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QDman

Hello, My New Brothers and Sisters!

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My Kamado Joe Classic was just delivered! My gas grill finally died (after a long and fruitful life), and in searching for a replacement, I learned about Kamado grills. I've wanted to expand my meager grilling skills for a while now, and it seems that, with the Kamado, I can do just about anything. :)

 

It looks like there's a bit of a learning curve involved, so my plan is to move low and slow, picking up as much knowledge as I can while trying (and probably failing occasionally) to serve up some awesome dishes.

 

I appreciate everyone who is submitting to this forum, and hope to be able to contribute myself someday.

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Welcome, QDman, glad to have both you and your new Joe with us. I am an escapee from SoCal myself, and now live in AZ. There is a kamado learning curve but not a difficult one. Lots of folks turn out amazing cooks their first time up to the plate. The biggest difference from your gasser is that cooking on a kamado requires some knowledge about how to build and maintain a charcoal fire to achieve the cooking temps you want for a particular cook. Hint, it is all about air, and how much of it you feed your fire. My suggestion is to fill your fire box to the top and then light one fire starter cube or alcohol soaked cotton ball in the middle of your lump pile. (a big NO NO is the use of an oil based fire starter cubes or liquid,  as your ceramic components will pic up a chemical flavor from the vapors which come from  a non organic fire starter. I use BGE starter cubes, or Royal Oak tumble weeds) After about 5 minutes, close the dome and set your bottom vent to about an inch and a half, and your top vent to about a 1/4 inch. Then just sit back, have a beer, listen to music, and watch what happens over the next 45 min to an hour. This will give you a good idea of how your kamado works. If you want a moderate cooking heat cooking temp,  you need to start with a smallish fire and let it establish over time. If you make your fire too big by lighting too much charcoal or by  dumping a whole load of burning Lump from a chimney starter, you will jump right by moderate temps and go to higher heat.  The color of the smoke coming from your kamado will start out white and thickish, and then transition to an almost clear blue gray. 1st major rule is, don't put food on the grill while it is putting out white smoke, as you food with soak up an acrid, ashtray like flavor. Wait for the blue gray smoke. Have fun and enjoy your new KJ.  

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52 minutes ago, keeperovdeflame said:

Welcome, QDman, glad to have both you and your new Joe with us. I am an escapee from SoCal myself, and now live in AZ. ...

 

Thank you for the advice! Sounds like a great way to start.

 

I'm retiring in a few months, and one of the places we're considering is Flagstaff. Any thoughts about that area?

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39 minutes ago, QDman said:

 

I'm retiring in a few months, and one of the places we're considering is Flagstaff. Any thoughts about that area?

I am retired as well, and have been for the last 12 years. Flag is a beautiful place, about 7,000 ft. Temps during the summer are generally in the 70's and 80's during the day and rarely drop below 60 at night. Winter temps have avg highs in the 40's and 50's with lows in the teens and 20's. Snow can last most of the winter depending on the year. Nice views and housing sites, many in and around heavy Ponderosa Pine forests.  I live in Prescott which is about 125 miles from Flag. You can actually just see San Francisco Peaks in my cooking pic. Prescott town center is 5,300 ft high and we live at 5,800  ft about 5 miles from Court House square. Right now highs around Prescott can be in the mid 50's with nightly lows in the low to high 20's. Temp drops down into the teens do happen but not as regular as they do in Flag. We live in a Pinion / Juniper habitat but Prescott also has areas of nice thick Ponderosa forest. Lots of recent building in the area so probably more choice in where you live than in Flag. I would check out both Prescott and Flag, and would look at Sedona as well, although housing prices in Sedona can get pretty high. 

Heres some summer and winter pics of Prescott,  we got a record 22" in one snow last winter but it only lasted a couple of days. These pics are from my deck, neighborhood, and the downtown court house square lit for Christmas. The deer is just below my deck and cooking spot. Lot more rural here than where we lived in So Cal. 

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58 minutes ago, keeperovdeflame said:

I am retired as well, and have been for the last 12 years...

Thanks for the info and the gorgeous pics! :good:

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57 minutes ago, retfr8flyr said:

Welcome to the forum!

 

Thank you! I think I'm going to like it here.

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Welcome to the forum QDman and best of luck with the first cook!  The learning curve isn't too steep, I've never heard of anyone that didn't figure it out after watching some online videos. 

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26 minutes ago, BobE said:

Welcome to the forum QDman and best of luck with the first cook!  The learning curve isn't too steep, I've never heard of anyone that didn't figure it out after watching some online videos. 

 

Thanks, Bob. I think I'm just going to start with a good ribeye. I was reading about the reverse sear and thought that might be a good way to dip my toe in the water.

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