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  1. I thought for some strange reason that I'd pay homage to my 0.001% Irish Forefathers this evening. Tonight's cook consisted of scooped out baked potatoes, filled with some sort of filling, and the whole thing rebaked on the KK. So, without further ado, here is my homage to Erin. The very first thing to do is have a couple of bakers well slathered with bacon grease. Yes, bacon grease. Yeah, I know, but if you don't use bacon grease, the neo-nazi health police win, and I'm trying to beat the back every day! If you don't have bacon grease in your kitchen, shame on you! Next, I browned up some 90/10 hamburger meat, some red, orange, and yellow bell peppers, and some onion and garlic. Here are the bakers on the main grate of TheBeast. I baked them for about an hour at 400F until a fork went in easily. This is a picture of the browned hamburger, peppers, etc. ready for the potatoes. Here are the spuds. As you can see, slit in half and scoop out most of the interior. I try and leave about 1/4" all the way around. Reserve the scooping for potato salad. Tonight I laid down in the scooped potato a simple ragu as a base layer. Put a heaping amount of the burger mixture in the potato. Sauce again and top with your favorite cheese. For these I use shredded mozzarella cheese. Here are the assembled potatoes. They take about 15 minutes on the grill at 400F. And finally, here is the money shot with Pete The Salt Pig granting approval to chow down! These potatoes are really quite easy to do, especially on a weekday evening. Instead of hamburger, you can use pork sausage (Pete would not be so happy with that cook!), ground turkey or chicken, or chorizo etc. Instead of a ragu, you can use salsas, grilled and pureed fruit such as mangoes, peaches, etc. You can get as creative as you wish. After all, it's your dinner and you can do it any way you and your family desire. From the time I lit the FOGO in the belly of TheBeast until I was 400F it was about 15 minutes. The potatoes took about an hour to bake to fork tender. To assemble it took no more than 15 minutes. Time on the grill for the stuffed potatoes was no more than 15 minutes. All totaled, from start to finish, this simple homage to my Irish roots took about 1 hour and 45 minutes. I like this cook because there was lots of time to stay hydrated between the flurries of activity. Thanks for looking. I appreciate it!
  2. Ok, let's set the record straight. In my previous post, some of you thought I eat like a king or that my definition of "meager" was a little skewed. Yes, I did cook all that food, but I purposefully left out the merely prosaic. Nothing could be further from the truth. How many burger, brats, and dawg cooks can you look at before you doze off. But just to prove a point here are more of the everyday cooks here at ChezChef. So, without further ado, here is my homage to the Merely Meager Cooks here at ChezChef! Some Juicy Lucies Pulled pork on TheBeast Pulled pork It doesn't get any more common that pulled pork and corn chips Here are the burgers, brats, and dawgs Here's something for the waistline More burgers and brats on TheBeast And comfort food ... the humble chicken pot pie Ready to serve See? There really isn't a big production every evening here at ChezChef! :LOL!: Thanks for looking (again).
  3. Howdy Gurus! So as many of you know, I was planning on a Simple 4th of July Cook. I wasn't entertaining a big group of folks as I've done for years. I was just having my brothers over to drink a little beer, grill some dogs, burgers, and sausages, eat a few chips, and watch a little baseball, etc. Well, here is the result of a "Simple 4th of July!" I knew I was in trouble and the best laid plans of mice and CC were shot to hades when I walked out of Sam's Club with over $200 in food and beverage! Here is the table with the appiteasers on it. Here is TheBeast getting loaded up for his time to shine! I spiral cut jalapeño and cheese sausage, and Oscar Mayer hot dogs (what else? ) My brother loves spiral cut ever since I introduced him to them. Next up on the grate was the burgers. Gotta stage this cook ... Here is a money shot that is just a couple of simple dogs, some German potato salad made by my brother who lives just around the corner and an ear of corn. That's all the money shot. However, I guess my house is now known as BBQ Central as all of a sudden, my neighbors show up carrying burgers, buns, and beer, and they just came in and sat down! At the end of it all there were about 30 folks here. It looked like the swarm of locusts of Biblical proportions eating at my table! A great time was had by all. Just a great 4th of July here at ChezChef! I hope your 4th was as much fun as was mine!
  4. Howdy again Gurus! I had a couple of pounds of hamburger that needed to be eaten and I had a couple of friends coming over to just hand out, drink some beer, burn a few burgers, nothing big. I thought rather than burgers, I'd do enchiladas. I had one couple bring black beans, another chips and salsa for nachos, and another bring more beer. I called an audible and switched from burgers to enchiladas. Browned up the meat, onions, peppers, etc. and made a quick great sauce. Here are the enchis rolled and in the pan and on the main grate in TheBeast. Here is the pan just prior to the pull. Here is the closeup view that shows the cheese just the right color of brown for my guests and me. Just an ever so slight crunch there that was quite tasty. And finally the money shot. This was just a simple and quick enchi cook that worked out quite well. We all had our fill of food and beer and had a great time shooting the breeze. Good audible at the line. I hope your weekend was as enjoyable as mine.
