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Found 251 results

  1. I've seasoned my CI grate three times in the oven. Is that enough? I've seen suggestions that say as many as 6 times... I have a bone-in ribeye that I got on sale, and I'm thinkin just salt and pepper w/ a little garlic. See what flavor the grill can add. I don't have a diffuser, so this is going to be direct heat, and I plan on popping it on a very hot grill to medium well. I bought burger meat Sunday afternoon with the steak, but the burger meat turned gray already, which is unusual. I'll ask the meat department about that. Any tips on this would be helpful. I'll post a pic later if it's not an utter disaster. Thanks!
  2. I was recently inspired by Maxhawk's cook over in this thread: http://www.kamadoguru.com/topic/12928-beef-short-ribs-on-the-big-joe/ I mentioned in my post there that I had some short ribs in the freezer, and I pulled them out on Friday to cook them on Saturday. I had big plans for cooking and hanging with my 3-year-old son while my wife was out for the day with her mom. We accomplished almost everything on our list, except for the flying a kite, since there was no wind to be found. I hope you don't mind the wave of photos - with my wife not around, I didn't have to put up with the funny looks she gives me when I'm snapping pictures of my food in all stages of prep! I'm a photographer anyway, so I tend to document everything. We did get out for a bike ride in the late morning, and you can see that it was terribly exhausting for Colin. We got home, I fed him lunch, and I got started on dinner. I had 3 decent-sized ribs that I cleaned up a bit. The short ribs got a little bit of olive oil, and then I applied a steak rub on them. What steak rub? Good question! It was a rub I had sitting in a container in the cupboard for a little while, and I don't remember exactly which one it was. Might have been a take on Meathead's rub - dunno! I'm pretty sure it was a hybrid of a traditional steak rub with a little bit of barbecue rub goodness in there (paprika, etc.). Either way - I figured it would work, right? I fired up the Akorn with a few chunks of cherry wood mixed in. (Cherry just smells so good!) Got it stabilized right around 240, and put the ribs on around 1:30. That was a little bit behind schedule, but that's the way it goes with a toddler running around! I was figuring maybe 6 hours or so. My plan was to bring the ribs up to around 205 internal. Being my first time with these on the smoker, I was guesstimating timing based on a few reads I had done online. I didn't take a look at them until around 5:00. Looking good! The temp had been fluctuating just a bit, but I kept it in the 225-250 range all day. Not long after this, the ribs hit the stall. They were at 162. Then 162. Then 160. Then 158. Then 160. Then 160. Stuck there for about an hour. I am patient. Colin and I had made a farm market run to find something for sides, and I picked up some acorn (Akorn?) squash and asparagus - both locally grown. Before prepping those, I fed Colin some spaghetti. (He is not as patient as Daddy.) I prepped the Squash and threw it on the Weber around 7. I needed a higher temp for the squash, so I decided to just do that on the gas grill. Sorry - not Kamado, but it looks pretty enough to include anyway... Pierced the squash with a fork, loaded it up with local honey, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and coriander. Topped it off with butter. Got them started. Inspired by the original thread, I decided to do a glaze. I didn't really want the maple honey glaze of the original, so I tweaked the "Steakhouse Glaze" from my friend Dave Joachim's killer cookbook, "Mastering the Grill." Glaze consisted of A1, Ketchup, Brown mustard, EVOO, Garlic, and my additions of bourbon and brown sugar. I cooked the glaze a little to burn off the alcohol. Opened the vents up to crank the heat a little and put the glaze on. Checked the squash. (In one of my saddest cooking moments ever, the squash on the right lost all the honey and butter when I moved them to the rack to make room for the asparagus later...) Caught the boy in the golden hour. Prepped the asparagus (EVOO, salt, pepper). This might have been the best asparagus I've ever had - which I am totally attributing to the quality and freshness of the asparagus from the local farm. Ribs almost done... (This was right about when my wife got home and commented on how smoky it was, which of course, had only happened in about the last 5 minutes from cranking the vents for the glaze.) Asparagus is on... (also on the Weber) Finally pulled the ribs and brought them in. I let them rest for a little bit, but not long. Total cook time was right around 7 hours. The money!!! And the aftermath. So... the ribs were pretty amazing. I was clearly going for a steakhouse flavor, and it was a pretty excellent marriage between steakhouse and barbecue. I would definitely say they were up there with some of the better briskets I've had in my day. The glaze was good, but not necessary. You can see in the pictures how juicy these were. Not sure if I would do the glaze next time or not. Maybe! Turned out my wife had eaten with her mom (at Wendy's!?!?!), so she didn't even eat them that night! The leftovers are turning into short-rib nachos with sharp cheddar, homemade guac, and homemade creme fraiche for a friend's Memorial Day party tomorrow. Snacked on a bite or two while I cut them up, and even cold they were absolutely over the top. I highly recommend throwing some shorties on the kamado and letting them take the long, slow ride. Hope you enjoyed my epic overshare!!!
