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cameronleespencer

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location:
    Seattle, WA
  • Interests
    Cooking, wine, brewing, hiking, camping
  • Grill
    Kamado Joe

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  1. So I'm doing some ducks this Thanksgiving, but butchering them and doing the legs (Confit) and breasts (smoked on the kamado) separately. I looked into this a bit, and from what I have read, if you want crispy skin, the trick is to manually create a gap between the skin and the flesh which generates channels for the fat to drip through. I believe the classic "Peking Duck" technique utilizes a straw inserted in between the breast and skin and then "inflate" the skin to achieve this, but you might be able to carefully use your fingers or a chopstick etc. Then pouring boiling water over the duck to "tighten" the skin back. I've also seen techniques listed for steaming the duck briefly for the same reason. Once you do that, I think I would use a combination of temps to first slowly render out the fat, and then brown the skin. To address your other question, I would anticipate a lot of fat being rendered out. I cooked a couple of duck breasts the other day and just from those I ended up with 1/2 cup of fat. For a whole bird I would estimate more like 1 1/2 -2 cups. When I do my duck breasts on the kamado this week, I'm going to have a pan to collect the drippings. Smoked duck fat sounds like a pretty fab ingredient to work with, so I want to save it! Good luck and please post some follow up so we can see how it went! Thanks, Cameron
  2. So I was finally able to get this thing put together, properly aligned, and even fired it up this weekend! For those interested, I chose to first attach the band/hinge assembly to the dome which I had removed and had upside down on the ground. Once that was attached firmly I was able to hold the dome in the air while my wife aligned the band to the base and tightened it. Definitely a tricky process, but due to the size difference in base and dome, I found this to be easier to align than the more traditional method. After a "curing" fire to fix the gasket adhesive on Saturday, I did my first cook on Sunday. A single rack of ribs that was too fall-apart-tender to get a photo of before we ate them. Temperature held really well throughout the cook, and I was really pleased with the results. Thanks for the advice over the last few months, now I look forward to being able to discuss cooking techniques etc! I've attached a photo, and I know this kamado isn't well secured lol. Don't worry I've got a table housing coming soon! Thanks, Cameron
  3. Well, good news/bad news.... I found a 1/2" thick rubber strip that I am successfully using as a spacer for the top half, and was able to get the dome fully supported. Been having some problems aligning the bands under tension however, so I keep ending up with gaps in between the dome and base. Also banged myself in the head when I undid the dome band without first securing it to the base... those springs are powerful, watch out! lol. I'm allright, just some damage to my ego. I'm going to try to re-align this weekend if I can get a few buddies to help. Wish me luck! I've got two racks of ribs in the freezer that need to be kamado-cooked! -Cameron
  4. So It's been slow going on the restoration as I hunted down all the replacement parts I needed. Got everything and started assembling today, only to find a not-so-small problem. The dome is smaller than the body, and worse... too small for the upper band to tighten around it! Now I'm at somewhat of a loss as to what happened and what to do next. I'm wondering if it's possible that I wound up with a different model dome/body? the lid appears to be almost an inch smaller in diameter than the body. either way, the only band replacement I've been able to find was $450, and I don't know if it would actually fit the lid. I think my best bet now is to try and shorten the top band, drill a hole for the bold and bend it in the same configuration, just an inch or so shorter. Any thoughts or advice are welcome.. Thanks, Cameron "wish I was grilling" Spencer
  5. Thanks for the advice John! It's too bad that no one is making "beefy" stainless grates. But also that everything is so limited to proprietary "technology" meant to lock people into one brand. Maybe there is one among the group here with the metal fab know-how to make this dream a reality... certainly not me though. I can live without the good grill marks, I'm more interested in the "bark" of smoked meats. -Cameron
  6. Just wondering how everyone feels about Cast Iron vs Stainless Steel Grill Grates on a Kamado. I love cooking with Cast iron, but it occurred to me that high heat cooks might strip the seasoning off cast iron and make it a pain to maintain. I plan to use my kamado mainly for smoking, but also for pizza and the occasional searing of steaks. Please share your experiences and recommendations! Thanks, Cameron
  7. Thanks for Linking PHEAD . Still getting the hang of this forum.
  8. Hello There! Texan, currently living in Seattle, finally got a backyard to do some grilling in this summer! I'm currently grilling on a Weber performer, while I restore a Big Joe that I got off fb marketplace. I have a thread in the DIY section with some photos if anyone is interested or has some good recommendations. Can't wait to get cooking on the Kamado once it is up and running. Most looking forward to cooking some pizzas and of course brisket, being a Texan! Thanks, Cameron Spencer
  9. Good to know B Meister. I don't love the idea of peeling paint near food. I'll look into the various options and see what I come up with. I think that will be the easiest part of this project lol!
  10. Very glad to see this recommendation on the permatex. I'm going to piggyback on this convo and ask about the felt gasket that is sandwiched in between the band and the ceramic. It seems like most people just replace the top part and don't worry about whats under the band. I am cleaning up an old Big Joe and the bands have been removed leaving behind a gunky, molded gasket I would like to replace. Do you know is it the same material as the replacement felt gaskets? It looks thinner. I've got a post on the DIY section if anyone is interested in seeing it. Thanks!
  11. Thanks Burger Meister! No control tower, I bought it off a junk removal company (hard to believe someone was PAID to haul this thing away) and I think they lost a bunch of the parts in the process of removing it. Good advice on the mesh gasket. I don't make it down to Vancouver too often since Covid. How do you like the Control tower? I've read some complaints of paint peeling. Thanks for the response! -Cameron
  12. Hello there! I'm new to the world of Kamado cooking and to this forum, so I'm looking forward to some dialogue. So I recently found a Big Joe for sale on fb marketplace for the irresistible price of $100! The main body is in not terrible shape, but it's missing quite a few items, and will need some cleaning/repair. I'm hoping the combined expertise hear can help me get this thing in good working order for the least amount of extra $ possible, and more importantly without damaging the integrity of the grill. Condition Report: The ceramic body itself is in good shape with no major cracks or chips. There are a few issues that need to be addressed however: The upper part of the interior has some green staining. I assume this is from algae/moss since I live in the PNW. Any tips on how to gently clean this, or should I just do a burnout when I get the rest set up? The felt gaskets are in pretty bad shape and will need to be replaced (tips on cleaning and removing gunk would be welcome too). The wire mesh gasket is mostly intact but has come loose. Does anyone know of an adhesive that would be safe to use to re-attach it? I'm not sure what to call this, but the hole that helps align the hinge on the back side of the band has been worn quite a bit. Making the hole about 1 1/2" long and the ceramic a bit crumbly there (see pic). Does anyone know of any substance I could safely patch this with, and how best to reattach the bands? Missing parts: At that low of a price I wasn't too concerned about replacing a few parts, but after price checking I found I need approx $400-$450 in replacement parts. I can get most of these from BBQ Guys, but I figured I would reach out to the community here and see if people had recommendations for third party replacements, custom ideas, or (fingers crossed) extra parts that they need to get rid of. Here is a list of what I need: Firebox Deflector Grill Grates Flex cooking rack (is this necessary or is there another way to grill/smoke without it?) Replacement Gasket kit Missing the upper half of the cart, not sure if I will try and purchase that, or make a custom table I will be focusing on grilling and smoking with this grill, so I don't really need some of the specialty items. I know this is a lot of information/questions, so don't feel like you have to address everything, but if you have some advice on any of the subjects, I'd greatly appreciate it. Thanks and happy grilling!
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