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Smoke from grease... Yuck!


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Hi Everyone, it's been a while since I was on here... good to see there's so many kamado enthusiasts still around.

 

One thing I've become more cognisant of is the gross taste produced when grease burns on the charcoal. Burgers are the worst for this. From my understanding, it's due to the oxygen starved fire inside the kamado. Tonight's burgers were borderline inedible. 

 

This is never an issue when cooking non-greasy food like chicken breasts or pizzas. I'm on to my 2nd Akorn now with many 100s of cooks under my belt, and have years of experience lighting fires, maintaining temps, so it's not a fire problem, just a grease taste problem.

 

Does anyone notice this, and if so how do they get around it? I'm almost at the point where I'm thinking I need to start using a drip pan to catch all the grease so it doesn't hit the coals. I've also considered really limiting my charcoal (fuel) so I can increase the oxygen. This might more fully combust the grease with less acrid byproducts.

 

If there are other ideas, I'm all ears! Thanks everyone!

 

Edit: I've been using Xylo lump charcoal from Costco. Though it has many great reviews I feel like this has been contributing to the problem. I've done a few slow and lows that tasted a little more "chemically" than my usual blue bag Royal Oak lump. 

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Agree.  Some people like it, but I am in the dislike camp.   I tend to do smashburgers on the steel instead of flame broiled where it drips, indirect cooks (spatchcock chicken with drip-trays underneath etc).  Brisket and pulled pork are always over pans.  You can also use much leaner cuts of meat to avoid too much fat dripping, but I love my fatty cuts, dark chicken etc.

 

The clean burning smoke flavor alone is more than enough for us without adding flare ups.

 

When I MUST do direct cooks (like doing 10 burgers at once etc), I raise the coals higher up on the D&C rack in the charcoal basket, and cook with the lid open...

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10 hours ago, SmallBBQr said:

Agree.  Some people like it, but I am in the dislike camp.   I tend to do smashburgers on the steel instead of flame broiled where it drips, indirect cooks (spatchcock chicken with drip-trays underneath etc).  Brisket and pulled pork are always over pans.  You can also use much leaner cuts of meat to avoid too much fat dripping, but I love my fatty cuts, dark chicken etc.

 

The clean burning smoke flavor alone is more than enough for us without adding flare ups.

 

When I MUST do direct cooks (like doing 10 burgers at once etc), I raise the coals higher up on the D&C rack in the charcoal basket, and cook with the lid open...

 

Good call on raising the rack. I had been considered doing the half direct half indirect approach with a drip pan under the indirect side but I didn't like the loss of space for big cooks. Your solution completely solves that issue.

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On 2/11/2021 at 11:17 PM, JoeSchmoe said:

Hi Everyone, it's been a while since I was on here... good to see there's so many kamado enthusiasts still around.

 

One thing I've become more cognisant of is the gross taste produced when grease burns on the charcoal. Burgers are the worst for this. From my understanding, it's due to the oxygen starved fire inside the kamado.

 

Interesting topic. I don't think that the higher temps employed to cook burgers can be classified as oxygen starved. Most burgers I cook are pretty much with either vents or lid wide open

 

On 2/12/2021 at 12:02 AM, SmallBBQr said:

Agree.  Some people like it, but I am in the dislike camp...  ... ...

 

Hmmm... only some? Perhaps this is an international thing as appears from the responses thus far. The title was somewhat deceiving in my mind. I expected a discussion on heavy amounts of brisket or pork butts fats over low temps hitting the coals. However, high temps and the relatively minute amounts of fat produced by burgers is a non-issue for the over-whelming majority of US cooks.

 

I have never known or seen a backyard or park grill utilizing a drip pan. Unheard of.

Edited by CentralTexBBQ
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Vents wide open? What temps do you cook you burgers at? 700-800F is not burger cooking temperature. Unless maybe you're okay with a less than well done burger, which I refuse to do with store bought ground.

 

My target range for burgers is 400F. To keep the temps from getting away, you need to limit (starve) the system of oxygen.

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no well done burgers unless I'm totally distracted here. the wide open vents does not necessarily mean both at one time. Statement was made just to illustrate the fact that there is no oxygen starved fire as mentioned above. It is of no concern when cooking at high temps. It is an oxygen rich environment otherwise you couldn't reach the 350º's or above.

 

Edited by CentralTexBBQ
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