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

Incoming 32"BB to Melbourne, Australia

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Hi All,

Thought it was time to introduce myself. I've been reading the forum over recent weeks having come to the decision to order a KK over recent months. The COVID lockdown last year led to the upgrade and reinvigoration of numerous hobbies, and I had set myself the goal of upping the cooking game in 2021. Our 17yr old gas grill is on its last legs, and I had already decided to go for a proper charcoal BBQ to replace it- a mate at work uses a KJ which he raves about, and then further research led me to the KK website and the new obsession.

My habit is usually to do things properly the first time and not have to do them again- and it seems fairly clear that in terms of kamado cooking the KK is clearly the best way to go. We are a 4 person household with young kids, and tend to grill on our gasser at least once a week, but also love to make pizzas at home. With interstate family who often stay with us when they visit, the idea to cook for larger groups easily by preparing a spectacular slow cooked piece of meat appeals- not surprisingly my attempt to slow cook a brisket on a gas grill with a hood didn't go so well!

Like many on this forum, I am also a keen home brewer for the last 15 years or so, and updated my brewery during the 2020 lockdown (photos below for those interested)- so in 2021 it's BBQ time.

After corresponding and chatting with Dennis I've ordered a 32"BB in matt black tile (in terms of style the wife prefers minimalist- not that that is easy for a KK)- side tables, roti spit, KK cold smoker, baking stone, basket splitter and grill grabbers have also been ordered. Should arrive in 2 months or so.

Being imported to Australia charcoal and wood are not options (strict customs here)- so will look for a good local source. Dennis has set me up with a customs agent here in Melbourne, so all of that is already pretty clear.

I'd be keen to hear of any tips and tricks from Australian owners regarding delivery and any difficulties you had- hoping it gets delivered on a pallet jack and I can convince them to do more than just dump it in the driveway! Have a garage door in the back of our garage which opens into the backyard- so am hoping I can convince them to run it through; and there are two small steps then into the backyard area (not sure how high those things can be jacked)?

No doubt there will be lots of questions along the way. An initial question I have is how you would usually set-up at 32" with a basket-splitter and the half main grate. Let's say I use a half basket set-up; then I have a direct side and an indirect side; but then on which side does the half main grate go for most common day to day use (ie two indirect levels and a direct lower level vs two direct levels and an indirect lower level?).

Specifically for Australian owners- would appreciate your recommendations on the following to source locally before the KK arrives:

- good sources for hardwood lump charcoal and smoking woods

- locally available gas torch or similar for lighting (Bernzomatic JT850 I've seen mentioned)?

- Roti motor for 240v and Australian plug

- smaller items: heat proof gloves/  baking steel/ any other small essentials

Look forward to posting photos when it arrives- and learning lots. It seems a great forum.

 

Remi

 

 

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Wow, Remi, firstly, congrats on the decision to invest. You are correct in your research and will now be the envy of your mates with their KJ. Don’t embarrass them, the cooking methods are still very similar and you will share recipes and ideas. The KK has far better thermodynamics so what they can do, you can do easier.
There are many questions in your post and I may not answer them all.
There are several Aussies here- alimac in Perth with Aussie. I’m in Brisbane and there are several more.
The best local charcoal is Gidgee wood charcoal. Sourced from south west Qld and I’m pretty sure they distribute to restaurants in Melbourne. I haven’t liked the mangrove charcoal, however, some do.
There are plenty of great Aussie woods to add flavour and you don’t need to get caught up with the American woods- they are good, I just don’t think it’s economical to ship them half way around the world when the locally sourced timber is special.
Any eucalyptus and particularly the harder timber works, also local fruit trees. Avoid pines, generally softer wood, and milk sap wood like mango. I’ve liked silky oak, carambola, cherry, apple, pear. You don’t need to add much to the charcoal for extra Smokey flavour.
Rely on Dennis for his distributors, he is trusted and genuinely wants a good result for us as his customers.
Once your KK has cleared customs, you can source any delivery company with a pellet jack to deliver. A sheet of ply will help you over two steps and a 6 pack to bribe the driver will mostly get them to take it to your back yard. The ply is cheap from any scaffolder, concreter or builder you may know. Otherwise, Bunnings will sell it.
PM me if you have any other local queries, or sing out to this group- they have plenty of knowledge to share.

