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Where do I go next?


pat28
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Hello fellow kamado addicts! 

 

I don't know about you, but come spring, I always have an urge to up my grilling game by purchasing a few nice add-ons for my KJ Classic to develop new techniques. This time, I believe I have reached the limits of my potential plans with the Classic based on the type of food I cook, and I am on the market to add an entirely different grill to my inventory. I would need some words of advice from you...

 

As I said above, I have owned a KJ Classic for about 10 years now, and I cook on it all year round, about 2 to 5 times a week. I have bought the JoeTisserie, the pizza stone, the divide and conquer grid system, a salt block, the cast iron reversible grids, as well as a very large and deep cast iron pan. I also have a deep dish pizza pan. I also have a sous-vide circulator and sometimes combine sous-vide with kamado grilling. I am not a fan of fish. Meat and vegetables remain my mainstays.

 

I have been looking into the Pellet Joe and the Kettle Joe. The latter is currently presented as an entry-level product to the world of kamado grilling. This is not an argument that can work for me. Will it do things my Classic does not? Or are other accessories you own and really love that you would recommend? Or would a different grill be a nice addition to my KJ? In other words, help me spend money on something great, please! Hahaha

 

I look forward to hearing from you soon! 

 

Patrick

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If you want something different, have you thought about getting a griddle? I have the Camp Chef Flat Top 600 and I use it almost as much as my KJ and Traeger grills. There are lots of things that just cook great on a griddle.

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If you are looking to add an entirely different grill, why bother with the pellet joe or the kettle joe?  There is really nothing different about those than what you have now. 

 

If you wanna up your game......

 

20210312_171114.jpg

 

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Just sayin....  You can have this for less than the Pellet Joe.  

 

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Yea.. .I had the Ooni 3 and i gave it away.   That was a bit of a joke but yea.. it could cook a pizza.  Having to feed it pellets constantly made for some rather sooty pizzas on a lot of occasions.

 

At least get the Roccbox if you want a small pizza oven that can't do a lot more than pizza :)

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I knew I would get some inspiration with you people here! Paela pan, Ooni and now Alfa pizza oven... hmmm. I love them all. I have looked into the Ooni Pro (it so happens to be sold by a completely unexpected retailer just down the street from my home). Now the Alfa is on my radar for sure John! 

 

It may be worth noting that I absolutely love homemade pizza, and that saving on restaurant pizza has been one of the main arguments I have been using to convince friends to buy the Kamado Joe. But I can see how an official pizza oven could be a superb addition to my arsenal. I like the fact that the Alfa comes with its rollaround stand. I was considering making one for the Ooni in the first place. 

 

Now on to more research! 

 

Thank you all SO much for your advice! 

 

Cheers! 

 

Patrick

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I agree with @John Setzlerthat the ooni is a one-trick-pony and is pretty much limited to pizza. Ooni does claim that their ovens are more versatile, but they are on the small side (the Oono Karu, which is what I have, can’t handle anything bigger than a 12” pizza) and have a pretty short (height-wise) “mouth”). I can’t comment on pellet-fed soot issues, since the Karu is wood/coal-fed or gas-fed, with an optional propane burner. I don’t have soot problems with either wood/lump or gas (obviously, for the latter).

 

when I bought the ooni.m, I did not have space for a full-blown wfo. So, I had to accept the limitations of a portable/table-top unit. My household is just two people, so I can live with the 12” max pizza size of the Karu and the convenience of being ready to go within 15 minutes of firing up the Karu, as opposed to an hour for a full-blown wfo, especially for just one pizza per cook. If I were feeding a larger family or regularly hosting pizza parties, I’d probably go another route than an ooni or similar unit. 
 

all this being said, I must say that the ooni makes a dang good pizza!
 

balancing your needs, lifestyle, space, budget, etc. is all part of the equation

 

good luck and keep us posted!
 

 

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2 hours ago, pat28 said:

I knew I would get some inspiration with you people here! Paela pan, Ooni and now Alfa pizza oven... hmmm. I love them all. I have looked into the Ooni Pro (it so happens to be sold by a completely unexpected retailer just down the street from my home). Now the Alfa is on my radar for sure John! 

 

It may be worth noting that I absolutely love homemade pizza, and that saving on restaurant pizza has been one of the main arguments I have been using to convince friends to buy the Kamado Joe. But I can see how an official pizza oven could be a superb addition to my arsenal. I like the fact that the Alfa comes with its rollaround stand. I was considering making one for the Ooni in the first place. 

 

Now on to more research! 

 

Thank you all SO much for your advice! 

 

Cheers! 

