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About SmokeOrFire

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  1. at $5 this is the deal of the decade. Its combustible, smells decent and is now 1/3 the price of royal oak. Last widely available deal this good was when home depot discontinued cowboy about a decade ago.
  2. Its a little smokier, little more ash, and a little less hot than "good" stuff like royal oak or kj. IMO much better than kingsford competition (far more ash). The smoke is good for beef, not so good for others. I just finished off my pallet I got when HD discontinued the 8 lb bags that I got for $2 ea. I didn't find any trash (plastic, plywood) in about 30 bags. Got about 1 bag of rocks out of the deal.
  3. I've seen these, thought about them due to the metal bristle hazard, but know the metal brush and metal scraper will remove the gunk between the bars of a cast iron grate. I can only imagine how this would clean a skinny grate like what is on a weber kettle or the stock grate on a bge. Has anyone used these paddles on a heavy cast iron grate?
  4. Both are great thermometers. I'd still probably pay $40 more for the mk4 as it uses AAA batteries that you can easily get for a quarter each. The classic uses cr2032 batteries which cost $3 to $4 each and are hard to find. You can order button batteries on ebay from china for a few cents each, but you have to wait 1-2 months for delivery. I have a classic thermopen which is too expensive just to throw out due to the batteries that I got 2 years ago. It died a couple months ago so I ordered batteries from china and just got them a couple weeks ago. I just threw away my kitchen scale which gobbled cr2032s as well and got another $12 model that uses AAA. Its sad that they batteries get more pricing power than the product. New batteries lasted less than 6 months in the old one. Ignore any claim of 1000s of hours of life. The cr2032 whether from china or what come with the product or for $4 each at home depot last about 2 years then die of old age. Stored batteries are completely flat within 5 years. I will not buy any product that uses button batteries unless the device *needs* to be smaller than an AAA battery.
  5. If you have gone your whole life without a controller, why not wait until some production smobots get delivered? It should only be 2 months. Its intriguing they chose not to use a fan, which means the kamado is naturally drafted instead of force-fed. This should result in lower charcoal consumption (from my own observation that stoker uses a lot more coal than manual control of damper) as well as moister cooking due to a lot less airflow (not sure of the impact). You'll see a lot of reviews of it by july and can then make an informed decision. They seem to fairly far ahead on production compared to most kickstarter projects as lots of parts already arrived (except the pcb).
  6. If you have costco membership look at: https://www.costco.com/kamado-joe-schedule.html They have the KJ at a few stores for 1 week at a time for a decent discount compared to a dealer. I haven't seen the prices for 2017 yet. There are some in NC.
  7. Just steaming piles of Kings***** in MD. Clorox paid costco to put an ad in the monthly coupon book saying it works great in ceramic. (I've tried it, it works ok for grilling, too smokey for smoking, and has the same heaping pile of ash as kbb that limits to 10-12 hour burn time). IMO Cowboy is a bit better (still too smokey for smoking, but no heaping pile of ash) but haven't ever seen it at costco.
  8. @reinhart36 : looks good in the video. Seems similar to the BGE wheel in terms of getting it unstuck. Also I don't use the daisy while grilling on either BGE I'm wondering if its possible to cut a section for the servo out of a rain cap like http://www.homedepot.com/p/7-in-to-9-in-Adjustable-Versa-Cap-7090/100396922 to keep the rain out the grill together with your controller.
  9. @Mad Wally: Looks like my engineering instinct is pretty good (right order of magnitude) for the amount of air needed. I don't know enough about the chemical side to actually calculate how much air is needed. @reinhart36 : My grill is leaky but still tight enough to shut down and have fire go out. If I leave the top vent all the way open with the stoker, it can get enough natural draft, especially when the food is cooked (less thermal load), that the temp can run up to 275-325 without the fan running at all. Thus I need to close top vent some. However, If closing top vent all the way subjectively i feel it doesn't heat soak the ceramic as well (bottom overcooked by time top of meat is cooked), and sometimes don't like the taste of the smoke on the food. Thus I've settled on leaving top vent about 1mm open, and blocking 90%+ of the fan's intake with foil to get overall results that I like (evenly cooked without adjusting meat more than once, no fires going out, good tasting smoke, no lost sleep). Looks like your design uses a model airplane servo (decent torque, reliable); might have to clean the gunk off the damper now and then in order to keep it from sticking. Hopefully the two halves of the damper unscrew (vs rivet) so it can be taken apart and cleaned if servo sticks.
  10. I really like this design. My issue with the fan-based designs is they push a lot of air through the grill, negating part of the benefit of ceramic (moist air). (I have a stoker, so I know from experience; it would need a 0.1 CFM fan instead of 5 CFM fan to be similar to natural draft). They dont PWM the fan. Fans also increase charcoal consumption to compensate for all the air compared to natural draft. This design seems to keep all the benefit of natural draft with less of the drawbacks (fire goes out, temp goes too high, lack of sleep).
  11. 6:1 doesn't mean you have to be 6 inches away to get a reading. It means that the area its taking the temperature of is 1" circle and 6" away, 2" circle at 12" away and so on. All of these are basically a low res IR camera. It takes a blurry IR picture, and integrates (adds) sum of squares all the pixels together to get a power estimate. It looks that power estimate up in a table to get a temp. The further back you are the bigger area covered by the picture and the wider the area that is integrated for a measurement. The other gotcha is that its an optical device. If the object is "shiny" in IR you'll get an inaccurate reading b/c you are measuring "what is in the mirror" not the mirror itself. Think of taking a picture with your phone of a mirror. Things that are "shiny" for IR are usually but not always "shiny" for visible light. This means you'll get an inaccurate (usually too low) result on a shiny stainless steel cookie sheet or if you aim it into a pot of (shiny) boiling water. This works because hot objects emit IR light (when they get hot enough to glow they are just emitting shorter wavelength visible light). If you want it for cooking 750F should be enough unless you really intend to get your stone above that temp and care precisely how much over it is (HHH means >= 750). Hasta la vista gaskets! There used to be some inexpensive ones (about $100) that went up to 1500C but can't find those anymore. Everything less than $100 seems to be 1200F or below (to low to take temp of the fire).
  12. @garvinique : did your walmart have 17.6 lb bags or 15 lb bags of RO? Would be nice to see that they undid that last package shrinkage.
  13. I have the looft lighter but don't like that you have to hover over the fire till its going. Also have 50 ft 12 guage extension cord to untangle. There are usually sparks which ruin shirt. Propane torch has same problem with sparks/ruined shirt and hovering, but no cord. Oil/alcohol soaked paper towel works every time, no cord, and don't have to hover and dodge the sparks (but need to pay attention to shut bottom screen if it gets real sparky; takes at least twice as long to start with screen shut the whole time).
  14. This is intended for those who can drop a G like the rest of us can drop a Jackson. Strangely, a few of those shop at costco! Personally not sure if I'd like it with so much marbling. If its not cooked perfectly it would be gross.
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