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Everything posted by pmillen

  1. I initially thought that you were either kidding or were suggesting that I eliminate the smoke. But then, after reading just4fn's post...hey, a pretty good suggestion.
  2. "Is there solid evidence that wood varieties impart distinctive taste to the finished product? I’m thinking in terms of a blind test." (Emphasis new.) So far we have opinions, no solid evidence. I think it would be fun to smoke something like chicken breasts with several wood varieties and ask experts to identify them. We would need a separate kamado for each variety.
  3. I have a Rock's Stoker that I use as a temperature controller on a drum smoker and my KJ. I also use it to monitor cooks on my pellet pit. It was slightly difficult for me to install but I quickly grew to love it. It connects to my personal WiFi and provides remote real-time monitoring, control and graphing. It's the only one I've used so I can't make any comparisons for you. I bought it a few years ago after making careful comparisons to various models, but almost all offerings have changed since then. I use it with Windows and MacOS. It's probably compatible with others.
  4. Is there solid evidence that wood varieties impart distinctive taste to the finished product? I’m thinking in terms of a blind test. I ask because on my original Bradley smoker, drum smoker and pellet smoker, the type of wood I burned makes a significant difference in the smoke’s smell but no discernable difference in the finished product’s taste. Mesquite may be the exception, but I never use it. I almost always burn hickory because my neighbors and I like the smell.
  5. I agree. I've been cooking at rather low temperatures for years with an original Bradley with Auber PID, a pellet smoker and sous vide. But when I ask for advice and receive replies that I don't agree with, I rarely challenge them. After all...I asked. I just acquired my KJ and have little experience with low temperature charcoal cooks. My charcoal experience has been at higher temperatures in a drum smoker and the ubiquitous Weber kettle.
  6. If you have 110V power where you're camping you might consider a controller, e.g., Rock's Stoker, BBQ Guru or such.
  7. Thanks. Understood. I want to get a few hours of smoke on some items that will then be cooked elsewhere, e.g., sous vide or stovetop. But I want to avoid foul smoke.
  8. Pork just out of the pit. Pulled pork. We’re not bark fans. To us, after 12 hours in the KJ, it’s just dry surface meat that has had all of the water boiled out of it. We think it’s tough and it isn’t as desirable as seasoned and browned pork. Given that I want to reduce or even eliminate the bark, how should I cook the next butt for pulled pork? I’m thinking that after three hours I’ll put it in a pan with apple juice and cover it tightly with foil. Is that a good plan? Is there a better one?
  9. How Low Can You Go? Limbo Rock Chubby Checker, 1962 I’m really asking about kamado temperatures. Is the smoke at 170°-175°F bitter? I can use my Rock’s Stoker to control the airflow for amazingly precise temperatures. So—is it advisable to extend cooking time by significantly lowering my KJ temperature?
  10. [] A great grate lifter. (See what I did there? I crack me up.) It works fine on my Kamado Joe grates. About $20 at my favorite BBQ store. It doesn't look as though I had to pay the typical BGE surcharge.
  11. Even after brining, if you put chicken or turkey in the refrigerator on a rack for one to three days the skin (not the flesh) will dry and crisp when cooked.
  12. Be cautious when considering cooking with heating pellets. This subject is repeatedly discussed on pellet pit forums. The essence is—there's no certifying body but cooking pellets are understood to be made from hardwood. While heating pellets may contain softwoods like fir, treated lumber, or paint, varnish and such from salvaged lumber. Smoke from other than hardwood may be hazardous on food. A manufacturer may assure you that their heating pellets are safe for cooking but they may change their procedures or suppliers the next day.
  13. Thanks for the prompt reply, CentralTex. I should have made something more clear—since the book is from Weber, it only focuses on grilling. Smoking temperatures aren't considered. I appreciate your reasons for disregarding recipe specificity. But...consider your ample experience versus another reader. I can use all of the help available. That's one of the reasons why I am attentive to John Setzler's comprehensive instructions. Think what might happen if your automobile's manual said, "Change the engine oil when appropriate." All of that aside, I truly appreciate your help.
  14. I’m a bit annoyed by vague recipes. Instructions like “Add some oregano” or “Add your preferred amount of garlic” are meaningless the first time I follow a given recipe. Moreover, charcoal cooking temperatures, like medium-high, are especially worthless to me. I know, I know, some of you will say, “Just cook it to the proper internal temperature irrespective of the heat.” I do, but grill heat plays an important role in meat texture and Maillard reaction production. So, since a medium temperature on my Kamado Joe is significantly different from the medium temperature attainable on my two-burner hibachi, I set about trying to determine if there’s an actual temperature consensus among professional cooks. The first (and only) cookbook I reviewed is a collection of other authors’ recipes, Weber’s Greatest Hits, by Jamie Purviance. He doesn’t differentiate between grate temperature and dome temperature, but his definitions appear to be– High............ 450° to 550° Med-High.... 400° to 500° Med............. 350° to 450° Low............. 250° to 350° So, what temperature do you use when you read Low, Medium or High? And do you measure at the grate or dome? BTW, I prefer grate temperature since I consider dome thermometers to be unreliable, and even if accurate, don’t tell me much about the heat surrounding the meat.
  15. Well I'lllll be! (Gomer Pyle) I quickly scrolled past that photograph to get to the text. Dumb me!
  16. I picked up a couple at Costco, but they seem too thin for grilling (½ inch). I'll cook these SV and sear. Any suggestions on the SV process? Temp, seasoning when vacuum sealing, time and like that? My butcher says he will cut them to my preferred thickness. What thickness should I order?
  17. pmillen

    Cooking grate

    Are you referring to the cast iron grate? If so, many grills are equipped with only CI grates and everything cooked on that grill is cooked on the CI. But—CI is famous for its ability to hold heat and make excellent grill marks so most of us think of steak cooking.
  18. I have an old ThermoWorks. It's accurate and easy to use, even when adjusting emissivity. If you're wanting to measure the temperature of a surface, use a Surface Thermapen. It works better than IR.
  19. I have the Rock's Stoker. I love it, but it can be kind of a pain to set up. It sends real time temperature graphs to my computer. I save them with annotated notes in my cooking diary.
  20. I often grill chicken-only shish kebabs next to vegetable-only ones. They are seasoned differently but cook at the same temperature. Is there a way to put a partition inside the drum so that the chicken and vegetables don't mix seasonings and can be added or removed separately?
  21. I often grill chicken-only shish kebabs next to vegetable-only ones. They are seasoned differently but cook at the same temperature. Is there a way to put a partition inside so that the chicken and vegetables don't mix seasonings?
  22. I suspect that what we call seasoning is oil coke. It burns. I've had seasoning burn off of cast iron grates heated really hot over charcoal so I'm in agreement with the OP. It's no longer an issue with me because I quit getting the grates and griddle screaming hot, since I much prefer a Maillard reaction browning to a black searing. Black searing is just burning the meat. From Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking by Nathan Myhrvold, Chris Young and Maxime Bilet. "You might think that raising the temperature even higher [above 300°F] would enhance the Maillard reaction. It does up to a point, but above 180 °C / 355 °F a different set of reactions occur: pyrolysis, also known as burning. People typically like foods a little charred, but with too much pyrolysis comes bitterness. The black compounds that pyrolysis creates also may be carcinogenic, so go easy on charring your foods for visual appeal."
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