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Will Christopher

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  • Location:
    Roswell Ga
  • Grill
    Vision

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  1. One quick addition to my previous post about cooking Pizza with the gas insert Vision Hybrid grill. The gas insert comes with a stainless steel "heat exchanger" that installs directly over the gas burner that serves to distribute the heat more evenly in the cooking cavity. This heat exchanger is round in shape, and about 8 inches tall with multiple holes all around the sides and probably acts as a heat diffuser. I am not sure about this but the heat appeared to be distributed evenly throughout the cooking cavity and lava stone. I appreciate all the input and am still learning. So far, I am definitely a fan of Kamado cooking.
  2. Just completed my first cook with the gas insert in my Vision S Professional. I decided to do something simple for my first cook since I am new to this and wanted to see how the gas insert performed. My choice was one of my favorites, PIZZA! I won't go into too many details, just the basics since most of you probably have more experience with the Kamado than I have. Preparation: I have made pizza before so this is a good test for the Kamado. I haven't mastered making the crust yet so I used a favorite of mine that I use when I want to make it quickly. This is a prepared pizza crust from Trader Joe's which is pre-made, already risen, and ready to build the pizza. And they sell it for $ 1.29. Sauce: Home made using San Marzano tomatoes, a little salt, garlic, and maybe a little onion powder. I always drain off all juice in the tomatoes before blending this together using a hand blender. It needs to be the consistency of a sauce, thick and not juicy. Prep: I laid the dough out and stretched it into the normal pizza size, pushed out the edges a bit to make that outside crust that is so good. I then spoon enough sauce onto the crust to give it a good coating but not too much. I then sprinkle a little oregano and crushed red pepper flakes onto the sauce to give it a little more flavor, but not too much. After that I add the remaining ingredients which are fresh Mozzarella, Onions, and my favorite, Pepperoni. When available, I will also add a handful of fresh basil leaves. I use all of this sparingly so as not to overload the Pizza with ingredients that might add moisture to the crust during cooking. To me, a good pizza consists of not only the ingredients but the crust as well. When all this is done, I place the pizza onto parchment paper and trim the edges to about 1/4 inch larger than the pizza. This will keep the pizza from sticking to the cooking surface and also prevent certain flavors from transferring from the stone onto the pizza. Kamado: I prepped the grill by placing the Lava stone that came with it into the bracket provided and removed all other cooking grills which were not needed for this cook. Then, according to instructions, I closed the lid and opened the top vent all the way. I then fired up the gas using the built in igniter and cranked it up to full blast. It took about 10 minutes to heat up to 500 degrees on the temp. gauge. I gave it another 5 minutes to get the stone heated up and it held steady at around 500-520 degrees. Cooking: I then opened the grill and gently placed the pizza and parchment onto the lava stone, closed the grill and set a timer to elapsed time. Since I had never cooked pizza like this before I wanted to time it to see exactly how long grill would take to cook it properly. I had seen a post earlier that said not to open the grill during cooking but to look down into the top vent with a flashlight so that you could see the pizza during the cooking process. Directions say that you always keep the top vent open while cooking with gas. I watched the pizza from above until I could see browning all around the outer edges of the crust and cheese well melted all over. When I considered the browned edges to be done, I opened the grill and took a quick look underneath the pizza to see that it was well browned as well and it was. This took a total of 5 1//2 minutes of cooking time and the pizza came out perfectly cooked with all the ingredients well done and the crust nice and crunchy, the way I like it. My wife likes it a little more crunchy so maybe next time I will cook it for 6 minutes. One important note if you are cooking with gas. Turn the gas off before removing your pizza to avoid possibly burning your hands while removing the pizza. The lava stone is recessed a few inches below the lip of the grill so you have to reach down into the grill to remove the pizza. Overall I was very pleased with my first cook with gas. Everything worked as advertised and the pizza was delicious, actually better than most pizza's I have purchased for $16 to $20. Changing the grill from charcoal to gas takes about 2 minutes because you have to remove all the grills and anything related to charcoal before inserting the gas insert. This is not a problem. I anticipate that I will probably use the gas insert more than charcoal because I do a lot of quick cooking everyday with my current weber such as hamburgers, grilled vegetables, fish, etc. and will retire the weber and keep the Vision set up for gas and everyday cooking. Of course, when I want to smoke a turkey or some pulled pork and have plenty of time, I will just fire up the Vision with charcoal. One of the major selling points and the reason I bought the Vision was this flexibility that enabled me to replace two grills with this one unit. I am very pleased with my Vision so far. My next cook will be some pulled pork and I will try and post that as well. Here is a photo of what was left of a 13 inch pizza. By the way, the lava stone is 14 inches in diameter.
  3. My name is Will Christopher and I am new to both the Kamado Guru forum and cooking with a Kamado in general. I live in Roswell, Ga and have been an avid griller for over 40 years, mostly with charcoal and gas. One of my most recent grills was a cheap charcoal smoker, one of those round ones that can hold 1 large turkey or a couple of boston butts. I have had very good luck with these grills and have gone through several of them over the years. My other grill for about 20 years has been a Weber Natural Gas model that does an excellent job when I want to just fire it up quickly for a couple of burgers or a steak as well as numerous vegetables and whatever. Weber makes a great product. I just turned 72 this year and had been looking to replace the Weber with something newer when I stumbled across an ad for the Vision Hybrid which seemed to be a good combination of a gas and charcoal grill. I had been eying the Big Green Egg and the Kamado Joe but since both were limited to charcoal only and expensive, I had not considered them seriously. I really like smoking and would have done more if it were not so time-consuming having to watch the smoker all during the process and adding charcoal or making adjustments where necessary. With all this in mind, the Vision Hybrid seemed to fit the bill. I finally bit the bullet and found myself with a brand new Vision Professional S Hybrid purchased from Home Depot. You can check my post later on with details of the assembly and first cook with the new unit. I am hoping that this grill will last me for another 30 years. I have been surfing this forum intensively for the past few days and have found tons of very helpful information on setup, cooking, recipes, and temperature control with my unit. This is an outstanding forum and I plan to use it and contribute to it as much as possible. Will
  4. I am new to the Kamado cooking club. Just purchased a new Hybrid Professional S from Home Depot. This is currently not sold in stores so I had to order on-line. This item included the new Gas insert, cover, Lava stone, two side shelves, and quick connect hoses for the gas for $ 899 which is a good price since the gas insert itself sells for $ 250 and the stone is around $ 50. Assembly was not difficult but took some time to get it all together. The kit included pretty good instructions as well as all tools needed for the installation, one open end wrench and another cap nut wrench, both 10 mm. It also included several extra nuts of each type in case I might lose one in the process, a very nice touch. The only difficulty I had was in the weight of the main cooker which weighed well over 100 pounds and had to be lifted out of the box and placed onto the dolly unit. Since I am not a spring chicken any more, had to get some help in lifting this big round bowl onto the dolly. We had to be very careful in this because the bowl is round and does not have anything to hold onto during the lifting process. I would up rigging some lifting handles by placing a strap around the lower bowl and attaching two 2x2's to the strap, one on each side. This allowed two people to easily lift this egg up and onto the dolly. The only problem I had was in attaching the shelves to the main unit which required the attachment of 4 shelf brackets onto the egg using pre-installed bolts projecting off the sides of the egg. The brackets installed OK but once installed the shelf would not line up with both brackets on the left side. I tried bending them but the construction is so solid, I could not bend them enough for a proper alignment. I called the support line and they had replacement parts in the mail right away. These brackets were correct and the shelf fit as it should. Now that everything is working, my first cook will be a simple Pizza using the gas insert. I will post the results at a later date.
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