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Ceiling issues?


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On 10/9/2021 at 5:54 AM, Tongmaster said:

the main problem would be the smoke in my eyes!   

Grill arrived today, and fired it up away from any cover.  Yep, definitely not for vertically challenged ceilings.  So it will be cooking in the open for the time being.  Thanks for all the points to consider.  

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The most-beautiful thing about Kamado cooking is that the heat is inside the firebox ... and it stays there.


I can have a 350ºF temperature going on inside my (steel ...) Kamado, and I can still put my hands directly on the outside of the lid and it's just "warm."  Furthermore, there is never an objectionable amount of smoke.


"This is not the Smokey Joe that you just gave away at the yard sale ...!"


Just try to keep it under some kind of shelter, mostly out of the rain.  (I don't use a "cover" because I noticed moisture accumulating under it even in dry weather.  A small metal pan sits loosely on the top vent, which is slightly open, to keep rain off of it.)

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2 hours ago, MikeRobinson said:

the heat is inside the firebox

Thanks, what I was mainly concerned about was the potential for smoke to discolor the painted ceiling, and anything else I hadn't considered.  As @Tongmaster pointed out, the real issue is the smoke being confined under that low ceiling.  Mainly an issue with firing up the grill, and on high-heat cooks like steak, but for those reasons, it's parked outside (not under the canopy) for the moment.  It has a wheeled cart, so easy enough to move under cover when so desired.  But the "white smoke" phase was pretty obviously going to be an issue from the first time I lit it.  


Still have a long way to go to learn all the techniques of this type of grill, but liking results so far.  



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I don't think you'll have any problems at all with the smoke.  It's just a relatively-cool vapor that will quickly blow away.  There isn't any outside-the-firebox heat here, and, in my experience, very little smoke.  (Except the smoke that I want, which is produced by wood chips in a punctured aluminum-foil envelope and that turn into reusable charcoal.)


(I use a chimney starter to fire it off ...)


Also – for what it's worth – I don't use high heat.  350ºF is probably "tops."  If I want "sear," I use a cast-iron skillet on my kitchen stove, gradually raised to high heat and using coconut oil.  (This high-heat tolerant oil will not cause your meat to taste like coconuts! Grapeseed oil is an alternative.)  When finished, I use my ever-present oven mitt to move the skillet down into the oven to cool.  Then, the seared meat is "tented" in aluminum foil as usual to finish cooking.  But I usually do this only when guests ask for it.


The kamado process takes a little bit of getting used to, but what you very quickly realize is that it gives you control, and with that, repeatability. You can "coast up" to the desired target temperature and it just stays there, even for many hours. It's also kinda cool that you always have a considerable amount of charcoal left over.  This really is a convection oven cooking process.  The meat isn't being cooked by radiant heat so much as by recirculating hot air, and that makes all the difference.


An external-reading thermometer (about $35 at Home Depot ... wireless, even!) is really all you need to get exactly the outcome that you want, [almost ...] every time.

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Thanks @MikeRobinson, but let me give an example of my issue.  To start with, we have pretty light winds much of the time here, so smoke tends to hang around more.  Had a chicken the other day, and my first impression was that it could have used more smoke. When I had some left-overs later, I realized that my sense of smell had been affected by the smoke from the grill. More smoke would have been a mistake.  So everything I can do to reduce the smokiness (even invisible vapors) around the grill will help make for a more appreciated meal (by me - the wife isn't affected by the smoke, not being the meat cook).  


I'm figuring this grill out, and still have a ways to go.  And eventually there may be a more suitable shelter done as part of other things on the "to do" list.  But I grew up on a barrel bbq that was about 40 yards from the house, so for me, open air "ain't no big thing".

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