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  • Location:
    Central VA
  • Interests
    Bowhunting, hiking, driving, watching sports and grilling!
  • Grill
    Kamado Joe

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ret42's Achievements

  1. Their bourbon barrel ale is my absolute favorite so far, followed closely by their blackberry porter. Both are high up on my list of favorite brews. Now I want some but I’m at work for a few more hours. I need one of those cushy madman jobs with a liquor cabinet next to my desk...
  2. Still fairly new to smoking in general, let alone on the Kamado, but my favorite thing to smoke on the MES was salmon. Despite my best efforts, I never managed to screw it up. Figured with a sale on wild caught Sockeye at Fresh Market, it was a good time to test my luck on the Joe. I started out with the brine recipe here: https://www.smokingmeatforums.com/threads/final-smoked-salmon-with-recipe-instructions-and-qview.91264/ Here's the shot after the brine: My biggest concern was keeping the temperature low. After some suggestions from some of the guys on here, I found the biggest, lumpiest blocks in the bag and started the fire: Salmon went on the grill immediately to warm up with it. This was also my first cook with the MEATER Block, so I got to test that out as well. There was definitely some disparity between the two probes, but I'm going to give them a few more rounds before I write em off. I'm curious what anyone else's experience with these is. Mandatory. Huge fan of bourbon, and coffee, and stouts. If you haven't had anything from Alltech Brewing, I highly recommend it! Almost done And complete. Graph of the finished cook from the MEATER app. I may have fallen asleep towards the end, there. Notifications weren't super notifying. I'd definitely call this cook a flying success. If I keep this up I may even sell the MES.
  3. The grill probe was used so I could monitor it from afar. I was doing maintenance on my lawn mower and as this is my first smoke on the Joe, I wanted to be sure that it was holding temp (be sure that there was no user error that would cause it to swing). Beyond seeing that the grill was holding a constant temp, it had little value to me. As for the grill temperatures, that is another area of variability. On the MES, I believe I cooked it at 225 for the first four hours, then increased to 260 - 280 until it was done. On the Joe, it hovered around 240-260 for the first four-five hours and then took it up to around 280. Re: the deflector plate, I believe that was just the camera angle - it was centered in the grill and no part of it exceeded the deflector plates. I'm not sure I understand what you mean by the wood blocks under the brisket - do you mean between the deflector and the grill grates? Or set the brisket on wood blocks? I agree on the foil or at least the consistency of the process. It appears I fell into the trap of trying to change too many variables at once. Could you explain the scratch test to me, or point me in the direction of an explanation? That's the first I've heard of it. If I could find brisket for $3.29 a lb there would be no shortage of practice - I'd be smoking it every weekend! Thanks for your input! Much appreciated!
  4. Thanks for the input. I agree that a large part of the issue is likely the cut. Unfortunately I've yet to find a place that can sell me a whole brisket outside of Fresh Market, which is like $7/lb if I remember right. Re: 2, The cook time I may be misremembering - it's been over a year since I've smoked brisket in the MES, but I attributed some of that disparity due to it being wrapped in foil. Re: 3, I'm inclined to agree. I had no problem holding the temperature on the Joe, which is awesome! Another issue I've been thinking about is that I use a leave-in probe thermometer (Link here) that I can't say with absolute confidence is as accurate as it claims. I may boil some water real quick to see if I can validate it.
  5. Yesterday I smoked my first brisket with the Joe. I've smoked briskets before in my Masterbuilt Electric Smoker (MES henceforth) and they were phenomenal. This one turned out with great taste, but I know I could have done a lot better in terms of texture. The bark was nice and crispy which I loved, but it came out a little tough. I've identified several differences in the process I followed on the MES, but I always want to learn from the best so I welcome all input - suggestions, constructive criticism, etc. MES vs Joe: Flat and Fat Cap on MES vs just the Flat on the Joe (I don't think the briskets I smoked on the MES were full briskets - they weighed in from 7 to 10 lbs, and the one I smoked yesterday on the Joe was just over 5) Drip Pan filled with water (coffee, actually) in MES vs no added moisture on Joe Texas Crutch after 4 hours on MES vs all grill time on Joe Brushed with Mop Sauce pretty frequently on MES vs untouched on Joe Wood chips on MES vs wood chunks on Joe (doubt this contributed, but wanted to capture it) Internal Temp 195 on MES vs 200 on Joe 5-6 hours on MES vs 7-8 on Joe Those are the differences I can recall. The MES produced a much more tender brisket, but the bark wasn't crispy at all, and borderline soggy in some places. This makes sense given the drip pan, the aluminum foil and the basting. My hope is that I can somehow obtain that perfect bark and a more tender bite. Pictures: https://www.dropbox.com/s/nc2f33hb5wdw45b/Photo May 13%2C 21 34 51.jpg?dl=0 https://www.dropbox.com/s/ygztvqmf8fr4s4e/Photo May 15%2C 20 42 37.jpg?dl=0 https://www.dropbox.com/s/f98piayfayfiwet/Photo May 18%2C 13 28 57.jpg?dl=0 https://www.dropbox.com/s/p1hw9javhe95hzw/Photo May 18%2C 14 18 49.jpg?dl=0 https://www.dropbox.com/s/eqbr19g9eu1jtoo/Photo May 18%2C 21 31 20.jpg?dl=0 https://www.dropbox.com/s/e1wp3bqz77rhqcz/Photo May 18%2C 21 33 01.jpg?dl=0 https://www.dropbox.com/s/5klzyxjqpfnnipm/Photo May 18%2C 22 23 57.jpg?dl=0 https://www.dropbox.com/s/hcqylt8z02fgpcb/Photo May 18%2C 22 26 31.jpg?dl=0
  6. Thanks for the replies! So if I were to spell it out step by step it’d look something like this: 1. Fill the fire box with 2-3 handfuls of charcoal and some wood. 2. Light with 1 fire starter and let that take for about 8-10 minutes with lower vent wide open and lid open. 3. Once the charcoal catches, close the lid and adjust the lower vent to be about 1” open (as John recommends in his video for smoking) 4. Fine tune temp with control tower. Did I miss anything? Should more detail go into control tower position?
  7. First and foremost: I'm new to Kamado Joes! I picked one up in the Charlotte Costco Road Show a couple of weeks ago and am super excited for many years of use! I came have had an Akorn for the past 4 years, and I have a Masterbuilt smoker as well. Traditionally, I've used the Akorn for all of my high temp stuff, and the smoker for well, smoking. I'd LOVE to be able to use the Joe for two reasons: 1, one tool for everything, meaning I may be able to sell the smoker and free up some room and 2, I'd love to have a little bit more smoke, and the smoker tends not to produce as much as I'd like - especially at lower temperatures. Everything I've seen suggests that the Kamado Joe can handle 225, which is great for smoking just about everything. Except, I smoke salmon more than just about anything else. With salmon, I try not to exceed 200. Can the Joe sustain that, or is 225 the minimum without risking snuffing out the fire?
  8. ret42


