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    Kamado Joe
  1. I am taking notes on all the advice given. I use apple juice when cooking a pork butt, never occurred to me to try it on the ribs...may have to smoke ribs again tonight! Thanks
  2. Okay Use dry (chunks, not chips) wood mixed in with coals from the outset. Preheat everything. Water in drip pan not necessary. Close dome sooner. Remember the vent settings that work. Thanks to all. Will just have to keep trying until I get it right....oh, darn.
  3. Okay. I've been waiting along time to be able to post this experience. Intended to buy a KJ Classic in the spring. But was too expensive. Finally decided today to give in and pay the price (my wife wanted to buy me one for my birthday anyway). Got to the store and found out that the price had dropped! Sweet! Was happy to let my wife buy it for me for $880 (as if I really had a choice, she has all the money). It gets better..... The owner of the store said he was going my my, loaded it into his panel truck, followed me home and carted it up the drive way, through the house and onto the deck. It could not have been easier! First cook. Ribs. Normally done in a gas smoker. So I applied my general smoking technique combined with suggestions from posts on this forum to make my first cook. Here is how it went. First, while I was waiting for my wife to bring home the meat, I started the fire. Loaded the firebox as prescribed in the instructions and started it with my blow torch. As I wanted to sneak up on a low temperature of around 225, I just ran the torch for about 30 seconds right in the middle of the lump. Draft door full open and grill top open. After about 20 minutes I closed the grill. Adjusted draft door to about 1.5" and top vent to 5 holes slightly closed. It heated to 225 degrees (my desired temperature) in another 15 minutes. Very cool. I let it stabilize for about an hour. The temp did not vary. Once I acquired the temperature it was rock solid. My wife finally arrived with the meat. Normally I would wash and rub my meat the night before. But today I was too excited about cooking to do the normal preparation. So I just rubbed the ribs (one rack cut in half) with one of my favorite premixed rubs (normally use homemade rub) and set them aside. Next I dropped a handful of wet apple wood chips on the coals, put the heat deflector in place in the lowest position, added a drip pan with some water on top of that and set grill at the highest position. Then I placed the ribs in the grill, standing vertically on their sides in a rib rack. It started smoking like crazy and even after an hour the temp had only risen to about 180. So I helped it alittle by opening the both the draft door vent and the upper exhaust vent. Took a few minutes but I finally got it back to 225 and then reset both vents to the original settings. After two hours, I took the ribs off the rack, wrapped them in foil and put them back in the grill at 225 degrees for another two hours. I was very surprised and pleased that the KJ maintained such a constant temperature with no fuss and very little attention. After that I took them out of the grill and just let them set for about 45 minutes. BEST RIBS EVER! (if I may say so myself...and more importantly, wife agrees). The had a beautiful smoke ring, were very moist and were fall off the bone tender. Perfect. Here is my self critique: 1. Probably should have allowed heat deflector to preheat before adding the meat. 2. I think the damp wood chips (which I normally use in my gas smoker) had the effect of dampening the temperature of the grill after I added the meat. 3. Maybe should have used dry wood to make the smoke. 4. Not sure why it took so long to get the temperature back up after I added deflector, wood chips and meat. 5. I pretty much guessed at the initial draft door and exhaust vent postions. I was maybe a little conservative, but I did not want to over shoot my temperature. I am not a neophite when it comes to grilling, but I'm humble enough to admit that kamado grilling involves some nuances that I did not foresee. Any Guru advice would be greatly appreciated. My first cook was somewhat clumsy but the resulting ribs were excellent. I count this as the first in many great cooks to come. (Brisket tomorrow)
  4. Thanks to all who weighed in on this subject. I appreciate the candid advice. Decision made. Will be trying out my new KJ by the weekend. Bob
  5. Thanks to all who weighed in on this subject. Decision made. Will be trying out the KJ by the weekend. Bob
  6. If it was just between the BGE ($849 at eggfest) and the KJ ($829 retail) I would go with the KJ because of the "divide and conquer" accessory. Alot of my cooking involves direct and indirect heat application. Divide and conquer would cover just about averything I would do on the grill. But....I can get the large BGE with table for $1099 at the same eggfest. It's a pretty nice ride, but no practical way to cook direct/indirect without buying additional parts. Help. I think my judgement is clouded by the all the possibilities!! I can't think straight because of all the red and green colors in front of me!! The Chief Financial Officer cleared me to get whichever one that "makes you happy". There might have been some remarks about deck space and "highest, best use" in there, but I'm pretty sure I got the gist of the conversation correct. The closer I get to actually pulling the trigger....the harder it gets! Advice?? Bob
  7. Still searching for a kamado..... I found a local vendor that sells KJ. I noticed that the metal band around both the upper and lower lips was wrenched so tight that the 90 degree eyelets on both ends of the band were deformed, having been drawn towards each other under stress. Apparently as this piece deformed it caused the bolt to actually bend under the asymetrical stress. Is this condition normal? Thanks Bob
  8. The "promo" was hosted by a local retailer and staffed by the distributor. I won't go into detail but suffice it to say the salesman was saying what he thought I wanted to hear. Little did he know that I had already done a lot of research into the different manufacturers. I have pretty much decided on KJ or BGE....whichever one I can find at a decent discount first. Costco road show or Eggfest. But I will be honest, I've never been really patient in these matters (and summer grilling season is already here). So I may just have to go out and pay full fare for the KJ. Will have to find a way to convince the Chief Financial Officer. Thanks for all the feedback.
  9. Still looking for the right Kamado.... Today I went to a promotional for BGE. The deal was 10% off, free assembly and takeaway of old grill. Seemed like a good deal accept all the accessories were extra. I knew that would be the case. Nevertheless, the distributor told me that BGE was better than other kamado cookers because BGE ceramic is fired at 2000 degrees. The others are fired at 1400 degrees. According to him this fact make the the BGE more durable. My question to all you kamado gurus...is this true? Is it possible that ceramic fired in Mexico is stronger and more durable than ceramic fired in China? Thanks for the discussion.
  10. I'm new to this forum, but as I'm in the process of shopping for a kamado style grill, I've found the posts here to be invaluable in putting all the the different brands in perspective. I'm considering the Saffire, but don't see any current posts regarding this grill. Does anyone have updated info for me to digest? I can plainly see the hardware is superior, but what I can't know is the quality of the ceramic. So here is another question....is all ceramic created equal? Is BGE ceramic the same as Saffire ceramic and Kamado Joe ceramic? At this point I've narrowed the search down to BGE, Kamado Joe and Saffire. However, this is still a wide open field for me. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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