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Everything posted by m-fine

  1. It is normal for most kamado grills including the Big Green Eggs, to need periodic gasket replacement or an upgrade to a better gasket material, but a month is really short. Did you do a lot of very high heat cooks?
  2. My advice is not to remove anything. Just loosen what needs to be loosened with the lid closed and don’t over tighten when done.
  3. That will not fit. The inside of the K24 is around 21” I looked at the new grill yesterday. Looks nice although I much prefer the Blue from the last couple years or even my original black to the new KJ clone red. The silicone gadget looks nice but worries me. Silicone will not withstand temps over 800 and it lifespan will be short with repeated exposure to temps over 500. They really need to find a 1200 degree gasket to put an end to the need for consumer replacements.
  4. Ditch the plate and get a kick ash basket.
  5. At my local store the price dropped in 2016 and 2019 but I don’t think there were any left by time the prices dropped for the two years in between. Personally I would rather spend the extra $100 and be grilling between now and July and sure I got one, but if you are after the best deal, a K24 on clearance is the best deal in a Kamado that you will ever find.
  6. The gasket is interesting. My 2016 needs a new one soon. The red is quite a change. I like the black I have but really liked the blue from the last couple years.
  7. I just use weights on top. Silicon covered stainless from Amazon.
  8. This is dangerous so tread carefully. Sous Vide can be done at much lower temperatures than smoking or baking because the heat transfer from water is quite a bit faster than from air. A steak in a 130 water bath comes up to a safe temp in an hour or so, but in a 130 smoker, it will take many hours. There are solutions, the most common being curing before cold smoking, so I don’t want to discourage you from trying. Just want to make sure you go into it eyes wide open.
  9. Testing with steak and chicken both showed a significant advantage in texture for very slow thawing (overnight in fridge) vs thawing in hot water, microwave, oven, and even counter top at room temp. Basically there was a strong correlation to slower is better.
  10. You need to adjust the hinge and not the hands.
  11. Dry brine, no need for water. Seasonings in the SV bag but NO BUTTER OR FAT! Seems counter intuitive, but butter in the bag draws out fat soluble flavors and makes it more bland. Add the butter at the end when searing.
  12. Thats because jalapeños are too small. Make them with large Hatch peppers and you will have a hard time getting 10 down.
  13. I don’t have a woo ring which wasn’t available when I bought my initial setup, but I have two spiders. In some cases I use a spider inverted to raise the first grate a couple inches. You wouldn’t likely do this since you have the Woo for that purpose. For me, the two spiders together (one up, one down) act like a Woo. Otherwise, I use the spider to hold the deflector stones down in the bowl or hold a searing grate down right over the coals. The Woo does this as well, but also elevates the grates. So, if you want the first grate higher, use the Woo. If you want it right on the firebowl use the spider. Now that I have the Adjustable Rig, I wouldn’t want the extra height of the Woo often, but with the stock grates, I often wanted to get the grates higher.
  14. I don’t disagree with the last sentence, but plenty of places do make Neapolitan pizzas in 900+ degree stone floor ovens without insta char. Based on my attempts, I think it is doable, but not worth it 1) unless you make a bunch at a time and 2) really love that style of pizza. Many people and shops seem to also have success at 800-850. I found that more difficult to maintain manually compared to wide open 900+, but a HeaterMeter with a high temp thermocouple can hold it pretty well since they fixed a software bug last year. I don’t know of any other controller that can handle over 500 without pit probe damage, so if you can handle the DIY nature of the HM, I highly recommend it and a RotoDamper 3. For crust flavor AND CHAR RESISTANCE one tip that I resisted WAY too long was to make the dough 3 days ahead. Even if you don’t add any sugar, there are still residual sugars in the dough from the flour and the yeast consumes them during a 2-3 day sit in the fridge. The flavor is noticeably better too. Just make sure to take the dough out well in advance. I find I completely lack the skill to stretch it out into a crust if it is not fully room temp or preferably a bit above. Also, the flour I have used was Caputo Tipo 00 pizzeria flour in a blue bag. The 00 refers to fine grind, but there still is a wide variation in 00 flours and the Caputo pizzeria was the one most recommended when I searched and supposedly used in most pizza shops in Naples. It comes in 55 lb bags, but I got a 5 lb repack from brickovenbaker.com at a semi-reasonable price (really expensive vs insanely expensive for a full bag locally). If you go to their site you will probably see a dozen different Italian 00 flours and descriptions on how they are all different. I have only tried the one.
  15. The Pit Boss is now (mostly?) sold as Louisiana Grills. They are the same company and same product, just different branding. The best place to get one is Costco. They probably do not have any in stock at most warehouses this time of year but the website may still have them. Your best bet is to wait until February-March when they show up in the warehouses again. They have historically been $599 with the price dropping to $499 in some locations around June/July to clear out stock. Otherwise, try Tractor Supply. They often have a sale price of $699.
