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Everything posted by 540perry

  1. So Kamado Joe takes the top spot. On the low end of the price range the Char-Broil Kamander gets honorable mention: https://6abc.com/shopping/consumer-reports-best-kamado-grills/5240125/
  2. There was a setup in the Mods section that works pretty well. You put a grate on the lower tabs and cut/bend some expanded metal to get a half-moon searing basket. Use about a chimney of lit to fill the basket. It'll burn like a blast furnace and last 20-30 minutes, enough time to reverse sear some steaks.
  3. The only "Epic Turkey Fail" is when the Bumpus Hounds get your turkey! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPRdj1Ce4ao
  4. Just walked through Aldi Pittsburgh, they have a couple ready to go for $140. Might buy one on way out of town just because I'm crazy.
  5. Congrats on the Akorn! Probaby no worries at all, the unit retains heat - it'll read 100+ on a warm day w/ no fire. But these units are usually pretty tight, even if the bottom vent seems loose. If you can keep your hand on the top vent 2 hours after shutdown without branding your palm, your Akorn is fine. If you hear a sizzle, then it might be time to look at the mods.
  6. Are you using a deflector or catch pan of some type? Aside from any charcoal issues, skin-on thighs can drop so much fat on a fire that they'll taste like they were cooked over a tire fire.
  7. Great point on this cooker. I would say that I never got a terribly bitter taste, but because this cooker maintains temp with very little convection, it seems it didn't develop the smoke ring or bark that you would get w/ a cooker that moves more air volume (WSM in my case).
  8. I think I got $10 off my new Thermapen 9 years ago. These things are so good that they're a deal at full sticker.
  9. The Akorn Jr is so responsive to vent adjustments that "thermal mass" probably isn't needed. I just cut some expanded metal to make a grate to sit on the lower tabs, and put a foil-covered pie pan on it to deflect/drip-catch. The temps stay where I want them, much like my Akorn Sr.
  10. I sort of wish they had used their experience with steel kamado's and gone upscale w/ a higher-quality steel product that would last much longer than the 4-7 yrs an Akorn seems to get. Since the cheapest Weber Summit Charcoal is about $1K, there's room in that market. On the other hand, there are a lot of ceramics to choose from.
  11. May as well add pizza to the challenge, you win.
  12. My Akorn is just over 4 1/2 years old, the ash pan support finally snapped and CharGriller was kind enough to ship a replacement bottom. Other than that, some other rust spots & normal wear & tear. Couldn't be happier w/ the product & the company, will buy another if/when this one wears out. Also have the Jr. and probably use that for 75% of cooks.
  13. @patiodaddyo Sorry to see this! Many of us have taken Jr temps way beyond recommendations, but we've never seen damage like this. Dumb question, you did have the inner fire bowl installed, right? In any case, definitely e-mail the pix to CharGriller customer service, I would think they'd be interested whether they can do anything for you or not.
  14. I do this all the time, old WSM habit. It does give you a column of lit coals from top to bottom, without lighting too much and going overboard, so you can dial in the temp you want. I use 1 tall can for the column and 1 tall can for a mini-chimney starter. BTW, the peas are really good too!
  15. This one fits perfectly, great for veggies, small pieces, etc. Oscarware pan
  16. Excellent idea. Mine have some separation also, no big deal. I grilled brussels & pork chops on mine tonight, as much as I like my other grills, Jr is the favorite. Enjoy it!
  17. Agreed, that's why I mostly make my own. But I found some salt-free Dizzy Dust which is really great, just add your own salt to taste. Also on the shelves of my local CostCo is "Pork Barrel Rub", which I actually prefer on poultry & veggies - also not too salty in moderation.
  18. Go to HD/Lowes and buy the Weber charcoal grate that fits the lower tabs, and a 12" x 24" steel expanded sheet (plain steel not galvanized) Cut the steel to match the grate. Bend the other end up to contain the lump. I just clamped it in my B&D work table and did it with a rubber mallet.
  19. So here's the searing basket set-up. You need the Weber charcoal grate (or one like it) that fits on the lower tabs, and it helps to have the expanded metal basket to contain the lump. Cook on the cool side until you're close to pull temp, then finish with a sear on the hot side. It takes about 3/4 of a chimney to fill up your hot side with lit lump. The lump will be very close to the meat and you'll get a good sear.
  20. Yes, do that sear! Tri-tip is so great (and so rare in my area). It does cook almost according to the old "10 minutes per inch" steak rule (although that's way too much). I prefer to set up 2-zone cooking and smoke it on the cool side up to about 110, then finish with a sear on the hot side. And it's versatile - it suffers less from overcooking than the typical roast/steak, it's great cooked sous vide if you mess with that. And the leftovers (if there are any) are great the next day.
  21. As others have said, the kamado's will sear as well as any grill you can buy. Of course the closer you can get the meat to the coals, the better the sear. My Akorn (and likely most of the kamado's mentioned here) have accessories or modifications to do exactly that. When I have the Akorn set up for searing, I believe it's hotter than any grill I've owned, due to the convection & heat retention. And of course you can set up 2-zone cooking like you would on a kettle.
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