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Everything posted by Family_cook

  1. My 1st Snake River Farms brisket. End product looks different than a choice or prime brisket, but the flavor was intense. Large BGE extra full load of large and small pieces. Put it on at 2:00 pm @200deg and around 10:00 pm I thought things were going too fast so I closed it down to @185. Got up the next morning and it was holding @185 - thank you - Tip Top Temp. Brought it back to @200 and eventually @225. Wrapped it in butcher paper at 165 internal. Pulled at 2:00 pm, ate it at 6:30. As you can see my heat deflector sits directly on top of the coals. I think it creates an oven inside an oven. and increases efficiency and stability.
  2. Barkeepers Friend definitely works but requires effort. You can also put a couple of automatic dishwashing pods in a sink full of water and soak overnight and in the morning wipe clean with a sponge. Amazing to watch it work.
  3. I have seen a resurgence of enthusiasm for carbon pans. Once upon a time they were the standard. Today they have been replaced with 3 layer clad stainless steel, teflon and titanium coating and aluminum pans. I suggest that all of those options pale in comparison to the capability and versatility of carbon steel. Properly seasoned carbon pans are extremely non-stick. They can sear as well or better than cast iron and they heat up faster and more evenly than cast iron. They are also much lighter than cast iron or clad stainless and therefore more easily one handed. If something goes awry, unlike coated pans the cast iron pan can be stripped bare, re-seasoned and will perform as new. And boy are they cheaper than most of the other options I listed except aluminum. But unlike aluminum they tend not to warp. The only downside I can find on carbon pans is using them on induction stoves where they tend to develop extreme hotspots because of how quickly they transfer heat.
  4. Wow! You don't see this often from a manufacturer with a hot new product. Maybe Covid supply chain issues or localized Covid worker issues.
  5. After considerable research and consideration, I decided to follow John Setzler’s advice and got the Avid Armor instead of the Adcraft VS-300 which is 95% the same as the VacMaster VP215 for less money. Avid Armor was $150 cheaper than that and is much lighter. I have had the unit for 2 weeks now and have a few comments on chamber vacuums in general and some specifics on the Avid Armor. Regarding the Avid Armor – this is a very well-designed machine with an intuitive and flexible control panel. It is so simple to use. During the vacuum cycle you can simply hit the seal button to immediately seal for a lighter pull on chips or things you don’t want to crush. I did several pouches of rice, and they are very hard, almost like a brick. This machine is very loud. I guess this is to be expected from a dry pump. This is my biggest concern and complaint. Dry pumps fail from friction, contaminants and heat. I spoke with someone at Avid Armor and it was his enthusiastic commitment to the pump, which he claims they will be using on many future machines, that gave me the confidence to risk it. He assured me that they would support the pump even after the 2 year warranty period. For $600 I hope I can get 10 years out of it. The chamber is large and nicely shaped. After hitting the start button, you must press down on the lid to start the pull. As John indicated, not a big deal. One thing the manual does not mention is during the seal process the machine sort of burps before sealing and releasing the vacuum. I was told this is normal. The lid is heavy and requires a lot of space above when open, so it does not fit under some cabinets. Regarding chamber vacuums in general – I absolutely love having one. I have sealed everything not nailed down. From raw food to leftovers, stocks and marinades to small electronics. Things like routers with specific charging blocks and cords are now tightly sealed and very compact. No more worrying about matching parts and it created space in my drawers. I bought 2 sizes of bags. 1000 8x12 and 250 10x13 bags for $90. I have sealed over 50lbs of bulk chicken, beef and pork into usable serving sizes. It all fits easily into my chest freezer. San Diego fishermen recently started selling direct off the dock because restaurants are not buying. I bought 20lbs of Ahi Tuna for $10lb usually $30lb and sealed it all up. I made Mexican carrots and onions and sealed up fresh berries in juice. Leftovers are so much easier to manage, will last longer and look more appetizing. I cannot imagine living without a chamber vacuum.
  6. Just put a loose foil tent over the daisy wheel.
  7. The best sear is going to come from a cast iron pan basting in clarified butter. You can do that on the Kamado or on the stove.
  8. Nice. Not doubting that you might have the tools to get it done, but smoothing cast iron which has a Rockwell surface of 75+ is hard to do.