    Greetings everyone! I'm a Process Engineer in Central VA and I've been using an Akorn for the past 3-4 years. I've made some awesome stuff on my Akorn including some deep-dish cast iron pizzas and several delicious steaks, but the thermometer broke (that or it's constantly 150 degrees around here, which feels possible sometimes), and I never was able to manage temperature as much as I'd like. The grate rusting from a waterproof cover not quite being as advertised, and just some other quality concerns drove me to looking at Kamado Joe and Big Green Egg. After some thorough research and good timing on a planned trip to Charlotte during a Costco Road Show (and an awesome sales pitch from the Kamado Sales rep) I drove home with a Classic II in the back of my 4Runner. So far I've overcooked some strip steaks (whoops!), made some awesome portabella's and asparagus, grilled some hot dogs and frozen tater tots in a cast iron pan, and made perhaps the best steak I've ever eaten in some T-bones last night. I have a small brisket rubbed down in the fridge ready and waiting for Saturday morning and it can't come soon enough! Outside of my fascination with making the best possible food, I'm an all-around nerd: sports fan (Washington Capitals, Chicago Cubs, Denver Broncos and a bunch of colleges for basketball), bowhunter, video game player, Toyota enthusiast, and I play D&D on the weekends. There are a ton of hobbies I want to get into if i had limitless time and money, including car camping, off-roading, and fixing my damn Supra. I've been a Process Engineer for about 6 or 7 months now, prior to that I designed archery accessories for one of the best manufacturers in the world. I look forward to learning from everyone, hopefully teaching someone something at some point, and mastering my craft!
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