Saturday pizza has become a regular thing at our house, per my son’s request. I had a good thing going with the KJ Classic and a 15” stone setup, down to a science. But a few weeks ago decided to change it up and try pizzas on the Akorn Jr, half to use less charcoal on the high temp and half cause I had a steel I’d never used. And half just for the challenge....okay that’s three halves. But I digress....first couple weeks went okay, a little learning curve with the AkJ getting to temp MUCH faster and the possibility of overshooting temp, coupled with the steel getting and retaining heat much easier than the stone.
Last weekend I burnt the crap out of the bottom of three of four pies (finally got it to cool down a bit by the last one...should have given more time after I charred the first). Having to wait a week for redemption is killing me, but I ordered the canning rack I’ve seen many use on here for the Junior setup, so fingers crossed tonight goes better. And I’ll definitely be watching my temps and shooting the steel with an IR thermometer. I’m hoping more separation of the steel and deflector in addition to getting the stew up higher in the dome makes the difference.
My goal was to get this done last Friday, but life intervened. However, today is a beautiful Northwest day at the beach, and I could do this with the ingredients I had on hand. The recipe is for Brazilian Salmon Stew (Moqueca), and I used wild caught Coho Salmon portions, in a braise of chopped garlic, green pepper, onions, fresh tomatoes, cilantro, and the surprise ingredient, coconut milk. The salmon portions were skinless, then marinated in a mixture of lime juice, cumin, sweet paprika, s & p. I've never skinned salmon before, and it's a good thing I didn't have company as there wasn't enough salmon left for more than 2...
The recipe called for layering the ingredients, but for just us I halved it, so ended up with only one layer, but no problem. Used my trusty thrift store stoneware pan, no extra smoke. Had to finish the meal with some garlic parmesan rolls from the freezer. Like I said, easy and Nummy, as my husband said, but so simple in the kamado. I used the dome as my casserole lid, so the salmon got a little color on it.
I was happy to be home all day and get to make my own birthday dinner, inspired by @ckreef's zucchini gratin, and @keeperovdeflame's mayo corn. The pork sirloin chops were marinated in buttermilk, then rinsed and patted dry before applying a garlic and herb rub for a couple of hours. Sirloin doesn't take long to cook, so I did the gratin first, then the chops with the corn mixture on top. This is what it's all about. Lovely.
This afternoon I opened up two pork tenderloins. I seasoned them with onion & garlic and stuffed basil leaves & pesto into the cuts before I tied them together. I wrapped them in a bacon weave and cooked them indirect at 350˚F for about 40 minutes. I went direct to crisp the bacon. They finished right where I wanted them to.
I've been wanting to cook a turkey breast for a while now. It's much cheaper here to buy a whole bird than to buy a breast. I carved this one from a 12 lb. bird. The breast weight 4 lb.9 oz. I brined it for 20 hours using a 1 gallon solution. I decided to do the Disney brine for the drumsticks. They brined for 24 hours.
The breast went on 45 minutes before the drumsticks and came off to rest at 160˚F The entire cook was 2-1/2 hours. The breast was extremely moist and the drum sticks came out exactly as described in the AmazingrRibs.com video.
@toddwchandler I think this is about as close as you can come to cooking a whole turkey on an Akorn Jr.
Here are a few pics, thanks for looking.