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CanaDave

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CanaDave last won the day on June 18

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  1. Got rid of another rusted Akorn kamado, a grill I really enjoyed but was equally dismayed to discard. Without any place to keep it dry, I needed something that won't rust. So rather than drop huge money or ceramic or a Blaze, I decided on an old-school PK. It fits better in my tiny back yard than the Akorn (cart model) ever did, So far this thing is proving to be a very versatile cooker. Unlike the Akorn you can actually lower the temp without extinguishing the fire, and it's a great 2-zone machine without fussing with heat deflectors. I'm still learning how to manage it, but so far have cooked Korean-style kalbi (cross-cut short ribs) hot and fast, and burgers which I seared then finished on the cool side of the grill, and last night I did some beef back ribs and wings to eat while I watched the game and waited for the ribs. About a 3.5 hour cook all together, and it was super easy to stabilize at 275 degrees. This might be the last grill I ever buy, at least until the next one
  2. Good info! A bit too late for me though. Just got rid of my 2nd rusty Akorn.
  3. My Akorn with the side table is out covered all winter (no garage to put it in)... seems to be holding up well, and I try to light a fire in it occasionally, and since there's a fire in it, I usually throw some meat on there too... This weekend it was beef back ribs, they were incredible. One plus of the cold is I can light the charcoal chimney on top of the ice that's formed on the stone patio in the back yard. I have an Akorn at the family cottages too, which stays indoors for the winter and covered in the mild weather. Excited to spend some time with it in the warm weather.
  4. amazon.ca's price was outrageous a month or two ago when I was looking for a replacement for my rusted cottage Akorn. I ended up driving down with the wife to Moosic Pennsylvania for the Peach Music Festival as an excuse to buy me a used Akorn from a craigslist seller in Syracuse, NY. $150, they were really nice people and threw in a bunch of accessories and half a bag of Cowboy Lump to boot... The Akorn itself was barely used, maybe 2-3 cooks. The music festival tickets and hotel cost me $300 though! Details details. Oh and Bob's BBQ in Homer, NY is a great stop along the way.
  5. Admittedly I haven't checked all 24 pages of this thread... I took the advice about the volcano back when I joined and it seemed to work well. Lately I haven't done much low and slow, even with brisket I've been cheating and cooking with smoke at 310* then pulling it at the crutch, cooling it, and continuing the cook again in the oven a day or two later. (Found that method on amazingribs.) I can't imagine cooking from 7am for a dinner... This past weekend I was at the cottage with a whole mess of meat and I decided to try some baby backs. My version of the volcano method had to be different because no cotton balls could be found. I actually tried Q-tips! They do not work! Anyway what I did was leave enough space around the rim, more or less piling a bit inside the charcoal grate. Then I lit 3 decent-sized pieces of lump in the volcano, got them going well, and using tongs, placed them around the edge, touching the other lump at the bottom. Then I put a handful of my wood chips near each of those hot coals. Seemed to work well. To monitor temp, since the thermometer on my Akorn is about 400 degrees off (!!!), I used the springs from 2 clothespins to dangle my trusty IKEA probe from the upper cooking grate (kudos to my nephew for figuring that one out, he's a smart 11 year old)... So I think I got a pretty good average reading of what the meat was cooking at. I kept it between 218* and 240* for 3 hours or so, with the occasional minor adjustment, mostly to the top vent (open it up to draw air in faster from below and raise the heat). Most importantly the ribs were the best I've ever had.
  6. Temp was 375-400* through the cook. As long as it's 350-and not more than 425 I don't worry too much. Cooking my turkey a few weeks ago I noticed the temp was running too high and I tried lowering it by putting a bunch of ice in my drip tray, I think it worked... turkey was incredible anyway. Thanks again to this site for lots of tips and tricks. Happy to give back!
