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Jose Andres Zapata

New Saffire Platinum 19"

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A little background first.


In planning our bbq area, the goal was to create a more casual cooking environment and not necessarily create another "kitchen". Once that was decicded, I debated between going with a "Santa Maria" / Argentinian type grill or a Kamado. My wife's request was that it was kept clean... that was a minus for an open grill. We also know that we get a steady breeze 24/7, that also was another minus for an open grill. So we decided on the Kamado and could not be happier. In one month since installing it we have made different types of cooks, from low and slow ribs to high / fast pizza. All great!


Deciding on a grill.


Right off the bat I decided against the BGE... sorry but not a fan of the color, I know shallow but aesthetics play a part of the experience. I like the KJ of which the feature I like the most is the hinge. I kept researching and found the Saffire, Platinum version. The features I like the most and possibly over the the KJ are the all stainless steel parts on the exterior, with lifetime warranty. The handle, the ring straps, hinge springs and top cap are all stainless steel. Also a major deciding point was the Crucible Firebox. It is made of Firebrick instead of ceramic and according to their literature is rated 1000° higher. It is also modular, so you can replace the piece that cracks and not the entire firebox. Similar to the KJ but with a higher temp rating. And the blue color with with the stainless steel looks great too!


The Saffire.


Having made the decision, I was lucky that it was right around Black Friday. So I bought it at a 20% discount, no taxes and free shipping. Could not pass on that opportunity. The grill arrived about 1.5 later...which I thought was fairly quick for ground shipping from Ill.  It was shipped very well packed on top of a small wood palate. The box itself was heavy duty honeycombed corrugated cardboard.



Assembly was quite easy. The dome and hinge came attached. I only had to attach the handle ( tool provided), the cap which is a slip on, and unpack the grills and heat deflector. Slip the Firebox and charcoal basket into place. Speaking of the basket, it was another deciding factor. It made more sense to me vs. the KJ plate. It seems to me the plate has a potential to hold more ash, and I have noticed that KJ is now selling a basket.


First Firing.


Here is a photo with all the pieces and place and first firing. You can see the firebrick of the fire box is a lighter color than the body ceramics. I would say that it is probably lighter than ceramic as well.

I used Cowboy charcoal that I picked up at Walmart. I used the Tumbleweeds starters from Royal Oak, which I love. Inexpensive and do get the fire going.




There is a frame that sits on top of the fire box. It holds the heat deflectors in place, at the lowest level. The grills, you can place at two different heights, at the top of the fire box or higher at the top of the lower body.




The First Cook.


I decided to go with with a pair of Tri-Tips. I fired the grill up and let it come up for temperature. Being a newbie, I made the mistake of letting it heat up too much (600*-700*... I had trouble bringing the temperature down. But went with it.




The final result....They look great. A bit overcooked for my taste but ok for my wife. They were still juicy, even reheating them on the stove... they were juicy.




Off and running with the Kamado bug!

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