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 daughter grabbed up some fresh, wild Sockeye filets at Costco a few weeks ago. She dropped them into our freezer since she didn't have room in hers. Yesterday, she asked us to pull two out to defrost for a dinner. They were just around a pound each. They sat in the sink for three hours at which point she called and advised that she cancelled dinner due to a sudden stomach ailment. We put them into the fridge then decided today that we should cook them up to prevent spoilage. This afternoon, I made a brown sugar and kosher salt brine and soaked the fillets for just under two hours.
i fired up the Akorn to about 169 degrees, added some apple chunks and alder chips to supplement and then tossed the fish on. They have been in the Akorn for about an hour now and I think I am going to go for about three more hours before pulling them off. The Akorn has been holding steady now at 168-170 degrees F and that has surprised me. I seriously thought that I couldn't get it to hold that low. First time doing fish on the Akorn At a temperature this low, so any suggestions are appreciated!
this was my second attempt at a cold smoked salmon. Attempt #1 was a learning curve for sure. I used a tail end of pink salmon (mistakes #1 and #2). I also pressed the salmon under a plate with 2 cans of tomatoes (mistake #3) in a 50/50 salt/sugar dry rub for 48 hours (Mistake #4). Finally I smoked the whole thing for 12 hours (5th and final mistake) on Adler pellets for 12 hours using an A-MAZE-N maze. The end result was something closer to salmon prosciutto in the centre of the fillet and salmon jerkey on the edges. Now, it wasn’t terrible per say. But it was way too smoky, way too salty a d had the wrong texture.
For attempt #2 i went 50/50 salt/sugar dry cure on a thick, head end piece of fillet from an atlantic salmon. Cured for 24 hours in a vac bag, turned half way through. Rinsed and purged for 30 minutes then dried on a wire rack to form a pellicle for 4 hours. 4hrs of smoke this time around in the KJ. SloRoller set up for indirect cold smoking. We’re having a snow storm up here in Canada right now, but the temp still bumped up almost 20C to 15C ambient inside the smoker. The end result was pretty spot on in texture. Next tine i may take the cure down another 6 hours to 18 hours, but i’m quite happy with the 4hrs of Smoke. The texture was spot on, maybe a little drier than expected but no complaints.
Please let know if any of you cold smoking veterans have any tips. Im currently equilibrium curing a 3lb piece of pork belly for bacon for next weekend. Planning to smoke in 3 Separate 12 hr sessions. That will be pork belly attempt number 1.
Still fairly new to smoking in general, let alone on the Kamado, but my favorite thing to smoke on the MES was salmon. Despite my best efforts, I never managed to screw it up. Figured with a sale on wild caught Sockeye at Fresh Market, it was a good time to test my luck on the Joe. I started out with the brine recipe here: https://www.smokingmeatforums.com/threads/final-smoked-salmon-with-recipe-instructions-and-qview.91264/
Here's the shot after the brine:
My biggest concern was keeping the temperature low. After some suggestions from some of the guys on here, I found the biggest, lumpiest blocks in the bag and started the fire:
Salmon went on the grill immediately to warm up with it.
This was also my first cook with the MEATER Block, so I got to test that out as well. There was definitely some disparity between the two probes, but I'm going to give them a few more rounds before I write em off. I'm curious what anyone else's experience with these is.
Mandatory. Huge fan of bourbon, and coffee, and stouts. If you haven't had anything from Alltech Brewing, I highly recommend it!
Graph of the finished cook from the MEATER app. I may have fallen asleep towards the end, there. Notifications weren't super notifying.
I'd definitely call this cook a flying success. If I keep this up I may even sell the MES.
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.