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Impressive with the beer making apparatus, neat and clean which only leads me to the thought that the beer must be of a quality brew. After a few cooks on your KK you'll be telling yourself, "Why didn't I come aboard years ago."  Although after a quick passing of remorse that regret will fade and you'll be enjoying another fine brew with a superbly cooked meal. The only thing now in the way is a bit of anticipation, it's keeping you waiting....luckily you have a double tap close by to ease the anxieity.  Congratulations...calls for a toast

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12 hours ago, remi said:

further research led me to the KK website and the new obsession.

You got that right! Welcome!

BrewTech gear - nice! Spotted the Blichmann hoprocket and chiller, too. Serious cash in that setup for sure. Propane tank, but didn't see a burner? You convert totally over to all electric as part of the "upgrade?" 

Edited by tony b
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Sweet brewing setup!  I have been eyeing the Hop Rocket, how do you like it?  I also have a kegerator I converted to a two tap system, I have both ball lock and Sankey connections so I can go commercial when my personal inventory is low.

Sounds like a nice setup on the grill accessories, I'm still contemplating everything including color, I should probably contact Dennis soon as it looks like August for arrival if I order soon.

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Thanks for the welcome and the helpful tips thus far.

Regarding the brewery questions- I set things up initially in 2008 with these brewing vessels/ stainless bench etc etc, and didn't spend a single dollar on brewing equipment for 13years; so it owes me nothing as of about 5 years ago (based on very conservative estimates, and not counting my time of course!) The upgrade consisted of changing the kettle to electric, adding a RIMS tube, electric control panel for better control of mash temps and repeatability (sourced from Grounded brewing in Tennessee), adding a whirlpool fitting to my kettle, changing over all hoses and converting all fittings to tri-clover, and switching out my old stainless conical in a fridge solution to a SS Brewtech Unitank with temp control for better fermentation control. Love the HopRocket which I use as a hop-back on brew days- and a couple of times as a hop randall for times where I've had lots of people over. So big changes- and now in terms of finances I am only at break even again! Still- all in all not any different to a KK investment.

Can't wait to have a BBQ game to match my beer game!

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2 hours ago, remi said:

Can't wait to have a BBQ game to match my beer game!

It's an easy game to play, you make your own rules , hardly anyone complains, and you win all the time. Now for some but not all, this fun does come with a price, could be better described as a curse. Don't worry, nothing devious... but as you meander along the BBQ path an insatiable desire to own more than one KK or another type of cooker might enter your mind. Before you know it the whole yard is full of all kinds of equipment.......there might be a few folks here that'll attest to this phenomenon and once it gets a hold of you, well, you might have to see a BBQ exorcist. Did I say a few, don't fret, your gonna like the ride.

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Hello Remi and welcome.

What an amazing  brewing set-up you have  - I can't think of a better way to have used lockdown time than to have built such a beautiful system and researched and made the decision to buy a KK.

32" Black Matt Tile is the way to go (😉).

Regarding the equipment - I've got the heavy duty roti motor that Dennis supplies - he sent me a 240 v version and it's a simple matter to change the plug over. It is pretty solid and the roti slips straight in with no fuss.

Make sure you get the name of the boat - it adds a little spice and eases the pain of the wait if you can see it making its journey.

Lovely city Melbourne, great access to wonderful countryside. I worked there for a while and Mrs RD worked at the Austin on ITU.

Congratulations.

 

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26 minutes ago, RokDok said:

Hello Remi and welcome.

What an amazing  brewing set-up you have  - I can't think of a better way to have used lockdown time than to have built such a beautiful system and researched and made the decision to buy a KK.

32" Black Matt Tile is the way to go (😉).

Regarding the equipment - I've got the heavy duty roti motor that Dennis supplies - he sent me a 240 v version and it's a simple matter to change the plug over. It is pretty solid and the roti slips straight in with no fuss.

Make sure you get the name of the boat - it adds a little spice and eases the pain of the wait if you can see it making its journey.

Lovely city Melbourne, great access to wonderful countryside. I worked there for a while and Mrs RD worked at the Austin on ITU.

