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Everything posted by fbov

  1. I've had no issues keeping "uncured" but smoked and pasteurized bacon for weeks. I've also had a hard time getting bacon to taste "hot" without something hot on the surface. I use a recipe of 1/4 salt, 1/4 pepper and 1/2 sugar. The heat just doesn't seem to penetrate when the other two flavors do. Fortunately, the flavor adds nicely when cooking.
  2. I do it all the time, whenever I want a concentrated fire for a small cook. It's convenient that the rest of the chamber remains cool(er), for 2-level cooking if desired, or a lower-temp bake. I use a heat deflector vertically if I don't want direct cooking on the cool side. Lots of options...
  3. Temperature is like real estate, the three most important factors are location, location and location. Adding cold food always drops your temperature. If your thermometer probe is next to cold food, it's reading the food. Always steer clear of the dome thermometer probe! It's your best true indicator when it's only reading the air inside. Then add a dose of patience. Give it time to recover. I do not change settings often now that I know my grill. But I also have a control strategy.... I like remote, multi-probe thermometers. I put one on the grate next to the food, and the other in the exit vent. I control temperatures based on the exit vent reading, and watch the grate reading rise as the food cooks. Trust the Joe. Frank
  4. A lot of us would have a Kamodo Kamado if we could. Many of us do. The rest yearn.
  5. You really think Halethorpe, Bushnell's Basin or Prunedale give folks any hint?
  6. I'll suggest going to an Asian market. They should have a variety to choose from. Mine was $20 for carbon steel, 18-20" as I have a Big Joe. Plus, they'll have utensils that fit. I use it on the "star" rack, so it's closer to the fire than the grates. Frank
  7. Classic I for sure... too small for BJ, and wrong hinge - no cam. It's in great shape, too! You have the old firebox. When the ring breaks, you'll have a warranty claim. Don't rush; the petal firebox is problematic for new owners because the metal ring that holds the petals together warps.
  8. That's expected when adding a large mass of cold food near the probe. Patience is the first lesson. There's no problem as long as temperature starts to recover when you close it. You might not make 430F again before the food's ready. Food insensitivity is one reason I always use an exit vent probe.
  9. Nope. In both cases, make sure it's all ashed over a bit (i.e. mature) before you dump. Otherwise there's no advantage!
  10. FWIW, my son gave me this for Christmas, and we've only used it once, for wings and ribs. The big difference I saw was temperature uniformity - both grate and exit-vent probes read the same as the dome thermometer. I attribute that to improved air flow, and just with the extension rack fit! Frank
  11. Welcome to the forum, and rest assured, we all learn this the hard way. This helped me a lot. Stages of Fire - start: wood is surrounded by flame from the starter - growing: wood starts to outgas and burn without external flame - mature: wood fully engaged in stable, high temperature burning - dying: fuel runs out so temperatures drop The advice is only cook on a mature fire. @Golf Griller got it right out of the box. You need 1000-1500F in the coals to complete combustion of things that taste bad. Once I understood, I changed my process. I always use a chimney starter, wait for flames shooting out the top (maturity), and then dump on top of the fuel so it's the "peak" of the volcano, and the fire burns down. As new wood catches, the gas goes through the hot fire and completely burns. No issues in a Big Joe settling at 225F. I am often cooking in 15-20 minutes, albeit before reaching target temperatures. Big Joes don't heat (or cool) quickly, but the smoke gets sweet right away. HAve fun, Frank
  12. and put the pizza stone on the extension grate, so it's even higher, for better top browning.
  13. I bet the grate probe is getting heat from the deflectors, while the dome probe is reading closer to air temperature. Put a probe in the exit vent for the hottest spot not near fire. All can be correct without agreeing. Frank
  14. Yes! But in an Akorn, with a loose lower vent. Bayou Classic looks like a very nice Kamado. I upgraded to a Big Joe, and found I could kill the fire by closing only the lower vent - no leaks there! Can you kill the fire without closing the top vent? If so, you just need to be more aggressive with vent settings. If not, I'd talk to Bayou Classic. I've found I can maintain 225F at the grate, 250F at the top vent using only the lower vent. The problem is that it doesn't let in enough air to get a smoke ring. I now leave a few millimeters of gap at the bottom and fine tune with the top vent. One enabler is to use larger chunks of charcoal. It burns a long time, and a little cooler due to the lower surface area of large pieces. I break down brands like KJ Big Block to fist-size pieces because BB is too big! HAve fun, Frank PS smoke roasting at 300F is a great technique, too.
