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pat28

Kamado soapstone or cast iron?

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Hey kamado fans! 

 

I just upgraded my 5 y.o. Classic Joe setup to the Divide and Conquer cooking system. I got the two half grates and then decided to give the cast iron a try. I bought a half cast iron grid and was amazed at the smash burgers I made the same night. Now, I am wondering. Do I buy the other half cast iron, or else do I go with a half soapstone? I would like to hear from those of you who own those, snd also would like to know what you cook with them.

 

Thanks for the input and advice!

 

Pat

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4 minutes ago, pat28 said:

Hey kamado fans! 

 

I just upgraded my 5 y.o. Classic Joe setup to the Divide and Conquer cooking system. I got the two half grates and then decided to give the cast iron a try. I bought a half cast iron grid and was amazed at the smash burgers I made the same night. Now, I am wondering. Do I buy the other half cast iron, or else do I go with a half soapstone? I would like to hear from those of you who own those, snd also would like to know what you cook with them.

 

Thanks for the input and advice!

 

Pat

 

Moving this to the Kamado Joe section....

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I have both the cast iron and the soapstone cooking surfaces for my Classic I. Not that I regret buying the cast iron, the soapstone gets more use. I typically use the soapstone for fish (shrimp, salmon, halibut) and steaks. Easy cleanup, either in the sink or just flip for each cook to burn off the funk and gunk.

 

if I were to do it again, I would skip the cast iron and get a big cast iron skillet, with the two short handles rather than a long handle (or lop off the long handle), for versatility. The skillet could go in the kamado, in the oven, on the stove, etc. Of course the half-moon CI could do the same, but why??

 

Smash burgers should come out great on the soapstone!

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I'm finding it best to use soapstone at lower temperatures with a smaller fire than either cast iron or direct grilling on the grate. Cast iron gives me great color, but sometimes too much and only on one side. CI doesn't hold the heat like soapstone. 

 

I use the fire box divider so the fire is under the soapstone. Start a small fire, because it's easy to add fuel with the grate removed. I stabilize at 300-350 F, and use the center 2/3 of the surface. I just did some choice-grade steaks, cooked 1 min on stone/1 min off per side, repeating until done. It took three rounds to reach 116 F internal, which stopped at 135 F after resting. Meat was buttery, among the best I've had anywhere. 

 

Damn, have I become a steak snob*.

 

Frank

 

* Are you a snob if you won't order a dish because you can make it better than the restaurant?

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1 hour ago, fbov said:

I just did some choice-grade steaks, cooked 1 min on stone/1 min off per side, repeating until done.

 

Oh, dang!  I’m so dense…and it’s early AM.

 

I’m sorry, I don’t follow those instructions. It looks to me as though you’re using this sequence–

  • Side A on the soapstone for one minute
  • Side A on the grate for one minute
  • Side B on the soapstone for one minute
  • Side B on the grate for one minute

The steak won’t be done…so repeat–

  • Side A on the soapstone for one minute
  • Side A on the grate for one minute
  • Side B on the soapstone for one minute
  • Side B on the grate for one minute

Again, the steak won’t be done…so repeat until the steak is at the desired internal temperature.

 

But I have the feeling that I’m reading it wrong.  Am I?

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I just recalled that you responded to my same question in another thread.  After quite a bit of tedious searching–

https://www.kamadoguru.com/topic/41604-the-dreaded-overcook/?tab=comments#comment-522969

 

You wrote, “I use the 1 on/1 off cycle... one minute on the cooking grate to sear, one minute off the grate to rest, flip, and repeat until it's done to your liking (depending on thickness), or you like the sear and can move to low heat to finish.”

 

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I saw Curtis Stone cook an aged tomahawk steak on TV, and the on/off the fire process just made sense. 

"... you cook it slowly, but you need to cook it over a high heat … those things do not go together."

 

Keep in mind that I'm using a fire bowl divider so there's no fire under the grate, only under the stone. When I take them off the stone, I put the steaks on the far side of the grate. It's about 300 F on the dome thermometer, but with the lid up so much, there's not a lot of hot air.

 

The only trick is that carryover cooking depends on when you temp them; fresh off the stone I'll take them off 5 F cooler because they're going to rise farther. I'm checking a lot near then end. I thought 116 F was too low to pull it... but resting it made 135 F. 

 

I'm also tying string around them, to plump them up. Thicker is better in some cases. Use your judgement, too. If there's enough sear, stop putting them on the stone. 

 

Have fun,

Frank

Edited by fbov

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