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Slate Blackcurrant Watermelon Strawberry Orange Banana Apple Emerald Chocolate Marble
Slate Blackcurrant Watermelon Strawberry Orange Banana Apple Emerald Chocolate Marble


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About CeramicTool

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    Calgary, AB
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    BBQ, Stereo.

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  1. Ok. I like these answers.... just go hardcore on the direct Radiation and call it a day. Double the distance, 1/4 the radiation. But who needs that kind of math when you can just plop the steak on the coals.
  2. There is no such thing as "Just" BBQ. If you wish to argue, Ill have the moving truck pick up your KK and leave you a rusted out Wal-Mart BBQ 😜
  3. Topping up is more for long brisket cooks so I can sleep through the night. Now that I have a Thermoworks Smoke and Billows, they seem to be more energy efficient and its not really an issue. But the question still remains, if I wanted to cook a brisket overnight and then keep the grill going the next day, how do i keep if going indefinitely? Its really more of a learning question than a practical question that has implications for many things. As for steaks, thin cut are not appropriate for RS, so Im usually doing a 2 1/4" to 4" cut (anywhere from steak to small roast). I find 10-15f below target works well, but the smaller the steak, the harder to judge. The bigger the steak, the closer to 10f below I go. I get pretty good results. The problem is I have done a few truly amazing RS's before, and I need to be able to repeat that perfect turbocharged Maillard dark brown. Its not as easy as it looks. My main problem is I get the fattiest cuts I can, and they ooze fat out. For pork rib roasts with skin on, I have no choice but to sear first and get the cracklin going with all that fat. But for a fatty steak, I really want that crisp all around dark brown finish, and searing first, roasting second ruins the crispy crust.
  4. I have had a lot of questions about charcoal and how to master it. I think I have developed a decent grasp of the situation and looking for some advanced input to take my cooking to the next level. Fire needs three things in my kamado: Oxygen, Heat, Charcoal. On my very first cook I put the approximately appropriate amount of charcoal (only a small amount! lol) in the cooker and left the vents wide open to achieve a temperature of 250. A lot of work, not very stable. Definitely doable, but I wouldnt recommend it. Then I learned to just fill the cooker right up with charcoal! The next Question I had was when is the charcoal lit, and how does the fire travel if the charcoal isnt touching? A: The charcoal is lit when the charcoal reaches a certain temperature over an area large enough that the heat cant be disapated away (through conduction) faster than the chemical reaction just started. This is why it only takes a quick hit with the Looftlighter when the charcoal has recently been extinguished to get it going again, and why it takes a lot longer in -30c weather. Just like a slab of meat sucks the heat out of the grill, so too do the surrounding charcoal. What causes nasty smoke and how can I top up my grill without creating it? Nasty smoke is created when the system is out of equilibrium. It starts out of equilibrium because its cold with a hot spot. This causes heat to be wicked away, which means the temperature of the charcoal is lower than it otherwise would be. The environment is stealing heat, causing an inefficient burn that leaves nasty smelling stuff unburnt. Slowly, as the differential between the Komado and charcoal temperatures reduces, the fire gets more efficient and produces less nasty smoke. Eventually, the Kamado will reach thermal equilibrium, and clean, but just slightly smoky smoke will be the byproduct of the system. This is what I want. Every deviation from this equilibrium will create a sub-optimal smoke. Opening the lid feeds excess oxygen to the charcoal, raising the temperature. When the lid is closed and the oxygen flow is reduced back to normal the charcoal bed is still hotter than it should be for the amount of oxygen it has to burn. This form of oxygen deprivation will bring the system out of equilibrium and create sub-optimal smoke until the heat has a chance to disapate and settle back to equilibrium. The same goes for putting something cold in the grill, like a large cut of meat or a water tray. The heat will migrate towards the coldest part and the system is out of equilibrium. As the meat/water warms up, and the grill is brought back up to temperature, equilibrium is again established. The reason throwing meat on the grill usually doesn't do this is that the excess heat created by opening the lid is counterbalanced by being able to travel to and end up in the cold meat/water and equilibrium is achieved faster than if only the lid were opened, or only cold food was put on the grill (without opening the lid). With a good heat soaked Komodo to provide heat to the cold meat/water, the smoke should stay clean in these above scenarios. This neatly solves one of my beginner misconceptions: That brand new charcoal causes nasty smoke no matter what, and that pre-burned charcoal produces better smoke. This is somewhat true on its face, new charcoal DOES produce nastier smoke when first lit. It is denser and less porous. The energy available is high, but because it has a smaller surface area to volume (because less porous), it also is harder to light and takes longer to reach equilibrium. Because it takes longer to reach equilibrium, it produces nasty nasty smoke for longer. Preburnt charcoal has had a bazillion extra holes burnt through it and has a much larger surface area to volume which allows it to heat up faster. it also has a lower weight, so it reaches equilibrium faster because there is less material to heat up. The easy workaround for