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sssteel

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Everything posted by sssteel

  1. Wow, amazing price!!! Did you seriously fit both inside that car?? I would've been shocked to hear of ONE fitting!! Have fun with it - you'll love it!
  2. Got mine for $399 (on Labor day weekend) - totally pleased with that! Loving it so far, but hardly used it. What a bargain price though! I hope to have mine for a long time and get some great usage and tons of amazing meals from it!! Happy cooking, and eating!
  3. @nealc The thermostat on my few month old Akorn Jr goes to 700. And, I'm quite sure it would do that! I've read quite a bit on here, and seen a fair amount of videos - all for the Akorn Jr - and people sear and high temp cook with them all the time! I've personally had mine to 600 a handful of times. No issues. You're good to go. However, my personal thoughts are that after about 600, you may be causing a little undue stress on your grill. Particularly on the gaskets. I've read heat will supposedly cause them to wear & degrade quite a bit faster.... Therefore, that's not something I personally do. But you CAN. I'd keep it under 575 for pretty similar results & more longevity/less headache. My 2 cents. I can however, whole-heartedly recommend the Akorn Jr - it's a fantastic little grill! Happy cooking, and eating!
  4. Very cool!! Good for you all!!
  5. I'm originally from, and grew up in, the city you're in
  6. I'm a European exotic guy through & through (Lambo, Ferrari, Pagani, Koenigsegg, Bugatti, AMG Mercedes, Porsche, McLaren) - but nice vid & glad you had fun!!
  7. Hey all, So today I finally attempted my first low & slow!! This was with TWO grills (my trusty Akorn Jr and my brand new Vision Classic B), and for two different purposes - simultaneously. The purpose of the Akorn low & slow was to cook ribs for dinner (first time cooking ribs on a Kamado.) The purpose of the Vision low & slow was, because I had never cooked with it, and the main reason I bought it WAS for low & slow (larger cuts of meat), I wanted to: A. Do a couple dry/practice runs to get myself acquainted with the low & slow "technique." B. Test my Vision, and particularly it's lower/ash tray gasket & seal, for air-tightness. Making sure there seemed to be no extra air getting in, causing temps to rise against your will (an old complaint on this brand.) So, I started each grill at the same time with the same process. I have KABaskets in both. Nice large piles of lump coal (Royal Oak.) Maybe approx 75% full in each. Two alcohol soaked cotton balls in each grill, Volcano style, offset from the center a bit (in an attempt to start two different "areas" of coals.) I kept the lids open for cotton ball burn off, both for the initial burn off, and also so the temp in the grills didn't rise and I could get an accurate reading once lid was closed and began adjusting vents... Adjusted vents as everyone describes. Tried to take my time, wasn't in a rush - as I definitely wanted to do it right!! Eventually (& nicely I may add!!) got up to about 240 deg on each, exactly where I wanted to be! Began cooking on the Akorn (with deflector, etc) and just simply kept the Vision lid closed. Monitored each like a hawk. Despite a nice slow come up, and not over-adjusting then under-adjusting the vents, the Akorn DEFINITELY was fluctuating. I realized it was about 275-280 deg, so I closed vents slightly, and gave it some time. Got to 250 however kept going down, I would open vents more once reached 230, would continue to drop to 210-220. Then open vents raise it to 260, close vents just a bit while it rises to 270 then it starts falling again..... This happened several times (maybe 4) in the span of an hour and 20 minutes. Frustrating. However, I am incredibly pleased to report the Vision was dead-locked at 240 deg SOLID!!! Yes!! Well, at an hour and 20 mins in, the Vision had dropped not only to 210, but was at 200. I watched it and it kept dropping a bit. At 190 I opened it up. Come to find out, the whole area where I placed one cotton ball, had been extinguished... Therefore, only a portion of the coals were going. I knew I needed to light that other side again. Took the ribs off. I kinda panicked a bit, didn't want to leave them off for a long time, and added 2 soaked cotton balls among those coals. We were going to get this baby heated up again!! Lol. Well, needless to say a few minutes later, I realized what I had done. I sure had a roaring fire now!! Lid was open to not heat the grill up. However, nearly all the coals were glowing RED hot! This was a hot fire... Continued to let it burn away. Meanwhile 20 mins had passed. I decided to close most of the vents to let the fire & temp die down a bit. Closed the lid finally. I had to put the meat on and get dinner going again, lol! Well, temp on dome thermometer quickly shot up to 400... 450.... 475... Whoops!! Ribs are sitting beside the grill, and I just KNEW I was going to have a hard time bringing this one down again! Plus, would have to deal with fluctuating temps and be frustrated! Didn't want to add the meat at 400 deg... Nope, this grill was ruined for this cook! But wait! We still had the Vision. Chugging away 1hr45min later at a steady 240! Perfect! Threw a deflector and ribs on there. Closed up Akorn for good for the day.... Needless to say, finished the cook on the Vision. It held a great/steady temp and did very well. I'm a proud papa, to say the least. The ribs came out very good, enjoyed them quite a bit! So that's the (sorry so long) saga of my first low & slow (x2). Lessons learned, and a fun experience had overall. Plus delicious ribs! Two side notes gents: 1. Do you notice, I presume it's normal.... if you get a grill up to temp -- whatever temp that may be as I've had it happen at 250 and at 500 -- then add a deflector stone/plate, often it takes the grill just a bit of time to "recover"? More so than if a deflector was not added? I figure that's just the nature of the beast as let hot air simply goes directly up / to thermostat. 2. My Vision, despite it holding 240 before my cook, and while cooking the whole time, and being VERY steady which I greatly appreciated -- I was surprised to find I had to have my lower vent at about 50% open?! I was expecting, for such a low temp, like 10-20% open... However, if the low temp was held (which it was), and if I know the grill and can maintain it, I suppose it doesn't really matter much after all?? THANKS!!!!
