Jump to content

Trial Cook and First Cook

Recommended Posts

Hi All --

  Between having a full summer with lots of activities and waiting for different Akorn Kamado accessories to arrive, it took me over a month from purchasing to assembling my Akorn. 

  The good part of that is I was able to absorb info about Kamado cooking from different sources -- this website, a kamado cookbook and YouTube videos, so I was familiar with a few details when I finally did a trial cook a couple of weeks ago. 

  I call it a "trial cook" because it was the middle of August and I knew I wanted to cook out for Labor Day.  For the trial cook I decided to do the chickens shown in the first two photos below.  I also did pre-made turkey burgers, hot dogs and a smoked sausage, which don't take much skill to do.  I wet-brined and butterflied the chicken and it came out great.  After the burgers and dogs were done, I was impressed that I seemed to have guessed at a perfect amount of charcoal because my coals were about spent as I finished up. 

  Yesterday was the cook I was concentrating on more.  It's shown in the rest of the pictures -- I did pulled pork, grilled veggies, meatloaf and not pictured are salmon and hot dogs.  My dad always cooked a few different items when he barbecued and I've followed his example.  Again, I liked the results.  Due to starting later than I'd hoped for yesterday, I pulled the pork off the kamado after 4 hours and let it finish in the oven.  (I think it had gotten to 185 degrees at that point).  Then I pulled out my stone, (heat deflector), opened the vents and let the heat build so I could cook the veggies and the salmon.

  As it was getting close to time to start the meatloaf, I could see that my fuel was depleting, so I started some more charcoal in a chimney and added it just before putting on the meatloaf.  It was getting late by then.  The meatloaf recipe, (from Chis Grove's book The Kamado Smoker and Grill), said after 45 minutes at 350 degrees the meat should be done.  It wasn't.  And I could see from the kamado temperature that I was depleting the charcoal I'd added.  So, I gave the meatloaves about another 30 minutes and with the hour getting late - about 8:30, I brought them in and finished them in the oven.

  Although I didn't finish everything off using the kamado, I'm still happy with my results, what I especially like about the kamado is that I seem to have more control over temperature and that it holds heat so well.  

  I'm thinking for yesterday's cook I probably didn't use enough charcoal to get through all the cooks.  I probably started out with my firepan 1/4 to 1/3 full (should I use more?)  I imagine in time I'll get a better feel for how much charcoal to use. 








Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome to the addiction. Judging by those pictures you're off to a great start!


Don't try to guesstimate how much charcoal you'll need, just fill 'er up. Some people are under the impression (not saying this is you) that more charcoal = higher temps. But if you use proper lighting and vent management techniques you can easily control temps with a full fuel load without worrying about running out of charcoal. And as previously mentioned, shutting down the vents will leave plenty of unburned coal for reuse, so there's no worries about wastage.


Think about it as an automotive analogy. Filling your car with gas before a trip doesn't mean you're going to go flying down the road and get a speeding ticket. Just means you don't have to pull over and get more gas B)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great looking cooks Gil.  I do my meatloaf the same way and let it drain.  You should be able to choke out your fire after a cook.  I sometimes get 4-5 cooks depending on the duration and temps of course out of a fire bowl full of charcoal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What everybody else said about the amount of fuel.  Don't try to guess, just fill the box.


Nice first couple cooks!  Nothing better than a smoked meatloaf and cooking it without a pan is key, so it doesn't swim in grease like everybody's Mom's meat loaf.


I take it back, there IS something better than a smoked meat loaf.  It's having a second smoked meat loaf when the first one runs out.  :-D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Similar Content

    • By SmokinSteveBBQ
      Just finished up smokin up a meatloaf and it is delicious. Be sure to check it out. The glaze on top cranks it up even a couple more notches. If you don't like meatloaf you'd like this one. 
    • By Smokehowze
      Stewed Chicken 
      Or chicken fricassee in the fancy circles. This is one of my favorite comfort food dishes. I started cooking this dish as a kid on camping trips as all the prep work can be done ahead of time.  Delicious over rice.  Great on the stove but even better cooked on the Kamado in the cast iron dutch oven with that smokey goodness infusing the dish.  Just use indirect cooking deflector and and air gap and/or pizza atone under the pot so the bottom does not burn and keep the heat reasonable.  Can use whole cut up chicken pieces or chicken thighs with or without the bone. 


    • By John Setzler
      I decided to whip up a meatloaf for dinner tonight.  I love making these because there is no real 'recipe' to doing it other than a couple basic measurements that I tend to stick with on a couple base ingredients...

      My ingredients for the meatloaf are as follows:
      2 large eggs, lightly beaten
      3/4 cup 2% milk
      3/4 cup crushed saltine crackers
      1/2 cup chopped onion
      1 tsp salt
      1/2 tsp rubbed sage
      1/2 tsp dried thyme
      1/4 tsp black pepper
      1 1/2 lbs 90/10 ground beef
      Mix these ingredients together and then add the ground beef and form into a loaf pan of your choice...
      Sauce Ingredients:
      My sauce for meatloaf is very simple, but it's also a base for a bbq sauce...

      1 cup ketchup
      1 to 2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
      1/2 cup brown sugar
      Mix the sauce ingredients together and top the meatloaf with it...

      I put this on the grill at 375°F or so until I get to 160° internal temperature on the meat...


      Yum!  Save your leftover sauce to add at the table.... good stuff!
    • By Ben S
      On impulse I made a chicken meatloaf.
      Freshly ground chicken thighs (1.5 lbs)
      Corn muffins (3, crumbled)
      Egg (1)
      KJ peppered sea salt (1 tbs)
      KJ poultry rub (1 tbs)
      Cook at 300 F for about an hour to an IT of 160 F. About halfway though glaze with a mix of honey, mustard, and your favorite rub.
      Enjoy the photos

    • By Addertooth
      Time, it is always a challenge on weekday cooks.  By the time I get home, everyone is already hungry; they aren't in the mood to wait a couple of hours for a meal.  Certainly burgers and dogs can be whipped up quickly, but for anything more imaginative, a bit more preparation is required.  This dish has the advantage of being prepped in advance, and can be stored for weeks before final sear and serving. 
      The technique is called Sous Vide.  It involves vacuum sealing bags with the uncooked meatloaf inside.  Then the bags are put into a circulating bath of water at 160 degrees for an hour.  At this point, the meat has reached an internal temperature of 160, and is well-done.  The inside of the package is pasteurized by the heat, and is safe for extended storage in the refrigerator.  When the family wants a meal with near zero prep time, start your Kamado up for searing.  Open a few packages, and throw them on the grill for a quick sear.  Because the meat is already fully cooked, you are just shooting for the color and amount of sear you want the Meatloaf burgers to have.  A note on the pictures, I also made classical meatloaf on the Big Joe, the Joe Junior was used for searing the patty (pictured).
      The recipe for the meatloaf can be found in my "meatloaf again" posting a few weeks back. 

  • Create New...