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Everything posted by Jarett

  1. You could ask Vision Grills to replace it. The bracket has a 5 year warranty. I have had mine replaced under warranty after it rusted and sagged. Alternatively, I've noticed that the Ceramic Grill Store makes a "spider" for Vision Grills.
  2. I got my Fogo Quebracho yesterday as well! Lots of big chunks. I'd say on average each piece was only a bit smaller than my fist. I found it easy to light and it came up to temperature really quickly. It also burned clear/blue almost immediately, although it still put off a distinct "charcoal starting smell" while it was coming up to temp (almost just as if it was producing white smoke, yet it wasn't). Anyway, I roasted chicken quarters indirectly last night and I didn't detect any unpleasant smoke taste in my meal. Overall, this is a great first impression and I can't wait to fire it up again! Thanks for the recommendation Charcoal Addict!
  3. I'll do my part. Just ordered two bags of Quebracho! Find out if it's Canada Post or UPS shipping. The cry baby storm UPS threw about lump being a harzdous good killed Amazon lump deliveries last year. I almost cried. You'll likely be waiting 4-weeks to get your lump. I chose free shipping and my UPS tracking states delivery of my first bag will be this week. I guess they changed their policy.
  4. I've stopped buying Maple Leaf because my last few bags were full of small pieces/dust. I might give Maple Leaf another shot sometime. It's definitely the best smelling charcoal!
  5. Le Gourmet is great stuff. I've been happily using it for about a year. I love the nice sized pieces as pictured in danielc's post. I think the only minor drawback is it seems to take a while to start burning cleanly.
  6. I see Canadian Tire is carrying the Louisiana Kamado. Looks very similar to the Vision Classic. I also note Costco is not showing the Vision on their website and while they are selling charcoal there is no Kamado in the local store. I saw the Louisiana Kamado in store the other day. It's pretty lame. The handle comes in 3 pieces and was barely held together by small screws. And the lid doesn't even open all the way back. The rest looked ok, but for $800 this is a ripoff compared to Vision Grills. It's certainly a step down from the Vision Classic Costco carried. Well, it is the same Chinese manufacturer that makes the Visions now. they do allow for some customization, but most major parts are the same. All you need is some capital and a cool name and you can have your own Kamado company! http://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/Outdoor-Ceramic-charcoal-high-capacity-sheave_60229952806.html I wouldn't doubt it all come from the same manufacturing plant. However, most of the hardware on the Louisiana Kamado is clearly different than the Vision. The entire ceramic shell, fire bowl (looked thinner), hinge, top vent, and grates are different. The only parts that looked similar to the Vision were the cart and side-tables.
  7. I see Canadian Tire is carrying the Louisiana Kamado. Looks very similar to the Vision Classic. I also note Costco is not showing the Vision on their website and while they are selling charcoal there is no Kamado in the local store. I saw the Louisiana Kamado in store the other day. It's pretty lame. The handle comes in 3 pieces and was barely held together by small screws. And the lid doesn't even open all the way back. The rest looked ok, but for $800 this is a ripoff compared to Vision Grills.
  8. keeperofdeflame has good advice and sound reasoning. However, I personally I haven't seen any hard proof that using a hanging deflector can overheat and damage the firefox. I have done it many times. While I did get a crack in my firebox after 2 years, I don't know if using the hanging stone was the cause. I think many people who have never cooked pizza also got cracks too. I would use the tools that you currently have and don't sweat it. Give each stone a try as a deflector. With high heat you will find it easier to reach your target temp with the smaller stone and it could prolong the life of your firebox. So yeah, it's worth trying. Good luck! BTW: The stones only have a 90 day warranty, but your firebox has a 25 year warranty.
  9. The larger 14" lava stone is meant to be the deflector. I have a Pro S (same size kamado) and it came with the 14" stone. That said, there are no strict rules -- so if you find a different configuration works for certain applications, go for it!
  10. I have the powdered steel top vent. When it's stuck closed I just yank the plastic tab straight up (while holding the rest of the vent to the lid) before turning it to the side as usual.
