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Everything posted by HawaiiJoe

  1. I agree that air flow controls temp, but less available fuel when opening the lid means the fire is less likely to get away from a person and cause an overshoot.
  2. Thermapen! Allow for 3-5 degrees of carryover, more for larger cuts that rest longer longer than a few minutes. Prepare other dishes so they are waiting on the meat, meat deserves this sort of respect. Unless its a pork shoulder or brisket, don't rest meat....its not tired. Just eat it.
  3. This sounds like an air leak to me as well. I had issues with slow shut downs a few years ago and the remedy was the lower vent. I removed the stainless steel plate from the ceramic and put a hi-temp silicone bead under it around the lower vent opening, reinstalled the plate then put a new bead across the top of the plate above the vent opening. Hopefully that description makes sense, but this solved the issue. Following this I could snuff the fire in about 45 minutes and then open the lid to allow it to cool so I could cover it. YMMV.
  4. I have had this issue a few times in the past as well. I found using the correct amount of charcoal for the cook made it easier to control. Meaning, don't use the same amount of charcoal for a rib cook as you would for a brisket so there is less fuel available to burn. This combined with keeping lid open times to a minimum have made temp control much easier.
  5. Hey all, Lots of good information in this thread. Another item that has helped me is the BBQ Dragon battery operated fan, it will get your temps rising quickly. Used directly for getting the fire growing or in the bottom vent to increase the draft. The combo of a propane torch and the Dragon has reduced my heat up times significantly. If doing a hot cook, I will also remove the ash pan for increased airflow until I need to start closing vents to keep the temp from climbing further.
  6. A secondary thermometer that measures temp where the meat is will be one of the best investments you make, and will make you more successful. I have seen temp differences between 10-65F between the dome and grate, and this can vary throughout a long cook. Buy one! You won't be disappointed.
  7. Remember all grills react differently, you have to figure out what works well on your particular grill. I light the charcoal, close the dome, and start adjusting vents when temp climbs above 100F and a good draft has established. No two situations are the same, charcoal burn rate and size will vary, so using predetermined times (8-10 mins) doesn't work well. Just adjust the vents according to the temperature as it climbs, don't over think it. 1" is a good starting point, but it all depends on how the grill reacts. Do a dry run or two, practice keeping the temp low at the temp you want, this will answer a lot of your questions. Don't get discouraged if the temp climbs higher than you want, I didn't succeed on my first try. Keep the fire small, you can always make it bigger.
  8. I have used oven cleaner with success on the hard crusty build up. Degreaser works well on the softer stuff. But as a disclaimer I use the old daisy wheel, not the control tower.
  9. I have never smoked salmon, but like the previous post notes the lower temps are great for bacon. This is managed best by starting a small fire, about 2-3 handfuls of lump, and slowly bringing up the temp. Then feed the fire charcoal and wood over a period of time to keep it going. A small fire works better than a full load of charcoal choked way down for two reasons; it burns a hotter fire producing cleaner smoke at a lower temp, and reduces the risk of a large overshoot if the temp gets aways from you. So yes, the Joe can sustain lower temps if set up properly. Do a dry run or two to practice managing the lower temp, but you will be surprised at how easy it is. Good Luck!
  10. John, do you put wood chunks in at the start when using this method with the iKamand? When using the Flame Boss it seems to nuke all my wood chunks during the heating process before I have put any meat on. For this reason I have gone to adding the controller, meat and wood all at the same time. It works for me, but is not as hassle free.
  11. I wish there was a timber yard near that I could source wood from, but no such resources exist here. An offset smoker community here would be like finding a herd of unicorns. Sounds like you have built up a nice reserve of smoking wood, I'm jealous!
  12. I have used a pellet tube with success in the past. I chose to use it because getting chunks here in Okinawa can be difficult if I don't plan in advance. The store on base sells Traeger so the pellets are always available. Below 275F the tube won't stay lit inside the BJ, not enough oxygen flow and the fire consumes it first. I have worked around this by lighting the pellet tube and inserting the mouth of the tube in the opening of the lower vent. The tube is outside getting oxygen as it enters and works fairly well. I have to use less lump and close the top vent more because this arrangement necessitates leaving the lower vent open wider than I normally would for a low temp. I would post pictures but the BJ is on a boat to the next duty station, Italy, so I am without grill for a few months. If I had a better supply of smoking wood I would probably not use this method. It works okay but is more of a hassle for controlling temp.
  13. This sounds similar to cooking over a campfire. Use a small amount of lump to control your fire. Should cook fine but cook times will be longer. Interested to see how this works???
  14. No experience with the iKamand, but the FlameBoss always overshoots if added before the grill is nearly at temp. Not a huge deal as it normally corrects the temperature, but its less of a hassle to turn it on once the grill is close to temp.
  15. +1 for the Coverstore.com Great cover and still looks great after three years.
