I’ve been using these basic whetstones that I purchased a few years ago. I believe both stones ran me under $55.00.
They work fairly well, but are a little on the small side, so I’ve been wanting to upgrade. I had a mess of Amazon gift cards so I looked to see what I could get. The first thing I purchased for my kit was a pet food mat that will serve as my work station. If I want to sharpen in the house, I need something to contain any water or slurry from making its way onto the countertop. This is a 24” x 16” silicone mat with a ½” lip and little raised nubs to keep things from sliding around.
Next were the stones and a holder. The Suehiro brand of whetstones seemed to have excellent reviews on both Amazon and Youtube so they are what I purchased for most of them. From left to right they are a Suehiro Cerax 320 grit, Suehiro Cerax 1000 grit, Atoma Diamond 140 coarse flattening stone, Suehiro Rika 5000 and a Kiyayama 8000 grit finishing stone.
This picture shows the stone holder in the middle.
Here’s a size comparison shot between the old stones and the new stones.
Here’s a close up picture of the Kitayama 8000 stone.
Here’s a picture of my soaking pond with the mat rolled up next to it.
And finally all the stones and the holder in the container.
I just sharpened most of my knives on the old stones. I’m now going to try sharping one on the new stones to see if there is any difference. I’ll let you all know what I find out.
I been wanting to do this for a long time but didn’t have a proper equipment or the correct weather conditions. I recently bought an A-MAZE-N smoking tube.
It was expected to get down to 41 degrees (fairly cool nights for Southern California) and it was only 67 during the day so I decided to give this a try. Around 4:00 PM I started by cooling the kamado down by placing 5 pieces of Blue Ice in it.
Around 8:30 it reached 50 degrees outside, so I started up the A-MAZE-N smoking tube in my gasser so as not to heat up the kamado.
Once it ignited, I let it burn for a few minutes
before blowing out the flame.
I let it smoke while I went in and prepared the cheese. I had purchased 2 lbs. of Gouda, Colby Jack and Sharp Cheddar at Costco.
I took them out of their wrappers.
I cut them up into smaller sizes so they could absorb more smoke and placed them on a wire rack.
I then placed the A-MAZE-N smoking tube in the bottom of my kamado. I next put in both of my ceramic heat deflectors, then the grill grates and then the rack of cheese. (You can see some of the smoke coming up around the deflectors)
I closed the lid and observed a small amount of smoke coming out the top vent.
An hour later it looked like this.
After two hours in the smoke I opened the lid. WOW!
I brought the rack in the house where I could see a subtle change in the cheese color.
I vacuum packed them all and placed them in the fridge to age and mellow for 3 weeks.
This morning I when out to see how much of the pellets were left in the A-MAZE-N smoking tube. It looks like approximately 1/3 was left unburnt. I’m thinking it could’ve gone at least another hour.
I can’t wait to try them but will wait to let time do its thing on them first.
Most of you who’ve been around a few years, know this is the time of year that I go full Griswold. Here’s a pic of my house from a few years ago.
It gets a little bigger every year. This year I rented a boom to put lights up in our 50’ tall Italian Cypress you can see to the left of our garage. (Sorry no photo of it this year)
Anyway, as is our family’s tradition, we host everyone on Christmas Eve for dinner and presents. In attendance were my two brothers that live here in California. They came down from the L.A. area along with my niece, my nephew and his fiancé. (in addition to my wife and I) We like to vary the meal menu each year. One year we will cook Tamales, (A So. Cal. Christmas staple) the next we’ll do Ham, then Turkey, then a nice Ribeye Roast. We hadn’t had Ham since 2016 so we settled on that.
We were quite busy making all the dinner and fixing’s, so I didn’t have a lot of time to take a whole lot of photos but here are the few that I did get. Here’s the ham on the kamado for the first few hours at 275.
Here’s a pic of the stove with the beans, carrots, potatoes and gravy on top. (Green Bean Casserole and biscuits in the oven)
Here’s the ham after the 2 hours in foil with the pineapple and cherries added for another 10 minutes at 425.
Here’s the ham on the table waiting for the rest of the fixings to join it. (It’s funny but I didn’t realize that this is almost the exact same photo from 2016)
Here’s everyone waiting to dig in.
Here the one photo I got of the food and table. (As you can see we broke out our finest plastic cups for this dinner )
Here’s what everyone looked like when I asked if they could wait for me to take more / better photos of the food.
Everything was delicious and we had a great time that evening.