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Everything posted by CeramicChef

  1. @Andy87 - that's what I'd call a heckuva deal. Fill that firebox with lump and let's get that KJ dirty!
  2. @GS1397 - what was the drip pan filled with water Nd vinegar supposed to be doing? Please don't misunderstand me, I'm not trying to be critical, but if it was to add moisture to the system and preserve the moisture in the cook, it would seem that it didn't work particularly well. I've never used a water pan in years and years of kamado cooking and never had a dry product. A water pan is a carry over when employing very drafty cookers like stick burners, bullets, kettles, etc. What were the parameters of your cook, i.e. temp of the kamado, temp of the cook when you pulled the cook off the grate, length of cook, how long did you cooler the cook, etc.? If we know these things we maybe could diagnose why parts of your cook were drier than you liked.
  3. Doesn't the KJ have a spark arrestor screen on the bottom vent? If not, I wonder why. Seems to me to be a no brainer, especially when so many others now make that standard equipment.
  4. +1^ Get the formed aluminum drip pans at Wal-Mart or Sam's. They come in a couple of sizes ... full steam table and half steam table sizes. A must have for all low-n-slow cooks. I'd also recommend doing a high temp cleaning burn after every low-n-slow cook. I generally do these cleans at 500-550 F. This burns off any grease that may have accumulated and helps minimize the chances of a flashback because of atomized grease from a previous cook. A clean kamado is a safe kamado.
  5. @K'man - these subjects have been beaten to death here. All anyone has to do is use the search function to be inundated with good material. However, if you're so inclined ... Be well and I hope summer up there in Newfoundland is treating you well. It's a beautiful place you live in. I went to grad school with a retired Canadian Naval Officer from Newfoundland.
  6. @John Divers - I wish you well on your upcoming cook. Just a thought ... Are you absolutely certain you don't have air leaking into your Akorn? An easy test is to start a fire, make certain it is well established, then throw a nice sized piece of smoke wood right in the middle of the fire, and then let things sit until you have smoke rolling out the top vent. Now shut both the top and bottom vents. Look at every seal on your Akorn to make certain you have no smoke leaking out. Like I said, just a thought.
  7. @Dub - looks as if somebody is going to be feasting tis evening. Please be sure to post some pics of the finished cook!
  8. I don't garden and can't be bothered with putting my ash in some sort of recycling friendly container. I just dump the ash in a 3 gallon steel/zince pail with a tight fitting lid. I burn FOGO which is really low ash in a KK and I can do 10 cooks or so without worrying about ash. When the pail is full, I dump the ash into a trash bag in the stainless steel trash can I keep on the patio. Then that's into the big blue trash can that get wheeled to the curb. Ash is the very least of my BBQ worries. My family can't believe I don't recycle and my Mother would be absolutely horrified with me wasting good ash when it should be incorporated into a compost pile (and NO I don't have a compost pile!).
  9. My dear Mom made grilled cheese with a mixture of butter and mayo back when I was a boy and that's over 50 years ago.m dad used it as slather on his ribs, butts, and briskets. Mayo is a wonderful way to keep fish, especially salmon, snapper, etc. moist. I use it on most low-n-slow cooks and all fish cooks. Mayo is really easy to make with any food processor. Now there is olive oil mayo, doubly healthy, on store shelves. I'm really surprised more of us Gurus don't use mayo. It's my secret ingredient and when people see my slathering food with mayo they're very skeptical until that first forkful hits their mouth. Then they're believers!
  10. Welcome to Kamado Guru and welcome to The Addiction.
  11. @John Divers - it's very hard to put in too much lump. In fact it's almost impossible. Forget that ring of fire bull butter. Your kamado is meant to run on a full firebowl of charcoal. The kamado has been around virtually unchanged for 3,500 years and there's virtually nothing new under the sun. The ring of fire is nothing but a means of extending cooks in very drafty cookers, i.e. kettles, etc. The ring of fire is not meant for kamados and in using it you're crippling your kamado. A full firebowl of lump should last at least 14 hours in a low-n-slow cook. I would suggest you're not doing yourself any favors by obsessing over a controller. Again, kamados have been used to produce great cooks for at least 3,500 years and nobody used a comtroller until recently. I've used a controller exactly once and I've cooked thousands of butts, briskets, etc. Might I suggest that you learn how to control your Akorn using just the vents a first step? Conquer the basics, learn first principles, and when you have all that mastered, move on to something as complicated as a controller. I'm assuming you're an engineer of some type. You didn't start out designing circuits as a freshman. You had a lot to learn before your design courses. So too with kamados. Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should. Crawl, walk, jog, run, sprint. You may know electronics, but you need to learn kamados. Once you learn how to control a kamado then you'll do just fine with marrying your electronic expertise with your kamado knowledge. I wish you nothing but the best in learning your Akorn.
  12. Welcome to Kamado Guru and welcome to The Addiction.
  13. @Marty - thanks for your response. We'll just have to agree to disagree on some things and agree on some others for the time being. Have a great day. Let's go burn some lump!
  14. Welcome to Kamado Guru and welcome to The Addiction.
  15. Welcome to Kamado Guru and welcome to The Addiction. Congrats on that first baby. They do change your world, don't they?
