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Must have accessories and demo deal luck


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Want to thank this forum for the costco info.  Got super lucky when yesterday to show the wife the big joe mentioned the demo deal to her but told her usually thats first thing on the first day.  Was gonna wait til the local costco had the road show and just buy a boxed big joe.  Well low and behold costco i went to (2nd to last day of roadshow) the guy who took the demo deal had an unexpected trip to Europe and wouldn't be able to pickup his big joe and joe jr.  So i hopped right onto that demo deal, and get to pick it up today. 

 

Anyways I'm trying to decide on accessories what are you guys top picks? Is Kick Ash pretty much mandatory?  Also Soapstone or griddle?  Is the lasercut steel worth the cost?   Any other third party accessories? 

 

The only thing i have currently is a Maverick i used for my old Akorn.

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Congrats on scoring the demo deal!

 

As mentioned already, you're good to go with what you have.  What accessories you want to add depends on what you want to cook.  From all I've read the Kick-Ash Basket is about as close to a must-have accessory as they come.  I haven't ordered one yet.  I'm also new to the KJ and I want to do a few more cooks before switching anything. 

 

A local store use to carry BGE but were dropped when they started carrying KJ.  The BGE accessories were marked down 25% so I picked up a pizza stone and a ceramic chicken cooker.  Pretty sure the chicken cooker is the same except for the branding and the pizza stone should work just fine.  I didn't really have pizza on the near term to-do list but it was too good a deal to pass up. 

 

Interestingly, the store has decided to stop selling grills altogether so the KJ accessories were 10% off.  I picked up a grill extender, probably the one accessory I was really thinking of getting. I want to try cooking chicken over the coals, no deflector, but suspect that the grates in the upper position would still be too close to the coals.  They had cast iron grates but I passed.  I would probably have gotten the griddle if they'd have had one.

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Thanks guys.  Fit everything into a Honda Fit that was a fun ride.  The latch on the big joe broke the new latches look to be a cheap chrome look plastic, as it snapped right in half.  Everything else made the ~20m trip fine.  I did end up ordering the CI Griddle, i wanted the soap stone but could justify almost double the price when the CI griddle you can do veggies on the other side for the grill marks. 

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48 minutes ago, SamHarrisKJ said:

Interesting! I haven't got the kick ash basket and wonder of it's value and how it will improve my cooks as I've been extremely impressed by what I've done from the 'standard box'. Can anyone advise? 

 

I don't have the basket, not yet anyway, but here's my understanding of the benefits.  First, the wire basket provides greater air flow.  Folks report that they can get up to temp faster with the basket than with the cast iron charcoal grate.  Second, there's a criticism that the holes in the cast iron grate are undersized and can clog.  The basket removes that issue,  Third is cleaning.  With the basket you can quickly pull your leftover charcoal.  You can shake the basket out over a trash can for a quick clean instead of scooping out the leftovers by hand.

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7 minutes ago, falcar said:

My biggest plus for the KAB is the cleaning aspect. Just shake out the coals, add some new and go.  It really is nice.  The other things NCJeff mentioned are just icing on the cake (for me).

 

 

so how does this work? You add some new coals to the basket then put in the older coals on top etc? At the moment, I just use the ash tool to get rid of anything find, make a bowl in the bottom and add in a load of new lump. THen use the older stuff around the edges on top as and when the fire is going well?

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I've used the KAB for my Classic for over a year and have mixed feelings. I go back and forth. That said, I bought one for the Jr and like it when grilling.

 

For grilling:

Pros:

Faster prep, faster start time. More airflow means more charcoal gets burning faster. Shake it out into a can next to my Joe and pour a little more charcoal on top. Light it and nearly all the lump is burning in half an hour without having to stir it.

Cons:

Maybe I'm just a penny pincher but I lose bits of charcoal that I would have burned. Especially thin pieces of charcoal that wouldn't have clogged up the holes but slip through the basket. Not a huge deal.

 

For low and slow (here is where I'm most conflicted):

Pros:

Faster prep, probably more consistent burn since airflow can come from all sides, not just the bottom.

Cons:

I personally don't mind stirring the charcoal a bit. The basket takes up space, you probably lose close to 3/4 or an inch around the entire circumference of the bowl, and my personal experience is that the new bowl seems wider, so that gap between the basket and the bowl seems bigger. Charcoal seems to burn faster, though I never ran any tests. The short of it is my cooks don't seem to last as long simply because the basket is by very definition smaller than the bowl, and may burn faster.

 

Additionally, the basket is pretty prone to rusting. Like I said, I really have mixed feelings. I wanted to love it but found myself going back and forth between the grate and the basket. It seems to really be nice for grilling but not so much for low and slow, but that's my personal experience.

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