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About Halexh

  • Birthday 03/29/1986

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location:
    Warner Robins, GA
  • Grill
    Kamado Joe

Halexh's Achievements

  1. I have had my Kamado Joe for about 9 months now, and I have done steaks, pork shoulders, briskets, ribs, etc. With the cooks that require smoking I always seem to come across the same problem - a ton of smoke at first, and it is all usually gone within 30 minutes. My routine is as follows. Light charcoal In my first few grills, I would add the wood right after lighting the charcoal. My thought process was to get all the white smoke out of the way, so that the KJ would be up to temperature around the same time that I start seeing blue smoke. My past grill attempt, I added the wood after the charcoal had been lit and the KJ was around the target temperature of 250F Regardless of when I add the wood, I still get a ton of white smoke in the first 30 minutes and then almost none afterwords. I get very little smoke penetration on my meat, and sometimes none at all. I am using wood chunks. Depending on the length of the grill, I usually add around 3-6 chunks in a circle around the perimeter of the bowl, on charcoal that has not been lit. When I add the wood, the only charcoal that has been lit is the charcoal in the middle of the pile. It still seems like all the wood chunks catch on fire and disperse their smoke at once. Any ideas? Thanks Also, since I always seem to take photos of my grills, but never seem to remember to post them here, I thought I would do it all at once The very first thing I did on a kamado joe. Followed John's stickied thread on how to do one. Considered it to a good first time thing since everyone said how hard it is to mess up. Definitely tasted good. This was an 18 hour (I think, it was a massive brisket) long cook. I started it the night before and couldnt believe that the KJ went 7 hours without dropping outside of my temperature range (luckily I was able to sleep then) My wife and I wanted to make all our lunches for the week, so what better way to do that than make a #### ton of meat. We decided on chicken legs this week and tried a bunch of different spices
  2. Just a bic lighter that is about to see the end of its life.
  3. So everyone seems to suggest getting a mapp torch. The Bernzomatic TS8000 Kit (comes with a tank of gas) is $50 at Lowes. Thats well and good, but kind of more than what I want to spend right now because I still have a full box of Rutland Fire Starters. As I understand it, the mapp torch allows you to directly light the charcoal, and it would be pretty pointless to use it on rutland fire starters, I guess? So the other option are the simple butane non-refillable, cheap, throw away torches. These are the same ones John uses in his videos to light the fire starter cubes. However, I cant seem to find these anywhere for a cheap price. Not at Harbor Freight, only refillable ones at Amazon that seem kind of expensive (was expecting less than $10 per) or Lowes. Am I missing something on these prices, or just not searching correctly? If a refillable, reliable butane torch that costs $20 is the only option, then I might as well just get the TS8000 Kit and light the fire starters with that.
  4. Does anyone know if the KJ Photo Contest is still a thing? The last winner was January 2014 according to the website. I would post this on their forums, but I have had some trouble creating an account over there.
  5. After following a lot of advice found in previous threads on this forum, my wife and I made two pizzas using the Publix dough. It turned out really great, and eventually I think we will try and do one of those Mellow Mushroom dough mimicking recipes, so that we can finally put the KitchenAid mixer wedding gift to use. In the mean time though we got some more publix pizza dough for some quick and easy pizzas. I was thinking about doing some calzones. In terms of cooking, is it any different than a pizza? Just top it with a bunch of stuff, fold it over, throw on the pizza stone and cook at.... 500F? Then just look down the top vent every now and then to see if the dough is cooked? Yes, I did just look down the top vent every minute or so when cooking the pizzas to see if they were cooked, so I didn't have to open the kamado and lose the heat. I swear when I have bought calzones at restaurants, they sometimes have no pizza sauce in them. Was it just a really small amount, or is that pretty common in calzones to have no pizza sauce at all?
  6. Last night I followed John's Reverse Seared Rib Eye Instructions, with two steaks, one more well done than the other (for the wife). It started off good. I have used the same charcoal for the 4 cooks I have done so far in my KJ, only adding a few pieces each time (two of those cooks were 600 F pizzas), and this time was no different. However, I did manage to pull out a massive log from the KJ brand charcoal bag. This thing was like 5 inches in diameter and ~9 inches long. So I put this at the bottom of the firebowl and at the very center, then pile all the old charcoal on top. It goes good, and I get my wife's to 150 and mine to 130 before taking them off and wrapping them in tin foil. I then open both vents and foolishly leave the KJ. I got sidetracked by my kids/wife for not even 5 minutes. I come back out and the dome thermometer reads 850 F and a fire escaping the top vent! I quickly close both vents and watch as the dome temperature drops down to 550 F, luckily. I was worried that the ceramic had enough time to retain that temperature and it would be hard to drop it. So now its time to sear the steaks. Here comes the fun part. I had purchased a pair of silicone gloves to play around with the charcoal using my hands, and not have to worry about heat when picking up pieces of the grilling system, etc. So I put one on my hand that is opening the dome, and slowly burp the grill about an inch. A ton of smoke starts coming out of the grill at the burping point, staying close to the dome as it goes up into the air. Even though I did use wood chunks for the previous part of the cook, I later learned that most of this smoke was burnt gunk on my heat deflectors from previous cooks, being burnt at ~850 F. So I slowly open the dome a little more and a blue flame comes out, following the same path as the smoke, kind of following the outside of the dome until it disappears. Really glad I had those silicon