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Chainsaw Al

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  • Gender
  • Location:
    Bentonville, AR
  • Interests
    Grilling, smoking, and Eating (not necessarily in that order), and coaching basketball for local youth.
  • Grill
    Kamado Joe

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  1. Thanks for sharing. I will definitely have to try this one as we are a chicken lover family and one of our favorites is anything in the realm of Chicken Picata with lemon, capers, etc. Will try this and post some pics once I do!
  2. Thanks for all the responses. This has been a learning experience (but very enjoyable). I had my 1st bad cook last night. Living in NW Arkansas, grocery stores are far and few between (there is Walmart, Walmart, and Walmart given their HQ is here). They don't have tri tip at any of their locations here. There is a small independent grocery called Harps here that did have some tri tips that were vacuum sealed. I got one that looked fresh. I followed the basic cook guidelines I have seen online - 300-350 for about 1 - 1.5 hours with a basic sea salt, pepper, paprika, onion powder, etc rub. Looked fantastic coming off the grill at about 135... good sear and inside looked fabulous. Cut across the grain.. did everything right as far as I know of... but thing was so chewy it was almost uneatable. Even slicing it thin it was just like chewing gristly bubbly gum after a while. And we love medium rare steak and cook it often but this was bad... So my first tri tip experience has broken my confidence on that cut, at least temporarily. Opinions? Did I just get a bad piece of meat that would cause this? Or do I need to let it marinate overnight? Do I need to cook longer to break down the connective tissue? I am just lost based on my experience last night. I thought if it was a meat issue, I will go by one of the local butchers and try it again with a piece of prime. Any thoughts are appreciated.
  3. Sorry, never introduced myself before posting. Name is Tim. Live in Northwest Arkansas in Walmart HQ land as everyone sells Walmart. Moved here about 10 years ago after living in Miami, NY, Hong Kong, etc. I have called on just about every retailer in this country and beyond at one point. Today I own a rep company and work with small and medium size companies to get started at Walmart, Amazon, Target, etc. Even though I am well traveled, I am a Southern boy by hear as I grew up just South of Birmingham, AL for most of my life (70's - 80's) Married with 3 girls 11, 12, and 14. Been in the gas grill business before on the manufacturer side (e.g. Coleman, Margaritaville working with Buffet, etc.) so have been mostly a gas guy for years. Big claim to fame was helping develop the Tail gate grill (Road Trip) with Coleman back in the late 90's early 2000's and then the Margaritaville tail gate grill that can with a 2" trailer hitch. Neat stuff... but still gas driven products. Charcoal left such a bad taste in my mouth (figuratively and literally) I never really revisited it until recently. Glad I found kamado and lump charcoal. We grill a lot (2-3 times a week at minimum). Kids are steak lovers with expensive taste (Filet medium rare even when they were 7 or 8 years old). Grew up with a dad who would only eat steak well done, and it was so dry and flavorless I hated steak most of the young life. No wonder he had to douse it with A1... else you couldn't swallow it! Once I discovered medium rare filet's in my early 20's, I have never looked back. The kamado's ability to cook low and slow or sear at high temps sold me... most of my friends locally have smokers they swear by but for our family they are just two restrictive for our lifestyle. So glad to be here and look forward to sharing experiences and learning from all of you on my continued journey...
  4. So I bought my Big Joe III on Friday and like any Southern male couldn't wait to get it started. Saturday I smoked a Butt. Was planning on a low and slow cook at 250-275 for 9 hours or so. Thought I had the temp pretty stabilized around 270 enough to run out with the wife. Should have known better, because an hour later when we returned it was at 360. Long story short, I got the temp down slowly but these grill retain so much heat I learned the hard way that overshooting is a bad thing and until I get a feel for the grill I need to babysit it a little more. Good news is the Butt finished in about 5.5 hours and still had a great smoke ring, flavor, and moisture content was good. Not dry at all which I worried about as I cooked it directly on the rack with the Sloroller... no water pan, just a drip pan. Family loved it and I would have put it up against the local award winning BBQ place any day of the week. So not all bad... Sunday, I got the DoJoe accessory out and did pizzas with the family. Filled the basket as instructed on John's videos. Used the basic dough recipe that came with the DoJoe. All in all it went well and pizzas came out perfect. Having 3 little girls making their own pizza with flour made a huge mess in the kitchen but well worth the memories. Grill got up to 600 in no-time... in fact I kept having to reduce the bottom damper because it tried to get up north of 650 a couple of times near 700. The only feedback I would have about the DoJoe is I don't think it is ideal for single pizza as I couldn't stop the cook after we were done to save lump. I got a pair of thick pair of leather grill gloves and was going to remove the DoJoe about an hour after we were done (after shutting the bottom completely) and it was still so hot, I could feel it through the gloves. The problem is even with a set of welder's gloves, it was so hot I couldn't have a good place to set it without ruining something. So, unless someone else has a suggestion, it seems the DoJoe is good for when you are making multiple pizzas and committed to burning through the entire basket because that sucker gets hot. Overall though, love the grill. I am looking to build a custom table for it (maybe even build it with the plan on having a 2 grills eventually). Tonight I am going after a Tri-tip...and some vegetables with the family.
  5. On followup question. The Big Joe III says it is a whopping 487 lbs. With 2 adult males, and stripping everything out / off, what is the weight and is it manageable to get it in the stand with 2 people or do I need to recruit help?
  6. Thanks for the detailed response John. You have convinced me to just make the leap and get the III. In the end, the grill will be around a very long time and we are only talking a minor price difference once everything is factored. The biggest things for me reading your response are the charcoal basket, the SLoRoller, 3-tier rack, and deeper overall base segment giving more room between heat source and grilling surfaces when needed. I appreciate your quick response and also enjoy your YouTube videos. Look forward to learning more on these forums.
  7. Ok... I really need some help here. I have been ready to pull the trigger on a Joe for weeks now but I am stuck in the endless loop of debating which model. I have a family of 6 (3 adults and 3 teens who love meat). I will be smoking but also doing shorter cooks for quicker meals of quality stuff like Tri Tip, Steaks, chicken wings, etc. I have watched plenty of John's videos but still can't make a decision. I thought about trying an 18" Classic II or III with the extension rack... but although that may work for smoking, when I have a higher temp dual zone quicker grill / sear there simply won't be enough space. So I have settled on the Big Joe 24". Now the dilemma... which Big Joe, the II or III? And sure, the immediate answer maybe "newer is better" but I am REALLY struggling on why to invest the additional ~550 to 600. And I am familiar with the additional "features" of the III, but I feel like the only REAL differentiation is the SlowRoller Insert and the 3-tier rack (which is really 2 when using the slow roll). the other features like the nicer stand with shelf, basket, etc. seem like "nice to haves" but not really necessary to spend the extra dollars on unless it really impacts the cook. And there is an aesthetic value as the III does look nicer in a more elongated shape that is brighter red. So my question is the Slowroller really worth it? I am discounting the other stuff too much? Am I thinking about this all wrong? At the end of the day, I just want good tasting food. I can do a lot with that $600 (heck, I could even buy a Jr or invest in a nice table, etc.). On the flip side, I have heard from people about hot spots on the II in the back near the lift which is why they developed the slowroller? Not sure if that is true and how much of an issue it is regarding the final product? Help me... I would like to buy my choice this Sat AM and be home smoking something for a Sunday get together. Thanks, Chainsaw Al
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