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  1. As I am cooking for just the three of us, I tend to only use the top grill. So, on the bottom grill lives a round kiln shelf as a diffuser. I rarely take it out and when it gets dirty, I scrape off the big chunks and flip it over to burn off the rest. I do have a 1/2 shelf that come in handy for reverse sear or if I need a mix of direct and indirect. I use a Thermopop probe for quick cooks and point checking and I use a Maverick remote for my longer cooks but this has become less critical as I have had the grill for a couple years and know how the grill settles into a temp for long burns. I use some fireplace tools for the moving of fire and hot grates; and probing the coals when needed. For my ashes and recycled charcoal, I have two small galvanized buckets, #5 an #8 IIRC. The live on the bottom cross bar under the Vision.
  2. I don't know but his wife does...
  3. I just saw this posting... I did my Thanksgiving turkey in the kamado, it was the easiest turkey I ever cooked. Juicy, flavorful.
  4. I love spatchcocked (s/c) chickens. I gas grilled 6 s/c chickens at my grandmothers and everyone was stunned how quickly they cooked and moist everything was. In the kamado, I spatch them over a pan of veggies/potatoes and let them drip in to the veggies for more flavor. You can cook them at almost any temp between 250 and 400 with skin color being the biggest difference (other than time required). S/C allows you to cook the darker meats while not over cooking the white. IMHO, beer can chicken is not a fruitful project. If you want beer in your chicken, add it to the meat. The beer rarely steams/boils before the chicken is done and the inside of the chicken prevent the flavor from entering the meat. The kamado is a moist heat and your bird is less likely to dry out.
  5. Slightly off topic but since you are new to kamados, I wanted to share this with you. I have had my Vision grill for a few years now. I have not used my gas grill since. What came to my mind was that ceramic kamados, once you learn how they work, are very easy to use and control. With my gas grill, i always struggled to control the temperature. I burned all kinds of food. This weekend, i cooked the fish at about 275F, until the fish was 145F. I rarely cook by time , simply cook until the probe says it's cooked. With my Vision grill, I can get the temperature I need (or something close) and simply cook the food. This past weekend, I cooked foil packages with salmon and veggies (top shelf over a cooking stone) and had gorgeous and it was so simple. On a gas grill, it was much harder to cook without burning. After i removed the foil packs, i filled the lower grill area with rosemary and thyme trimmings and then roasted a 5 pound boneless less of lamb in the 275 to 300F range until it was +135F in all areas. I think I started the fire at about 5:00pm, I cooked the fish when the fire/grill was stable and the lamb came off sometime after 7:00pm ( maybe 8:00?). I find the ability to cook sequentially allows me to cook several items with just one fire. Cook you low temp stuff first and then move up if needed. Moving the grill temp down is not a real option.
  6. If I am doing a fast fire for grilling or something less than an hour, I just stir the old coals until most of the ash has dropped down. I than add some new (if needed) and then light it. If I am doing a long burn (1+ hour) or I can see the ashes under the grate are close to it, I use my two bucket system. I have two galvanized buckets (fireproof) that nest with each other and live on the bottom cross in the legs. In my larger bucket, I place all of the re-usable coals. I then remove the grate and rest it on top of the larger bucket. I then scoop out the ashes in to the smaller bucket. I just use my hands, with gloves normally, to scoop most of the ashes out the top of the grill. I then place the bucket under the lower vent and scoop/push out the remaining ashes. I then replace the grate and dump the old lump back into the grill. I then top if off with new lump. Most of the time, I have about the same amount of lump (full to the holes) in my grill when I light it. When I am done cooking, I close the vents, the fire goes out and there is no wasted lump. Full or empty, the fire uses the same amount of fuel.
  7. Those wood wools look fine to me... actually both look like good options. Maybe you can try a small both of both and see what works best for you. I see you can get the Webers but they seem waxy and can make a mess. in a steel Weber, that's fine but in a ceramic grill, I would want to avoid paraffin. Guy
  8. I like to light more than one spot when I lit my fire. I typically light three places, even for a small file. I would rather control a larger fire and get a stable temp as opposed to lighting a small on and keeping it at temp, even as it grows into a larger fire.
  9. I did a bag of ribs from Costco last week and they were some of the best I have ever cooked. I am a strong supporter of KISS (Keep it Simple, Silly). I opened the bag, added some salt and pepper and Dirty Bird rub (a gift from my eldest). The fire had settled at about 275 on the dome. I placed the ribs bone down in 1/2 rack pieces (so they could all lay on the top grill) over a kiln shelf diffuser on the lower rack. Added a hand-full of cherry chips and two chunks of pecan to my Lazzari lump and the closed the lid. I watched the temp and it rose a little so I closed down the vents and it settled back near 275 dome. I left the lid closed for about 3 hours and then checked the meat temps, 165 and the ribs looked "dry" on the top of the bones. I closed the lid and walked away for an hour. I when I came back, the ribs were starting to crack if I lifted the rack and showed tiny little rivulets of moisture. I assume this was the collagen starting to melt. I knew I was close, ~170-185 on the temps. I left them alone. I went in the house and wife and kid were chomping at the bit to eat, so I told her 30 minutes so she could prepare the sides. In the end, the rivules were longer and the racks cracked a little more when I took them off. These were the best ribs I have had in years. Not fall off, no wrapping, simple pull off clean, hold a bite ribs that were great hot fresh off the fire and still quite tasty as leftovers (3 racks and 3 people mean lots of left overs for lunch at the office). Has anyone else noticed the rivulets on the back of the ribs, after they have "dried" over the fire? I am going to attempt to replicate this tonight.
  10. Just three rack of ribs, rubbed and smoked. I am taking them to my parents for the weekend. He has been home bound due to leg injury. The plan is to warm them on his gasser, along with corn and the potato salad my wife will make.
  11. I would think you could wrap it in foil and then a blanket and it would stay warm enough. Or Foil and then plastic wrap to trap the moisture. I know I store food in my microwave or oven to isolate food when wanting to save it for later. As to the cooler question, any cooler large enough for the item you are looking to store.
  12. The fact that you can check the grill and meat temps from the front yard or the couch means I will continue to use my Maverick and use my Them o pop for the final check. For the $45 I paid, plus one set of replacement probes, I am satisfied with the three years I have used it. I figure the amount I have saved on poor dine_in BBQ, I am dollars ahead.
  13. I use a kiln shelf on the bottom grill rack as a diffuser and I completely abuse it with no adverse effect. I don't have a diffuser rack but I could fashion one out of some stainless strapping if i chose to. I have not had too many occasions where I need to have access to both racks at the same time, with a diffuser. When I do, i set the diffuser on the lower grill rack, add the lower items (veggies in a dish) on top and then add the upper grill and add the meat.
  14. The Maverick probes can be fragile and are easily damaged if moisture gets into the probe /wire junction. In some ways, I treat the probes as a consumable that need to be replaced when consumed/dead.
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