Texan, currently living in Seattle, finally got a backyard to do some grilling in this summer!
I'm currently grilling on a Weber performer, while I restore a Big Joe that I got off fb marketplace. I have a thread in the DIY section with some photos if anyone is interested or has some good recommendations.
Can't wait to get cooking on the Kamado once it is up and running. Most looking forward to cooking some pizzas and of course brisket, being a Texan!
I'm new to the world of Kamado cooking and to this forum, so I'm looking forward to some dialogue.
So I recently found a Big Joe for sale on fb marketplace for the irresistible price of $100! The main body is in not terrible shape, but it's missing quite a few items, and will need some cleaning/repair. I'm hoping the combined expertise hear can help me get this thing in good working order for the least amount of extra $ possible, and more importantly without damaging the integrity of the grill.
The ceramic body itself is in good shape with no major cracks or chips. There are a few issues that need to be addressed however:
The upper part of the interior has some green staining. I assume this is from algae/moss since I live in the PNW. Any tips on how to gently clean this, or should I just do a burnout when I get the rest set up? The felt gaskets are in pretty bad shape and will need to be replaced (tips on cleaning and removing gunk would be welcome too). The wire mesh gasket is mostly intact but has come loose. Does anyone know of an adhesive that would be safe to use to re-attach it? I'm not sure what to call this, but the hole that helps align the hinge on the back side of the band has been worn quite a bit. Making the hole about 1 1/2" long and the ceramic a bit crumbly there (see pic). Does anyone know of any substance I could safely patch this with, and how best to reattach the bands?
At that low of a price I wasn't too concerned about replacing a few parts, but after price checking I found I need approx $400-$450 in replacement parts. I can get most of these from BBQ Guys, but I figured I would reach out to the community here and see if people had recommendations for third party replacements, custom ideas, or (fingers crossed) extra parts that they need to get rid of. Here is a list of what I need:
Firebox Deflector Grill Grates Flex cooking rack (is this necessary or is there another way to grill/smoke without it?) Replacement Gasket kit Missing the upper half of the cart, not sure if I will try and purchase that, or make a custom table I will be focusing on grilling and smoking with this grill, so I don't really need some of the specialty items.
I know this is a lot of information/questions, so don't feel like you have to address everything, but if you have some advice on any of the subjects, I'd greatly appreciate it.
Thanks and happy grilling!
Ive had a few pizza sessions on my kj classic 2. Although the last time i warped the steel firebox ring so not sure that should count as successful! I thought it aould be good to ask a kj specific question.
My set up is deflectors on the grill in top position. Spacers on top of that with pizza stone then on top.
So my question/s is when doing high heat cooks:
1. How long do u let the kj heat sink for? I have just opened the vents and let it ride. When up to 650/700 put pizzas on.
2. Where do people set their vents? How open is the bottom and top? As above i nlrmally just open them up and stick the pizza on at above the 650/700 mark.
3. How long should this sort of temp last or is safe for the kj? If i had a pizza party how long could this keep up for eg.
Any advice or thoughts is welcome?
Hey everyone. Jason here in The City of Chicago (not the burbs). I'm going to give you way too much of an introduction.
43 years old; totally cool dude. Tomorrow will be 9 years married. Wife and I married after "dating" for 13 days. About the time we were together for a year, I saw a BGE in a hardware store. I'd only ever owned (several) of the little Weber grills, and I had never seen a grill that cost as much as the egg. I was intrigued. I started to lust after them. For years I kept telling myself that I'd get one when we finally settle in somewhere. We've lived in 4 states. I moved from here to Albuquerque, NM where we met. 6 months later we packed up the dog (a sweet and loving blue nose APBT named Ryno (after Ryne Sandberg, of course)) and we moved to Portland, OR because that's what all the cool people were doing. Then I figured out I'm not cool. Well, not in the way those guys are. As a huge coffee lover and die-hard bicycle kind of guy, it was sort of paradise. But I'm cool in the badass DJ, car-free, hip hop, City Boy kind of way. They're cool in the be all weird and sensitive and drink over-priced cocktails kind of way. Which is cool for them, but I just didn't click there. Our first son, Theodore, was born there. (He just graduated kindergarten today!) Man oh man I miss the weather and the insane amount of green, but it was time to move on.
