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Paul in AZ

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  1. So what's with the "#####" in the name? If the plant has a proper name why hash out part of it? I'd like to know what you are growing.
  2. I'm beginning to think that steaks are easier to cook and come out just as well on a red hot cast iron pan done on the side burner of my gasser. Ribs were tender and came out just as I like them [the bit of dryness aside], I forgot to strip the membrane and that was noticeable. I did this by time. The temp was as low as I could get it. My guess is that with incoming ambient air so warm it could be tough to get lower. Cooler air would be OK with me too. That gets here in October. What is a 'bend test'?
  3. New to this and starting experiments. First try: T-bones. Following directions I saw somewhere I direct cooked at high temp. Two minutes a side and a couple more with everything shut down. Meat was well done -AKA overcooked- and there was no meaningful browning. I'm guessing it needs thick 3lb steaks and a grate much closer to the charcoal. Failure. Is there a good way to cook steaks on an Akorn? Maybe a grate that fits closer to the heat like where the stone goes? Today St. Louis ribs. Once started I closed the bottom vent to 1 inch and the top half way. At 200 degrees the bottom closed to ~1/8 inch and soon after closed the top some more leaving ~1/8th. This maintained a steady temp of 250-260F. Not bad I figure since the incoming ambient air was 108 degrees. Doesn't take much fire to double ambient air temp. Cooked naked -no rub or sauce or wrapping. Total time not quite 4 hours. In spite of the temptation to peek I didn't. But I did wish they had put a glass window into the dome so I could look. Result was quite good although ribs were beginning to get a bit dry. As good as I've cooked with other methods but not up to my gold standard. That was a funky guy who worked out of tent in the AZ mountains. He hickory smoked ribs all day. opened the cook shack when they were ready and closed when sold out. Boy, he could cook ribs. My guess is that if I can't get the temp lower I'll cut the cook time by 1/2 hour or more. Or maybe try wrapping. Suggestions anyone?
  4. DWFII: Well, I'm 82 and in pretty decent condition except for a total shoulder replacement that limits my right arm [dominant arm of course] to half or less full range of motion. My next little glitch with this makes me chuckle. I'd measured everything and thought I could assemble it in the garage & wheel it through the house to the patio. I failed to consider the large wheels which are wider than the cart and are a tad too wide for the doors. So now it has to get wheeled all the way around the outside of the house over crushed rock. Maybe one of these days I will get to put a match to some coals.
  5. Done~~~ almost A neighbor came over and he/we got pretty much everything together. Its missing a couple of the bolts that hold the table top down. Off to Ace today if it is open and it will be finished. Verdict: the stand is sturdy enough albeit a PITA for one person to assemble. The machining accuracy of the stand's holes leaves a bit to be desired. Other than the stand assembly is a piece of cake. Coincidentally, that neighbor is an architect who once put a 10 foot long kamado into a Japanese restaurant. Imagine what that weighed.
  6. New Akorn arrived. First~ to assemble the cart. Everything looked to be straight forward. Some of the bolt holes for the component pieces are mis-aligned by just enough to cause trouble. But ultimately soluble. Then putting the legs, shelf, & support brackets together while keeping all those pieces aligned and trying to insert balky bolts will take an octopus. Not a one man job.After way over an hour I quit. Sweaty and pissed. Akorn: 1 Me: zero. Next to recruit another pair of hands. Bad weekend for this. Most everyone I know has gone to cooler climes [it was 107 today]. Those remaining are either inept or too decrepit to be of much help. I briefly thought of taking it all to Goodwill and starting again. Or going back to an original quick fix plan to get a set of hairpin legs and a table top to sit a Junior on. Frustrating.
  7. I did just that. Now have both on their way. I may return the Jr. The cart is the swing factor. Rather than jury rigging leg extensions or building a stand for a Jr. [I could do either] it looks so much simpler to get a custom cart. The larger grill reminds me of larger closet space or a 3 car garage ~ not entirely necessary but nice to have. I somehow screwed up and posted a quote with no response. Sorry about the double post. I see no way to delete it.
  8. I am about to become a PITA. Went back to HD to order a smoking stone and saw a full sized Akorn but now with a cart that is supposed to be 'tubular steel' for $298. If that cart is sturdy enough that makes it a great deal. Anyone have one? Gad~~ I could be right back to the bigger Akorn where I started but with a wheeled cart. Comments?
  9. A course change. I began to look at WHAT I cook and realized that I don't feed crowds, or cook slabs of brisket or turkeys. The biggest things I might cook would be a duck, a chicken or smallish roasts. Maybe something smaller would work? Options include the Joe and the green one. Decent size but much pricier than the Acorn so that didn't make any sense. A store had a smaller green one and it weighs a ton. Not something I'd want to move around. Then I ran across the Acorn Junior. A 13 1/2 inch cooking surface that will do virtually anything I cook and at a price a small fraction of the other two. Dirt cheap actually. Light enough to move in out of the rain [if we ever get any]. So I just ordered one from HD. Here next week or sooner. One thought is to make 18 inch leg extensions out of 1 1/2 inch metal conduit and couplers to raise it off the ground. And~~~ it only comes in red which is just fine with me.
  10. About to dive in. Down to a final decision on color. Silly but there it is. HD has these in charcoal and blue- but on line only for delivery next week. The other big box has charcoal only in stock for instant gratification @ 10% more [they will likely price match so that isn't a biggie]. I'm leaning to the blue simply because it is different. But I am wondering if the blue cooker's color is stable over time or does it fade/discolor?
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