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

Hi from N.Carolina

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If you're in the Piedmont of NC, you're welcome to come by and kick the tires on my BB 32 and evaluate the space and admire the tiles.  Plus it might be the only non-blue grill that Dennis sold in the last year based on all the pictures of new grills on the forum!

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Thank you for your input...I will keep it at the 32 for now. I have my Primo XL for different temp cooks when it need to do that. It is very tempting though. I was looking at the 23 and decided to go up to the 32. Do you have the cold smoker, I normally rely on adding wood, wasn't sure if it would make that much difference. I found a lump that is off the grid and really good to the point that I don't really need to add wood now. It is called Smith Mountain Lump out of Virginia.
Your cooks really look good. With pork pricing the way it is now that would cost a few pennies!

I do have the cold smoker and I am glad I got it. Useful tool. I have used it with both chips and pellets. It works well. I haven’t actually done any cold smoking. Because the cold smoker increases airflow and in the 42 the outlet for it is above the firebox, I have used it only on higher temp cooks to get extra smoke. On 225 cooks I put wood in the firebox with my charcoal. Have not tried a smoke pot yet.


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If you're in the Piedmont of NC, you're welcome to come by and kick the tires on my BB 32 and evaluate the space and admire the tiles.  Plus it might be the only non-blue grill that Dennis sold in the last year based on all the pictures of new grills on the forum!

Lots of matte black too recently. I am not the only new 42 in matte black.


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35 minutes ago, Mark Surratt said:

either the spit or basket. I think I would use the spit more and I really don't think I would need both.

I have both and use both. Each has its own advantages depending on the cook. Whole birds do better in the basket. Individual pieces do better on the spit with forks. Plus, I fabricated a cage for the basket to roast chile peppers in - works great. YMMV

006.thumb.JPG.fac3df5923c598f17ae9983b3b80d8b1.JPG

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My input…I have both the spit and the basket. I use the spit a lot more. The basket has its purposes too but if you are between one or the other, your gut is probably correct. Go with the spit.

If you have the cold smoker you will use it. If you don’t you may not miss it much. Depends 1) if you plan to actually cold smoke anything. And 2) how do you like your setup for actual smoking. It can be great for smoking on low and slow cooks too, especially if you want a lot of wood smoke flavor. I use it off and on for hot smokes depending, but I tend to go with the smoker pot for those but that is just preference. The cold smoker does a good job with the right size wood or pellets too.


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19 minutes ago, tony b said:

I have both and use both. Each has its own advantages depending on the cook. Whole birds do better in the basket. Individual pieces do better on the spit with forks. Plus, I fabricated a cage for the basket to roast chile peppers in - works great. YMMV

006.thumb.JPG.fac3df5923c598f17ae9983b3b80d8b1.JPG

I saw a commercial version of your hardware cloth basket, Tony. It does seem like It would come in handy for several things...like wings.  That stuff isn't galvanized is it?

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On 1/6/2022 at 8:57 AM, johnnymnemonic said:

B ) after living with the 42, I occasionally find myself wanting a smaller KK or wanting to use my BGE.

I think it boils down to how you are going to use it.
For me, I love my 42 because

  • I do a lot of grilling and I absolutely adore the extra room that this grill gives me
  • I do several very large smokes every year and it's great to do it all at once rather than in batches
    • I could probably do these large cooks in a 32 very easily as well but I appreciate all the handy extra space.  I don't have to fool with the upper grate unless I want to do - what - a dozen pork butts (which I may do one day and I will post pics!).

If you are mostly doing one brisket or one pork shoulder and that type of thing and you are doing mostly smoking and not grilling, I would recommend sticking with the 32 or even looking at the 23 ultimate.  The reason is that on this pork butt cook that you see in pictures below (yes, they are all perfect and awesome) but - the butts on the right side where there was more fire underneath were slightly hotter than the ones on the left.  This is a HUGE nitpick because THIS IS A KK and the results are mind blowing no matter what, but - it is my impression that the temperature consistency is more and more uniform the smaller KK you have.  If you are doing smaller amounts of food and you are aiming for absolute utter perfection, I think a smaller KK is the "best tool for the job".  That said, do I have any hesitation about smoking small amounts of food in my 42? None whatsoever - and the results are - as I say - mindblowing - just like with any KK.

