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lastJoe

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Everything posted by lastJoe

  1. Awesome info John, thank you. That's in line pretty much exactly with what my expectations were for a pellet grill. I ended up just selling my sweet a** Weber LP grill I just bought last year for $699 plus tax (sold for $550) so I already made that commitment! I like my Akorn, but at times it's just been a little too much fussing. For low & slows I want more of a set & forget type of system. I'll be interested to see the smoke effect though as I really like how you can load up the box with 4 or 5 chunks of hardwood and get a nice smoke flavor on butts and ribs. I hear that you don't get quite the same smoke with the pellet, but there are 'work arounds'.
  2. I know! I've been trying to find one even for $200 on closeout and around here (Lancaster, PA area) I have not been able to find them. The closest one has 2 floor models still there and they will not go lower than $340 after questioning 3 managers at 3 different times I've stopped. They do not appear interested in moving them out, even though the xmas lights are all over now in the outdoor section. Guess I'll keep stopping and checking, but it's getting old.
  3. I'm in the same boat. Love my Akorn, but for low & slow cooks I would really like more of a 'set & forget' setup, and it seems the pellet grills fill that void. I actually have my Weber propane grill for sale now, almost new condition, just looking to get some cash out of that and put toward a pellet grill. I've been eyeing up that Pit Boss at Walmart. Price just dropped to $347 from $396. I wonder if they'll blow them out end of season. How are you liking the pellet vs the Akorn?
  4. Day late, and a $ short. My Costco just sold the last one at $399 last night. Bummer, oh well, guess I'll have to make the best of my Akorn til next year. Maybe they'll add some new features!
  5. Yeah, I think the bottom vent on my Akorn is the culprit, I just haven't dug into it yet to resolve with some additional RTV caulk. My other concern with the Pit Boss and buying it through costco is lugging it back there if/when the bowl cracks. I really wish they would just send you a new bowl, but reading in other threads that is not the case. I guess that's the price you pay for such a good deal at $399.
  6. Got it! So you're in almost the exact same boat as me. Those tweaks would be no problem for me. My biggest gripe with my Akorn (don't get me wrong, great value, exactly what I wanted to try my hand at a smoker, etc) has been getting to a low temp. Once there holding it is no problem, but getting there I need to chase for a while. I think this is due to the fact that I have to put the lower vent about 1/8" open, and the top vent closed so just the little round openings at the end of the vent holes are showing (if you have an Akorn you prob know what I'm talking about). That gets me to 225-235, but it's such a fine line that getting there without over shooting, and then trying to get it back down, is a pita. I haven't done any manual sealing of my Akorn, but prob wouldn't hurt. I'm hoping with the tweaks to the PB that I would have an easier time getting the low & slow temp dialed in quicker. Have you found the same?
  7. Just curious how old your Akorn is/was. I just got mine in June and cooked a ton on it, and there are a few Pit Boss' left at our Costco for $399. Having a tough time figuring out what to do with the Akorn that I recently got, and if the Pit Boss is really a deal you don't want to pass up.
  8. How are the bowls holding up on these. $399 here at our Costco too. I thought they dropped to $299 last year, no?
  9. I don't feel like messing around making clarified butter tonight before grilling my steaks on the kamado, so was wondering what are the best alternatives for a high smoke point oil that I can rub the steaks with before the salt/pepper/cayenne rub and then onto the high heat right over the coals.
  10. And my Costco just reduced the Pit Boss from $599 to $499. By end of the season it should be able to be had for $399.
  11. Agreed. I guess with my Akorn purchase recently I don't really have a need, but will be keeping an eye for end of season if they blow them out like they did last year (I think I read) and drop them down to $399 from the current $599. Will be tough to hold off on that.
  12. Wow, yeah, glad I held off a bit then. Only time will tell if you had 2 flukes, or it is really a bad design/manufacturing process. And I totally agree, what a PITA bringing a used ceramic grill of that weight back to the store. Costco just throws it in the garbage too, what a shame.
  13. In your profile pic that looks like a prior model Pit boss. Just asking because my Costco has the Pit Boss but the handle is a black composite material. Wondering if they might have changed the design on the newer models and don't have that issue anymore.
  14. Thanks for that advice. I think for me, on this one, I was uncertain to follow my digital probe (which was the holding fingers about an inch above the cast iron grate, about 2" from the outer edge) or the dome temp. I think this taught me to follow the digital probe that's hovering above the grate, versus the unreliable dome temp. I had a 50F degree delta between my probe and dome, and had the grate temp up close to 400F most of the time, which should've been closer to 325F as I now learned. As in homebrewing, need to take good notes and keep a log until it's all second nature. Thanks again for the feedback.
