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fbov last won the day on April 18

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    Bushnell's Basin, NY
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    Kamado Joe

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  1. And that's the back leg. The grate is D-shape, to clear the dome thermometer. Flat to the front. Frank
  2. Good deal, especially on a II, as long as the warranty is valid. Frank
  3. While I wouldn't call them duds, I have have a lot of variability in my smoke rings in the time since I came to Kamados. I believe it has to do with air flow, because the leaky old stick burner had a great smoke ring. As you've learned, the ring isn't from smoke but rather chemical reactions with partial combustion products, CO and NO, up to the stall exit temperature, around 175F internal. As such, I've found I can eliminate the smoke ring if I make the fire too efficient. I can do this by using all modest-size fuel and an ash basket, for good airflow, leave the top vent fairly open and control temperature using only the lower vent, so the fire is oxygen-starved. Just cooked a beef roast, and got a great smoke ring. No ash basket, lots of old fuel with big chunks down to powder, that was given a good stir to clear most of the ash through the grate. Some new fuel, but the previous fire left a lot of big chunks. The point is that it's densely packed, so not optimum air flow. I then set the bottom vent for coarse temp control, about 3mm yesterday, and use the top for fine adjust... But with a water pan to help temperature stabilize. Steam from the water forms a negative feedback loop with back-pressure from the top vent setting that stabilizes the fire. A hotter fire makes more steam, which displaces intake air (at 1700:1) available to the fire. When the fire cools, there's less steam, so more air is available. A lot of the "smoke" out the top is water vapor. And, moisture carries smoke flavor out of the air onto the meat, so there's not much downside. Play around more and find your sweet spot... maybe the controller is only needed from the stall, forward? My briskets get to the stall at the 2-3 hr. point of an 18-24 hr. cook. Have fun, Frank
  4. You're thinking like a steakhouse, serving fine cuts of meat. Think like a smoker, and look at less-than-fine cuts of meat. My favorite cut of beef for smoking is London Broil. It's not the most tender, even when cut thin, across the grain, but it is among the most flavorful. I've done it for groups many times and never had leftovers. My favorite day-of group cook. It just needs a little garlic pepper... Election Day (Go Vote) gets me out, and the rain is clearing so I think this is getting me beef shopping. Have fun, Frank
  5. Without seeing, I can't say anything, except... This is normal in my use of thermometers. But there's a reason... I try to put one probe in the coldest spot, and one in the hottest spot under the dome, so I know what sort of range of temps exist, and because the hot-cold difference is useful in controlling the dome temperature. The only time everything reads close is the end of a long cook. The dome thermometer rules the cook, the remote probes serve to control it. Have fun, Frank
  6. One Thanksgiving, I cooked 2 turkeys, one on the smoker, the other in the oven. Their similarity upon serving convinced me that brining was more important than how I cooked them. And I will brine birds that "already have brine," as @gander2112 did, because it dilutes whatever chemistry is in the factory brine and equilibrates at the salt/sugar levels I specify. The other secret is that with a low-n-slow approach, you don't need to overcook it. I use 155F in the breast as a target, and let carryover take it up close to 160F, but the food safety comes from over an hour above 150F. Have fun, Frank
  7. Likely to be Choice. Did you see "Cargill" on the packaging? The idea of a "packer" brisket is one packaged at the meat packer, in the case of my local Walmart, Cargill. You're close enough to me that we likely draw from the same Walmart distribution stream. The USDA rating would have been in the fine print on the packaging, not on a paper pricing label. This is what I usually to buy, about $50 for a 16 lb. I do 2 a year for a non-profit's picnic, so the price is right. Choice is a good match to barbecue cooking methods, designed for the toughest parts of the animal. You can get excellent results with it. HAve fun, Frank
  8. Do you have a Walmart with a food store nearby? In upstate NY, they carry packer briskets. There are advantages to seeing before buying. And Welcome to the forum, you 4-poster you. HAve fun, post pics. Frank
  9. I was afraid I'd recognize that shot... note that the expansion grate is installed backwards in the photo. It's D-shaped, with the flat side (you don't see in the pic) aimed at the dome thermometer so there's plenty of clearance. Also note that I'm using the "star" rack for the heat deflectors, so they're at lower-grill level, above the deflector ring. And there's an ash basket in there, so airflow can access all the fuel, but that's not critical to high temp cooking. You'll find a combination that works for you... HAve fun, Frank
  10. Yup. I was lucky to travel occasionally when I was employed, and one trip took me to Columbia NC. For lunch, the service team took us to B's. Dirt parking lot with a walk-up window on one side and a few tables inside. They had this stuff on the table. It's become part of every pork butt I've pulled since. As Johnny notes, it's just to moisten; the sauce should disappear. It's a cook's secret up North here, no matter how much I sing its praises. Damn, that has me feeling like a sandwich... HAve fun, Frank
  11. fbov

    Lifting BigJoe2

    Look at how a refrigerator mover or piano mover uses a strap to lift. We used an automotive tow strap, crossed under the bottom of the Kamado, and hooked behind the table brackets so they didn't shift. It let us use our upper arms to lift, and hands free to steady things. You'll want a third person to move the cart, as it's not easy to carry. Best of luck, Frank
  12. Sometimes, it's not about area, it's about diameter. A second 18 will let you cook twice the burgers, but you still can't fit a packer brisket because they're over 20" long. It all depends on what you want to cook. I have fit 45 lb. of meat in a BJ I... I won't do it again, but that's another story! Plus, it gives you the Goldilocks set, Papa, Mama and Baby Bear. HAve fun, Frank
  13. It sounds like you've got a process that works; what problem are you trying to solve? Yes, you can burn meat if the stone is too hot. I do short contact time (~1 min.) to control how much sear I get. More a flip-and-turn than a turn-flip-turn. I have found heat that browns well in 1 minute can burn in 2. But then, I put the stone in the lower position of a 2-level rack, normally over a half-bowl fire so I have a hot-side/cool-side. Have fun, Frank
  14. The choice is an 18" or a 24" grate. What's not obvious is that you really don't want to cover the grate with food; it messes with air flow and gives you hot spots. There's no downside to small food on a large grate, especially with KJ's divided fire bowl. Have fun, Frank
  15. What's under the meat? The fix may be as simple as a water pan. I use remote thermometer probes, centered on the grate and in the exit vent. I see differences in the readings depending on what's under the grate probe: nothing (highest), a drip pan and a water pan (lowest). It's possible the bottom of your brisket is cooking faster due to radiational heating from the heat deflector. Put a water pan underneath and it's never hotter than 212F under the meat. Try it. Have fun, Frank
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