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umakegoodcookies's Achievements

  1. Any tips on how to get a Joe Junior hot and fast indirect? By hot I mean about 400. I was able to eventually do it in a Vision Cadet but I can't seem to get it to happen in a Joe Jr.
  2. Yes. In fact, if you're not into the health bias of turbinado (it's less refined), and since it's all going to be powdered, I would substitute brown anyway because the taste is very similar but there's even less moisture. Keeping a rub drier is a good idea. (Turbinado is basically very minimally processed can sugar. White sugar is can sugar with the molasses removed. Brown sugar is what you get combining them back together. So, given that the turbinado is being pulverized I can't imagine it's much different from brown in this case.)
  3. I hear nothing but love for the spatchcock. I'm not here to hate on it at all but I've been roaming in the chicken wilderness for awhile trying lots of recipes and I come back to my original. I much prefer a whole chicken. The comparison and taste test cooks I've seen don't cook the whole chicken correctly and spatchcock wins. But a properly cooked whole chicken is superior. For me, what is fundamentally wrong with spatchcock is twofold. The first is the notion that the parts of the chicken should all be done at the same rate. The spatchcock makes things all on the same level and similar thickness so that it's done at the same time. But it misses that thighs and legs tolerate much higher heat and are much cleaner to eat if you render down the connective tissues. The other issue is the removal of the cavity. Even without added herbs a chicken breast is bathed in the aromatics of the entire chicken itself from the juice that lies in that cavity. The best chicken breast is found on a whole chicken, not a spatchcocked one. But this comparison depends on the correct BBQ of a whole chicken. It needs to be hot, fast, and steamy. Friends please try this recipe. Don't use your stone or any other kind of deflector, it just slows things down. Use just a foil lasagna pan on the bottom rack with water in it and get set up with little to no smoke at about 425°F, good and hot. Now place your chicken with nothing but salt or, at most, some butter rubbed under the skin over this pan on the upper rack (assuming 2 levels available ). Do not truss it. Trussing it brings those legs and thighs into the chicken and causes them to take on the same temp as the rest of it, and doesn't allow the skin to cook completely. You want the legs and thighs to get extra hot and more thoroughly cooked so let them fly free. When your breast is 160 the legs will be about 180. Pull and enjoy. Do not let it rest long, or at all. The skin in this case is super light and crisp but will fall if let sit. It's not like grilled skin that is harder and more crunchy. Just a note on the water pan, it is not there to keep the chicken moist. The thing keeping it moist is not over cooking it and preserving that cavity that will be absolutely full of moisture. The pan is there to help crisp the skin. Super heat steam will crisp the skin on a chicken similar to how it helps a crust form on a loaf of bread. For that purpose it's not sufficient that a kamado is a relatively moist cooking environment, the water pan is needed to boost it. Anyway, if you like a very pure simple BBQ chicken without a lot of rubs and spices to, in my view, fix something that isn't broken, please try this recipe. You might be pleasantly surprised. As a side benefit, if your water pan also had some carrots, celery, and onion in it, and you drained the juices from the bird into that pan (tip the bird to empty the cavity when you first take it off and then also put juices in from the cutting board), you could do a bit more work make additional magic (smokey flavoured gravy or soup). (I'm perfectly happy to go to someone else's house and have a nicely rubbed spatchcock chicken.)
  4. The only commercial option for a deflector used to be the vision one. However, Ceramic Grill Store sells a stainless Woo ring for it that holds a stone (or what have you) .
  5. I know it's an old topic but in case people are looking I think that I use my cadet more frequently than my larger grill. If you just want to make something small it's much more efficient. When cooking for 1 or 2 I usually leave the cover on my pro S for a week at a time now. That said, it's not without its issues. One is that you have to pull open the ash drawer to get it really hot. It's not a lot, just a crack and you'll notice a massive increase in airflow. Once it gets up over 400 or so sometimes you can maintain the temp with it closed. But you'll never get there unless you pull it open a bit. The holes in the lower draft door are just too small. But I think the main one is that low and slow is a bit of a challenge. It's small to begin with so you can't get a lot of charcoal in. And, worse yet, the deflector reduces that charcoal area because it drops in instead of raising the cooking grate like the Kamado Joe Jr. does. If the Joe Jr.'s deflector worked with it that would be a win but I haven't tried it. I'm not saying that you can't do low and slow. But for more than 2-3 hours you'd be pushing it. (As an aside, if you get 2-3 hours low and slow on something then you've already got all of the smoke and BBQ flavour it's going to absorb anyway so you could bring it inside and do whatever it is the rest of the way in a regular oven.)