Wife (Erin) was really growing as a pastry chef, getting kind of famous, and we decided that she needed to take a bigger role in her company and we relocated to Denver where she was one of the team to open a second location of her Portland restaurant. That was kind of a rough patch for us. Opening a new restaurant is brutal. 18 hour days, 7 days a week for the first six months. Salaried, of course. So while I was home alone with Theo the whole time she was getting burnt out. Eventually after 2 years of compromise and frustration and no work/life balance, she decided to leave the job. Finally, it was going to be my turn to leave our crappy, over-priced apartment get back to work! (I'm a career waiter) While I was out looking, she decided to come here to Chicago to do a "stage" (which is sort of like either an audition or apprenticeship in a kitchen) at Alinea, just for fun, as it's one of the top restaurants in the world. She did such an awesome job (of course) that the offered her a job immediately and two weeks later we packed up the boys and headed back to my sweet home, Chicago (not the burbs).
That job was a terrible idea. Very toxic, this industry can be. She quit two weeks later. But then we both wound up finding jobs that suit us just fine, and we started to settle in. Lots of Cubs games with the kiddo, reconnecting with all the old crew, and just generally feeling a sense of wholeness, belonging, home… and I started thinking about that BGE again. Got the boy in kindergarten, and just when things start looking good, BOOM we get news that baby 2 is on the way. So Simon was born last November.
Once everything finally got settled I started lusting again. Grill… GRILLLL my brain would say. I would spend endless hours researching all the types, brands, and styles of Kamado grills. I started telling Erin about all the great stuff I would make her, how she would be Done With Dinners Forever. She couldn't get over the price. Then, a couple days after getting a vasectomy, she must've felt sorry for me (or was just tied of hearing about it) and told me to go ahead and get the grill. I already knew just what I wanted, and ordered to a KJII with a DoJoe.
I had already spent so much time on this forum, lurking, that when the special day came I knew just what to do. I have not had a "bad" cook yet (there were a couple learning experiences), and really feel I got the hang of this, or that I'm comfortable beginning my learning journey. I have already done things I've never tried on a grill before: ribs, packer brisket, smoked fish, pizza. While I wouldn't say I nailed restaurant quality BBQ yet (ribs and brisket) they were still pretty good and thanks to you guys I'm pretty sure of what I need to do next time. The wealth of knowledge here is so helpful. My steaks, burgers, sausages, and veggies are better than any other grilling I've done before, not so much because of the grill (it's only one part of the reason), but because of your shared experience teaching me how to do things proper. Reading about cooking methods, wood varieties for smoking, science of grilling/searing/smoking etc has, in very short order, elevated my game. No more am I throwing a half bag of soaked mesquite chips on the tiny Weber kettle to cook two burgers, marveling at how intensely smokey it tasted. Now I'm understanding the chemical reaction of a smoke ring, moderation, patience. I owe it all to you. I feel like this is 50/50 introduction/thank-yous.
To close out, here are a few notable pics from my first 14 days as a KJ owner. (Nobody needs pictures of burgers, brats, corn, peppers etc). Got some pizza made with naturally leavened (no commercial yeast) sourdough crust (I roast tomatoes after cooks before shutting the grill down to make my own sauce). Smoked steelhead was delicious. The ribs…there are a lot of differing opinions on how to do them so I went with the method with the least variable: unwrapped for the entirety of the cook. They were just slightly dry, but great texture and super tasty. Definitely felt proud of them for my first try. The brisket… I started it at 06:30 thinking it would be done in time for dinner. It wasn't. 15lbs at 225° (I love how this thing dials into a temperature and just holds!). Probably need another half hour+, and I cut the cooler time short as well; it came out a little toothy. But, again, spectacular flavor. Tomorrow night is reverse-seared filet with a cambezola and cherry tomato sauce with grilled asparagus.
Anyway, that's it for me. Thanks for being here, and sharing all the great insight and creativity. You guys rock!
Morning Kamado Warriors,
First time poster and an all round amateur "cooker" in all honesty. Been using cheap hardware store Charcoal BBQs for about 10 years but decided that if i am going to be stuck at home for months then i am going to do it with a beer in my hand and a decent plate of food in front of me. I have just purchased a Big Joe 3 and it's on it's way ... Here comes the concern.
I live in the UK and have no access to my garden, i have to go through the house. UK Standard door width is 29" (74cms) ... is the dam thing actually going to fit through the door? Due to COVID, its me and my wife and we can't ask people for help due to the restriction in the UK. I can lift / shift a 100Kg washer dryer on my own but it almost kills me. My wife is fairly strong but i am worried that we will not be able to move the BBQ into the house to wait for reinforcements.
I should thought of these things before buying a ceramic hulk but all the pictures of you guys enjoying a veritable conucopia of meat dishes made me hasty!