  8. Yeah, I'm newer to the world too - but, it rocks!!
  9. Thanks! Quick question: The alcohol - rubbing alcohol 91%, or 'actual' denatured alcohol in a can like lacquer thinner or paint thinner? Thanks!
  10. Great!! Thanks so much guys for all the info!!
  11. Thanks much for the info & tips! I do have an Akorn, yes, but this post was in relation to my new Vision. I'll get my profile updated
  12. Hey all, Haven't done a low & slow yet. Going to do a few practice/dry runs before actually cooking. Question though: for startup, what "process" would you recommend? 1. Lots of lump. Wide open vents/oxygen. Let most of the lump catch on fire/begin (that way it's lit.) Let temp get up hot - maybe 450deg. Then, close vents to back it down & cool off to 250deg. Of course this will take some extra "set up" time, as it will have to cool from 450 to 250 - instead of cooking right away. My rational however, is a lot of pieces of lump will be lit and hopefully shouldn't have any "stalling" or causing a need to relight through the cook? 2. Same process, but instead of letting it heat up so high, start backing the temp down slowly like normal, to reach your desired degrees. i.e. say at 175 close vents a bit, close down a little more at 200, etc. So that vents are set by the time target temp of say 250 is reached. However, if enough lump isn't ignited, my thoughts are you may have to "tend" to the fire more.... Thanks so much! Cheers
  13. Very cool!! Thanks so much for sharing, that was a great watch!!
  14. Awesome guys; thanks a ton for all the insight, help, and suggestions!! Much appreciated! Happy cooking, and eating!
  15. So, I'm relatively new overall to the Kamado cooking world & the prospect of it. However, my mom always used to say a phrase to me when something was great - "this is the best thing since sliced bread." Don't you aficionados believe this applies to Kamado's?? While using mine today, and thinking about how cool the design is, how simplistic but also how neat they are, how relatively easy they are to use & how fun they are, the multitude of things you can do/cook on them, plus the history dating so far back - and not to mention the absolutely delicious, juicy, succulent food - aren't they just the best thing since sliced bread??!! Happy cooking, and eating!! :)
  16. That's extremely cool, and looks amazing! Great job - you're very talented!! Thanks for sharing!
  17. I'm certainly no pro on the subject and not well versed in different types - but I CAN say, with 100% certainty - those look absolutely NOTHING like the fire bricks I purchased from a local stone store to line the inside of in-ground backyard fire pit I created at my last house.... Those ones were very squared off like the other poster said, but more noticeably they were a rich/dark red color, and very thin compared to any other types of brick or block I'd seen (don't remember exactly but approx 3/4 inch wide, maybe 1 inch or so.) I was always under the impression there were NO other true "fire bricks" than those... Hope I've helped with this little bit of info... Edit; a few links: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Rutland-4-5-in-x-9-in-x-1-25-in-Fire-Brick-6-per-Box-604/300980334 Different color but exact same size/shape as mine https://www.amazon.com/US-Stove-FBP6E-FireBrick-6-Pack/dp/B00XC1YCTY http://www.superiorclay.com/other-clay-products/firebrick/ P.S. I DO believe the wrong type of stones/blocks (which retain moisture) CAN get hot enough & spontaneously explode.... Therefore, I'd be sure what you're using is correct and okay. To save the few dollars to buy the proper ones, isn't worth a (rare but possible) explosion causing disfigurement to you lasting permanently!