  11. Normally, you would place the heat deflector (in this case your aluminum pan) on the lower grill grate, while the stone remains up top. But the feet of the Vision top rack will likely prevent you from fitting your pan in there -- maybe an old cookie pan will work? Not sure if this setup will prevent the gasket from burning, but give it a try. Alternatively, you could hang a heat diffuser stone in the firebowl, Vision sells one called the lava stone. CeramicGrillStore sells the "spider" and stone. Be aware that some folks on this forum claim that using a hanging stone in the fire bowl for high-heat cooks will cause the fire bowl to retain too much heat and could lead to cracks. I have the Vision lava stone (14" diameter) and I can either hang it or just barely squeeze it on the main grate when the top grate is in place. I have recently replaced the gasket on my Vision. My advice: unless it's within warranty, just keep using it until pieces are literally falling off and preventing you from properly cooking. Then order the upgraded Nomex gasket direct from Vision.
  12. Mine has is completely cracked through almost half the diameter, but has still held together like that for the last year. By the way, Vision only offers a 90 day warranty on the stone.
  13. My current favourite is Le Gourmet which I buy from a local importer in Halifax -- huge chunks are the norm with this brand! Unless otherwise noted, I've tried many bags of the following: Canadian Royal Oak: Burns fine, but I frequently found foreign objects like concrete and fiberglass. No thanks. Nature's Own (Basque's): Smells sweet and heavenly. Hit or miss whether you will get a bag with a lot of tiny pieces. Natures Grilling: Good charcoal, but I have only found it in small bags which translates to small pieces. Great as a backup bag in your cupboard! Fogo: I could only get my hands on one bag from Amazon.ca, but believe the hype! Performed flawlessly and noticeably low ash production. Maple Leaf: Only tried one bag. Good but expensive. Sweet flavour like Basque's (maple wood).
  14. I started one of the original negative threads about Canadian Royal Oak (I think it was over a year ago). I haven't tried them again (and I doubt I ever will) but here's my updated take: I spoke to Royal Oak directly about a year ago about my concerns that their Canadian product was inferior and had foreign objects. One point I made was how the Canadian blue bag didn't say "100% All Natural" like the Royal Oak American bag or like their Canadian competitors. In response RO said they would change the label of the bag to indicate it was all natural. I just saw a bag last weekend and they haven't changed the text. I think it's telling that Royal Oak created a totally different label for the Canadian market and are unwilling/unable to make the same claim of being "100% all natural". In a 6 month period of using Royal Oak, I found fiberglass, a galvanized strap, and concrete chunks. After trying many other brands and being more diligent about what I put in my fire box, I have never again found foreign objects (besides perhaps the odd clump of dirt) in my lump. I detest RO but I understand there are valued forum members like K-ville who have had a good experience. Therefore, rather than argue about brands I will recommend this: carefully inspect your lump each time you fill your kamado!
  15. Yes, the extended D-grid is quite close to the dome. There's not much height clearence around the edges. You could probably fit 2 chickens that were cut into pieces, though. If you've seen the official video of the owner cooking chicken on the BGE...well the Vision just doesn't have quite the dome height for that. Another thing of note is that the D-grid will slide off the back of the extender if you let it, whereas with the BGE it will hit the back of the dome before it can tip over. Yes, there have been a few times I wish I had the half grate. When grilling at 1.5 level, sometimes I like to have a small pan of vegetables on the go. The half grid would probably accommodate an oval grill pan with ease. Most pans won't fit on the extender due to the height issue. Though I did recently buy a low-profile Lodge skillet that fits nicely.
  16. There are many ways to sear and cook steak. The setup you described with the cast iron placed on the ring, half grate, and hanging half stone would be an ideal way to cook steak. Some would say perfect. You just wouldn't be able to cook anything else at the same time. Keep in mind that you can't use the half grate at the same time as the extender. What you could do though, is use the hanging half stone under the extender and d-grid. That way the d-grid would be half indirect. If you're only cooking steak, it's not as ideal as the half-grid setup, but worth mentioning. I can fit one small spatchcocked chicken on the rig extender. I don't see a problem with sliding in an oval grid mid-cook. You won't be using any of the Vision grates atop the rig extender. Not enough room. Here's how I sear steak: I use a product called GrillGrates set on the 1.5 level. Then I move the steak up to the sliding grid. I don't even use my half stone since the GrillGrates do a good enough job blocking the flame. This would be a less expensive alternative. Whatever you end up getting, I'm sure you'll be pleased. Good luck, and post some pics when you get it set up!
  17. I think I can guess at this one. Those flat pieces are part of the slide-guide system. If you didn't order slide-guide bars, you won't have them. As to why you have 3 cross bars: is one a bit shorter? The shorter cross bar goes on top of the AR extender, in the front, through the two loops. I never use mine because the sliding d-grid doesn't require that it be in place.
