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Everything posted by fbov

  1. I'd bend it so it closes... but pics help!! Frank
  2. One thing to consider is that the chart applies when you can be absolutely sure of meat temperature. No matter how hard you try, you'll never get the thermometer probe in the exact coolest spot, you'll just be close. That means you need to achieve these temps after some rest period, to insure all the meat has exceeded the threshold temperature for the required time. Smoking turkey breast, I find about 155F max comes out very good, giving about an hour over 150F. Very safe. Now, cooking at higher temps is harder to time, but the same idea applies, and you'll like the skin. I like do turkey skin. Have fun, Frank
  3. Part of getting the ideal pie is the balance of crisp crust to browned toppings. Perhaps a larger pie cooking longer at a lower temperature is a better balance? You might find the fire lasts longer, too. You can do temp control with either top of bottom vent, and leave the other end fully open if you'd like. Pizza is one of the few times I'd consider removing the top vent; it can be annoying when the top vent flops open or closed every time you open the lid. Have fun, Frank
  4. First off, I've done Tipo 00 side-by-side with King Arthur bread flour and seen no difference in cooking at the same hydration. Second, your temps are right where I cook, except that I preheat to ~850F, and end up cooking in the 750-800F range. That may be the key; you started low and didn't heat soak long enough at your target temp. I want 30 min. at 750F+. Along those lines, that may also mean you cooked with a building fire, while I cook on a peaking-to-dying fire, 3 pies, max. Yeah, your stone was probably too hot... And @Jose Andres Zapata has a point regarding dough mass. My experience is with 280g doughs. Have fun, Frank
  5. I have a KJ, and the accessory (star) rack worked well to hold the wok about where yours is, but absent brake rotor. Frank
  6. That depends on the brine recipe. The concentrate created by dissolving salt and sugar in hot water should have a long shelf life due to the high salinity. If the brine ingredients contain "things that go bad," then I'd let them drive shelf life. Unpasteurized cider will go hard, for example, unless that's the brine you're looking for. Have fun, Frank
  7. And that's the back leg. The grate is D-shape, to clear the dome thermometer. Flat to the front. Frank
  8. Good deal, especially on a II, as long as the warranty is valid. Frank
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. 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
  22. Scrape it off with a spatula. I have two "cookie spatulas" that I use like you'd use a scraper on wood - perpendicular to the surface. The edge is perfectly straight, so you just knock things off the surface without digging in. I clean soapstone the same way, without marring the surface. Frank
  23. +1 on the cover. You've already got most of the stuff new owners would want/need, so you're asking about KJ-specific accessories. Given you have a Primo, get the accessories that you use on it, so you can do the same sorts of cooks on the KJ. My first orders were an ash basket and expansion rack, both used when making pizza. The ash basket gives superior air flow and the expansion rack gets the pizza stone nice and high in the dome, for top browning. I also have need for the capacity, although I will never do another 45 lb. brisket cook, intentionally. And I've found the ash basket's airflow is a disadvantage in low-n-slow cooks. Have fun, Frank
  24. It depends what you plan to do... - Sliced and stored in its own juice serves very well. Great option for group service. - Whole/chunked in a sous vide bag lets you serve it like it just finished resting. Regardless, I always warm brisket. At room temperature, the juice is still gelatinized in the meat fibers. HAve fun, Frank
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