  3. So I figure I've been here long enough, I should probably prove that I can cook, at least somewhat. I will warn you, this is actually a very tame cook compared to what I usually have going. A couple weeks back I did a chicken thigh recipe out of Adam Perry Lang's Serious BBQ. That was like running a marathon. Do not recommend. Anyways, I am getting off topic. Just some simple wings. I brined them for a few hours, then patted them dry before hitting them with some Dizzy Dust. Let them dry out in the fridge a bit, then tossed them on the Akorn indirect for an hour between 375-400. It was really windy, so I had to ride the temps a bit. After the hour, I I kissed them with a hot grill for a couple minutes. Served some homemade sauce on the side (not shown). Now I know I honked on about what a great photographer I was...I was lazy tonight...and hungry. So all you gets is mediocre iphone snaps. I will burn an effigy to the Kamado lords for forgiveness. Difficulty Level: Low Mood: Lazy
  4. This is my 6th cook on it and I am loving it. Boneless country styles with veggies and bread
  5. Howdy from Fort Worth, TX! My wife and I decided that after 10 years of marriage we can finally get a grill. I looked at BGEs because I also love Texas BBQ but didn't want an offset smoker. After seeing the price I decided to just go for a gas grill and leave the brisket and ribs to my favorite places. I was about ready to buy a $300 gas grill when I saw Char-Griller had a kamado. This changed my life. The Lowe's sale coupled with the $50 off $250 coupon from SlickDeals sealed the deal for me! Thank goodness for this site and the great advice. I ordered the Akorn last night and it's waiting for me to pick it up and bring it home this weekend. I've been looking around for a few days and feel like I've got a good idea of how to get started. I'm getting the Weber grate for the charcoal, as well as a dual-probe thermometer. I'm going to go with either the Royal Oak or Stubb's lump charcoal, whichever is the better value in the store when I pick up my cooker this weekend. Any other must-have items so I don't have to leave the house again before doing my initial burn-off? Speaking of the burn-off (to get rid of the manufacturing residue, oils, etc.): I'm looking for specifics on that process. Any help you all could provide would be appreciated. I'm wondering how much charcoal to put in, what temp range I should aim for, and for how long, along with any other things I may be missing. I hope to start with some burgers and steaks for my first cooks next week. Any tips or supplies I'll need for that? Lastly, just wanted to thank y'all again for the great information available here. I'm very excited to get my new obsession started this summer! - Cristian
  6. Hey guys, I got this crazy idea yesterday while finishing my cedar bench to compliment my table about completely redoing a new table and giving the old up for sale to someone that would appreciate it here on the forum. I looked, but haven't seen any for sale section where it would be appropriate to list it for sale. It has metal brackets painted where your kamado would just slide into the opening and bolt it up. Also has a large 1" thick slate reccesed in the bottom part of the table Table is roughly 1 year old, made by me at my job where we specializy in cedar products. It is made out of red western cedar and has been stained by sherwin williams stain. It has always been covered outdoors. There is probably about $150 to $200 just in materials not including labor it took (1.5 weeks) I am not even sure what I would ask for it, but it would have to be locally picked up. Table is very solid, the whole construction is built with quality tools, I have a build thread under my name, and there is a regular wear and tear from everyday cooking on it. Here are some pics of it.
