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Everything posted by m-fine

  1. If you need the vents open that much to hold temp, you probably need to use significantly more charcoal. Kamados work best with way too much fuel and just enough air flow.
  2. You can tell if the fire is snuffing out by how much charcoal is left in the morning. The grill will hold a lot of heat without a fire, and if you open to look when it is still hot the fire can recatch.
  3. Especially for BBQ, I prefer the commercial knives with plastic NSF handles. They are usually $15-$35 depending on style and brand but can be sharpened just as sharp as my expensive knives yet they have much better grip in a greasy hand. I have several from Mercer, Dexter, ICI, and they are all good.
  4. I didn’t have to touch the rings, just the hinge. Mine is a 2016 and I have not had to touch it again since new so hopefully this is a one time adjustment for you.
  5. This happened to me at first. Loosen all the bolts, get it aligned properly and then tighten.
  6. There are a couple things at play here. First, a high temp cook tends to be less temperature sensitive and quicker, so the need for a controller is less. Second, and more importantly, most controllers on the market use temperature probes that either cannot read effectively above 400, wont hold up over 400, or both. The HeaterMeter has an option to add a K type thermocouple for the pit probe. There are a ton of K type probes to choose from, including simple wire probes that can read and handle temps from 750 up to 1800+ and they are only a buck or a few bucks each depending on length rating and how many you buy at a time (eBay). If anyone ever considers an HM make sure you get the thermocouple option. With that all said, I do regularly use the controller for higher temp cooks, 400 ish for chicken, 600-650 for pizza/calzones. The main benefits are a faster heatup time with the fan (0-400 takes as little as 8 minutes! Faster than my old gas grill) and the ability to start and go into the kitchen to do other prep and not worry about an overshoot. Kamado’s can take forever to cool down after an overshoot so it is nice to not have that worry. Note that both of those benefits are more pre-cook than during cook. To sear steaks, no controller, I just open the vents wide for max temp. I am pretty sure I am in the minority though. There was a significant bug in the HM software in how it handled higher temp readings (now fixed) that I don’t think very many people even noticed over the years.
  7. Technically the HM itself has neither but it can control both. The RotoDamper has a blower/fan with a servo driven damper that works a lot like a rotating Webber air control. There are a few other damper/fan designs out there as well, either with free plans or available to buy for a reasonable charge. My graphs had the “fan output” turned off because I find it is a lot of clutter that doesn’t really tell you anything you need to know as a cook. I see as just for debugging. I put fan output in quotes because it really is a combined PID output. You can see a blue bar near the top of my graphs under the big pit temp labeled output 9% on one and 34% on the other which is the instantaneous PID output. Since the kamado is so efficient and works very well without a fan (or controller really) I set the HM to do most of the control with the servo. At a PID output of 0% the servo is closed and at 90% the servo is fully open. From 90% to 100% I have the fan come on and blow incrementally stronger. If I had the output graph on, you would see it is constantly adjusting every second or two, but the fan mostly only comes on at startup and when increasing the set point. Once temp stabilizes, the output doesn’t usually go near the 90% level except for high temp cooks. I’ll try to remember to turn on the output graph on my next controller cook and maybe catch a video of it making a bunch of small adjustments. For now, here is the designers intro video of the RD3. He has the fan set to ramp up more as the damper opens which might be necessary on a UDS or Webber that is less efficient than a ceramic kamado. The HM software is great because it gives you the flexibility to do whatever you need/want for whatever cooker you hook it up to.
  8. Here is a “zoomed in” look at an hour of super low temp. The set point is 158 degrees and with the servo controlled roto-damper it has no problem holding this low mostly plus or minus about 3 degrees. There is no way I could hold the kamado at a stable temp this low manually or with a fan only controller. My oven can’t do this either.
  9. Gaskets can get moisture even when covered and then freeze shut. In the winter I make sure not to store anything in the grill so I can pop off the top vent and pour 1/2 a chimney of lit coals in there 45-60 minutes ahead of time to thaw it out. I replaced my original gasket with the high temp “gold” stuff from Amazon and it is holding up great.
  10. Here is a HM graph from a brisket cook I am in the middle of. I started at 225 to give a little room for it to get hotter when opening the lid. I switched to 250, my cook temp for today and opened the lid twice, once to put in the smoke wood, deflector, drip pan etc. and a second time to put on the meat. You can see it wasn’t quite holding temp at first because I had the PID settings set for another grill, but I fixed that around 10:15 and she is tracking right on after that. This brisket was already cooked sous vide so I set it up to bring the IT to 145 and then ramp the pit temp down to hold the meat at 155. That’s the type of thing the HeaterMeter can do automatically that the simpler off the shelf units either can’t do or need human intervention for.
