Went looking for a BGE on Saturday and came home with a KJ Classic. First cook yesterday. Brand new to this style of cooking; had a Weber Summit Grill Center for four years, before I moved down here, but I bequeathed it to my son because our lanai is prepped with natural gas. After ordering a Summit Grill Island 660 from Weber, I come to find out that Weber discourages the use of any of their grills if they are in a covered space.
Since I can't be with the ability to cook, I had to get something and thought that while I sort out this whole Weber/Natural Gas dilemma, I'd add a BGE to my arsenal. Well the BGE couldn't get delivered for at least a week and the KJ was assembled and available immediately, AND, the owner of the local ACE Hardware personally delivered it that day after the store closed! What sold me was the ability to do direct AND indirect during the same cook. I made baked potatoes, grilled peppers and onions, and grilled sirloin.
Had a lot of trouble getting the fire started and yes, I read the manual and looked at the KJ.com videos, but it seemed like the fire would not get going. Walked away for 10 minutes or so to watch some football, and OMG, the grill was at 600. Bringing it back to 350 was also a challenge and needless to say, we ate dinner late last night, but I was reasonably pleased with my first cook. The potatoes were perfect, veggies a little under cooked, and steak a little over cooked so I've a lot to learn here.
Biggest issues was shutdown. Closed the bottom vent all the way, left the top vent on the first white line, but it took forever to cool down. KJ tells you to do it this way to let the gases escape but after about an hour, I finally closed the top vent all the way and roasted some nuts (pine nuts), as they suggested you could do. Well the first batch burned, opened the grill put in a second batch and they were done very quickly as well. A little more brown than I wanted but at least they were salvageable, After about 3 hours, I finally latch the top, which KJ doesn't recommend if you want to preserve your gasket, but the grill was about 230 at this time so I thought it would be okay???
Anyway, to finish my introduction, I checked the fire box this a.m. to see how much fuel was actually preserved, and the grill plates were still warm. Unbelievable and as I said, still have much to learn and looking forward to this. My Weber Summit had a smoker box, but this is a completely different experience for sure.
Oh and lastly, the local wildlife was just as curious as I was and came to check it out, and also kept me from checking the temp too!
Hello all! I actually haven't even gotten my Big joe unit yet but am really looking forward to
it. I have been using a Weber kettle grill with a smokenator for over 10 years but felt it was time to move to something more high quality. I love smoking ribs and have spent a lot on new accessories (pronto much) and I'm just waiting for the frieght company to give me the call that it's being delivered. I'm 35, IT consultant who loves to cook
I recently purchased the Akorn Kamado by CharGriller Thursday from my local Lowes... I had a help assembling it... The final product is just beautiful.. I've been grilling/smoking for over 30 years... my first grill was a Little Smokey joe I received for my 13th birthday.. I've been using Brinkmann Cajun Smokers (with success) for a while until I moved to Spokane, Washington... I purchased a 22 1/2 inch Weber Smokey Mountain... I used the hell out of it for 4 years.... Now I'm back in Texas , and the Akorn is so far the best multipurpose grill I've own... I seasoned my grill, and went immediately to grilling burgers, and jalapeno poppers on it...My next grill will be either New york strips.. or a Papa Murphys pizza.. just don't know yet...