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Smokin' Dan

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Everything posted by Smokin' Dan

  1. Thanks, Y'all! That's great feedback! I got the most important feedback so far--my wife said, "go ahead, get it!" So I pulled the trigger and it's coming at the end of next week. I feel like a kid at Christmas time!
  2. Greetings, all, It's been a while since I've posted, but life has been in flux, and family health issues and job changes have pretty much demanded my focus and time. But the dust is settling, as am I, and I'd appreciate your feedback. So, I'm wondering whether or not to pull the trigger on a Kamado Joe Classic 1 on sale through Walmart at $649. Seems like a pretty good deal even though they're just moving discontinued inventory. I've been using an Akorn for the past 5 years and have enjoyed it, though it's getting a little bit worn through use. Have been dreaming of owning a KJ for some time but never was in a situation to think about having something so heavy (that I'd have to move when changing residences) and priced over 1k. Now, I'm finally settled in a house and intend to be here for some time. I saw this pop up online last night and after kicking it around, think it'd be a good move to make. But my question is whether the II and III are so much better that it's better to forget the 1 and start aiming for 2 or 3? Anyone out there still using their Kamado Classic 1 and loving it?
  3. That's a neat way to cook yardbird. I think that might be worth trying.
  4. Looks great! I envy that roof over the porch. All this rain here has kept my cookers covered and unused. But on the bright side, we're far enough away from the South Platte to not have to worry about being flooded.
  5. Greetings, and Welcome from another Akorn owner on the Eastern Plains.
  6. Love all the rain, but it's driving me crazy that I can't fire up the Akorn.

    1. Larry1947

      Larry1947

      I am lucky. Part of my deck is covered,so can still cook,rain or shine.

