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CeramicTool

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location:
    Calgary, AB
  • Interests
    BBQ, Stereo, Beer, Astronomy,
  • Grill
    Kamado Joe

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  1. What are the pro's and cons of choking out completely a fire, and then heat gunning just a small spot in the middle to life again? It seems like a pretty easy move, the ceramic is presoaked, and the most effective way to bring the temp down is to choke it off till dead, then open it up and let the heat escape. Then because the charcoal is already warm, a quick 30 seconds with the heatgun will have a small optimal fire going. Is the smoke from the choke going to nastify my food? I figure not if its been cooking for a while dryish on the outside? Practical example: Im thinking for things like Chicken wings where I want to get some cooking done around 350, and then drop the temp down to 200ish to let all the tendons and ligaments or whatever they are simmer and break down and flavor the wings while the moisture slowly leaves and I pull them off at the right consistency. When first starting the Kamado, Im thinking with the proper application of timing I could just leave the BBQ open for a longer period of time, close it completely and let the heat dissipate into the ceramic while choking the fire. Then Light a small portion back, throw the meat on right away, hook the Signals and Billows up, and let them stabilize the temp where I want it. How fast could I be perfectly heat soaked and cooking with a method like this? With the added bonus of a smaller more efficient fire during the critical phase of smoking while there is a coating of moisture to absorb. I guess the answer is how long does it take to use all the oxygen in a Big Joe? Because the ceramic is cool, it will suck out the heat from the charcoal for me after the oxygen disappears. I'm going to try it to see how fast I can be heat soaked above 275 and Roasting a chicken at 275 grate temp. Perhaps a pointless endeavor, but will be fun and informative
  2. Interesting. I take your post as "this is perfection, embrace it", lol. And I think maybe the reason I can't find an answer to my question searching is because there exists a basically perfect method, so why bother? I happen to own a Big Joe, and a Thermoworks Signals + billows. As a former aquarium enthusiast, I assume the large nature of the Big Joe allows me to hold lower temperatures due to its large surface area, and 340lbs of buffer. I can hold a grate temp of 150f in 32f degree weather, no sweat, It's a magical machine.
  3. Very cool. More for Woods, but the science remains the same. Again, this only introduces more questions Like, I already own a Thermapen IR (and MK4), BUT, if I fork out for a high temp Thermoworks IR gun, is it as simple as pointing the gun at the charcoal? Does the white ash layer interfere with readings? I assume yes, the glowing red is the hottest part!?!? I'm thinking this is a viable path to perfection. I've asked myself before the relationship of bottom damper to top damper, and come up retarded. This article articulates that there is a proper temperature: "Thin blue smoke is the result of a equilibrium (fuel, oxygen, heat) being achieved and the burning process being deemed efficient. In this state the fuel in the woods carbonize or caramelize which results in thin blue smoke." So Im thinking out loud and asking for rebuttals and corrections when I say: the airflow relationship between the top and bottom vents should be used to produce the best smoke flavor. Many positions can hold a grate temperature, but only one optimal position holds a grate temperature AND allows for optimal smoke. Thoughts? This gets into another area entirely, airflow and dampers, which I really don't understand, so please school me by correcting my thoughts.
  4. Not finding this anywhere, even with search! Obviously I can cut it up and brine it and smoke it, but I'm wondering why not do the whole thing? My thinking is that it is a Chinook Salmon, high in fat, so that is good to keep it from drying out. I also have the head on it. I figure the longer/slower cook time, juice flow and additional mass of the whole fish will allow the head to cook better? Maybe share flavors for more complexity? In contradiction to above, I'm thinking the skin will prevent smoke penetration unless the fish is spread open allowing access to the flesh. This would defeat the concept of one single mass that heats up slower. Next I'm wondering about temperature. If I smoke at 160-180, will smoking a larger mass for longer potentially lead to food safety issues unless I use salt to counteract?
  5. What about this idea I heard about charcoal burning off a nasty tasting smoke when first lit? and that once charcoal has turned red and then cooled down the bad stuff is already burnt out so its fine to just light and go? Ive mostly ignored this idea, but its in the back of my head to understand what was meant, and what circumstances it applies in. What temperature approximately is the threshold for having charcoal light itself again when adding oxygen? obviously the temperature of the air makes a difference, so lets just say on an 80ish f degree day. Am I correct in assuming that there is a temperature below which something happens, but there is not enough energy to make the charcoal hotter, just generate some heat and prolong the cooldown time? or is it an activation/no activation equation without an in between? This sounds like it answers my question RE bad smoke above, its generated from a low burn temperature, not from anything in the charcoal that needs to be burned off? Also, good explaination! The C + O2 form a gas, which spontaneously combusts in the presence of enough heat?
  6. I have been BBQing on Charcoal exclusively for almost a year now and have many questions I need answered to help take my cooking to the level. Regarding the relationship between Charcoal and Oxygen: 1. What is exactly happening from a thermodynamics/energy standpoint when Oxygen is drawn into charcoal? 2. What happens when charcoal is "red hot", the vents get shuttered, and the oxygen in the trapped air is exhausted? Is there some store of oxygen or energy from some intermediate process left in the charcoal besides the energy already turned to heat? 3. At what point is the charcoal "out"? I will define "out" as: given unlimited non-forced airflow, not being able to generate sufficient heat to restart the chain reaction leading to redhot coals. 4. Assuming I want to get all the charcoal going, and then back off the temperature real low (say 180 for smoking Salmon), what happens when I start closing the vents? I notice that red hot coals will go out if over-choked. The same level of Choke is sufficient to carry on a chain reaction starting at lower temperatures! What is the technique to lower as fast as possible, but without choking out the coals? Thanks! will be more questions based on these answers.
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