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gotzero

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Everything posted by gotzero

  1. I am doing a lot of konro cooking, and when I cannot do that, skewer cooking between fire bricks on the kamado and weber. I find that I really prefer skewering food with two round bamboo skewers, and that it is really difficult to line everything up and make them parallel. The really nice yakitori restaurants/street stands I have patronized used skewers that it looked like were done by high end CNC. The ones I have watched just do it by hand, but I am not there. Based on my travels in Japan, there is probably a single-purpose device for this, but I have not come across one. Recently I was looking at a 2" x 2" endcut of 6061 aluminum trying to figure out a purpose for it in my life and my basement. Suddenly it hit me. I have a mill and an idiot (I have a lathe too - and I have some Joetisserie ideas...), why not use the heavy, otherwise not useful/efficient, food safe, non-reactive piece wonderfulness to make a skewer guide. A quick operation to make one face square, not my best work but good enough. I often forget how much I prefer magnetic steel. Aluminum swarf is the worst. When you read this I will probably still be obsessing with a brush and a vacuum. Positioning a pilot hole. Since I did not have the correct diameter bit with the correct length, I did a lot of pull and scrape. I wanted this done today and I was successful. Cartoon digital readout (I am working hard teaching a toddler here, plus some of the neighborhood pinewood derby dominators - my preschooler knows how to read a DRO and when to stop turning, a huge point of pride for dad). Primary holes mostly drilled. And finally, skewer test. I ended up making the first round of holes the diameter of Restaurant Depot bamboo skewers (always available and sold by the thousand - it is not unheard of for us to use 200 in one dinner). Gaps are 1.5", 1.25", 1". 0.75" and 0.5". I drilled the holes a quarter inch off of vertical center, so depending on how I flip it, the holes will be 0.75" or 1.25" off of the ground. The block weighs a little more than two pounds so it will be nice and solid, and I can always weight the top. Assuming I like it, I will drill several other sets of holes, take it to work and pay the machine shop to face the other five sides and CNC some markings, and then send it off for anodizing (something I did once and decided I will pay to have done for the rest of my life). Get ready for some more elegantly skewered food!
  2. The slotdog was one of the single-use kitchen appliances I try to avoid buying. In this case, I am so glad I ignored my own advice! My kids love it, it is a lot of fun. For whatever reason, I have about a 40% perfect cut success rate, but my wife is 100%.
  3. Similar to many of the comments here, I run them indirect for about 40 minutes at about 375 in the dome. Instant thermometer at the end of the cook often reads into 200s. Skin is nice and crispy, nothing tastes burnt, and the meat is delicious, moist, and comes off bones easily. These days, I am coating the wings with a favorite rub and aluminum free baking powder and letting them sit in the fridge either from the night before or the morning of. I do not even bother to sauce them most of the time now.
  4. I have an Akorn Jr and Joe Jr, both work very well. Also worth mentioning with some of the choices here is the Lodge Sportsman's grill. Requires a little care but inexpensive, fun, easy, portable, and bombproof.
  5. I am posting this early in case July gets away from me for the challenge. We hosted two other couples for a konro cook this evening. Kiddos had a popcorn-powered movie night in the house while we had a wonderful meal on the deck. Prep began in the garden, pulling the year's first shi####os. I no longer have to worry about supply here. I have five healthy plants that are clearly going to make summer and fall a wonderful time. The into the kitchen, for seemingly endless prep. I feel like I have finally figured out how to properly butterfly wing flats, and now it is both easier and faster. I am still learning how to skewer them. No griddle this evening, but the gear is perfect for soaking skewers. Then time to make tare, which I am starting to understand is the backbone of the chicken parts of this meal. Makes the entire house smell delicious. Moving onto the deck, I laid out firebricks (which you can see have other roles in grilling here) to keep from melting the table. I have dreams of custom building a farm style table with a hidden cutout for the konro, but in the mean time, for these dinners, the deck table is replaced with a rectangular Lifetime folder. First course, grilled avocado. This is delicious, but I treat it more or less like a tare delivery system. One of our guests intelligently pointed out tonight that if I skewered it in the future in a way where the skewers are never visible in the pit hole, the hole will not leak liquid. For next time! Then onto asparagus wrapped in prosciutto. This is a fantastically delicious combination and very easy. The smell as the ham gives up fat to the hot charcoal is unreal. Next was scallops. If I was smart, I would cook these on the grate, but I risked it tonight, and nothing fell in. Not having the delicate item stick on the grate was a wonderful change. These are so tasty and so easy. Now time for the KamadoGuru linked cook. We did John Setzler's modified Orange-Honey Glazed shrimp, true to his recipe. This is so fantastically good I think it created a small black hole in my back yard. We took the extra skewers in for the kids and after that they all started cruising the deck for other items: We then moved on to chicken. First round was thigh meat and garden shi####os. So rewarding! Next was tsukune. We use all dark meat ground chicken, the recipe from the book "Robata", parboil the meatballs, and then smash them on skewers before grilling. These are so wonderfully good, and as a bonus the children DEVOUR them. Easy recipe and cook, absurdly good result. The only improvement is when I am willing to drive down to Suzuki farm to get the real Japanese green onions. Yum Yum Yum. Finally, butterflied wing flats. This is my personal favorite. After watching David Chang et al. cut these and trying fairly often for a couple of years, I think I finally have the cuts down. However, I still have some learning to do about skewering after the cut. I wish there was a class! The cook is relatively easy, and the taste is out of this world. At this point, I cut down whole wings, and save the drumettes for kamado wing cooks. One of our guests joked about cooking s'mores on the marabu charcoal since it all seemed too easy. Joke no more. S'mores were had with good laughs and good friends. Finally, the kamado did play a role! The marabu charcoal can be used for a second cook with no sweat, however I found dousing in water led to mold. So, I use a plancha and a kamado to move and snuff the charcoal. The dome temp with all vents closed usually hits about 350F before backing down.