  18. Hey gents, Getting into this hobby - I have an Akorn Jr and just today added the full-size Vision B-Series to have a ceramic! Ok so have a few questions about the ideal accessories "setup" for this Vision here.... First, on the Akorn Jr, I have their heat deflector stone. I (of course) use the top/main cast iron cooking grate on that unit.... I do NOT want the Vision brand lava stone - no thanks. I AM buying a Kick Ash Basket for the Vision, for sure.... So one of the main reasons I got the Vision was to do high-temp pizza cooks. I want a two tiered shelf/system. I was excited because I knew the Vision grill comes with the two tiered SS grates. However, I also know the standard bottom cooking grate isn't really accessible during most cooks and is semi-useless, people use the top more often. Which is fine with me and neither here nor there, as I don't need to do steaks or high heat/direct on it, I'll use the Akorn Jr for that. And I was even more excited about the Vision because the top tier grate is Raised ABOVE the gasket/lid line (which is exactly where you want your pizza to be - in the dome a bit more! And of course you wanna be using a heat deflector that's the same width/size as the pizza stone...) So anyway, I had PLANNED to buy a cast iron griddle pan, such as this: https://www.amazon.com/Camp-Chef-CIPZ14-Cast-Pizza/dp/B000Q01WBU/ref=sr_1_5?keywords=camp+chef+14+cast+iron&qid=1567054631&s=gateway&sr=8-5 And this pizza stone: https://www.amazon.com/Stoneware-Thermarite-Engineered-Cordierite-Certified/dp/B01GW4CDOI/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?keywords=large%2Bpizza%2Bstone&qid=1567048733&s=gateway&sr=8-1-spons&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEyWTNIMERXWFRDTzVLJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwODY2NzQ3NFFXR003RUU2RE5SJmVuY3J5cHRlZEFkSWQ9QTA2MTYzNzExS09NVjNRN1VCU1pFJndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfYXRmJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ&th=1 Both 14". Cast iron pan is actually 15" with the handles but 14" cooking surface area. Anyway. Then what I was going to do was put the cast iron pan on the lower grate as a deflector, and the pizza stone & pizza on the upper grate (in the dome a bit more.) Voila! FIRST QUESTION, though it ultimate doesn't matter but I'm curious: would that setting, with cast iron deflector on lower grate, be TOO HIGH out of the firebox to act as a proper diffuser? I think it should be perfect, particularly for pizza, as you're raising everything up and having a 2-2.5in gap between deflector and actual pizza.... HOWEVER, due to Vision's grate hinge system and how that top grate shelf mounts, you are severely limited to put a 14" anything on the lower grate, unfortunately... The support rods for top grate, as well as folding mechanism "handle" on lower grate to add wood to firebox, get in the way of that. At best, there is 13-13.5" of clearance for a cast iron pan diffuser (or lava stone, or whatever you use.) And I don't want a 12" or 13" diffuser and pizza stone. And no, I don't want a 10" or 12" diffuser and a 15" or 16" pizza stone, unfortunately... :( So.... Now I'm thinking perhaps to replace the grates entirely?! Not sure with what though? That way I could (hopefully) fit a 14" or 15" diffuser on the lower shelf of a two tiered system (i.e. purchasing the same two accessories I linked above....) Next, I've also found this thread here, and now wondering the merits of these items: So that adds the *CGS Spider System, or Aura Pro-Zone* to the mix..... I definitely want and need some type of diffuser/deflecter in there. Which route do you experienced members think I should go?? P.S. The other main reason I got this Vision was for the ceramic versatility, and sizing/surface upgrade from Akorn Jr, to do some Proper low-n-slow cooks on large chunks, for Brisket which I love, Boston Butt, Pork Shoulder, etc.... What setup should I use for those meats - a diffuser on lower grate and whatever large chunk of meat on the top grate is okay?? P.S.S. I'm aware of the Vision's possible weakness with letting air in/not being sealed airtight around the removable ash drawer. The ash drawer is of no benefit to me whatsoever, as again I'll use the KAB and then a Vacuum to vac out ash from the top... With that said, I'm thinking of initially sealing the removable ash box a big tighter (hopefully), and attempting to create a nice airtight seal. What I would do is leave the existing felt gasket it comes with in that area, there - and simply add MORE gasket on top of the existing. Probably the Nomex, 1-inch width, the same width the rest of the grill uses (I don't know what the airbox gasket size is and haven't measured, I DO know the lid opening and chimney are 1".) Do you think that would A. Be a good idea? and B. Would that be the proper size of gasket to use? I know Nomex makes a few narrower ones as well. Many many thanks in advance for your input & helping me with this setup!! Cheers
  19. Hey gents, Getting into this hobby - I have an Akorn Jr and just today added the full-size Vision B-Series to have a ceramic! Ok so have a few questions about the ideal accessories "setup."
  20. Andddd the plot thickens.... Thanks for your input! I agree with your thoughts @Drusen Thanks for the pizza info @Family_cook I've actually just purchased the Vision, which I found out last night was on sale (hence the reason for my question.) So will give it a try & keep you all posted! Thanks again @JohnnyAppetizer
  21. NOT affiliated, simply found this - brand new & unused. Isn't that a deal as they're like 2k for the BIG Joe?? https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/502421220574084/
  22. Awesome, that is really wonderful news!! The Vision is the one I really want, to have a ceramic. Good points about the manufacturing overseas comment. Many thanks for your input/reply, you've just made my day! Cheers
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