  5. Howdy Gurus! So I've been neglecting posting cooks as of late and I'm fixing that this evening. This is just a simple little cook of breaded chicken breasts, a nice green salad, and an avocado salad made by a friend. She thinks I need some care taking seeing as how I'm a bachelor. I don't tell her otherwise. She's been here many times for parties that I've thrown and she still brings me food. I'm not complaining! Here is the Marketing shot: Here is the money shot: The chicken breasts were most and juicy and the avocado salad was wonderful. Pete, my salt pig that was a gift from a dear friend, approves. He's not too happy with me when I do butts or pork ribs! The breading was really simple: I packet of powdered Spicy Ranch Dressing mixed into Panko breadcrumbs that had been salted and peppered. The breasts were soaked for 30 minutes in buttermilk and then dredged in the breadcrumbs. I personally think it needed more salt, but nobody complained.
  6. Howdy Gurus! Nothing big here, just did a reverse sear on a Tri-Tip over FOGO. I marinated it in my FoodSaver marinater. If you don't have one, you should really check it out. You can get one for under $20 at Amazon. I highly recommend it. Here are a couple of pics at the beginning and end of the cook. I just wasn't too ambitious last night, but all y'all get the idea. Beginning: Ending: So there you have it. I took the Tri-Tip to 120F on the grates, cranked up the volume to about 475F. TheBeast took about 10 minutes to go from 200F to 475F. I pulled at 128F, tented on the carving board for something like 7-10 minutes and then carved and served. Just your typical reverse sear. Thanks for looking.
  7. Howdy Gurus - I've seen so many really wonderful cooks documented by Wilbur, JackJumper101, ckreef and his bride, Andy Scalzo that I've got to post a few of my meager cooks. I've done all these since I returned from my various trips. I'm not much on verbiage, I'll just let the pics speak for themselves. it may take a few posts to get all this in, but ... Quiche Roasted yard Bird and corn FOGO One HUGE pan of lasagna Lasagna plated Smoked & Stuffed pork chops Stuffed Pork Chops plated Grilled salmon Plated Salmon More to follow soon.
  8. Howdy Gurus! Well, I was sitting around thinking about Wednesday evening's dinner and thought that I haven't used my Anova Sous Vide in q few weeks. Time to get the hot water to meet the NY Strips. The first thing I did was season the NY Strips with S&P, garlic, rosemary and thyme. Then it was time to seal them in a bag using the Food Saver vacuum packer. Here's a closer view hopefully showing the spices on the meat. Prior to seasoning the NY Strips, I got the Sous Vide controller set up and warming the water to 125F. My Sous Vide is set to keep the water at 125F for 4 hours. Here is a picture of the NY Strips cooking away in the water at 125F. Tonight's sides are brussels sprouts seasoned with a kiss of garlic with a lite cheese sauce and sweet potatoes, Here they are in the belly of TheBeast. It's worth noting at this point that sweet potatoes are really a dense food. They need MUCH more time to cook at temp than brussels sprouts. Make certain you take that into account whenever you cook sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes do not bake at the same rate as regular white potatoes. Sweets are really more dense and take quite a bit longer. Our cooking temp this evening is 400F. As you can see my temp control skills are slipping. I just hate it when I do that! LOL!! Next comes the cheese sauce. it's nothing more than a blonde roux (just cook the raw dough taste out of the flour), spices, 1 cup of COLD milk, and a couple of cups of sharp cheddar. No big deal. A roux is a basic sauce and dead simple to make and then it serves as the basis for so many sauces. Dead simple ... that's what I like! Here is a plated shot of the final product when everything came together. I like my cheese sauce spicier than does SWMBOI, so I did the cayenne and black pepper workup on mine. We topped the Strips with a nice goat cheese with basil crumbles and the sweet potatoes just got kissed with butter, salt, and pepper. Couldn't be simpler and couldn't be tastier! In fact, it was so tasty, I almost forgot to show the inside of the steak was cooked to a perfect medium rare. Sorry I don't have a shot of the steaks searing in TheBeast. As the NY Strips were already at 125F, it was throw the steaks on TheBeast, wait a few seconds, turn, wait a few more, flip, and repeat. The Strips came out at a perfect 135F. Here's a picture of the steak cut open. I hope you can see the color of a perfectly done medium rare. Were it not for SWMBOI, this shot wouldn't have happened. This steak was so delicious, I literally forgot about taking pics! Sous Vide makes cooking steaks so easy. Just set the temp of the water bath just just below where you want to final temp to be (medium rare is 130-135F). The longer you cook at temp, the more tender the cut of meat will generally be. You also want to save the juices in the Sous Vide bag as they are simply wonderful poured over the steak. So this was a quick and simple cook. Steak were just to our liking and couldn't have been better! Thanks for looking in.
  9. Howdy Again Gurus! Last night SWMBOI and I were tired at the end of the day. I was looking for something quick, easy, and light. We have a favorite restaurant very near our home here in OKC, Charleston's, and they do a killer flat bread pizza. SWMBOI has been after me to duplicate it and I had the materials on hand, so, what the heck, why not? So here we go. Lit a fire in the belly of TheBeast and got him up to about 425. A little corn meal on the pizza peel ... The sweet Italian sausage hand made from the local grocery ... I bought some Momma Mary's thin and crispy pizza flats at the store. Here it is on the peel ... I whipped up some pesto in the food processor and spread it on the pizza flat ... Added some mozzarella cheese and Roma tomatoes sliced so thin they only had one side ... Then the sweet Italian sausage went on top to complete the flat bread pizza pie ... And into the belly of TheBeast who had heat soaked for about an hour ... Total time to cook was only about 9 minutes at 425F and here's the finished pesto flat bread pizza with sweet Italian sausage ... A view of the finished crust ... And a plated shot of a couple of slices sitting on my best china ... And finally the aftermath ... As you can see, this was a very formal dinner where I use my best china and stemware! When all was said and done, this was a wonderful cook. Next time, I think I would add a few sliced ripe olives. You can also use chicken, beef, etc. I'm also going to add a few jalapeños to the next pie. This was a simple, easy and delicious cook that took very little time and was wonderfully tasty without much work at all. Thanks for looking in.
