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Found 6 results

  1. Hi Dennis! I just got back in town from an extended trip, first to Houston and then to Australia. Over the course of this trip, I had absolutely no access to my KKs, Beauty! & TheBeast. Talk about going through withdrawal! All I had to cook on we're friends cheap gassers, stick burners, the odd kettle, and a kamado that was a hideous color of green and just another Joe kind of kamado. During my travels (or travails, if you will) I cooked a lot of good food for my hosts, and I did it on their equipment. Dennis, I'd frankly grown complacent cooking on my KKs. Familiarity does tend to breed complacency. Your KKs are just too good and make cooking way too easy and enjoyable. I've always said that the KK experience is very tacit in nature. Everything about the KK is uncompromised. And you get used to that in a big hurry. You get used to uncompromised excellence at every turn. And as the saying goes, "You don't know what you have 'til it's gone!" I certainly didn't realize how deep your design thinking went until I had to use something else to cook. Look, I'm not even going to talk about the differences between gassers, stick burners, kettles etc. those cooks can't haul water for the KK. The differences are stunning. Trying to cook ribs in those cookers is real work! Mopping, spritzing, temp control, having to reload fuels, etc. is just too dadgummed much work! Let's not even talk about the restrictions on the types of cooks you can do. Pizza is generally out of the question and who wants that!? Let's not even talk about breads, deserts, etc. The KKs that you've designed are exceptional in the depth of analysis and attention to detail you've poured into each model. And we who use the KK get so used to so much we take a lot of the whole experience for granted. It might be that our purchase decisions are based on the KK reputation. From the top vent to the casters, the KK never disappoints. In fact it always exceeds expectations. Take the top hat vent on a KK. First, compared to other vents which are monkey see, monkey do, the KK top vent is remarkable. It's gorgeous; the other vents are just butt ugly in comparison. A detail of the KK top vent too often overlooked is the square threads. Those threads solve a host of problems other kamados build in. That square threaded KK top vent doesn't change position when the lid is raised. I've never had a KK top vent jamb shut. Other kamado makers don't even want to go there. Let's not even begin the differences in temperature control because the KK top vent is so good. I also don't have to jury rig something to fit over my top vent so I can cook in a driving Oklahoma thunderstorm! Take the hinge on any KK and compare it to hinges on other kamados. Talk about the difference between chicken salad and chicken crap! Dennis, as you know I've had experience on kamados ranging from the least expensive pos you can buy, to BGEs, KJs, and Primos. The hinge systems on every single one of those kamados isn't even in the same league as the KK hinge. With a KK all you do is pop the front latch and the lid majestically raises to fully open all by itself. That has never happened with those other lids. Never! The KK hinge is rock solid. It's not rickety, it never lets the lid slam shut! OUCH! I know of guys who have owned those other kamados and the lids shattered they slammed shut so hard. The KK hinge system so perfectly balances its heavy lid that every woman who has every been around my 32", TheBeast, was able to open the lid with two fingers and absolutely no effort whatsoever. That never happened on my other kamados. Your gaskets are simply genius. Food grade silicone! Why doesn't any other kamado manufacturer use this type of gasket material! Why do they cheapen their product with those stupid felt gaskets that burn so easily, get grease soaked so readily, that pull apart so readily in cold weather? Why do they build problems into their kamados? Again, your deep thought did away with problems from the onset simply by specifying a better gasket. Again, uncompromised excellence! The firebox on the KK is something special. Refractory. Two piece. No broken fire bowls in a KK as is all too common on every ceramic I know of. As you say, "You can't get away from the physics of it!" but it's absolutely true and you'd think the other manufacturers would take a page from your KK book! Replacement cost have got to be killing them! And speaking of refractory, I've gotta tell you how much I appreciate that choice. I was cooking pizza on a ceramic down in Houston and burned the ever living daylights out of my kneecap when my bare leg hit the side of kamado during a 700° pizza cook. That has never happened with my KKs because of the superior insulating capabilities of your unique refractory. The way the KK handles airflow is something few of us think about. Dennis, you've obviously put an incredible amount of thought into such a subtle process. You've designed the KK to force all airflow through the lump pile. The others haven't. Now that may not sound like much to some, but to me it is the pinnacle of the KK. This simple