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Getting ready to buy a grill - am I missing something?


Boater
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So, been reading a bunch of posts, watching a few videos, browsing some other websites.  As I said in my intro post, I've been looking at the KJ Classic, primarily due to the moderate size and the number of options available for it.

 

So I've settled on the KJC1 - available from a couple of the big box hardware stores for $750 with the basic wheeled cart.  I could not find the unit without the cart - I don't have an issue with making a built-in frame for the grill and storage for accessories, which is what I'd do if I could save the price of the cart.  But since these seem only to come with the cart, I've got other ways I can store charcoal and accessories for the moment (until the cabinet gets built in a year or so).  While the KJCII is nice (and the KJCIII is even nicer), I have checked out the KJC1 in person, and: 1) don't have an issue with the hinge, 2)At some point I might upgrade the upper vent, but not yet, and 3) the new gasket material is nice, but not worth the leap to the next version of the grill just for that.  Along with the grill, was planning to get the KJ charcoal basket and the rotisserie (Joetisserie), primarily because the rotisserie is on sale at AGC, and Thanksgiving isn't that far off. 

 

I have an inexpensive remote thermometer (single), for the moment, as well as a couple meat thermometers, but figure that a temperature control system might be another future add-on.  Likewise, the slo-roller is something for a Christmas future.  For the moment, trying to keep it pretty straightforward (other than the rotisserie of course). 

 

Grill gloves,  etc. I'll probably pick up at the local hardware store.  Planning on the KJ electric charcoal igniter.  Already have the basic grill tools, nothing fancy or unique. 

 

The main thing I like about the KJ is the number of options available to expand the utility of the grill.  But the argument could be made that I'm missing out on something in a different system.  For instance, I was also strongly considering the Primo Oval 300, but the price difference just made it hard to get past the KJ. 

 

So, what am I missing in terms of the grill selection, or with the accessories?  Appreciate any thoughts on how I could improve the initial set-up.

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Grill, charcoal basket are good choices.

I keep mine outdoors, I use a cover. 

 

5 Observations:

 

Kamados come ready to cook. You don't need accessories. The charcoal basket and a deflector/drip pan are first choices. The rest depend on where you want to go with your cooking .

 

Choice of kamado. They are more alike than not. No kamado envy here. Get what you can afford and is available.

 

Lump, more alike than not. You put it in and light it, it burns. Some are hotter, some have bigger pieces, some people detect different smoke flavor. It all works.

 

Wood chunks/smoke...Less is more. Keep in mind the folks you are cooking for. Don't over smoke.

 

Grate vs dome temp. Does not make much difference as long as the dome thermometer is reasonably calibrated. I am pretty sure I could cook anything without a thermometer measuring grill temp. Comes with experience. Temp control device....I bought one, but I can use the kamado sans device. Certainly not a necessity for searing a burger. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Welcome boater 

Classic 1 or classic II can't go wrong with either. I went with the classic II due to the 5 piece fire bowl and my wife wanted the air hinge , but then it's a personal choice. The cart you might be able to sell on ebay or something. Now for the  accessories, many options one good thing about America is that once we buy something they find ways to get us to spend more money on accessories. I just have a ash basket and Joetisserie I use the basket all the time and the  Joetisserie quite a bit. The electric starter in  my opinion not needed. Temperature controller I  have one but very seldom use the temp control part I use it for remote monitoring of the temp. I strongly recommend learning to use the grill with out the controller. I don't mean to try and sway you on anything but this is what I use. My only strong recommendation: is to read John's booklet 

 

 

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21 minutes ago, John Setzler said:

@Boater Consider the fireboard 2 drive with a fan when you get ready to move to a temperature controller...

 

im getting tired of my fireboard :|. i love everything about it besides all the wires. its a pain to untangle every time i go to use it. the fan controller is awesome, but we all know the kamado is pretty efficient on its own.

 

 

i ended up grabbing a meater probe to try out. the one thing it has for sure over all the other probes is that you can use it with a rotisserie. but it is limited by the temperatures it can handle. but for slow and low cooking i think it will be great.

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Charcoal basket for sure. 
 

I really like a temp controller.  I’m on my 3rd iKamand and it works flawlessly.  If it breaks I may do the Fireworks controller next.  But, KJ has replaced all of mine for free.  There warranty is fantastic. Slow but fantastic. 

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4 hours ago, JohnnyAppetizer said:

Grill, charcoal basket are good choices.

I keep mine outdoors, I use a cover. 

 

Good point.  I was looking at a generic kamado cover, about half the price of the KJ one.  The one I have for my gas grill has lasted well.  As for the drip pan / deflector point, I am planning to foil wrap the deflector plates at least in the beginning, to keep them a bit neater (and my life a bit simpler).  But if I get into larger pork roasts, I may need to get beyond that for those cooks (rather prepare up front rather than trying to remedy during the cook).

 

And thanks as well for the other advice on kamados as well.  As you and others have said here and other places, my plan it to first get familiar with managing the grill with as few monitoring add-ons as possible, and seeing where my needs/wants go from there.

 

@len440, the rationale for the electric starter as it was the same price as a chimney, and a buddy of mine has been using them in his kamado for years, replacing about every 5 years.  Seems like it would be less than using fire starters (the third alternative) for that period.  But again, no personal experience with that.  Before his suggestion, was going the chimney route.

 

Pretty "fired up" about getting back to charcoal grilling.  And maybe getting a bit too much into the accessories because of that.  But really appreciate all the tips and pointers from everyone. 

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1 hour ago, Boater said:

the rationale for the electric starter as it was the same price as a chimney, and a buddy of mine has been using them in his kamado for years, replacing about every 5 years.  Seems like it would be less than using fire starters (the third alternative) for that period.  But again, no personal experience with that.  Before his suggestion, was going the chimney route.

I see your point it's a good one. I have a chimney from my pre Kamado days, but never used it on my Joe My fear is lighting too much charcoal, it should be ok for grilling steaks or burgers and pizza. But I'm never in a hurry getting the Joe going (It's an excuse to have a few fingers of makers mark and to relax).  wife has noticed I go through more Makers since I  got the kamado. she might be seeing things. But no mater what hope you enjoy the kamado

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i use this cover for my KJ2, the XL cover is cheaper than the large for some reason lol.
it works well. i dont get much worse than rain out here in san diego, sometimes hail. so im not sure how well it does for snow.
 

it has vent flaps for wind to pass through, and buckles to secure around the legs of the stand.


https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00R4J5A9Q/

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Star with the basics. Use the search feature on this forum to find out all kinds of info. Become a site supporter-so important as it truly allows the site to keep on. Read John’s booklet. Be adventurous with your cooks. It’s cooking-always many  ways to do one thing.

 

Some great people post here and I truly am grateful for that. KG is run and moderated super well.

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