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Accessories!

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Hello everyone! I am a proud owner of a Pit Boss, as I just brought it home from my local Costco. I'm brand new to Kamado cooking, so would like some advice on which accessories are must have's. I'd be happy to to hear about what kind of lump charcoal to get, electric starters, heat deflectors, really anything you'd recommend! Thanks in advance and Happy to join this community.

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Welcome to the forum! You will find lots of great information and helpful people here.

Other than a heat deflector so you can do indirect cooks I personally would hold off on buying a bunch of accessories until you get to know your grill and see what accessories you would get the most use from.

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Hello everyone! I am a proud owner of a Pit Boss, as I just brought it home from my local Costco. I'm brand new to Kamado cooking, so would like some advice on which accessories are must have's. I'd be happy to to hear about what kind of lump charcoal to get, electric starters, heat deflectors, really anything you'd recommend! Thanks in advance and Happy to join this community.

 

Be aware that the Pit Boss 24" is sort of an odd size in the Kamado world so there are limited choices when it comes to using accessories from other manufacturers.  

On the Pitt Boss, the 24" measurement is not the grill size, but the outer dimension of the ceramic shell at the gasket level.  The inner diameter of the ceramic shell is about 21.5" and the main grill is about 21" in diameter.   The "fire ring" (ceramic extension of the firebox that the grill sits on) has an 18" inside diameter and 20" outside diameter.  

Most other brands have a main grill of either 18" (e.g. Kamado Joe Classic, BGE Large) or 24" (e.g. Kamado Big Joe, BGE extra large) which makes a lot of their cool accessories either too small or too big for the Pit Boss 24".

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Welcome. Have used 5 or 6 brands of lump and they all worked fine, I mostly do low and slow so I don't use an electric starter (lights too much charcoal) I prefer cotton balls soaked in 91% rubbing alcohol as my fire starter. You will want a deflector. Get some lump, fire it up and get busy.

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I ordered a Ceramic Grill Store spider and a pair of 16" half stones for my deflector.  I am expecting the spider will need to be modified to fit in the PB.  The feet will need to be trimmed, and while it should fit in the firebox cold, I am worried it will be too tight to allow for thermal expansion, so one leg may need to be re bent to give a little clearance.  If you are into cast iron grills (I am definitely NOT a fan) I suspect the spider will be able to hold a 15" CI grid from a medium BGE dropped 2 inches closer to the fire than the PB's main grid.  I will post an update and review when I get it.

 

I am also getting a third 20" grid.  Due to the fairly flat dome profile, I think there will be enough room to get 3 grids in there with 3.5" between each and 2.5-3.5" above the top grid.  Again, I will post an update after testing.

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I ordered a Ceramic Grill Store spider and a pair of 16" half stones for my deflector. I am expecting the spider will need to be modified to fit in the PB. The feet will need to be trimmed, and while it should fit in the firebox cold, I am worried it will be too tight to allow for thermal expansion, so one leg may need to be re bent to give a little clearance. If you are into cast iron grills (I am definitely NOT a fan) I suspect the spider will be able to hold a 15" CI grid from a medium BGE dropped 2 inches closer to the fire than the PB's main grid. I will post an update and review when I get it.

I am also getting a third 20" grid. Due to the fairly flat dome profile, I think there will be enough room to get 3 grids in there with 3.5" between each and 2.5-3.5" above the top grid. Again, I will post an update after testing.

Thanks for that post- a few questions:

1) why do the half stones? From what I've read it's hard to get 2 zoned cooking in a round kamado like the PB. If it works well though- let me know!!

2) how come you don't like cast iron? Some people swear by it- I don't have enough experience with either.

3) what is the strategy for multizoned cooking. My guess is put the food more likely to burn on a higher level. But the swing grate that comes with the PB is kinda awkward... Haven't gotten used to it yet.

Thanks again for the insight

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Dual Zone is possible on a round kamado. The set up will depend on which accessory system is used but the basic idea is the same. Use a half deflector to create a cool side. The cooking grids can be set up low or higher in the dome.

 

It may be more challenging on the 24" Pit Boss because of the current lack of accessories but I'm sure you guys can figure it out. There have already been some great mods for that cooker.

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Two zone cooking is nothing magical, and is actually quite easy to accomplish in a kamado with half stones. Here are some pics of what it looks like in my large BGE using just a CGS spider and one 14" half stone. 

 

post-3401-0-44758200-1462283508_thumb.jp

 

I cooked some stuffed pork chops the other day. The cook started with the chops arranged standing up vertically using a simple taco rack.

post-3401-0-52410500-1462283476_thumb.jp

 

I got caught up in the cooking and forgot to take a pic of them on the grill in that fashion but you can imagine them sitting across the area protected by the stone, where the drips are. 

 

When the chops got to 115 IT I slid them out of the rack and laid them on the grate directly over the flame to sear.

post-3401-0-17359800-1462283540_thumb.jp

 

With a rack like the spider or even a home made one and a half pizza stone you can accomplish the same thing in your pit boss. Happy Cooking. The Pit Boss looks like a really nice grill, enjoy your entry into kamado cooking. 

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I ordered a Ceramic Grill Store spider and a pair of 16" half stones for my deflector. I am expecting the spider will need to be modified to fit in the PB. The feet will need to be trimmed, and while it should fit in the firebox cold, I am worried it will be too tight to allow for thermal expansion, so one leg may need to be re bent to give a little clearance. If you are into cast iron grills (I am definitely NOT a fan) I suspect the spider will be able to hold a 15" CI grid from a medium BGE dropped 2 inches closer to the fire than the PB's main grid. I will post an update and review when I get it.

I am also getting a third 20" grid. Due to the fairly flat dome profile, I think there will be enough room to get 3 grids in there with 3.5" between each and 2.5-3.5" above the top grid. Again, I will post an update after testing.

Thanks for that post- a few questions:

1) why do the half stones? From what I've read it's hard to get 2 zoned cooking in a round kamado like the PB. If it works well though- let me know!!

2) how come you don't like cast iron? Some people swear by it- I don't have enough experience with either.

3) what is the strategy for multizoned cooking. My guess is put the food more likely to burn on a higher level. But the swing grate that comes with the PB is kinda awkward... Haven't gotten used to it yet.

Thanks again for the insight

1) the half stones were blemishes that were cheaper than a single full stone. That was the only reason. I am not a huge fan of horizontal zones in a smaller round kettle, but I will give it a try simply because I can.

2) Cast iron makes great grill marks, but not an even, great tasting sear. Cast iron pans on a gas burner yes, cast iron grates over a hot charcoal flame, no. You want the radiant heat from the fire to evenly sear as much of the meat surface as possible and not have a grate that over sears or burns some areas and leaves under seared areas in between the lines. Look up the amazing ribs Guy's article on it, he explains it well.

3) my strategy is going to be vertical separation from the fire. I bought a third grate and will try to figure out a better system than the factory hinged second grate.

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You get a better sear with thin wire racks.  Yes, the cast iron leaves those sexy stripes, but not an even sear like you get with thin grates.  If you want the ultimate sear, use a cast iron pan.  After all, "brown food tastes good!"  therefor, why not brown the whole surface?

 

I'd be asking myself, how smart can the guy be?  He married my sister!

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