  7. Grilled some Italian sausage tonite with grilled bell peppers and sauteed onions for dinner. While the grill was still around 300ish, I baked some cookies. I burned the first batch, but the second batch came out great LOL
  8. Hey guys, New member here... I purchased an Akorn about a year ago and have had some trouble smoking with it. My biggest issue is with temperature and it getting hot to soon. I've looked around on here, and will try some things I've read... Back to the post topic... I had a 8# brisket I wanted do smoke overnight, loaded up the lump and lit it up. I used the Webber starting cubes (which I've read was a bad idea..). I used more of the cubes then I should have. I know that know.. long story short, went to bed at 1am, and the Akorn was sitting right at 240, awesome! Woke up at 6am... 700+ degrees. My Maverick thermometer actually said HOT without an actual temp displayed. I had crispy brisket for a few days... Anyway, I'm curious about some mods people have done. I've notice a lot of people putting the BGE gasket around the ash pan and the bottom vent. I've already put a piece of expanded metal on the bottom so smaller lump pieces wont fall through.. What else would be considered an "essential" mod? My smoking "technique" (obviously needs some work): Tried the minion method, but put a little to much of the starter cubes in. I use a webber grate and a metal pizza pan wrapped in foil for my full diffuser. My next long smoke, I will be trying the "volcano" method.
  9. So having few prosciutto slices left from my pork wellington cook, I copied someone on here and wrapped them with my asparagus. Chicken was seasoned with some black pepper, adobo and minced garlic for about 2 hrs. It was a quick meal and very delicious. I cooked it on direct heat (375ish) with few chunks of mesquite I soaked over nite. Prosciutto gave it a nice flavor.
  10. I've been cooking on my akorn for over a year but never ventured into the grown man smoking club. I bought the ribs at Sams and froze half of the rack in the freezer. I did butt rub on 2 halfs and salt and papper only on 1 (for glazing later) and used a 3 - 2 - 1 method I've done lots of reading on this forum from other members on their take how to cook some ribs. My biggest fear was controlling the temperature. I was able to keep the temps stable from 250 to 270 degrees +/- Overall, I was very satisfied and happy with the outcome, and my wife loved them. I'm sure I will make em even better next time. Practice makes perfection Next time I need more smoke too. marinated over night stole a glass jar from wifey to keep my cotton balls soaked in alcohol (great fire starter) 2 hrs in...
  11. It's been a while since I build something out of wood. grill table I built and finish last year still looks great to this date except for a normal wear and tear from cooking on it. I got an idea of building a simple bench to compliment my grill table, to gain extra space for food or plates when needed to just to sit down while grilling. Construction consists of: 4x4 legs 20" tall 2x4 frame 44" long 2x6 planks for the seats Here's a link to my table built http://www.kamadoguru.com/topic/6015-my-akorn-kamado-table-built/#entry56622 Here's an idea what the table is going to look like minus the top being curved
  12. Did some research in the forums and got the guts to try pizza on the new Akorn. I wasn't really confident, because I wasn't sure I had the proper setup, but a trip to Wally World and I fired up the grill. I used a 16" pizza pan for a diffuser on the smoking stone hangers and I placed my pizza stone on the main grate. I started the grill and ran the temp up to 450 - 500. The kids all prepared their pizzas the way they wanted them, and off to the grill we went. Taking some advise from the forums, I placed the pizzas on the stone with some corn meal to keep them from sticking and closed the lid. I monitored the progress through the top vent and when the cheese started to crisp up, I opened the lid and checked the crust. The results were 6 perfectly made pizzas (at least there were no complaints - and seconds were requested my most). The bottom line was another successful cook on the Akorn. I am absolutely loving this grill. Again, thanks to everyone for all of your input in the past. Using the advice of the members here, I am sure I can tackle any grilling project. Ever forward. (I will post some pictures tomorrow, as I cannot sync my iphone with my laptop) Sean
  13. Was smokin' yesterday ... Ingredients Assembly rolled out sasage Green chiles and roasted jalapenos Cheese Rolled up ... Bacon weave Wrapped and firdge bound the Cook Akorn fueled up Lit Smokin' Stone 15 inch x 3/8 inch pizza stone Drip pan Grill grate Fatty On ... Smokin' Done Sliced Came out pretty well over all but being my own worst critic I thought the bacon could have been crispier but didn't want to burn it either! 3 hour cook @ 225 and went up to 325°F for last 10° of cook. Held its temp really well. With the 2 stones I though temperature control and adjustments were easier than ever before. Thermal mass i guess! I chose 225°F as a cook temp just as a test, to see how low it might smoke at. At first it settled in at 203°F so bumped it a little and it mostly did the rest itself. Highest temp was 232°F. There was a little wind out too.
