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MikeRobinson last won the day on November 24 2021

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  1. When you "fast," especially for an extended period of time, you tell your ancient body that "there is no food to be found." Your body switches to its ancient protective modes, drawing down its reserves to stay alive. However, it has switched into "crisis mode." It stops doing things that it would ordinarily do in times of plenty. I've frankly found an easier way: "eat well." Circumnavigate the grocery store and go ahead and try those vegetables: if any of them "suddenly catch your eye," impulsively buy it and learn how to cook it. Give your body a cornucopia of varieties to choose from. (It was never built to assume that meat was readily available.) Your kamado can prepare a great many interesting things – roasted zucchini, anyone? (It's delicious!) When a horse is deficient of minerals, it will begin to eat the wood of its stall – a phenomenon known as "cribbing." Well, the snack-food industry calls the same thing "the munchies." Because you aren't eating whatever your body is looking for, your body compels you to eat. And, as necessary, it puts the excess away as fat – as a shield against future hard-times or starvation. But it still isn't getting what it's looking for, and so it keeps compelling you to search. You gain weight. And, you lose health. "When you go to the grocery store, skip the 'TV Dinners' aisle entirely." Flash-frozen vegetables are a legitimate source of things that are not now in season, but do not prepare your suppers in the microwave. Just a few aisles over, you will find the ingredients that are in all of those frozen boxes, and it is much more fun to go ahead and cook them! Without you even noticing it, the excess weight will go away.
  2. I have recently been slowly-absorbing a very-scholarly cookbook whose title is: "Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat." But I have not yet gotten to the "Acid" part.
  3. After slow-cooking a pork shoulder yesterday, and then performing my usual post-grill-day cleaning ritual, I was rather astounded to find the (fortunately, removable ...) bottom of my grill to be almost completely filled with fat: probably, several cups of it mixed with ashes. The grates and the bottom mesh were also coated, as were the (steel) insides of the (Akorn, Jr.) bowl. When I put the roast to cool in the microwave overnight, I also noticed next morning that the glass plate in the bottom of it was coated with fat. (Which my cats summarily enjoyed.) It took a whole lot of scrubbing with soap-and-water to finally get rid of it all ... and then to clean my hands. I've never encountered this before with any cut of meat. Am I just "still learning?" I took "cookbook advice" to bring this particular cut of meat to 195ºF before removing it and aluminum-foil "tenting" it to cool in the (cat-proof ...) microwave until morning. This was advised to result in a "fork-tender" result for barbecue sandwiches – which by the way it most certainly is. Is this where all the fat came from?
  4. I got my gloves at Home Depot – they were on the next shelf below the much-more-expensive Big Green Egg® alternatives. Even so, when manipulating metal objects I use a metal tool – perhaps a wrench, perhaps the grate-lifters that came with the grill.
  5. FYI – I started by keeping my grill "under a cover" until I realized that moisture was being trapped by the cover. I now try instead to be sure that water has no place to accumulate (by removing the bottom section and placing it upside-down, propped-up by a small piece of wood), and by religiously removing the charcoal, cleaning away all grease, wiping away inside dust and outside grime, next-morning after every cook. Also, "seasoning" the grate as I do any other cast-iron cookware, maintaining it as necessary. I put a steel pet-food bowl on top of the top vent, which is kept slightly open underneath it. In many years I have never had any rust problems: the thing today looks just as good as new. The ritual takes less than five minutes.
  6. The “goofiest” thing to me, whenever I am cooking even for a long time, is that “the intake vent is almost completely shut, and the top vent is likewise only barely open.” So, where is it getting enough oxygen? And yet, the external-reading food thermometer reassures me that there really is a stable hot fire in there … the temperature of which for the most part does not change. And then, it lasts that way for many hours, virtually without attention. Here I am, poised to “fiddle with it,” and I just don’t have to. That sure did take a lot of getting used to.
