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Everything posted by fafrd

  1. I’ve got a 1” x 5” ‘slot’ to either side and there is over 1” between the drip pan and the ribs. That that sound sufficient? I figure with a Kamado, airflow just needs to be sufficient to maintain temps. After that, you just want to be sure smoke is flowing around all ribs for uniform smoke flavor/ring...
  2. Cool, that’s essentially what I’ve simulated with my 3-stone stack. With the soapstone I already have in order, I’ve now purchased 3 stones in under 3 weeks for my new Kamado, but next Father’s Day (or if I come to regret losing 1-1/4” of vertical space from my stack of stones), an oblong stone like that may be the next accessory Kamado. When you cook 4 or 6 racks in a double-layer configuration, do you bother rotating or just leave everything alone until late in the cook?
  3. Thanks, yeah - that’s the 2+2-halves single-layer layout I was originally considering, Good tip about foil - do you wrap it around the ribs or fix it to the grate to make a ‘cheap and dirty’ heat deflector? On for the entire cook or added partway through? And do you rotate or not?
  4. Could you be a bit more specific about which exact ‘hinge bolts’ you are talking about? Are they the Allen Head bolts, the smaller-hex-headed bolts near them, or bolts that can only be accessed with the hinge cover off?
  5. Yeah, even though that large drip pan will be getting a bit of direct heat, it's mostly masked by the heat deflectors and seperated from them by spacers, so I think it should emain close to smoke temps. With a pork butt, I'd consider using the drippings, but I've never liked the taste of what leaks out of the cut ends of the bones on ribs. That stuff is also the reason I prefer to avoid a double-stack wnen possible (and line the racks of ribs up when not). Well, my biggest deflector is only 15"' so no way it will fully mask a full 17"+ rack of ribs. The 18" drip pan will mask more, but with 1-1/2" of direct heat a d IR around the entire perimeter, it's likely to get much, much hotter... The only downside I see to stacking two heat deflectors and the place-setter is it chews up 1-1/4" of additional vertical, reducing the airspace between the drip pan and the meat. I've got 4" between the top of the drip pan and the bottom of the rib racks, so I think I'll give this set-up a try. Is there any reason other than chewing of vertical space for no reason you prefer a single deflector to a stack two or three? And if it was you, would you go with the single-layer vertical configuration or the dual-layer horizontal configuration? If it was you, would
  6. I’m also considering going with smoking the 3 racks of baby backs vertically in rib racks: This set-up will easily hold 3 full racks up to 19-1/2” long with spaces in between (so using the center slot and the 2 other slots 2-away to either side) and has 6” clearance to the inside of the dome (so no height issues, I suspect). So I’m either going to go with a vertical configuration like this or the 2-layer horizontal configuration I showed earlier: If anyone has any experience cooking ribs flat versus vertical on a Kamado, I’m interested in any opinions as to which of these set-ups would be best to try first. And in either case, I’ll be fully-masking the rib ends from the direct heat and the IR of the firebowl using the multi-layer heat shield configuration I’ve already described above:
  7. Well, the fact that you’re able to go 4-1/2 hours without lifting the lid is beey encouraging. I’ve never had a smoker I was happy with without rotating. I’ve got a LG24 instead of a PB22, so the additional 2” of Diameter will help. And here is a pic of how I’m thinking to use my multiple heat deflectors: The only exposed area where smoke and IR can come directly off of the coals in the firebowl are thise 1” x 5” ‘slots’ on either side. And once I add the 18”circular drip pan (on spacers), the firebowl is pretty much completely masked: With the AR supported by the inverted placesetter, I can either cook three racks vertically in rib racks on the lower grate, orcan cook 2 racks flat on the 20” grate and a third rack flat on the 18” grate: The upper grate is 3-1/2” below the dome, so I should be OK with ribs up there. I may eventually try skipping any opening until nearing the dome point as you do, but probably won’t risk it on this first cook. I’ve got very picky customers who have been spoiled with the excellent and very uniform ribs I smoke on the Fatboy so if looking to do an apples-to-apples comparison to understand how the Kamado measures up, I want to minimize the number of variables that are different.
