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Help me out of the dog house


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Hey guys. Ok so I have had my Kamado Joe Classic for two months. So far I have burnt myself, the grass, and broken one of the ceramic heating plates. I have persisted and have gotten much better. My wife's birthday is this Friday and she has requested pulled pork taco's. I've got my pork shoulder ready, as well as my rub. She has complained in the past about tasting too much charcoal. So I have tried to let the fire go for a good 70-80 mins before putting the meat on. We had an argument today about when the wood chips go on. From what I have read, you light the fire, let everything stay open for 10 minutes so it can catch, then you put your setup in (ceramic plate and wood chips) and open up the vents slowly monitoring until you reach your desired temp of smoking pork which is 225-250. Then you wait for 60 mins and put the meat on. She says you aren't supposed to put the wood chips on until ten minutes before the meat goes on. But that's how I screwed up last time. I had to take out a 500 degree plate and I dropped it and broke it. Can someone please give me a step-by-step procedure regarding how to do this on Friday? Like I said, I have my rub, I've done this before. 

 

Thanks.

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3 hours ago, Donnie_Brasco_9 said:

... So far I have.... I have persisted ...

That's the only important part!

 

3 hours ago, Donnie_Brasco_9 said:

She has complained in the past about tasting too much charcoal.

Mine, too. I have to use good oak charcoal or she'll notice. 

 

3 hours ago, Donnie_Brasco_9 said:

We had an argument today about when the wood chips go on.

This might be part of the problem. Chips, chunks and logs all have a place in one's smoking repertoire. Long, low and slow cooking wants chunks or logs (too much in your case). You might even leave it out, given the quote above. 

 

3 hours ago, Donnie_Brasco_9 said:

From what I have read, you light the fire, let everything stay open for 10 minutes so it can catch, then you put your setup in (ceramic plate and wood chips) and open up the vents slowly monitoring until you reach your desired temp of smoking pork which is 225-250. Then you wait for 60 mins and put the meat on.

You can, but I don't any longer. 

- I use a chimney and light a lot of fuel to blazing, then dump it on a bed of fuel so it's the "cap" of a mound. 

- Weak smoke just needs a few chunks around the edge of the burning fuel. I only use chips in electric smokers. 

- Place deflectors, water pan and grates in the grill. Set vents half open. 

- I no longer preheat the grill; food goes on right away. Chimney starter eliminates "bad" white smoke. 

- Once I see ~200F, I shut vents to historically-based low-n-slow setting and wait to see how it stabilizes.

 

There's a lot to recommend in a long warm up, but I find it hard to tell when the evil white smoke of an immature fire is gone. You need a mature fire to avoid a very strong smoke taste I find inedible. Using a chimney has eliminated the problem for me.

 

4 hours ago, Donnie_Brasco_9 said:

Can someone please give me a step-by-step procedure

I can tell you mine, but lots of other approaches work, too... Persist until you find one you like. 

 

Stay well,

Frank

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Chips would easily burn out within 10 minutes.

 

If your going to use chips put them on seconds before you put your meat on.

 

Wood type matters as they have different smokiness.

 

If your deflector plate is crack/split it going to be letting more charcoal flavor though the crack.

 

Get some heat proof gloves, as their not expensive and you be able to hold the deflector plate no problem. (unless your cooking pizza.)

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If you want more subtle flavor, as mentioned, leave out the wood chunks/chips all together.

 

Alternatively, place them UNDERNEATH the charcoal.  Light your lump as normal and let it come to temperature and settle in.  The fire will burn DOWN towards the oxygen source (the bottom) and slowly consume the lump with a cleaner burn.

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4 hours ago, willys1 said:

... charcoal alone provides plenty of smoke flavor ...

Very true, but you can still get in the too-smokey dog house depending on the base wood used to make the charcoal. 

 

I have some Frontier-brand fuel that's made from mesquite. It brings mesquite flavor to everything you cook, from a 225F brisket to Neopolitan pizza at 850F. That's why I specifically suggested oak-based fuel, as that seems to be a very neutral-flavor wood that's readily available. 

 

Stay well,

Frank

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The wife wants pork tacos? Make her happy....

 

Carnitas are easy, they'll have the subtle char and smoke flavor, but will be infused with citrus, herbs, beer, lots of stuff.

 

https://www.weber.com/US/en/recipes/pork/pork-carnitas/weber-11705.html

 

Great recipe, easy to make, packed with flavor. Uses "Country Style Ribs", ie butts sliced up thick.

 

Be sure to have lots of fresh toppings available. Chopped onions, guac, cilantro, thin sliced cabbage, corn and wheat tortillas (and grill the tortillas to a slight char to warm them). Lime wedges, salsas. 

 

Make it a party. Hell, it's her birthday. Go all out. 

 

 

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Stick with mild smoking wood. Pecan is excellent on pork.

 

Bury a couple of chunks about half fist size in with your charcoal but position it away from where you'll light the charcoal so they won't burn until some hours later into the smoke. Just a few inches from the center where you'll light.

 

Light your charcoal in the center, then with the lid open let it go until the flame burns out. 

 

Place your deflector plates in the low position, close the lid, and let the grill get to a steady 225. There should be little or no smoke coming out of the chimney.

 

You sound clumsy (just teasing) and this is the dangerous part so be careful and go buy some Blue Fire gloves for next time. Open your lid, take your ash tool in hand and use it to carefully pry one of your deflectors plates up from the outside edge. If you had a pair of Blue Fire gloves, this is where you would grab the deflector with the glove on and set it aside somewhere safer than your lawn (I use a paver). Since it doesn't sound like you have gloves (get some) just use the ash tool to balance the plate on its straight edge while with your other hand you drop one to two more half fist size chunks directly on the burning coals in the middle. It's okay if you miss the pile, just do your best and don't try to fix it if you miss, you're in a precarious enough situation as it is thanks to your lack of good gloves. 

 

Now carefully lower the plate back into position with the ash tool. Take 3-4 small balls of tin foil and set them on the plates. Set your empty drip pan on the tin foil balls so there's an air gap between the pan and the plates. Put your grill grates into the top position and close the lid. 

 

Go grab your meat and put it on the grill. Babysit your grill for the next hour or two as it comes back to temp and stabilizes. Leave the vents exactly as they were before the meat was on and only adjust if it doesn't slowly climb back up to temperature over 20-30 minutes. 

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My wife is not a fan of much smoke at all - so sometimes I will do pulled pork with zero wood. Just the charcoal.

 

She likes it better that way and it still tastes awesome. 

 

Sometimes, you just don't need smoke.

 

Strangely though, smoked salmon is one of her favourite things.

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Someone with more talent than I (long list) please make s song from the title of this thread to the tune of take me out to the ballgame. And post it, of course. 

This is what I think every time I read it. 

Help me out of the Dog House! 

Help me out to be free... 

 

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