New Kamado Cooker Thread

Thread starter #1

Paymaster

Q Cookin, Fly Tyin, Mod
Use this thread to post questions and experiences in cooking on Kamado Cookers. Please post pics only to demonstrate a technique or illustrate your concern or answer to one. Lets make this a serious helpful thread, but have fun.
 

Dub

Top Chef
Outstanding thread.


The first thing I learned....and learned it the hard way, I'm afraid is a very important safety step.


It is commonly known as "burping" your grill.


Occasionally, under the right conditions on hotter cooks, you can experience a flash of flame that exits the grill when you open it. It erupts outward and can burn you when opening the grill.


Sounds scary, I know. It is scary when it happens, however, you can avoid it altogether if you'll make a habit of burping your grill when you open it.


Burping is nothing more than opening it an inch or so and holding right there....pausing for a second or two and then continue to fully opening the grill.


That's it. Simple.

The Akron is equipped with a dome latch. I always engaged this latch when I was cooking. It served as a reminder to burp the grill.

The Akorn lid is nice and light due to it's insulated steel construction. In haste you can easily snatch it open. Bad things can happen if you do. Maybe not every time....but you'll have a "kamado flash" at some point that'll get your full attention.

I'm assuming it's the inrush of fresh air (oxygen) that ignites. I'm not sure. I just know I've lost arm hair a number of times before I began burping each time.


I've even had it occur on a 350 degree cook before.



It was the first thing I taught my 9 year old Nephew....the family's next pitmaster.....when he was visiting last Christmas. He taught me the finer points of smoking salmon.


I sent my Dad home with a Kamado Joe Jr with the hopes that he'd use the gift for many future cooks with my Nephew who lives a couple miles from him. Dad seemed to listen to the operating instructions.....but the little guy took to grilling like a fish to water.








Burp that grill, baby !!!!!!!!!



:biggrin2:
 

mark-7mag

Senior Member
I'm going to season mine today. Do you guys have a preference on what you use and a particular technique? I read to just spray the grates with cooking spray such as Pam, get temp up to 400 and burn for an hour.
 

Dub

Top Chef
If memory serves me correctly there was a decal-sticker of some type in the back of my Akorn's dome. I peeled that off and did as you stated above.

Some folks simply cook on it right away and report fine results.

I wasn't sure if a protective wax was on the grate, so I just used soap and warm water and washed off the grate and sprayed it down with PAM and did a test run.

The seasoning cook-test run sure was helpful because it allowed me to play with vents and learn how to hit & hold at 250......300.....350.....400.....and then 600.

Having a day off work, some good music and nice weather made this a fun deal. Also had some good grub to cook on my other old grill that day, too.

Sprayed down the grate after I was done playing around.

Before & after use of the cheaper store-brand PAM spray always worked for me.
 
Thread starter #5

Paymaster

Q Cookin, Fly Tyin, Mod
I washed mine good then rubbed down with veg oil and got it to 400* and let it idle there for a couple hours. If you cook above 700* on steak or something, you may have to do it again.
 
Thread starter #6

Paymaster

Q Cookin, Fly Tyin, Mod
Another tip:
Kamados are easy to get hot but not too easy to cool back down to where you want. So open vents in small increments until you hit your mark.
 

Dub

Top Chef
Great tip on temps.

So much easier to get on top of as you climb to cruising temps vs. fighting to get back down.
 

Duff

Senior Member
One of the best suggestions given to me was the weber fire starter blocks. Those little jokers lite instantly and 1 is just enough to get a smoking temp climbing slowly.:cheers:
 

Dub

Top Chef
Here is an outstanding resource that ought to accompany every single Akorn, BGE, Primo, KJ, etc. It takes you from where your owners manual leaves off. Great resource. I didn't get it when I was starting out...wasn't written then. But it is of great value to me now.





http://www.amazon.com/Kamado-Smoker...F8&qid=1431535025&sr=1-1&keywords=chris+grove


212 pages filled with well advised tips and techniques. Ton's of great recipes throughout.
 

