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Everything posted by AJS390

  1. That's a screenshot of the app for my Smobot temp controller. It works great, keeps everything exactly dialed in and monitored from anywhere. There's a web interface that has more detailed data, too, but it isn't as easy to share. Not the most necessary tool for a three hour cook, but it's fun to use and let's me feel free to leave home if I need something with no worries.
  2. To be honest, I hate questions like this. "Worth" is such a subjective value that you can have as many different answers as you have people responding. I have done both, and I find the dojoe to be fun to use and a definite advantage if I'm doing multiple pizzas. There's no big loss of heat from opening the lid, and you can see how done the pizzas are getting. But I also had great success without the dojoe, and it is a bit of a hassle to handle. There's also the potential for it to be hard on the gaskets, but that's true for cooking at high temps in general anyway. @John Setzler has also talked about the different things you can use the dojoe for, like baking or broiling (basically anything that can be improved by browning the top more). So I guess my answer is it depends. I think it's fun to use and I had the money to spend, so to me it's worth it. But if you are perfectly happy with your results without it and are someone who is concerned about "bang for your buck", you probably wouldn't be too happy with it. Also, if space is no worry, at $250+ for the dojoe you're a good chunk of the way to the cost of a dedicated pizza oven, which might be a better option all around if pizza is your passion. Hopefully that helps, even if it's really a non-answer.
  3. I haven't had time to do much cooking, but today I was able to make a 3 lb boneless leg of lamb I picked up the other day. Rubbed it down with a Kansas city barbecue rub, then smoked it at 250° until it hit an IT of 150° (it took almost exactly 3 hours). Turned out amazing, juicy and tender with a great barbecue flavor.
  4. To answer your question, I haven't paid that much attention but I know it's been at least an hour (after starting to cook, not counting warmup and stabilization) with charcoal left over. No problems with dropping temps. I personally choose to lift the dojoe off and set it on some blocks I have set up for it when I'm done so I can close the kamado up and snuff the fire. Not a problem for me, I just use my high heat gloves with an added leather glove around the tabs on the side (just folded up) with no issues. I don't have any dogs or children to worry about burning...
  5. Nope, just flour, water, yeast, and salt. And I definitely use a scale, volumes are too unreliable. My suspicion was also that it could be too much toppings, but I try to keep that consistent. It could just be that I need more practice, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to see if anyone else had experienced the same thing to try to shorten the learning curve.
  6. I have a question for those of you with experience with the Dojoe. The last couple of times I have used mine, I've had issues as the cook goes on. I get everything lit up as the instructions say, let the dome heat up to 450, install the dojoe, and let it sit for 30-45 minutes to stabilize at the temp I want (right around 600 is what I aim for). I have had it holding rock steady on the dome thermometer, and the first few pizzas turn out perfect. But later on the bottoms are burning before the tops are cooked. I assume this means the stone is getting too hot, but it just seems a little confusing to me since the dome temp isn't changing at all. Has anyone else experienced this? Any suggestions? FYI, I launch the pizzas on parchment paper and generally use a 65% hydration dough. Would it help if I upped it to 70%?
  7. For what it's worth, I have never received any response from KJ customer service other than what you mention, an automatic email with a claim number. But I have so far always received a replacement item, unannounced, delivered to my house (although 2 times might be a bit of a small sample size for "always"). Just shows up out of the blue with no notice of shipment or anything. I understand how you feel, it's frustrating and unprofessional. But hopefully one of these days you'll be surprised by a delivery of a replacement firebox. I personally hate talking on the phone, but even I think that it would make a world of difference if they just had someone you could talk to. In the meantime, how broken is the firebox? You might be able to use it for now with some minor repairs until you can get a new one.
  8. @JeffieBoy I know the whole border situation makes things wacky, but I'd be surprised if they don't sell Chiavetta's marinade there in Ontario. It's the big thing in Buffalo. Easy enough to make your own, but the pre-made bottles actually usually end up being cheaper
  9. Just as a follow-up, I finally had a chance to cook the second steak I got with this gift, a 16 oz strip steak. It was also delicious, tender with great flavor. Cooked it using pretty much the exact same process I used above. I threw some garlic ciabatta bread on the grill to toast too.
  10. Just an update, I went for it and ordered the Smobot with the custom cap and rain cover. Got it in this week, and it's been fun to play around with. Used it for the first time yesterday to cook a chuck roast and had a blast. It was super easy to set up and worked exactly as expected. I had a ton of fun playing around with it, it's just my type of gadget.
  11. I've always just used a wire brush too, never lost any bristles. But a buddy of mine stands by the grill rescue brush. I don't have any personal experience with it. https://grillrescue.com/ Edit: Now that I think about it, this may not be the best idea for a kamado grill due to the amount of water involved.
  12. I've used Napoleon's coconut charcoal, and it went pretty well. It definitely has a unique smell, very sweet, and doesn't really impart any flavor to what you cook (which can be ideal, especially when baking). I was able to get up to very high temps with it as well. I also like the idea of how renewable it is. On the other hand, there are some drawbacks. It is quite a bit more expensive than regular lump charcoal (by the lb), is very slow to light and get up to temp, and results in a lot of ash. The ash is very fine though and easy to clean out.
