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dirty6

Made it to the Last Frontier!

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Greetings all! I’ve been absent for a bit as my family just completed a move to Fairbanks, AK. As you might imagine, one of the most valuable items that went into the shipping crate with our household goods was Ginger, our KJCII. 

 

The movers in South Carolina weren’t the greatest, but they did pick up on my anxiety and wrap Ginger up good and tight. Onto the crate she went. I was sure I’d be greeting a pile of red ceramic bits and pieces of sadness in Alaska...

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45 days after we said goodbye to our stuff, we met it again 4500 miles away...and about 85 degrees colder! Much relief was on my face when the kamado rolled off the moving truck safe and sound. 

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I was worried about the temp extremes and kamado cooking up here, but so far everyone has survived. After a few more days of unpacking, we finally found all the accessories (and ceramic components) in the various boxes we moved with. An unusually warm winter day (high around 7F) meant some smoking was in order. Pork butt it was. Note the position of the sun; this photo was taken at 11:45am. 

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Next up was Super Bowl Sunday, another unusually warm day. Chili was demanded, chili was prepared, chili was enjoyed. That’s a 2lb pork+beef meatball smoking on pecan while suspended over a pot of chili. When the meat’s done, it gets crumbled and goes into the pot. 

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So far Alaska has been doable with the cooking. The biggest shock when it comes to cooking outside has been the cost (and availability) of lump. There’s only a handful of places in town that carry it, and the only kamado dealer of any kind sells BGE lump for 36 a bag (I was paying 22 in SC). Thankfully the Lowe’s just got a random shipment of KJ Big Block and I snagged 4 bags for 26 apiece. Unsure if that price will stick. Wal Mart doesn’t have Royal Oak, so I’ve yet to find a budget option. 

 

I have noticed a significant temp diff between grate (measured w my ThermoWorks Smoke) and dome, as much as 120 degrees. I’m unsure why. I need to verify/calibrate both thermometers. If that’s not the culprit I suppose the extreme cold could be causing a variance, or perhaps some cold air sneaking in around the gasket seal where the temp probes are inserted. 

 

Ive also been fighting the fire a bit more than usual. This is either the outside temp or me being anxious. But she cooks, and cooks well! 

 

More to follow from the land of the midnight sun. 

 

-d6

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Totally kewl cooking in the cold temps and glad the KJ made it intact but...... 

 

 

It would take a really, really LG pay increase to move from SC to AK. Although I tease Mrs skreef about moving to AK all the time since she is cold natured and freezing even when I'm sweating. 

 

 

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Not always a choice. Thanks for serving, and enjoy being able to grill no matter what! 

 

Moving to Alaska in February and then immediately grilling outside every day is awesome and dedicated! Good luck finding lump!

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Looks like you are acclimating, that chili with the meatball over it looks so good!

How is your dog liking the change of scenery?

We pay 24.99 for KJ big block here, its my favorite lump, so you are not far off it there. Just bought a bag this weekend forgetting that there is a costco roadshow here this week. Off work tomorrow so maybe I can remember to get there for a few bags...

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The truth of the matter lies somewhere in between what @ckreef and @gotzero suggest...yes in fact this is a military move so my family ‘went where we were told...’ but we also asked for Alaska b/c we are fond of adventure. Plus, the beauty of a military move is that the military pays for it coming AND going...and there is a planned departure in 2-3 years. So it’s not like we spent a fortune to move the household up here and now we’re stuck indefinitely.

 

On 2/6/2019 at 4:01 PM, O C said:

Looks like you are acclimating, that chili with the meatball over it looks so good!

How is your dog liking the change of scenery?

We pay 24.99 for KJ big block here, its my favorite lump, so you are not far off it there. Just bought a bag this weekend forgetting that there is a costco roadshow here this week. Off work tomorrow so maybe I can remember to get there for a few bags...

The dog is acclimating pretty well. It was quite cold our first couple days here, -20 or worse. He wasn’t so fond of his bathroom trips outside. But he has adapted and is enjoying playing in the snow.

The chili meatball is a recipe I got from someone else, not my invention. It works fantastically though.  

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19 hours ago, dirty6 said:

The chili meatball is a recipe I got from someone else, not my invention. It works fantastically though.  

 

I've seen that recipe somewhere on YouTube too. Just can't remember where.

 

I just did a YouTube search and here are the videos that I found:  https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=over+the+top+chili

Edited by Golf Griller
Added YouTube search

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15 hours ago, dirty6 said:

The chili meatball is a recipe I got from someone else, not my invention. It works fantastically though.  

 

Your recommendation convinced me.  Please consider posting it in the recipe section.  

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5 hours ago, pmillen said:

 

Your recommendation convinced me.  Please consider posting it in the recipe section.  

@Golf Griller Aha, I didn't know it was a broader recipe than the one fella whose website I found it from. 

 

This was my source for the dish. I follow this recipe pretty closely, though I do add beans b/c I'm not from Texas.  

 

I will add this: the next time I do this dish, I'm doing all the veggie/peppers/beans/chili stuff in the porcelain cast iron pot on the stove inside the house. When the pot of chili is established (but certainly not 'done'), I'll take it outside to the grill and add the meatball on top for a couple hours of smoking. I don't believe the chili picks up smoke flavor in that first ten minutes on the grill, and doing it outside means keeping the lid open quite a bit which throws my grill temps way out of whack and forces me to fight the fire. The value of the grill is in smoking that big meatball (and the drippings falling into the chili over a 2 hr period). 

 

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23 minutes ago, dirty6 said:

@Golf Griller Aha, I didn't know it was a broader recipe than the one fella whose website I found it from. 

 

This was my source for the dish. I follow this recipe pretty closely, though I do add beans b/c I'm not from Texas.  

I'm not from Texas either. I grew up eating beans in my chili, and add them when I make chili. I also like to use a combination of chorizo and maybe some ground meat along with stew meat cut in to small chunks in my chili.

 

I agree with MGoBBQ's comment about Cincinnati chili.

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11 minutes ago, Golf Griller said:

I agree with MGoBBQ's comment about Cincinnati chili.

Yup. I saw a comment on that particular recipe page about the origin of Cincinnati chili that makes sense to me. I'm an Ohio kid raised out of state b/c my father was in the military as well. When I came to Ohio for college and met Cincinnati friends, they insisted I try this magnificent dish of chili from their home city.

 

I was not impressed. 

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Thank you...

 

for your service and sacrifice...

 

glad that everyone is safe and you are able to cook...

 

with it being yucky here, I'm going to give your meatball recipe a whirl over my mix of chili... i add beans and my TX roots are DEEP... to me it's not chili w/o beans... only way i've ever eaten it

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14 hours ago, JB58 said:

Thanks for what you do. The extreme cold could be the temp difference, have you checked on ordering lump through wally world or Lowes on line?

 

That’s exactly what I was thinking (extreme temp), until I blew out a chicken cook and pulled the dome thermometer off the grill to check it...the dang thing was nearly 50 degrees off. Thankfully they are quite easy to calibrate. 

 

I haven’t resorted to online lump ordering yet. Turns out that Lowe’s has gotten 18lb bags of Cowboy for 16 bucks, so that’ll do as a budget option I think. I also found a random food truck that sells 40 pound bags of Mexican Mesquite (?) lump for 40 bucks and an intriguing small bag of premium-priced Alaska Charcoal Company lump made from alder wood at 15 bucks for a 5 pound bag. I’m going to have to buy at least a bag of that for the novelty. I need to get some caribou or salmon for that cook...Alaskan protein cooked in Alaska on Alaskan charcoal. 

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