mark-7mag

Senior Member
Well I got her all seasoned. I cleaned the grates with soap and water first then dried them off good before coating both sides with cooking spray. I lined the ash tray with aluminum foil and then filled the bowl about half way with lump coal. I lighted it at the top with a starter wad (tumbleweed starters)that I picked up at lowes. I covered the lit wad with a couple small pieces of coal and let it burn for a couple of mins before I put the grate on and closed the lid.
Since this is going to be my primary smoker, my intentions were to play with the temp some just to get the feel of it. I was going to get it to 250 and see if I could hold it there for 30-45 mins. I woulda been confident enough to try my first smoke in a few days if I could achieve this goal. I was then going to try to crank it up to 400 for an hour to compete the seasoning. When the temp got to around 175, I started closing the dampers. I had it steady at around 250 for about 20 mins then I noticed the temp falling pretty fast. I opened the dampers up trying to get the temp back up but wasn't having any luck.

I opened the top to check and it didn't seem like it was still lit so I put another starter in. This time I kept the lid open and let it burn for probably 10-15 mins before closing. My goal now was to just get it up to 400 so I could season. It only took about 15-20 mins to do reach 400. It actually got up to 475 for a while them I started closing the dampers a little more. I kept it @400 for an hour or so to complete the seasoning.
Since then I opened it up to let the heat out, closed the lid and both dampers trying to smother the coals. It's down around 200 but is stuck there and won't go down. This leads to my first question. How long does it usually take to put the coals out? Also, how long do you let it burn before you close it up when you first start it. I'm thinking I closed the lid too quick initially...I have a lot of learning to do for sure.
 

PopPop

Senior Member
I cooked some beef ribs on my Akorn today. I loaded her up with lump Charcoal, as advised, set the vents according to the manual and cooked at 225 with very little variance for 5 hours, the last 2 in foil. Now they are resting, wrapped in foil and a large beach towel.
Gonna Chomp em in a bit.
 
That is puzzling. I'm sort of a neophyte myself, with only 12 cooks (3 low and slow) but I've not had the issue of the fire going out.
I do just like you - get a couple of pieces of charcoal going a little bit, then close the lid. I leave both top and bottom vents all the way open. When it gets up around 150, I shut the bottom about half way, and do the same with the top.

Then, if I'm going to cook at 225 or so, when it gets about there, I shut the bottom almost all the way, just leave a little sliver open. I shut the top down to what they call a "half moon." So far, no problems at all with the temp settling down around 225.

It may be that your lump charcoal pieces were distributed well, size wise. I think if you've got too many big pieces, the fire might not transfer from one to the other. Actually, only the last three cooks I've down have been using lump. I had almost a full bag of briquettes when I got the grill, and wanted to use them up. They worked fine, and I did notice that, since they are all the same size, it's a lot easier to get the fire to uniformly go to other pieces when one goes down. I spend all sorts of time with the lump, making sure there are small pieces mixed in with the big ones.
 

mark-7mag

Senior Member
That is puzzling. I'm sort of a neophyte myself, with only 12 cooks (3 low and slow) but I've not had the issue of the fire going out.
I do just like you - get a couple of pieces of charcoal going a little bit, then close the lid. I leave both top and bottom vents all the way open. When it gets up around 150, I shut the bottom about half way, and do the same with the top.

Then, if I'm going to cook at 225 or so, when it gets about there, I shut the bottom almost all the way, just leave a little sliver open. I shut the top down to what they call a "half moon." So far, no problems at all with the temp settling down around 225.

It may be that your lump charcoal pieces were distributed well, size wise. I think if you've got too many big pieces, the fire might not transfer from one to the other. Actually, only the last three cooks I've down have been using lump. I had almost a full bag of briquettes when I got the grill, and wanted to use them up. They worked fine, and I did notice that, since they are all the same size, it's a lot easier to get the fire to uniformly go to other pieces when one goes down. I spend all sorts of time with the lump, making sure there are small pieces mixed in with the big ones.
I'll make sure to remember this next time.
 
Fastest way that I've found for lighting my lump...