  10. I had a buddy in Stavanger, Norway, ask me about the KK line. He wanted to get an idea for the relative sizes of the two KKs I have. I took a few pics to given him an idea of what he cold expect. He's a single man and thinking that the KK BB 32" is what he wants when he throws a party every other month! I had to tell him that to spend that kind of money for a large cook every 6-8 weeks was nonsense. I've tried to steer him to the 23'Ultimate or the 19" Hi-Cap. I've also told him that he may just want to wait for the 21" that's supposed to be out in the next few months. I took a few pics and sent them too him. Many of those shots have been posted here and I don't want to repost them. There are, however, a few new ones that hopefully can give you an idea of the difference in size between the 19" Hi-Cap, Beauty! and the 32" BB, TheBeast. Here is my hand on the Top Hat vent of TheBeast and right nest to it the same shot on Beauty! I find the difference striking. Many people have asked how I clean out the ash from the KKs. Here is a shot of the dust pan and brush I use on TheBeast leaning on the Top Hat vent of TheBeast. Not all that impressive, I know. But to give you some perspective, here is that same dust pan and brush in the belly of TheBeast and loaded in Beauty! There is no way I'm using that dustpan and brush to clean out the ash from Beauty! I use a much smaller dust pan and brush for that. Finally, here is a picture of the difference in size in baking stones between Beauty! and TheBeast. There is a good 6" on either side of the baking stone meant for Beauty! Every time I look at those two cookers, I'm struck by how small Beauty! looks in comparison to TheBeast. But then I have to remember that the KJ Classic, Large BGE, etc. the basic models of just about every line of kamados is 18". Beauty is 19" and she is small in the KK lineup! Heck, ckreef's 16.5" Table Top is only an inch and a half smaller than the basic entry kamado for most manufacturers. And that little Table Top ckreef has weighs just about as much as the larger 18" kamados, if not more!
  11. Well, todays was supposed to be the day that I spun some meat. However, technical difficulties prevented spinning meat until further notice. Rather than sulk, I decided to make this evening's consolation prize worth truly enjoying. My motto has always been when life gives you lemons, grab a bottle of vodka and make some LeninAde! Tonight's menu consists of NY Strips, Baby Dutch Golden Potatoes, and Fresh Asparagus! SWMBOI and I had bacon and scrambled eggs with sautéed peppers and onion done on the griddle this morning in the belly of TheBeast. So we had bacon grease left over; yes, we collect bacon grease and use it for cooking! Pork fat rules! Thank you Emeril! So I grab the griddle and I use the bacon fat to coat the potatoes. I love rubbing up potatoes with bacon grease. It's one of the small things that takes me back to my youth learn how to cook in my Mother's kitchen. Here are the small baby golds rubbed up, salted, peppered, dusted with granulated garlic, rosemary and thyme, and sprinkled with some parmesan cheese. They are ready for the belly of TheBeast. Next comes the asparagus. It too gets rubbed with s slight coating of bacon grease, salt and pepper. It's in a tray and ready to sit next to the potatoes. TheBeast hit about 375F and it's time for the potatoes to hit the heat. I've got half the heat deflector in the belly of TheBeast; that just right for roasting potatoes and cooking some asparagus. And dadgummit, I don't have a single pic of the potatoes roasting in TheBeast! The potatoes take about an hour at 375F packed as they are. Here are the NY Strips seasoned with S&P, granulated garlic, and some chipotle pepper. Here is the asparagus on the indirect side and the NY Strips on the direct side. Temp on the direct side for this quick sear was 550F. Here is the end result of the cook before we jumped in with knife and fork. My dear friend, Pete the Salt Pig looks on approvingly as not pigs were involved in dinner tonight! The steaks were seared to a wonderfully delicious medium rare. And here is the end result about 30 minutes later! While I'm disappointed I didn't get to spin some meat today for this evening's dinner, this was a really nice consolation prize that was quick, easy, and very tasty. I'll spin that meat soon, but as long as can entertain SWMBOI with a meal this good, I'm doing okay! Thanks for looking in!
