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Unwrapping The Beast!

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Howdy KKers!


It's been almost 2 months since I took delivery on The Beast, a KK BB 32.  While I initially posted what follows in another Forum, I thought I'd post it here in hopes that this will help potential KKers make their KK Purchase decision.


I just finished taking delivery on the Komodo Kamado Big Bad 32" we've been waiting for!  Also got 40 boxes of coconut charcoal.


First, let me say that Dennis Linkletter is a joy to work with.


Second, This thing is MASSIVE!  I can't begin to tell you what this thing looks like crated.  The top of the crate is just shy of 5' and its width is 44".  With all the accessories, it stands over my head, and I'm 6'1".


Third, this thing is so well packed/crated.  Now a scratch on the crate at all.  This came from Indonesia and it looks as if it were assembled right here in OKC.  Very, VERY impressive.


Ok, I"m on a mission.  Here is a beginner photo to whet your appetites. More to follow!



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Of all the problems that I've had with the new Forum software, I have to say that this hasn't been one of them. But, most of the time, I'm only uploading 3 or 4 pics at a time.


tony - I've got probably somewhere in the neighbor of 40 pics documenting the unwrapping of The Beast back in early September.  I guess I'll just take it slow and easy.

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Ok, so here we go.  I don't mean to be pedantic with the number of photos and verbiage, but I'm going to try and bring each of you into my garage as I get this Big Bad ready to cook.


The first thing I looked at was the Coconut Charcoal.  I ordered 40 - 20# boxes.  That came on it's own pallet.




When or if I ever move again, I'm asking Dennis Linkletter if his guys can come and pack and ship my stuff.  Here is a pic of the way each and every box of coconut charcoal is shipped.



As you can see, every seam is taped, and I do mean taped very well!  Now let's take a look at the coconut charcoal in its box.



All charcoal is wrapped in plastic.  To insure that condensation doesn't ruin the charcoal, there is a paper towel on top so that the charcoal doesn't absorb water and lead to problems in starting.


Now to the charcoal itself.




In the three boxes I inspected, only this one had a cracked piece of charcoal!  

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Let's get on to something more interesting than charcoal.


We'll start with the newly designed teak handle grill grabbers.




These came swaddles in a cocoon of styrofoam and plastic wrap and looked like this when I extricated them from the styrofoam encasement.





After a real struggle, and I do mean a real struggle they were so well wrapped in tape and plastic, here are the gorgeous teak handled grill grabbers!




To say that these are merely grill grabbers is to do the craftsmanship a real injustice.  These are like no other grill grabbers I've had in my hands!  The handles are quite ergonomic and the solid construction is amazing.  An amazing freebie ... yeppers, I said freebie.  Dennis threw these in for free.  Retail price elsewhere would be over $75.  


Ok, so let's move on to see something else.

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Let's take a look at the charcoal basket splitter, or as the box says, charcoal basket shield.




Now I"m used to a fairly heavy divider, the one for my Primo XL, and this feels about the same.  Let's take a look at the KK BB 32" charcoal basket divider.


Again, wrapped up in more swaddling than a newborn infant on it's first outing.




After stopping to sharpen my knife, I went back to hacking industrial grade plastic wrap and after about 5 minutes, here are the components to the divider.




Obviously I'm going to be spending some time actually RTFIng .... Reading The Freaking Instructions.  This is going to be a journey rather than a slap dash fire 'er up and let's burn some meat!


Ok, onward and upward.  Nest stop, the first of two charcoal basket's I ordered.


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I purchased a second charcoal basket with the KK BB 32" as it was suggested to me it made shifting between coconut and lump charcoal MUCH easier.  Why switch? Linkletter pointed out to me that using coconut charcoal for anything other than low & slow cooks was throwing money away.  High heat, i.e. searing steaks, burgers, etc. was just as easily done with regular lump and the quality was just as good as using coconut char.  Hence, the second charcoal basket.


Again, the box.  Notice the yellow strapping?  It came on every box!  Take a look at the quality of the tape job.  Like I said, Dennis ought to hire these guys out as packers for moves!




Once I get through the packaging, tape, and the styrofoam, here's what hit me.




Okay, no big deal, it's a charcoal basket, right?  WRONG!  It's the massive size of this thing that overwhelms and simply doesn't come through in the picture.  Here's a picture that hopefully makes this a little more evident.