little fact translates to more advantages than might be readily apparent. First, our KKs get up to temp in a BIG hurry! That means a lot to those of us who want to do a quick cook on a weekday evening. The KK firebox divider works in concert with the airflow capabilities and directs all the air thought the lump pile. Again, it's all about efficiency. Further, the divider allows for a couple of different configurations and again, we're talking about efficiency. The fact that the KK is more efficient in its use of air means less airflow through the cooker and that translates to cooks that are, ceterus paribus, more moist! When you consider the air control dual dial manifold, one really begins to understand how deep your thought processes really are. Those two dials changed the way I looked at airflow, temperature control, and cookin in a kamado. Nobody has anything remotely like it. You couple that air control manifold with the infinitely adjustable top hat vent and you've got a kamado that lends itself to really low temp smoking that even the best conventional kamados can't match. Low air flow equates to longer than normal residence times for the smoke component. Again, the hallmark of the KK, efficiency, come to the forefront. I could rave about your air control system and it's dynamic because I'm an engineer by training, but most folks don't care to get that deep in the weeds! all I'm going to say is that there isn't another kamado on the market as well engineered from an airflow perspective and kamado cooking is all about controlling airflow. That's a simple and undeniable fact. Being away from Beauty! & TheBeast for almost two months was bad enough. Being forced to cook on a host of other cookers compounded the pain. BUT (there is always a but, right?!) cooking on those other kamados again, gave me a real perspective of the KK that I came to take for granted in the year plus that I've had my KKs. Until recently, I was a real fan of the KK for its ease of use and the stunning results it produces. I could go on and on because while you're sitting up tending a fire at 3:00 AM there is a lot to do but think and drink fine bourbon! I examined your designs through an engineer's lens and I came to the conclusion that the KK is the most over engineered Kamado in the world! Now I understand your design so much more. And what amazes me is that you've had not one iota of formal engineering training is some very sublime subject like fluid mechanics and heat transfer! I've rambled on and on here, probably much longer than I should have, but if you're a potential KK customer, what are you waiting for? Nothing comes close to the KK on every dimension you can imagine. The KK is uncompromised excellence in every area. A KK must be experienced because mere words will never do the KK justice. Call Dennis. Get a KK. Enjoy life as never before! Thanks for reading this tome.
  2. Hi Friends! Just returned from a few days out in Colorado Springs. I was just ahead of the snow out there ... always a good thing! Before I left, I went to Williams-Sonoma looking for wedding gifts for my Niece. She was getting married at the Air Force Academy Chapel. Beautiful wedding. While there I stumbled across a new, at least to me, burger press. Now understand that I am mostly absolutely unimpressed with the vast majority of burger presses I've see. TO my mind, they are just too flimsy to turn out really good burgers. I love a good burger and because most burger presses are so flimsy, they just ruin a burger. So what to my wondering eye should appear? A REALLY SUBSTANTIAL BURGER PRESS! It was substantial, made from cast aluminum. Even better, it was ON SALE for a mere $20! AT W-S that's a steal! So without further adieu, here it is. The front and back of the box: Now here is a side view of the press. Notice the set screw that allows for a really nice assortment of burger thicknesses. Here is the press in its open position. Now I decided to use some parchment paper on top and bottom to insure that meat particles didn't get trapped in the press. It just makes cleanup easier. So here is the press set up to make its first burger. And here is the finished product showing the burger pressed between the parchment papers. This is a picture of the finished burger. Perfection itself! I made 4 perfect 1/3 pound burgers in just seconds. Nothing has ever been easier! Here I am ready to put the burgers on Beauty! my 19" Hi-Cap. Notice that I am taking precautions to remain well hydrated! And here are the perfect burgers on the main grate of Beauty! These burgers grilled to a perfect MR/M without getting thick in the middle. They were absolutely perfect. Sorry, no money shot, but you get the point. This burger press is really a bargain at $20. I think of all the flimsy plastic presses I've spent much more money on and just tossed in the trash and I could buy everyone here a press just like this for Christmas! Unfortunately I can't do that because I went back the next day and they were all gone! Damn the luck anyway! When all is said and done, if there is a W-S near you, you might want to run by and see of you can get one of these is you like really good burgers.
