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Everything posted by willys1

  1. What he said. I have an akorn jr and a weber kettle. Like'em both but I haven't found anything the akorn jr can't do. I do ribs on the weber due to space but everything else on the jr being its mainly just 3 of us. Here's a pic of my jr with about a 3.5 - 4 lb roast. I just did about a 5 pounder this past weekend with all kinds of room to spare. Low and slow at 230-250 for hours is no problem once you get to know your grill a little. A turkey or a brisket is about the only thing that comes to mind that would not fit. If portability is important I would think the akorn jr at 30 lbs +/- is the clear winner in that regard. Plus - it's cheap!
  2. This has become my go-to rub for beef: 2 tablespoons coarse salt 2 tablespoons ground coffee 2 tablespoons garlic powder 1 tablespoon coarse ground pepper 1 tablespoon onion powder
  3. I like thick topping pizzas that take a bit to cook. To keep my crust from charring on the akorn jr, I make my pizza on a room temp pizza pan and set pan and all on a pizza stone sitting on my grate. Slows down the crust enough until the toppings are done (7 minutes at 550F )
  4. I'm hooked as well. At my wife's request, I'll be a smoking one for mom's day. Any cook details?
  5. Welcome from another St. Louisan. Lots of great info here. Hope you enjoy the Akorn. I bought a jr a few months ago and love it.
  6. Tried pizza on the grill a couple months ago for the first time. Tried a a few personal pizzas different ways: with and without deflector, pie directly on grate, pie on a steel pizza pan on the grate. They were good but just not great. Really had to watch the temps and crust cooked a little fast if temp got any higher than 450 or so. The bride decided she wanted pizza tonight and and had all the fixings ready when I got home from work. Poured myself a cocktail, fired up jr and and let her get up to about 450. This time I used my clay saucer deflector as a pizza stone on the grate and put the pizzas on a cool steel pan and placed directly on the saucer. First pizza took about 8 minutes and crust was a little too blonde. By the time I put in the second pizza though, temps had crept up closer to 550. Bingo! Crust turned out absolutely perfect on the last 3 pizzas. A nice golden brown with no scorched spots.3 minutes, spin, 3 minutes, pull. And the pans work great. I have three 9 inch pans so while one is cooking, one is on deck and one is being made and no messing with a peel. Very convenient and easy. I like a lot of toppings and I think using the pans slow down the crust enough to let the top cook completely. Think this is going to turn into a weekly event!
  7. I used an old steel pie pan with no coating and it worked fine as a heat deflector. I happened to see a 9 or 10 inch clay saucer for a planting pot at home depot for about $4. It seems to work much better for low and slow temp stability and, with a foil liner, is perfect to catch drippings.
  8. Have some of those in the freezer. I know what I'm making some night this week!
  9. I'm glad you mentioned that. I noticed how clean it was and was starting to feel ashamed of what mine usually looks like! Great looking pizzas, btw.
  10. I have a new found love for chuck roasts. Growing up always had them cooked in a crock pot and never thought about smoking them. My first try at low and slow was so-so and had me chasing temps for 2 or 3 hours. After a little research of all the great info on this site, my second attempt went much smoother. Started with about 3.5 lb chuck all rubbed up with some coffee infused SPOG: Went out to light up little red using ckreef's paper towel roll method and following all the advice here to make very small adjustments and wait 15 minutes between adjustments. About 40 minutes later I overshot my temp a little at 280 but time to throw on the meat: Brought temps down to about 220 but then settled in about 230 at the grate with these vent settings: The akorn's vents are really twitchy. A pencil lead width adjustment really swings the temp, but once you're dialed in, it stays put for hours. In my case about 6 hours and temp raised 30 degrees total. Never touched a vent or raised the lid once until the meat reached 195: All done and ready to rest: Rested about 30 minutes, sliced er up and chowed down. Last pic doesn't do justice. It was tender, juicy and tasted fantastic. I think the coffee rub is now my wife's favorite. Only short coming was the bark could have been more set. It was okay but I like it a little crustier. Any ideas? I heard spritzing actually helps set the bark during the initial 2 or 3 hours. Otherwise I was thrilled with the akorn jr. and its ability to hold a fairly low temp.