That's the largest size bag of Kingsford Charcoal Briquettes made, 20#s, and there is still room for more!  


For those who need a tape measure such as myself I give you the following.




And as if that weren't enough, how about a comparison with my Lodge Hibachi?  My Lodge can sit entirely in the charcoal basket of the KK BB 32"!







Talk about BIG!

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All-right.  We're working out way through this puppy, and I think we're about to take a look at the Baking Stone for the KK BB 32".  I've been saving this; I recently had shoulder surgery and I need to be careful here.  IT's at shoulder level on the crate holding the BB 32" and that can be a problem.  Ok, here we go.  But WAIT!  It's a hot and very humid day here in OKC< so we have to take a break and stay hydrated!






That Miller Lite is an attempt to keep my youthful jock's figure.  A futile attempt, but an attempt nonetheless!  Don't worry, it didn't linger long in the heat; it died a swift painless death!


Again, the way in which Linkletter wraps and protects his products is just stunningly amazing.  I hack my way through the cardboard and what greets me?  Here's what ...




What the ...?  A wood box with wood screws!  This is getting serious!  Time to break out the power tools!  I'm feeling like a fill in for Tim Allen on Tool Time!




Okay, 16 wood screws later (Thanks Dennis, my supply of wood screws was getting low ... I'm good for another decade!) and more having and cutting, and this is what Awaits!




Yeah ... MORE styrofoam and plastic wrap!  I'm beginning to feel like Indiana Jones on one of his crusades ... always another twist or turn!


FINALLY!  Here is the BACK side of the baking stone.  Talk about thermal mass!  This thing weight 40#s if it weighs an ounce!




Here's the front side with a nice polished surface.  I've included a pic of 1/2 of my heat deflector from my Primo to give you an idea of the size of this baking stone.  It's HUGE!  But then, this is the BIG BAD 32"!






I don't think I"m going to have to worry about having enough thermal mass to cook several pizzas in a row!



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Let's take a look at the two teak side tables I ordered.  Most side tables are essentially useless to me, they're too dadgummed small to be useful, but Dennis Linkletter convinced me his were different.  We'll see here.




The box seems hefty enough, so let's get to cutting and hacking!





A wood liner on both sides of the box!  Talk about overkill, but for what these side tables cost ... Time for more cutting plastic ...




After an eternity cutting plastic wrap and styrofoam sheeting ...




WOW!  These things are really big and really hefty!  The teak wood is 1 3/8" thick!  Here's an end-on view.




Here's a view of the back end.  Who cares about the back of this thing?  I do and you should too!  The craftsmanship is amazing.  Countersunk screws, lathes, etc.  I have done some woodworking in my past and this side table is so incredibly well made!  Don't forget Linkletter has a custom teak furniture background and it shows. But after seeing the craftsmanship so far, this shouldn't surprise anyone.




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That's about it for the unwrapping today.  But I want to leave you with the idea that the attention to detail, the deep thought, the craftsmanship, and the "friendliness" of this Komodo Kamado so far has left an really lasting impression on me.


In an earlier post, Robert, who has a KK OTB 23" down in NOLA asked me if I knew how to uncrate this beast.  Yeah, I do!  Dennis sends the owners manual which is amazing!  Talk about trying to control temps and don't know what to do?! Its right in the book.  Uncrating?  All you have to do is look at the crate itself!  It's self-explanatory!  




Dennis even adds a crowbar for guys like me!








It's Ken-Proof!


Dennis sends the most complete user's guide I've ever seen, and then there are guys like Robert and other KK Owners who have graciously taken me under their wing and given me their time, guidance, and help.  Robert, thanks ever so much!


And I thought the Primo owners group was tight-knit!


More to come.  I've got a date with SWMBOI and its' time to get cleaned up.  Netflix here we come!


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Well Boys and Girls, Ladies and Gentlemen, Sports Fans, and Komodo Kamado Gurus of all ages, let's see what we shall see!


A quick side note ... my friend made it through the night in good shape.  She has a tumor in a very delicate spot, the medial tear duct closest to your eye.  It took a specialist's specialist to finish the original operation os many ancillary structures were involved.  Thanks to all you Gurus for your kind wishes.  They were relayed to the family and they asked me to thanks all of you.  So .... thanks from Rose and Steve to each and every one of you wonderful people!


Onward and upward.  Jack, This next set of photos are expressly for you and I think you'll figure out why in just a second!   rolling.gif  Sometimes I just can't help it!