 

Patrick

 

The stand is optional.  You can get it without that and put it on your on stand or table.

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Yeah, I agree with John, the WFO is a great way to go if you want something different. I do not have one yet, but my buddy in Nor Cal cooks primarily on a WFO and with his wood burning outdoor fire place. He cooks every thing you can imagine in the WFO using cast iron pan, dishes, trays ,  and such. The guy is actually an amazing chef though he has never worked in the food industry. He also cooks on the hearth in front of his fire place and on often does steaks, pork, and lamb chops, along with fish on grates he had made that sit on the floor of the fire place. He also had a hook made to fit on his mantle from which he hangs a string with a skewer tied to the end. He suspends large cuts like leg of lamb, whole turkey and chicken, prime rib, etc so they spin on the string above a cast iron pan set on the hearth. Guests drink wine and enjoy cheese and olives and such while every once in a while giving what ever he is cook a spin. Basically making the set up  a hanging rotisserie.  He banks the fire like it is so the heat project out to cook what ever is hung in front of it. He says it is an primitive French cooking method. He often fills the pan with root veggies to catch the drippings. 

 

Here are some pics of his set up and the last dinner we had up there. if you look real close you can see the hook I told you about in the center of the mantle.he also uses that long handled pan to roast nut, olives, scallops, Brussel sprouts, etc. 

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IMG_0090.thumb.JPG.9121b2e42649fae5812b254b7d112972.JPG

 

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19 minutes ago, keeperovdeflame said:

 He also cooks on the hearth in front of his fire place and on often does steaks, pork, and lamb chops, along with fish on grates he had made that sit on the floor of the fire place. He also had a hook made to fit on his mantle from which he hangs a string with a skewer tied to the end. He suspends large cuts like leg of lamb, whole turkey and chicken, prime rib, etc so they spin on the string above a cast iron pan set on the hearth.

 

 

That's awesome.  This is the kind of cooking that separates the haves from the have-nots when it comes to cooking skills.  In the social media barbecue community, folks fret over a few degrees of temperature inaccuracy or stability... or a few puffs of 'bad smoke'... 

 

I guess I should come out and say right away before someone gets upset....

 

IF YOU NEED PRECISION TEMPERATURES AND PRECISION CONTROL OF THE COOKING ENVIRONMENT, A WOOD FIRED OVEN IS NOT FOR YOU.

 

Fair enough?  lol....

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9 hours ago, Chris Topher said:

I agree with @John Setzlerthat the ooni is a one-trick-pony and is pretty much limited to pizza.
 

 

Not the Pro which has more than enough space....I have done two half-chickens, steaks, pans of veggies and a lot more.  Agree that the smaller ones are designed as portable pizza ovens though.  That is their niche.

 

That said, a lot of the "other" tricks wood-fired ovens can do, are also easily done in a Kamado or other Qs, so in the end, I would say MOST people use them for mostly pizza anyways.  Not many other things require 900 degree temps.

 

If I had a big yard and planned to stay there a long time, I would probably have a larger WFO though...just because.  Also seasonal...too cold a lot of the year to use as well...though I have pulled out the Ooni a couple times when the grandkids wanted a pizza night.  

 

While the Pro is a little heavy to be easily portable, I leave it on a shelf in the garage, and move it out to a small table when I use it.

 

I use Gas mostly now, and sometime charcoal/hardwood.  Pellets are a PITA.

 

Example...

 

image.thumb.png.7d5671441932ad48830506d8c30db961.png

 

...and it does an amazing pizza too....

 

image.thumb.png.73e69227d70b677ba9392cbe6057509f.png

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Hi again fellow bbq fans! 

 

So, after much research, here is where I am landed. I first thought of buying a portable pizza oven, but after considering the space I have on and around the patio, I chose to shoot for a permanent unit. 

 

Unfortunately, there are no local Alfa dealers in my area, and ordering this type of specialized equipment from afar makes me feel somewhat uneasy. There seem to be a few other quality brands out there, one of which is available from a retailer just down the street from where I live. That's Clementi pizza ovens.

 

I am an avid woodworker, so I intend to buy a countertop unit and build the stand/table to size. I intend to go with the smallest of three Pulcinella models (the countertop version is called "Family"). It is the right size to cook 2 pizzas simultaneously, which should be fine for a family of 4. 

 

I really, really appreciate the advice I got from you all, and definitely look forward to pestering you with questions in the near future. 

 

Cheers! 

 

Patrick

 

P.S. And by the way, the paela pan is still on my radar. And as I am not particularly known for my patience when it comes to waiting for new projects to start, it should be purchased very soon. :-)

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