  12. Gurus! People who see a KK are oft times taken aback by the shear size of even the smaller units. I know that when my next door neighbor heard I was getting a smaller 19" KK, he said he couldn't wait to see it. He's beyond impressed with TheBeast and he has cooked on him a couple of times. He just shakes his head. So when my neighbor saw Beauty!, my new 19" Hi-Cap KK, he said "I thought you said it was small!" I told him compared to TheBeast Beauty was svelte and petite! He just laughed! My neighbor wanted to help me get Beauty! in her cradle. Like g.michael here on the Kamado Guru site, he quickly figured out it wasn't a 2 man job. He then offered his pickup to go get an Engine Hoist from a friend of his who owned a garage! An Engine Hoist! My neighbor said you just don't get a feel for these grills even by looking at them. His son was over this past weekend. The son is a really big BGE fan. His sone took one look at Beauty! and said it was bigger than his Large BGE. Then he looked at TheBeast and said it's the biggest F'ing cooker he had ever seen. That night I ran across Wilbur's famous hot dog picture, you know the one, with 4 hotdogs on the grill. That triggered an idea! I had some hot dogsI I could create a Hot Dawg Scale to give you an idea of how these grills compare in size. Hotdogs are pretty standard in size, so it's perfect for comparison. Wilbur's picture has 4 dogs in it. What I'm about to show only has one because the cats here got the other 3. Don't even go there! Here are the 32, 23, and 19 in sequence: Here they are all 3 sidebar side by side: I hope that gives you an idea of the size differentials using my standard measurement tool, the HOT DAWG SCALE!
  13. HOWDY GURUS!!! I've seen a lot of meatball cooks lately, so I decided to give mine a little twist that may prove interesting. As many of you know, I LOVE hamburgers, especially the Juicy Lucy. For those of you how may not know, a Juicy Lucy is a hamburger with cheese cooked into the middle. They originated in Minneapolis years ago at one of two places. I find them to be a real treat. I don't have a recipe to give you. At this point in life after cooking for 40+ years, I just put in a touch of this. a dab of that, and a bit of the rest. I apologize in advance for being so lax. So I started with about 2.5 lbs. 90/10 hamburger and about 1 lb. of breakfast sausage with a couple of beaten eggs, some garlic powder, plain Panko, S&P, some creme fraiche, and Italian spice mix that I mix up on occasion. The cheese I'll be using is cubed mild cheddar which SWMBOI likes. Here is a look at the ingredients well mixed : In the upper right hand corner of the picture you can see my little trick for making uniform meatballs ... a nice sized ice cream scoop! Here it is in action: Now we add the cheese. Just press it right in the middle of the raw meatball mixture while it is in the scoop. Meatball mixture will raise up around the edges. That's okay as you'll just close that around the cheese: Squeeze the edges up around the cheese and eject the meatball indoor your other hand and roll it gently to make certain everything is nice and closed up and you have a nice round meatball. It should look something like this: Here is a nice picture of a dozen meatball in a special utensil with holes drilled in the bottom of each cup that allows the grease to drain while cooking. I got this idea from JackJumper101 and this pan is available on Amazon. Stupid me I only ordered 1 and I should have gotten two! We're trying to eat healthier you know! Here's a shot of the meatball going into the Belly of TheBeast! I put a drip pan under the special meatball pan that allows grease to drain. A clean Beast is a happy Beast! And here is a shot of the finished product being inspected by Pete The Salt Pig and his minions. Here is a shot of the Juicy Lucy Meatballs on the plate prior to being topped with a simply homemade Sugo. Here is the finished plate. A coleslaw and Cherub Tomato salad, LeSuer Peas, and a couple of Juicy lucy Meatballs topped with Sugo. Pete looks on approvingly. And finally here is a cutaway view of the Juicy Luck Meatball showing the melted cheese. Next time I think I'll use 4 cubes of cheese per Juicy Lucy Meatball! I cooked these Juicy Lucy Meatballs for about 50 minutes at 325F. You can cook to an IT of about 165F or until you see a little bit of cheese seep out. This recipe made 21 Juicy Lucy Meatballs as you can see in this picture of the finish cook in the Belly of TheBeast. Don't forget to spray your meatball tin with Pam or some other nonstick cooking spray. I forgot to spray the tin on the left holding the 9 meatballs one stuck inside. I had to pry it out. It came out in pieces and of course, I HAD to eat it! Thanks for looking at yet another meatball cook, albeit with a little twist. I've got a fair number of meatballs left over. My BBQ Mooch Brother failed to show up with his bag of chips ... the wind was out of the North and he lives North of me! Y'all have a great week!
  14. Hi Gurus! I just got this picture from Dennis Linkletter showing the difference between a KK BB 32" and a generic kamado with the ala carte pricing model. The KK BB 32" comes complete as shown. It's NOT my intent to cause a ruckus and there is no implication as to the brand of "Everyone else". I also understand that the KK BB 32" is also not direct competition to your generic kamado, especially given the differential in price. However, what I will say is that my new KK, the 19" High Cap, comes equipped more completely than other kamados in its class. Also interesting in the KK Cut Away photo you get an idea of the construction of the body and lid of the KK kamado. You can see the various layers of refractory that yield such an efficient use of charcoal.
