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New member - from Texas


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Hi all - just joined. I have a Kamado Joe i just obtained and know very little about it. This week will be my first attempt to get it working. I'll be starting off slow with just burgers and maybe some chicken. My son will be in from Atlanta and he has a green egg - so hopefully will get to do more things next week. Looking forward to reading all the helpful hints and helps.

I'll need all the help I can get!

 

 

 

 

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Welcome to Kamado Guru.  Your son is probably a good source to learn from but just remember that you add lots of lump, build a tiny fire and close it down to low pretty quick.  From there you slowly build up to your target temp and then cut it down a little more to stabilize.  Kinda the reverse of other grill types.

Of course these rules don't exactly apply if you are doing burgers or steak but honestly more and more these days I use my Weber for typical grilling applications and the Primo for medium to low cooks where I need more control.

 

Above all, have fun and eat!

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2 hours ago, Sids said:

Hi all - just joined. I have a Kamado Joe i just obtained and know very little about it. This week will be my first attempt to get it working. I'll be starting off slow with just burgers and maybe some chicken. My son will be in from Atlanta and he has a green egg - so hopefully will get to do more things next week. Looking forward to reading all the helpful hints and helps.

I'll need all the help I can get!

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome and thanks for becoming a contributing supporter :)

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Welcome and once you sort out the initial startup with your son, you will be “off to the races”. I have cooked on every type off BBQ and still love my Kamado’s

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Welcome!  There is a learning curve, for sure.  Different than any grill I've used before, at least. You can shorten that curve with some of the resources here, and a bunch of information (that co-occurs with some misinformation) on YouTube and the rest of the interwebs, but actual practice with your own grill is also a needed part. Learning the approximate vent settings for 250F, 400F, or whatever your most common temps are, comes with practice.  

 

 

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@Sids Welcome to the guru. There are a lot of people here who are willing to help you along your journey. I went from a KJ to a Big Green Egg, but what I learned on the KJC carried over to the BGE. Here is a good resource to get you started: 

 

 

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Welcome fellow DFW member! My KJ is on the sideline until temps go back below 100°. :sad: See below video for another good resource. I discovered Smoking Dad on YouTube before I found this site. His KJ 101 video helped me with things like building the right sized fire with the correct amount of lump and dialing in vent settings for different temps. I felt like it saved me hours of figuring these things out on my own. Enjoy your KJ and the time with your son! Looking forward to seeing some of your cooks soon!
 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you all for the welcome! I wanted to update on my first cooks. Yes it's hot in Texas! We have seen triple digits for many weeks now and no rain since May. Ugh - but it's summer in Texas and I'm getting used to the 100+ days. At least the lawn doesn't grow :-D.

 

My son brought me a gift - he gave me a fireboard drive along with the fan that goes in the base. I have to admit - that made things much easier when it comes to setting the temp and letting it go. We only had to monitor it so I got lots of pool time with the grand-kids.

 

We had two cooks. The first was a pork shoulder. Cooked at 225 for about 8hrs to internal temp was 165, then wrapped in foil and placed back on. Heated up to 275 and removed when internal temp was 203, placed in a cooler for 3hrs. Used apple wood.

 

2nd cook was a 14lb brisket. Started at 10pm and set the temp at 250. By morning the internal temp was 182 so we lowered the temp to 225. Left the brisket on until temp reached 201 around noon. So total cooking time was a little over 14hrs. Like the first cook we wrapped in foil and placed in a cooler for about 3 hrs. We used hickory wood.

 

Both were delicious with super smoke flavor. I feel like we should have cooked the brisket slower, set the temp at 225 and let it go like the first cook. I also should have trimmed the brisket a bit more. I'm happy for first time cooks. I still have another brisket and pork shoulder in the freezer to try but will probably wait until the temps drop below 100. I still have lots to learn but this site is really helpful.

 

Thanks everyone!!!

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4 hours ago, Sids said:

I feel like we should have cooked the brisket slower, set the temp at 225 and let it go like the first cook. I also should have trimmed the brisket a bit more.

One thing that has helped me with my learning curve is creating a document (or spreadsheet, or spiral-bound notebook, or database) that you can take notes about your cooks.  It's easy for (me, at least) to forget what is was I did last time, or what I want to change, when I pull the next similar hunk of meat out in a month or so. 

 

Another thing I've come to realize is that I can get very acceptable results (maybe not award-winning, but good enough for me and my regular consumers) from a pretty wide range of temperatures and techniques.  Keeping temps low for the first few hours to let the meat absorb smoke is always helpful, but after that, there's a bunch of ways to get to final temp, and I don't think they matter as much at that point.  It makes a difference in bark formation, cook time, etc., but a lot of those can be adjusted in time, method, etc. to get a good result.  I'm not looking for competition results, just as good or better than most BBQ joints around me, and I'm getting there.  Not always, but when not, I've got notes to adjust the next cook. 

 

And with that Fireboard (or even without it - it's just super simple with it), you can tweak your temperatures all along.

 

 

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28 minutes ago, Boater said:

Keeping temps low for the first few hours to let the meat absorb smoke is always helpful, but after that, there's a bunch of ways to get to final temp, and I don't think they matter as much at that point.

Great point about finding your own happy place with cooking method and only being concerned with whether you and those you are serving like it! I think too many people focus too much on technicalities, like hitting 205° on the nose or a large, well-defined smoke ring.
 

The one area where long, low and slow cooks matter is when you have a tough cut of meat, like brisket, where there is lots of connective tissue in and around those tough muscles. If you try to cook at too high of a temp, that tissue won’t have time to break down and you’ll end up with a tough piece of meat.

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Welcome! And you have a very nice son, Fireboards aren't cheap! I am glad to hear that your first 2 cooks went well. As others have said, you can play with temps to get different results. I recently cooked a brisket at 300 using Smoking Dad BBQ's double indirect method and came out with very tender and juicy meat. I Also used a small brisket with a rather thin flat. So I was definitely pushing my luck. But it really proved the point that the temp doesn't matter as long as you don't let the bark get too hard even if you cook hot and "fast" (7 hour total cook time)

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