So just bought my first KJ Classic II. Coming over from a Traeger. (Sold it) But was wondering how low of a temp can you achieve with the KJ without the fire going out. I bout the FireBoard and fan system to go with it. Delivery is tomorrow and want to get cooking. First burn though is just going to be charcoal, no food. Just messing with vents to see how it reacts to things. In the mean time, I read and dream of all the delicious food that is to come..
This is one of my favorite burgers to make at home. Super simple and packed full of flavor.
- 1 pound 80/20 beef
- Your favorite bacon
- Pepper jack cheese
- Buns of your choosing
- Burger/steak seasoning
- 1/2 cup Mayo
- 4 Chipotle peppers with sauce
- 1 tablespoon Tobacco
Form 4 meatballs and smash them on the grill, we're making a double stack. Cook until you get. a good crust, flip and cover with cheese. Top with bacon, jalapeños, and place on bun with spicy sauce and enjoy!
Which temperature controller do you like?
Greetings Man Cave Family and welcome to a new week... It's a holiday week so my personal intent is to be fairly lazy this week. The new FireBoard 2 Drive that I bought from Atlanta Grill Company arrived on Sunday so I have been playing around and experimenting with that a little yesterday and today. I have had the original FireBoard for a while and can see some significant improvements in this one compared to the original.
The two significant improvements I see right off the bat are the heft/durability of the control unit and the heft/durability of the fan. The main reason I didn't like the original FireBoard was because you needed to spend an extra $55 to get the weatherproof case that was NEEDED for more than just weatherproofing. The original FireBoard was just too small and lightweight to connect temperature probes and have it sit where you put it without having to deal with it falling, moving, and ending up somewhere else on its own. This new control unit is larger and heavier with a pseudo-rubberized case that will help it stay in place wherever you choose to set it.
The FireBoard is the 'my precious' for the OCD griller. I think out of all the controllers I have, THIS one has the most bells and whistles in terms of showing you the data. The FireBoard can monitor six different temperature probes at once. For those six probes, it can show you the current temp, peak high, peak low, and average via actual numbers or through a graph display. You also have the ability to set conditional temperature alarms on each probe. The alarms can be configured to sound on the device itself, through the app, email, or text messaging. The FireBoard also gives you the ability to set additional conditions on those alerts being sounded such as a wait period before sending the alert and how often to repeat the alert. You have the ability to put a name label on each probe so you can know what that probe is doing just by its name in the app. All of this data is accessible via the app or through a web browser. You also have full control of the device through either of those methods.
The FireBoard Drive 2 has an internal rechargeable battery that gets charged via a provided USB-C cable and AC adapter. This gives you the ability to run your device without having to drag a power cable to the grill. You can also power the device with a USB battery connected via that same USB-C port on the device. The USB-C cable that comes in the package has the standard male USB-C connector on both ends. That's gonna keep you from using that cable without an adapter to run the FireBoard from a battery. You will need a different cable or an adapter to make that process work unless you have a USB battery that has a USB-C output.
One of my favorite features with the FireBoard is the ability to set the maximum fan speed from the app. The FireBoard fan is a 20cfm fan. That's nice if you have a huge smoker. I'm mostly a Kamado grill guy. Even with the larger Kamado grills, you just never need 20cfm of fan output to get the job done. During my testing so far, I have used the app to set my fan to run no faster than 20% of it's maximum speed. So I'm really maxing my fan out at about 4cfm. It's working perfectly as you can see in the graph samples I have attached here. Making the controller stable on a Kamado is also dependent on having the top vent set properly, and that just comes from experience.
Every cook session you create with the FireBoard is saved in the cloud and accessible via the app or web browser. You can go back and review the data from those cooks very simply. You can also delete those sessions from the cloud on a one-by-one basis if you choose.
The DRIVE PROGRAMS in the FireBoard app are also quite useful. You can create multi-stage cooks where your cooking parameters change based on time or temperature readings. For example, You can create a program that will run your grill at a specific temperature and and then change the temperature after a specified amount of time OR when one of your meat probes reaches a certain temperature. I haven't played with these settings very much yet, but I have used similar programming on my pellet grill.
So, as you can see, I like a lot of things about the FireBoard. There are, however, two specific things I would love to see improved.
#1 - I want to be able to configure my set temps for the pit and the meat probes directly from the device itself without the use of the app. I personally believe that a touch-screen version of this device that included that functionality would be the holy grail of pit controllers.
#2 - This device, much like the original, needs a stand or holder with a magnetic mount that allows me to set the device upright so it can be seen from a distance. These screens on the FireBoard 2 Drive display some nice large numbers. Its unfortunate that you still have to be standing right by the device to see those. I am guessing that there will be another $50 case/stand/holder made available for this one in the near future.
Since I am running two Kamado grills regularly, I am going to use the FireBoard 2 Drive exclusively on one of those for the next few months. If I run into anything noteworthy that I haven't mentioned here, I will post about it again in the future.
I paid $249 for the FireBoard Drive 2. I paid $59 for the FireBoard Drive 20CFM fan. I recommend buying a few of the FireBoard probe wire managers for storing the probe wires. I haven't bought those yet but I intend to get some on the way immediately.
I don't know how long the Fireboard 2 Drive will run on a single full battery charge. I'm not even sure that I'm personally concerned with that since I can run it with an external battery
The difference between the FireBoard 2 Thermometer and the FireBoard 2 Drive thermometer is the latter has the built-in ability to run the fan. If you buy the FireBoard 2 Thermometer, you can add fan capability to it by purchasing the $79 FireBoard Drive Fan Control Cable.
I got Irving Farms to cut for me two Berkshire side pork roasts to be in range of 1.39 to 1.58 kg. I let them know I was going to use it for making bacon so they removed skin for me and sold for same price I was quoted. I am following basic recipe with same tile in book Project Smoke. For sugar portion I used maple sugar and cure was FS1, and instead of using ziplock bags I vacuum sealed each pork side side after applying brine to each side and placed remaining brine into each bag and distributed it before sealing. Once curing done in 6 days, I will rinse well with water, pat dry and then air dry in refrigerator for 12 hours and then I will smoke for 4 hours. I meantime I and turning over at least twice every day.
Cooking my first brisket on the KJ Classic 2 and had a lot of trouble with thick white smoke. My process below, if anybody can help me find the mistake it would be much appreciated!
- Loaded KJ with Jealous Devil lump charcoal and mix ~5-7 oak log chunks of medium (?) size. Logs were highly likely kiln dried but I did get them in firewood-like logs from a meat market vs the mass distro grocery store/home improvement bags
- Used Royal Oak starters and got the lump lit for about 15 minutes, then a couple of the oak chunks caught and I got a decent fire.
- Closed the top but opened the vent fully to try to let it smoke out and carbonize. Temp jumped pretty quickly to about 350 so I choked it back and got it stable around 260 but the thick white smoke continued for a solid 45+ minutes at which point I had no choice but to start the meat
- White smoke continued for another hour+ after this, albeit it didnt billow out quite as aggressively. This went on for a couple of hours at least which seemed like an excessively long time.