  15. So today is a nice cool day here in OKC and after Jerri smoked cheese right after Thanksgiving and my ne'er do well Brother gigged me to smoke some cheese for him, I decided to do some smoked Tillamok Medium Cheddar Cheese today in TheBeast. This is my first attempt at smoking cheese in the belly of TheBeast, so we're into unknown territory. So, we shall see what we shall see. Open up both manifold wide open to get plenty of airflow to make certain the A-Maz-N-Tube Smoker performs as designed. Here's a pic of the A-Maz-N-Tube 6" smoker resting on my lower grate in the beast. It's been lit and has been burning for 10 minutes. Blew out the fire as per instructions and it's now smoking away. We're using hickory pellets today for our smoke component. Here is the Tillamok Cheddar cut into slabs for better smoke adsorption. I used a veggie tray since the holes will allow for good smoke contact on all sides of the cheddar slabs. You probably can't tell from the picture, but I have the upper cooking grate to get the cheese high in the dome of TheBeast. The upper cooking grate is sitting on the main grate which is above the lower grate. So we have the lower grate holding the Tube Smoker, the main grate, and the upper cooking grate holding the cheese for smoking. Here's a picture of the top vent. I've opened this more for this smoke than it's ever been open for a cook, even high temp pizza cooks. The reason for this is that Tube Smokers are notorious for not staying lit in kamado cookers. This isn't going to happen to me today! TheBeast's top vent is 3 full turns open at this point! If you look right under the top vent in the lower right hand quadrant you can see the gasket. Here is the cheese after 2 hours on smoke. The cheese doesn't look as if it has adsorbed much smoke, but believe me it has! You should have been in the kitchen 5 minutes after I brought it in .... smelled like a BBQ joint! Go figure! After a trip to the Food Saver, here's what you get ... Note that Pete The Pink Salt Pig approves! Also note that I've put the date I smoked this cheese on the bag. It'll be ready for consumption in 3 weeks, just in time for Xmas hors d'oeuvres! The reason the bag is so dadgummed crinkled is because I got distracted by Skippy, the Sous Chef cat! I"ll let y'all know in 3 weeks how this turns out!
  16. Howdy Gurus! It's finally time to say goodbye to the holidays. The 12 Days of Christmas are about gone and the Holiday Season is over. I figured it was time to move on and I pulled a turkey roast that I cooked for Thanksgiving out of the freezer. Some of you may remember this cook .... here is a picture of a turkey and the turkey roast from that cook. The roast is on the far right of the picture. So I asked SWMBO, my brother the BBQ Mooch, and my neighbors if they would like some smoked turkey enchiladas. The resounding answer: YES! So I'm presenting a dish of the smoked turkey enchies I made this past weekend. Here is a look at the turkey roast in a solo shot. The paring knife is for a size reference. These roasts have elastic netting to keep the preformed turkey roast in its formed shape. Here is a shot of that netting cut off the turkey roast. Here is a shot of the turkey roast right after shredding it. It's really a lot of turkey! For an idea of how much turkey this is, here is a shot with a blue latex glove for a size comparison. The pile of turkey is about 1.5" high. Now we got to the enchie assembly. First a layer of spinach and a finely diced sweet onion ... Next we add a goodly portion of the shredded smoked turkey roast ... And now we're going to used some smoked cheddar cheese I smoked back in early December along with some of the enchie sauce ... Repeat 4 more times for this particular dish and pour the remainder of the enchie sauce on top of the enchies in the dish ... Now top with cheese and a couple of different types of peppers, diced Hatch papers and roasted poblanos, and it's ready to go to the belly of TheBeast ... Here are the enchies right after getting on the grate ... Here is the dish of enchies after 75 minutes at 325F ... And finally, for your viewing pleasure, here is the money shot with Pete The Salt Pig and his new Pig Minions supervising ... So, stick a fork in the Holidays, they are done for the next 11 months or so! I hope your Holiday Season was as good as mine and that you enjoyed the show here. Now it's onward and upward for 2015!
  17. Well Gurus, yesterday I was bored. Stark. Staring. Bored! I had a couple of slabs of St. Louis Style Ribs I picked up at Sams Neighborhood market on deal that I had prepped and rubbed and were in the fridge. I also had 2 pork tenderloins that I dropped in marinade at the same time. Had to get 'em cooked but I was bored. I went out and had a chat with TheBeast. Always cheers me up and it happened again as soon as I lit the lump with the MAPP torch. I"m not so thrilled that I'm doing the Spunky Monkey, AllyCat, but there was a spring in my step. Here is the marinade I used on the pork loins. Got it at Sams' on a friend's recommendation. And here are the two pork loins before and after hitting the marinade/ As you can see, Pete the Pink Salt Pig is nonplussed to see some brethren on the business end of a cook! Here are the ribs in situ and after the prep. Notice the "Chef's Portion" separated from the ribs. That's MINE! So let's go get TheBeast ready to do his duty and earn his keep. [Many people have asked how I arrange TheBeast for a cook similar to this, so please bear with me here.] First thing I do is completely fill the basket with lump and light him up. I only lit one spot and you can see it to the right of the picture. I then bring TheBeast up to temp; in this case about 250 since I'm getting a late start. Then its on with the smoke component; in this case hickory. Now let's add the deflector plates ... ... the drip pan is next ... And then the main grate and the ribs. So we button up TheBeast and in 10 minutes, I check the temp. Rock Solid. With about 45 minutes left in the rib cook, it's time for the pork loins to hit the grate for a reverse sear. On they went and I forgot the pic! BUT WAIT! The Chef's Portion is done and Bubba, my BBQ Moochin' Brother, is here and wanting to know "What're we eating!" Bubba declared the ribs Delicious Edible! 30 minutes later, the ribs are done! One rack dry, on the left, and one sauces, on the right. The ribs were foiled, wrapped and in the cooler. Here is a pic of the two pork loins as they came off the reverse sear at 135IT (Bubba likes his pork more done than do I, but he is a guest, albeit a mooching guest, but a guest nonetheless! Here is a shot of the sauced ribs and following the dry ribs. I didn't catch a shot of the pork loin being sliced, but you see it on Bubba's plate. Here's Bubba's plate right before he went Animal on it! He said this rib cook was top 5 in his life and he's eaten BBQ all over the US! I asked what were the other 4 places he'd had better ribs and he said "The last 4 times you've cooked ribs!" Its nice to get impartial feedback! The ribs were very good ... they had a nice medium both to them. The marinaded pork loin was pretty good. I'm not much on sweet marinades, but SWMBOI and Bubba sure ate the heck out of it. SWMBOI took some to her friends' house for a luncheon they were having and Bubba took a mess of ribs home with him. So much for leftovers! Happy New Year's to all my Good Guru Friends!
