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Everything posted by SeaBrisket

  1. Going bigger or smaller than my KJ has been part of my debate.
  2. @K_sqrd I love the look of those Lodge hibachis but it must be awful to clean, yeah?
  3. For those of you who are not collectors but wanted a little flexibility along with their kamado, what's your second grill? Looking for thoughts on charcoal grills as I already tossed the gasser when I lost all desire to use it. I've got the KJ Classic and am considering options ranging from a used Jr to a Smokey Joe or larger Weber kettle. Not looking for pictures of your third grill or your twelfth, just ideas on a little expanded grill space for cooking at different temps or when hosting.
  4. I did two 9lb butts a few months ago on my Classic and they cooked in the time I'd expect for one. I made sure there was space between them.
  5. A temperature probe will generally read 225 from the heat of the fire before the cooker ceramic has actually warmed up and this may be your issue. If your fan stokes the fire up high enough so the probe reads 225 but the ceramic is cold then your fire may be too big for an actual 225 cook once heat sinks into the ceramic, which itself becomes a heat source for the cook. Once the ceramic gets hot and you have too big of a fire for your target temp you'll lose control of your temperature as the ceramic continues to heat from the too-large fire.
  6. Is it slow to shut down when you close the vents? I think that'd be the best indication of a leak you need to worry about.
  7. I'm only one cook in with mine, but the open lid detection worked fine. Edit: you will need to run the firm ware update to get the feature.
  8. Cook to a perfect medium rare and I promise she'll love it. Overcook just a bit, and it doesn't take much, it dries out real quick. I've done two boneless legs and the first was one of the best things to come off my grill. After drying out the second one I'm nervous to try another one for fear of ruining it. I used Malcolm Reed's recipe.
  9. It's tough, isn't it? Smoke is great at what it does, but I bought it as an upgrade to the Maverick thinking I would pick up the Gateway when it went on sale. I just wanted something on my wireless network that wouldn't be disconnecting in the middle of the night waking me up with frequent disconnect alarms, and something that would graph my cook so I wouldn't have to log manually. I had no plan to get a controller. As soon as Billows came out and I saw it was incompatible I suddenly wanted a controller. I ditched the Gateway idea and that's left me with just a Smoke that has the same functionality as the Maverick I already had.
  10. @John Setzler If I let people in BBQ groups spend my money I'd be broke :) I have to admit you're right though.
  11. I went from denial to curiosity about something I felt I didn't need nor could afford, to realizing I'd have one eventually, and finally to running across a used Signals with Billows that I couldn't pass up. Truth is, from the time I bought a Smoke and just a few weeks later Thermoworks debuted the incompatible Billows I knew I'd be investing in one as soon as the burn wore off. Yesterday I threw on a rack of ribs for a nice 6 hour cook and, wow, I'm so glad I went forward with it. No question that everybody should learn how to drive manual first. While tending the fire is half the pleasure I get from grilling, after three and a half years of monitoring a beeping receiver while doing yardwork during a cook and restless sleep during overnights, using a controller proved to be a game changer. On a blustery, windy day that would normally send my temperatures up and down over the course of hours, I typed 250 into my app and let it roll on its steady course. Midway through I flipped the rack, typed in 225 and let the fan figure it out. It performed flawlessly. This isn't meant as a review of my setup but rather a strong endorsement of controllers generally for the fence sitters. As for Billows, I have few complaints. I trust Thermoworks' quality from experience and believe it will last me years to come. Functionally, it was perfect. I wish the app we're more fully featured but that hopefully comes with further development in time. I wish the fan could be powered by a cheap 5V power bank instead of running an extension cord across my deck or having to invest in a 12V bank I have no other use for. These are small considerations for something that performed as impressively as it did.
  12. After writing that I checked my email and the ThermaPop is on open box sale for $25. I haven't used one but I've read great reviews.