I wonder if you could expatiate on the uneven temperatures a bit? How much variation was there from left to right? Was a heat deflector of some kind in use, especially over the fire? If practical or possible, would centering the fire make any difference or merely move the hot zone to the center?  Finally, would you estimate that the added mass of the 42” adds significantly to the time it takes to heat soak and stabilize at cooking temperatures and, if so, does that have any influence in your occasional wish to use a smaller grill? That’s a lot but thanks for anything you can offer.  BTW, I’m partial to pebbles!

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On 1/8/2022 at 1:25 PM, Durangutan said:

I wonder if you could expatiate on the uneven temperatures a bit? How much variation was there from left to right? Was a heat deflector of some kind in use, especially over the fire? If practical or possible, would centering the fire make any difference or merely move the hot zone to the center?  Finally, would you estimate that the added mass of the 42” adds significantly to the time it takes to heat soak and stabilize at cooking temperatures and, if so, does that have any influence in your occasional wish to use a smaller grill? That’s a lot but thanks for anything you can offer.  BTW, I’m partial to pebbles!

@Durangutansorry for the late reply.

  • expounding on the uneven temps from left to right
    • unsure.  If you look at the attached photo, this is the cook I am talking about.  Notice that I'm probing the grate kind of on the left center, and I'm probing a pork butt that is on the left.  This picture is right before I took them off.  The pork butt I was probing on the left was at 203.  The ones on the right were more like 208-210.  I was worried that they were too overdone but they were awesome.  They were falling apart so much when I was taking them off that I had to use gloves just to get them off the grill.  Although I am unsure, I will guess the differential was 10-15 degrees.  In other words where the probe sat left of center was 225 and the actual temp on the right side was 235-240.  That is just a guess.  And this would probably tend to shift throughout the cook as the fire moves around in the box.  But anyway - If I do this same cook again, I might probe both sides of the grill next time just for science.
  • Was a heat deflector in use?
    • For this cook, I used a whole firebox of charcoal.  I covered the lower grate with aluminum foil (except the edges).  And then underneath you can see those drip pans.  Most KK users do not use the deflectors and just use foil on the lower grate and/or just the drip pans to provide the heat deflection.  If I were doing only 2 pork butts I probably would have skipped the foil and just centered each one over a drip pan and called it a day.  My impression from using a BGE is that just because you have a ceramic deflector doesn't mean that the heat is even, so I don't know if using the stone deflectors would have made any difference. I could try it one day and may do so.
  • Centering the fire (and my fire setup for this cook)
    • You bring up a good point about centering the fire.  I suppose I could have used the basket splitter and just put charcoal in the center.  I was (only mildly) concerned about running out of fuel, but doing a full firebox means you can basically go forever.
    • The firebox is kind of an oval shape.  Imagine splitting that oval in half.  I lit about a grapefruit sized amount of charcoal in the center of each half of the firebox.
    • I was using my thermoworks billows with the rest of the bottom vents shut.  The port for the billows is on the right side.  Therefore, the right side of the firebox was getting more oxygen.  More fire burned on the right side for (I think) the entire duration of the cook based on what the charcoal looked like afterwards.  A lot of ash on the right side and not many remnants.
  • Does the mass of the 42 add significantly to the time it takes to heat soak and is that what makes me want a smaller grill?
    • I have no frame of reference on a smaller KK.
    • I basically do exactly what I used to do with my BGE which is pay attention to the quality of the smoke. When the white colored smoke is gone and the grate thermometer is reading approximately where you want, the food can go, especially if you're using a fan controller.  And with the KK I don't  open the grill at all with pork butts until it's done.
    • If you're grilling and not smoking you don't have to wait for this thing to heat soak if you don't want to.  You can just cook on direct heat on the lower grate.
    • TL; DR - I knew what I was getting into when I bought it and I'm totally un-bothered by the time it takes to heat soak.
    • If I had to guess, this thing takes about 60 mins to fully heat soak.  For low and slow, I put my food on when the smoke looks right and the grate thermometer is reading right, not necessarily when the grill is fully heat soaked.