  9. Not diagnosed, I know a couple diseased. This is the real deal. Not the flu, not a hoax, not like something the planet went through 100-1000 years ago before modern medicine. This is modern time and this thing moves at amazing speed and impacts young and old - and currently other than social distancing we have no means to stop or retard it . Not only will Chloroquine not help, it will have a negative impact and likely kill you; and no it won't just miraculously disappear. This winter could be worse. It is sad that the news channel or radio show you adhere impacts your knowledge and understanding of the facts. When I grew up this was not the case. Huntley Brinkley or Walter Cronkite just gave the facts. If only Britney Spears was the Corona Virus Czar. We would be so much better off. Play with this timeline - https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/data/animated-world-map
  10. The VP210 and smaller one are but not the VP215 and up.
  11. I think all of them. Definitely the Vacmaster VP215, the copy of Adcraft VS300 and Vak-pack-it. Vacmaster has a seriously industrial looking dry pump. https://www.webstaurantstore.com/ary-vacmaster-978377-replacement-oil-free-vacuum-pump-for-vp210-vacuum-sealers/120978377.html The oil pump is cheaper to replace. https://www.webstaurantstore.com/ary-vacmaster-979216-oil-pump-motor-for-vp215-vacuum-packaging-machines/120979216.html
  12. I've lost count of the dry pump compressors that have failed me. Rotary oil pumps work for decades as long as you regularly change the oil. Dry pumps are dependent on teflon seals which start to break down as contaminants enter the system with no mechanism to remove them. With oil pumps the contaminants are expelled with oil changes as John showed with the oil change on his old unit. I wish I trusted this unit to last, but when I listen to it ,it is so loud I feel like I can hear the teflon seals suffering. I hope I am wrong and folks get 10+ years out of their Avid Armor or Vacmaster dry pump units. When I spend $500+ on an appliance, 10 years longevity is a minimum expectation.
  13. I think your plan makes sense. The biggest issue on a less expensive ceramic would be high heat and rapid cooling. If you only used it for low and slow and your current Akorn for high heat you would mitigate its' weakness and take advantage of the strength of ceramic's low and slow ability.
  14. The quarantine has accelerated my decision to get a vacuum sealer. My freezers are out of space and not efficiently used. Leftovers consume boxes of zip lock bags as does marinating and repackaging Costco size bulk buys. I believe I have narrowed it down to 2 units in order of price. The Vacmaster VP215 and the Adcraft VS300. The Vacmaster is $150 more. I have read that both are made in China as most units under $1000 probably are. I have found positive reviews on the Vacmaster but struggling to find information on the Adcraft. They could be the same oil pump as they spec the same. Both have a sealing bar cooling feature and space plates. I am leaning toward the Adcraft simply to save $150. I'm hoping someone has used the Adcraft or has some insight beyond my research. Update, I now think they are the same machine under different brands.
  15. Well done. Food for the week. Tacos, taquitos, sandwiches and more.
  16. Primo Oval Jr. is a nice option. If I were to add a second or had to replace my current large BGE it would be my choice.
  17. As has been said in other threads, close the bottom vent before you open the lid. This greatly reduces airflow. If you have the lid open for longer than a couple seconds, when you close the lid close the top vent too for a few minutes to choke the fire a bit and then slowly open them back up to a stable temp. If you don't do that and leave the vents where they were at a lower temp, the now larger fire will increase the speed of airflow even though the vent settings are the same supporting a much higher temp. Hope that makes sense.
  18. For <250 I put my heat deflector directly on top of the coals. It makes for a very stable temp and minimizes the gap between the deflector and the walls.
  19. Awesome cook and post (bookmarked). Love that pan.
  20. That should work. If 300 is your target get there in 30-45 minutes instead of 15-25 minutes. When you are almost at target temp make some small adjustments to slow the rising temp and find equalibrium. Let the cooker heat up as the fire grows rather creating a huge fire then the cooker catches up and you are @450 deg. With practice you will soon wonder what the issue was:)
  21. There are many factors in play in maintaining temp. Size of fire, stable temp of cooker, vent settings and speed of air flow. The same vent setting that will hold 200deg can hold 350 deg. The difference will be the speed of airflow through the vents. This is why letting your cooker get too hot must be avoided. A couple of things can be done to remedy the situation. 1) Shut vents completely to snuff some of the fire and bring down the temp. Then slowly open the vents in very small increments to regain stability 2) Put a large heat sink in the cooker to absorb excess heat and get back to a stable temp. A large pot of cold water works well. But, if you are in the middle of a cook this can be difficult but sometimes necessary. *** Make smaller adjustments so you avoid the huge temp swings. Also allow for more time to bring the cooker up to temp with smaller vent settings. As @Inarngr stated, if you must open the cooker close the bottom vent first and leave it closed a couple of minutes after you close the lid.
  22. Fun project. 2 hours seems a long cook for a chicken @350. I would think the breast hit 165 within an hour+-15min. I pull mine even earlier.
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