  8. Ok, so some nonuniformity between layers but you just check them and pull them seperately, right? And are you also not doing any rotation from left to right? If you are just leaving the racks of ribs in position for the duration of the cook, do you see any nonuniformity in doneness or dryness between the outermost (likely more cooked) edge and the innermost (center) edge? I think I've settled on my plan for my first rib smoke on Kamado: -I have a 15" heat deflector as well as a 14" pizza stone, so I realized than I can probably use them both offest so one touches the back wall of the smoker and the other touches the front wall. Then I'll place my 18" stainless drip pan on top giving me a heat-deflected more than two racks across and more than an entire rack long. -Will then put one rack on 18" grill in middle position under leftmost of two racks centered on 20" grill. -Eventually may try no rotation as you do, but for this first Kamado Smoke, I will rotate three rack positions hourly as I'm used to doing on my Fatboy. I should get no direct heat (and IR) hitting the ribs off if the coals and the long front-to-back heat deflector houkd result in smoke primarily rising from either side of the Kamado and then flowing into the center and up through the meat. Will report back on how it works.
  9. So do you ascribe to the theory that less--aged dough has more residual (natural) sugar that can cause excessive charring compared to 72-hour aged dough? I hope to join the 800-850F club this weekend ;). How long do you typically cook your pizzas at 800-850F? Any pics of the resulting bottom crust?
  10. Yeah, layout in the offset was easy, but getting a uniform cook was not. Because the hot smoke comes in at one end and flows across the ribs before exiting through the smokestack at the far end, avoiding dried-out, overcookrd ends was a challange (even with rotations). The fatboy was a dream because the smoke flows up through the hollow walls, into the smoke chamber through channels along both edges near the top, then flows down through the square racks of meat, and out a vent at the lower back (where it flows up through the hollow wall and out through an adjustable vent at the top. Since the hottest smoke flows up through the sidewalls, rotating so each rack gets equal time with sides near one sidewall or the other is important, but that's about it. Pretty easy to get a nice uniform smoke/cook. I was planning to maximize distance between the deflector and cooking grate to get a quasi-uniform smoke flow and avoid hot ends, but you're not giving me confidence that will be possible. My LG24 has a 22" ID easily fitting a 20" cooking grate, but my largest heat deflector is 16" and even my 18" drip pan is not going to fully mask the ends from direct heat. I was hoping that the much better insulation and heat efficiency of the Kamado would allow low-and-slow temps to be maintained with much cooler (less hot) smoke, but maybe not. I've experimented with just about everything, including mopping, but the only extra step that proved out for us was brining. A one hour brine, a good dose of our home-made rub, then into the smoker at ~200F for ~6 hours until they are done (bend test or 190F if in doubt). If I could leave everything closed up the entire time (like brisket), I would, but getting in every hour or so for a quick rotation isn't that big of a deal. My takeaway from what you are saying is that the importance of fully-masking ribs from direct heat using the heat deflector is severe enough in a Kamado, that a small stack/pyramid of half/racks centered over the deflector may cook much more effectively/evenly than whole racks with their ends exposed to direct heat. But I'm confused by your reference to 'bone side down' - if I put half racks in my rib racks to cook vertically, bone ends are 'down' and the length of the bones near the silverskin is ~vertical. Honestly, if I can't pretty easily find a solution to deliver fantastic ribs on my new Kamado without resortibg to unnatural acts (or much more work), I'll just stick to the Fatoy for rib smokes...
  11. Nice! Thanks. Did you rotate the ribs between the various layers? If not, did you notice any difference in doneness or dryness? I can stack two racks of ribs on my 20" grate on top of a single rack on my 18" grate, but having to rotate between levels just seems like alot of work compared to just cutting one rack in half and going with a single-layer 1/1-1-1-1/2 layout. Of course, if Kamados are so uniform that rotating rib position is not a concern, that would change everything.