  7. Welcome! Congrats on the new Akorn!
  8. Welcome, and congratulations! Up until I got my Akorn I was convinced that a Weber kettle, properly used, could handle just about anything you'd ever want to cook. Then I started pulling the food off the Akorn and discovered I was headed to a whole new level of cooking. Now the Weber sits in the garage, waiting for supplemental duty on a larger cook. I like the looks of that red Jr. May have to go that route myself somewhere further down the road.
  9. Now that's a good-lookin' meal.
  10. I've been getting a better handle on my temps since I switched to using Royal Oak exclusively. Bigger pieces and a more consistent burn.
  11. Austin wants barbecue joints to install "smoke scrubbers" because of a few cranky soreheads in one or two snotty old-Austin neighborhoods. Franklin says he'd be forced to close if the city legislates this. We're talking a potential barbecue apocalypse here: austin.eater.com/2015/3/30/8309059/barbecue-master-aaron-franklin-slams-proposed-city-smoke-limits Of course, Aaron is leading with his ace. No sensible human wants to see Franklin's shut down. But are there enough sensible humans?
  12. Welcome from a fellow expatriate Austinite and recent convert to the Akorn.
  13. Welcome from a fellow newcomer to the Akorn and the Kamado Way.
  14. Hello, everyone, I've been getting more and more acquainted with my new Akorn and the other night decided it was time to try my first high-temp cook. So I defrosted some hamburger a friend of ours gave us--homemade out at her ranch where she runs a few cattle. I'd estimate the mix she came up with to be 75-25 and I thought that might be a great thing to try cooking at high heat over an open flame. So I tossed a chunk of oak along with a couple of alcohol-soaked cotton balls into the bottom of the lump pile, closed and latched the lid, opened the vents all the way and went inside to make the burgers. I like to make stuffed burgers now and then, so I rummaged around to see what I might throw in them, which turned out to be cheddar, onion, and bacon bits. This press can make a monster-sized burger, so I came up with what I figure to be 7 oz burgers before cooking. By the time I got them ready I noticed a steady plume of smoke coming out the top vents. Outside, I found the Akorn's thermometer at just above 675--so on they went. I cooked 'em about 2-1/2 minutes a side, then shut down all the vents and let them stay on the grate another 3-1/2 minutes. I put 'em in wheat buns, added a little spicy mustard and then we sat down to eat. Again, it was a "WHOA!" moment. What a sear on those burgers! Flavorful, juicy, and about the best burgers I've made on a grill. The kind of burgers I'd expect to be served at a pretty good steakhouse. I looked at the wife and said, "You know what's gotta come next: steak!" She's been teasing me a little, saying it's not me coming up with this great food, it's the Akorn. And in a way she's right. Maybe we'll have a couple of rib-eyes for Palm Sunday. And if they come out close to the way these monster burgers turned out, I'll happily give the Akorn all the credit. Again, thanks to everyone who posts and comments on this site. I'm learning a lot.
  15. Welcome, from an expatriate Austinite. If you're moving from a gas grill to a kamado you're taking a huge leap in the right direction. I'm new to kamado cooking and already finding that the caliber of food I pull off my Akorn is some of the best I've done in a long time. My guess is it won't be long and your wife will be on board with the decision to go kamado.
  16. I've used mesquite to complement oak on a few low-and-slows; it's a good wood for that, though you're right about it's heat intensity being great for burgers and steaks. Mesquite and oak are definitely staple woods for Texas-style smoking and grilling.
  17. Looks like you could do some tasty playin' around with that contraption. The first thing I thought of was making a small version of the dutch oven peach cobbler we used to make on camping trips many, many moons ago.
  18. Welcome from a fellow new-Akorn-ite. I think I'm starting to figure out mine, thanks mostly to the good folks on this site.
  19. Welcome, from another newcomer to the kamado way and to the Akorn. Hope you post pics of your brisket cook.
  20. Wow, thanks for the comments and suggestions! I'm thinking it has a lot to do with the way I've been building my fires and also starting them. I didn't get to do the fire-up I wanted to do today, so it'll have to wait till next weekend. But you all have given me some good help here and I appreciate it.
  21. Looks like your experiment came out tasting great. I've used garlic in beef and venison and can't remember being disappointed. May have to try a variation of this down the road.
  22. Hi, Y'all, First of all, thanks to everyone who offered such an encouraging welcome when I introduced myself! This is a great site and I'm learning a lot--and I've only had the Akorn for maybe a week. So, yesterday and today I followed up last week's cooks 1 and 2 with cooks 3 and 4. Yesterday I fired up the Acorn and cooked up some pork shoulder blade steaks. I tried out a rub I'd not used before, Lysanders, and used mesquite lump charcoal with a couple of pieces of applewood. I decided to use the diffuser plate, and my average temp was about 330o. Though I had to watch my readings like a hawk; the temp would climb, I'd shut first the upper vent, then lower vent, see the temp fall to about 330, hold, then drop down to 300 and below. I'd open the vent first at the bottom and then marginally open the top vent. I'd get it to hold for a while, but the overall process was a see-saw of temperatures. The recommended vent settings in the Akorn's manual weren't very helpful. By the way, that Maverick 733 is a great accessory to have--I wonder how I ever did without one before. I made up a little barbecue sauce that included just a smidge of my wife's strawberry syrup. The results were interesting, in a very good-tasting sort of way. The rub was more subtle that the rubs I usually use, which allowed more of the meat's smoked flavor to come through. With a brushing of sauce, it was a good mixture of flavors. And once again, I was blown away by the moisture of the meat. Today, we were invited to attend a St. Pat's community potluck, so I decided to throw some chicken breasts and leg quarters on. I skipped the diffuser and again tried to hold temp at 325-340. Again, the Akorn didn't hold temp for very long, but there was a small wind that may have had an effect. Again used mesquite lump and added a chunk of oak and a chunk of pecan. I used Country Bob's for the rub, but didn't use as much as I normally would because the Akorn seems to bring out flavor unlike any other grill/smoker I've had. Again, the results were INCREDIBLE! Lots of moisture, despite direct grilling. And again, how great to have the Maverick telling me when the breasts were done and when to later pull off the quarters. We were running late, so no photos of the chicken, and there won't be after that meal, because everyone made sure there wasn't any to bring home. So, now after these cooks, I'm wondering if I need to work on better sealing the Akorn, or if I need to be a little more patient in adjusting my vents. I read the thread suggesting that I build a fire for the express purpose of getting familiar with my vent settings, so I may do this tomorrow. I also think I'll upgrade the diffuser. Either the smokin' stone or the Academy cast iron griddle seem like solid upgrades. I'm guessing that one of these diffusers will also contribute to temperature stabilization. I'm wondering if the type of lump charcoal I'm using could affect the ability to hit and hold stable temps. I've been using Best of the West mesquite lump; I've also got a bag of Royal Oak lump I may use for tomorrow's fire. I'm also wondering if I'm making my lump mountains big enough. One indicator that it may be pretty well-sealed already was what I discovered this morning when I went to light the fire for the chicken. I hadn't used very much of the charcoal for last night's cook. Hardly any. I basically added 2-3 more pieces to the existing pile, knocked off some ash and lit it again. That's amazing! So how does this seem to those of you who've been using the Akorn for a while? Do you think the temp swings indicate some leaks that need to be sealed, or should I just relax, play with it some more, and see where it takes me?
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