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backdoctor's Achievements

  1. I hope this is the correct category to post this question. But, I was just wondering for those of you who started with an Akorn and thought the grass was greener on the ceramic side and upgraded, did you find that A) you liked the Akorn better and wished you hadn’t B) it wasn’t as much of an upgrade as you expected but glad you did or C) find the quality of cook so much better that you wished you hadn’t waited so long to upgrade.
  2. “Micro-fry” them. That’s a term I came up with to describe how I do my chicken dark meat. I haven’t tried this on my kamado, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work there. 1. Make sure your chicken has no water on the skin. I have quit prewashing mine. But, if you do, be sure the skin has had time to fully dry. The water protects the skin. 2. Put a good coat of oil on the skin then season. 3. Cook over high heat (I do indirect using baskets on the side with my 22” weber kettle). I plan to try on my kamado but haven’t yet. 4. Cook for 35 min, then turn the meat and cook another 15 min or so until the color and crispiness is uniform. On the kamado, if you can’t bank the coals to cook indirect, use a deflector. But, your times are going to vary. 35 min is pretty specific, I realize that. But, I want to trap as much heat as possible for as long as possible. I’d cook them the whole time on one side if they would brown more evenly. But, that’s not possible. So, 35 min seems do the trick. And, yes, I use a timer. Here’s why I call it “micro-fry”. I believe this method (light coat of oil in high heat) gives the exact same effect that submerging them in oil would have. At 400+ degrees, the oil on the skin “boils” off and takes the moisture in the skin with it. As someone else mentioned, dark meat can take being overlooked. So, I stopped worrying about the internal temps. Just focus on the crispiness and the meat will still be good. .
  3. I'm going to throw some to heatermeter. It's an open source project.
  4. I was at our local Ace Hardware yesterday and noticed they had 30% off many grills and cookers. I don't know my Kamado Joe models, but they had one that normally costs $1000 for $700. I suspect it was a 2016 20-22". They had several different Weber charcoal and gassers. Also, had a couple of Treager pellet grills. If I was in the market, I would have jumped on one of those deals. It's a 3 day sale that ends tomorrow 5/20/2017.
  5. No question about it, I'm jealous .
  6. Just for the record, I've never paid this much attention to smoke before. I feel like I'm picking nits at this point because I'm trying to troubleshoot. I think the Royal Oak did solved the problem. Never the less, I want to follow up. I hate leaving threads hanging. After people take time to offer opinions, I feel like I owe it to them to give the thread closure. It also benefits other who might be having trouble and stumble on the thread. Anyway, I didn't have time for a proper cook this weekend. But I was able to throw on some hot dogs and sausage. I removed all of the existing charcoal and filled it with Royal Oak. I paid very particular attention to everything (temps and smoke). The intensity of the smoke fluctuated throughout the cook. At times the smoke was a lot less, while at other times I questioned if it was less at all. All in all, I it was close to what I expected with regards to how much smoke was produced. The main thing that I can say for sure is that nobody complained about having a nasty smoke flavor. I'm going to say that my verdict is that the Western BBQ charcoal was my problem. I'm anxious to try do another cook with something other than dogs. I took several pictures during the cook. Here's a couple: Temp 247, still warming up. The smoke looks like what I'd hope for. Temp at 359, smoke is a little heavier now, but nothing more than I would expect: Temp 419 at end of cook. Smoke is almost as thick as the other charcoal.
  7. This is after the cook. I think I cooked about 8 burgers or so. I did 3 by themselves because I wanted to be sure they were going to go okay. I was prepared to throw the rest on the George Foreman. In fact, my wife took 2 because she was so put off by the first burger cook that she has it in her head the grill can't cook good food. When I started cooking, I started around 375. But, the time I finished (time of this pic), it was up to about 450. I will say that the burgers were way juicier than I'm accustomed to. So, I think I'm going to enjoy grilling on it once I get rid of the bellowing white smoke. As many on this thread believe, I think Royal Oak might solve that problem.
  8. Thanks again. I'm going to try to find time to do more cooking/testing this weekend. I will post back, for sure. @bcrgrill: It could be moisture, I don't know. But, I'm going to see if Kroger will take it back if I get the results from other brands that I'm accustomed to getting on my Weber. It would be interesting to let some dry and try.
