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  1. Cherry is suitable for poultry as far as the smoke profile goes. The only reason I stay away from it is actually because of the color profile you mentioned. It doesn't bother me so to speak because I cooked it and know it's done. But when serving it for guests the color seems to throw them off a bit unless they're smokers like us hah.
  2. Just remember that no matter what brand you buy if you find pieces will bark on them either discard them or cut it off with a hatchet. If you're from Quebec I imagine you have a hatchet laying around somewhere hah.
  3. Unless you like a heavy smoke profile I would stay away from mesquite and if you do buy it use it sparingly until you know how much you really need. It's typically only good for beef, however I would use hickory for beef before I used mesquite. Most of the time I use Pecan for beef though. Apple and cherry are great for anything pork and the cherry will actually help give you a nice mahogany color to ribs, ham, etc. Both have a light smoke profile but if you must use wood for poultry a chunk of apple should be all you need. Poultry takes smoke much easier than most protein so I typically just use straight lump for it. Pecan is kind of a jack of all trades type of wood, you can use it with pretty much anything, though I still wouldn't use it myself for poultry. If I were just going to buy one type of wood it would likely be cherry, but I like to keep apple and pecan on hand as well.
  4. Wood chunks are wood chunks. I wouldn't worry about what brand you buy as much as I would consider the price per weight as well as the type of wood. I typically just buy the cheapest bags I can find that have mostly fist sized pieces in them. If I need smaller pieces I'll split them with a hatchet. Same with bark, some cheaper bags will have a few pieces mixed in that still have bark on them, just cut that off with a hatchet as well. Everyone will have their own opinions on types of wood to use, but apple, cherry and pecan are pretty much all I use. As far as storage goes, if stored in your garage the chunks will have a longer shelf life than you or I, hah.
  5. While we do a traditional Thanksgiving dinner we like to switch it up and do surf and turf for Christmas dinner. Turkey is great but the leftovers after Thanksgiving are enough to hold us over that we like something different for Christmas. So the beef will either be Prime rib or tenderloin, I prefer prime rib but it can be more difficult to find. Petite lobster tails, scalloped oysters and grilled then sauteed asparagus will also go on the grill. A seafood pasta with real lump crab meat will be a side my better half makes. Other sides and desert is still up in the air but either twice baked potatoes or scalloped potatoes will likely be on the table as well. Christmas dinner is our favorite meal of the year.
  6. JDEaston

    Chicken Kale stew - open pit

    Awesome cook! I haven't cooked over an open pit in years but am going to give it a go again this winter. I ordered a truck load of mixed wood, oak and hickory that was delivered and stacked Friday. Now I just need a new Dutch oven and something to hang it from.
  7. My idea of a winter storage for my Akorn is moving it closer to the back door to minimise the out of time I have to spend outside in inclimate weather hah. I'm fortunate enough to have a large wrap around deck at my home with 5 doors of access to it. So I just wheel my Akorn to the door closest to the kitchen for "winter storage." In most cases I'm able to preheat, cook and shut down the Akorn without even stepping foot outside if I don't want to. Honestly I don't mind cooking outside in the cold weather and a lot of times I will build a fire and hang out outside listening to music and having some adult beverages while grilling. My main reason for moving the Akorn is so if it snows I'm not tracking wet boots in and out of the house during a cook.
  8. JDEaston

    Preventative maintenance?

    I essentially just cover mine once it cools down. Sometimes I forget, sometimes it rains before the Akorn is cool enough to cover. If I gets rained on I'll try to remember to dump the ash pan and any water in it out the next day, when I forget to do that the next day I get around to it as soon as I cook on it again. Outside of that I only dump the ash pan when needed. My practices are much different than most here I imagine but my Akorn is 4 years old and has minimal rust on the top of the ash pan. I figure I'll get 2-3 more years out of it. I don't intentionally abuse my Akorn but I also don't go out of my way to baby it in an attempt to extend it's life another year or two. I look at it as "time is money" and these things are cheap enough that I'm not going to spend 20-30 minutes of "my time" after each cook to clean it, etc. If I get another year out of it I'll be happy and will have gotten my moneys worth, however I suspect I'll get 2-3 more years out of it before I need to replace it with another metal Akorn or go ceramic.
  9. JDEaston

    Pastrami on a Stick

    That's impressive and very tasty looking! If only I had the knowledge or ability to cure meat.
  10. JDEaston

    A Fish Without a Face

    That is actually much easier to read than it would be to type, lol.
  11. JDEaston

    Kroger Brisket Sale

    Thanks for this. I'm in Ashland so I'll check my local Krogers.
  12. JDEaston

    Smoke ring tips?

    Put the meat on cold, right out of the fridge and shoot for temps in the 275 range +/- 15 degrees. I'm sire you already know this but the smoke ring doesn't change the flavor at all, it just adds that nice color. So if you want it for presentation try what I did and you'll notice a significant difference in the smoke ring. I found this out accidentally not long ago with a rib cook. I was pressed for time and decided to turbo cook a couple of racks of ribs. Lit the Akorn and while it was coming up to temp I seasoned the ribs and removed the membrane then put them in a few minutes later once the smoke had turned a lighter color. The Akorn still wasn't up to temp and I ended up over shooting it a bit and it hit 300 at one point early in the cook. With a minor vent adjustment it held around 275 for the majority of the cook. The ribs still came out really tender and had a noticably different smoke ring than I usually get, more similar to what I get on my Chargriller offset that consumes a ton of fuel and requires nearly constant monitoring.
  13. I'm just an observer in this thread since I don't own a ceramic Kamado. But the fatwood likely seems like the culprit, so I do have a question. With the original posters Kamado being new, is there any chance that the ceramic soaked up some of that acrid smoke and need a high temp burn to remove it before the next cook? I've heard of ceramics soaking up lighter fluid and that flavor profile lasting for quite a while after using it. That's the reason I ask.
  14. JDEaston

    Flank Steak cooking suggestions?

    I'm now a big fan of the flank steak. I only cooked one of the two but it turned out great. It was slightly on the salty side but that was likely my fault for using the salt block to cook it on after salt was added to the marinade. It wasn't overbearing though and I learned something. The meat itself was extremely flavorful and tender though. I have a couple of pics I'll post of it from the cutting board but I'm not a big picture person (I'm more into eating what was cooked as asap) so don't expect some awesome spread shots. I can tell you it was excellent though.
  15. JDEaston

    Flank Steak cooking suggestions?

    Yeah I'm not a fan of the a reverse sear on anything that isn't 2" thick myself, but figured I'd ask because I noticed threads where people have done it that way. After the jaccard I'd say these are just over an inch thick. Any thoughts on using the salt block? I figure it will give the meat an even sear but keep any flame away as well. But again, I've never used a salt block.