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mr-future last won the day on June 18 2020

mr-future had the most liked content!

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  1. This evening I reverse-seared a couple of ribeyes. The steaks were from Costco and had been in my freezer for a while. I moved them to the refrigerator two days back to thaw them, and applied kosher salt once the outsides were thawed. Before they went on the grill I ground some pepper onto them. In the Akorn, I used the 13" Academy griddle on top of the weber mid-grate, with a 13" round cake pan on top to catch drippings, and put the steaks on at around 250 for 54 minutes, until they hit 125 IT. I used a single half-fist sized chunk of mesquite. I had bought some mesquite as my first smoking wood, and never used it due all of the stigma against it in BBQ forums/blogs. I've used cherry, apple, and hickory, but the bag of mesquite remained untouched. Earlier today I read a couple of posts where people recommended mesquite for steaks, so I gave it a try. Keep reading to find out how it tasted... After the steaks reached IT, I pulled them and placed them in a stainless container, pulled the drip pan and grill, shut the lid, and opened the vents for about 20 minutes. I had been careful to only add around 2 inches of lump, which gives me the ability to light all the coals without melting the paint on the ash pan. Once the grill thermometer read 450, the griddle was hot enough to where I could only hold my palm an inch over it for a second or two. Then, I seared the steaks with a splash of avocado oil, one at a time, for about 4 minutes each. My findings were that I liked the ribeye with mesquite better than without smoke. I am no foodie, but I found the mesquite flavor to really compliment the beef. My wife is sensitive to smoke, and even she liked it. This is my first time to smoke a steak, so I have no clue how other woods compare. I feel a little bit of heartburn now - which could be from the mesquite, since I don't usually get heartburn. The wife has no heartburn. You can't tell from the pictures, but the smoke imparted a reddish color to the exterior of the steaks, which was interesting. For sides, I did mashed potatoes and sauteed mushrooms/asparagus. I am new to cooking/grilling, and it amazes my wife to eat a home-cooked meal that would cost $50 at a steakhouse.
  2. @Deadeye, by stabilized, I mean the fire had been lit for one hour, and for the last 20 minutes it was sitting at 250. I was thinking the same - maybe I will try starting at 275 next time, and work my way up...
  3. Thanks everyone, for the thoughtful replies. I wonder how much proximity to meat can affect the grill probe reading, as well...
  4. If the fire is going out, then why is it going out after adding everything into the grill? The top is open for a few minutes, which should give the fire some life. I have run it all day at 250 just to see if I can. Could it be reduced airflow from the 13" stone/drip pan? I forgot to mention, I have had similar drops at 350 or 400, with chicken. The temp drops, and does not recover after 20 minutes. The fire is definitely not going out in that case. And that is without a stone or drip pan.
  5. Just now, I stabilized the Akorn at 250 with 1/0 (top/bottom). I'm using a Thermopro Smoke to measure the temp at the grill, about three inches from the edge right under where the dome thermometer is. After she was stable, I added four wood chunks, stone, drip pan, grill, top grill, and 6 lbs of ribs (room temp).The temp fell to 160, at which point it slowly continued to fall into the 150's. This continued for 20 minutes. I've read a lot of accounts of people just waiting 20 minutes after adding meat to let the grill catch up. I didn't have the patience to wait any longer than 20 minutes, and the temp was still gradually falling, so I started opening the vents. Even 3/2, the temp was not increasing. I finally opened her full steam to 5/5 for a few minutes, at which point the temp started to rise. Forty-five minutes later, the fire was stable again at 250 with 1,0. I have a couple of questions: 1 - Can anyone explain the "science" of what is happing here? 2- Has anyone else experienced it, and how do you manage it?
