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SPORO

Advice on Getting Started

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I just ordered a KJ Classic II over the weekend, and I am beyond excited to start learning and cooking on it when it arrives! I have heard that one should do a few "dry runs" where you heat the grill up without any food before cooking on it. When I was looking at different kamado brands in person, one sales rep told me it was necessary to "set" the ceramic or something like that by heating it up to a few hundred degrees for at least 30 minutes before trying to cook anything on it. I'm honestly a bit skeptical of that claim, but I'm also new to this style of grill, and since it's a significant investment, I obviously want to treat it well and take care of it so that I can enjoy cooking with it for years to come. Anyway, sorry for rambling. I'm looking forward to any advice and suggestions on getting my grill set up and cooking once it arrives! Suggestions on what to cook first also welcome! My wife and I were talking about it the other day and were a bit undecided. Thanks in advance!

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No need for a “burn in” and no idea what that fellow was trying to tell you. But a dry run is a good idea to get used to the vent settings, playing with charcoal, etc. There are like a jillion videos on this site and YouTube and Kamado Joe that show the basics. So load up and light some coal, sit back with a frosty beverage, and play. Or just cook! 

 

For a first cook try pulled pork. It’s forgiving, tasty and will get you schooled on vent settings. 

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1 hour ago, SPORO said:

 by heating it up to a few hundred degrees for at least 30 minutes before trying to cook anything on it.

That is usually how long it takes me to get my grill up to cooking temperatures, and I've had mine for 3 years.

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Hi 

If you have never owned a kamado before it is a good idea to have a dry run and play with the vent settings just to get used to how the kamado behaves and see how far you need to open each vent for different temperatures. You can start low and work your way through the different temperatures then at the end when you are up in the high temps either Sear a steak or add another pizza stone and cook a pizza. Good luck and enjoy your purchase. 

 

P. S. Actually don't add a pizza stone it may crack due to being added to a hot grill Sear some steaks 

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In rereading your post I think the sales rep was saying you should heat sink the ceramic whenever you cook. And for low and slow cooks that is true. It’s always better to let the fire settle in and the ceramic get heat soaked before starting a six or 10 hour cook. 

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37 minutes ago, LargeRedJoe said:

In rereading your post I think the sales rep was saying you should heat sink the ceramic whenever you cook. And for low and slow cooks that is true. It’s always better to let the fire settle in and the ceramic get heat soaked before starting a six or 10 hour cook. 

Maybe, but I don't really think so. He specifically said "The first time you use it..."
Granted he was trying to sell me a Big Green Egg since that's what they stock at his store, but I think he just misspoke somehow

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PUT SOME DUBS ON DAT BI...

 

wait... thats not right...

 

do a butt...

 

I LIKE BIG BUTTS AND I CANNOT LIE

 

youll dig everything about the ceramic... sending positive BBQ joojoo your way...

 

most important rule is

 

HAVE FUN!

 

there are SO many people here that have crap-loads of info that they GIVE away for free!

 

ask questions, experiment, and move on... every 'failure' (and there will be some) is an education based activity that can be enjoyed by the whole family!

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19 hours ago, TexasBlues said:

ask questions, experiment, and move on... every 'failure' (and there will be some) is an education based activity that can be enjoyed by the whole family!

 

As far as I’m concerned, there are very few real failures. It might not look perfect, or you might have to scrape off some burnt parts and serve the rest. Most times, the failures are gobbled up without even noticing. It’s like landing a plane - as long as all three wheels touch the ground, it’s a safe landing

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On 4/22/2019 at 8:31 PM, SPORO said:

Maybe, but I don't really think so. He specifically said "The first time you use it..."
Granted he was trying to sell me a Big Green Egg since that's what they stock at his store, but I think he just misspoke somehow

OK, then this info on First-Timer Tips from the BGE site may be a clue (and AFAIK is specific to only BGE):

 

Quote

DO NOT cook at high temperatures on your first use

This may damage the gasket before the adhesives can cure. Keep the temperature on your first few cooks under 350°F / 177°C to allow the gasket adhesive to fully cure and adhere to the EGG. If you do happen to damage the gasket, you can easily replace it with a self-adhesive high temperature replacement gasket available from any BGE dealer.

 

 

 

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Hope you enjoy it as much as i do mine. Look at John setzler videos on using the grill, lots of good advice there.  To "break in " i used a slab of baby backs. Light a small fire i use two cotton balls soaked in 91% alcohol, let coals start to catch with lid open for about 5 to 10 min add deflector plate and grills. Watch dome temp at about 150 to 175 close vents to 1/2 inch top and 3/4 inch bottom. watch temp closely. May take some playing with vents to keep steady temp but make slow changes. Wait for heavy dense smoke to stop. I keep a notebook on what i did and vent settings, i'm new to this. Or you can not use ribs and experiment with it, and play with the vents to see what they do.  One last thing the dome thermometer does not read grill grate temp 

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