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3vil3ric

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location:
    Tampa, FL
  • Interests
    Raising orchids and bonsai. Growing veg in the garden. Homebrew mead and beer. Ingress-Enlightened.
  • Grill
    Vision

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  1. Dinner turned out great. I already had a bed of old lump, and topped off with the new B&B, about 8 medium pieces. I was doing corn, asparagus, and blue cheese stuffed filets. Built the fire to one side to give an indirect area for the veg and reverse sear. Everything took on a nice mild hickory flavor (didn't run it cool enough for smoke). I don't know if I;d go 100% B&B for 4 hrs of slow/low pork shoulder on it. Flavor could get real strong, but I WOULD slow/low jerkey and bacon curing on it. and i'll definitely mix it in with RO or Cowboy every time I fire it up. I like it so far. Also, +1 for Cherry wood. That and Pecan are my smoking chunks of choice. I think Apple can get bitter on a long smoke, but that is personal taste.
  2. Was at Wmart yesterday and needed lump. I picked up a 17lb bag of RO for $10 and a 20lb bag or B&B for $12. I will note that B&B labels their lump as hickory. I will be doing first light of the B&B tonight for Mother's day steaks and post my results if interested. Eric
  3. One thing missing from this convo is Lawrey's season salt. Either mix it with the mayo or apply directly to the meatball before smashing. I've read that is the trick to proper smash burgers and my family won't eat them without. I sprinkle it into the butter before setting the ball. For smashing, I use parchment and an 8in cast iron pan. skillet > butter > Burger-ball > parchment > cast-iron > fist > HULK SMASH!!!! Michael Lawrrrrrrrrrrrreyyyyyyyy (Bad Boys movie). family says it every time we use it.
  4. Welcome to the community. I bought the Akorn to get into Kamado cooking and the matching cover. One year later my wife asked why I bothered with the cover because the grill was never cool enough to put it on. The forums here will have you trying all kinds of new techniques like spatchcock chicken and reverse sear steaks. It is not a tool, it is the vehicle for a new journey. Again, welcome. Eric
  5. I"m going through the same with my new Vision, coming from a locked-down Akorn. Here are my observations from the last 2 weeks. 1.First thing I noticed is the top vent allows a lot of air to leak when new. As you cook on it a layer of fat, ash, smoke and other particles will build up in the gaps and the top vent will season into a tighter fit. That might be a cause for your slow cool down. The more you use it the better it will get. 2. The PRO-ZONE may not be tight. 3rd-4th night I had it I took out the firebox and shined a flashlight around the ash-tray from the outside while looking at it from the inside. It really highlighted the small gaps in the elec-starter door and the fit of the tray. A little bending and tightening of the tabs on the elec starter door sealed it up. I also needed to lift up the ash-tray rails a bit with some SS washers. I've read others used dimes for it, but I stay away from galvanized and zinc materials. 3. Read about the dollar bill test here on the forum. Basically, after 5-6 heats, AND WHILE COOL, take a dollar bill or piece of paper and insert it between the lid and base. You should have fairly uniform drag when removing the bill all the way around the kettle. Look for loose spots. 4. Some older models, and the CLASSIC line have the lid piston set too high. By loosening the screws on the piston and cap, allowing them to settle, then re-tightening them may tighten the front edge seal. 5. Finally, as GLocker said, ceramic holds temp a LOOOOOOooooong time. Last night I cooked at 350 for 40 mins, then did a cool-down test. It took about 2.25 hours to come down to 100F. That is about 100F/hour cool down. I'm still tightening up my grill and think it can do better, but when ambient temps are high it will cool slower too. Last night was high 70s when I tested. Welcome to the fellowship. Eric
  6. Thanks. Seen you around a long time. Wife and I grew up in Marietta and graduated from Pope HS. Folks still live there. Again, love this community.
