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Everything posted by fafrd

  1. Turns out that is a very deep question, Frank. Using a heat deflector and 1-1/2" spacers to the pizza stone is what I did on my first pizza cook. The top surface of the pizza stone was 7/8" above the felt line and the result was good, but crust a bit more charred than we'd like and toppings that were never done (had to hold the pizza on the peel close to the dome for another 1-2 minutes to get the top properly done). So now I want to try moving the pizza stone up much higher into the dome for our second attempt this weekend. My original plan was to use the 1-1/2" spacers between heat deflector and pizza stone, as you suggest, but after seeing several Kamado owners here post that they cook pizza with the stone a mere 2-1/2" below the done and without any heat deflector at all, and also after speaking with Tom at CGS, I've decided to try the high-into-the-dome-direct-heat method. Tom's argument is that if the hot air is coming straight up off of the lump and hitting the pizza stone high in the dome directly, you want that heat source to be unimpeded to maximize uniformity. This also means using your vents to control the burn so that the hot air hitting the stone is ~900F and not higher. So I'm going to give it a try with direct heat (and a very thick heat-mass / pizza stone which is effectively 1-7/8" thick). Last time I'm pretty sure the edges of my pizza stone were closer to 1000F than 900F even though the center measured 900F because the pizza stone extended 1/2" beyond the heat deflector and the excessive charring was primarily near the outside edges (didn't occur to me to measure pizza stone temps near the edge). This time, I'll measure puzza stone temps both at center and near the edge and my expectation is that if there is any hot spot, it will be at the center rather than near the edge. We're planning to cook 12 pizzas this way and I'll let you know how it turns out. Have you ever tried moving you heat deflector stone directly up under your pizza stone (no heat deflector and a pizza stone which is effectively twice as thick)?
  2. Thanks for the feedback. I want this primarily for low and slow, so response speed is not a huge concern. The range extender is a WiFi converter or a higher-powered Bluetooth? Does it reduce battery life? It says it will go up to 24 on a single charge - has that been your experience?
  3. Tried to run a search before starting a new thread but it came up empty. Perhaps I did it wrong. Any pointers to those existing threads appreciated...
  4. Technology seems to have advanced over the past 10 years since I bought my Barbeque Guru. I found this Meater wireless probe for both internal meat temp and external smoker temp: https://www.amazon.com/MEATER-Thermometer-Rotisserie-Bluetooth-Connectivity/dp/B01GQMPJOC/ref=asc_df_B01GQMPJOC/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=271682216857&hvpos=1o2&hvnetw=g&hvrand=4139656067379457385&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=m&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9032075&hvtargid=pla-464450725665&psc=1 Internal goes to 250F, external over 500, no wires and it will go 24 hours after the batteries have been recharged. Sounds almost too good to be true, so I wanted to check whether there is any experience with this product before getting too excited. Ideally, I’d like a product that will also allow me to control a 12V fan so I can establish temperature control but doing that with an old-fashioned cabled probe through the lid is not the end of the world. But getting rid of the longer cable required to probe the meat, especially the gunk that builds up on it and the hassle of dealing with the cable when rotating meat seems like a big win - is there a gotcha I’m missing?
  5. Interesting, thanks. So your Tel-Tru thermometer has no threads and just a smooth stem, right? Using analog probes is an interesting idea that I was planning to explore for low and slow but am worried about for high heat - will the braided-metal-encased probes take 1000F without issue? Using some leftover gasket felt to fill up the voids is a good idea but I suppose Aluminum foil could be used as well.
  6. Yeah, that’ll go a bit faster. I only wrap when they are pulled (and don’t put anything on them other than rub until they are in people’s plates (at which point everyone is free to choose however much of the various sauce options they prefer). If I hit 250 I’ll start closing down the vents and if it drops to 150 I’ll start opening them up. I have a fan and a temperature controller to keep temps wherever I want them but generally don’t bother with ribs (overnight brisket is another matter). The FatBoy is very temperature stable and I can usually get temps dialed in to ~200F and go most of the smoke without touching the vents. I’m looking forward to seeing how the Kamado compares...