My wish to use a smaller grill is mainly rooted in that using one of the bigger KKs is a "production". 

  • The grates are heavy. 
  • If you want to change the configuration of the firebox you have to
    • take all the grates out
    • lift out the firebox
    • fool with the basket splitter
    • maybe empty the old charcoal out before you do that
    • adjust
    • put basket back in the grill
    • put charcoal back in, etc. 
    • Configure the grates the way you want them -
    • then....  light the fire. 

Aside from this I'm also using the cold smoker attachment or some probes or something else - so - there's usually even more setup involved.

This seems to be the case (more or less) with either the 32 or the 42, which were the two grills I was considering.

Now that I am living with my KK, I still find myself occasionally firing up the BGE because it is simply "less of a production".   Also I have cooked with it for a dozen years so I have a lot of things "dialed in".  No probes, etc - just go go go.

I have 0 regrets about my purchase - but if I can splurge on something again in the next couple three years, I'm getting a 21 or 23 KK for times when I want a little bit simpler KK experience.  Once you cook on one of these grills and taste the difference in the food that comes off of it, you really never want to go back.

I hope this answers your questions, and again, sorry for the late reply.

5PB4.png

Edited by johnnymnemonic
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56 minutes ago, johnnymnemonic said:

@Durangutansorry for the late reply.

  • expounding on the uneven temps from left to right
    • unsure.  If you look at the attached photo, this is the cook I am talking about.  Notice that I'm probing the grate kind of on the left center, and I'm probing a pork butt that is on the left.  This picture is right before I took them off.  The pork butt I was probing on the left was at 203.  The ones on the right were more like 208-210.  I was worried that they were too overdone but they were awesome.  They were falling apart so much when I was taking them off that I had to use gloves just to get them off the grill.  Although I am unsure, I will guess the differential was 10-15 degrees.  In other words where the probe sat left of center was 225 and the actual temp on the right side was 235-240.  That is just a guess.  And this would probably tend to shift throughout the cook as the fire moves around in the box.  But anyway - If I do this same cook again, I might probe both sides of the grill next time just for science.
  • Was a heat deflector in use?
    • For this cook, I used a whole firebox of charcoal.  I covered the lower grate with aluminum foil (except the edges).  And then underneath you can see those drip pans.  Most KK users do not use the deflectors and just use foil on the lower grate and/or just the drip pans to provide the heat deflection.  If I were doing only 2 pork butts I probably would have skipped the foil and just centered each one over a drip pan and called it a day.  My impression from using a BGE is that just because you have a ceramic deflector doesn't mean that the heat is even, so I don't know if using the stone deflectors would have made any difference. I could try it one day and may do so.
  • Centering the fire (and my fire setup for this cook)
    • You bring up a good point about centering the fire.  I suppose I could have used the basket splitter and just put charcoal in the center.  I was (only mildly) concerned about running out of fuel, but doing a full firebox means you can basically go forever.
    • The firebox is kind of an oval shape.  Imagine splitting that oval in half.  I lit about a grapefruit sized amount of charcoal in the center of each half of the firebox.
    • I was using my thermoworks billows with the rest of the bottom vents shut.  The port for the billows is on the right side.  Therefore, the right side of the firebox was getting more oxygen.  More fire burned on the right side for (I think) the entire duration of the cook based on what the charcoal looked like afterwards.  A lot of ash on the right side and not many remnants.
  • Does the mass of the 42 add significantly to the time it takes to heat soak and is that what makes me want a smaller grill?
    • I have no frame of reference on a smaller KK.
    • I basically do exactly what I used to do with my BGE which is pay attention to the quality of the smoke. When the white colored smoke is gone and the grate thermometer is reading approximately where you want, the food can go, especially if you're using a fan controller.  And with the KK I don't  open the grill at all with pork butts until it's done.
    • If you're grilling and not smoking you don't have to wait for this thing to heat soak if you don't want to.  You can just cook on direct heat on the lower grate.
    • TL; DR - I knew what I was getting into when I bought it and I'm totally un-bothered by the time it takes to heat soak.
    • If I had to guess, this thing takes about 60 mins to fully heat soak.  For low and slow, I put my food on when the smoke looks right and the grate thermometer is reading right, not necessarily when the grill is fully heat soaked.