I tale against bimetallic thermometers and here I spend all kinds of money on a cooker and I get a bimetallic!  Jack, Cheers! ole Buddy!  (But it's a very good bimetallic!)




And here is my very good bimetallic in the dome of the BB!




So much for thermometers!

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Now let's uncrate this beast and see what we have inside the crate.


First off, the crate is virtually impregnable.  Talk about one VERY sturdy crate.  This thing came all the way from Indonesia and there isn't a scratch to anyone on the outside.  Simply impressive.  After talking with Dennis Linkletter yesterday, he told me that it's easier and cheaper to make absolutely certain things are packed correctly than to have to replace a KK.  Geez, Ya THINK!?


In a previous post, you saw the crate with every option stacked on top of it.  And you saw what those items were ... bread stone, coffee smoking wood, extra charcoal basket, etc.  Now we have to break into the crate, and the KK BB itself to get to the rest of the ancillaries.  So ... here we go!


Dennis uses the top of the crate for a ramp to move the KK BB from the crate to the floor.  




Here is a side view.  Notice that the support piece, lighter in shade than the ramp, is chamfered to the exact angle that is needed between the floor of the crate and the floor the bb will be moved onto.  Talk about thinking of every detail!




Here is view from the side of the top of the crate after the top/ramp has been removed.  The top/ramp was affixed with 15 word screw 2" long!




Here is a top down view.  The circle of styrofoam is the top of the KK's lid where the top vent screws in.




Notice the cross members to keep everything secure.


I've done everything I can, so its time to get the included crowbar into the game.  Normally one would just undo some carriage bolts at the based of the crate's pallet and lift the crate off, but that was not an option.  My shoulder won't lift that much and the garage celling was too low!  So, time to use a little engineering education for fun and profit!




Let me tell you that is one very stout crowbar and I used that to great effect!


What you're going to see next is the crate's back panel and the two cross members at the top removed.  IT was a hot humid day and I had to stop a couple of times for some liquid refreshment.  The temperature was exceeded only by the humidity and I had to stay hydrated, so it took about 30 minutes to remove the back of the crate and quaff down 2 Miller's!




What you are looking at is the back of the KK BB, in essence its spine.  I had already slit the plastic wrap when I remembered to take this pic.  You see the top of the spring there about half way up the pic?  The material used to make that spring is about as big around as the big old fat pencils you used back in kindergarten and first grade!  That is one huge spring.  It has to be big to lift that top on the KK BB!


Alright, lets look at the top vent, sans its cap piece.




What you see is the top vent fully exposed.  to give you and idea how massive this beast is, here is a pic with a measuring tape across the orifice.




 I dare say no other cooker on the market has a 6" diameter vent, a 9" diameter gasket, and an almost 10" edge to edge vent!  Wait until you see the vent top!


KK packs everything it can into the body of its cookers, grates, heat deflectors, etc.  Here's a shot looking straight down into the KK BB throughout its vent.





If you look closely, you can see at about 5 o'clock  the cardboard wrapping of a KK BB component.


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Now we have to attack the front of the crate to get to the lid's latch.  This is an experience I'm REALLY looking forward to ... opening the lid for the first time.  KKs are supposed to open effortlessly.  Automatically, if you will, once the latch is released.  Given the size of the spring we just saw, it dadgummed better!


After a few whacks with the hammer and a few tugs at the pry bar, this is what we see.




THIS IS THE VIEW I'VE BEEN WAITING FOR!  Hot dignity, damn diggity!  And there she is folks!


Looking straight down, this is the view ...




There is the top vent damper!  See those yellow cross straps?  Well they are run through a couple of slots in the floor of the crate to make certain it doesn't move around!


OKAY!  Enough putzing around ... let's get this BB open for the first time in OKC!


I pop the latch, and the lid lifts slowly and majestically into it's open position without so much as a hint by me.  Talk about smooth.  Just as smooth as a baby's ... This is a family Forum!  Here is what greets me ...




This KK BB is stuffed full to the gunwales with GOODIES!


Moving the wrapping cardboard aside, I am greeted with ...




A Heat Deflector in two pieces!


It's a finished piece made from the same refractory that the KK's body is made from.  Here's the other half ...




There is another type of heat deflector that I'll show you later.  This heat deflector is designed to let heat circulate around the sides of the KK instead of blocking most of the heat.


