I just ordered a KJ Classic II over the weekend, and I am beyond excited to start learning and cooking on it when it arrives! I have heard that one should do a few "dry runs" where you heat the grill up without any food before cooking on it. When I was looking at different kamado brands in person, one sales rep told me it was necessary to "set" the ceramic or something like that by heating it up to a few hundred degrees for at least 30 minutes before trying to cook anything on it. I'm honestly a bit skeptical of that claim, but I'm also new to this style of grill, and since it's a significant investment, I obviously want to treat it well and take care of it so that I can enjoy cooking with it for years to come. Anyway, sorry for rambling. I'm looking forward to any advice and suggestions on getting my grill set up and cooking once it arrives! Suggestions on what to cook first also welcome! My wife and I were talking about it the other day and were a bit undecided. Thanks in advance!
So, I am very much interested in buying a kamado grill since it has such great features and versatility, but I have a few logistical hurdles to clear first, the primary one of which is securing it against theft. I live in a city with a lot of theft from cars, in person (cell phones, wallets, etc.), and even from homes. It's also a city of row homes, which means my house touches the houses of either side and the closest things I have to a yard are a rooftop deck, a parking pad in the back, and a large public park a block away. That's all to say my options for where to house my grill are:
1. Rooftop deck - probably a bad idea
2. Parking pad - better but need a way to secure it so that it cannot "wander off"
My tentative plan has been to buy a bike rack that I can bolt into the concrete near the back of the house and then chain the grill to the bike rack through the nest/legs and the lid handle. My questions about this are:
1. How likely do folks think this is to be secure?
2. My parking pad is at a 1/12 slope (just under 5 degrees), which should be fine for storage based on my tipping point estimations, but if anyone has some solid numbers, I'd appreciate input. The specific grill I'm eyeing is the Kamado Joe Classic II.
3. The bike rack I'm looking at is 36" high and 24" wide. Will that fit under the grill cover with the grill?
Todays cook was Lamb Shoulder with Boulangere Potatoes....
A nice half-shoulder of Lamb seasoned with OVO, finely chopped fresh Rosemary, Smoked Paprika, Salt and Pepper:
For the Boulangere layers of thinly sliced waxy potatoes (I used Desiree) and onions seasoned with Salt, Pepper and fresh Thyme leaves. Then 1 pint of chicken stock:
Set the Monolith up for indirect cooking and then put the potatoes on the upper rack with the lamb on the extender rack directly above:
Let this cook gently at 280F for about 3.5 hours when hunger got the better of me ! :
And on to the table:
End result was melt-in-the-mouth lamb and lovely soft potatoes with a (partially) crispy layer on top. Really, really tasty - the best Boulangere I've ever cooked - but then I guess it should be with all those lovely lamb drippings basting it ! Served with simple steamed green beans - nothing else needed !!
The weather was lovely this weekend so it was definitely a grilling weekend...
Saturday I did my first attempt at Turkish Pide bread. This is how it looked just before putting on a pizza stone in the grill:
The black seeds are Nigella seeds which impart a very unique (and very nice) flavour. I often use them with rice. But anyway, after about 20 minutes at 220C:
Overall I was very pleased with the results, although the bottom could have been a bit crisper (I think I should have let the pizza stone heat up more - despite what the recipe said....)
While this was cooling down a bit half of it got eaten but did some Chicken supremes which had been in a piri-piri based marinade all day, and once they were done some olive oil brushed aubergine slices:
Really good chicken - I love piri-piri ! Pide was definitely better when really warm - just needs 10 minutes to cool slightly...
Sunday I did leg of lamb. Firstly I made deep slits into the flesh of the lamb and then made a marinade paste of EVO, lemon juice, garlic, fresh parsley and oregano, seasoning, and anchovy fillets (with the olive oil from the tin). This had about 6 hours marinating then into a hot (220C) grill and then closed the vents down to let cool down to about 180C. Basted a few times with the drippings then after about 1.5 hours this is what it looked like:
Removed the meat and covered with foil to rest while I got the cast iron griddle out and got the temperature back up so the griddle was nicely hot. Then griddled some previously part cooked (steamed) carrots and asparagus which had been dressed with EVO:
Then while I kept this little lot warm in the gasser (it does have it's uses....) griddled some Aubergine which had been brushed with EVO:
Served with some super fresh Cornish new potatoes (not pictured). Everything was really lovely - but the real star of the show was the Lamb. It had a real depth of flavour - I've used Anchovies with Lamb before but not in a marinade - but they really do work.... Will definitely do this again !!!