People thought I was crazy when I told them I could get my lump lit and dome down in under two minutes.

I shot a video of the deal...it's not a great quality video....just me lighting some old lump leftover from two previous cooks.

After the video ends, I dropped in a few peach wood chunks and made slid in the deflectors and grate. The dome went down and the grill was allowed to come up to 350 degrees and hold. I barely had time to get the wings rubbed before the grill was ready.


The tool used for lighting was a Kamado Joe JoeBlow lighter.




It has a 3 position switch.




One position is "off". Another is "blower + heat" and the final is "blower only".

The "blower + heat" is what you use for the first minute or so, with the tip held almost touching your lump. You'll get ignition within this first minute or so.

Then, you switch over to "blower only". This really stokes the fire well. Almost too well with this twice-used load of Cowboy I was lighting in the video today. While using the "blower only" you are also cooling the barrel of the JoeBlow as you are stoking the fire.

The JoeBlow is almost cool to touch along the length of the barrel at the time you remove it so long as you've run it on "blower only" for a few seconds.

It has a handy stand underneath so you can safely sit the unit down after use.










I used to use a propane torch to do things almost as fast, however, I'm averse to flipping that thing upside down and using it anymore.

I lost a coworker 13 months ago in a fire and I simply can't use that propane bottle or any other gas source anymore. I know it's an irrational hang up on my part, but it compelled me to either using electric lighters, Weber or Kamado Joe lighting tabs or this JoeBlow.....just depends on how big a hurry I'm in. :huh:
 
Well I got her all seasoned. I cleaned the grates with soap and water first then dried them off good before coating both sides with cooking spray. I lined the ash tray with aluminum foil and then filled the bowl about half way with lump coal. I lighted it at the top with a starter wad (tumbleweed starters)that I picked up at lowes. I covered the lit wad with a couple small pieces of coal and let it burn for a couple of mins before I put the grate on and closed the lid.
Since this is going to be my primary smoker, my intentions were to play with the temp some just to get the feel of it. I was going to get it to 250 and see if I could hold it there for 30-45 mins. I woulda been confident enough to try my first smoke in a few days if I could achieve this goal. I was then going to try to crank it up to 400 for an hour to compete the seasoning. When the temp got to around 175, I started closing the dampers. I had it steady at around 250 for about 20 mins then I noticed the temp falling pretty fast. I opened the dampers up trying to get the temp back up but wasn't having any luck.

I opened the top to check and it didn't seem like it was still lit so I put another starter in. This time I kept the lid open and let it burn for probably 10-15 mins before closing. My goal now was to just get it up to 400 so I could season. It only took about 15-20 mins to do reach 400. It actually got up to 475 for a while them I started closing the dampers a little more. I kept it @400 for an hour or so to complete the seasoning.
Since then I opened it up to let the heat out, closed the lid and both dampers trying to smother the coals. It's down around 200 but is stuck there and won't go down. This leads to my first question. How long does it usually take to put the coals out? Also, how long do you let it burn before you close it up when you first start it. I'm thinking I closed the lid too quick initially...I have a lot of learning to do for sure.
I used one of the Webber starting cubes and it worked really well. I filled the firebox slap full of lump, made about a 3" diameter crater in the center about 2" deep and lit the cube. I let the cube burn for a couple minutes then placed a couple small pieces of lump over the cube. I let the lump catch fire till the flame was a few inches high and then shut the lid. It worked really good for me. I can't wait to see your first cook!!:cheers:
 

mark-7mag

Senior Member
People thought I was crazy when I told them I could get my lump lit and dome down in under two minutes.

I shot a video of the deal...it's not a great quality video....just me lighting some old lump leftover from two previous cooks.

After the video ends, I dropped in a few peach wood chunks and made slid in the deflectors and grate. The dome went down and the grill was allowed to come up to 350 degrees and hold. I barely had time to get the wings rubbed before the grill was ready.


The tool used for lighting was a Kamado Joe JoeBlow lighter.




It has a 3 position switch.




One position is "off". Another is "blower + heat" and the final is "blower only".