  3. I had my nephew Shaun over for dinner this evening. He just finished pilot training down in San Antonio after graduating from The United States Air Force Academy last May. He's staying with my brother, the one who lives about 100 yards down the road. You know him, he's the BBQ Mooch who has recycled the same bag of chips for the last nine months! So I decided to use up a Tri-Tip that I'd had in the refrigerator. I also decided to give Shaun a taste treat ... he's a bachelor. I found out today that all he eats every evening is steak, generally NY Strips. So, I'm thinking it time to put on the dog and impress Shaun, or at least try. Sous Vide here I come! I decided to use up some rub I'd had left over from a rib cook this weekend. It was Runnin' Wild's Peach Rub and my brother developed a real like for it when he was over for the rib cook. Here's a pic of the Tri-Tip on the cutting board with the Runnin' Wild Peach Rub. Here is picture of the trimmed and rubbed Tri-Tip after sealing it up with the FoodSaver. It's now ready for the Anova Sous Vide. Here are the Sous Vide parameters as shown on the Anova Sous Vide. Fast forward 8 hours and here is the Tri-Tip just out of the water bath and ready to meet Beauty! at 600F. Notice that there is more liquid now after 8 hours in the Sous Vide at 132F than there was in the previous picture. More on that liquid in a bit. No pic of the Tri-Tip on Beauty! as All us boys were kibitzing and I forgot to take a pic! You simply can't trust some people! Here is picture of the Tri-Tip on the cutting board ready for carving after a 5 minute rest (The natives were getting restless!). And here is the Tri-Tip after I made my initial cut at the bend. That's a perfect Medium Rare if I do say so myself. And finally, here is the money shot. We had Mexican rice, refried beans, and guac. For those who wanted, we had warm whole wheat tortillas for tacos, burritos, etc. for those so inclined. Sorry, no pics of that either, but I'm told they went down really well! And here is a pic of the aftermath of the carnage! Now here is the story of the "Astounding" part of this cook. Shaun cooks his nightly steak on a round griddle with raised runs that he calls a grill! He also said he has never had Tri-Tip and he likes his beef cooked Medium Well! Yeah, I know ... Kids, what are you gonna do with 'em, right? So I told Shaun to trust me and he would be pleasantly surprised. I took a slice of the Tri-Tip, dipped in the au jus, and gave it to him. I said go ahead, take a bite, and if that isn't the best bite of beef you've ever had, I'll cook your share Medium Well. He took a bite, chewed, took another bite, chewed again, and got this HUGE grin on his face. "This is the most astounding flavor! Can I have some more?" Yeah I said, you can have all you want. He ate his Tri-Tip just sliced and with the au jus drizzled on the top. He was too polite to ask for seconds, so I just dished up some of the remaining Tri-Tip on to his plate and he finished off the au jus. He asked me how I learned to cook like that. I just smiled. Shaun is coming over tomorrow evening for a lesson on how to cook a NY Strip properly. I'm also rehabbing my Lodge Hibachi as a gift to him as he travels to his new duty station in New Mexico. He is one very fine man and I am proud to know this office and gentleman.
  4. Howdy KKers! Monday evening, I looked in the freezer to see what I had for dinner on Tuesday evening. There was a chuck roast, almost the last of a cow my brother and I had slaughtered and butchered. I pulled it and thawed it. Below are the results of yesterday's cook. Here is a picture of the guest of honor right out of the package. I decided to lay some smoke, peach smoke specifically, on the chuckie. I got this at Academy. I only used a couple of pieces directly in the heart of the lit lump. I was doing this indirect, hence the heat deflector. I"ll be laying on the smoke at 250ish. No big deal as the real key to this cook is the braising which comes later. I always like to keep my kamados as clean as possible, so I always set a drip pan on my heat deflector. A clean kamado is a safe kamado; no flashbacks for this Okie! And finally here is the chuckie on the grate. The temp probes are to the new iGrill thermometer that operates on BlueTooth. Red for the cook; yellow for the grate temp. I seasoned with my Embarrassed Zebra rub. Salt, pepper, granulated garlic, paprika, and cayenne. As many of you know Beauty! has thermometer probes built in the side through which you can run probes and their wires. Curved probes negate that capability, especially those that have a collar (red and yellow in this case. Hence the probe wires sitting on the lip of Beauty! I smoked this chuckie to about 160F internal according to the probe. Following is a pic of the chuckie at the end of this smoke. Here is picture of the chuckie in a pan with a liquid of beef broth and merlot wine. The veggies are red skin potatoes, turnips, carrots, and grossly chopped onions. Braising is classically combination cooking technique that consists of a sear on the meat and then a lower temp cook in a vessel, generally with some liquid in the bottom. Many of you may know this technique as pot roasting, hence the term pot roast! And here is the chuckie all buttoned up with its foil covering getting ready to be braised at a temp of 350F. It's back on Beauty! for the duration of the cook. Here is a picture of Beauty! holding rock solid smack dab in the middle of a rain storm. Here's the iGrill sitting on the KK teak side table. It's sitting under a glass bowl to protect it from the rain coming down and swirling around. Notice the water on the table. All in all Iwas quite pleased with the performance of the iGrill temperature unit. I had little if any problems with the BlueTooth. This was the first real test and it went well. I can recommend it. This next pic shows the finished product still in the pan after about 5 hours in the roasting portion of the cook. Here is a pic showing that the bone in the chuckie just easily wiggled loose. And finally here is a plated pic of the cook; braised chuckie, root veggies, and a green salad. SWMBOI and I used some of the broth over the meat and on the root veggies. Scrumptious! The chuckie, which can tend to the tough side, was really tender. Total time on smoke was about 2.5 hours and total time braising was about 6.5 hours. Because of the braise, the chuckie was incredibly moist. All in all, this was a very successful cook. I normally would reduce the liquid in the pan and make a gravy. But, SWMBOI's stomach thought her throat and been cut and she wanted to eat NOW! So, ever mindful of who butters my bread ...! Thanks for looking in!