  7. Every now and again at the local food store, good-looking meat "starts to fall through the cracks sell-by date-wise" and is marked-down considerably. This just happened to some packages of bone-in pork chops about 3/4" thick. I snagged them up one morning and dry-brined them for eight hours with kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, and Herbes de Provence. Prepare a smoke-pack of hickory chips in an aluminum-foil pouch and fire up the kamado. After the smoke is fully involved and the oven's around 350ºF, put them on the grill and wait for the meat thermometer to hit 145ºF. Take them off and tent in aluminum foil for ten minutes or so. The tender, moist meat was bursting with smoky flavor. Add a glass of red wine for delicious good eating!
  8. We've had a family of white-tail deer who live above our upper pasture for years now. Every few years one of our neighbors obtains our permission to bow-hunt a few of them to keep the numbers down. He pays in leather gloves.
  9. Since the glaze is a surface coating on the ceramic, and the cracks (crazing ...) in that coating might be merely superficial, it might very well be of no genuine concern. But as I said, if there is a point on the ceramic pot where the glazing is not there at all, I would inquire of the manufacturer and let them "do the warranty thing," whatever that means to them. You're entitled to a product that is "correctly manufactured," and a bare area doesn't sound "correct" to me. Let them know and let them deal with it – or, advise you. For what it's worth, I have a few ceramic pans that I have used in my kitchen oven for many years, and some of them show "crazing" yet the surface is still smooth and the pans work just fine. (Years ago, I also had one that, shortly after I'd bought it, cracked in half ... they promptly replaced it.)
  10. I'd consider the absence of glazing to be a manufacturing defect, albeit perhaps a minor one. Send a few photos to customer service and ask them what they want to do. They might well send you a pot of sealant to paint over the spot, or they might pay to replace it. Either way, I think they need to know right away that a unit wound up in a customer's hands this way.
  11. My "Akorn experience," like yours, says to me that "excessive consumption of charcoal" feels way wrong. I think that you've got way too much air moving through that firebox somehow. Or, is anything blocking the recirculation of air? I can't believe that the substitution of ceramic for steel would cause any dramatic change in how the cooker works.
  12. Next day after any and every cook, I discard the ash, gather up the charcoal back into the bag, clean the grates with a wire brush, lightly spray them with canola oil, and wipe down the inside of the firebox, scraping out all the ash that's hiding in the bottom of the firepot. Then, I put the bottom section upside-down beneath the grill, propped up on a small piece of wood, and place a metal tin over the top vent, also slightly propped-up. I've had the grill for several years now but it still looks "as good as new" and I aim to keep it that way. Moisture cannot accumulate anywhere. When the charcoal finally gets to be "just tiny bits," I'll leave the vents full-open so that the charcoal burns down to ash. Or, just put it into a paper bag and throw it onto the next trash fire. Air does need to be able to pass freely through the charcoal bed.
  13. I love a great smoked pork loin – good for a week's worth of very inexpensive sandwiches – but when it comes to chops I find that I want "bone in." I then save those bones for soup stock. --- @keeperovdeflame: "Or like a whole lot of the stuff that I had to very-politely eat last Thursday [Thanksgiving Day]." Ick. Maybe next year I'll just tell the family: "Please don't bring any meat. I'll cook it all for you on my Kamado. And, by the way, none of it will be Turkey!" Also – I look forward to trying your very interesting cooking technique: I had never considered cutting the loin into pieces and then putting flavors in the middle. Maybe I need to sign-off from this forum now and take a trip to the grocery store, to see what's in the meat case ...
  14. @CentralTexBBQ: I offer the use of the kitchen oven only as an alternative. No, it is certainly not the only way to do it, but it might be convenient in some cases.
  15. • Thoroughly and evenly cooked: mostly the Kamado. • Smoke and color: Kamado. • Crispy exterior: Kitchen stove. • (Steak sear: Cast iron skillet.) When you combine multiple cooking techniques and pay close attention to the internal food temperature throughout, as far as I have ever been able to determine it simply doesn't make a difference. You can have "the best of more than one world" and get away with it just fine. In the case of the crispy bird, your trusty kitchen oven (on "broil") will rain heat down directly on top ... which is exactly where you want the crispness to be. The broiler doesn't have to cook the meat and it will probably have only a slight effect on its internal temperature.
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