  16. This is another issue I didn't think of. Most rotisserie cooks I have done are at 300F or higher and the fan will be blowing to keep that temp, so yes ash will be an issue.
  17. In my use of the JoeTisserie, I have found the dome temp is close enough to the level of the food that it is sufficient for monitoring temperature. I do not have an iKamamd, but do have a FlameBoss. I have not used it for a rotisserie cook since the duration is much shorter than a low and slow cook. That being said, pit controllers work best when the grill is nearly sealed up and the controller pushes air through the grill. The installation of the JoeTisserrie introduces a new opening where the spit enters, so the controller may have a difficult time controlling a lower temp. I don't know of a good method for mounting the controllers thermometer, unless you remove the dome probe and insert the controllers probe in its place. For a small cut of meat like a turkey breast, this might be more trouble than it is worth unless you are just trying to prove the concept.
  18. For this sort of cook I like to use 2 zones with a split fire basket. Cook 5-8 burgers 85% done and move to the cool zone, start the next batch. Start serving as soon as first batch is done, at that point the second batch is 50% done and will be done by the time guests work through the first batch. You can keep this cycle going until all burgers are complete. This method is easier to control than doing them all over direct heat at one time because burgers on the edges do not cook as fast as in the middle.
  19. -I like to cover my BJ also, however I leave the ash tool hanging on the side tables and just fold them down when its covered. I have the cover that is available from the Cover Store which doesn't appear to have much plastic in it. -My usual technique is too immediately close all vents when I am done cooking. Go eat and come back roughly 1-1.5 hours later and open the lid. The fire has been snuffed at that point and the heat dissipates much faster with the lid open. Leave the lid open for 20-30 minutes and it is typically cool enough to cover. -A few years ago I noticed I would still have glowing embers after the vents had been closed for an hour. I removed the bottom vent assembly and put a hi-temp silicone bead around the lower vent opening between the ceramic and the stainless steel assembly. I did this initially because the original bead of silicone at the top of the bottom vent had deteriorated, but I found that KJ doesn't fully seal the bottom vent. There was only a bead of adhesive between the ceramic and the lower vent assembly and it didn't go around the vent opening. After I completed this task, the grill shutdown much faster with the vents closed. In fact, I now don't have glowing embers after 30 minutes. Unfortunately I did not take pictures of this process, but the process is easy. -As for mold, I live on Okinawa which is more humid than anywhere I have ever been. I use the grill about four times a week and mold has never been an issue. Leaving the vents open to prevent mold will likely not be as effective if you cover the grill. Mold should not be an issue if you use the grill at least once a week.
  20. I am a little late to this conversation, but a few items that concerned me about the blaze are 1) the 20" size, I like two zone cooking and run out of room on my 24" BJ. 20" will also prevent the use of most accessories on the market. Seems they have created a niche product since they moved away from what have become standard kamado dimensions 18" & 24". 2) the look of aluminum after it oxidizes, this can be time consuming to upkeep for those that live in coastal environments. Blaze showed a video of the grill operating after being submerged in salt water for seven days (overkill) and it operated fine but looked horrible. They didn't provide details about if the appearance cleaned up, so I am guessing it didn't. As a BJ owner for four years I am probably a little bit biased. But as career military, I have moved the BJ to three different continents with zero durability issues. So the Blaze might be indestructible, but is an indestructible kamado really what we need? I do like the savings in weight as someone who moves every 2-3 years, but I don't let an event that happens so seldom influence my buying decision. Cooking up a few slabs of ribs also seems to make volunteer helpers come running. For placing the BJIII on a deck, 500 lbs. is roughly the weight of three grown men. If your deck will support three grown men standing next to each other socializing, then it will support the BJIII. The Weber Summit is the best option for those who need a lighter kamado. Sounds like you went with the BJIII, you won't be disappointed.
  21. Ace Hardware online. Only dealer in Hawaii when I was there and took just over 60 days for it to arrive at the store.
  22. I second the headlamp. Hands are free and the light is always where you are looking.
  23. This is intersting, I have not personally experienced this but only have about 6 months of cooking on the new firebox. But KJ covered the last firebox under warranty with ease, so I have no doubt they would cover this if warping does occur.
  24. Are you using the control tower top vent or older daisy wheel? Like John said, the control tower shouldnt move, the daisy wheel movement issue is easily solved by the addition of a small lock washer. The added tension will keep the daisy wheel from sliding when the lid is opened.
  25. If you can afford the extra cost, you will not be disappointed in the Big Joe. Dividing the firebox is an easy way to save on charcoal for small cooks, but no doubt it uses a little more. The extra space for what you describe as normally cooking will make it much less of a headache. You could make a Classic work just fine, but when the menu is large the extra space will be worth it. Like JB58 said, you cannot streach ceramic. The wider BJ also opens up more possibilties for the Joetisserie if you choose to get one.
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