Texan, currently living in Seattle, finally got a backyard to do some grilling in this summer!
I'm currently grilling on a Weber performer, while I restore a Big Joe that I got off fb marketplace. I have a thread in the DIY section with some photos if anyone is interested or has some good recommendations.
Can't wait to get cooking on the Kamado once it is up and running. Most looking forward to cooking some pizzas and of course brisket, being a Texan!
I'm new to the world of Kamado cooking and to this forum, so I'm looking forward to some dialogue.
So I recently found a Big Joe for sale on fb marketplace for the irresistible price of $100! The main body is in not terrible shape, but it's missing quite a few items, and will need some cleaning/repair. I'm hoping the combined expertise hear can help me get this thing in good working order for the least amount of extra $ possible, and more importantly without damaging the integrity of the grill.
The ceramic body itself is in good shape with no major cracks or chips. There are a few issues that need to be addressed however:
The upper part of the interior has some green staining. I assume this is from algae/moss since I live in the PNW. Any tips on how to gently clean this, or should I just do a burnout when I get the rest set up? The felt gaskets are in pretty bad shape and will need to be replaced (tips on cleaning and removing gunk would be welcome too). The wire mesh gasket is mostly intact but has come loose. Does anyone know of an adhesive that would be safe to use to re-attach it? I'm not sure what to call this, but the hole that helps align the hinge on the back side of the band has been worn quite a bit. Making the hole about 1 1/2" long and the ceramic a bit crumbly there (see pic). Does anyone know of any substance I could safely patch this with, and how best to reattach the bands?
At that low of a price I wasn't too concerned about replacing a few parts, but after price checking I found I need approx $400-$450 in replacement parts. I can get most of these from BBQ Guys, but I figured I would reach out to the community here and see if people had recommendations for third party replacements, custom ideas, or (fingers crossed) extra parts that they need to get rid of. Here is a list of what I need:
Firebox Deflector Grill Grates Flex cooking rack (is this necessary or is there another way to grill/smoke without it?) Replacement Gasket kit Missing the upper half of the cart, not sure if I will try and purchase that, or make a custom table I will be focusing on grilling and smoking with this grill, so I don't really need some of the specialty items.
I know this is a lot of information/questions, so don't feel like you have to address everything, but if you have some advice on any of the subjects, I'd greatly appreciate it.
Thanks and happy grilling!
I did a run of 3 racks of baby back ribs for my sister's birthday tonight. These turned out fantastic. I smoked them @ 225 -240 for 5hrs over B&B Oak lump and Best of the West 100% Mesquite lump and cherry wood chunks. Rack 1, see the toothpicks, was rubbed with Bad Byron's Butt rub and Weber Spicy Cocoa rub. Rack 2 was again rubbed with Bad Byron's and Fire & Smoke Society Pork Perfect. Rack 3 was different, it was rubbed with Fresh Jax Ghost Pepper Sea Salt, Frank's Red Hot Buffalo Ranch, and Fire & Smoke Society Wicked Wynona. Far and away rack 3 was the favorite. Those are gone, the other 2 also turned out awesome, I really can't pick a winner between those 2. I finished them with a 50/50 Duke's Hickory Moonshine sauce and Cranberry Grape juice. I definitely recommend using some juice to cut your sauce when basting. I might do a cut shot later everyone was hungry and tired of waiting for me to finish cutting. Smoke ring was on point.
Ive had a few pizza sessions on my kj classic 2. Although the last time i warped the steel firebox ring so not sure that should count as successful! I thought it aould be good to ask a kj specific question.
My set up is deflectors on the grill in top position. Spacers on top of that with pizza stone then on top.
So my question/s is when doing high heat cooks:
1. How long do u let the kj heat sink for? I have just opened the vents and let it ride. When up to 650/700 put pizzas on.
2. Where do people set their vents? How open is the bottom and top? As above i nlrmally just open them up and stick the pizza on at above the 650/700 mark.
3. How long should this sort of temp last or is safe for the kj? If i had a pizza party how long could this keep up for eg.
Any advice or thoughts is welcome?
I joined this forum last year not long after getting my Char Griller Akorn used. I love that little steel beauty, but I've had ceramic fever and been seeing them all over the place the past year. Costco was about to have me parting with $600 for the Louisiana Grills 24" Kamado (just another rebranded Auplex like Vision), but my dad who works for a hardware store told me the owner wanted to sell off the stores XL Egg since they didn't really use it. I got what I think is a great deal on this beauty, paid less for this than you would for a stripped out XL with no accessories and definitely less than a Costco roadshow Big Joe. Came with the table, ConvEggtor, ash tool, and grate gripper. They couldn't locate the ceramic cap when we brought it home, but I'm sure it'll turn up. It's under an awning anyway and I'll be getting a cover to further protect it.
To be fair to the Akorn it is a fantastic cooker! Just since the apocalypse started, I've done at least one decent cook a week on it. I've done ribs at least 3 times, pork butt, brisket, a turkey, soda can chickens, wings, steaks, and various veggies for sides. I absolutely do not regret the Akorn purchase. If you're unsure if kamado bbqing is right for you the Akorn is a fantastic place to start, it's relatively cheap and a good design. I've been eyeballing the extra space the Big Joe and the XL Egg offer and ultimately couldn't resist. Just judging by my short not even 1 year of ownership I doubt my Egg will cook any better than the Akorn. This was purely a decision based on the total cooking surface and potential cooking surface with mods. I've done 3 racks of ribs on my Akorn before, but it gets tight and those were baby backs no easy way to get that many spare rib racks on there. 2 upright soda can (beer can) chickens really pushes the limit with my probes contacting the dome.
TLDR; just wanted to brag on my Eggscellent deal and write a love letter to my Akorn. I'm hoping this will be the last grill I ever have to buy, not saying I won't want to buy more, but this should be with me a long long time. I wish I could keep the Akorn, but I have 3 grills now and between the 22" Weber Kettle and the Akorn, I can probably get more for the used Akorn. If you're in the market for a well used Akorn, but still in fine cooking shape and you're in the Jacksonville, FL area, hit me up.