  6. On this topic, has anyone tried a Kamado Joe Jr. deflector setup in the cadet? I wanted to try it but I'm a bit concerned that the cadet's firebowl is a bit too narrow. From pictures the Joe Jr. one looks a bit wider.
  7. You're going to need a few burns for it to function correctly even if it's excellent. The top will eventually seal but *all( Kamados with a cast iron top vent initially leak and eventually can seal. Don't try to do a low and slow cook until you can shut it down and it goes out in minutes. Really fatty and smokey things get it sealed up fast, like hamburgers cooked with the top closed. As far as which lower vent to open, it makes absolutely no difference on the Pro S. On the Pro C it matters because they are different kinds of knobs. But, on the pro s you can run the left one on 2, and the right one closed, or the right one on 2 and left closed, or both on 1. This will work out about the same regardless. If you follow the numbers and guide just thinking of them as a continuously increasing slider from 1-10. The only real convenience of the numbers is to help remember what works on your machine and perhaps document it.
  8. I do want to point out, as a fan of the cheap pizza pan method who sees little benefits of the stone, it can have problems. The biggest one is in doing high temp. indirect cooking. If you're trying to run a 450° oven and you have an aluminum pan close to the fire you can vaporize it. On the other hand, doing low and slow I've never had this problem. One solution to the aluminum vaporizing to add water and use a deeper aluminum foil pan (can go on top of the pizza pan). This is often beneficial for things like crispy chicken skin anyway.
  9. I cracked the first one I ever used the first time I used it. I started it on a cold grill with it on top before moving it down and it still cracked.
  10. Following this advice I got a stainless steel grate. For the Kadet it didn't have much of an effect when it was closed. I did note that with all vents wide open there was a clear change in airflow through the upper vents when opening the ash drawer. So it seems the ash drawer on these ones is the key.
  11. Rats, unfortunately it looks like Ikea doesn't sell this style colander anymore.
  12. I've gone through the threads on here and noticed a very common issue that I've experienced as well. Without opening the ash tray at the bottom it's nigh impossible to get them up to high temperatures. I'm guessing either a redesigned charcoal grate or lower vent would solve the problem. Has anyone made mods other than pulling the drawer to solve the problem? I'm guessing either change proposed would fix the issue. The large airflow from the ash tray being open doesn't really go underneath and through the grate but around the sides and down. And, if the grate were more open then you wouldn't need the extra air flow of the tray open.
  13. I'm in the same position, it's impossible to get a Vision Cadet really hot without opening the ash tray.
  14. I've had the Akorn Jr. and a Vision Cadet. The Akorn got hot faster but was a little hard to bring under control. It was super efficient and could do very long cooks on a small amount of charcoal at lower temps. One issue is that it sometimes didn't consume enough fuel for good flavour if it was already hot out. However, the exterior steel is not only very prone to rust, it isn't even charcoal resistant. Embers can get between the inside of the ash basket and outside through the lower vent and burn right through that exterior metal. I had that happen with just ordinary charcoal in the first 2 months I had it and CharGriller would not honour the warranty. They said I ran it to hot. I was using it hot but that just shouldn't be possible without anthracite or something. Steel should survive to 2k°. My Cadet has been completely different from that. I find it very slow to heat up. The fire bowl is a bit smaller for the size of grill but also I think it has airflow issues. I can get it going faster by just pulling out the ash drawer about an inch. Further, there probably aren't enough holes in that charcoal grate. If there were a smaller kickash basket for it or fish bones I bet it would be just fine. If I leave it open it grills fine and gets plenty hot, it's just not getting up to good roasting temps (400+) when the list is closed and all vents wide open. So, on these small inexpensive Kamados, after using both I'd have a hard time unreservedly recommending either. The Cadet is probably safer, more durable, and will eventually function as well or better with some small mods (I think). The Akorn is maybe a bit too easy to get crazy hot, maybe is a bit too efficient, potentially hazardous, but super portable and easy to get going.
  15. Another inexpensive option for a deflector is an 8" foil pie pan full of common sand. It will never crack and if it gets yucky after awhile put new sand in or get a new plate. You'd have to use a lot of them up before you got up to the price of a stone. And by then most stones would have cracked anyway.
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