  16. @macko2000 - leave your deflectors in the fire owl with the legs up on the rack that holds the deflectors. I cooked all my pizzas in my Primo using the extended cooking grates. I wanted my pizzas cooked high in the dome. That means I put my pizza stone on the extended cooking grates. I'd normally cook my pizzas at 550 or so and everything came out wonderfully. I'm. OT a it believer in anything much over 550-600. Just never seemed necessary. Good luck with your new Primo Pizza stone. You and your family are in for a real treat.
  17. @Dub - great cooks! Very nicely done. Prayers for your wife's rapid recovery and for the whole family. Remember to take care of yourself during this time. Give my best to you wife.
  18. @chaliween - welcome to kamado cooking. I'll answer your questions in order. 1. I'm assuming that you'll be doing low-n-slow cooks. Thus, you need a heat deflector that you place between your fire and your cooking grate. This means you'll need some means of suspending the heat deflector above your fire. For drip pans I use heavy aluminum foil steam table pans. You can source these at any Wal-Mart, Sam's, Costco, etc. They are disposable and indispensable. I set mine on some 1/2" copper tees you can source at any hardware store. Forget you ever heard of a water pan; they are completely unnecessary in any kamado. 2. Forget about your dome thermometer. It's a bimetallic and those aren't to be trusted. But a good multi-probe electronic thermometer like a Maverick. This gives you the ability to accurately monitor grate temps and set high and low temp alarms. It also allows you to accurately monitor multiple cooks, i.e. multiple pork butts. In the kamado game you cook to the internal temperature of your meat on the grate. You don't cook to time on the grate at a specific temp. And I wouldn't waste my time or money on a on a temp controller. Kamados are very good at maintaining temps over long periods of time. For about 3,500 years kamado cooks have been producing wonderful meals without the need for temp controllers. 3. As for modifications, the very first thing I would do is test your kamado for leaks. You do this by establishing a good fire in the lump. Then you toss a good sized piece of smoke wood in the middle of that fire and make certain that smoke is coming out the top vent. Now shut both your top and bottom vents. Examine all your kamado seams. There should be no smoke leaking out of your kamado anywhere. If you notice some leaks, well, then you know exactly where you need to seal things. I'd wait until after you have a few cooks where the grease will help seal things up. Other than that, modifications really aren't necessary. 4. As for ash, just keep it simple. Get an ash tool and just rake the ashes out after a few cooks. This has been done since time out of mind and it works well. You might want to give your kamado a thorough cleaning every 3-6 months or so. For that, you might want to use your shop vac. But you'll need to get a special dust filter else that ash you're vacuuming up will scatter everywhere after you suck it up. As for me, I just use a whisk broom and a dust pan. Finally, you'll be using your ash tool for stirring the Lu,p before every cook as a means of knocking the assh off the lump before adding new lump for each cook. 5. I never use my deflector plates as pizza stones. Deflector plates get dirty and you can clean them with a high temp burn. My pizza stone is only used to bake pizzas, breads, deserts etc. you'll be using your heat deflectors while baking pizzas, cake, breads, cobblers, etc. Tthus, you need both a heat deflector and a pizza stone. Deflectors are deflectors and pizza stones are pizza stone and ne'er the twain shall meet. Good luck to you in learning how to use your kamado to produce the very best food you and your family will ever eat. Take a weekend day and learn how to control the temps in your kamado. Your bottom vent is used for gross temp control, i.e.200-300, 300-400, and 400-500, and 500+, the top vent is used to fine tune temps, i.e. 225, 250, 275, etc. this exercise is vitally important to you cooking success. Let your kamado dwell at temp for at least 30 minutes and notice the response your kamado gives to changes in vent setting.
  19. I always tell would be kamado owners to figure out what size will work for most of their needs and then go a size bigger. The reasoning is this: you don't think of what works for Thursday evening. Rather think about you need for parties on Saturday. You always end up entertaining more than you think you will. I promise. Additionally, as you discover the versatility of a kamado, you will be cooking more and different types of dishes on the kamado. Your kamado isn't just a grill or smoker; your kamado is an outdoor convection oven. You'll be cooking deserts, pizzas, lasagnas, etc. on your cooker. This is why I always say go big. It's better to have the size and not need it than to need the size and can't get it without incurring a significant outlay. Get the Big Joe. You won't regret it one little bit! Enjoy your new KJBJ.
  20. +1^ Best advice you can follow. Papa Murphy formulates their pizzas for best results following their directions. Enjoy!
  21. @coferj - I tend to agree with @keeperovdeflame in the post above. If this kamado is on wheels, get it out and away from the wheels. You want to restrict the degrees of freedom as much as possible. I'd say that 300 pounds on wheels is nothing I would want to mess with, especially with such a high center of gravity. Get some help and get this kamado on a flat surface. Go find a heavy shipping pallet, put the kamado upright on it, and strap it down with ratchet straps. If you leave this thing on wheels you're an accident looking for a place to happen. Rent a pickup, borrow a pallet, get some ratchet straps, and you'll be fine. I'd use something like 4 ratchet straps across the kamado for a total of 8 points of security.
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