  9. Thanks all. Just for clarification, my source of confusion on this is because the Akorn kamado is new to me. I wasn't sure what to expect from it and if I was doing things correctly on it. As for that much smoke, I knew it wasn't normal for me. I just didn't know if it was normal for the Akorn or Kamados in general. I think we have a consensus. I will continue to experiment with other charcoal brands, as well as, trying to light all of the charcoal at once. I'm still curious how it will respond when it's all lit. I honestly don't think it's going to help. But, I want to try. I read an article about charcoal and there seems to be an issue with some lump charcoals that aren't fully carbonized. That would leave some raw wood in it that could impart smoke like I'm seeing. I think once I figure this out, assuming I can point my finger at the charcoal, I should post a new thread about this particular brand and see if other people are having issues with it. I think bashing brands is frowned upon in this forum, but that would not be my intention. It would be to educate and learn what works and what doesn't.
  10. I will. I also have some Royal Oak that I will try. I keep a very large stockpile of charcoal. When you start your fire, are you lighting just a small portion of the charcoal, so that you have lit and unlit in the fire during the cook?
  11. I recently started a thread, "Has this ever happened to you" where I experienced a wet black creosote layer on top of my burgers. This is a follow up to that post. My burgers came out a little better this time. They didn't get that funky black creosote like stuff on top. But, they were still too smokey. I feel like I had to fight the smoke the whole cook. I wonder if my problem is the charcoal. I'm using this lump charcoal that I found on sale at Kroger. I've never used it before, until just recently. I hope it's not the charcoal because it was only $5 for 20 lbs. So, I bought 12 bags. In the previous post, there was some discussion about how the fire was started and possibly the fire got too hot and it didn't have time to stabilize. So, this time, I was very careful to bring the charcoal temps up slowly. I started a small fire small with a wax cube in the center of the pile and gave it plenty of time to settle/stabilize (like an hour or so). And, I never overshot my target temp. I think this rules out how I'm starting the fire as being a problem. I've been cooking on Weber kettles with charcoal for over 20 years. I know the difference between the thick white startup smoke, as opposed to the smoke that's put out after the fire is established. The picture below clearly shows too much smoke is being produced. This picture was taken after an hour after starting the fire and after cooking. When you look at the picture below, is this how much smoke you normally see coming out of your Kamado when you aren't using any smoke wood and when you're cooking higher temp bbq, like burger, pork chops or chicken? I'm not using any additional smoke wood. This is just just lump. Another thing that I did differently this cook vs. last time is that I opened the top vent all the way and controlled temp using only the bottom vent. I think that's why my burgers turned out a little better (didn't get the black stuff on top). Can you imagine if all of that smoke coming out of the top vent was trapped in the cooker? I have 2 more ideas that I want to try. First, I want to start a fire and light the all of the charcoal. This will help me identify if the smoke is coming from the unlit charcoal or the lit charcoal. To keep the fire to a reasonable cooking level, like 400F or so, I'll have to use just a tiny bit of charcoal. Another idea is to simply try the original start up method with different charcoal (both lump and some good ole Kingsford). I might try the new Western BBQ brand in my kettle and see how it performs.
  12. This is an interesting question. I am a brand new Akorn owner coming from years of kettle cooking and this touches on the same question I had. I think if you plan to cook low and slow, the answer is obvious. You need the diffuser. But, if you cook something like chicken or burgers, I imagine you can still do either. If you elect to not use the diffuser and are cooking over direct heat, you have to pay attention to the temps. If your fire is too hot and you have no diffuser, you won't be able to get the IT up to safe temps without burning the outside. The first and only time I've cooked chicken on mine, I used the diffuser and the chicken got done before the outside got a pretty color. It tasted good. It was actually the juiciest chicken I've ever cooked. But, it didn't look good. This is a new experience for me something I am learning, as well.
  13. You know, it just occurred to me that there may be a phenomenon going on here similar to an increased production of smoke that happens when you blow out a match or a candle. I have no idea, but I bet there's a name for that. And, it seems to occur when a flame or substance that is is burning suddenly stops burning, maybe due to a sudden drop in temp or oxygen starvation. I don't know. I'm just thinking out loud. But, sure seems like there's a relationship there to me. Hmmm.
  14. Thanks. I'll get it. I think there are a couple of variables that kept me from noticing before it was too late. One, I was using leftover coals from a smoke and I assumed there was leftover wood in it. And, I'm just not as experienced with lump as I am with Kingsford. Don't get me wrong, I've used lump many times. But, mostly on the kettle where I fully ignite all of the coals. Another thing that threw me off was that I also assumed that with lump being real wood, I expected to see more smoke, as well. On the bright side, the dog was VERY happy with how they turned out, lol.
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