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  1. And in the Northwest Georgia hills. We have a group of white-tail deer which live in our upper acres, and I regularly supply them throughout summer and winter with mineral blocks – not to "lure" them. Sometimes in early morning I see that they have slipped down from the adjacent woods and are relaxing in the upper pasture.
  2. This man's life story is very interesting. He was, first of all, a short man, in a time when that was considered to be a very serious business disdvantage. Nonetheless, successfully developed his business in a fairly isolated location – still to this day a dry(!) county – and successfully established it as a vital enterprise which lasted through Prohibition and beyond with the vital help and leadership of Lem Motlow – a former Tennessee state senator who to this day is referenced as "proprietor." Alas, it eventually was absorbed as a "brand" in a much larger distilling-based holding company.
  3. Not sure you're going to find a "daily driver" truck that can support that kind of tongue-weight. Nor how often the truck that you're likely to need gets leased. But, if you can find a truck with the usual "39,999 miles on it" that's coming off lease, that's a very good way to buy a vehicle.
  4. If you're used to slathering your baked potatoes with butter, try bacon-wrapped potatoes sometime! First, I boil the potatoes – lightly punctured with a fork – in salted water until they begin to get soft. (Otherwise, they simply take too long to cook on the grill.) Next, wrap them with slices of bacon. Use toothpicks, broken in half, to secure the strips. Wrap with aluminum foil and place them on the grill along with your meat. When you unwrap them, you'll notice that the bacon isn't seared or crispy, but it will in fact be fully-cooked and safe to eat.
  5. I always do "searing" in a cast-iron skillet on the stove. As a rule of thumb, I set the temperature-probe to alert me when the internal temperature of the meat is 10º below the target temperature. I then take the meat off the grill and "tent" it under aluminum foil for about fifteen minutes. If you leave the probe in, you'll see that the internal temperature "coasts" upward by about that amount during tenting. Oddly enough, "searing" really doesn't raise the internal temperature that much, because it happens so fast.
  6. I have a simple solution: next morning after the grill is cool, and, while I am somewhat-obsessively cleaning it, I remove the bottom of the Akorn and place it upside-down beneath the main body, set on a couple small pieces of wood to provide free air circulation. (I used to put a cover over it, but decided against it since I saw a lot of condensation under the plastic. Water is not your friend as far as metal is concerned.) These days, I've been storing it inside, but still with the bottom removed and placed as before.
  7. One might say, also, that perhaps you shouldn't let the grill ever get that hot ... Otherwise ... "it's patina!"
  8. I always buy lump charcoal – never briquettes. Toss a handful of the fines into the top of the chimney starter just to use 'em up, or, as MtbChip suggested, just toss 'em into the garden or somewhere on the ground.
  9. I found a nice external probe thermometer for about $50 that provides both food temperature and oven temperature. Very handy to keep the other thermometers "honest."
  10. I'll weigh in to say that my Akorn Jr. is perfectly satisfactory – I don't feel the need for ceramic at all. (It's one of the very few good things that I ever bought at Wal-Mart.) As others have said, I enjoy the fact that the grill is lightweight and indestructible ... easy to take on camping trips ... and also that the bottom comes off. I store it with the bottom flipped upside-down beneath the main body, with a small piece of wood to provide air circulation under it. I treat the grill as "a charcoal-fired convection oven." (If I want "sear," I do this in a cast-ir
  11. Okay – "all you Akorn, Jr. owners among us, let's maybe have a bit of (good-natured) fun ..." does 'Ceramic' actually matter? The "capo dei capi" grill among us, of course, is "The™ Egg." With an equally well-known and also, ceramic, second-fiddler chasing just behind. But now I ask "the Mavericks" – have you actually ever missed those extra hundred pounds? My answer is and always has been – "no." I've always decided that the essential feature of "kamado-style cooking," and therefore of kamado-style cooking appliances, is that it is "a convection oven." That, notwi
  12. Here's what I think – "these are two entirely-different styles of cooking appliances!" A "simple charcoal kettle" – Weber or otherwise – is a "direct-heating device." The burning charcoal is sitting there, and it's doing all the work." Whereas, a Kamado-style appliance is – or, can be – "a convection oven!" Within a space wherein both the entry and the exit of air can be fully controlled, there is an inner container, which allows air to recirculate. The consequence of this is that the food is for the most part "cooked by hot air!" Only a portion of the total air-dra
  13. Maybe the most-honest question might be simply: "Okay, it's charcoal. What, exactly, is 'best' ... to you?" Quite obviously, "it matters, to you." But why?
  14. "Wow ... must have been 'some kind of nuclear' to melt paint!"
  15. Really, I think that this is a bit of a quandary: "do you want the charcoal to contribute flavor, or not?" Obviously, you should be using real charcoal, not "briquettes," but you knew that already. If you do want the charcoal to contribute, then I have found you should pour in the chimney-starter contents slightly before all of it has caught on fire. The parts that are not yet fully glowing will contribute "charcoal flavor" until they burn. (In my experience, once they are glowing, they don't contribute anything. Your Mileage May Vary.™) Then, if you do
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