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Ogopogo

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location:
    Saint Paul
  • Interests
    Yes
  • Grill
    Akorn

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  1. I tried a chimney recently for high heat cooks but found it didn't heat anything up any faster than one or two 91% alcohol cotton balls and created more ash/sparks depending on what tinder I use. Also seems to waste more fuel on the way to getting up to temp. The only thing I might try with it is searing steaks a la Guga Foods.
  2. I've been trying to nail jerk chicken for a couple months but could never get the flavor I remembered from Jamaican places in NYC. After a few less-than-inspiring attempts with homemade jerk I asked some Jamaican folks and they all said, "Go get some Walkerswood. It's what we do." Walkerswood by itself was pretty good but still lacking in pop and acidity. Then I saw this video and started working on a blend, which I finally have at a place where I'd serve it to another human being without feeling embarassed. Unfortunately I don't measure a lot so this is how it goes from memory. CH
  3. It's Western Post Oak chunks. Not sure how long it will take during a pandemic but it was by far the most cost-effective option for me. https://www.acehardware.com/departments/outdoor-living/grills-and-smokers/smoking-chips-and-chunks/8395881
  4. Apple and hickory chunks I can find almost anywhere. Oak I order at my local Ace, pick up at the store to save on shipping.
  5. You may be putting in the cooler too hot. If you, for instance, paper-wrap and pull around 200 and immediately foil, towel, and cooler, it's going to keep cooking due to carryover. If you leave it on the counter for say 10 minutes, or however long it takes to drop to around 180 or so, you'll stop the cooking process. Commercial warmers keep meat at 140 for extended periods which really helps juice redistribution. FWIW I've never had to use a water pan or similar on a kamado with primes; all it does it mess up my bark. I don't know what else it could be. You could try co
  6. Safety wise you're fine. The danger zone for meats is 40-140F. I had a brisket dip to 180 overnight once and the worst thing about it was that 180 is below boiling so there was a lot of water on the surface. I got a lot of steam once I opened it up to 275 but I saved the bark.
  7. Costco around here normally does prime packers at 3.29-3.99/lb. It's the only reason I still have a Costco membership. The only options I've found around me have been member shops like Costco/Sam's.Restaurant Depot (these have been my best bet), specialty butchers (way expensive), or Asian markets (gotten some real shoe leather-toughness meat sometimes). I'd strongly practicing up before jumping in with a packer. A brisket was my first "big" kamado cook but I would have utterly failed had I not done a lot of practice burns and a lot of short cooks first.
  8. I've seen this video before and like it. Yeah, brining is for simple seasoning and preserving moisture. Marinating changes the character of what you get from the maillard reaction. There's a lot of crap about marinating not doing anything because it doesn't magically transport pieces of onion and sage directly into the center of a 2" steak. I think anyone who doesn't think marinating does anything should be forced to take a class in jerk cooking.
  9. I'm not saying this cook is any good, but I'm happy something like this exists and was aired on TV.
  10. FWIW it's not necessary to do briskets at 225; actually, lots of posters on here prefer 275, which is just before you get into hot & fast. I like to shoot for 250, with the idea that I don't care about temp changes from 225-275. On the Akorn in particular, it's harder to hold 225 without some modification just because it's much more efficient than most kamados and so the tiny fire required for 225 has a tendency to die out. The counterbalance to this is that you'll use way less charcoal. My last brisket took about 16 hours to finish, started with a full box of Kamado Joe XL Big
  11. I haven't done a pork butt yet on my Akorn (just seem to prefer brisket these past few years) but I used to rub as heavily as possible, sometimes marinating the butt pre-rub in fruit juice, and cook it the whole time in a pan with a wire rack to keep it out of the liquid. After pulling, I sat the butt to rest/cool and separated the fat out of the pan liquid to discard. Then I put the butt back into the pan without the rack and pulled it there, added any extra rub I might have left over, then put it back on the smoker covered tight in foil to steam in the jus for 30m or so, like a burnt ends pr
  12. The actual Akorn gaskets are great, probably the best thing on them from a design standpoint. Pinch them around to puff them up a bit and look for spots where the metal pins might have come out of the housing, causing a leak. I never had to do any actual mods on my Akorn for leaking until I burnt out the top O-ring a couple of times and just sealed it up with RTV. Mostly the Akorn is just a bitch to control compared to ceramics. You'll definitely learn a lot about laying a proper fire and fine vent setting. Meantime for initial sealing, my favorite mod is to cook a whole lot of gre
  13. So I picked up some cheap ($2.99/lb) corned points at the supermarket, figuring I'd like to try to turn it into pastrami. I know the last stage at a lot of great delis I used to frequent is steaming. Now I know the kamado is a moist environment and I never use water in my drip pan for regular briskets as it just mushes up the bark, but what's the best way to finish a pastrami? Foil wrap after the crust sets? Add water to the pan to turn the chamber into a steamer? Some combination? Or is it totally unnecessary? FWIW my plan is to desalinate the point (they're only around 3 lbs each
  14. I don't know, but a similar thing happens at the end of cooks. My only guess is that as the meat gets hot and the exhaust heats, it's tricking the TTT into thinking the ambient temp is hotter as well so it opens up to maintain a temp difference. Maybe it's the amount of steam in the exhaust since the stall started about when the alarm went off. I can't answer for sure since I don't have the gear to measure enough points during a test run.
  15. Started another cook last night. This time I had a 17 lb brisket, but I trimmed a LOT of fat away so it's about the same size as the last one. I was thinking of bringing the cooker up to temp before adding the TTT, but the plate hanger is a little finicky and I didn't want to wrestle with it on a hot cooker. Tip: the plate hanger legs get bent out quite easily with normal use, and can require some bending inwards to catch the lip of the vent again. Laid out fire as normal, brought cooker up to about 270 and stabilized without meat. Added meat, dropped the grate temp/TTT stable temp
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