  13. Gave the frozen pizzas a try for the first time tonight, they turned out great. The one I reheated that was a little underbaked did turn out a little better, as expected, so that could probably be done intentionally if planning to freeze them. I let them thaw on the counter for 15-20 minutes beforehand to make sure I wasn't fighting with a frozen middle, and then just cooked them at 350° for 10 minutes. Turned out great and definitely quick and easy.
  14. For my challenge entry, I decided to take a shot at something I have been wanting to do but never got around to: Personal Pan Pizzas (plus it matches the alliteration of the challenge title, so I have to assume I will get bonus points ). I have some 5.5" cast iron skillets that I really like to use for random things, and I thought they would work great for pan pizzas. I have been extremely busy lately and hardly have time to cook anything, so I also took this opportunity to make a bunch of pizzas that I then froze for quick meals later. First I made a basic pizza dough (flour, water, salt, & active dry yeast; 65% hydration), split it into two balls, and let that rise for a few hours. In the meantime, I set up my grill. I wasn't sure about the best way to go because I hadn't done pan pizzas before. I was worried about the bottoms burning if put right on the stone, so for the first batch I set up up with a grill expander above the heat deflectors to get the pans higher into the dome. After the dough had risen, I took one of the dough balls and cut it into four pieces (leading to a total of 8 pizzas by the end). Then I stretched these into circles and pressed into the pans. Next I added toppings, most were just mozzarella and pepperoni, but a couple also had Italian sausage. On top of that goes a seasoning mix I like to use, it's just parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, and a little bit of garlic and onion powder. I don't know the amounts. I just mix it together by eye, it's not too critical. I had the grill going at 525 - 550 the whole time, and each batch of pizzas cooked for about 15 minutes. These turned out pretty good, but the bottoms were a little less done than ideal. Good options for freezing though, less worry about overcooking when heating back up. For the next batch I pulled out the grill expander and just put the pans directly on the heat deflectors. This worked out a lot better, toppings still cooked well and a great crispy crust. All in all, things turned out pretty well. We had some good pizzas for dinner and five left over to freeze for later. I think the second approach was the way to go, I might also add in an actual pizza stone with an air gap between it and the deflectors if I do it again. I'll attach more pictures below. Apparently I have the picture quality on my phone too high, but if I try to compress the pictures it only wants to post them rotated 90 degrees for some reason.
  15. Hi all, I am considering purchasing the Smobot temp controller for my KJC2 and wondered if there is anyone here who uses one and has any opinions to share on how it has worked out. I did a quick search of the forum and only really found discussion from the lead up and right at it's release. I really like the idea of the smobot and the way it controls temperature by controlling the airflow out the vent versus a fan that functions by kicking up the fire. Plus, I like that it is very energy efficient because I don't have easy power access at my grill. In the case of the smobot, even if the battery you are using runs out the grill will still most likely stay at about the right temp anyway since the vents would still be open. ....plus then I could say I have a robot running my grill Any thoughts?
  16. It was a simple steak cook, so there's not a lot to it. As long as you pay attention to what you're doing, the grill temps aren't critical. In this case, I went indirect at 275° until it got to an IT of 135° and pulled it off. I don't pay much attention to time as it's all about the IT, but going by the time stamp on my pictures it was just about 30 minutes. Let it rest while I had the dome open to kick up the fire. I have no idea what temp the fire got to as the rest was with the dome open. After 5 minutes of resting and the IT temp started to fall a little, I threw it on the soapstone and seared until it looked good to my personal taste. I honestly have no idea how long that was, but I would guess around a minute, maybe 90 seconds, per side. Not sure what you mean about a heavy charcoal taste, that should never be the case unless you are using a smothered fire or totally overdoing it on the smokewood/time in smoke. It did have a smoky flavor, that's the entire point of cooking it on the grill versus inside on the stove or in the oven. But definitely not overpowering.
  17. First real cook on the KJ after a long winter. Made a 16oz "American Wagyu" ribeye I received as a gift, reverse seared using the new soapstone that I was also gifted. Worked like a champ, I used the soapstone and one heat deflector on the accessory ring so there was no need to wait for the stone to heat up or move anything around. Got a great sear, and even had some extra fat from the steak to grease the stone beforehand. The steak was perfectly tender and had a great taste. Just seasoned with salt and black pepper. I don't know if it was necessarily better than a USDA prime ribeye, but it wasn't any more expensive than one either (haha, especially considering mine was free ). I've been really impressed so far with the meats I have received, it was from markethouse.com. I also got some berkshire pork bacon that was the best bacon I've ever had. We don't really have much option other than the grocery stores or Walmart where I live, USDA Choice is generally the best you can find. I've been pleasantly surprised so far with the Markethouse site, although I haven't exactly done a lot of shopping around.
  18. Yes, I would be contacting them. There shouldn't be any gap so large that the gasket doesn't seal it, that implies a manufacturing defect to me somewhere in the ceramics, bands, or hinge. Even if it's not, they would be the ones who would know if it could be adjusted
  19. Where did you get it? If it came that way new then I would contact the seller about taking care of it, or contact KJ directly
  20. Thanks all. I can see how easy it would be for something like that to start a wildfire now, this started a grass fire in mowed lawn while it was 15°F out and there was a foot and a half of snow on the ground.
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