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Everything posted by SmallBBQr

  1. "get up to temp" can really mean two things with kamados. 1) You can dump a large chimney full of lit charcoal (which is about a 10 minute burn) into the kamado, open the vents and close the lid, and the thermometer will very quickly read 400 degrees (heat rising from red hot coals below). This is somewhat misleading though...not to say you could not immediately start using it to sear steaks etc. I do this ALL the time. You do not always need to heat soak a kamado. It would not be ready to roast a bird or a bake a pizza or something quite yet though... But shortly after dumping red hot coals, it is perfectly fine for searing on a grate above coals, or even tossing on the rotisserie where the rising heat is enough to get your going. 2) You repeat (or continue on) the above, and then let the entire kamado heat soak so the radiant cooking process is ready to go....takes longer as all the ceramic has to heat soak. Thermometer will STILL read 400, but the kamado is much more heat stable, and is ready to cook something like a pizza, turkey etc. Full radiant cooking mode. Edit....something to keep in mind is no "law" that says you always need to have your charcoal down in the lower charcoal area either - decide what works best for what you are cooking. With my Weber Summit Kamado, there are two charcoal grate levels - the lower grate for "kamado" mode, and the upper charcoal grate for "searing" or kettle mode - I use probably 75% of the time for grilling. I just don't always need a fully heat-sinked, convection/radiant cooking environment for much of what we cook/eat. Similarly, on my previously owned BGE/KEG kamados, I would very often raise the charcoal basket (particularly after the Kick Ash Basket product came out!) up onto the "X" rack so the charcoal was sitting right up high below the cooking grate. I would use the kamado more like a kettle/PK type grill instead of "kamado" mode....sacrilegious to say here, but guess what...a kamado is NOT always the best grill for every cook. Kamados do many things very well, but they are NOT the *best* grill for many things either. That said...I would never go back to an 18" grill again personally. I have only one grill, and this 24" one does it all. Maybe if I had a gasser on the side or a pellet grill etc, I would have been happier with an 18", but with only 1, it was regularly making me dream of a bigger one. Since the upgrade, I have NEVER wished I had a smaller grill.
  2. I kinda teared up not seeing a crispy piece of skin on that beautiful dish....
  3. Over the last dozen years or so, I have had a Visions Kamado (their smallest one which got me into the Kamado world), a large BGE, and a Broil King Keg. I really liked them all TBH and all great cookers. Last year, I purchased a Weber Summit Kamado as I really found myself wanting a 24" grill (and here, the Big Joe is astronomically priced) - ZERO regrets with the Summit and I love it. Even though there is only two of us, I still found an 18" kamado restricting at time when trying to cook numerous side dishes with a main. I only have ONE grill, so if you have a second gasser or option, that may be a factor too. I wanted ONE grill to do it ALL! End result - I would not go back to another kamado cooker (ceramic or steel). Numerous reasons in the end....rock solid temperature stability, great cost to size value vs a ceramic, unbreakable, light and movable (relatively speaking), legendary Weber warranty/service department, and hybrid "kettle" and Kamado cooking....so much usable grill space for searing. By this, I mean you can use the top charcoal grate, spread a ton of coals out horizontally, and sear like a traditional kettle grill....almost out the edges. I could do 20 steaks pretty easily if ever needed. I actually cook in "kettle" mode probably 75% of my cooks now....searing steaks, burgers, chops, fish etc....sear DIRECTLY over coals directly under the food grate, then move over to finish cook on the cool side. It is different than than the more "vertical" cooking of the Kamado....(but of course, you can do this very easily as well). For larger roasts, briskets, ribs, pulled pork etc, I just drop charcoal to the lower basket, light up and add deflectors plate and/or drip pans, and still cook easily for 12-16 hours on a load of charcoal. Oh yeah...it happily uses briquettes as well. Put it this way...if someone offered me a straight trade - a Big Joe for my Summit...I would not trade. And the Summit is about $1000 less expensive. Another consideration for me when asked to lay out $3000 for a grill...is that 10 years from now, I will most likely not have this grill...maybe even in 5 years...who knows. All industries are changing so much and so quickly, that in all likelihood, there WILL be a better, cooler, more interesting grill of some sort that I will probably want more by then...so I found the overall value just better.
