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  1. I recently gave one of these to an about-to-be newlywed couple as a housewarming gift. It's a solid skillet that should last for generations and they loved it. At this price, it was a no-brainer to order one to hold onto for another gift. Thanks for the head's up!
  2. The National Park Service has banned campers and picnickers from bringing in their own firewood. They contract vendors to supply wood that has been heat treated at 160*F for 60 minutes to kill insects and critters that they don't want in the parks. Last time I was in The GSMNP I picked up several bundles of beautiful, clean, split (2"-4" dia.) White Oak to bring home for smoking. I was allowed to "cherry pick" the stack of bundled firewood for my camp fire. If you're near a National Park you might want to check them out from time to time to see what they're offering....maybe even get to know their supplier to get a head's up on good smoking wood. It's not completely seasoned, but it shouldn't take as long as fresh cut wood. As I recall, the prices were reasonable.
  3. I have one of these hats. It's sturdy and lightweight. They have a good selection of other styles, too. I spent the first 20 years of my working career outside as long as it wasn't pouring rain or too icy to stand up. So far - no problems - and I'm gonna try to keep it that way. https://bigbendsaddlery.com/product/two-dot/
  4. Hanging out in cool mountain streams...
  5. Rip

    Shut down time

    My opinion...I think we expect too much from these grills - especially new out-of-the box. Ten years ago when I got my Bubba Keg, information was not as plentiful on Kamado Cookers as it is now. Fortunately there was a forum for Bubba Keg Grills and I gleaned what I could from them. My Bubba had some shut down, temp holding and smoke leaking issues when it was new. The advice was to seal up around both vents, which helped a great deal. The next step - as I was advised - was to go to the butcher and get some unsellable Pork scraps and cook them to seal up any other small leaks during the cooking process.. Cooking the Pork scraps did help some more but ultimately it took several months of semi-reglar bugers, butts and steaks before I considered it "really close" to leak proof. During that break in period I learned a lot about the grill. I don't keep my grill squeaky clean. I need the "seasoning" to prevent leaks. When I do a cleaning - usually when the pressure washer is nearby - I give it a short blast to knock of the bigger stuff, but try not to disturb the areas around the gasket and the vents. These grills are built to tolerances as close as can be attained with ceramic or steel within reason($) - but they aren't rocket ships. The best advice I got from that forum was "learn YOUR grill" they're all "individuals". Have patience - don't worry if your grill doesn't shut down as quickly as someone else - even if it's the same grill. Charcoal, weather, the length of the cook and other factors might influence your cool down. Have fun - eat good...your grill takes time to develop its own personality. Edit to add: I'm only relaying the advice I was given and my experience - not suggesting there's not different or better ways...except for the "Have fun - eat good" part.
  6. Collard Sandwiches are a "thing" in Eastern NC. But they're good anywhere and even in the very local area where they're popular there are several variations. However you like them - eat more of them - Collards are one of the most nutritious foods in the world! https://myhome.unctv.org/the-original-collard-sandwich/
  7. All the advantages of an Akorn, but more better... https://broilkingbbq.com/grills/keg/
  8. Rip

    Rain caps

    That looks much better than the conglomeration I came up with years ago....an old pot lid bolted to a colander....
  9. Depending on how much space you have, you could get a metal table, a piece of "yard art" or a length of heavy steel pipe - something clunky and heavy to padlock a chain to...Anything that would make the grill and weight undesirable to pick up and run with. Crooks are lazy, I don't think they're going to steal anything that's gonna be noisy and/or heavy or hard to carry.
  10. I keep a can of cooking oil spray by the grill. I try to remember to spray the CI grate lightly before each cook and again after it cools off if I've gone into "high" range. When I brush the grate down, I spray it. I've only "formally" seasoned it a couple of times in the 8-9 years I've used it. In my opinion, A CI grill grate doesn't need the care that one would want to give a fine old cast iron skillet. Keep it clean, spray it and cook on it. That's what I do...
  11. I own both. Like Lunchman, I bought a Bubba Keg about the same time he did from Home Depot. About 2 years ago I bought an Akorn to use at my camper. Comparing the two is difficult for me because I've obviously not used the Akorn as much as the Keg. I've kept both grills covered and/or under a shelter the entire time. My Keg has been well used and is showing its age - cosmetically. I haven't had any problems with rust or anything else for that matter. It's still going strong and is used weekly. I still have all the original grates and accessories. The Akorn is a good grill, although as you mention, it lacks the fit and finish of the Keg. I can't make it cook like I can on my Keg. I attribute that to not having the years of experience on the Akorn that I have on my Keg. I will say that because of the quality of the fit and finish on the Keg vs. the Akorn it's easier for me to use. I suspect the Keg is better insulated than the Akorn. I've never owned a ceramic Kamado style grill. Maybe I will some day. But if I had to replace my Keg, I'd be hard pressed not to replace it with a newer version BKK based on my experience and satisfaction with my Bubba Keg. Good Luck.
  12. This is my biggest problem with many local eating establishments. There's little - to no - consistency in the products they offer. It's like whoever is running the kitchen, at any given time, brings their own recipes. Another thing that I notice, is when a new restaurant opens locally ( a big deal in a small town), they appear to use the best quality ingredients initially and eventually start settling for lower quality. That's why I do more and more cooking at home...
  13. I've been using a large 2" deep cake pan as a diffuser for years. I put an inch +/- of playground sand (50# bag from the local Lowes or Home Depot is less than $5.00), the sand is a great diffuser and absorbs drippings. When the cook is done I toss the sand.
  14. I had to look at this a little closer. Your "Maryland" location, the Lefty name and the small photo had me hoping the old coach was sharing some secret recipes. I always liked Lefty D. I'd still try the sauce, tho...
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