The "blower + heat" is what you use for the first minute or so, with the tip held almost touching your lump. You'll get ignition within this first minute or so.

Then, you switch over to "blower only". This really stokes the fire well. Almost too well with this twice-used load of Cowboy I was lighting in the video today. While using the "blower only" you are also cooling the barrel of the JoeBlow as you are stoking the fire.

The JoeBlow is almost cool to touch along the length of the barrel at the time you remove it so long as you've run it on "blower only" for a few seconds.

It has a handy stand underneath so you can safely sit the unit down after use.










I used to use a propane torch to do things almost as fast, however, I'm averse to flipping that thing upside down and using it anymore.

I lost a coworker 13 months ago in a fire and I simply can't use that propane bottle or any other gas source anymore. I know it's an irrational hang up on my part, but it compelled me to either using electric lighters, Weber or Kamado Joe lighting tabs or this JoeBlow.....just depends on how big a hurry I'm in. :huh:
Man, that thing really does the trick! Thanks
 

mark-7mag

Senior Member
I used one of the Webber starting cubes and it worked really well. I filled the firebox slap full of lump, made about a 3" diameter crater in the center about 2" deep and lit the cube. I let the cube burn for a couple minutes then placed a couple small pieces of lump over the cube. I let the lump catch fire till the flame was a few inches high and then shut the lid. It worked really good for me. I can't wait to see your first cook!!:cheers:
Im gonna experiment with it again on Sunday. Thanks for sharing this.
 

Ruger#3

Senior Member
People thought I was crazy when I told them I could get my lump lit and dome down in under two minutes.

I shot a video of the deal...it's not a great quality video....just me lighting some old lump leftover from two previous cooks.

After the video ends, I dropped in a few peach wood chunks and made slid in the deflectors and grate. The dome went down and the grill was allowed to come up to 350 degrees and hold. I barely had time to get the wings rubbed before the grill was ready.


The tool used for lighting was a Kamado Joe JoeBlow lighter.




It has a 3 position switch.




One position is "off". Another is "blower + heat" and the final is "blower only".

The "blower + heat" is what you use for the first minute or so, with the tip held almost touching your lump. You'll get ignition within this first minute or so.

Then, you switch over to "blower only". This really stokes the fire well. Almost too well with this twice-used load of Cowboy I was lighting in the video today. While using the "blower only" you are also cooling the barrel of the JoeBlow as you are stoking the fire.

The JoeBlow is almost cool to touch along the length of the barrel at the time you remove it so long as you've run it on "blower only" for a few seconds.

It has a handy stand underneath so you can safely sit the unit down after use.










I used to use a propane torch to do things almost as fast, however, I'm averse to flipping that thing upside down and using it anymore.

I lost a coworker 13 months ago in a fire and I simply can't use that propane bottle or any other gas source anymore. I know it's an irrational hang up on my part, but it compelled me to either using electric lighters, Weber or Kamado Joe lighting tabs or this JoeBlow.....just depends on how big a hurry I'm in. :huh:
That works great, thanks for posting!
 
Ok all you more experienced folks, I finally bought an Akorn. I'm pumped up, but after getting it home and put together. As soon as I got ready to season the gate, it came down a Monsoon so I brought the grill back inside the garage. My question is what to do with the grays, I had just finished washing it with soap and water, but didn't have a chance to get it seasoned. Will it hurt anything for me to wait till tomorrow to finish seasoning it?
 
Ok all you more experienced folks, I finally bought an Akorn. I'm pumped up, but after getting it home and put together. As soon as I got ready to season the gate, it came down a Monsoon so I brought the grill back inside the garage. My question is what to do with the grays, I had just finished washing it with soap and water, but didn't have a chance to get it seasoned. Will it hurt anything for me to wait till tomorrow to finish seasoning it?
I sure don't see any possible harm, if you mean the grates themselves. Just dry them off, and maybe wipe with a little cooking oil if it is going to be a longer time (like weeks or months). I doubt they are going to start rusting overnight, unless they're soaking in sea water.
 
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