  4. I've had two 18" grills in my history (a BGE and a Keg), and now that I have a 24" surface, I would not go smaller again. There are only two of us at home, but I am continuously using the space to have an extra pot heating a side dish, or more space away from the direct heat etc. That said, I have a Weber Summit Kamado and there is less mass to heat soak as well. I can light a chimney and have a 500 degree grill in a very short time, and I also use it like a kettle with the charcoal right up at grill height. A little more fuel usage and time perhaps on the Big Joe. Yup...a tough call for you to make.
  5. Alternatively (if you are not stuck on the ceramic) save a ton of money and get a Weber Summit Kamado. I think in the US it's currently $1049. Also 24" grilling surface.
  6. Yes. Lid closes fine. As the blackstone has some ridges on the bottom to prevent warping, I just sit it on top of the extra charcoal grate and it works perfectly. That said, I also have a 3/8" thick grilling steel (16" diameter) that I use for pizza etc, and I actually use it more often now than the blackstone top....
  7. It's one of the main reasons I got rid of my Keg....it was waaaaay too efficient to smoke at anything under 275. But it could cook on a load of charcoal at 500 for hours too...
  8. Same....the odd high-heat burn off, but other than that, I use a bbqpic and a wadded up ball of tinfoil when the grates are still warm... (I have absolutely no affiliation with them....) https://bbqpic.com/
  9. Thanks....text is a bit crowded in there so my old eyes skipped right over that....
  10. VERY nice...I would live to make this...do you have more specific instructions/recipe?
  11. In my experience, and especially when higher volumes and timing are a concern, I would not concern myself with a 100% kamado cook start to finish. No one will detect any difference in the end result and the added risk, stress etc. is just not worth it IMO. Place all the butts on, stacked or whatever works, and get a good smoke going for a nice initial smoke - maybe even up to stall temps - 160ish. Could even use a bit higher temp - 275ish to help avoid uneven temps etc. Then, instead of trying to complete them completely in smoke (they only take so much anyways), I would transfer them to a larger pan(s) and go to braise mode in the oven...a much more reliable method, less stress etc. Save all your drippings from the initial smoking to add to the pan to get more flavor (even use a water pan and drip tray to avoid scorching) and add some additional liquid for braising, and toss them in a 350 pan in the oven tightly sealed until they are fall apart tender.... Done single roasts this way numerous times and always delicious.
  12. Should be able to five Ruth's Chris a run for their money!! Can't wait to see the results.
  13. I've looked at the soapstone options over the years, but every time I bring out my 3/8" grilling steel, it chases any thoughts of adding to the accessories pile away. It get's used for so many things, and completely indestructible - just seems a better investement to me. While I have no direct experience to comment on your questions, from any picture/video I have ever seen, the sear on soapstone is no better than from any other searing surface.
  14. Alternatively, go find a local pottery studio, and ask/pay someone to make you a custom piece. Pretty simple to do, other than perhaps the color matching. It is the most basic shape to craft.
  15. Cooking in tortuous weather is a matter of necessity here. Though, what some might call tortuous, we just call "nippy".
  16. I hear you....a nice Wednesday night shot of bourbon to start a 17 day holiday!!
  17. Have had both metal and ceramic kamados through Canadian (low as -35C) Alberta winters with no ill effects, though I was always careful with the ceramics to heat them more slowly to avoid any thermal shock. Also made sure no moisture (from condensation etc) was left behind in case it froze - freezing water exerts a LOT of pressure if it seeps into a crack etc. Some folks have reported felt gaskets freezing their kamados shut. I often have to use a torch to open vents that are frozen shut though...