  18. That electric starter looks pretty wild. Any see one like that before? Looks like it's designed specifically for a standard kamado.
  19. schach23, I ordered the R&B combo because I already have a Vision spider / hanger (which work fine with my AR). Here are some things to consider: using a hanging stone on the Vision bracket or the spider will allow room for 3 reasonably spaced indirect cooking surfaces on your AR -- or 2 really spacious levels. When you use the oval stone (which you should still definitely get), you have to put it on the first level of the AR so you only have room for 2 reasonably spaced cooking levels. See JayHawkPharmer's pics As an aside, I also think the spider would be better quality than the rust-prone Vision hanger. The oval grid doesn't fit on the AR extender in a Vision Grill. Keep in mind that the extender sits higher in the dome than the Vision stock top grid. Also the probe of the dome thermometer protrudes on the inside of the dome and catches on the grid. Maybe if you turned the oval grid sideways atop the AR. You won't want to use anything but the D-grid on the extender anyway for two reasons. One, the awesome sliding feature. And two, food on the very edges of the d-grid runs the risk of the dome touching it and getting nasty creosote on it. I have put two very small/thin racks of ribs on the d-grid and the dome touched them because they hung off the end of the grid ever so slightly. Something to think about. You can still use the oval stone and 2 oval grids for 4 big racks of ribs. Just not using the extender. JayHawkPharmer, Sweet setup you have there. Are you able to swap your two oval grids using the slide-guide functionality? Like for swapping two levels of ribs to ensure even cooking. Since schach23 mentioned it, I'm curious if it's feasible on a Vision. I actually inquired about the sliding d-grid with the owner last year. In the video, the grid is simply hitting the dome of the Big Green Egg when he slides it back. But the Vision dome and hinge are different, so as you know, your d-grid will tip over if slid back too far. Bummer. I haven't tried it, but keeperofdeflame suggested a mod in post #18 of this thread.
  20. I guess its convenience will vary by person -- in my case I have a nearby outlet and deckbox to store the electric starter. You plug it in for about 12 minutes, set it somewhere safe (it cools off pretty quickly), and you're ready to grill in another 15 minutes. I've used it many times for smoking as well -- I'll leave it in for about 7 minutes. The other methods will get your fire going a few minutes faster. However, I can plug this in and prepare my meal inside until grill time -- the only interruption being the need to pull out the starter after 12 minutes or so. So simple. Compare it to the other methods: A chimney needs to be hand-stacked with charcoal, set with material to start it, then ignited, then you need to keep a close eye on it. I also found I needed to grab some goggles or glasses when dumping it because of all the sparks. I find starters a pain to light and position-- wasting more time that I could use to prepare my meal. Some folks on this forum use a torch to light them instead of a conventional lighter...so maybe that's my problem. I think the starter port works great on the Vision Pro models (just pay attention not to yank out any hot coals). If you have a nearby power outlet, it could be worth it. I got my electric starters for $17 from Canadian Tire . These are just my findings of course. Everyone has their favourite method and you will find yours.
  21. Daniel, you have the Vision Pro C with starter port, so why not try an electric starter? I have the Weber chimney (if you value your safety, don't risk buying any other chimney), and it works great. But I only use it when setting up for a high-heat, pizza cook. Although its ability to quickly create a bowl of red-hot coals is unmatched, I find it cumbersome to use. I also have some starter cubes which work well on their own or with the chimney. Starter cubes are also great for starting a small fire for a low-n-slow. However, for everyday grilling I always reach for my electric starter. It's simple, effective, and I never have to struggle with lighting my fuel in windy conditions.
  22. I think you should repeat the same process but with a bigger, fattier piece of meat.
  23. 1. Doesn't your Pro already come with the lava stone & hanger? I would double-check that. 2. The newer Pro C uses a silicone gasket around the ash drawer as opposed to felt. You should wait to see how it works. Even if it's leaky, it's unlikely to be a show-stopper. 3. Good idea. Mine is rusting. 6. Are you talking about the Adjustable Rig system from Ceramic Grill Store? If so, the Vision Classic AR will fit your Pro and so will the large BGE stuff. The new Kamado Joe Divide and Conquer system for the Classic Joe may also fit, but I don't know of any Vision owners that have one. For impressions and pictures of the CGS gear, check out these threads: http://www.kamadoguru.com/topic/861-ceramic-grill-store-christmas-in-may/ http://www.kamadoguru.com/topic/5485-ceramic-grill-store-christmas-in-june/
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