My wish to use a smaller grill is mainly rooted in that using one of the bigger KKs is a "production". 

  • The grates are heavy. 
  • If you want to change the configuration of the firebox you have to
    • take all the grates out
    • lift out the firebox
    • fool with the basket splitter
    • maybe empty the old charcoal out before you do that
    • adjust
    • put basket back in the grill
    • put charcoal back in, etc. 
    • Configure the grates the way you want them -
    • then....  light the fire. 

Aside from this I'm also using the cold smoker attachment or some probes or something else - so - there's usually even more setup involved.

This seems to be the case (more or less) with either the 32 or the 42, which were the two grills I was considering.

Now that I am living with my KK, I still find myself occasionally firing up the BGE because it is simply "less of a production".   Also I have cooked with it for a dozen years so I have a lot of things "dialed in".  No probes, etc - just go go go.

I have 0 regrets about my purchase - but if I can splurge on something again in the next couple three years, I'm getting a 21 or 23 KK for times when I want a little bit simpler KK experience.  Once you cook on one of these grills and taste the difference in the food that comes off of it, you really never want to go back.

I hope this answers your questions, and again, sorry for the late reply.

5PB4.png

I appreciate the detailed explanation. Very helpful. 

Do you wish you would've went with a 32 to be between the 42 and the 23 that you are eyeing :) If I recall, you originally ordered a 32, right?

(Sorry for a little sidetrack to the OP) 

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2 minutes ago, Cheesehead_Griller said:

I appreciate the detailed explanation. Very helpful. 

Do you wish you would've went with a 32 to be between the 42 and the 23 that you are eyeing :) If I recall, you originally ordered a 32, right?

(Sorry for a little sidetrack to the OP) 

I'm still very glad I got the 42.  When you grill on a 42 with all that room to spare it is so nice.  The versatility of the 42 is amazing with the grates split into 3 sections, basket splitter comes standard, etc.

I'm just going to have to get a smaller KK one day.  In the mean time I'll still keep the egg around. 

I'm doing two cooks this weekend. Another batch of rotisserie chicken and some burgers.  Probably going to cook them one after the other tomorrow.  roti first then pop in the lower grate and grill.

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Just now, johnnymnemonic said:

I'm still very glad I got the 42.  When you grill on a 42 with all that room to spare it is so nice.  The versatility of the 42 is amazing with the grates split into 3 sections, basket splitter comes standard, etc.

I'm just going to have to get a smaller KK one day.  In the mean time I'll still keep the egg around. 

I'm doing two cooks this weekend. Another batch of rotisserie chicken and some burgers.  Probably going to cook them one after the other tomorrow.  roti first then pop in the lower grate and grill.

I look forward to the pics and hearing how the results are. 

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An added expense, but one thing that helps "simplify" the setup process, regardless of grill size, if you have the basket splitter - get a 2nd charcoal basket for it. Then, it's just a matter of swapping them out without having to fiddle with unused charcoal bits and assembling the basket splitter. Granted, with the bigger KKs, the basket splitter has more options for setup than my 23" does, but I still think that it would make things simpler for setting up a cook to have a separate charcoal basket for it. 

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2 hours ago, johnnymnemonic said:

@Durangutansorry for the late reply.

