sssteel reacted to Jeff G in Vision B-Series Accessories "Setup/Feedback
A trick I learned on the Akorn is that the higher the better for pizza. I’d put the diffuser on the top shelf of the Vision and pizza stone above separated by three 1 1/4-1 1/2 inch balls of aluminum foil. It ensures the toppings get cooked, and get good leoparding before the crust burns. It also eliminates the problem of the top rack legs.
sssteel got a reaction from mike echo in Vision at Sam's Club
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!
sssteel got a reaction from lnarngr in My first low & slow - 2 different grills at the same time - Results
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??
sssteel reacted to deck in My first low & slow - 2 different grills at the same time - Results
Congrats on the Vision. I too have one. I would suggest like others light one spot. Normally I try and start the lump in the front near the side. This way the fire can move in one direction or the other. I have had times that there is lump that has not even close to starting. Also are you using the Lava stone? Is this below the felt line or do you have it on the bottom grate? Either way get the fire going well enough that it wont snuff out. Add the stone and leave the lid open for a few more minutes. As mentioned in above post cold things do mess with temps. When you feel that the fire is going with the stone on top and is not going to die close the lid and set your top vent and bottom vent. Wait and adjust wait some more. When you are ridding the temp you want and is not moving up or down add the meat. After meat is on let it do its thing. Sounds like your on the right track!!! Hope those ribs were tasty!
sssteel reacted to KamadoChris in My first low & slow - 2 different grills at the same time - Results
1. - If you put in anything cool/cold into a preheated grill you will get a temp drop as the new item heat soaks. Try not to adjust anything if your grill was stable prior, it will rebound fine. I know its tempting I started out the same fiddling with adjustments when I saw that temp drop. This includes a large chunk of cold meat, deflector, etc. Also, maybe I'm just overly cautious, but I avoid putting cool ceramics into a hot grill. I always try and bring them up to temp with the kamado, just in the off chance it causes cracking, also you have that additional thermal mass in there to help with stabilizing when you put in the cold meat. When I was first running an electric smoker I put in some ceramic floor tiles and a sand filled to water pan to assist with heat soak and stabilizing temps, same idea but to a greater degree with your ceramic kamado once its soaked.
2. - Every grill is different, everyone runs theirs different, and can be different depending on how much lump is lit, how much lump is in bowl, and external cooking conditions. Mine personally for 250* the bottom vent is open like the thickness of two stacked matchsticks, maybe one if it has a direct wind. I usually pizza cook with bottom vent about 1/3 - 1/2 open.
Enjoy and keep it up!
sssteel reacted to Kamado Tom in My first low & slow - 2 different grills at the same time - Results
for a low and slow I would recommend starting in one spot and let it come to temp., I don't usually don't light in multiple spots unless I'm cooking @ ~325F or higher
sssteel reacted to Family_cook in Startup for Low & Slow
Lots of ways to do it, but I find getting my fire hot before closing the lid avoids heating up the Kamado and then struggling to get the temp down to the desired temp. When you do close the lid close the vents to maybe 24% on bottom vent and close the upper vent to 10% and adjust from there.. It won't take much air if you already have a hot fire. I find this a very simple way to quickly get to clean smoke and not overshoot my target temp.
sssteel reacted to MarkQC in How many full racks of baby back ribs could you fit in a Big Joe without a rib rack? And recipe
10 actually just fits, no stacking! (Pic below)
Just got them on, has your pork dry rub on.
for sauce, I’m considering this which is supposed to be a close copy of our local rib chain called Baton Rouge.
1 cup of ketchup
1/4 cup of molasses
1/4 cup of white vinegar
1/2 tsp of salt
1/8 tsp of pepper
1/8 tsp of garlic powder
1/8 tsp of onion salt
2 tbsp of brown sugar
2 tbsp of dark corn syrup
2 tbsp of onion flakes
2 tsp of smoke flavour liquid
But this google search shows this molasses based rub has over 3000k positive reviews, so not sure which one to do.
1/2 cup ketchup 1/3 cup dark brown sugar 1/4 cup unsulfured blackstrap molasses 1/4 cup apricot preserves 2 tablespoons yellow mustard 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 garlic clove, minced 1 1/2 teaspoons chile powder 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce Pinch of ground cloves Pinch of ground allspice Salt
sssteel reacted to MarkQC in How many full racks of baby back ribs could you fit in a Big Joe without a rib rack? And recipe
They came out great, everyone loved them but they did dry out a little, so I guess they were overdone and everyone enjoyed them more when I re-applied sauce to them after the cook, I guess I’ll do that from now on regardless of the recipe.
they were not fall off the bone but very easy to eat.
I used John’s pork rub, I cooked them at 250 for 2.5 hours unwrapped with deflector plate at lowest position but it pan of liquid in between, not sure if that would have added more moisture?
i sprayed them with apple juice for the last hour of the unwrapped cook at an interval of 20 minutes to give them a nice bark.
i sauced then and wrapped with a few tablespoons of apple juice and cooked that at 250 for 1.5 hours and then re-applied sauce when I served.
not sure where I should reduce cooking next time, the unwrapped (2.5 hours) or wrapped (1.5 hours) portion?
sssteel reacted to Family_cook in Cooking with skewers
Inspired by KamadoPlanet's tandoori chicken video, I got some skewers. My first try was meant to be a learning experience and it was. I found some skewers that had a big ring and used pliers to open up that ring. It then fit the chimney on my BGE, as I believe it would most Kamados. While i was able to fit my Tip Top Temp over the skewers in the hole, it was not able to hit the higher temp I wanted. Using aluminum foil I was able to get a high temp without having it run away. The dome temp was 375 and a probe right in the hole was 425. Pics tell the story. Sorry for the missing finished pic but we had to eat fast as my son had to get to a school event.
sssteel reacted to Kamado Tom in 2nd Grill Addition: Akorn full-size vs. Vision B-Series vs. KJ or BGE??
I was set between a Primo XL and a KJ Big Joe, just looking for the best deal when I found out about eggfest demo deals, 4 days later I owned a BGE XL and I've been happy as a clam with it. IMO you can't go wrong with any of those 3 brands and probably the Akorn or Vision either.
sssteel reacted to Brandon Store in 2nd Grill Addition: Akorn full-size vs. Vision B-Series vs. KJ or BGE??
I cant give any insight on akorn or vision. but I was originally dead set on buying a Big Green Egg and was persuaded to Kamado Joe. I believe if I bought an BGE I woulda been happy with it but the bells and whistles Kamado Joe offers is what got me. The easy lift, the high heat gaskets, the latch to lock it shut, divide and conquer system, were what sold me. I also love the accessories you can get for it. If pizza really is a big deal for ya, the dojoe is a great tool to have, I like that I can put pizzas in and out of the kamado without any heat loss, and its design forces the hot air to hit the top of the pizza as it exists the grill. Research the grills on the factory websites, read comments here, and buy what you believe will fit your needs.