  18. Well, TheBeast finally got his own formal wear and he couldn't be happier! Made by Sunbrella, the workmanship of this cover beats anything I've ever seen on any kind of patio get. Heavy duty treated canvas, all seams are incredibly well sewn. The cover is designed to fit like a glove and it does. And like everything KK, this manufacturer has passed muster with Dennis Linkletter. It's also passed muster with all kinds of KK Owners. All I did was hop on the train as it passed by. Of course, the color is black! After all, this is formal wear for TheBeast!
  19. So I have new neighbors that moved into the house just east of me. Unpacking is such a pain in the gluteus maximus, Been there and done that. So Pat and her husband Kerwin are directing the unpacking of the moving van and we get to know each other. Lovely couple who are 75 and 79 respectively. I ask if they like BBQ and Kerwin looks at me as if I've lost my mind! He says "Young man, what part of YES, HE!! YES don't you understand!" I know immediately I'm gonna like these folks! So I tell Pat and Kerwin I'm fixing them a pulled pork dinner with all the fixin's. After protesting I tell them I'm bigger than both of them and I don't want to hear any more about it. So I buy a couple of butts and and rub 'em up with olive oil and my Embarrassed Zebra rub and stow 'em in the refrigerator over night for 24 hours. I pull the butts about 6 pm and rub 'em up again and back into the cooler. I fire up TheBeast about 8:00 pm and heat soak him at 225F until 10 pm when the butts go on the grill. We're using apple chunks for our smoke component. Here are the butts just on the main grate. So I shut the lid and it's off to bed. I told TheBeast this was for our new neighbors and to behave himself over night. No shenanigans whatsoever! So I wake up the next morning and this is what greets my eyes ... Here's how my neighbor's butts look about half way through the cook ... So it seems that TheBeast and his guests of honor are playing nice together! Flash forward to about 5:00 pm and I check my neighbor's butts again. Probed like soft butt and the ThermaPen showed and IT of 200F for off the butts came! Here's a pic of one of the butts right before wrapping and being stuck in the cooler for about an hour. At 6:00 pm I started pulling the pork and here is a pic of what went next door. I don't have any pics of the plated sammies, cole slaw, and homemade chips, but let's just say Pat came over about 7:30 pm and told me Kerwin was on his 3rd helping of everything! BINGO! As an aside, Kerwin came over the next day to get a proper introduction to TheBeast. I showed him TheBeast and he started asking questions. Kerwin WAS thinking of buying a BGE but has changed his mind. His family is eaten up with BGEs. Pat told me he's spent the last 2 days reading the Komodo Kamado website and has decided he's going to can his BGE purchase and go with a KK 23" Ultimate! Y'all have the very Merriest and most Blessed of Christmases!
  20. So I'm out putzing around Saturday morning before the OU/osu butt kicking that turned south in a BIG dadgummed hurry, and I duck into the local BBQ Emporium just to waste some time. Out of the corner of my eye I see a huge BGE. I have heard that BGE has a really HUGE model out, so I mosey over to take a look. After looking and kicking the tires, I come to the conclusion that the XXL is stunning in its mediocrity! I'm talking that in my estimation, the XXL BGE is simply taking advantage of the loyal BGE crew. Lets not beat around the bush ... the XXL BGE carries a very hefty price tag ... $5,600 for 672 Sq. In. of cooking area! There is no second tier grate available, even from 3rd parties! That is $8.33 per sq. in. of cooking surface. A plate setter/heat deflector is included in the price. So are 2 side shelves that are so cheaply made as to be absolutely useless. Rickety is the only word that comes to mind. Base price is $5,000, you get a cheap cover for $200, deliver at $200, and setup is another $200. That's it! Period. And these things are backordered to beat the band! My KK BB 32" base price was $6,100. My heat deflectors cost about $100 each and I have two. My cover cost about $400. So the landed price of TheBeast to me in OKC was about $6,700 in an apples to apples comparison. Now I know that $6,700 >> than $5,600 by almost 20% using the XXL BGE as the basis. But if you consider that the KK BB 32" costs $6700 and has 1,826 sq. in. of grill space that works out to $3.67 per sq. in.! Remember that the XXL BGE costs $8.33 per sq. in. or the XXL BGE costs 226% MORE per sq. in of cooking surface area! The KK 23" Ultimate has a cooking grid area of 978 sq. in. Now compare that to the XXL BGE. The KK 23" Ultimate has 45% more grill surface area using the BGE as the basis. Let's suppose that you order the most expensive KK 23", the Bronze Metallic Tile at $4,480 and again you purchase a heat deflector at $70, and a cover for $250 and the landed cost of a KK 23' Ultimate is $4,800! That's $800 LESS than the XXL BGE! Now just looking at price is a sad way to analyze why you should purchase the KK. The difference in construction quality is striking! The hinge on every KK is built into the spine and is rcok solid. The hinge on the BGE is simply pathetic in comparison. The lid actually will wobble as you raise it! Yeppers, you have to raise the lid on the XXLBGE by hand. All of us KK owners know all you have to do is unlatch a very solid latch and the lid rises slowly and gracefully of its won volition. The cradle you are required to purchase with the XXL BGE is external to the unit itself. It's ugly. That the only thing I can say about it. There isn't a single dimension of the kamaod that KK doesn't put all other kamado manufacturers to shame. Not one single dimensions ... air control mechanisms, rollers/wheels, firebox, wall thickness, insulating capabilities, etc. KK Kookers, I could go on and on, but we know we have the finest Kooker on the planet. Over engineered and uncompromising quality often get taken for granted until you see what passes for quality and engineering on the competition! Taken all together, I'd put the KK line of kookers up against any other manufacturer of kamados in the world. It's VALUE, not price, that counts! TheBeast!