  7. Definitely. I checked the stock LG24 thermometer and another high-temp thermometer I have in boiling water last night. When I checked with our go-to digital instant-read thermometer, it said 211F. We live in the hills at 500ft, so 211F is spot-on. Continued checking the thermometers against the IR thermometer on a pizza stone in the oven from 250F to 550F (every 50-degrees) and the LG24 thermometer was surprisingly accurate throughout that range. I don’t know if that thermometer has a hard stop at 800F or continues past 800F for some ways before getting pegged, but the lack of visibility around 900F is now my only real gripe with that thermometer...
  8. Yup which? Just the last one of all of the above?
  9. Nice! I spoke to the guys at the Ceramic Grill Store and I think I am going to get their 'Adjustable Rack' to allow me to achieve in my LG24 what you are doing with your KJ Extension Rack. For this weekend, I'm juat going to try using the stock LG24 double-grate to come as close as I can and after talking to Tom at CGS, once the pizza stone is high into the dome, there is no advantage to using any heat deflector at all and in fact a heat deflector can possibly cause uneven pizza stone temps (hotter towards the edges). So based on that input, I've decided this is the 800-900F pizza cooking configuration I am going to try this weekend: The triple-stack effectively gives me a 1-7/8" thick pizza stone positioned 4-1/2" above the felt-line, 8" above the top of the firebowl, and 4-3/8" below the inside ceiling of the dome. We'll see how it works!
  10. Looks great, but what's the advantage of cooking in a wok on your stovetop? Getting to higher temps than you can reach on a stovetop? An effectively bigger burner diameter allowing you to use a larger wok? Or just getting all of those fumes and mess out of the kitchen?
  11. Great to know - thanks! It has never occurred to me to cook in a wok over a lump charcoal fire - what do you cook in it?
  12. Yea, ribs aren't too bad - it's mainly brisket that generates an eccessive amount of drippings...
  13. The stock LG24 thermometer has a 1" long 1/4" NPT threaded stem, and the 1/4" NPT threaded stems on the Tel-Tru thermometers are only 1/2" long. I just checked with another 1/2" long 1/4" NPT thermometer I have and a 1/2" threaded stem is not long enough to expose threads on the inside surface of the dome (so no way to thread a 1/4" wing-nut onto it). So how are you guys with Tel-Tru thermometers attachibg them to your PB24/LG24s???
  14. I can see how the deflector can be wrapped in foil but I don't understand how that keeps drippings from running over the edge. Are you forming a lip of some gnd with the foil? Any pics would be worth 1000 words... I'm a very low and slow smoker. I smoke ribs in the Fatboy at 175-225F over 5-6 hours. Brisket goes 20-24 hours. I imagine your ribs are cooked at higher temps than mine. The Fatboy has a built-in water pan so any drippings that escape just float on the surface where they congeal into a floating layer of congealed fat once everything cools down. The idea of beng able to go back to smoking dry without fear of it getting too dry is interesting. The Fatboy had one feature that the Kamado cannot compete with: smoke flowed through hollow side-walls, entered the smoke chamber along the top 1/2" of both side walls, flowed down through however many racks of meat filled the snoke chamber, and then flowed into the hollow back wall through holes in the back just above the water pan and up to a vent at the top of the hollow back wall cavity. Very nice uniform top-to-bottom flow of smoke through meat unperturbed by the water pan or a dripping pan. So I'd like to keep a smoke flow as uniform as possible in the Kamado and now that I'm understanding the benefits of moving the pizza stone hign into the dome, I may want to try doing the same with low and slow. Putting the heat deflector in the low position with a drippings-pan (or aluminum foil equivalent) as low as possible (~3" below feltline) should give the deflected smoke a good 6" or more to 'recover' close to a uniform bowl-width flow before passing through the meat racks. Honestly, if I didn't need to warry about off-flavors from burings dippings that hit the lump, I wouldn't put any drippings collector or anything at all between the lump and the meat...