  6. Please consider input from someone who has been doing this for a whole month. I use natural briquettes on the weber grate for smash burgers, with a griddle sitting on the top grate, and it works just like a weber grill. For reverse searing steaks, I use no more than 2 inches of lump in the firebox. The academy griddle is sitting on top of the weber for heat deflection, with a pan on top of that to catch drippings. When it is time to reverse sear, I pull the steaks, grill, and pan, and leave the vents open until the full firebox catches. Then, I sear the steaks on the cast iron. Note the importance of using a small amount of lump. If you use too much lump, you may smell melting paint, and that is a best case scenario.
  7. 16 cooks into my Akorn, I took a first stab at the "big meats." Putting blind faith in kamadoguru.com, my test run with baby back ribs would be our main source of food for a dinner party. The ribs turned out great - everyone thought they were restaurant quality. One thing I realized about ribs is that they contain the holy trinity of tastes: sweet, salty, and savory. I have no clue what I am doing, so let me know if you have any suggestions! Prep: - At my local grocery store (HEB), I purchased 3 2.7 lb baby back ribs. - make rub - Before starting coals, I removed the membranes. The first rack didn't have one, but in my lack of experience I tried to remove it for a while. The second and third racks had obvious membranes, which I found easy to remove. - Patted ribs dry with paper towel and applied rub directly to both sides. No mayo, mustard, or anything like that. - Cut two of the racks in half. Two halves will go on the top rack, and the one whole and other two halves will go on grill. Cook: - Volcano method with Royal Red Lump, started with 1 alcohol-soaked cotton ball. - 2 chunks hickory + 1 apple placed near hole in volcano (starting light on smoke due to wife sensitivity). - Smokin Stone diffuser + 13" aluminum drip pan. - Average temp: 260 - Mopped with "The Jank" BBQ sauce (some random sauce I bought) at 50 minutes and 15 minutes before pulling. - Pulled ribs at 200 IT. - On my whole rack, I tried the "bend test" - the meat cracked pretty good, and the meat within was mostly white. - Cook time: around 5 hours (forgot to stop timer, as usual) - As far as timing, my original plan was for the ribs to come out around one hour before guests arrive, double wrapping them in foil to keep them warm. Instead, they came out 30 minutes after guests arrived, which was perfect. I mis-estimated my cook time, using example times for a higher temp. - Cut individual ribs out on cutting board. Learnings: - On the long rack, the ribs on each end were tough and dry. I believe that this was caused by direct exposure to coals. I did notice a lot of pork smoke, as well - not sure if this is normal, or a sign that lots of drippings were missing my pan. I will buy a rib rack, cut the racks in half, and attempt to keep all of them toward the center. - A few of the first drippings burned on the drip pan, before the pan filled up with juices - will create spacers for next time to minimize this. - Only 1.5 of 3 wood chunks ignited, since the first went in a direction I didn't expect. I had placed the chunks in a tight circle around my volcano, which was near the location of the bottom vent. The fire moved up against the vent, then headed across the front side.The smoke tasted good, and I could tell that it would have been even better if all 3 chunks had been engaged. - 260 average temp is lower than necessary, based on what I read here. Will shoot for 275-300 next time. - After stabilizing at 260 and adding the ribs, the temp shot up to 300 due to leaving it open for so long. I panicked and choked up on the top vent, which put the fire out. I blew a little into the bottom vent and got her going again. Watching the temp shoot up the other times after opening the lid, I noticed that minutes later it would fall back to the original temperature (although slightly higher, usually). - Opening the lid to baste seems to lengthen the cook time. The IT goes from steadily rising to dropping a little and stalling for a while. - I will definitely buy some high-temp gloves that you can handle meat with. Mine are leather and not good for grabbing ribs. - I will also buy a rub shaker. Was using an empty spice shaker, but it is too small, so I have to refill it several times, which is a pain with one clean hand. - I think I prefer Fogo Black to Royal Red. Fogo Black smells better, and seems to respond more gently to vent changes. Royal Red is less dense than Fogo Black and seems cheaper.
  8. I have the Academy griddle -- one issue I have found is that it is very rough. Per the advice of this video I am going to buy an orbital sander and sand the surface down.