  11. I tried a low and slow chuckie this weekend myself (sorry, no pics).Consistent temps below 275 on the akorn jr is not something I've mastered yet. That coupled with the fact I was distracted doing a brake job on my daughter's car right after throwing on the meat had me chasing temps for the first 2 - 3 hours. Fluctuated between 195 to as high as 330. I assume that's why my bark did not set real well. I finally got it settled in at 275 for the last 2 or 3 hours, no wrapping, never even opened the grill in the entire cook. Pulled it at 195, wrapped in foil and then rest for an hour. Man that was good eating! It was a little drier than KJTerp's but not bad right after slicing. I tried a coffee/SPOG rub that was the bomb and the roast was perfect amount for the three of us with just enough leftover to cube up into some scrambled eggs the next morning. Yum!
  12. Curious how everything turned out. Planning on doing a chuckie low and slow myself soon. I tried one high and fast a couple weeks ago and it turned out out lot better than I thought.
  13. Cotton balls soaked in 90% alcohol. Use 1 or 2 per cook. 50 of them cost about $3 with no taste or odor imparted to your fire.
  14. Heres a pic of support in basket Just cut 3 equal length sections from an old grill grate and inverted them. Pan in place Going to look for a larger pan to deflect more but works ok as is.
  15. If anything like me, you're going to love it. I seldom grill for anyone besides the three of us left at home and so the jr is plenty big and is a real fuel miser. I welded up a little support out of old rusted grill and I just use an old 9 inch cake plan covered in foil for a deflector and drip pan. Only other accessory I bought is a Weber 7431 Cooking Grate. It's a perfect fit replacement for the Akorn Jr. grate. I use this for cooking a pizza or any other hi temp cooks so I don't have to re-season the Cast Iron. Enjoy the new gift!
  16. Those look awesome. Don't think I've ever had country ribs, but those look a lot like St. Louis pork shoulder steaks, just cut different. Are they from same part of the pig or are they actually ribs?
  17. We're talking tenderloin, not a pork loin, right. I follow Alton Browns method of grilling a tenderloin and its up to 140 and ready to pull in 15 minutes or so: link
  18. I'm definitely going to try one of these. I'm sure this has been discussed before, but for those with experience, do you notice a difference in cooking rate between the upper and lower levels in jr with a deflector in place? It seems the air flow diagrams I've see that there would not be much difference.
  19. Not sure about Rappica gloves, but I just got my grease monkey gloves and they are are awesome for handling food and general heat protection. Very flexible and good fit. Not sure if I could hang onto to a CI pan at 700 degrees, but don’t plan on using them for that. Thanks for the recommendation, John!
  20. Good luck. I decided on the junior and checked every other day for about 4 months around the end of summer. Only saw normal price or the scammers. I'll be jealous but please list if you find a deal.
  21. Ditto this. I use a inkbird blutetooth as well. Love them both.
  22. Those look delicious! I'm going to have to look up that recipe next time I do ribs.
  23. Well, the RTV worked good for keeping the fire bowl from sliding around so much. Once cured I had a chance to fire it up. I read all the posts about not overshooting your target temp. One cotton ball with all the vents open got me to 250 in about 10 minutes. Closed vents to one on both top and bottom settled in about 20 minutes later at 350 and didn't budge more than 10 degrees over 4 hours or so. I probably got lucky but that was the quickest I ever got a grill settled in with clean smoke. While taking it through its paces, I welded up a little frame to hold a water pan or a stone for some indirect cooking. After that I decided to cook something easy so I threw on a whole bird and a little over an hour later was eating on the juiciest chicken I've cooked. So far so good. I was itching to try something else so I picked up a top round roast and marinated it over night. Never grilled one before but found a reverse sear recipe on youtube. Indirect grilled at 350F for about an hour and pulled it at 120. Opened up all the vents, removed my drip pan and ran it up to 500F before putting the roast back on for a final sear and taking to 130 for a perfect medium rare. I love this little thing! The speed at which it went from 350 to 500 was amazing. I didn't time it but could not have been more than 3 minutes or so. And I did all the above with what looks like a couple handfuls of lump burned so far. I got the feeling my weber kettle is going to get neglected here soon.
  24. Huh. The picture I saw showed a separate vertical fuel chamber burning fuel at the bottom of the chamber. Instead of the heat and flame burning up in the fuel chamber, it is drafted (albeit forced) horizontally into a separate heat chamber or riser. Still reminds of a rocket stove heater, just not naturally drafting.
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