  15. Good to know, thanks. Spoke to Tom and he confirmed water pans are not needed when cooking low and slow on a Kamado. I’m probably going to experiment a bit with the stock grills to gain more experience (only a single cook on my Kamado so far) so I have a better idea of all the things I want to take advantage of the free shipping offer, but there is almost certainly a CGS AR in my Kamado future! Thanks all for the inputs and suggestions.
  16. Yeah, the 20” grill sits on top and the 18” grill sits ‘internally’ at one of various positions depending on where the adjustable bars are located. They have a video which makes it all very clear. For my grill, there is no spider welded to the bottom (perhaps because the LG24’s included heat shield has 3 ‘legs’. Will definitely contact Tom @ CGS before buying. And on water pan, I appreciate the heads-up and will try my first low and slow rib cook on the Kamado without a water pan (though I suppose I’ll still want a drip pan, right?).
  17. Perfect - thanks. Definitely worth a try if the result is distinct. If it ends up being no different, then that’s more questionable. The kilo of ‘Le 5 Stagioni’ 00 flour I picked up has a recipe on the back for 59% Neopolitan Pizza Dough that I think I will adapt for a 50/50 Biga dough using Forkish’s approach: 50% Biga @ 59% hydration: -250g 00 flour -147.5g water @ 105F (for 80F target) -0.2g yeast Mix, knead, and let rest at room temperature for 12 hours in covered container. 100% Dough @ 59% hydration: -250g 00 flour -147.5g water @ 93F (for 75F target) -13g fine sea salt (2.6%) -397.5g Biga (@ ~75F) Mix dough by hand and then mix in Biga and integrate by hand. Let rise 20 minutes then knead for 30-60 seconds, cover smooth dough-ball seam side down and let rise for 45 minutes. Cut into 3 equal-size pieces, form into smooth balls, cover and let rise for 2 hours before refrigerating for 36-60 hours. Remove dough balls from refrigerator 60-90 minutes before shaping into disks to make pizza. i’ll report back after tasting the Pizza this weekend!
  18. Happy to hear the actual quality meets or exceeds the impression given by the website. So all I’m down to now is do I just pick up the Rig and the 20” grill for $80+$53 or spend another $23 on the Combo pack to also get the 18” grill? What configuration do you use for low and slow? I’m primarily interested to understand alternatives to locate a water / drip pan between the coals and the meat...
  19. New LG24 owner and Kamado newbie looking to upgrade the flimsy dual-grill this $500 Kamado came with. This Adjustable Rig from the Ceramic Grill store looks pretty well-made and appears to be very flexible: https://ceramicgrillstore.com/collections/pit-boss-24-kamado-grill-costco/products/pit-boss-24-adjustable-rig-combo Any owners with experience with this product (for any Kamado)? Any negatives? Is the quality and thickness of the stainless as good as it looks? Not exactly a cheap accessory for a $500 Kamado ($183 currently on sale for $156) but if it will last the lifetime of the grill and greatly increase its flexibility and cooking configurations, I'm ready to take the plunge if other owners are happy with the product.
  20. Nice! Did that extension rack come with you Kamado or is it aftermarket? It looks beefier than the dual-grate system that came with my LG24. Is your pizza stone ending up about 6" above felt line? What temps are you cooking pizza at? Others have told me that having the pizza stone spaced more than 1-1/2" above the heat deflector is the same as having no deflector at all, but that is not your experience? If you yanked out the deflector the pizza stone would get too hot from direct heat? What is the space you have between too of pizza stone and inside ceiling of dome? I guess one option to set up a rig similar to yours would be to pick up one of these 'Adjustable Racks' from the Ceramic Grill Store: https://ceramicgrillstore.com/collections/pit-boss-24-kamado-grill-costco/products/pit-boss-24-adjustable-rig-combo It appears to be made out of beefier stainless like your extension rack, sits 6" above the firebowl / 3-1/4" above the felt-line. From there I could place my 16" heat shield, 1-1/2" spacers, and my pizza stone to get 6" above felt-line... Thanks for your post - examples of Kamado Pizza chefs who are defying conventional wisdom and having success with larger spacing between heat deflector and pizza stone is exactly why I started the thread :).