gloves on. Hopefully my gaskets still hold an airtight seal after that. I then managed to sear both the steaks at ~550 F and they turned out really well (I need to start taking photos). When I opened the grill the second time to flip the steaks, I did so without the gloves, and although it did not exhaust blue flames, I had to almost throw it open cause the heat was so intense. For a moment there I had a thought that I was about to throw a big blue flame in my face by opening it so quickly. Luckily no such thing happened. Its kind of surprising how much more heat there was, even though I had already done two 600 F pizzas and never had that issue when opening it. I guess a lot more heat was retained from reaching that 850 F. The wife wished hers had been more done. I didnt know how to do the steaks such that they are both near or at their target internal temperature at the same time, so that I can sear them at the same time. They both started at ~67 F, and I put the wifes on early and waited until hers hit 90 F internal temperature before I put mine on. I guess next time I will wait for hers to get to maybe 100F or 110F before putting mine on. Anyways, every time I cook on this thing, it gets more enjoyable. I guess I have learned that I am a pyromaniac, because seeing that flame from the burp, as well as coming out of the top vent was awesome!!
  7. Definitely understand that but it was nice to see KJ taking over what use to be a strictly BGE dealer. Also KJRG lump if the road shows aren't around.Nice to hear from a local guru. I regularly shop in either Warner Robins or Macon. Definitely agree with you there. Nice to have one around here. Surprised it took as long as it did since they are based out of Atlanta
  8. I am using the KJ brand lump charcoal. Sometimes I have to close the lid while the firestarters are still burning (to prevent the wind from blowing them out), some times I have to add a few more after the first few have burned up. It seems like a mixed bag each time, and I am coming to the conclusion that there is just a bunch of small pieces or ash building up that is blocking the airways.
  9. Hi there. I have never owned a bbq in my life (I am 29), but I have grown up on my dad smoking bbq on his Traeger for a while, and with two boys (4 year old and 7 month old) I decided a BBQ would be a nice addition. My co worker mentioned Big Green Eggs, and I had never heard of them. He started telling me about how great they are, etc, so I started the research and a few weeks later I came home with a Kamado Joe Classic size. I could have gotten a BGE large locally for 800$ with the stand and fold out tables on the side, but the costco roadshow in atlanta resulted in a cheaper KJ with more accessories. In the ~3 weeks I have had it so far, I have cooked a 8 lb pork shoulder, 2 pizzas, and a chicken, in that order. They all turned out really well, to my surprise (due to my lack of any grilling experience). I am sure the Maverick ET-732 that I also ordered has saved me from messing up. I am going to try some reverse sear steaks tonight, and cant wait to see how that goes. It is pretty surprising how enjoyable it is to cook on a bbq, especially such a nice one. When you grow up as a child you see the adults enjoy it and wonder whats so great about it, but then you get older and experience it yourself. Everything with the KJ has been going great. The only slight issue I have experienced is getting the charcoal going. I usually need at least 3-4 fire starter cubes to get some charcoal lit, and even that takes a while. I think it might be due to the fact that everytime I start a cook, I will just move the charcoal around to get the ash down into the ash tray, but that also has the unintentional side effect of breaking the charcoal into smaller pieces. Do most of you completely clean out your fire bowl after 3-4 cooks, every cook, or never? I feel like getting one of those kick ash buckets will really make it easier, but at this point I need to slow down on the accessory purchasing.
  10. Dang - might have to try that next (only tried 3 things so far on my KJ). Probably will just need a smaller size roast for my classic size KJ
  11. And I just drove from Warner Robins to the atlanta costco roadshow to get one. I still would have done that again, because the ~250$ price difference is worth the trip.
  12. I just got back from Costco with my new Joe Classic. I assembled it but I have a few questions. After watching John's Assembly video a few times before getting it I was confident on assembling it. We lifted the joe into the nest the same way he and his friend do it in the video. Each of us had a hand on the draft door opening and a hand on the metal hinge part sticking out of the joe. After doing so I saw in the manual in big red letters "do not lift by the hinge mechanism". Should I be concerned? The other thing I noticed was that the diameter of the fire ring does not match the diameter of t he top of the fire box. So when I put the fire ring on top of the fire box, it does not sit flush. The difference is small though, maybe a half an inch or so. Is this intentional? The manual mentions a grill system consisting of a triangular shaped cooking rack that fits into the indents in the fire ring. It also mentions a cooking grate with a hinged door. My joe did not come with either of those, but instead the system seen in John's assembly video. I am guessing this is just an older grilling setup and they havent updated the manual? Thanks
  13. I read elsewhere that the classic comes in a box roughly 34"x29"x29". Can anyone confirm this? If so, I have quite a few inches to spare on all sides in my CRV, after putting the seats down.
  14. Its probably about $25 in gas. But you are right about the nervous sweat part haha. Thats why I am considering just leaving the family at home (was planning on visiting my parents since they live up there) and strapping it into the passenger seat... Its my third child!
  15. I plan on driving 2.5 hours to a Komado Joe Costco Roadshow in order to get a ~200$ discount on a Classic size KJ. I own a Honda CRV and from the specifications sheet, the KJ will fit in the trunk of my car, as well as the passenger seat (as a last resort). What is the likelihood of the grill cracking during the drive home sitting upright in the trunk of the car? I would take the internal removable ceramic pieces out and place them on a seat. Thanks
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