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New KJ...initial burn?


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Received my Big Joe last week. Put it in my shop at work until we get settled in our new to us house, probably around the end of August. I couldn't take looking at it boxed up anymore and figured I would go over and check everything for defects, cracks or breaks this morning. It is in perfect condition. It is torture to not be able to fully assemble it and fire it up. One note, the Big Joe is bigger.....a lot bigger, to me than it looks in pictures and videos that I've seen on line. I am eagerly looking forward to my first cook, which will probably be a pair of pork butts followed by some wings and, being a Jersey native, I will likely incorporate some grilled Taylor pork roll into the mix.

In the meantime, I have perused the KJ manual on line and it does not mention any initial "foodless" burn. Is it necessary or recommended?...and if so, how hot, how long, etc.

I have an Igrill2 thermometer on its way. It comes with 2 meat probes. There is an optional ambient probe which I did not get. Can I use the meat probe as a pit ambient temperature thermometer?

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Thanks, Doug

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A burn in is not needed. Just light and cook. However, IMO it is very beneficial to do a "light and learn temp control" burn. Spend a couple of hours with the vent settings. Learn what it takes to lock in at certain temps (low n slow, mid temp and grilling temps). That will be of tremendous benefit when you are ready to actually cook something.

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The only thing I did, which may not be needed but seemed to make sense, was to get the grill up to 400 and let it sit for about an hour. The reasoning is it better helps to set the glue on the gaskets. Not sure if this is truly needed or not but I figured it can't hurt.  

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The break in process for a kamado is extremely complicated, but can be stated in three words "Cook On It" of course some prefer a four word break in process "Go get it dirty". In my experience either process leads to the same conclusions 1. Delicious food,  2.  Becoming hooked on kamado cooking. 3. Spending more than you thought you ever would on accessories and gadgets 4. A family that says repeatedly just cook something, we don't need to go out. Congratulations on you new Joe and Happy Cooking. 

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The break in process for a kamado is extremely complicated, but can be stated in three words "Cook On It" of course some prefer a four word break in process "Go get it dirty". In my experience either process leads to the same conclusions 1. Delicious food,  2.  Becoming hooked on kamado cooking. 3. Spending more than you thought you ever would on accessories and gadgets 4. A family that says repeatedly just cook something, we don't need to go out. Congratulations on you new Joe and Happy Cooking.

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Thanks for all of the responses. I didn't want to fire it up in the shop yard for a couple of reasons. One, construction equipment running around, two, the possibility of someone deciding to take a grate or something like that, and three, it would be an easier transport in the box on the pallet to the new house IMO. I put it all back in the box and re-set the straps.

Down to about 45 days or so to my first cook. In the meantime I will just keep watching the how to videos of cooking on the KJ. I am learning an awful lot. I'll also be ordering some lump and wood before too long so I am ready to go as soon as I move in.

Thanks again, Doug

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