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About El_Norteno60

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
  • Interests
    Music, espresso-based coffee, exceptional whisky, languages, travel, great food
  • Grill
    Kamado Joe
  1. Some Recent Cooks On The Junior...

    I wanna know where I can find heart-shaped steaks, 'cause that's pretty romantic Also, can I move in with you, Panchango? I love my Joe Junior, but your stuff looks so appetizing!
  2. Chicken Sharwarma Feast!

    @DerHusker, that's a gorgeous banquet. Taking the time to prep down to the smallest detail like that really pays off on the plate! Thanks for sharing!
  3. Joe Junior Accessory Kludge... I wonder...

    A quick update for anyone who might be considering getting one of these smaller soapstone disks... This is like trying to find a contractor to do a drywall/paint job for under $10K; they don't even bother to return your calls; they're so flush with bigger paying jobs, that you're "not worth it." I have e-mailed two or three soapstone companies in Canada and in the US, and one of them lost interest when I wouldn't give them my address and the others never bothered to respond. I have left phone messages with two or three soapstone dealers in my area (countertop specialists, for the most part), and have had not one callback, either. If you're serious about this, do a walk-in, so they have to speak to you. They're not going to call back the little guy; those days are long gone.
  4. Smoke - What You Need to Know

    I agree totally; it's just a bit of a trade-off, especially when you're cooking for someone else, as well. My wife wasn't so impressed with the juiciness of the meat (I was), and she really missed the crispiness of the skin. She prefers her meat well done, and a straight out low temp smoke was just not doing it for her, so I changed it up so that we both got a little more of what we wanted. Experimentation will get you there, my friend.
  5. Dome Temps Revisited

    So if I'm following this, for a low and slow big chunka meat, such as a brisket, I want to set my deflectors as close to the flame as possible and my meat as far up from the deflectors as possible?
  6. Smoke - What You Need to Know

    I had this same issue with spatchcock chickens; loved the smoke, not so much the bite-through skin. My solution was to smoke them initially at 275F for the first 45-60 minutes, then turn it up to close to 400F for the final 15 minutes. Bear in mind that this will make the meat much less moist, but it crisps things up on the outside a bit more.
  7. Dome Temps Revisited

    That's pretty cool; thanks for sharing. I may try this at some future point, but for now, I'm kinda' liking my almost effort-free, $0.75 solution
  8. Dome Temps Revisited

    I just did a small rack of beef ribs, so nothing spectacular or particularly challenging for the first trial. The temp on the Smoke did wander a bit from the dome gauge by as much as 15-20 degrees at times, but the dome gauge stayed constant, so I still liked how this rig performed for me. I did forget that I'd clamped the probe to the post and just tugged it back out when I was done, so I lost the alligator clamp somewhere in the hot coals Have to remember to check next time...
  9. Dome Temps Revisited

    That looks cool, but is this in addition to your factory installed dome temp gauge? I would wonder about how that affects your warranty, if you're modifying the kamado by drilling another hole through the porcelain?
  10. Dome Temps Revisited

    Beef ribs smoking on the Big Joe now... Here's the setup: ...and here's how close the two temps are matching up: I'm likin' the way this works, so far...
  11. Thermoworks Smoke - open box sale

    ...and I'd love to get the new case for the Smoke, but the shipping and taxes are more than the price!
  12. Thermoworks Smoke - open box sale

    I can't believe the price difference between the US and Canada! I paid ~C$175 for mine tax-in! Given my recent experience with Thermoworks customer service (they sent me a free replacement probe based solely on an e-mailed question about some funny temperature readings, and I hadn't requested one!), I would not hesitate to grab any of their products on sale, open box or not. This is a solid company that really backs its products.
  13. Dome Temps Revisited

    I had a similar experience on an overnight brisket cook recently. Woke up to a drip pan (set directly on the deflectors, but about an inche or two under the grate) that was burnt to a crisp and a piece of meat that was done in literally half the time I anticipated (~7.5 hours, instead of 14-18). The meat was done perfectly, just too quickly. The meat probe told me that the brisket had reached the internal temp I wanted, and that's what clued me in on its being done too soon. Note that the bottom of the meat was no more or less done than the rest on this one... More experienced kamado cooks may correct me, but I think these experiences are probably the exception, not the rule. You can't control every possibility on every cook; all you can do is cover the most probable events, and our experiences notwithstanding, I think that the dome and meat temps are the two most important things to monitor on a longer cook. I have successfully fitted my grill probe to my dome temperature gauge with my alligator clip; looking forward to test driving this rig!
  14. Dome Temps Revisited

    100% agreement, SeaBrisket. I gauge all my cooks, whether quick smokes or grills or low and slows, by what the dome temp gauge says. I've just bought an alligator clip to clip my Smoke's grill probe to the inside of the dome (via the dome temp gauge's post), so that it will hopefully track the dome temp, not the grill temp that will almost certainly be 10-70 degrees different. If this works, I'll be rigging it that way for the alarms overnight, as you said. Vive le dome!
  15. Smoke - What You Need to Know

    Great video, John; thanks. It made me think of the first few lessons I learned as a newbie, especially that you don’t have to see smoke to be smoking. When I picture a kamado, I still visualize it giving off that lovely, aromatic smoke, but the reality is that most of the time, you don't see any. Another point that you covered that I find especially relevant is the principle of starting small and working your way up with the amount of wood/smoke you apply. It's similar to the principle of cooking with salt... if you put in too much, it's too late to peel it back. I've got one corollary to your video to suggest, and that is to cook to your audience’s palate, not just your own. You mentioned that your audience never complained at the beginning, but you were convinced now that you were using too much smoke back then. Getting their feedback is important, if you want them to keep coming back. Finally, I have a few topics on which I would love to hear your views: The effect of smoke during cold vs hot smokes (absorption rates on things like cold smoked salmon vs the same salmon cooked at 375F on soapstone) or how much is too much for smoking cheese, etc. Smoking throughout a cook vs. the first few hours. I've read that the first three hours are critical for things like ribs and Boston butts taking on smokiness, and that the last three of a nine hour cook are pretty irrelevant. Would you agree? Mixing woods… If I throw on two chunks of cherry and two chunks of mesquite, and I wasting my cherry, because it'll be overpowered by the stronger mesquite chunks? Thanks again, John. You are one of my go-to sources!