  18. Yup...briquettes, the manufactured char logs etc., all product a lot of ash. If your grill doesn't have a good ash management system, it can block vents during cooking, or just create a bunch more work cleaning up. Natural lump burns down more for sure. I use both lump and briquettes quite often in my Weber Summit kamado, but the ash management is great on it...just slide the damper lever a few times and dump the ash bin. Briquettes work amazing for producing a medium-high heat without going nuclear - old "kettle" style grilling.
  19. Funny how different things "work" for any particular person, but for me, this has got to be one of my favorite things that make me smile when cooking on the Weber Summit charcoal...cooking right up to the outside edge direct when using the upper charcoal grate. I just dump (or light) a small amount of charcoal on in the charcoal basket sitting right on the upper charcoal grate, and sear away. I used to try emulate this in my other kamados by raising the Kick Ash Basket higher up, but everything was still "center" to the grill and nothing would sear on the outside edges of the grate. The summit provides an amazing amount of horizontal grilling space. Haven't had the need yet, but I could probably grill/sear 20 steaks simultaneously like this if I used the whole top grate.
  20. I have not seen anyone on any of the Summit groups mention trying it. Just thinking about the design, probably not as it has no shelf or ridge to sit on...though it might sit on the lower charcoal level grate. The SloRoller for the Kettle Joe might fit it actually as the Weber Kettle 22" rotisserie insert fits inside the first ridge pretty closely. Probably sit up much too high though... Not sure why you would really need it though. I can't see it really adding much value. Summit is already a great smoker, indirect cooker etc. From all the SloRoller reviews I have seen, it only adds marginal value at best (according to many). Some say it does even out hot spots nicely.
  21. Do you have a Costco Business Center in your area (and a membership)? Business Centers have an amazing inventory of commercial cookware, pans etc. It's where I want to go when I die!
  22. No one should have the wobble issue any more unless they are unaware of the warranty recall. Of the two models of the 2nd generation Summit Kamado, the S6 (cart/table model) is, and always was, rock solid as it is integrated into the table. The E6, when it originally came out this year, had the "wobble" issue as Weber changed the leg system from the 1st generation model (probably to save a few $$). After owners started to complain/comment, they recalled the E6 and very quickly replaced all of them under warranty with a new leg system that was closer in design to the first generation legs. All the wobble issues were solved and the E6 now is rock solid as well. Unless a purchaser was completely unaware and didn't contact Weber, they might still have the wobbly legs, but Weber immediately stopped selling that version as well, so not too many made it out. And of course, with the world-wide shipping issues going on, they are in pretty short supply as well. Many of the E6 owners have purchased stainless steel prep tables to function on the side as prep area etc. I'll see if I can find any of their posts/recommendations - there are two popular Facebook groups for Weber Summit Charcoal/E6/S6 owners. A very common question seen there is which one to purchase...spend the extra $$ up front on the cart, or not. Here are some of their recommendations: Basically, search Walmart, Amazon, Lowes, Home Depot etc for outdoor carts and you'll see a ton of them... https://www.lowes.com/pd/Royal-Gourmet-Royal-Gourmet-PC3401S-Double-Shelf-Movable-Dining-Cart-Work-Table-with-Handle-Outdoor-Kitchen-Prep-Trolley-Storage-34-in-L-x-20-in-W-Stainless-Steel/5000894711?cm_mmc=psm-_-c-_-rtg-_-sol-_-fb-_-shp-_-0-_-0-_-0-_-royal_gourmet&fbclid=IwAR06l9ZaHYH6sjYfDrbrhAGB5fNSfuT7QYKcV75jiB8O0WC5ixUNN0DtHOs https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01HJATY32/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1&fbclid=IwAR3oQ9itMBhiGy2m7Z6hc3XlXzTOOw7v7xs3y_m761yt4XwZ709Lvxa6H3k https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00M87WEX4/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1&fbclid=IwAR0EGHgCx80JqTyzxgZX_qXR-xOVn1ec3KMxwsA1tQEj6Hg8uSh80RRY0Nk https://www.walmart.com/ip/Modern-Stainless-Steel-Table-Cart-with-Sleek-Tabletop-and-Adjustable-Lower-Shelf/720473247
  23. Love me a good straight rye whiskey...
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