Congratulations.

 

Small world- many years ago I worked at the Austin for 6 months as well! Thanks for the tip about the Roti motor- perhaps worth reaching out to Dennis... a plug change is no big deal as you say.

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6 hours ago, Tyrus said:

It's an easy game to play, you make your own rules , hardly anyone complains, and you win all the time. Now for some but not all, this fun does come with a price, could be better described as a curse. Don't worry, nothing devious... but as you meander along the BBQ path an insatiable desire to own more than one KK or another type of cooker might enter your mind. Before you know it the whole yard is full of all kinds of equipment.......there might be a few folks here that'll attest to this phenomenon and once it gets a hold of you, well, you might have to see a BBQ exorcist. Did I say a few, don't fret, your gonna like the ride.

Sounds dangerous indeed- and a hole that the likes of me will easily fall down.

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34 minutes ago, remi said:

Sounds dangerous indeed- and a hole that the likes of me will easily fall down.

Tee hee.  Happy to help.  I have had a total of 5 KKs and currently have 3.  I cannot wait for the summer.  Cooking and eating outdoors with the various means of cooking available to us is going to be such fun.  Whether cooking on a Solo stove, an Argentinian barbecue or an over engineered KK, cooking over live fire is unpredictable and brings joy when you get it right.  

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On 2/25/2021 at 5:25 AM, remi said:

No doubt there will be lots of questions along the way. An initial question I have is how you would usually set-up at 32" with a basket-splitter and the half main grate. Let's say I use a half basket set-up; then I have a direct side and an indirect side; but then on which side does the half main grate go for most common day to day use (ie two indirect levels and a direct lower level vs two direct levels and an indirect lower level?).

I have played with this.  My half main grate seems to only fit on the left hand side of my 32 KK.  For bread making I have settled on having the fire under the half main grate with the bread directly above and my steam generator sitting over to the right on the non-fire side.  I don't generally do the reverse or forward sear thing on my steaks because I like them blue in any case but if I did I would swap sides i.e. no fire under the half grate on the LHS and I would put the lower grate in to cook over the hot fire on the RHS.  Others who have actually done this may have a different view.  Keen to hear.  

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9 hours ago, RokDok said:

Make sure you get the name of the boat - it adds a little spice and eases the pain of the wait if you can see it making its journey.

Or adds to the frustration when your ship is anchored off the coast for days waiting to dock, or it does a "drive by" your port only to go to another one first. 

 

15 hours ago, Tyrus said:

Before you know it the whole yard is full of all kinds of equipment.......there might be a few folks here that'll attest to this phenomenon and once it gets a hold of you, well, you might have to see a BBQ exorcist.

@ckreef can attest to this one, as can @tekobo

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On 2/26/2021 at 7:37 PM, tony b said:

Or adds to the frustration when your ship is anchored off the coast for days waiting to dock, or it does a "drive by" your port only to go to another one first. 

Yep ... that's going to happen , but ... absence makes the heart grow fonder.....

On 2/26/2021 at 10:11 AM, remi said:

Small world- many years ago I worked at the Austin for 6 months as well!

Crikey - but probably not as long ago as the mid 80s ?

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13 hours ago, RokDok said:

Yep ... that's going to happen , but ... absence makes the heart grow fonder.....

Crikey - but probably not as long ago as the mid 80s ?

Yes- not that long ago- more like 2007!

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Congratulations on the purchase @remi

I also have a 32 and as @tekobo mentioned I do what she suggested. Hang grate on left indirect, reverse seared steaks and finish on lower grate right hand side over coals. One of my favorite features of my KK

 

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2 KK's. Around 10 total grills depending on how/what you count. 

Hey I'm trying to reform. I've swore off buying another grill at least the last 2 or 3 times I bought a new grill. But this last new grill really will be the last. 

........... 

 

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2 KK's. Around 10 total grills depending on how/what you count. 
Hey I'm trying to reform. I've swore off buying another grill at least the last 2 or 3 times I bought a new grill. But this last new grill really will be the last. 





........... 
 

Two things concern me with this statement Ckreef.
Firstly, only 10 grills? I thought you had more than that.
Secondly,This last grill will be the last? - I’ve heard that before..... more than twice.


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