  7. My best buddy invited me and the family to his Passover Seder, but he made the mistake of challenging me to make one brisket and he would make his own. Gauntlet thrown down! I had my own Seder to prepare for the next day so I figured I'd get and make 2. I ended up with 2 x 9lb whole packers, with the fat trimmed back to about 1/4-1/2 inch. This was grass fed beef from Prince Edward Island, so good quality and not too expensive I guess, at $6.50 (Canadian dollars) per pound. There was a logistical problem: I needed to cook on Thursday for dinners on Friday and Saturday. There's no way I could do a 10-12 hour cook both days and be clean and ready for fancy dinners. So I decided to use a method suggested on amazingribs.com which involves cooking at 310*F, bringing the meat to the stall (mine hit at about 160*-170* after 5.5 hours), then wrapping tightly in foil and cooling the meat as quickly as possible. I had mine in a cooler elevated a bit so the ice water wouldn't get into the foil packs, and had it all covered in bags of ice. Once cooled the foil packs went into the fridge. I finished the briskets, one Friday and one Saturday, in the oven at 310* until they hit about 204* internal, then rested them for a couple of hours before slicing. The results were definitely the best thing I have made on my Akorn. Challenger vanquished somewhat easily (since my buddy doesn't use a meat thermometer it's always gonna be hot or miss...), there were maybe 6 pieces of meat left over and he asked if he could have them. The results were similar the next night. Can't wait until my next brisket. OH by the way I dry-brined the meat for an hour then just did salt and pepper. Used 4-5 pecan and oak chunks for the initial cook.
  8. Weather finally getting to feel like spring here so the weekend was about my Akorn. After doing steaks on Saturday I decided to roast a chicken. I had it in the fridge to dry out the skin a bit for a few hours. Then I used my crispy-skin trick that I first tried on a turkey, and that was to rub the skin with a mixture of: 2 parts sea salt 1 part baking powder (the secret!) 1 part spices - I used a dry Montreal Chicken spice and coarse ground pepper Cooked it indirect with a drip pan with a cup or 2 of water, and threw a handful of Apple chips on the fire. Pulled it off when the breast hit 165*F The chilaquiles were homemade too (not the chips or the chicken broth though). One of my favourite foods! There was also rice and a salad. The chicken was incredibly juicy with just a hint of the applewood smoke, the skin crispy and just the right amount of salty. A silence fell over the 5 of us at the dinner table, which I took as a compliment. FYI that baking powder trick is excellent with shrimp too.
  9. Substitute Pernod (France), Sambuca (Italy), Arak (Arab or Israeli), or Raku (Turkey). Sambuca is likely the easiest to find in your local liquor store. Wow sounds and looks great, I'll have to try it. I have the Ottolenghi cookbook (2 of them actually), the recipe for a roast cauliflower, parsley and pomegranate salad is a favourite.
  10. Brought my Akorn to the cottage to do some dino-bone beef ribs for a boys' weekend. Decided to leave it there for extra fun there next year. So I'm likely going to buy the cart version for home because it looks like even with winter coming I can't live without it. So I'm reviving this thread to ask a question: Can the Akorn be oriented on the cart either way, i.e. so the table potion of the cart is to the left of the grill? All the pics I've ever seen show the table to the right of the grill, but it would be more convenient and work with my backyard better to have it on the left. Your input is appreciated. Then I'll have to figure out how/when to go get in in Western NY since I can't seem to find them in Canada. Road trip! Dave PS those beef ribs were incredible! A bit of mustard + spice rub, then 11 hours at 250*... Actually it was a challenge because it was windy and quite cold, about 35*F, and the fire went out at one point which set back the temp. The boys were getting angry and doubting me... the meat came off at 205* and nary a word was uttered at dinner since mouths were full.
  11. Looks delicious, I'm going to try that one as the weather gets colder. But I note that nothing really is smoked or grilled at all, it's no different than doing it on the stovetop. Does anyone ever grill or smoke the meat or cook the stew on the fire with the kamado lid closed and no lid on the pot?
  12. Ok now I'm impossibly peckish... Please divulge your brine formula.
  13. My wife`s a bit of a fancypants and likes to buy bottled sauce from WIlliams-Sonoma, I think it`s called American Brisket Starter... and I gotta admit it`s really good.
  14. I tried my first smoked brisket not long after getting my CG and it turned out a bit dry, probably because I didn't have optimal temperature control. IN any case my other issue with it was that I'm used to roast or slo-cooker brisket where it's browned and then slow-cooked in a sauce. I just enjoy it that way. So I decided to cheat. I ended up buying two small briskets (about 4 lbs each) and smoked them for about an hour, then transferred them to the slow cooker where they cooked another 3 hours in the sauce. When they went in the slow cooker they were a beautiful red color. They turned out very very tasty with just enough smokiness. I made them for a party at our place and people were coming back for more and admitting that they were full but couldn`t help themselves. So - for those of you who like a saucy brisket like I do, this is the best of both worlds.
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