  7. Hello community. 3.5 yrs ago I entered the kamado fellowship and this amazing community with the purchase of an Akorn. Like some of you, it was an affordable entry to prove I was serious about the technology. Last Fall, I noticed it was wearing down (We're in Florida and, although I keep it covered when not in use, it is near a pool and that takes a toll). After 3 yrs of me grilling on it 2-3x/wk, my wife approved of the replacement plan immediately. (She is a keeper!!) The Vision caught my eye at HomeDepot and checking prices on other brands, I just couldn't commit to the others. In March, I had 3 less-than-amazing cooks on the Akorn. Wife said it was the beer, but I've cooked better with more beer. Maybe not enough beer this time? No, the ash pan had rusted out and there was a large leak on the back side that was inflating my temps. Grateful I didn't lose control of the grill and have the pan burn down my house, I ordered an Orange Pro S from HD with free shipping. I offered up the ol' Akorn to the KG Akorn group for parts and waited for delivery. Having read about a ba'jillion posts here I cautiously let a small fire on day one to see how tight the "Pro-zone" was seated and check out the gaskets. It needed some adjustments, but nothing I wasn't expecting. 4 fires and ZERO food later, I was ready to grill up some chicken breasts as the inaugural meal. They turned out great. Now 5 cooks later, I'm running a brisket at 240 since 7am (almost 7 hours) and holding steady. I know the top cast iron vent will tighten up with build-up. It still leaks a LOT, but I solid have temp control. Glad you're all here for the ride. Let me know if I can give anything back to say thanks. Eric
  8. The Akorn is gone. The Vision is getting broken in. Lit 4 fires in a week and learned temps before putting anything on it. I'm surprised how different the Vision operates, but i'm getting the leaks locked down and the creosote is building on the cap to lock it up. See ya in the Vision chat. Eric
  9. Hello fellow Akorn owners. After 3.5 years of weekly abuse, pool chlorine, and Florida humidity my Akorn has relented to the elements. It has a split ash pan and the bottom rims of the hot-box and body are rusting through. The good news is I have a freshly burned-off cast iron grate that looks almost as good as the day I brought it home. The legs, side tables, and lid are perfect. So I'm offering it to anyone in the Tampa Bay area (or further if you're looking for a nice drive). You can take the grate or the whole thing. Whatever is left goes to scrap. I love this community and you really helped launch my passion for Kamado cooking, which my family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors have all enjoyed for 3.5 years. I can offer pics if you want to consider before taking it. No, I'm not giving up on kamado cooking. I have a Vision Pro on order. Time to go to true ceramic. Thanks for providing years of lurking opportunities. Sincerely, Eric
  10. Just stopped in Winn-Dixie in Tampa, FL and found Boston butts @ 1/2 price for card holders. I didn't see anything over 5 lbs, but for the price I can get 2, right? That's $1.99/lb Good hunting. Eric
  11. Hey, another Tampa griller. Welcome to the family. You can pick up the official CK cover at Lowe's and it is a nice fit. My wife jokes that I was too optimistic when I bought the cover because I'd hafta stop cooking to put it on. I'd offer that, if the seals are in good shape, maybe the previous owner had a habit of sliding the hot grate to the right shelf when performing fire maintenance. The center hole is nice when you don't have a diffuser in place, but getting to the fire with one in place presents challenges. Scraping the CI grate along that edge, then letting hot fats and oils sit in the scrapes could generate that rusty patch, especially here in humid FL. Put it out by the pool with chlorine and that damage could occur very quickly. Glad to see you around. Eric
  12. I can't believe I started this thread 3 MONTHS AGO. It feels like a lifetime has passed. The advice and direction you all provided that weekend was excellent. Also, I agree with ICDEDTURKES when he said smaller butts stall harder than big ones. That is my experience too. I've had 4 pounders stall for 7-8 hours and a 9 lbs. break stall in half that time. I still like starting the cook at ~225 for the first couple hours and get all my smoking in. Then, depending on circumstances, I'll a) let it stall and wait bump the heat to 275 and let it finish normally c) foil wrap (texas crutch) d) shut down and finish in the stove (useful when I need to leave and the wife is watching the Maverick) I'm still improving my techniques, but being able to deliver food on a schedule is occasionally required. Sometimes I'm cooking for fun and I can let it happen organically over 6-14 hours. MAN, I was unprepared for that first slow and low butt. Thanks all
  13. Pizza has become my wife's favorite food to come off the Akorn. We like to make big pizzas with paper thin crust and the 13" stone just wasn't doing it for us. I also struggled with stuck crusts, burnt crust, etc.. The BIGGEST adaptation one for me was to pick up a 16" non-stick pizza pan at WalMart (it is called Wilton Bake it Better 16"). We turn it upside-down on the counter and build the pizza on the bottom of it while the grill comes up to temp. Then I pick the WHOLE thing up with pizza and set it on the grill. It gets up to temp in seconds. Then when the pizza is done I pick the whole thing up and carry it into the house. Transfer it to a cutting board and dig in. If we're making 2 the second gets prepped on a sheet of parchment. That goes on the bottom of the hot pan and it goes back on the grill. There may be purists who prefer the pizza stone, but this is one time I'm going with non-stick. Her favorite pizza? Beach pizza. (in order of assembly) Alfredo sauce minced garlic Mozzerella peeled shrimp Finely chopped scallions Good luck. Eric
  14. That link to AmazingRibs is PERFECT. I hadn't seen that before. Thanks all !! Eric
  15. WOW, I know how you feel.. My wife has been cooking 6 days/week for the last couple years (stay at home mom with planning OCD). So I got this CGK 2 weeks ago and she has cooked 2 time in 2 weeks. I can't wait to finish our leftovers so I light another fire and try the next recipe. FIST BUMP ! Eric
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