  • expounding on the uneven temps from left to right
    • unsure.  If you look at the attached photo, this is the cook I am talking about.  Notice that I'm probing the grate kind of on the left center, and I'm probing a pork butt that is on the left.  This picture is right before I took them off.  The pork butt I was probing on the left was at 203.  The ones on the right were more like 208-210.  I was worried that they were too overdone but they were awesome.  They were falling apart so much when I was taking them off that I had to use gloves just to get them off the grill.  Although I am unsure, I will guess the differential was 10-15 degrees.  In other words where the probe sat left of center was 225 and the actual temp on the right side was 235-240.  That is just a guess.  And this would probably tend to shift throughout the cook as the fire moves around in the box.  But anyway - If I do this same cook again, I might probe both sides of the grill next time just for science.
  • Was a heat deflector in use?
    • For this cook, I used a whole firebox of charcoal.  I covered the lower grate with aluminum foil (except the edges).  And then underneath you can see those drip pans.  Most KK users do not use the deflectors and just use foil on the lower grate and/or just the drip pans to provide the heat deflection.  If I were doing only 2 pork butts I probably would have skipped the foil and just centered each one over a drip pan and called it a day.  My impression from using a BGE is that just because you have a ceramic deflector doesn't mean that the heat is even, so I don't know if using the stone deflectors would have made any difference. I could try it one day and may do so.
  • Centering the fire (and my fire setup for this cook)
    • You bring up a good point about centering the fire.  I suppose I could have used the basket splitter and just put charcoal in the center.  I was (only mildly) concerned about running out of fuel, but doing a full firebox means you can basically go forever.
    • The firebox is kind of an oval shape.  Imagine splitting that oval in half.  I lit about a grapefruit sized amount of charcoal in the center of each half of the firebox.
    • I was using my thermoworks billows with the rest of the bottom vents shut.  The port for the billows is on the right side.  Therefore, the right side of the firebox was getting more oxygen.  More fire burned on the right side for (I think) the entire duration of the cook based on what the charcoal looked like afterwards.  A lot of ash on the right side and not many remnants.
  • Does the mass of the 42 add significantly to the time it takes to heat soak and is that what makes me want a smaller grill?
    • I have no frame of reference on a smaller KK.
    • I basically do exactly what I used to do with my BGE which is pay attention to the quality of the smoke. When the white colored smoke is gone and the grate thermometer is reading approximately where you want, the food can go, especially if you're using a fan controller.  And with the KK I don't  open the grill at all with pork butts until it's done.
    • If you're grilling and not smoking you don't have to wait for this thing to heat soak if you don't want to.  You can just cook on direct heat on the lower grate.
    • TL; DR - I knew what I was getting into when I bought it and I'm totally un-bothered by the time it takes to heat soak.
    • If I had to guess, this thing takes about 60 mins to fully heat soak.  For low and slow, I put my food on when the smoke looks right and the grate thermometer is reading right, not necessarily when the grill is fully heat soaked.

My wish to use a smaller grill is mainly rooted in that using one of the bigger KKs is a "production". 

  • The grates are heavy. 
  • If you want to change the configuration of the firebox you have to
    • take all the grates out
    • lift out the firebox
    • fool with the basket splitter
    • maybe empty the old charcoal out before you do that
    • adjust
    • put basket back in the grill
    • put charcoal back in, etc. 
    • Configure the grates the way you want them -
    • then....  light the fire. 

Aside from this I'm also using the cold smoker attachment or some probes or something else - so - there's usually even more setup involved.

This seems to be the case (more or less) with either the 32 or the 42, which were the two grills I was considering.

Now that I am living with my KK, I still find myself occasionally firing up the BGE because it is simply "less of a production".   Also I have cooked with it for a dozen years so I have a lot of things "dialed in".  No probes, etc - just go go go.

I have 0 regrets about my purchase - but if I can splurge on something again in the next couple three years, I'm getting a 21 or 23 KK for times when I want a little bit simpler KK experience.  Once you cook on one of these grills and taste the difference in the food that comes off of it, you really never want to go back.

I hope this answers your questions, and again, sorry for the late reply.

5PB4.png

Thank you for the detailed response and it wasn’t late at all. It would have taken me that long just to type all of that! Very useful. I have never cooked on a kamado cooker of any kind and, to my knowledge, there is no kamado of any make as large as the KK 42 so the insight is doubly valued. Chief among my concerns about a large and heavily insulated cooker like this was the added time it takes to stabilize cooking temperatures which you have assuaged. I have a few live fire pits which, due to my familiarity with their characteristics and some impatience, I always commit the sin of starting cooks on long before the pit has stabilized so long as the cooking surface has reached a food safe temperature, the smoke has clarified and an unexpected trend hasn’t developed. Because it’s much easier to do a small cook on a larger cooker than the reverse, my own advice would be to get the largest cooker the budget will allow and I think it’s worth following. Thanks again for both the information and some reinforcement! 

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