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Posts posted by Boater

  1. Welcome, @Zander!  


    As a relatively new owner of a Classic 1, I'll give you my (and only my) perspective.  Hint: I still don't have one.


    As you've said, the cooker turns out some great food.  The main change the Slo Roller brings seems to be a decline in efficiency, so there's more air circulation and smoke circulation, as well as less direct heat from the bottom.  My thought is that for the shorter Classics (1 & 2), a couple layers of deflectors and spacers will likely do much the same thing, at a much lower price.  


    But I don't know that for my purposes, i'd see any remarkable improvement.  Just out the box, it's the easiest grill I've ever used to get great food from, and my consumers aren't complaining.  Any shortcomings on a cook are things I can easily identify and remedy next cook.  Still learning, still improving, still not in the market for one.


  2. 13 hours ago, hmc said:

    How long does it typically take from the time you light the lump to the time you start cooking? Do you let the lump continue to burn off for a while even once desired temp is reached? 

    You know how they say that the meat is done when it's done, not by time or temp?  Well, lump is like that also.  Typically, 25 minutes from lighting to meat on grill, but I've had it take twice that long also.  I'm waiting for the white smoke to clear off completely for things like fish or veggies, and mostly clear for beef or pork.  So that can be a while after it's at temp.  

  3. 4 hours ago, Sids said:

    I feel like we should have cooked the brisket slower, set the temp at 225 and let it go like the first cook. I also should have trimmed the brisket a bit more.

    One thing that has helped me with my learning curve is creating a document (or spreadsheet, or spiral-bound notebook, or database) that you can take notes about your cooks.  It's easy for (me, at least) to forget what is was I did last time, or what I want to change, when I pull the next similar hunk of meat out in a month or so. 


    Another thing I've come to realize is that I can get very acceptable results (maybe not award-winning, but good enough for me and my regular consumers) from a pretty wide range of temperatures and techniques.  Keeping temps low for the first few hours to let the meat absorb smoke is always helpful, but after that, there's a bunch of ways to get to final temp, and I don't think they matter as much at that point.  It makes a difference in bark formation, cook time, etc., but a lot of those can be adjusted in time, method, etc. to get a good result.  I'm not looking for competition results, just as good or better than most BBQ joints around me, and I'm getting there.  Not always, but when not, I've got notes to adjust the next cook. 


    And with that Fireboard (or even without it - it's just super simple with it), you can tweak your temperatures all along.



  4. I've seen "country style ribs" from both the shoulder (a.k.a. Boston butt) and loin, right next to each other.  Prices were different as well.







    But left them both in the butcher case. $5.50 or $6 for faux ribs was too pricey for me.  


    But maybe like @len440 said, they're coming from the loin, and your butcher renamed them to keep from confusing their customers with 2 different prices for 2 meats of the same name.  


  5. Welcome, @Stevem


    IF you don't get an answer to your question, you might try re-posting your question in the KJ forum, I don't know how many folk follow the introductions.  I've seen some posts about replacement casters there, but don't recall if they have specs on the stud sizes.  Pretty sure I haven't seen any info on how simple it is to get toe old ones off either.  Following this with interest.

  6. Your solution will indeed be through their Customer Support.  My interactions were never by phone - email was it for me.  Got stuff PDQ once they had the info they needed to show I got it from an approved dealer (not 2nd hand, etc)


    If your fire  box has 5 petals, it is the new version .  If not, then the new version firebox will fit in your grill base.  

  7. 7 hours ago, AlBinRVA said:

    Is the 50 degree differential I experienced from dome to grill normal?


    If yes, when planning a slow cook for brisket at 265 to 270, should I establish the cook temp at the dome temp at 320 thinking the grill temp will be 270?

    Just my experience here - YMMV.  For low & slow, I have the deflectors sitting on the KJ charcoal basket.  If you don't have that, the equivalent is the bottommost ring of the D&C rack.  So, lower than where you were for this cook.  Then there's a drip pan in the mid position, and meat on the top level.  With that setup, my dome is about 10 degrees COOLER than my grate ambient probe.  


    In your situation, i'd shoot for a dome temp pretty near what you want the grate temp to be, at least the first time you do that cook. You'll learn how your grill works with that one, and know more how to set up #2.


    There's plenty of time to dial the temp up a bit after a couple hours, if it's too low for your plan.  But it can take a while for the Meater temperature to warm up due to sitting right next to a bunch of cold meat, as well as for the grill to be fully heat-soaked.  Adjusting vents too early can lead to chasing a temp, more fiddling than you want to do.

  8. Not a pro at this, but I go for 550F or a bit north of there for at least 1/2 of the griddle.  Using a rectangular Lodge griddle, the middle is going to be hotter than the long ends, for me, and that's where the meat is going.  I've got the griddle sitting on grates in the middle of the KJ Classic I, so not on the fire box ring, but pretty close.  


    Just use the grates because if I'm doing fries or other stuff, it helps keep a few out of the coals.  


    I don't go by the dome temperature at all, have an IR thermometer that helpse figure out where the meat will go, and where it'll go when I flip it.  I usually only do a pound of meat at a time (3 or 6 patties), and 6 is a bit cramped on the griddle - you're having to put patties that aren't in your highest heat zone.


    I have done burgers even hotter than that, and they were good.  But I worried about the long-term effect on the seasoning of the griddle.  I always let it sit in the grill until it cools below 200 on the dome, and so far the seasoning is holding up ok.  But at 650 or so, you can peel that right off, if you're not careful with a spatula or scraper.


    I get decent crust on mine, but not the really crispy crust of some other methods. 

  9. Welcome!  There is a learning curve, for sure.  Different than any grill I've used before, at least. You can shorten that curve with some of the resources here, and a bunch of information (that co-occurs with some misinformation) on YouTube and the rest of the interwebs, but actual practice with your own grill is also a needed part. Learning the approximate vent settings for 250F, 400F, or whatever your most common temps are, comes with practice.  



  10. We don't have that scorching heat, but it's been pretty warm here.  But only our "feels like" temps are getting to the 105-110 range.  


    But went the opposite way yesterday and did a bit of brisket (half a point).  Started fire early, had the meat on before the heat got brutal, then only had to go outside to add the sweet potatoes, corn, and pull stuff off.  Cooked everything at 225, the Auber controller took care of fiddling with vents or checking temps.  A bit of overkill perhaps, made the cook almost boring.  4 quick trips in total during the heat of the day, including pulling everything off.  Never broke a sweat (cooking - mowing the yard was something else again).


    But yep, not doing wings or other pay-attention-to foods for a while now.  Will celebrate the first moderate cold front with one of those cooks.

  11. 16 hours ago, AlBinRVA said:

    Since the deflectors sit on the hooks, I'm guessing there is no way to utilize the "pie opening" on the deflector plates to manage temperature???  True or False

    True.  There's a lot less room for moving the deflectors around when you're that far down in the firebox.  I've never seen a need for a central gap, except when you're trying to get everything.up to temp.  So if I'm putting deflectors low like that, I'll either wait for the fire to get a bit further along, or use a fan controller to manage the fire.  Both work.


    The biggest concern I have when doing this is being sure I've centered the deflectors as well as possible, so there's good flow all around.  The KJ charcoal tool is very well suited for this.  


    Edit: For clarity: When I've used that pie configuration, it's always been when the deflectors are resting on the X-ring, in the middle position of the Divide and Conquer.  There's a lot more room at that level of the rig to move the deflectors around.

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