What's next as we move down into the lower regions of the KK?




It's the half main grate and as is usual, it's encased in plastic wrap!  Time to break out the knife and start hacking!




 I don't have and end-on view, but this grate weighs more than my Primo main grates together, or so it seems to me!


On the next level down is the main cooking grate.  I forgot to get a pic of it wrapped in plastic more carefully than King Tut was wrapped by his embalmers, but my now you get the point. Here's the main cooking grate ...




Sorry I don't have anything to give you a sense of the size of this, but just imagine 40#s of stainless steel rod.  That's this grate.  40#s of steel!  How the heck you could over overload this bad boy is beyond me, even at high temps > 750F!


Next come the lower grill for searing and another half-moon.



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Continuing on with the grates ...


The lower grill has an access port for adding more smoking wood to your charcoal basket during a cook.  Here are a couple of pictures.




Notice the hinge at the right of the picture ....


Here it is with the access door open ....




Further down into the KK BB is the other heat deflector.




It comes in two sections and after considerable hacking and slicing, this is what you get ...




Here is a photo of half of the Primo XL heat deflector sitting atop of the KK BB heat deflector.  Notice the gap around the Primo heat deflector.  IT's about 1" all around.  


Here is a photo of the upper or searing grill.  It sits on either a 2" handle or a 4' handle, depending on how close you want your meat to the charcoal.




The next goodie is the stainless steel drip pan.  And Gurus, it's a beauty!




Notice the machined swirls all around the outer edge of the drip pan.  NEWSFLASH!  Dennis is planning and even better drip pan to help preserve those oft time precious drippings that can be used for gravy!


Ok, we're getting close to the end, I promise!  




All we have left is the spare parts and the 2nd charcoal basket.  As you can see, Dennis threw in a second pair of teak handled grill grabber.  Beautifully made! The charcoal basket you've seen before, so let's take a look at the spare parts kit.  Here's its packing slip.




And here it all is in the charcoal basket ...




The thing that impresses me is the completeness of the spare parts kit.  There is a spare gasket, not one of those cheap felt gaskets that lasts about 10 months, but an honest to goodness high temp silicone food grade gasket.  Also included is a tube of the elastomeric compound that attaches and surrounds each pebble on the KK BB and a good supply of extra pebbles. This is just in case one falls off.  I have talk to people and given this elastomeric compound's properties, I don't think I'll need this.  There is also a replacement for the upper gasket on the upper vent. Finally, a few ancillaries such as silicone plugs for running probe wires thru.


Only one thing left to unpack ....

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Here is a view of the empty KK BB body looking straight down ...




Here is a pic of the bottom vent air flow controllers.  I'm amazed by what I found when I go everything unpacked!




 Im not amazed at the teak handles.  I knew about that.  What amazes me is the craftsmanship and fore thought that went into this air control manifold.  Look at the teeth that help you calibrate your airflow.  Those are on the left side of the controller.  What is amazing and what I've never seen on ANY kamado is to be found on the right hand controller.  See those holes?  They allow you to fine tune airflow down to the Nth degree!  The above pic shows the right hand side controller fully open with about a 3/4" diameter hole.  Notice that the controller has holes that get progressively smaller down to about 1/8" in diameter.  Talk about being able to dial in any temp you want!  No wonder Dennis talked me out of a BBQ Guru and said just try manual control!  WOW!


Here's  the 1/8" air control flow hole ...




If you can't dial in an exact temp with this manifold, you're dead from the neck up!


Okay, no KK is complete without it's signature top vent control.  So here we go!


Here is a view from the front of the crate looking straight down.  I think this was posted a bit before.  You can see the damper top encased, what else, in cardboard.  The yellow band are run thru slots cut in the crate floor so that this top can't move at all during shipping.




Here is a side view once the straps were cut on the top sitting on a box.  Notice the small box ... it's there for a reason that will become readily apparent in the next picture.




Here is an end on view of the bottom of the box ...




That box is there to protect the threads of the top during shipping!


Here is the top totally unwrapped and unboxed from the bottom ...




... and from the top ...




Notice the distinctive "ears" that allow you to spin the top and set airflow.


And here is the Komodo Kamado Big Bad looking like all its brethren and sisteren ...




Finally, here is my KK's serial number for ever and always ...




And as Bugs Bunny always says .... Tha That That's all folks!


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