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chuck

going to buy a KK BUT............

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i'm going to buy a 32" big bad but i have never cooked on a kamado style grill before.  how easy is it to adapt to this way of cooking.  i have a lot of smoking experience and grilling experience on other charcoal smokers/grills, but not this.  looking for input.  thanks

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Hey Chuck............one cook and you will have it figured out and be hooked.  The most important element in my book is not to over shoot your cooking temp because the cookers retain heat so well.  Just air flow adjustments. 

Pull the trigger....you will not regret it.  

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I agree with JonB. I'd never cooked on a kamado either before getting my KK, although I had been around two cooks on a pos Kamado (fortunately an early one, so not in and of itself a pos) owned by a friend. The KKs are actually much easier to cook on, and with much better results, than my previous charcoal smokers and grills, as well as my large gas grill, all of which have now either been given away or decommissioned in favor of the KKs.

Fair warning, one KK is terrific; two is much more better. 

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Thanks for all the responses. Getting one 32" past she who must be obeyed was step one. If I were to try for a second, it had better be the 42" cause I'd have to live in it. I'm excited to get my order in and play!!

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The fun part of this adventure is the learning phase. It's easier than it sounds. The best way is to set up a full basket of good lump charcoal, light a small spot, set the top vent just barely off the seat, sit back with a cooler of your favorite adult beverages and see where the temperature stabilizes. (Note: the bottom vent just needs to be open a bit, as it doesn't control temperature, only the top vent does that. You just need to let in enough air in the bottom to keep the coals going.)

Then move the top vent in 1/8 turn increments, letting the temperature stabilize each time. Take notes and viola! you have mastered KK temperature control. The results are repeatable. After a short time, you'll toss the notes, as you'll just know your grill and how to set the vent for the temperature that you want. 

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Like all have said, there is a learning curve because of the refractory lining absorbing all that good heat and it may puzzle you as to why at first.  Patience and time are your ally, when you become comfortable it becomes quite enjoyable. Low and slow, holding temp, cooking area by width and height all covered especially with your choice.  Definitely an adventure if your looking for one.

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22 minutes ago, tony b said:

Then move the top vent in 1/8 turn increments, letting the temperature stabilize each time. Take notes and viola! you have mastered KK temperature control. The results are repeatable. After a short time, you'll toss the notes, as you'll just know your grill and how to set the vent for the temperature that you want. 

One time I put a couple too many pork butts in the KK............so that the dome thermometer was stuck in the meat when I closed the lid.  Just set the top & bottom vent where I always put them for low & slow. and the temp was within 10* of where I wanted it (checked after I took the meat out).  @chuck...with your experience with other cookers.......this is a no brainer!!!!!    

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Thanks Tony. It is that fine tuning that makes me a bit nervous. Like anything once you know the unit it's easy but getting there seems a little intimidating. 

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58 minutes ago, chuck said:

Thanks Tony. It is that fine tuning that makes me a bit nervous. Like anything once you know the unit it's easy but getting there seems a little intimidating. 

Another thing that you'll learn very quickly is that it doesn't matter if you nail your target temperature or not. Most cooks are so forgiving that +/- 50F on the cooking temperature doesn't matter on the final results. Don't sweat it!

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Chuck, it is going to be even easier than what you are used to and the taste will be even more rewarding.  :smt023:smt023

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1 hour ago, tony b said:

Another thing that you'll learn very quickly is that it doesn't matter if you nail your target temperature or not. Most cooks are so forgiving that +/- 50F on the cooking temperature doesn't matter on the final results. Don't sweat it!

This has all been SO encouraging. I'm sooooo excited to get mine!!!

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The forum and advice of the veteran owners is a huge asset to getting  great results on the KK out of the gate.  As a newbie, the biggest learning curve so far is timing the side dishes cooked along with the meat so they are done at the same time.  

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On 1/7/2020 at 9:26 PM, Herbie J - Alabama said:

The forum and advice of the veteran owners is a huge asset to getting  great results on the KK out of the gate.  As a newbie, the biggest learning curve so far is timing the side dishes cooked along with the meat so they are done at the same time.  

YEP! Same is still true for us veterans. 

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We just bought the 23 Ultimate.  My first cook was a smoked brisket for a tailgate (26 people).  We nailed it.  Go big or go home.

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6 minutes ago, Takela said:

We just bought the 23 Ultimate.  My first cook was a smoked brisket for a tailgate (26 people).  We nailed it.  Go big or go home.

Welcome aboard! 

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