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Can Old Dogs Really Learn New Tricks?


TomC23
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Hello everyone, I’m glad I found this forum of helpful folks. I’m an occasional Weber Smokey Joe, mostly Gas Grill, convert to Kamado Grilling. My KJ JR. arrives a week from now.

I have a question for you.
Although I recognize that I’m just starting my journey, I’m wondering, if you, the experienced grill master, could do it again, what would be the very first cook you would do. I really want to impress my wife who was reluctant about my purchased my kamado. Right now she doesn’t see the difference between what we do now and the potential of a kamado. 
 

I’m really looking forward to new ventures and I can see how this could be a great hobby. Thanks for reading, Tom C.

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I might do a meatloaf, possibly with a bacon weave.  The Joe is perfect for using the deflectors to turn it into a oven while still adding a little bit of smoke.  Use the right meatloaf recipe and a good ketchup/brown sugar glaze and it takes meatloaf from ordinary to spectacular.

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I would second the spatchcock chicken idea. It was what I was thinking of as I read the first post. Don't go heavy on the smoking wood though as it really takes on the wood taste. I often don't add any wood to mine, just the ironbark charcoal I use.

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Thanks everyone. Looks like it’s going to be spatchcock chicken for the first cook. And go easy on the smoking wood. The meatloaf idea is great too. Appreciate everyone’s thoughts. 

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I agree with a Spatchcock Chicken. Don't bother trying to smoke it, just cook indirect at around 400F for about an hour for super crispy skin. Rub the bird with some butter and salt and pepper. You can always get fancier later.

 

You could also throw some new potatoes (with salt, pepper and butter) in there and some roasted veggies (red onions and bell peppers, maybe a bit of zucchini, all tossed with a bit of olive oil and more salt and pepper).

 

It's a super simple one hit dish that is guaranteed to please. Bring the K to temperature, give it 30 minutes to stabilise then throw all the food in and leave it for an hour.

 

Do give your Kamado a test burn first, just to get any manufacturing/transit oils and greases off first. Just burn a basket of lump charcoal through it before you cook for the wife!

 

Have fun!

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Yeah, roast chicken is a great cook, and you know, as Julia Child said when she got a chance to cook for herself she usually chose to roast a chicken. The advice to reduce the additional wood smoke is good. IMO, Chicken and all poultry for that matter, is av  smoke sponge, it just soaks up smoke to the point that a lot of folks serve it over smoked. If I add anything for smoke on a chicken cook, it’s just a handful of fresh Rosemary sprigs at the end of the cook. Rosemary smoke is very light in profile almost like a perfume essence. Enjoy you first cook.

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9 hours ago, JeffieBoy said:

Per @adm and @keeperovdeflame, I would tend to not use any smoking wood for my first chicken, as they do tend to suck up the smoke.  Charcoal by itself will provide a fairly good smoke.  Be the hero this cook, then the adventurer next!

Smoking chicken is a learning experience for sure.  First time out I would not use any smoke.  The other thing smoke tends to make the skin rubbery.  Cook your spatchcocked chicken at 400˚F  like "adm" said and  it will be excellent.   Dry your chicken with paper towel and leave it in the fridge for 3-4 hours after you spatchcock it.  This will help give you crispy skin.  When we say indirect use a an metal or tin foil pie plate set on top of your diffuser and foil it over the top leaving an airspace between the bottom of the pan and the foil to catch the drippings.  They won't burn that way or interfere with your cook.  

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Like you, I’m a recent convert to kamado cooking and am absolutely loving it! One variation I’d suggest on the spatchcock chicken: give Cornell chicken a try. By far the juiciest and most flavorful chicken I’ve ever had and is a super easy cook. I marinated for 24 hours, but people differ on that, with some not marinating at all, just mopping. I cooked indirect at 375° for about an hour, but would probably kick that up to 400° on my next go to see if I can get the skin just a little crisper. Link below is one of many videos on Cornell chicken. Enjoy your journey!
 

 

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7 hours ago, jark87 said:

Like you, I’m a recent convert to kamado cooking and am absolutely loving it! One variation I’d suggest on the spatchcock chicken: give Cornell chicken a try. By far the juiciest and most flavorful chicken I’ve ever had and is a super easy cook. I marinated for 24 hours, but people differ on that, with some not marinating at all, just mopping. I cooked indirect at 375° for about an hour, but would probably kick that up to 400° on my next go to see if I can get the skin just a little crisper. Link below is one of many videos on Cornell chicken. Enjoy your journey!
 

 

Being from Central NewYork, I’ve prepared Cornell Chicken quite a few times  before on my gas grill. You are right, it’s definitely delicious. Will be one of the first things to cook on my KJ Jr.

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Just a note to say thanks to everyone for their suggestions. They are all noted and filed away. I think my wife will be very impressed with the first cook on my KJ Jr.

About the test burn, leave the vents open and let it do it’s thing? 

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