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Smokestack Mac

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  • Location:
    Sterling Heights, MI
  • Interests
    Smoking food and then eating it. Guitar. Video Games. Books.
  • Grill
    Kamado Joe

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  1. A couple different meats come to mind as both difficult to get perfect, but very rewarding when I do something right. Most of these turn out good almost every time, even if things don't go exactly as planned. -Whole Chicken Chicken never turns out bad, but there's plenty of times that it doesn't turn out great. The skin doesn't crisp up or half the bird dries out before the other half is done. I've tried beer can chicken, spatchcocking, quartering, etc. A new method that I just tried that made a good juicy flavorful bird is putting a whole bird in a 12 inch cast iron skill
  2. I like how you think, Rip. That's some ingenuity. 24x24 brick paver is $9 at home depot and in stock. My base is 15x16 so I could mount it back from the edge and have a nice little ledge to work with. Cinder blocks are $1.20. $9 for some high temp rtv silicone sealant. It'll look great next to my Kamado Joe Honestly the smoker is so light right now that the added weight of a paver would be an improvement if I don't want to find it down the street after a storm.
  3. Hi all, I know this is not exactly a kamado question, but my father-in-law recently dropped off one of those boxy vertical cabinet smokers that he got as a freebie from a guy he does work for regularly. It's a brinkmann 2-door charcoal smoker. I know it's a 2 shelf walmart POS model, but it was free and a style that I have never owned or used before. I would like to save it if I can for $20 or so. Worst case is that I would use it as a storage cabinet outside. Basically the bottom is rusted out to the point that the legs don't have any structural support. It stands, but the h
  4. Thanks guys, I appreciate the help! I'll dial the top vent back.
  5. I did a pork butt yesterday and I had a horrible time keeping temperatures in check. First things first, it turned out great. Mission accomplished. But frankly, the phrase "in check" is a stretch. I did what I had to to avoid disaster... I have a Kamado Joe Classic II with a Digiq DX2/Pit Viper fan that I use frequently for low and slow with good results- hours of very stable temps. I am in Michigan and yesterday was a 8 inch snowstorm before, during, and after my cook. Lighting was no problem. The grill heated up normally. I hooked up my pit controller and set the temp for
  6. Yes, I was talking pork tenderloin. They take a couple minutes a side to get some color and grill marks and another 10-15 minutes indirect to finish. A pork loin is a whole different cut of meat for me. In the interest of clarity and enlightenment for anyone who isn't familiar with all the parts of a pig, I found a diagram showing the cuts. Tenderloin and loin come from the same general area, but there's a big difference in texture and cooking options. Pork loin can still be done quickly if you butcher into pork chops.
  7. I have a couple favorites. But time is everything after work and the thing that made my meal prep the quickest was committing recipes to memory and not measuring anything. Use the same bowl every time and get used to what a cup of this or a tablespoon of that looks like in the bowl. Or cheat/work smart and prep in a 4 cup pyrex measuring cup. There are some exceptions like spices that only use 1/8 tsp or similarly small potent amounts. But most of my cooking is educated guesswork combined with adjusting to taste when safe to do so. Just dropping measurements on 90% of my ingredients turn
  8. My first kamado-style grill was an Akorn Jr. I recall it being tempermental when it came to temperature control. I have since moved on to a Kamado Joe, but I would say the biggest enemy was air leaks, followed by a laughably-oversized vent for the size of the cooker. I phrase it that way because the vent settings for low and slow are barely more than slivers top and bottom. Mine was at 500 degrees at 2.5-3 on both vents. I think part of the problem was that the bottom vent slider on mine was so loose that air came in around the slider no matter what it was set to. Speaking of
  9. 70 lbs is a lot of pork! How is it divided? Ballpark guess- 2 batches of 30-40 lbs? 3-5 butts per batch? The most I have done on my KJ II was around 20 lbs (2x10 lb butts). I think the oven idea is great. I've tag-teamed some meals that way. But if that won't work, I agree that cooking, cooling, and reheating one batch is the safe way to do it. Malcom Reed on Youtube rests his pulled pork in a good cooler (Yeti I believe) for 2 hours and it's still too hot to handle without mitts. I don't know how quickly that temp drops off though. Just to be clear, the plan is that batch
  10. Der Husker had a great answer that touched on everything that came to my mind and more. 8" chef's knife for the single knife win. I have a $50 J.A. Henckels 8" chef's knife from Sur La Table and I love it. I had some ceramic knives before that (still do, but they're collecting dust 24/7 now) that I thought were cool until I learned about how the shape of a kitchen knife works and why a chef's knife is both the size and shape it is. And they weren't the right shape. I went with a stamped flat blade so that I didn't have the bolster at the back of blade. This allows me to cut all the way do
  11. Clean it with fire. No water ever. Get a good roaring blaze 500+ going and put the stone over the coal, dirty side down. Let it go until it either falls off or burns off. I use 00 flour for my pizzas. Nothing sticks and the flour just brushes right off after.
  12. I agree with a lot of what has been said so far. I'll throw my story out there. I bought a Kamado Joe Classic II about a year ago and couldn't be happier. But first a couple questions and thoughts- Sorry if this post got too long... -What's the budget? Bang for the buck is something I can definitely relate to, but realistically how much do you want to spend vs how much can you spend? Would you consider spending $300 every couple of years on throwaway grills to be a savings over spending $1-2k and getting decades out of it? There's potential benefits to
  13. My recommendation probably won't make the list, but here goes... I had one of those long-lasting erections for a Thermapen for a long time. It was on the Xmas/birthday list. Then my instant read died unexpectedly and I was stuck without a thermometer for a few days unless I bought locally. $10 Expert Grill instant read digital from Walmart is the best thermometer I have had in a while. 2-3 second read time and water resistant. I'll stick with water resistant only because I haven't killed it when washing the probe, unlike a Weber that died the first time the probe touched water.
  14. I have a DigiQ DX2 and I put it in a $5-10 plastic ammo can from harbor freight. Unit, fan, plug, and all probes fit in the box for storage and the seal is flexible enough that I can latch it with all the wires running out of the ammo box without a problem. Even leaving it unlatched still keeps the water off my device.
  15. I have a KJ2 that I have bought a fair number of accessories for, all off Amazon. I have the cast iron grill grate, cast iron griddle, a second set of half moon racks (so I have two complete levels of grates if I need them), an extension grate that sits above the top level of the divide and conquer system, a second D&C frame with the accessory X grate, and a charcoal basket. I kinda did the same thing when I first started shopping for accessories. I was only interested in KJ brand items. Then I thought about it and decided that most of them were simply metal suspended over f
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