  16. If you want to do a Neapolitan style pizza at 800-900+ You MUST use a Neapolitan dough that is made with the Italian 00 high protein flour, the right hydration level, and no oil and no sugar at all. Even small amounts of oil or sugar will cause rapid charing. I generally cook a more NY style pie at 650 ish. This is hotter than a home oven and requires some dough modifications, but is not as radical as Neapolitan style (minimal oil, just enough sugar to get yeast growing, lower hydration). Cook time is probably 5+ minutes.
  17. Interesting. I think my PB spider will fit in an 18" bowl like yours judging by how it fits in my just under 18.25" replacement bowl with space to spare. My custom Vision one probably would not since the inside is almost exactly the same, but the Vision XL one was made with thicker wire. As for bending the leg, yes, I straightened it and then re-bent. Tools used were a propane/MAP torch, a heavy bench vise, and a 4 lb hammer. Cut and weld would be easier if you have a stainless capable welding setup handy, but much more expensive if you don't. The weber charcoal grate is 17" and just fits in my spiders. If it doesn't fit yours, just notch out a section of the outer ring to make room for one leg. Or get a 16" grate for searing. For sub 300 degree cooks, you will have plenty of fuel for 12+ hour cooks with a lowered deflector. I run the deflector in the spider, 1/4" of spacer and then the drip pan (spacer keeps drippings from smoking). You need some airspace above that or your first grate will be cooler without much airflow, so the first usable grate isn't the firebowl level, but one notch up in the AR. For two shelves you have over 4" for large meats between notch 1 and the top. If you have the deflector at the top of the firebowl, the first usable notch is 2, and you only have 3" or so between levels. Plenty for ribs and chicken parts, but not brisket or pork butts. For real thin stuff, you can do three grates in the notches and a 4th on top. BTW, if you keep doing 900+ degree cooks your firebowl with "self upgrade" to a Kamado Joe like multi piece firebowl (aka crack into a half dozen pieces) and the diameter will expand. My original 18.25" bowl is now 18.5-18.75". I got a replacement bowl, but once it cracked apart the original is holding up great so I am still using it. Also, I don't think your plan to raise the charcoal bed will work well. One of the keys to getting high heat out of a charcoal fire is a deep bed of coals. The air gets heated more as it rises past more and more hot charcoal. Better to mostly fill the bowl and put the searing grate just over the fire.
  18. The width is about the same as my production unit so the grate fits both. It does drop quite a bit lower (or raise things higher). I cannot market it because it is/was a CGS spider for a different grill that I simply modified. The first post of this thread shows how I made it, and what is currently the last post (page 4) shows comparisons to my Pit Boss specific one.
  19. The charcoal grate for a weber 22 fits in the spider. I use that as a cooking grate for searing. If doing a reverse sear or cooking other things first, just build a normal fire. When time to sear, I drop in the searing grate and open the vents up for a few minutes. Note that the spider pictured is my original custom one and is a little deeper than the production model.
  20. Nonsense! I have 2 spiders and an AR, and have used them all at once and often use a spider and AR or one or the other. The spider with a weber grate set about 1” or less off the hot coals is my go to for post sous vide searing on the Kamado. I also use the spider with 16” deflector under the rig for smoking. I don’t do 24 hour brisket, but there is plenty of fuel for 12-14 hour briskets or pork butt.
  21. The grate is not on the bowl, it is about 2” above the bowl. For normal cooks the AR sits right on the firebowl which is how it was designed to work. I wanted to get it even higher, so I am using a CGS spider, legs down, to hold a grate up 2” above the firebowl. This gets the top of the AR 8” from the firebowl instead of 6”. See pictures on page 4. Your ceramic spacers will get you the lift you need on top of the AR where I have been doing it from below. The large stone allows bigger (NY style) pizzas without being too close to the edge, as well as multiple calzones or breads at the same time. I also have 16” stones and 16” half stones which I use when I want a deflector below the stone or when making smaller 12” pies. My 2016 grill did not come with the heat deflector with legs like the newer grills, so I do not have one of those.
  22. Some big chunks may have extended above the firebowl a bit but not too much. My lower grate was on top of an inverted spider, so up about 2” above the firebowl rim and nothing was touching it.
  23. I did not have a heat deflector at all for that cook. Only the stone I cooked on. I think it is hottest there because it is above the firebowl but still close to the coals.
  24. Yes, I lit some coals on the bottom, filled it up and let her rip. Bottom full open, top vent removed, lid closed. The air temp was up there fairly quickly, but I waited until the stone stabilized over 900 for about 15-20 minutes. I did not measure the inside of the dome, and only measured the outside after the cook because of the prior posts here. The 656 was near the felt line, the outside of the dome was more like 550-600 range. The inside had to have been hotter, but I don’t really know. I figure it is the hot air flowing across the top of the pie that cooks the toppings and not really heat radiating off the dome ceramic. My theory is the getting up high forces the hot air to flow right over the pizza to get to the vent, and that is why it works better. I know others believe the dome reflects or radiates the heat back down, and while I don’t agree, I have to give them credit for the idea of cooking high in the dome in the first place. Anyway, I am more concerned about the pizza stone getting up to temp and heat soaked so that temp per the IR gun was the only thing I worried about tonight. I wont share the naan recipe because it is not quite right yet! When I get it dialed in I will share my recipe and technique.
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