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TiCoyote

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  1. I replaced the cast iron grate on my Akorn with a stainless steel one. I cooked a bunch of chicken on it, and that always gets the stone all covered in fat, which leads to flareups, so I brought the cooker up to 700 deg for 15min to clean it. Now the grate is clean, but dull and gray instead of silver and shiny. Will this affect it? Is food more likely to stick to it? Is it going to fall apart?
  2. So I tried it the "old way" on my Weber Kettle. I loaded charcoal into the chimney. Lit and let it burn for 15 min. Dumped the coal on one side and dropped a handful of hickory chips on top. Immediately put the chicken on the cool side of the grill. Cooked it for 25 min. Flipped the chicken and cooked for another 20 min. Perfect crispy skin, juicy meat. No flare-ups. I used an ambient thermometer, just for information purposes, and it looks like the temp started around 350, climbed to close to 500, and then crept back down to 400. I guess I could try 400 on the Kamado again, but I'm not sure what I really achieve by using the AKORN over the Weber. The AKORN takes longer to heat up, and it's harder to add wood chips or chunks with the heat deflector in place. The AKORN is great for slow cooks and pizza. With an upper-level grate, I can do steak on it, but not necessarily better than my Weber. Salmon is about the same.
  3. I find that the skin doesn't get crispy at 400.
  4. I've been getting a lot of flare-ups with chicken thighs on my AKORN. Last week, I started with a clean grill (I let it go at around 550-600 for 20 min after the previous cook), I put in the smokin stone, heated the grill to 500, then I put 10 thighs on the grill. I cooked one side for 20 min, and flipped them. I went to check on them 15min later, and there was a lot of white smoke coming out, and a big fireball inside. Am I putting too much fatty meat on the grill at once? Should I try doing fewer pieces at a time?
  5. What about the melted o-ring? Issue or not? I'm not really sure whether I can replace it anyway, because the heads on the hex bolts that attach the vent to the hood are all corroded. I'm not sure I'd be able to get them out without snapping the bolts. Seems like they should be more weather- and heat-resistant.
  6. I've been getting a lot of flareups from chicken grease on the smoking stone, so I decided to do a high-heat cleaning. After the last cook, I opened both vents, and let it go for 25 min. When I checked on it, the dome temp gauge was above 700. I carefully opened the lid, and everything inside was glowing orange. I couldn't close the top vent, by hand, even with gloves on, so I had to give it a friendly tap with a piece of PVC. When it cooled down, it looks like all of the seasoning has burned off of the cooking grate. Also, the plastic tab came off of the top vent. The O-ring looks melted. The top vent feels looser, as in it slides open and closed more easily. I can't tell if it's damaged or it simply had a coating of grease that made it feel tighter, and that burned off. Lesson learned. Don't take the thing above 700. 600 is probably sufficient for cleaning. I plan to re-season the grates. Should I replace the o-ring and the top vent? What else should I check for damage?
  7. Can I put the stone in my gas grill and cook it on high for 30-60 min to clean it? Doing it over charcoal seems like a waste of charcoal.
  8. I've been making a lot of chicken on my AKORN, and I was grilling pizza last week, and when I opened the lid, the Smokin Stone heat deflector was on fire. I guess all the chicken fat had dripped onto it and it lit up. I normally give it a bit of a scrape with the grill brush before I use it. Should I be cleaning it more thoroughly? If so, how? Thanks!
  9. The goal here was to get crispy skin and juicy meat, and to do it with a minimal amount of time and effort. 1. Marinate the chicken in beer and sprinkle the top with Montreal Steak or any other seasoning mix - 30min minimum. 2. Light the grill and heat to 475-500 deg with the smoker stone (heat deflector) in place. 3. Cook skin side up for 20 min. 4. Cook skin side down for 20 min. 5. Eat.
  10. My AKORN came with a cast iron grate. My Weber Kettle came with a stainless steel one. It was nice that the stainless steel was lighter, easier to clean, and I didn't have to worry about dropping and breaking it. Has anyone swapped the grate on their cooker? Is stainless an upgrade? Thank you!
  11. I tried 550 deg for 20 min on each side. Skin got crispy but meat got dried out. Maybe 500 is the sweet spot.
  12. I used the chimney started and heated the grill to 450. The skin came out crispier, but I had to cook the thighs for 30 min on each side, and the meat got a little dry. Then, as an experiment, I set up my Weber Kettle as I normally would, and tested the temp on the indirect side. 550! Okay, I'm going to try again one more time later this week with the AKORN at 550.
  13. I have three methods of starting my AKORN. 1. I can fill a chimney with coals, light it, wait until they are good and hot, and dump them in. 2. I can stick the electric starter into the firebowl with the coals. 3. I can light a Weber starter cube and pile a few coals on top. Method 1 takes about 15-20 min, and it's the most hassle because if I want to reuse coals, I have to scoop them out of the firebowl into the chimney. Also, sometimes the coals don't catch and I have to start over. But I get a nice, big fire that heats the grill up quickly and stabilizes at a high heat. Methods 2 and 3 take about 10 min, and they are certainly easier, but they result in a much smaller fire that takes much longer to heat the grill. Let me know if I"m on the right track with this logic: If I want to grill something that likes higher heat, like chicken or burgers, I probably want to use method 1. It will heat up quickly, and I can open the and shut the grill without losing too much heat. Or, more specifically, when I close the grill the temperature rebounds much more quickly. If I want to be able to control the temperature at a lower temperature, for a longer smoke, methods 2 and 3 are better.
  14. Tonight, I heated the grill to around 375-400 at the cooking grate, and cooked skin up for 20 min, then flipped, and another 20 min skin down. They came out crisp and papery, but not really crunchy. I think I'm just not cooking hot enough. The dome thermometer topped out at 300 deg. I did one thigh "wrapped," and one spread out, both with the deflector. Then I tried one without the deflector. The differences were marginal. I also remembered that over the summer I was using a chimney starter, and recently I've switched to the electric starter. I think I simply had a much bigger fire. Also, I was heating the dome to 350-450 deg. I might just have to go back to chimney starter and big fire.
  15. I see the phrase "bite-through skin" a lot. I'm going for skin that shatters like glass and explodes with juice and fat when when you bite into it.
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