Content: Slate Blackcurrant Watermelon Strawberry Orange Banana Apple Emerald Chocolate Marble
Background: Slate Blackcurrant Watermelon Strawberry Orange Banana Apple Emerald Chocolate Marble
Pattern: Blank Waves Notes Sharp Wood Rockface Leather Honey Vertical Triangles
Welcome to Komodo Kamado

Register now to gain access to all of our features, ask queries, discuss and lot's more!

Click here to Register!


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Syzygies last won the day on July 27

Syzygies had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

277 Excellent


About Syzygies

  • Rank
    Senior Member
  • Birthday 11/29/1955


  • Location
    New York, NY and Concord, CA
  • Occupation

Profile Information

  • Gender:
  1. I blew it. The quintessential eclipse photo would be "camera obscura", using the KK TelTru pin hole as a lens. Oops. Instead I drilled a pin hole in our rear shed. Mostly cloudy. Here's the best picture of our eclipse at its peak.
  2. First bread on the Dennis baking stone, best bread of summer. Multiple lessons. We grind our own flour using a Wolfgang Mock grain mill, sieved through lab grade test sieves that fit nicely into a Vollrath 8 quart bowl: Gilson 12in Round Test Sieve #35 (72% extraction) Gilson 12in Round Test Sieve #25 (93% extraction) Vollrath 69080 Wear-Ever S/S 8 Quart Mixing Bowl This was using the #35, for a lower extraction flour. We also bought fresh ascorbic acid, 40 ppm to combat "green flour" flying saucers. Also (Homer Simpson "Doh!" time), I ran the BBQ Guru pit probe through the dome hole meant for the mechanical thermometer. No need for further protection, and lock-solid 450 F preheat. The Dennis baking stone is bigger and thicker than what I was using. Very stable, no burnt bottom crust, and the loaves could be longer and further away, for no "Siamese twin" scars where they grew into each other. It has passed all tests and is now my default stone.
  3. Wow.
  4. Sunday is often pizza night. Another chance to try the Dennis stone. Dennis understands the thermodynamics cold, but so do others, such as Fibrament-D. I would have thought this would be like alkaline batteries, the chemistry is settled science, there can be no difference between good brands. But no, there's the issue of "generosity", this stone is shaped for the KK, as wide as can be without restricting airflow, and as thick as can be with a reasonable preheat time. Baking steels are a different animal, and while they're awesome for, say, burgers, fire control can be tricky for getting them hot enough without scorching pizza. This stone, on the other hand, was falling off a log easy to get the pizza to come out great. I can't wait to try bread.
  5. I like using an inexpensive paella pan as reusable foil. (I took the hardest intro physics sequence for my science distribution requirement, a year late. I actually called the professor on a Sunday night because I hadn't begun studying for Monday's exam. Of course he refused an extension. I realized this was multivariable calculus with funny names for things, and got the third highest score in the class. Next exam, I started again the night before, but I flunked. I'd never actually seen differential equations before, and this was too short notice.)
  6. Focaccia di Recco, to christen my new KK pizza stone. (Ligurian cheese and crackers.)
  7. Huh. An artist worries about "thick over thin" with oil paints, so they don't look like a yahoo after they're dead, with their paintings all cracked in museums. I do believe they're still having fun. When any of us brings a tray of ribs to the cooker, it's completely instinctive to consider: If I miss the lip of the cooker low, I'll spill my ribs onto the ground. If I miss the lip of the cooker high, I'll be fine. I do believe they're still having fun. When Dennis worries about heat transfer coefficients for his pizza stones, I know he's having fun. This isn't about having fun or not having fun, it's about the various realms in which each of us daydream. We're all having fun.
  8. So I've been unduly cautious about testing the upper range (475 F) of my DigiQ DX2 BBQ Guru controller. Is my fan powerful enough? Will the probes survive? However, for consistent results baking sourdough bread, I need all the precision I can get. (Today's version of my evolving recipe is attached.) On the phone some time ago with BBQ Guru, they suggested protecting the probe as best I could. I picked up this nice piece of bendable copper in the plumbing section of Lowes. The trick is to bend it enough to clear obstacles, but not so much that the probe itself won't slide through. Easy to do by hand. One opens the top damper wider than for a low & slow, but otherwise my "medium" Pit Viper fan had no trouble reaching cruising altitude, and locking on to 425 F. (My dome reads 450 F, which is where I like to be, modulo concerns that my stone gets too hot, risking burning the crust. My goal here is to learn what temperature works, even if I let the stone preheat for hours.) (I'm waiting on both a new gasket system, and a chance to try the Dennis stone.) Sourdough Bread-Recipe.pdf
  9. My best guess is no.
  10. This is a picture of a roast. The conference was for my (belated) 60th birthday along with my coauthor Mike Stillman. We're being roasted. I'm on the left; Mike is next in the red shirt. (Just now on the phone I had a great conversation with Dennis.)
  11. We had this exact cut Sunday for 12, along with brined, apple-smoked Salmon on a bed of basil. Our execution was in the spirit of this recipe, with more precise measurements and equipment. Despite lots of other food, there was none left. I untied and opened up a five pound prime rib roll, and trimmed away absolutely all fat and silver skin that wasn't integral marbling. I ended up with three pieces. Weighing each piece separately, I salted 1%, peppered, and put in the fridge overnight on a rack to breathe. A few hours before serving, I vacuum packed each piece, and put into a 132 to 134 F sous vide water bath. I set up a Dennis coffee charcoal fire in our small Weber kettle (the KK was busy with the salmon). Before serving, I seared all sides over the fire, and sliced into a prewarmed La Chamba clay serving dish. Using this protocol, we've come to recognize that the fat one can trim away serves no reasonable purpose, and the geometry of the pieces is irrelevant. Trimming hours in advance, one can take one's time without penalty, exposing more surface area for the dry rub and the eventual sear. There could be those who cling by custom to preserving the roll shape and discrete fat, but we're absolutely sold. This is unquestionably the best steak we know how to serve to groups, by a robust protocol one simply can't screw up, no matter how distracting the party has become.
  12. Still, four or more hours in a light brine (half cup sea salt per gallon, less sugar) makes a dramatic difference. Now one of the house rules (like "always smoke using a smoke pot") articulated by the woman in charge.
  13. My Fibrament-D baking stone happens to be 13" x 16" x 1" (special order $78 in 2014). It does not fit on the upper grates (lid won't close), but it fits with room to spare on the main grates. I chose this size to match a kiln stone of these dimensions, with the wrong thermal characteristics. 14" x 16" x 1" is a standard size they cut down for me. This stone is ideal for two loaves of bread side-by-side; a round stone is better suited to pizza. I own 15" diameter round Baking Steels on both coasts. For my New York apartment I custom ordered 1/2" thick, which weighs nearly 30 lbs. For California I went 1/4" thick so my wife could lift it. The difference in baking performance is modest but real. Any eBay knockoff promoting even thinner steels will be happy to tell you how little this matters. A 16" diameter round would be ideal for the Komodo Kamado, but just too big to fit in an indoor oven. Better to maintain flexibility (these also make awesome griddles for flatbreads such as homemade English Muffins). So my advice is to buy a 15" diameter baking steel, as thick as you can stand lifting and paying for.