By Braai Joe
Hello from Melbourne, Australia!
Being a South African I've grown up grilling (braaing we call it) on open wood and charcoal fires - it's a national past time and something just in our DNA! After much reading I decided to add to the versatility and go for a BIG JOE!
Just a note to introduce and also to give a huge shout out to all the members who's contributions have been invaluable in making the decision and ensuring that the bug has bitten! John Setzler, ckreef, Jack., keeperovdeflame, KismetKamado, Ben S etc. you are all an awesome source of knowledge, tips and ideas.
And - 1st steaks were great, but the whole chicken next was out of this world.
Very excited to get stuck into it and "braai" on my Joe!
Hello from the West Coast of Canada (Richmond, BC)! New to Kamado cooking. Returned a Weber Smokefire after one week (just really never worked properly and after the 2nd grease fire... byebye) for a KJ Classic 2 (same price point).
First cook were some side ribs which turned out nice. Mother-in-law brought some peaches over and asked if they could get grilled for a nice cobblerish dessert... so since the fire was still lit, opened up the vents full bore... realized that i had left the deflector moons in so I put some gloves on, took out the Divide and Conquer and (you guessed it) lay it on the plastic shelf -- WHOOPS!
Did I mention that was my first cook? Oh well...
I replaced the plastic slats with some untreated cedar. We'll see if that's just a temp solution.
I did a few small cooks afterwards: some okay baby back ribs, and then a total failure on beef ribs -- bought some on sale which ended up not having enough meat and fat to keep it juicy when I overcooked it (luckily my wife made some awesome Mexican street corn salad as a side) --, then an okay small brisket (again, on sale at the grocery store).
Decided that I'm ready for a real test: invited a few (Covid rules apply) friends for a brisket feast.
Went to four grocery stores and Costco... No packers in stock. Went to the Asian grocery and they only sell the point and no flat... Called my favourite butcher: "Of course, I have a 15lb brisket in the back." YES! Called my friends and said this weekend is BRISKET TIME! Got to the butcher: "That'll be 190 CAD (144 USD)..." GULP... This better be the best darn meat ever...
Consulted the all-knowing interweb for "How long to smoke 15lb brisket": 18.75 hours... Seems long, but okay, lets start at 11:00 pm and hopefully we'll be eating at 7ish tomorrow...
Didn't get much sleep but maintained 250 for 11 hours. At the 12 hour mark, the temp of the KJ plummeted. Oh no! What happened? Ran out of charcoal - fire was out. "Quick, honey, throw this in the warm oven while I get this thing to temp!" Threw some BGE lump on to the KA basket to burn (we have a major shortage of lump here in Canada - love to know where to get good lump charcoal). Lost about 45 minutes of cooking time. Once it got back up to 250, I Texas-crutched the meat and threw it back in. Came back 10 minutes later and the temp was up to 350. oh poo... Took another 45 minutes to get it down to 260.
Okay, I've got time for a little nap before people come over... Told my wife and 18 year old son to watch it and if it goes over 300 (or under 250) to wake me up... Three hours later, I check it and it's at 310... My bad, shouldn't have taken a nap...
I threw it into a cooler and waited for my guests to come... I was worried because it didn't bend the way it should have when I lifted it up...
When it was time to carve, it looked like this:
Looked okay but once I tried to slice through it, the whole under side was burnt/overcooked. There was no bark at the bottom of the pieces, as i had to slice down then "scrape" because of the burnt. Later, I chopped some of the burnt parts, threw them in a steamer and fed them to my son as really "burnt" ends.The meat that I did slice was super tender, flavourful, and juicy.
Besides, not taking a nap, buying a good wifi temp probe, and practice, any suggestions on improvements?
I would like to try and do bacon (we live in a city with 60% Asians so pork belly is super cheap), smoked chinook/king salmon (recently came back from a fishing trip on the Coast and our freezer is packed with salmon and halibut), and a Montreal Smoked Meat... But first, perfect the brisket...
Can I just smoke the point, as it's easier to source the part of the brisket here and no one in the family prefers the flat anyway?
TIA for your read and your suggestions
Texan, currently living in Seattle, finally got a backyard to do some grilling in this summer!
I'm currently grilling on a Weber performer, while I restore a Big Joe that I got off fb marketplace. I have a thread in the DIY section with some photos if anyone is interested or has some good recommendations.
Can't wait to get cooking on the Kamado once it is up and running. Most looking forward to cooking some pizzas and of course brisket, being a Texan!
Just joined... woohoo!!
So, as you can guess I just got my first kamado grill. A Joe Junior for me!!
And I have many questions... :)
I have been lurking on the forums for sometime now and it's time to join finally. Glad to be here and talk to you fine folks.