  14. I just recently bought the Akorn at Lowes, brand new for 259. Lowes doesn't advertise it, but they have a price match plus 10% policy. I went in with the Walmart Akorn on my cell phone for 288 and they price matched + 10% at the register. They will also price match Amazon. It's a great way to get tools and such at a really good price. I got 250 off a set of Dewalt tools by doing this!
  15. 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.
  16. So I have questions on pizza from CGA what's the set up you experienced cookers use? I have the smoke stone and the stock rack. My temp control is pretty good right now. Do I use stone, grate, what temps, any advice or info greatly appreciated??
  17. Hello, Everyone, I just found this site and it looks like I'll be around here quite a bit! The journey that got me here is interesting. I've been looking around for another grill or smoker, and had been looking hard at a WSM or a Cabela's 7-in-1 for its versatility and convenience. I figured that either would be a better option than my Char Griller Smokin' Pro offset stick burner. I really began zeroing in on the 7-in-1. I had a similar unit for about 10 years until I flat wore it out. But then I began reading up on the WSM and began having second thoughts. I was just about ready to pull the trigger on a WSM. But I decided to think it over and headed over to our neighborhood Walmart to pick up some charcoal and maybe one or two accessories for my 22" Weber kettle. A couple of employees were moving boxed BBQ grills to get ready for spring sales, and I noticed one they had just moved, the Char Griller Akorn. My immediate thought was, "Look, they've come up with a lame version of the BGE just like they did with the offset smoker." But I was curious, so at home, just for the heck of it, I YouTubed the Akorn and was surprised to find some devotees. Then I checked a couple of BBQ forums, and again, the Akorn rated above average. I started looking into kamado cookers, and for the heck of it, went to Craigslist, where I found a once-used Akorn for half of the retail price. What the heck, for $150, it was worth checking out, so I got it this past Thursday and cooked some chicken thighs that night. Whoa!!! BEST CHICKEN I've taken off a grill in a long, long time! So Saturday I decided to smoke a turkey with it. Again, WHOA!!! AMAZING flavor, moisture and tenderness! So now I'm hooked on the Kamado Way of cooking! Sorry for such a long post, but I'm just thrilled to have found such a great cooker and even more thrilled to find a group of folks who are into this style of cooker as well. I look forward to meeting y'all through the forums, hearing more about all your experiences, picking up tips, and offering them when I have something to share. Here are pix of the new (to me) Akorn and of the turkey. BTW, the previous owner made a heavy, round metal heat diffuser he threw in with the grill.
  18. I just picked up a Vision M Series yesterday and got it modded up and fired up today. Sams carries these as a seasonal item and they just did a big closeout on them for $200. I actually missed the sale but caught an ad on CraigsList from someone with a new one who just wanted to upsize, so I got it for the sale price. This one has a 16" grate, the Akorn is about 19.5 so it's about 1/3 less space but it will be great for me on smaller cooks and also as an extra grill for big gatherings, or for when I want to smoke and grill simultaneously. The price was just too good to pass up Initial observations: - The ceramic gets a lot hotter on the outside than the Akorn - The ceramic takes longer to cool down on the outside as well, in my case at least twice as long before I can cover it - The ceramic is nicer looking, I have to admit it - Vent settings are more open than the settings I use on the Akorn to achieve the same temps - that makes sense based on the observations of a hotter exterior - it is burning more fuel to maintain temps, thus it needs more air. - I like the top control (damper) better on the Akorn, but I like the bottom control better on the Vision - Overall, I am very pleased with both and it will be fun to cook on them side by side!! I'll post up more detail on the mods on the Vision board later. http://www.kamadoguru.com/topic/18368-my-mods-for-the-vision-m-series-new-owner/ Thanks, Rob Video: - This is the reason I make that top diffuser, listen for the sizzle Vision Sizzle Vid - w Food.MOV