  12. Unfortunately, we do love that style of pizza - I lived/worked in Italy for 5 years, so that charred crust brought back memories... If it's not possible on a Kamado, fine. But if it is possible with a bit more effort, that effort is worth it to me. So far, I've been realy impressed woth how easy it is to control Kamado temps with bottom vent only (once all of the lump is lit, obviously). Wide-open, I was shootong-up at close to 10 degrees per minute and started to shut the input vent to '5' (90% of the 5.5 maximum) once the stone got to 876F and then to '4' (67% open) once the stone got to 966F 40 minutes later. I continued to close up the input vent to '3' (44% open) to get the stone down to 900F and stayed there for the duration of our 6 pizza cook. My guess is that by starting to close things down as they passed 800F and possibly shutting the inout vents all the way down to '2-1-2' (33%) or even '2' (22%) I can get the Kamado to settle around 800F for long enough to cook 3-6 pizzas. (note that I write '2-1/2' because at '1', the input vent us basically closed. So the max open of '5-1/2' is really an opening of 5.5 - 1 = 4.5 and an opening of '2-1/2'corresponds to an effective opening of 1.5 out of 4.5 or 33%). I'm all for PID control of temperature and use PIDs all the time for my beer brewing. Got a Barbeque Guru for my Fatboy over a decade ago as the technology was first emerging and it was a lifesaver for overnight brisket smokes. But for 6-hour ribs, stability on the Fatboy was good enoug that I stopped using it (just tweak the vents every 30-60 minutes) and so far, my impression of the Kamado is that it is at least as temperature-stable as the Fatboy... That's an interesting observation, thanks. I'm currently using a 59% 48-hour biga dough (modified Forkish recipe). I've been taking the dough out of the fridge after 48-hours but the recipe says you can leave it for up to 72-hours. So I may need to try 72-hour versus 48-hour this weekend to see if there is any difference...
  13. Yeah, as I mentioned, I'd seen the 'cook in a cylinder' technique but that does not appeal to me because of the stretching on the outside surface. I also imagine it's a pain to manage coming off of the smoker (wrapping and slicing). Do you use that technique? If so, why do you prefer that way to cooking flat?
  14. I got spoiled when I got my Fatboy with 3 square 21" x 21" grills and could easily smoke 3 full racks of ribs flat on one grill. Now I'm gearing up for my first low-and-slow cook on my 24" Kamado and realizing I'm not going to be able to fit 3 full racks side-by side, so I'm staring at my old rib racks for on-edge cooking and trying to figure out the best way to handle 3 racks of ribs on a Kamado. I used racks for on-edge smoking in the days of my offset smokers, but my recollection is that getting even cooking requires a great deal of rotating and flipping and all of that manipulation scrapes off a great deal of rub. So I'm considering which is the best of three options and looking for any pointers on a 4th if it has escaped me. Here are the three options I'm considering and any non-idealities compared to 3-rack side-by-side smoking I've grown accustomed to: 1/ 2-layers (2 racks on top grill, 1 rack on lower grill) - drippings from upper racks get on surface of lower rack, plus more complicated (and more critical rotation needed). 2/ vertical grill racks - like I already said, rotatng and flipping when grabbing with tongs from edge scrapes off more rub than when grabbing and rotating flat 3/ 2 full + 2 half racks - my 20" diameter grills will hold two full racks in the center with a half rack on either side, so at the cost of only 4 additional edge ribs (and possibly some unavoidable uneveness of cooking), I'm leaning towards this option So are there any other tricks / configurations Kamado owners use to smoke 3 racks of ribs? I've seen some pics of people forming cylinders from rib racks to cook on edge, but this doesn't interest me because of stretching of the outside surface (in addition to what I imagine is a difficult slicing job). If anyone else has used the 2-full+2-half rack technique on a Kamado, is the cooking pretty uniform or are the 2 half-racks (on either side) cooked noticably different from the 2 full racks (in the center)?
  15. Yeah, I used a true Nepolitan dough with '5 Stagioni' 00 flour, 59% hydration, some sea salt, and a bit of yeast. No oil. No sugar. So I don't think the dough is the problem. At 900F it just cooks too fast. Literally turns black upon contact and by 15 seconds, it's already getting too charred. At 700F, the cook takes ~4 minutes, you can 'watch' for doneness of the toppings through the vent, and everything is great except there is no Neopolitan-style char on the bottom of the crust: That crust is not bad, but it lacks the flavor component contributed by more charring. I'm going try 800F before giving up, but I've concluded that 900F on a Kamado is unfortunately out of reach (makes little sense, as several have warned me).
  16. Well, the CGS AR and new grills just came in today, but that Kamado has now been through 3 900F pizza cooks and one quick sear of lamb chops followed by some grilled veggies. Cooking at those temps keeps it pretty clean. Now that I've got the AR, will finally do some low and slow (probably ribs). I have to say, I'm pretty impressed with the build quality of the CGS products.