  21. Got it - thanks. A 60% version of Forkish's 24-hour dough is what we used for our first puzza cook, and it was great. As a newbie slowly following in your much-more experienced footsteps (several years later), did you think there was enough difference in flavor with Forkish's 48-72-hour Biga dough to be worth trying? I'm obviously in the early experimental phase and would appreciate your opinion on whether there was enough difference in flavor or texture or whatever between the 24-hour dough and the 48-72-hour Biga dough to justify the effort of making 3 balls of each.
  22. Thanks for the response. Is that metal grating under your head deflector a BGE accessory or aftermarket? I used an IR thermometer to monitor all sorts of temps including center of pizza stone, outside of dome, outside of aluminum vent, and top inside of dome (less often due to heat loss). So the center of my pizza stone was at 900F but I didn't think to also check temp closer to the outside edge. Because my pizza stone ended up being 15-1/2" rather than 15" and my heat deflector was actually 14-1/2" rather than 14", I had a ~1/2" overhang and that probably means the outer edge of the pizza stone was getting sone direct heat and was likely higger than 900F. Temp of the dome thermometer never got higher than 800F, so the crust was probably cooking closer to 1000F than 900F while the toppings were only cooking at 800F. Your 1-5/8" space is close to the classic space most everyone uses, so I'm now thinking I'll also stick around the same ~1-1/2" spacing I used for my first cook. At higher temps of 800-900F, others are telling me they have better luck pushing the pizza stone much higher into the dome than the 1-1/4" above felt line I used last time (or the 1/4" that you use). One owner of the same LG24 grill that I have cooks at 900F with his puzza stone only 2" below the inside ceiling of the dome! This is the reason I asked about your metal grating - to find ways to get higher into the dome. Your grating looks much more solidly-built than the double grating that came with my Kamado. I can use it to get very high into the dome but I'm nit wild about using my thin cooking grates over direct heat needed to reach 900F: A secondary benefit or getting the heat deflector well above the felt line at high temps is less wear on the gasket. This second pic shows how the wide legs of my heat deflector protected my brand-new 1000F grey gasket and prevented the charring that effected the inside edge of the gasket everywhere else: I was really happy about how easy it was to manipulate pizza on, off, and rotating it with my pizza stone only 1-1/4" above the felt line and I'm a bit nervous about it being more unweildy/complicated and losing more heat when the pizza stone is much higher into the dome and the dome needs to be opened completely to manipulate pizza. So I may just try raising the pizza stone to 3-4" with ceramic spacers to start like this: This is using my brand-spanning new 16-1/4” pizza stone as a second heat deflector to protect the 15-1/2” pizza stone and I can position anywhere from 2” into the dome to 5” into the dome using various-sized ceramic spacers between the stock heat deflector and the secondary 16-1/4” heat deflector. All-ceramic and no metal (which I slightly prefer) but >900F hot air directly off of the burning lump will still be deflected onto the felt gasket so it will likely continue to char from 900F pizza cooks. Any thoughts appreciated (especially from anyone else cooking Nepolitan with 60% hydration dough at 800-900F).
  23. Got my new 16” deflector in and if I’m willing to use the double cooking grates while making pizza, this gives me at least one option to get the pizza stone up close to where you have yours. This is 6” above felt line or 2-1/2” below inside ceiling of dome. If I can find a stable all-ceramic solution, I think I’d prefer to keep the grates out of the Kamado when it is up to 900F, but at least this provides one option. This is quite a bit higher than we had the pizza stone last time and will require opening the lid completely to put on, take off, or rotate a pizza (versus last week when we only had to crack the lid less than halfway for any of those operations). Has heat loss from fully opening the lid ever been an issue for you? Have you found it as easy to manipulate pizza with the stone that high as it is when the stone is down to a more conventional 2-3” above feltline?
  24. Why have you decided to stick to 24-hour or less doughs? No difference or not enough to be worth the extra effort?
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