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MikeRobinson last won the day on April 27

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  1. The only technique that I now use for cooking, whether on a grill or in the kitchen oven, relies on an external-reading food thermometer. The one that I now use was bought at Home Depot for about $35, and it happens to be "wireless," which is very handy. It shows you both the temperature of the oven [grill ...] and the temperature of the food. (Far more accurate than the thermometer on the grill itself, "which isn't ...") So, if I want "medium rare" steaks, as we prefer, I simply wait until the food reaches an internal temperature 10ºF below the target. (In this case, I pull it at 130ºF.) I now "tent it" under aluminum foil while leaving the temperature probe in. Over the next fifteen minutes or so, off the fire, the temperature will rise the final ten degrees on its own, as the thermometer will confirm. "Time to eat!" This technique gives me entirely repeatable results. Last Thanksgiving, I reliably "hit the mark" for various family members who wanted everything from "rare" to (ick ...) "well done." There never was any question: "just follow the numbers." I could confidently eat my salad while keeping one eye on the wireless display. Note that I do not attempt to "sear" anything on the grill. I do that, when requested or when called for, in a cast-iron skillet on my kitchen stove, using a temperature-tolerant oil such as coconut oil. (No, the food does not then taste like coconuts.) First I sear it, then I grill it. Works every time. Repeatable.
  2. My extremely limited experience is that "dry brining" (usually using kosher salt) does not cause the meat to taste salty. I don't know if "whatever chemical reactions the salt induces" also affects the salt. I am also given to understand that dry brining cannot be used to infuse flavors into the meat.
  3. Let your external-reading food thermometer be your definitive guide. (I bought mine ... wireless, even ... for $35 at Home Depot.)
  4. "Whaddaya mean, a little rust on it?" Is this thing actually new, or what? Did they actually sell you a "demonstrator" that's been sitting outside in the weather next to a retail store somewhere? I'd be asking questions . . .
  5. I'm sure you won't lose heat through the hole, but that's a pretty sorry state of quality-assurance affairs for both the manufacturer and then the reseller! "Whaddya mean, a part is missing?"
  6. I do what @jark87 suggested for the same reason – because then I know much salt I have applied. Brining will not convey any flavorings into the meat. It only causes a chemical change to the proteins of the meat itself. It will not cause the meat to taste salty. Whereas, the salt in a rub is intended to be a flavoring. Salt the meat on all sides then put it on a wire rack in (or above) a pan in the refrigerator, so that air can circulate. A "three-finger pinch of kosher salt from a foot above the meat" is the most common suggestion that I've heard.
  7. Well, "on my grill, at least, the whole thing is held on by one bolt and two screws." But I do expect that any oven cleaner would do well to quickly dissolve any "gunk." After that, soap and water and a scouring pad, then a quick squirt of any lubricant. After each and every cook, I thoroughly scrub the inside and the outside of my (steel ...) Kamado, and that includes the vents.
  8. "Salt, by itself," actually does make a difference – a process known as "dry brining" – and it does take time to work. (Strangely enough, the resulting meat does not taste "salty.") Therefore, I would suggest that you follow his lead. The "salt in the rub" is intended to influence taste, whereas the prior "brining" really does not. It really is a bio-chemical process. The day before your cook, unwrap the meat and salt it (lightly) on all sides with kosher salt. Put it overnight in the fridge, in a glass pan covered by shrink-wrap or aluminum foil. You will notice a distinct difference, and as I said, the meat will not taste "salty." (P.S. If you're curious about "the science," here's a go-to cookbook: Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat.)
  9. Yes, you see, you forgot to post your home address, so that all of us could join you for dinner!
  10. I recommend that you begin with a hard scrub with soap and water. You can disassemble the unit to clean it more thoroughly. Careful use of a propane torch can also either burn away or loosen grease.
  11. I have never yet tried to use my cast iron wok on the grill, but it's fantastic on my kitchen stove – probably due to the "thermal mass" effect of a big piece of cast iron. (Just let it heat up gradually.) I, too, would be very interested in your experiences using your wok in a kamado environment.
  12. Thanks! Now, once we've caught a quick airline flight across the country, "what time's dinner?"
  13. @keeperovdeflame: That sounds absolutely delicious, but since I do not yet (for some reason unknown to me ... I have so many others ...) own a copy of Julia Child's immortal cookbook, maybe you could now re-post what you did as a recipe for the rest of us to follow? There are many things that can be deliciously cooked "low and slow," and if you do some part of the process on your kitchen stove or in your kitchen oven using (of course ...) a very nice piece of cast-iron cookware, "that's all fair game." It pays to fall in love with the process of "cooking."
  14. Trivia question: "Who invented the charcoal briquette?" The story that I heard was that it was Henry Ford, who was looking to make a profit from the waste wood from his automobile plants. (At the time, car wheels had wooden spokes.) I guess that "ol' Henry" found some way to make a profit from everything that he did ... But, with due respect to Henry, I'm sticking to real charcoal. ("Rocks and all ...?")
  15. There's a chicken-farmer in our valley who runs a side-business that Mr. Tyson probably doesn't know about. He raises various kinds of "non-standard chickens" to adulthood without force-feeding them. After they have been allowed to become "old," he harvests them and sells them locally to a well-groomed list of customers including me. You can instantly tell the difference from anything and everything that you can buy in a grocery store, or certainly at Chick Fil'A ... there is simply no comparison.
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