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MikeRobinson last won the day on June 17

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  1. I have the experience of routinely cooking for a family which includes "folks from every preference." Therefore, I stick my remote-reading electronic thermometer into the piece of meat that I've resigned to become shoe-leather, and subtract from there. In each case, I'm looking for a target temperature 10ºF below my actual target. (140 = medium rare, etc.) I take the meat off the grill at each temperature point, "tent" it under aluminum foil for about ten minutes, and watch as it "coasts up" the additional ten degrees to arrive at the target. It works every time. Al
  2. Well, I don't know if I'm a proper participant in this discussion, but ... Even though I bought an "Akorn Senior" for my dad, my grill of choice is a tabletop ... non-ceramic ... "Akorn, Jr." It's lightweight, is easy to take on camping trips (where it can easily be set on any available surface), and cooks great food. (Because: by now, I've learned how to work with it.) But, really, "it depends entirely on your situation." I frequently take my grill on car-camping trips ... my dad never does. "Popularity" is an entirely subjective decision. Therefore, carefully eva
  3. I personally think that "what's really significant about a 'kamado' grill" is not the construction of the grill itself, but the cooking method – it is a charcoal-fired convection oven. The meat is cooked mostly by recirculating hot air, passing between the body of the grill and the inner liner. Ceramic will give it more "heat inertia," but I suspect that "radiant heat" is much less important than with other styles of grills which entirely depend on it. A few years ago, I bought a "toaster oven" that had a convection ("turbo ...") feature, and I was very surprised as to the differ
  4. Definitely – anything that you plan to use in the fire chamber should first be brought up to fire temperature.
  5. "Crumpled up aluminum foil" is a "Waffle House® trick" that I actually saw being used at a Waffle House. Otherwise, a plastic scrubber or a Brill-O® Pad will work very nicely. Be sure to give the grill plenty of time to dry thoroughly.
  6. Cswschweiz, you will find that, if you immediately close both the top and the bottom vents at the conclusion of your "cook," you will be left with a substantial amount of unburned charcoal. For my "junior," I simply let it fall into the bottom pan, remove the pan, and pour it back into the charcoal bag for next time. It's really surprising how little charcoal is consumed ... I think that this is because of the "convection oven" nature of the grill itself. The meat is mostly cooked by recirculating hot air, not by radiant heat from the coals as in a "Smokey Joe."
  7. By "storing the ash pan upside down," immediately removing the charcoal and ash the next day, and thoroughly cleaning everything, I'm preventing anything that would allow moisture to accumulate anywhere. I maintain the cast-iron grate exactly as I do any of my very-many pieces of cast iron cookware: using sandpaper to remove any tiny spot of rust and "seasoning" the grate as I've described in another thread. Nothing ever sticks to the grill. I have never seen any rust anywhere on the body of the unit, but if I ever did I would immediately zap it with heat-resistant stove paint
  8. Thank you all, once again, for all of your responses. I sincerely appreciate it, and I'm learning a lot. In all of the above, I think that I do understand the various issues clearly. I use food temperature – right now – exclusively, and very successfully. I'm beginning to get the sense that you folks are talking about cooking techniques that I simply haven't experimented with yet: "smoking" vs. "roasting," and (I presume, "because of that ...") indirect heat. I've never yet even tried to use a deflector, nor to cook a wood-fired pizza. In ot
  9. (Failed to note that I scrub the grates "in the kitchen sink," not on the grill.)
  10. "Resting" is the secret to many kinds of meat cooking – even in your kitchen stove. First of all, when you remove the meat from the heat, its internal temperature will continue to rise, about 10ºF. (Which is the difference between the "medium rare" that you were shooting for and the "medium" that you got. Take the food off "ten degrees early," then "tent it" under aluminum foil, leaving the food thermometer in place.) "Cooking" is a very disruptive process. When you take the meat off the heat, subtle changes begin to happen that can't happen "on the fire." Sometimes I'll cook
  11. I meant for my question to be "open-ended" and to hopefully gather a wide range of responses. All of which are greatly appreciated. "I'm learning." The key point that I'm looking for is, for instance, "when a heat deflector is in play." That's exactly what I meant by "a situation." Likewise the different kinds of cooking. I'm interested in learning more about what these various scenarios are, that would prompt you to take [more ...] guidance from one temperature reading vs. the other, given of course that both of them are available to you at the same time and you will be payin
  12. After several years, my grill continues just as nice as it did the day I took it out of the box. That's because of the cleaning ritual that I follow the next day after every cook. It goes like this: Remove the ash pan, empty it, and set aside. Gather up all charcoal and smoking chips and put them back into their bags for re-use. Remove the inner lining and, with a dry plastic scrubber, thoroughly clean all surfaces (including the ash pan) inside and out. Meticulously remove all ash from the bottom and scrub off any carbon deposits. (These materials will absorb and
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