this is to absolutely blast the charcoal at the beginning to generate a lot of heat, and then let the grill suck the heat out of the charcoal. A cold grill can be brought to equilibrium faster by guestimating how much to overshoot the fire on the initial light knowing that the heat will be sucked out and the charcoal will not be able to produce a runaway temperature. From the above, I have some theories. Im too lazy to use a chimney starter and just make one small/medium fire in the center of the charcoal, maybe a little closer to the bottom vent than center. When it comes time to top up the grill with charcoal, I can do this a couple times preemptively If i wanted to keep the grill going indefinitely. I havent had this problem lately, so I havent been able to try this on-the-fly refilling method. A couple room temperature chunks at a time in an area that has already burnt away wont suck too much heat out to create nasty smoke, and putting them away from the ebbing and flowing lit charcoal allows the charcoal to gradually come up to temperature and light without creating nasty smoke by trying to light room temperature charcoal. Theoretically, I could create good smoke for an indefinite period of time with this method. Thoughts? Which brings up another question I had, why is a chimney starter necessary? I think the short answer is that it is not, but that by getting the entire bed of coals going at a low clip that the grill temperatures will be more even and less erratic depending on where the fire below is travelling. This would also preclude topping up charcoal without creating nasty smoke though, there would be no safe place to put it without it catching on fire immediately and making bad smoke and taking a long time to equalize. Which segues into my prime objective: How to create the Best Steak. One of the problems Im having is the Sear part of a reverse sear. Flare-ups cause an inoptimal smoke flavor. On the one hand, I need to sear, and sear fast so there is no large grey ring on a 1.2KG Striploin roast (yum!). On the other hand, the intense heat causes grease drips which cause fire and flareups and meat that sometimes ends up more Charbroil than Maillard. Some of the best successes I have had are using a hair dryer in a system to create something that I dont totally understand, but that may approximate an artificially high equilibrium. If I dont entirely fill my KJ mini I can use a hairdryer in the bottom vent and achieve a thermal equilibrium at a lower temperature than the usual 600-700-800-900 that would ensue with a full basket and blower. My best successes have come with an equilibrium of about 525-600f created using forced air. My theory is that flare ups make nasty smoke because the sudden heating caused by flareups brings the system out of equilibrium and makes bad smoke, not to mention the fire directly against the meat. Instead, I bring the grill to an artificially high equilibrium that relys on feeding it lots and lots of oxygen, which gives me the benefits of moisture wicking. As the steak sears, the moisture is wicked away more efficiently leaving the stuff from the juices naked and dry on the outside of the meat where it does its Maillard thing well. The fire still shoots out the top of the grill and touches my meat, but there seems to be a sweet spot where the rapid temperature increase of the meat provides a protective barrier of moisture that is constantly being wicked away without the steak catching on fire. Hope this makes sense. I still feel like a beginner, but Im starting to be master of the fire. Any tips, tricks, suggestions, corrections are appreciated.
  5. I am a meat enthusiast, and my journey has brought me here. One time, I wondered how to cook the perfect steak, while around about the same time trashing anyone that likes to get up at 6am to light a BBQ. No one ever gave me a convincing argument for why charcoal was worth the hassle, and they obviously weren't that good a cook, or didn't cook for me. Well, eventually I got serious about the perfect steak and owned 7 Webers and a Napoleon 2 years ago, and that's when I started to see the shortcomings of gas/propane cooking (it only gets to 500, there is little mass to sustain that temp, moisture issues, wind issues, flare ups, cold spots/warm spots, etc etc) So I bought a Broil King Keg off Kijiji for $70Cdn. It was rusted through on the bottom by the door, but I was too stupid to know how to use charcoal anyway, so I just thought the proper way was to put the proper amount of charcoal in the Keg. And it worked pretty good until I tried to do a packer brisket.... lol. Disaster. Yet everyone loved it. That's when I knew everyone is an idiot, and that Charcoal is heads and tails above gas. The rest is history and I ended up with a Big Joe. Recently I heard about Komodo Kamado, and I've been trowlling the forums. I must say, its one of those things that, once heard about, one finds a way to acquire. As an adhd perfectionist, Im happy to be here hanging with the big boys. Other Forums seem to be full of novices and semi-informed people (Just like real life!) I do pretty good with my Kamado, its really not a hard thing to do with a proper understanding and game plan. Which always then amazes me the mediocre stuff some people manage to cook. I'm here to take my cooking to the next level, and am aiming at owning a KK in 12-18 months. Or sooner if anyone between Winnipeg and Vancouver wants to upgrade to a newer, bigger, better grill (contact me!)
  6. Im spending $700/year (CDN) on charcoal, roughly $2/day. Which is only a 17.6-20lbs bag every second week. I understand the math will never work because of the time value of money, but at 1/2 charcoal usage, that's $350 saved every year. 14 years + $1500 from my Big Joe gets me a budget of $6400 CDN. That's pretty close to the cost of a used 23" ultimate. Please don't destroy my delusions, let me get away with saying a KK pays for itself, because it really truly almost does unless it kills me first.
