I'm a new member from western PA who just received my Kamado Joe Classic II this week. I want to start with a question first so hopefully if you skip everything else, you read this. I decided to go for a hot cook with steaks as I got my grill late and didn't have time during the week for a slow cook (I have a big pork butt waiting though). I read the tips for setting a fire for grilling, and watched John Setzlers video and decided to try his technique, although my local butcher/smoke shop marinates their steaks so I didn't rub it, but dried it before searing. I started my fire with 2 cubes, and an alcohol cotton ball (just to try), I loaded the charcoal up to the lower deflector plate, and put 1 chunk of apple wood in there. I had the temp slowly climbing, and let it go for 30 minutes. I was at about 400 degrees after about 20-25 minutes, slid the dome all the way over, and left the bottom and top vent open all the way. I left for about 10 minutes, and came back to a 900 degree grill. I got it to cool down pretty quickly to about 650 so I think the fire was just too high and reading that hot due to flames. I had 1 steak for later not marinated and 2 for tonight all just under 2 inch ribeyes. I also had my racks set up per johns video. I was able to maintain 600 degrees at this point for the most part, put the first steak for later on as a trial steak, seared it on both sides, and moved it to the side. I then put my 2 marinated steaks in, and these things just caused the grill to continually flame up. I had to keep choking it out to keep the flames down. This helped me sear them nicely, but once moving them over, I was even getting flames on the deflector plate. I had a beer of course, so I used this to put the flames out (hopefully I didn't weaken the stone). Was my fire too hot, and is it possible the marinade is that flammable, or was I truly getting that much fat drippings and they were flash igniting on the stone? They actually did get perfectly cooked (at least the 2 marinated the other I cooked more well because we will put it on salads tomorrow). They barely cooked indirect though because of the flames. The other thing is they were very smokey/charcoaley tasting. Much more than when I make them on my weber. Is this due to the large (Kamado Joe brand) lump charcoal and the fact its not all lit when I start? Are there tips to reduce this a bit? Should I try to do a lower temperature cook and maybe forgo the wood chunk?
Thats it for my initial questions, now a brief about me and the grill. I have a Weber Performer 22" charcoal that I am upgrading form that will be going to someone else soon. I also have a Weber Q for hotdogs/burgers when I'm lazy, and an electric smoker that I may get rid of now too. I've done mostly steaks in my time, but prefer smoking chicken as I haven't had great luck with pork in the electric or on the weber, and have been too afraid to do a brisket until I got this grill. I will say I did a prime rib for christmas 2 years ago with help from my local smokeshop that turned out amazing (I have a good relationship with them so am really excited about my Kamado). I've also done some smoked chickens for thanksgiving a few years (I can never find fresh turkeys small enough for my smoker). I picked my Kamado Classic 2 up during the recent sale with Atlanta Grilling Company. While I feel like i got a great price, I could say the communication was pretty bad. If paying full price, I probably wouldn't recommend them to others. There was extra charge for drop shipping, and i had no clue where my grill was or when it was shipping. Luckily the LTL company didn't even deliver it, and handed it off to a local delivery company who called me on the day of delivery and was really friendly. I would say I'm actually probably most excited to cook a pizza on this thing, as I've bee craving pizza lately, but I've also been really looking forward to a brisket and burnt ends (I was considering grabbing a cast iron dutch oven for this but probably not necessary).
The first two pics are of my cook tonight, the others are some of my previous accomplishments.
Thanks for looking