  19. This is a reference chart I cobbled together, it is just intended as a starting point to help potential Kamado buyers do their research and maybe to help us here on the forum to make more accurate comparisons of the various brands and models out there. While not perfect, hopefully it will be of use to some of you. I have googled for comparison charts several times and nothing comes up, a chart like this would have been helpful to me when I was shopping, so here it is. You're welcome :) **Please keep this discussion on topic and civil. I would like to see this topic evolve into something useful and long lasting here, not degenerate into an argument and get locked. Thanks in advance, Rob **From Addertooth: Big Steel Keg = 18.88 inch diameter main grate Vision model S = 19.6 inch diameter main grate **Refractory Cement is a composite material made primarily of the bones, blood and tears of the poor. J/K, no one outside of NASA knows what this is. **LIMITED WARRANTIES: Lifetime Limited warranty doesn’t mean you can knock it over, this only covers specific workmanship defects, etc. There is A LOT of fine print in these warranties, I’m just saying… **Basically, the standard on this list is the Akorn. The prices given for the other grills are to set them up as close as possible in terms of size and accessories to the Akorn as it is sold. **These prices may vary, but no MSRP’s were used, these are current prices listed online for these grills. **I am not adding accessory costs ala-carte beyond what it takes to match the Akorn. (ie: Adding a deflector, cover, etc…) **These prices and statistical info may vary, I basically just googled the various grills and tried to use specs from their manufacturers website or from the sellers ads. **This chart isn’t intended to try and make a point about what Kamado is best, etc…This is intended to be a helpful reference source for potential Kamado buyers. ** I hear a lot of banter going back and forth about which grill is best, is steel better than ceramic, etc…, but there doesn’t seem to be any good direct comparison of just the basic setups and costs out there, so hopefully this will be of use to some of you. This isn’t intended to be a perfect comparison, the info and specs are not described the same by the various manufacturers in their marketing materials, so it wasn’t possible to get all of the info for every grill. **Use this power wisely JJJ http://www.kamadoguru.com/topic/18083-kamado-satisfaction-survey-table-7-brand-comparison/
  20. Hello all, My uncle started telling me about his Big Green Egg about a year ago. I love to cook on the grill so two months ago for fathers day I decided to buy an Akorn. I figured I would test the waters before I invest in a high dollar Egg. So for the last two months I have cooked burgers, a few beer can chickens, baby back ribs, and steaks on the Akorn and with every cook I learn more and got more hooked on the kamado. So I decided to try my first slow and low this weekend. I live in Miami and my wife is Cuban so I thought I would try a Cuban style (mojo) Boston Butt. I tried to keep it as simple as possible so here is what I did: Cooking equipment: Chargriller Akorn (no mods) Chimney starter Frontier lump charcoal Ikea Fantast thermometer ($6.99) tin pan Rub: 1 Tbl Kosher salt 2 tsp ground black pepper 2 tsp cumin 2 tsp onion powder 2 tsp garlic powder 2 tsp dried oregano Marinade: Iberia Mojo Criollo (any Mojo will do but this was awesome) Meat: 6.5 lb Boston Butt On Saturday morning I cut the excess fat off the Boston Butt and injected it with the Mojo (had to strain the mojo in order to use the injection needle). Then put the Butt in an oversized Tupperware and refrigerated for 15 hours. Then I prepped the Akorn. First I completely emptied the ash collector and cleaned the cooking grate. Then I added charcoal to the fire box starting with large pieces on the bottom, then medium on top of the large, then small on top of that. Also, I did not pyramid, I spread so the charcoal was flat. This way the small gets the heat up quickly, moves down to the larger pieces and stabilizes for a smooth even heat. Also, I pre-loaded the chimney starter with newspaper and charcoal. I set my alarm clock for 4am Sunday but woke up at 3:15am, guess I was excited to start the cook. First, took the Butt out then patted dry with paper towels and put on the rub. I didn't go crazy with the rub, just a medium dusting and made sure to get in all the folds. Next, I started the chimney starter and got the fire going. By 4am I had the fire stabilized at 225 deg. and it was time to put the meat on. I used the heat diffuser stone that came with the Akorn, then the tin pan on top of that with a water/mojo mixture, then the cooking grate and the Butt on the grate. Also, had my Fantast thermometer inserted at the beginning. Had the Butt on by 4am and let it cook for 4 hours before opening the lid. At 4 hours and every hour after I used a spray bottle to mist the Butt with a Mojo/water mixture. At 4pm (12 hours total) the internal temp was 195 deg. I foiled, wrapped in a towel, and put in a cooler for 2 more hours. Then pulled the pork. I immediately added a some of the Mojo drippings from the tin pan to the pulled pork. Finally time for Medianoches (Cuban Sandwiches). Let me tell you, I grew up in Miami and I've had Lechon (Cuban pork) 25-30 times and this was by far the best. Most of the techniques that I described above I learned from this website. Thank you for allowing me to get the most out of this art of cooking!!! I had a blast!!!! Medianoche (Midnight Sandwich) = Pork, ham, swiss cheese, pickles, mustard, mayo, pressed between a hoagie style potato bread.