  21. Howdy Gurus! For your consideration, I present a hickory smoked, reverse seared Prime NY Strip. I've been under the weather lately and haven't done a thing with TheBeast. TheBeast was getting a bit antsy, so I went out to the refrigerator and discovered I had 2 Prime NY Strips. More correctly, SWMBOI asked if I intended on letting "... all that meat go to waste"? She also informed me it was taking up needed space in the refrigerator. It wasn't bothering me one little bit in the refrigerator and after all, it IS my refrigerator! But as we all know, happy, ahhhh, happy life! So not feeling too keen about putting' on the dawg, I lit TheBeast and threw in a piece of hickory for smoke. Here he is, getting up to speed: Here are the Prime Strips just on with nothing but salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Just plain simple. And after 30 minutes at 200F, here they are at 120F when I pulled them. Really gorgeous color on that meat. I opened the bottom vent about 3/4ths of the way open and spun the top hat vent 2 full turns. Temps took off like a rocket sled on rails! Here's what 750 looks like in the belly of TheBeast! Here's 2 minutes later at the first turn: Here's another 2 minutes after that first turn: Pulled at 135 internal temp (SWMBOI Likes her steak on the medium side and again, happy, ahhhh, happy life!) I gotta figure out a new saying for SWMBOI! You can't tell it but the pic because the light was so bad and my camera sucks, but it was SWMBOI Medium. Perfect she told me. Whew! Another bullet dodged! And here, finally, is the means whereby I avoided going face down in my cook. HYDRATION! That Shiner Wild Hare died in the service of a great steak and a grateful CC! Pete The Pink Salt Pig gives this cook 4 hooves up! He fell on his a$$ doing so, but Pete liked this cook! Y'all have a wonderful rest of the weekend!
  22. Howdy Gurus! I'm sitting here planning my Thanksgiving day cook and it strikes me that I need to get up around 6:00 AM in order to load the basket with charcoal, light the fire, get TheBeast up to my cook temp, i.e. 350F, and let everything inside TheBeast get up to 350F, i.e. aka heat soaking. My general plan is to heat soak TheBeast for almost 2 hours before I put the guest of honor, the turkey, on the grate for roasting. For a bird the size that will go into the belly of TheBeast experience tells me that he bird will be on the grate for about 2-2.5 hours at 350F. Of course I'll have my probe in the thickest part of the breast. The guy who taught me all about kamados and kamado cooking so many years ago was insistent that I always heat soak. Anything that would require a deflector plate, and in his mind, just about every cook that didn't involve a sear required a deflector and heat soaking. His rational was that the heat would radiate all around the cook and this helped things cook more evenly. This is vitally important during a turkey cook since you don't want the breasts dried out, especially if you don't inject the bird. He also insisted that the breasts of a big bird, turkey, goose, pheasant, etc. be iced down about 30 minutes before the bird hit the grate. Heat soaking works stunningly on cooks of breads, pizzas, cakes, pies, cobbles, etc. I've heat soaked my BGEs, my Primos, and now I find TheBeast really gives a superior cook when heat soaked for quite some time. The mass of TheBeast is quite a bit more than any of my previous cookers, and not just by a little bit! Among Komodo Kamado users, heat soaking is pretty much standard operating procedure for just about every cook except a sear. That much mass all but dictates it. So my question is this: How many of you Gurus heat soak your ceramic kamados before your cooks? Y'all have a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends!
  23. KKers and Gurus of all stripe - Well I just got off the phone with Dennis Linkletter, the guy who owns KK. I sent Dennis an email this morning about a problems I thought I might have with TheBeast. I attached pictures. Dennis knew I was doing some cooks over the next couple of days. No more than 5 minutes later I get a call from Dennis. Dennis could have easily replied by email. Would have been absolutely fine by me. Remember, he's half a world away in Indonesia. That's 13 hours ahead of my time here in OKC! It was late at night in Indonesia, WAY beyond anything normal business hours, and I get a call in response to my email. Dennis said I should have called ... I just couldn't do that and interrupt his evening. He told me I'm never a bother and to call. Gurus, I know that there are a lot of good kamados and Kamado Joe, among its devotees, is hailed for its customer service. But when the owner of the company personally calls you in the middle of his night to make certain you know there is no problem with TheBeast, that's the single most impressive customer service experience I've ever had. I had heard the tales of very good customer service from KJ. And it is well deserved. I like the KJ product line. But nothing in my experience has prepared me for the level of service I've gotten from Dennis Linkletter and his company, Komodo Kamado. It is so far beyond anything posted here I just had to post this. I built 4 companies based on excellent customer service and that made me quite comfortable. But as good as my companies were at taking care of customers, I NEVER went the lengths Dennis does to make certain we Komodo Kamado owners know we count above all else. KK owners know how valued they are by KK and Dennis specifically. I can recommend KK without any reservation. What's amazing, each and every KK owners has a story just like mine.
