Is the ONLY difference the ability to buy adapters and add meat probes? Can the 200 also work with Alexa, and connect to Wifi, and do all of those other cool things?
  17. Just reading this makes me realize that I'm not very good on the Bandera yet. How did you use way too much wood? What did you learn that improved that? I usually get a chimney full started, throw on 1 or 2 splits, let them go for a while to get the temperature where I want it, try to move the vent a little if needed (top vent full open, side vent as open as possible) and then while I'm cooking I add another split every 30-45 minutes when I see the temperature start to fall. My problem is that when I add a 14" split, sometimes I get flames shooting under my water pan. So I will try to pull them back, or cut the splits in half. On the longer smokes, I typically overshoot my temperature at least once by 50 degrees or so, and sometimes if I'm slow on the splits I'll get it to drop and it's hard to pull it back up. I'm probably making it sound tougher than it is. I love it, and I've loved every single cook from my Bandera except for my first Brisket. (It was dry & tough to eat.) But it's certainly more work than my Big Joe!!!
  18. I still love it. I will admit that I didn't use it much in the winter. I have it covered in the garage. (I have a 2 1/2 car garage. The 1/2 is my motorcycle and Bandera and smoker stuff. The Kamado & other grills stay out on the patio.) I absolutely love the smoke profile as well. That's what surprised me the most. I was used to the taste from the kamado and the stick burner was just a little more fine smoke flavor. Almost less smoke, but a more flavorful smoke. I bought expanded metal to make a charcoal basket. I have only ever used a chimney full of charcoal to start it, and then splits. I bought a 1/8 cord of hickory first, but now I need more. I've found a few places locally who will sell oak, but there isn't much hickory around. But I wanted to test it with mostly charcoal so I could see if I could get stable temperatures. But I'm a little afraid it will change the smoke profile more than I want it to. That's been the issue for me so far. I'll feel confident for a few hours, and then all of a sudden the temp will get away from me. I've read a lot of people refurbishing the Banderas. How bad is yours? If you're close to me, your @CentralTexBBQ name is a bit misleading...where are you from? I'm in York, PA.
  19. Update: I don't like it anymore. I changed the batteries to BRAND NEW batteries last week, and it simply won't work anymore. I get wild temperatures. Some were reading 45 degrees in my house, others were reading 200+ degrees. It's nice when it works, but it's insanely fickle with what batteries you use.
  20. What he said. I got mine so hot it melted the gasket up top, and completely burned the seasoning off the grates. It will get hot if you give it enough charcoal. That was always my issue if the temperature was too low
  21. I bought this Inkbird 6-probe temp probe I saw on another smoker site. I buy probes a lot, and they all eventually die. So I decided I wanted to try a cheaper probe since they all have problems eventually anyway. https://www.amazon.com/Inkbird-Digital-Wireless-Bluetooth-Thermometer/dp/B071H6MLH9/ref=sr_1_17?ie=UTF8&qid=1512850514&sr=8-17&keywords=inkbird%2Btemperature%2Bprobe&th=1 At first I had some issues with it, but now I’m going to have to give it some kudos. So the first one I got had issues where a couple of the probes would read hundreds of degrees off. They said the issue is that you need to use alkaline batteries. I was, but I still had the issue. The sent me a replacement, and it is great when I use new batteries, but gets really strange when the batteries get low. Like I’ll have 5 probes in the air reading 67 degrees, and the one probe will read 232 degrees. As long as I have new batteries they’re all within 1-2 degrees. If you can get past that, it’s great. It uses a pretty generic BBQ Go app which you can customize so I like it. But what made me really decide to write a review is that I decided to use my iGrill2 at the same time as this Inkbird for today’s brisket cook. The smoker was in the driveway. When I am sitting in my kitchen the Inkbird stays connected 100% of the time. Literally 0 disconnections. The iGrill2 would only stay connected when I was closer to the smoker, or outside and had a line of site. It would disconnect every time I came back inside the house. They both had relatively similar temperatures, so I was fine with that. But the fact that the cheap Inkbird with 6 probes stayed connected the entire time made me really like it. So if you’re willing to make sure you have strong batteries, I’d recommend giving it a shot.
  22. My two cents: I don't do 3-2-1. I do about 2 to 2 1/2 hours untouched, then I open and look and maybe spritz with apple cider vinegar (and sometimes bourbon mixed in.) I do that a few times for an hour or two, and when I think they're getting close, I brush on honey. My goal is about 45 minutes to an hour after the honey. They're done when they're done. I do the bend test. Don't check IT of a rib. Look for the meat cracking when you bend it. Some twist a bone to see if it will twist. Some put a toothpick between the ribs to check for tenderness. I think they're all probably great. I never wrap. The kamado grills are great at keeping the ribs moist. But try out both ways! Try ribs many times. Everyone will tell you something a little different. They're all probably right. But don't adhere to a strict time. If they're done earlier than you wanted, wrap them and put them in a cooler for a couple hours. Good luck! Don't stress. They'll be great.
  23. In January I did the same thing. I went from the Akorn to the Big Joe. You won't be disappointed. I used the divider probably twice. I've found it's really not that necessary. I just pile a small pile of charcoal if I'm doing a small or short cook. I'll often times pile the charcoal on one side to do a reverse sear, but I don't bother with the divider. I don't have a big issue with the amount of charcoal it consumes. If you shut everything down, the fire goes out. I typically have some charcoal left over to start my next cook.
  24. Unfortunately we're beyond most of the sales. Walmart had sales on WSM's, Akorns, and some ceramics if the local one had them. I started with the Akorn 3 years ago. LOVED it. It can do anything. But mine lasted about 2 years before I had some rust issues and my ash pan wood handles burned away. I have a small Weber Smokey Mountain. LOVE it. But you won't get really high heat with it, and I've found the kamados to be easier to hold temp. I got a Big Joe to replace my Akorn. LOVE it. There's nothing it can't do. The only down side is that it is expensive. I have an Oklahoma Joe Bandera vertical offset. LOVE it. But it's only a smoker. You technically can use the firebox side as a grill too, but I haven't. As a smoker it's incredible. Such a fine smoke compared to the charcoal. But you can't walk away from it for more than 40 minutes without putting a log on it. Bottom line, get a smoker. There are only a few "bad" smokers. (Cheap Offset Smoker is a bad idea...although my Bandera was only $89 at Walmart during their close-out sales.) If you're not sure if you will get into it, get the Akorn. It's great and cheap. If you're confident this will be the way you cook from now on, get a ceramic. They cost more, but they're MUCH easier. I"d set an alarm for every 2 hours while doing an overnight Akorn cook. I sleep soundly with an overnight Big Joe cook. (I don't sleep at all with a Bandera cook.)
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