  15. You can get crispy skin with wet brine, just not at 250F. Dry the bird, give it a good 30 min. rest, butter the skin and give it 30 min. at 450-500F, or until you like the color. I'm a great fan of America's Test Kitchen, who just did their 2-turkey Thanksgiving cook, in pieces. I've quoted their breast skin browning recommendation; I'm not a skin lover.
  16. Dry brining a pre-brined turkey can be problematic for the reasons listed. Wet brining gets around those issues, because it allows 2-way passage in and out of the meat. Yes, the brine brings salt into the meat, but salt is also leaching out of the meat, along with whatever other chemistry the turkey contains. A 24 hr. wet brine ends up with a salt level determined by your brine recipe, as long as the brine greatly outweighs the meat. So, I use pure water with salt, pepper corns and spices in a brine that's 2-3x more massive than the bird, regardless the prior seasoning, and leave it for a day. I've been doing this with turkey breast for many years. (All breast products are pre-injected.) The other secret to great turkey is undercooking it for a long time. I cook to "time above 150F." The FDA wants ~20 minutes at 150F, so I give it an hour or two at 150F+ by removing to a cooler at 155F internal and allowing it to continue cooking as it cools. Foil and towels are involved. You don't get crispy skin.... Frank
  17. I try to temp the thickest point, but you can miss, so I backup the remote probe thermometer with an instant-read. Thermoworks products have served me well (ThermoPop, and a pair of Smoke remotes).
  18. Splitting is a good idea, even though I've never tried it. If the flat gets thin, add a thin foil wrap, to slow cooking. Regular mopping is a good alternative. My action points are ~170F for foil wrap and "no more than 205F" as "done." I put in the cooler ASAP to maximize time above 190F. I always use a water pan. While many meats always turn out great, brisket can be tough (undercooked) or dry (overcooked). My mistakes have come cooking lower than 225-250F - too slow, so it dries by the time it's done. And I've repeated those mistakes over the years...learning must be continuous if it's to keep up with forgetfulness. Frank
  19. No. 1 on my list. Nothing else lets you walk away... Strongly recommend Thermoworks products. Every cook needs an instant read thermometer, but they're less useful than remotes because you have to open the lid.
  20. Agreed. Especially if your family only wants white meat...
  21. It's not. There are two consistent hot spots, even cooking low-n-slow. - perimeter of the heat deflectors, where hot air from the fire is rising - area of heat deflector that's right above a hot spot in the fire. The former can be mitigated by awareness, and regular re-arrangement of food so everything cooks equally. I always cut rib racks in half because it's the only way to get the ends away from the perimeter. The latter can be mitigated by putting a water pan over the hot spot. Without water in your drip pan, there's still a hot spot. Frank
  22. This is the important lesson: it's hard to screw up the flavor. Keep trying things! There's very little downside. Frank, who pasteurized 2 slabs of bacon and cooked 2 racks of ribs this afternoon. Great tool, these.
  23. First off, I misspoke; I'm not "dry aging" so much as I'm "dry brining." I currently have a pair of sirloin cap roasts, aka culotte, salted and drying in the fridge for ~27 hrs. now. This had s become tender cut SOP.... I traditionally had seasoned brisket the day before, and bagged it air tight. Last time, I salted it a day early and let it sit open in the fridge for a couple days. Came out great, and cooked fast. Second time, I used too much salt and gave it too much time and got something more like pastrami than brisket... but it cooked fast. Next time.... it's just that we're eating sirloin these days! Frank
  24. fbov

    NO Teflon!!

    And I wasn't trying to put you in that position... my apologies. Like any tool Teflon has its place, and can be used safely... or not. Frankly, I was unaware of the issue before running across the grease MSDS. Frank
  25. But it's easier if you only go to 850F. Remember, this is a target temp you're going to try and hold while the stone and lid warm up. Be happy if it recovers to 800F between pies. And you really need to do this to get the proper balance of top-to-bottom browning. Otherwise, a pizza oven may serve you better. Frank
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