  5. The Soon_to-Be-Granddaughters were over the other evening for dinner. They had never had kabobs! They didn't even know what a kabob looked like! So we solved that situation in a hurry. I had four fresh chicken breasts, a bunch of bell peppers, some mushrooms, etc. and that is just perfect for a quick cook. We diced up the veggies and the chicken breasts. I'm having to teach this young ladies knife skills, how to light a fire, how to set temps, etc. Gurus, please start teaching your kids and grandkids these things at an early age. I'm staggered when I run across teens and young adults who can't boil water without a microwave! But, I digress ... So here are the veggies on a grate for cooking. I ALWAYS cook the veggies separately from the chicken, beef, etc. because they simply don't cook at the same rate. Here are the chicken kabobs as they went on the grate. These were strung together by the Ladies. Had to show the girls how to make certain you didn't skewer your fingers! This is a picture of the first turn of those kabobs. And these are the kabobs about to be pulled from the grate. The kabobs are about ready to march into the house and rest for 3-5 minutes. Cailey is holding the cook she supervised. And the money shot with my good buddy, Pete the Pink Salt Pig, supervising. The young ladies did a really good job on these. They ran the cook from lighting the fire to controlling temps to cook prep to the actual cook to plating the food. I think they did a heckuva job! Thanks for looking in! The Ladies and I appreciate it.
  6. Last night it was dark and stormy. Severe Weather Warnings all over the great State of Oklahoma. And once again, the City of Moore, OK was hit by a tornado. I'm convinced there is a fundamental force in the universe unknown to physicists that exists in Moore and trailer parks that just attracts tornados. Moore has been hit by tornados more times in the past 10 years than I can count. In any event, my soon-to-be-Granddaughters were over last night and wanted me to cook for them. You know the outcome on that deal. They wanted hamburger steaks and roasted potatoes with a tossed salad. Nothing else would suffice. And the weather was no excuse. Just pull Beauty! under the covered part of the patio and get cooking! SWMBOI just looked and laughed. Here are the potatoes going on Beauty! I just toss the small golden potatoes in some olive oil, melted butter, S&P, crushed Rosemary and Thyme, and a dash of Cajun seasoning A buddy of mine makes. It only takes about 20-25 minutes in a 400F kamado. The spuds are placed in the back to get them away from the direct heat. I was too dadgummed lazy to use my heat deflector. I also wanted just a wee bit of color on the taters. Here is the end product of that tater roast. Just as I took the taters off, here come the screaming tornado sirens. I know that the danger is 15 miles south in Moore. We have the best severe weather meteorologists in the world here in OKC. It's Moore getting hit and where I live all we have are strong straight line winds and BUCKETS of rain. Thankfully no hail. So, I sally forth back outside to put the hamburger steaks on Beauty! I get drenched in the process because I don't want to walk through the garage and dodge the cars hiding from the hail that never showed. Here are the hamburger steaks sitting pretty on Beauty! And here they are as they look when they are pulled off the grate. Finally, here's the money shot. All in all a very simple but wonderful meal. SMWBOI was happy, Cailey and Gracie were happy, and I didn't catch my death of cold wearing wet and cold clothes. Thanks for looking. Please remember the good Citizens of Moore in your prayers as they rebuild, again.
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