  11. Pit Boss K24 HeaterMeter with servo controller Rotodamper 3 and RD25 (not for the Kamado) Top vent setting varies with target temp. Wide open for pizzas at 600+, slightly open for low and slow. I put in on the grate with the food, at least 1” away from cold meat or ceramic that might throw it off. As soon as I light the charcoal. The fan gets the kamado up to temp way faster than without. The HM with a servo damper will not overshoot and will hold the temps steady until the ceramic heat soaks. To be added later #1. Servo damper allows it to control a kamado way better than a fan only unit. The HM is extremely configurable and with basic scripting can do things like automatically changing set points or alarms. The HM is not an open the box hit a button and go solution. You need to have some inner geek to get the most out of its capabilities. To be added later.
  12. I use a propane torch and a controller fan as well. There is no dip with wax burning out and it is much faster than this. Starting the timer when I walk onto the deck (not when the fire is lit) I get to 400 by 8 minutes and 600 in 12 minutes both faster than my old gas grill could do, and with the controller there is no worry of overshoot.
  13. I have a bottle of the oil. It doesn’t bother my stomach if I work it into other foods, but I did not see any increase in energy or weight loss when using it vs when on Keto without it.
  14. The Pit Boss is significantly smaller than a big joe or XL BGE so it won’t fit without modifications. You could make the same table and cut a smaller opening, also adjusting for the front shock absorber and the shape and position of the rear hinge. I would strongly encorage you not to use wood or other flamables within about 6” of the kamado, and make sure there are air gaps. The ceramic is insulating but it does get hot, and overtime the heat can dry out the wood and bring down its flash point. The popular wood tables, with the kamado on pavers, have caught on fire, some with catastrophic consequences. You can get a section of granite or synthetic stone countertop cut for the grill, make a counter out of cement board and tiles, or you can make a poured concrete counter. All will last longer with less maintenance than wood anyway.
  15. 145 is too hot for a dry cut of pork. 131-135 is where like them but some people won’t eat rare or medium rare pork even if it has been pasteurized by SV. In those cases I go to 140, but it is already too hot. As for the the above comment, I couldn’t disagree more. Lean pork is a perfect candidate for SV because it is so difficult to cook them through evenly without over cooking using other methods. Plus you can cook to a much lower temp and still fully pasteurize.
  16. Pit Boss was a sub-brand of LG. This is the exact same grill that they sold as the Pit Boss K24 in Costco last year, and other than the blue, the same as the 2017 Pit Boss as well. This sub forum should probably be renamed to Pit Boss/Louisiana Grills to avoid confusion.
  17. Interesting. I wonder if they are dropping the Pitt Boss brand name. They were selling an LG K24 (black only) that had stainless hardware for $899 and then the Pitt Boss K24 version was $599 (Costco) with black coated hardware.
  18. No matter what you use to get a sear, starting with a dry surface is important. Also, reverse sear means searingat the end of the cook and is not a complete cooking process. You can cook on a grill and reverse sear, cook on a smoker and reversesear, cook in an oven and reverse sear, or cook sous vide and reverse sear. This is as opposed to searing first and then finishing on a grill, smoker, oven, SV, etc. Other than a long smoke, I don’t think the slow cook portion imparts much flavor to a steak. It is mostly in the sear and seasoning. How the fat renders and how tender the meat is will vary though. Sous Vide really shines with a slightly tougher cut where you can use longer cook times to soften the meat up. I don’t love it as much for some steaks much on the rarer side of 130 due to the way the fat fails to render. For those the searing technique is more critical.
  19. They have always been $599 in store. Online they were originally $599 with $150 shipping but then they switched to $749 with free shipping.
  20. Seasonings don’t behave the same with Sous Vide as they do on a smoker. I can’t say how deep it penetrates, but the flavor of herbs and garlic definitely doesn’t wash off or stay in the liquid. If anything, it is easy to over herb poultry and pork with Sous Vide.
  21. There was no clearance in my local store last year either.
  22. We got a break in the storm so I shoveled a path to the Pit Boss and I am putting my rig to the test. I cut off the edges of 2 of my 20” grates so they can either fit inside or on top of the AR. This should let me pre-load two grates with the grill closed, and then I can quickly swap all the bottom layer pieces with the top layer by simply swapping the grates.
  23. I would guess late February to March based on the last few years.
  24. I use a thermoworks thermopen mk IV and an older mk III. The thermopen is expensive, but it is super fast, and when trying to monitor 30 pieces of chicken on a hot kamado, fractions of a second add up.
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