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Hello from Chicago!


fotoflux
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I have been looking for a new home to learn since I just upgraded from my old CharGiller offset smoker to the Primo XL. I am so excited to get to know my smoker and learn to love the great cooks it can make! I was a die-hard offset smoker fan since childhood, but my dad broke down and got a vertical smoker a couple years back and it got me thinking if I actually needed a horizontal smoker. I had previously looked into reverse flow offsets to help avoid having one really hot side of the smoker. The more research I did the more the Kamado seemed like the best fit for me. The main benefit was the ability to maintain low-and slow consistently. My offset was leaky and I had a hard time maintaining under 275 for longer smokes. I like to work with my hands and that made me rule out a pellet smoker. (they're great for those that want a fully automated cook, I have a couple friends that use them).

 

The weather has been bad for the past week or so since getting my grill, but I was eager to try it out. So I decided to push my luck and try to both smoke and grill, for one meal. I don't know what is wrong with me. I guess I like a challenge. I pulled up a couple YouTube videos and followed them to get my grill up to temp. It held 225 like a champ. I smoked some salmon and then opened up the dampers and brought the grill up to maybe 350 and removed the ceramic heat deflector on one side for direct cooking. I started with some asparagus and by sheer luck, I didn't lose any through the grates. After finishing the asparagus, I quickly seared some polenta. Everything went off perfectly. Needless to say, I am a fan of ceramics. It is as good as I had imagined!

 

And because, pics or it didn't happen, here's my setup with a freshly stained and varnished table and the results of my first cook (with a bonus of me grilling some chicken because the coals were still hot late at night)

 

 

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:welcome: fotoflux from one of the members here who has been cooking on a Primo XL for almost 10 years now.  Aside from replacing gaskets now and then and a cracked firebox which Primo replaced tout suite, and which is still sitting in the shipping box in the garage, the Primo has been absolutely perfect for me and the way I cook.

It looks like you are off to a great start.   

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16 hours ago, fotoflux said:

grilling some chicken because the coals were still hot late at night

... and one of the advantages of the ceramic grills is the capability to shut down the fire and have left over coals to use for your next cook. Welcome to the Guru.

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Foto

nice setup thinking of doing something similar to that. What size casters. Any trouble rolling on the deck? Never thought of doing polenta that way.

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On 4/6/2022 at 12:51 PM, len440 said:

Foto

nice setup thinking of doing something similar to that. What size casters. Any trouble rolling on the deck? Never thought of doing polenta that way.

I am not sure what size the casters are. They are the stock size for the cypress tables Primo sells. No issues rolling on the deck. Due to the weather, I stained indoors and the only issue I had was with the door threshold. 

 

Meathead from amazingribs.com has a book with a lot of recipes. "Meathead: The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling" The polenta recipe is from that book! The butter in the polenta developed a wonderful "browned" flavor from the direct heat. It's definitely worth doing it on the grill. 

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Trying out ribs with no water pan today. I hear you don't need one with ceramics, so I am pushing my luck with 3 racks and I am not even going to foil them. wish me luck! I don't mind the bark, but my wife does. So hoping for very little bark!

IMG_1261 copy.jpg

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Cant wait to see the finished ribs. What temp are you using. One little comment is watch the ribs that are overhanging the deflector plate they will cook faster and hotter. I don't use a water pan or foil wrap the ribs, but that is the way I do it.

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I am smoking at 225. I just went outside and rotated the ribs. Hopefully that will even out the overcooking a bit. I'm used to charred edges, my last smoker had VERY uneven heat. If it's only on the extremes of the ribs this time, I'll still be mighty impressed!

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welcome to the forum. I usually don't like recommending accessories. But, when I do multiple slabs of ribs, (that is, more than two), I use a cheal little rib rack to help avoid the direct flames when maxing out rack space. It can be a hassle with the curvature of baby backs but works wondrously with spare ribs or St. Louie's.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Welcome to the forum , I grew up in the Chicago suburbs, and used an offset for many years. I love my Kamado it does everything almost perfect!

Good looking cooks you have up there.

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Your ribs look great to me, but an easy fix for Burnt Ends is to simply lay a double folded 2" wide strip of aluminum foil under the ends of the ribs where they cross the gap between your deflector and the inside edge of your fire ring. 

 

Another option, and what I use in my Large Egg is the long ribs and brisket stone designed to prevent burnt ends by CGS. Not sure how this works in a Primo Oval, but they market one specifically designed for the Primo Oval. If I was interested, I would call Tom the owner of CGS and talk with him about how it fits and such. He's a very nice fellow and full of info. 

 

https://ceramicgrillstore.com/collections/primo-grill-accessories-oval-grills/products/13x17-oval-ceramic-stone-large

 

Hope this helps. 

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