  21. Thanks to everyone's tips on here I've embarked on my first pork butt. I've made lots of ribs, chicken and steaks, but this is my maiden voyage for pulled pork.
  22. This is a companion chart to the original comparison chart I posted last week. I thought of a couple more lines to add. **FYI: If no phone number is listed, this means that I was not able to find ANY phone number on the company website…If you can find an actual phone number for BGE or Primo, you’re doing better than I am. **Manufacturing Info was verified in print or by phone for each model. **None of these websites are volunteering much about where they’re made, with the exception of Primo which has “Made In USA” Plastered across the top of the page!! You can’t even do a Google search by brand and find out where they are made, they are all very secretive about all of this outsourcing. Quality/Price Gap: These are all manufactured in and imported from other countries (outsourced) to cut costs and drive profits. (**Except for Primo) - The reason CharGriller can sell for so much less is partially by cutting materials costs (steel as opposed to ceramic) and assembly time, but also partly because they are selling at a higher volume in big box stores like Lowes, Home Depot, Walmart, Kroger, etc…As opposed to smaller/higher end boutique style shops like most of the other competitors. K-Joe is in Ace Hardware here, which is a fairly large store but it has nowhere near the traffic of the box stores. - Vision has also increased their exposure by going through Sams Club and Home Depot, which helps them sell at a lower cost through higher volume and exposure. Just an interesting article about Kamado's some may not have seen: 2011 New York Times Article w Brief United States Kamado History: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/13/dining/the-cult-of-the-big-green-egg-united-tastes.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 Thx, Rob
  23. Did a low slow pork shoulder yesterday and kept temps at 215~260 till I was near 180 on meat temp. Then I got impatient. I sent temp to around 350 wasn't trying for but 275~300. I pulled the meat cause I didn't want to dry it out. I shut down the akorn and 4hours later it was still 100° is this normal? Any thoughts advice or opinions welcome! Thanks Ps. I do have a coal basket 12.5diam & 6in high!
  24. 25th Akorn turkey, 10 lb. WW product fridge thawed, brined, rubbed and butter flavored cooking oil sprayed. 2 hours 45 minutes at 325°F used lump charcoal started and seeded with a few brickets.Skin was crispy and meat moist. Rested openly for about an hour.
  25. Hey, Just wanted to pose a question here. What are y'alls thought on thermal mass as pertains to the diffuser? For me, I can't see a difference b/w using a diffuser WITH thermal mass as opposed to one without, therefor I've been going without on the limited number of cooks where I even use a lower level diffuser these days. (I use a grate level diffuser for really all GRILLING apps currently, and the lower level deflector for low/slow). I have tried a water pan, a 15" cake pan filled w sand and wrapped in foil, and a basic 14" pizza pan with no additional filler for mass, and thay all seem to work about the same for me interms of temp control and with the moisture retention/low air flow you get with the Kamado I think the water pan is total overkill not to mention a big mess. My current diffuser is a 15" cake pan but it has a hole cut in the center, my grill is set up to allow me to drop chunks/chips straight through the grate right down to the coals at any time withpout moving anything, hence the hole in the middle. I haven't noticed any difference in performance, or a hot spot in the middle of the grill with this setup, and it serves my needs perfectly. Just curious what everyone else thought about the thermal mass question? TIP: One other observation on diffusers that might help the new guys, there is definitely a hot spot all the way around the edge of the grate where the heat rises around the diffuser. By my thermometers, if I'm reading say 350 in the center of the grate, I'll be getting something around 400-425 degrees on the edges of the grate. Obviously, this can play havoc with your cooks if you're not aware of this! I chased temps around for the first couple of weeks using only 1 thermometer on the edge of the grate until I got a Maverick and was able to get 2 readings (from the center and the edge) simultaneously, and things got better fast **Also, I was getting a completely different reading from the dome thermometer, most of you know this but the dome is really not much help whether it's due to the location or it being a poor thermometer, take your pic. My best advice is to get a Maverick (I just bought the cheap one, under $40 I think) and something else you can slip in on the side (I use a cheap folding probe style) and you'll be able to see what I'm saying and hopefully it will help you as it did me! here's my diffuser:
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