  24. Hi Gurus! Yesterday was the BIG Thanksgiving Feast at my church. I volunteered to help cook some turkeys. In fact, I signed up to do 6, was told to expect to do more, but was only given 2 due to so many others wanting to cook the birds. OK, no big deal. I went out and bought a CyberQ WiFi unit to help with the cook seeing as I thought I had so many birds to cook. Well, the cook ended up being no big deal, but I think I screwed myself. More on that at the end. Early Saturday morning was cold and wet! I'm not a cold weather guy and I"m certainly never going to like being both cold and wet, so I was looking to spend as little time outside as possible. The CyberQ helped me stay dry and roast toasty. This WiFi feature is simply wonderful! Bluetooth has some inherent limitation that are easily overcome by WiFi. Here's a photo of the CyberQ all plugged in and ready to do its work in a hostile environment: Here's the PitViper fan ready to do it's thing in the rain: Neither until is waterproof so I had to figure something out. I Buddy of mine has drilled holes in Tupper Ware that he runs his cords through, but I didn't have that luxury. SOOOOO .... I made do. I had to anchor down the little storage bin covering the Cyber! unit with anything I could find ... these Oklahoma winds were nasty that day. The PitViper fan I covered with aluminum foil wrapped around the neck of the fitting that goes into The Beast. I secured it with a two twist ties tied together. Talk about Red-Neck engineering! But it worked and that's the important thing. Two 20# turkeys fit on the main grate with lots of room to spare: Now normally, I'd truss the legs and wings, but I was given strict instructions not to. The ladies who run this event told me not to put smoke on the bird, not to truss, no dressing, no oil on the skin for crispness, and cook until the pop-up thermometers popped up. I wasn't about to argue, so no smoke (except I did put on a little maple!), and I cooked the bird the bird until the pop-ups popped up. BTW - know what both pop-ups were set to? 175F! How do I know .... because the thermometers showed that temp on the CyberQ! In any event, here's a pic of the birds right after the CyberQ registered 155F, the temp I'd normally pull this cook. You can see the pop-ups on both birds in the back right hand quadrant: We did this cook at 350 and the CyberQ kept it nailed on that temp! Total time in the belly of TheBeast was 2:45: The finished birds ... notice the popped up thermometers ... 175F according to the CyberQ. I was instructed to cook until the pop-ups popped up and that's what this far rat did: Not too bad but could have been soon much better. BUT ... I'm not running that show, I just work here, drive a truck, and sweep the warehouse! Here the birds are foiled right before I took them to the church. Notice on the far right the bird tried to escape --- he didn't get far! To the church he went. The car smelled incredible for the trip! So all in all I'll give this cook a 3.5 Star Rating out of 5. Now for the I'm screwed part. I take those birds into the church kitchen and everyone starts oohing and aahing. How did you get that color on those birds. I said cooked 'em on my Komodo Kamado! The head of the Knights of Columbus perked up and came walking over to me and said, I never knew you had a kamado, like a BGE! I said, I have a kamado, but its MUCH better, IMNSHO, than the BGE. He said, so how come you're not signed up to cook for our brisket feed!? Now I've been a Knight for a LONG time and I never knew we had a brisket feed! The head Knight said, Well now you know and you just signed up! How big is your kamado? I told him it was large enough to fit 4 turkeys like the ones he was looking at. He said --- You're my new head bbq chef and walked away. We cook and sell over 75 briskets. I'm screwed! No good deed goes unpunished! I knew I should have listened to the Nuns!
  25. Hi Gurus! Last Friday evening I did PaPa Murphy's in the belly of TheBeast! Quick and simply and delicious. Here's the set-up ... baking stone (YEAH! That thing is HEAVY!) on the extended cooking grate over the main grate. No diffuser. Dome temp at 425F per PaPa Murphy's direction. I normally do pizza at higher temps, but PaPa Murphy's dough is literally engineered for 425F since most home overs don't get above 500F. Here are a couple of pics of the unbaked pies with a few extras from the refrigerator here at ChezChef: The first pie is thin crust the second is regular crust. Both pies were augmented with jalapeño andouille and spicy litallian sausage cooked on TheBeast and some more low moisture cheese. Here are pics of the two pies after their being cooked: The frist pie got too close to the edge of the KK baking stone and I was a minute or so late in pulling it, hence the burned edge. I wasn't about to let that happen on the second pie! Both crusts were crispy and the pies were delicious. For store-bought pizza, this was the best I've had in some time. Quick and easy peasy! The beverage of the evening was a relatively new ale from Shiner ... The Wild Hare. Very good tasting and I heartily recommend it!
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