  17. My new CGS AR came in today and using the placesetter upside-down and my 1-3/8” spacers on the 20” grate bring the pizza stone to 6-1/2” above the felt line: This gives me exactly 2-1/2” below the center of the dome and I’ve confirmed my 2” x 12-1/2” spacer block is not touching the closed dome when positioned 1” in from the edge of my 15” Pizza stone (and seems to me just making contact positioned 3/4” in from the edge). So I’ll have 2” of clearance for pizzas no closer than 3/4” from the edge of the stone and since my thermometer stem is 7-1/4” from the center of the dome, it will also be clear of pizza that does not get closer than 3/4” from the edge... I don’t think any of the pizzas we’ve made yet have come close the 13-1/2” diameter - closer to 12” is probably more typical. For larger pizzas, the heat deflector can be removed which will give me 2” clearance over the entire 15” diameter of the pizza stone... P.S. We tried 900F pizza with the ‘old’ rig yesterday, and it was a challenge. Crust literally charred upon contact with the stone (even before the loading peel was fully removed) and even after a 15-sec+15 sec cook, the crust was slightly over-charred while the tops were underdone. So I think I’m going to forget about 900F and will focus on 800F for the next pizza cook - didn’t you say you generally cook your pizza around 800F? For how long (typically)?
  18. I used some KJBB for the first time last weekend, and while I was happy with the longevity and heat generation of the lump, I was very unhappy with how much fumier/smokier is was than the Fogo Super Premium (beige bag) that I used in my first two cooks. Loaded up with fresh KJBB, I had an excessive amount of smoke for over an hour which so bad, when we heard a fire truck in the distance coming our direction, we wondered if someone might have called them on us. This picture doesn’t really do justice to how much smoke was generated, but I kept the smokestack in place even after the coals were well-lit in an attempt to get the smoke up where it would be less bothersome. Fogo Super Premium did not smoke nearly this much and this first experience with KJBB was distressing enough that I’m thinking the extra $$$s for the Fogo May be money well spent. The smoke was all cleared up an hour later once temps were up over 550F and I assume the entire bed of coals were lit. Is that what causes such white smoke? It’s fresh coal coming up to temp and getting lit and once there are no more black unlit chunks of lump the smoke runs clear?
  19. 11-1/2” x 13-1/2”. It’s sold by Woodland Direct: https://www.woodlanddirect.com/Soapstone-Baking-Deck-for-Vermont-Bun-Baker-Wood-Stove $110 including shipping.
  20. These stones are virtually impossible to break with any natural temperature shock: http://www.californiapizzastones.com/pizza/files/pizza-stones-That-Do-Not-Thermal-Shock.php These stones exhibited no cracks after: -being placed in a 600F kiln after being soaked in water at room temp -being placed on a bowl of room temp water after being heated to 700F -being placed in a 1200F kiln after being soaked in water -cranking the heat in the kiln to 2000F These stones are only 5/8" thick but are virtually indistructible due to the hgh percentage of grog. To quote the manufacturer: "Our Pizza and Baking Stones are made from a Non-Toxic Mullite mixture, containing a very high quantity of grog. Grog is clay that has been fired to 2500 - 2600 degrees then crushed and put back into our clay mixture. This makes our Baking Stones virtually indestructible and impervious to thermal shock."
  21. Thanks. From your input and others, I’ve decided to forget about trying to sear on my cordierite heat deflector and am awaiting a soapstone griddle...
  22. Great, thanks. Any point in partially preheating it on the stove or the oven and moving it onto the coalbed once it’s over 250? These things are supposed to retain heat so well, I’d guess you could probably finish an entire sear with flames and heat cut entirely once the stone reaches 500...
  23. Yeah, especially since the price end up being the same once shipping was factored in. Done. Thanks. Well it's all relative, isn't it? After taking 4 hours to heat up my Kamado to cook pizza, I suspect I'll think the soap stone is pretty speedy :). How long do you usualy plan on to get your stone up to 500F?
  24. Appreciate the advice - you've convinced me go with Soapstone (the only negatives I've found for Soapstone is that it's more fragile to scratching, but I can deal with that). I'm going to get a rectangular stone and for a bit more, I can get one with a routed juice groove like this: Seems like a juice groove would be a good idea but just wanted to check whether you think it's worthwhile having for searing or if it might cause some issue...
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