  7. I'm definitely over my head on this one, so feel free to correct where Im wrong, or add more insight where Im close. But here is a better explanation: Is the Billows more efficient? I firmly believe it is super-efficient vs not using it. I got this idea from @DennisLinkletter in a roundabout way. He said something about the KK having a set and forget damper temperature control system because all the air is drawn through the charcoal, and not allowed to circumvent the firebox like in other designs. I interpreted/visualized this, rightly or wrongly, as a stream of air entering my Big Joe, going around the outside of the firebox, sucking up heat along the way and exiting the top damper warmer than when it entered, but while using less of the available oxygen than if it went through the firebox. This is obviously a simplification, and its more complicated, but the point stands. From this perspective, I visualize the the billows as alternatively creating a "closed air system" and "open air system", one at a time, (Tony B, you are right, this is the inappropriate usage of the words) with relatively little vaccuum action until the temperature drops below where it needs to be. Then Billows forces air into the Kamado, which in turn forces air out the minuscule damper hole in the top. The oxygen level will of course never rise above 20.9%, but will drop as it is used to create heat. I see in my minds eye an imaginary oxygen meter in my Kamado. As the oxygen level drops, so does the heat production. The oxygen in a Billows controlled Big Joe set at 225f will stabilize at a set point between 0 and 20.9%, but I have no idea what that number might be, and it would vary based many things. With the Billows, I see the Big Joe as a totally different cooker. The oxygen may still not have to pass through the firebox, but it must circulate endlessly until it drops too low to maintain the desired temperature, which is close to the same thing. This is made possible by the smaller top damper hole and forced air action of the billows. I humbly suggest that when using the Billows, more oxygen is converted to heat than when not using it, which equals less airflow. And this in turn increases its efficiency by allowing less heat out. I also think that somehow not letting as much moisture escape makes it more efficient as well. I understand it takes 5x the energy to evaporate moisture than to bring it from frozen to boiling. I also understand that as relative humidity rises, evaporation happens slower and slower until it stops completely. I'm not sure what what 100% humidity is at 225f, and Im not sure if a kamado gets that high, and I'm not sure what happens to moisture in meat when the relative humidity is 100%. I do however feel like I'm on the right track that more moisture retained = lower future evaporation rate = more moist meat = less energy used to evaporate water Everything about the Billows seems to be pointing in the right direction of energy efficiency equaling less moisture loss equaling better meat. My cooks are bearing this out as well.
  8. Can anyone comment on how well this works with the KK? I own a Signals/Billows currently, and was wondering if it is compatible such an efficient grill. I know it oftentimes overshoots the temp on my Big Joe by upwards of 15 degrees f, but generally holds a set point of 225f between 210-230f. Some of this may be my fault, it usually overshoots at the beginning and when I open the lid. I could also perhaps hand layer my charcoal for better results rather than dumping the bag (sans fines) into the Kamado. Just wondering if the Dennis recommended temp controllers do a better job because they are designed for super efficient cookers, or if this is irrelevant because the programming takes into account the rate at which things happen? On a side note, for the Signals/Billows, I find it mighty efficient. It turns the entire Kamado into a closed system where air cannot enter in the bottom, traverse the charcoal, and exit the top. I figure this machine gets me part way to a KK by drastically increasing oxygen efficiency, charcoal efficiency, and reducing moisture loss. The wildcard is still massive heat loss through the walls, and uneven heating because of this.
  9. I would really like to see this reposted with pictures. or someone burn an entire 17.6lbs bag at 225f. Everyone I talk to is amazed. I had heard Dennis make this claim of a pre-heat soaked KK, but this post makes no mention of a pre-soak? Perhaps Im missing this info because the Pictures are long gone. Also unavailable is whether there was meat on the grill, which would greatly reduce the time by using a lot of energy to evaporate moisture. Anyone want to reproduce this experiment? Its one of the ways I can justify spending the big bucks, If i can half my charcoal usage. But the real details on how much charcoal I can save are obscured because its an apples to oranges comparison, (Big Joe, Moisture rich cold meat on Vs. Pre-heat soaked empty kamado?)
  10. K1-K9 That explains POS K1-K9. Much easier to understand
  11. Im currently working my way backwards to forwards through 144 pages of Dennis's posts. Unfortunetly, Im up into 2007 posts and all the pictures so far are no longer available. I keep reading about new features and seeing words and abbreviations like OTB. Putting it all together is kinda hard. Would there be a reference available somewhere that shows visually the evolution of Komodo Kamado? Also, the model names, abbreviations, and years manufactured and sold would be quite helpful. Thanks! P.S. the other Kamado forums aren't nearly as well informed as this one. Learning Lots.
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