  15. Thanks for the advice! I do have a decent dual probe, a Maverick 732. I guess the problem was I just didn't get it into the bird soon enough. I didn't really feel I was chasing temps, I knew the temp I wanted and hit it and held it pretty good. I just didn't choose the right temps to hit, was more the issue. I was really surprised it was done at 3hrs. But yes, should've had the probe in there from the start. Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  16. Thawed and brined a 20lb turkey. Put it on my Akorn yesterday morning. Had the heat deflector in, and let the temps get up above 300F. Put my drip pan with gravy veggies on the deflector and put the turkey on the grate. I've found that the dome thermometer on my Akorn is fairly close to my digital, but about 50F under, which makes sense as it's further away from the direct flame. So I started the bird at 350F on my probe, which was placed at the outer edge of the grate, which is close to direct heat as it was above the gap that is around the outside of the heat deflector. The dome was still under 300F, so after an hour or so I decided to open the vents a little to get the grate to the upper 300's, and the dome to 325-350. Held that pretty good for 2 more hours, and decided to check deep into the bird with my digital. Showed mid 170s in spots, and up as high as 182 in another spot. Nothing below 170. Also much drier than I expected, especially the white meat. No juices running out when I cut, like I had hoped. I had wanted to take it off at 160, so it could continue to rise to 165 off the heat, but totally missed that window. Was surprised to see it overdone, but I guess it's a simple matter of too high of a heat for that 3 hrs. At 325 it was to take around 4 hrs (20lbs). I'm thinking then I should've regulated the vents to keep the grate temp closer to 330-350, and the dome a bit under 300? Any other tips or similar experiences? Have to give props to the Akorn, it is a stellar cooker and I'm getting more comfortable with it on ever cook. Now that I got the post on the ashpan in the holder under the charcoal grate it is very easy to control temps. Very predictable and could not blame this one on the cooker.
  17. Well, first turkey cook was a not exactly a fail, but def came out a little over done. It was 20 lbs and at 325F it was to take about 4 hrs. I had my probe on the grate, which was over near the edge which was more or less direct heat from around the heat deflector. I aimed for 350 on the probe, but then the dome thermometer (which I checked to be within 10F of my digital) was only around 300F. So I took the temp up til the probe read around 385-390 and then the dome was up around 330-350. Obviously it was too high as I first went to check temp deep in the breast at 3 hrs and it was up around 175, some spots over 180F. Kind of caught me off guard and I was second guessing my digital, so left it on a bit longer and pulled it. White me was pretty dry. Tasted great, but too dry. Lesson learned, need to keep the temps a little lower, and get the probe down in the breast much sooner. Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  18. 20 lb turkey is in the brine in fridge. Going for a 4 hr cook tomorrow, indirect, with a drip pan on the heat diffuser filled with veggies, fresh herbs, and the neck and all the drippings from the turkey. Can't wait. Going all lump, no wood, as we have some im not sure of their smoke tolerance and don't want too much smoke flavor. Figure 4 hrs in there should add plenty with just the charcoal. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  19. I totally see that now, and I remember looking in after putting the ash pan on, and thinking it didn't look like things were lining up right on the inside, but I got the latches down so I moved on. I'm most certain now that I do not have that post of the ash pan in the center of that bracket (male in the female).
  20. Um, not really sure and actually don't think I did. When I put the pan on I just lifted it up from the bottom, straight vertical, and latched it on. I don't remember sliding it horizontal at all. I'm going to def check that tonight! Thanks for the tip. I had a good bit of lump in there for my first cook, but still thought it was much higher heat than it was supposed to be. I had the lower vent all but closed and it was still up around 400F. That might have been the problem!
  21. And tonight it was marinaded salmon on the Akorn, so damn good, like night and day from the old propane Weber. Settled in around 400F and did about 5-6 min per side and came out spot on. So much more juice and moisture than when it comes off the Weber. I guess I'm preaching to the choir here. And it is pretty normal to want to cook on this thing about every night of the week?! Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  22. For my first butt that will probably be this weekend, I'm also thinking I don't want to wait through a stall, and get into a 12+ hour thing. If not using the 225 low & slow, what is an alternate temp for an estimated 6hr cook on a decent sized butt?
  23. First season, fire and grill went fantastic. So stoked and the flavor improvement over my Weber propane is so grand. Wish I would've been grilling this way for the past 20 yrs. anyway, here are a few pics from the inaugural run. Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  24. Oh, ok, got it. So the grate that I bought to sit on the tabs is to raise the charcoals to sear, not to drop the meat down to sear. Makes sense. So for the seasoning, you put the oil on, then it says to heat it up to 400F to season the grate & burn off any oils, chemicals, etc. You mean remove it after that?
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