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Everything posted by fbov

  1. 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
  2. A lot of us would have a Kamodo Kamado if we could. Many of us do. The rest yearn.
  3. You really think Halethorpe, Bushnell's Basin or Prunedale give folks any hint?
  4. 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
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Nope. In both cases, make sure it's all ashed over a bit (i.e. mature) before you dump. Otherwise there's no advantage!
  8. 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
  9. 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.
  10. and put the pizza stone on the extension grate, so it's even higher, for better top browning.
  11. 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
  12. 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 to
  13. 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.
  14. 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 seasonin
  15. 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).
  16. 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
  17. 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.
  18. Agreed. Especially if your family only wants white meat...
  19. 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
  20. 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.
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. 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
  24. Size matters.... KJ Biog Block is a little too big in my opinion. I break the largest down to fist-sized. At this size, it's ideal for all but the hottest fire. Whenever setting up a long cook, I try to start with a layer of larger pieces on the bottom, to insure good fire ventilation as it burns down. I then use smaller-sized brands above it without noticing. And yes, vent settings can change, especially if you have a lot of big pieces, with low surface area, so they burn slowly. One of the truisms of Kamado cooking. The food usually turns out better th
  25. Use more fuel, but also get briquettes going quick because the ash will eventually get in the way. I used them in the 2-barrel and it would clog with ash by the time I'd finished a ~20lb. bag. Had I only known then, what Kamados have taught about fire. Frank
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