  6. I will go on record again, I fail to understand how they are not the number one grill category in the US by sales. For life with kids they are a game changer. PS - when we got to our host's this evening, there was a Primo large cooking down. Pulled pork was delicious.
  7. I am only asking because I forgot this one of the first times, is the top vent completely closed?
  8. Bacon and pancakes on the griddle for breakfast. Smashburgers on the portable griddle at the pool for lunch. Heading to a house on the Chesapeake Bay to a BBQ/fireworks show this evening. Not touching a kamado, but a perfect 4th!
  9. I do not get a "perfect" seal with either rotisserie or pizza attachment. They are all close, and all cook wonderfully. With pizza, I find the bottom/top cook balance is something that has to be dialed in. Keep trying!
  10. Ribs the other night that rival anything I can purchase at any price. And sushi that, well, at least tastes good. We would get mercury poisoning long before we made enough sushi rolls to learn how to make them look good. At least we are having fun...
  11. No joke, I store accessories in our lower oven, and may as well start storing them in the upper one too. We have a cheap toaster oven that does 95% of our indoor baking/broiling. Anything big goes on the kamados. I could have saved a lot of money on our high end double oven. Ironically, replacing it with a built in microwave/oven is in Kamodo Kamado cost country. So it stays... If I am spending that much, it is for a Big Bad outside. I also have a huge deck box full of accessories, and some in the basement, and "a lot" of charcoal in outbuildings. My oldest kiddo sometimes refers to "the charcoal shed" and"the mower shed". This really does become a problem, be careful...
  12. Nice review. Mine essentially looked like new at one and two years old outside and covered year round when I passed them onto friends. My Akorn Jr lives indoors unless we travel and it looks like new. They are fantastic grills. Since the switch to ceramics, I remain shocked how much more charcoal they use, even though it is still not much in the scheme of things.
  13. Hot Dogs for dinner. Slotdog "success" percentage is about 50/50, still trying to figure this out. The ones that work well are fantastic.
  14. This is a process that I can understand is intimidating at first, but gets easier the more you do it and at least here now seems completely routine. Everything feels loose and uncertain, and then it locks together and works perfectly until I take it apart the next time. Get cooking and see how it goes.
  15. Great job, great recommendation, and far cheaper than the raw cedar alone that I specced out to make to a Jr stand.
  16. Welcome! I started with an Akorn, then got a second when I was killing time between a wedding a reception and found one at the local Walmart for $89 (look in the late summer). That led to a full kamado addiction and now I have 18" and 24" ceramics with the Akorns spread around to friends that liked the cooking coming from here. The knowledge on this forum is unreal, so many fun things to try and "can't mess it up" instructions.
  17. Yum! What a neat way to cook that too. I feel like we have gyro meat down to a science here, but I really need to get working on this!
  18. Greetings from the end of the turnpike! As far as Snap-On giveaways, a kamado is is a great score! Lucky way to learn that you are into kamados too! There are so many awesome recipes and ideas on this site it can keep you busy for ages.
  19. I routinely do 16 hour ~225f cooks and I have never had to refill a full charcoal basket in an Akorn or KJ. The ceramics to use a lot more charcoal than the Akorns, but it is still nothing in comparison to any other type of charcoal grill. It is shocking at first but then it becomes what you are used to. When I started out, I did a couple of empty burns with a thermometer to get an idea of when I would need to replenish, the answer was I would not need to. The rare times I use our Weber now, I am astonished by how much charcoal it uses and how much ash I have to dump.
  20. No kidding! The apple for scale is wonderful.
  21. We tried the Tajin shrimp tonight. So easy, really a flavor pop. I think I would use a little less seasoning next time, but yum! Enjoyed with corn from the grill seasoned with Tajin and lime juice and prosciutto wrapped asparagus.
  22. There is an ocean between what I wrote which is, "if you make this I would buy it", and what you seem to be rebutting which is, "I expect this to be available and feel entitled to it". If there is no market, fine. Life goes on. I find that mentioning things I would purchase in a non-pushy manner is sometimes helpful to manufacturers. These days, even 15a 120v AC with no noise and no emissions is easy. At this point, I almost wish manufacturers of powered specialty items would include either a generic 18v DC positive and negative lead to run from a tool battery or a 120v AC option to run from an inverter instead of yet another proprietary battery system. EDIT: Quote did not link
  23. It always stinks when something comes banged up. My advice is cook on. My first DoJoe cook I SLAMMED my pizza peel rivet on the edge of the bottom lip, ding one. The DoJoe is made of aluminum. When there is a chip off of the coating, a little layer of aluminum oxide will form and essentially protect the underlying aluminum in this application. Nothing like steel.
  24. Welcome! Fantastic that you have been served so we'll by your kamado for so long! There is an almost limitless library of recipes to try here, keep you busy for another 2500 cooks.
  25. Yum! Some of both please! I have never used (edit for autocorrect) Tajin on shrimp but that looks amazing. There was just a NYT writeup about Tajin with some good ideas too. Going to have to have a theme night!
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