  13. If you're planning your budget, an instant read is the better first purchase. I use mine for nearly every cook and it gets as much use in the indoor kitchen as the outdoor. I have the Thermapen MK4 and it's built to last but pricey. You can sign up for their emails and jump on their occasional open box sale for the best price, or just wait on their more frequent 20 or 25% sales. If it were available when I was buying I might have looked into the IR model with infrared but I haven't read the reviews. My leave in probes are basically expensive alarms for slow and low unattended cooking and I still use my instant read there for monitoring the finishing temp as it's better than the leave in for probing several spots. I wouldn't do an overnight cook without one as it alerts me to any major temperature swings while I sleep, but that's maybe 3-4 uses per year. The big upgrade to that is a temp controller, which I've just purchased after 3 years of denying I wanted one. I'm glad I learned to control my grill before relying on a controller but I'm looking forward to more restful nights with it, and after doing a test run I might make more use of my leave in now that it controls the grill. If you want to learn from my mistakes and don't want to spend all that money up front, get a leave in unit that can later be upgraded to a controller, like Signals where you can later add a fan. Or just wait on the purchase altogether and take time figuring out what will be the best investment. All of these controllers have popped up in just a few years with more and more features. $300-400 is a lot to spend on a quickly advancing technology and you might not know your needs yet. I bought my Signals and Billows used at half the price of new which makes me feel somewhat better about going through two other leave in devices before making that leap. Some people love the latest and greatest but I prefer to buy once.
  14. Looks great to me. No need for a water pan, it just creates a heat sink. I use a drip pan with a layer of kosher salt to minimize burning drippings. I gave away my last bag of mesquite. It unsettles my stomach. You can be generous with milder woods like oak or pecan. Chop up the dry ends, freeze them with a little beef broth and they'll be great on nachos when you want to use them.
  15. I broke down and got myself a Signals with Billows so the Smoke has got to go. It's less than a year old, has been used but it's in great shape and well cared for. Includes all parts, the original air and meat probes, along with the silicone receiver stand and zipper case that are additional purchases. The color is orange. I'd like to get $60 + shipping or meet up locally near Seattle. Smoke Stand Case
  16. Only remembered the before pictures. Smoked fatties and ATBs stuffed with Mr. Setzler's pimento cheese.
  17. It came out very good. I think I could have been more patient to get it hotter for a better sear but the inside was cooked nicely.
  18. I've made a couple of good steaks in my life but it's hit or miss. I think a lot of my failure comes from not wanting to invest in anything too good for fear of ruining it so I've mostly used thin, inexpensive cuts. I've been very successful with thicker cuts. Tonight I'll be cooking up a 2" "Delmonico” which is apparently not a specific cut but rather a way of cutting a thick steak. Anyway, my question is about two pieces of steak advice that seem to conflict. First, sear it as hot as you can possibly get your grill. Second, use an oil, preferably butter. I'll be searing on the cast iron griddle, flat side, and I can get it raging hot. I have two high temp oils available to use, avocado or ghee. I'd rather use the ghee for flavor. But while I can get my grill going at 600°+ for the sear, the smoke point of these oils is well below that. Don't I want to keep my temp under the smoke point? Is that not a concern?
  19. You got me curious so I googled it. Yes, it's just a chimney starter placed in the center of the bowl. Should be similar in function to the Vortex I'd think.
  20. For 15 lbs it would take about 7-8 hours, not days.
  21. Cooler full of water and change the water every half hour. Should take a half hour per pound to thaw. Keep the water temp under 40 F and you'll be safe. Time it to get it on the grill soon after it's thawed.
  22. I've been trying to give away my old stand for two years. In the meantime I set my charcoal bag on it when I'm loading up and the only other purpose it serves is to annoy my wife with it's presence Nice trolley!
  23. I'm thinking that the liquid solution in the vacuum pack is just the moisture from the meat rather than some kind of brine and that the "air dried" butts are just removed from the same packaging possibly trimmed up a bit, maybe tied, and set out in the case for display purposes and convenience. My butcher removes the bone on a few 6lb cuts, trims and ties for display and although I would prefer to have the bone in and can request it that way, I like having a butt ready to go that I don't need to fuss with so I usually buy those. They are, however, plastic wrapped unlike what you describe. I'm guessing your butcher just doesn't see a needed for rewrapping but that it isn't an aging technique.
  24. That cut pattern they are showing on Amazon is the same as I've ever seen. I see the one on the KJ site is showing a different diagonal slot pattern but I think that must be a new design as it's the first time I've seen it. I don't know what to make of the aftermarket statement though. Personally, I do my best to avoid Amazon and would go with Atlanta Grill or another trusted source.
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