  9. Akorn temp was stabilized at 370, when I popped in two cold 3.3 lb chickens. 11 minutes later temp was in the 320's. I have read a lot here about you're "not supposed to touch the vents" when your temp drops from lots of cold meat poundage. What about chicken? My original goal was to start at 375 and raise to 425. I ended up opening vents to bring it up to 425, and the chicken tasted great. My guess: it probably doesn't matter too much, and the only issue is extra cook time. For next time, with that much cold chicken, I would start at 425, then bring it back up to 425 after the temp dropped. How to you all handle the temp drop when cooking lots of chicken? Being new to kamado, chickens are blowing my mind and improving my relationship with my wife. It literally is the best chicken we have ever had, direct grilled over charcoal at 400 to 370 breast IT with a dry brine/rub the night before. The entire neighborhood smells like a charcoal chicken joint (since I am not catching the drippings). Also, chicken is so affordable. This is life-changing stuff, folks.
  10. Since I first posted this, I've gone through this forum and found numerous posts about newbies like me going nuclear. I discovered that the plastic smell was from paint melting on the main body of the grill, inside the ash tray, where there is a lip painted with exterior paint that happens to be inside the grill. Seems like "just a flesh wound." I would do it over again, if I could. Glad I learned this lesson without totaling the grill or burning the neighborhood down. Char-Griller should have a giant red page in the manual warning about leaving the hood open with a full firebox.
  11. Thank you @John Setzler! I was just wishing that there was some sort a path defined from easy, to intermediate, to brisket. And then I found this book, which has exactly that!
  12. @ProVaporizer, thanks for your reply - knowing that someone else entirely lost their firebox handles gives me lots of assurance. I guess my Akorn is not broke, but just broken in. I just used a single alcohol-soaked cotton ball to start the coal. I had done a quick google search about how much coal to put in the firebox, and somewhere I read to "always fill the firebox." I am guessing this is actually for low and slow applications... now I know! Thanks for the tip re: the metal basket. I did get the weber grate. Could you post a link to the metal basket, if that is something you bought online?
  13. I was doing smash burgers on a griddle on my new Akorn. To get the fire going (firebox completely full of lump), I left bottom and top vents all the way open. When it reached 400, I noticed that one of the ash bin latches was undone, so extra air was getting into the firebox. I closed the latch, moved the top vent to almost closed, opened the lid, then proceeded to do smash burgers... with the bottom vent all the way open.I actually thought that the fire wouldn't get bigger if the lid was open - I am pretty new to this, as you can see. Well, as I was finishing the burgers, I started to notice that the grill area was too hot for me to work the burgers. Then I noticed flames coming up from the firebox, which was completely lit. I could smell burning plastic. When I closed the lid, the thermometer shot up to 600. After shutting both vents, the temp eventually dropped. The first time I attempted to burp the grill, there was a backdraft that stopped just short of my face (which hopefully demonstrates the grill is well sealed). I think the burning smell was from the plastic handles of the ash bin, which had started to turn white. This unfortunate event helped me learn some of the basic mechanics of controlling the fire. I hope that my gaskets weren't compromised... I am thinking of doing smash burgers on the gas grill, instead - although I want at least one successful run on the Akorn. For next time, I am thinking that I need to nearly close the bottom vent once the lid opens. If anyone has any suggestions for quickly getting top grill to 450, opening the lid, and keeping the fire under control, I'm all ears...
  14. Hi, I have been lurking this forum for weeks prior to purchasing my first Akorn. To season the grate, I followed the instructions here -> https://www.chargriller.com/blogs/tips-and-care/how-to-care-for-cast-iron-grill-grates . TLDR -> coat the grill in vegetable oil (I used Canola) and back in the oven at 400 for one hour. After popping the grill in the oven, the whole house was soon filled with smoke. I ended up lighting my first fire on the Akorn and letting the grill season in there. It was good practice, although near the end I discovered that the ash pan was only half-attached.
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