Kamado Joe Inbound... - Chicagoland Sportbikes
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Old 06-06-2011, 05:12 PM Thread Starter
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Kamado Joe Inbound...

So we went up to Bass Pro shops this weekend and I saw my first ceramic Kamado grill (Smoke Country or some other brand). I had never seen or heard of one these before (odd for technology that is 2000 years old) but instantly knew that it is what I have been wanting for some time.

My current charcoal grill has too many holes in it for any type of reasonable temperature regulation, would require 30-60 minute temp checks when trying to slow cook anything with regular addition of wood/coal, and was really unimpressed with the heat retention ability due to the thin sheet metal. The later causing a difficult time in cold weather (I am a year-round griller). You get what you pay for. It was a Char-Grill barrel style grill/smoker. I'll still keep the ol' girl around simply because of the cast iron grates and large cooking surface. It works great for brats, etc.

With that I have been debating having a barrel style grill built around the Char-Grill cast-iron grates but with 1/8" or heavier steel. Something substantial and with some weight to allow for more even temperatures over a longer period of time.

Enter the Kamado...

These things seem to be amazing. The model we bought has a shipping weight of 188 lbs. This includes a (cheesy) powder coated cast iron frame. I'll be able to sear steaks at 750 F. Smoke at 225 F and won't need to add charcoal for 24 hours. Bake pizzas, bread, and cookies. I bought all the accessories to do pizza's, chicken stand, and indirect cooking as well as a grate extender (gives 60% more cooking area). Once I get it I will replace the 304 stainless grate with a cast iron piece. And the price is no more than what you'd pay for a 5 burner stainless gas grill of decent quality.

Here is a link to their site: http://www.kamadojoe.com/products_grills.html. We got the red model and it will arrive Thursday (supposedly). I'll post up pics when I get it set up.

Anyone else use one of these? What are your experiences?

Any recommendations for "must-have" accessories?

You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away people's initiative and independence.
You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves.

....Abraham Lincoln

Last edited by JPKII; 06-06-2011 at 05:17 PM.
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Old 06-06-2011, 05:44 PM
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Wow... that looks familiar.... wonder where Ive seen it before.

http://www.biggreenegg.com/

Knock off egg.


But, its a great grill concept. Ive never had the money for an Egg, but the neighbor that cooks on one... oooo, his meals are delicious.

Last edited by TripleZ; 06-06-2011 at 05:47 PM.
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Old 06-06-2011, 08:09 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I consider the Egg. I really couldn't find any worthwhile technical differences so settled on the aesthetics of the Joe. The red is a really cool color in my opinion.

The Egg is made and Mexico while the Joe is made in China. The real deal model is the Primo. Almost double the price of the Egg and Joe but it is made in the USA and is an oval shape.

On any forums I found the Egg vs. the Joe arguments went a lot like CBR vs. GSXR. Folks had their loyalties but neither really present a valid argument about which was better.

You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away people's initiative and independence.
You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves.

....Abraham Lincoln
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Old 06-06-2011, 08:12 PM
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Yup, forgot about the Primo.

You will love it, as it really does make great slow cooked food. There is someone that makes a variable vent / temperature controlled that is accessible by the internet. So you can cook, when away from home.

And yes..... theres an APP for that.
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Old 06-13-2011, 09:05 PM
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Ok so did you get it and cook yet? Seriously thinking of getting one. My stainless (yes stainless) grill is rusting out, and the nicer gas grills that I want are getting really close to the price of a kamado.

I might make the life changing decision to move to charcoal, so that I can do brisket on a kamado.

I'm torn between the egg and the Joe.
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Old 06-14-2011, 10:17 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I got it on Friday. Unfortunately we left for Ohio for the weekend so I didn't get it unpacked and set up until late Sunday afternoon.

The grill itself is really nice looking. The red finish is awesome. I did find a few fasteners loose though. If you get one take the time to tighten everything on the grill. My hinge mechanism was pretty loose. It would suck to have the top of the grill fall off and shatter. I also had one screw stripped out in the stand that needed some finessing. The packaging itself was really slick. Someone spent some time thinking about the difficulties in unpacking heavy oddly shaped object. You basically cut the shipping straps off, remove the top cover, and the four sides fall off. Really cool.

I thought I would try a whole fresh chicken plus we found some nice boneless ribs pre-rubbed at the butcher. The chicken was about 3.5 lbs so I wanted to try smoking/roasting between 225 and 250 for about 90 minutes. The ribs got away from me and ended up being a total loss. I salvaged the chicken by wrapping it in tin foil for the last 30 minutes to get the internal temp up a little more without burning the skin any further. The chicken did end up being OK although it was slightly over done. It was still very tender and tasty.

My mistakes:

I rushed. I was in a hurry to get the grill lit and get things moving as I was working against time (2 years old's get really cranky when they don't eat, lol).

I followed the directions on the fire starter cubes and had troubles getting the coals lit. I went to KJ's website and they have a video on lighting the grill. Once I followed those directions the grill took off. Because of this it took almost 40 minutes to get the temperature sorted.

One key accessory you MUST buy is the heat deflector rack. Mine didn't show up until yesterday. I kept the temps under 250 F but the ribs and chicken still were cooking too fast. The heat deflector is the key. I should have waited to cook with the grill until that arrived. I tried using a pizza stone and the extended cooking rack to do a make-shift heat deflector. It didn't work for shit and I ruined my pizza stone.

The good stuff:

Temperature regulation is amazingly accurate. A few millimeters of movement on the top vent netted a couple degree change. It was very consistent. I like that the top vent has a "fine" and "course" adjustment. You can really dial in the temp you want. With my char-griller I never had this nice of temperature control.

I followed the directions and put enough charcoal in to just cover the vent holes. I will have enough good charcoal left in the grill to do one more grilling without adding more. I found Cowboy 100% natural lump charcoal at my butcher for $9 for an 8.8 lbs bag. I used about 1/2 of the bag. I'm sure I can find this cheaper at other places. HERE is a link to a site that has done some nice charcoal testing.

Our first meal wasn't a total success but I did learn from my mistakes and hopefully will have a little more success on my next time out. Tonight we are going to try Filet Mignon. I may try to high temp sear them. I'll post up to give my results (hopefully we don't end up at Portillo's tonight!!)

You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away people's initiative and independence.
You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves.

....Abraham Lincoln

Last edited by JPKII; 06-14-2011 at 10:41 AM.
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Old 06-14-2011, 08:00 PM
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Sweet, good to hear.

Found a dealer today for the Green Egg.

Large Egg
Stand
Side tables for stand
Heat Deflector
Pizza Stone
Ash tool
Bag of Hardwood charcoal
Total: $996 (spring sale)

The also have a Saffire Kamado, which is identical except its made in china and has stainless bands and stand. (Same package otherwise) For $950.

If I can get the Egg talked down to $950, I think Ill get the Egg. Im going back Thursday, and I'm coming back with something.

I looked, but couldn't find the Bass Pro shop deal on the Kamado Joe.
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Old 06-14-2011, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
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Wow, that's a great deal. You will love it. Our filets came out awesome. I really like this style grill and wish I would have tried one sooner.

You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away people's initiative and independence.
You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves.

....Abraham Lincoln
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Old 06-17-2011, 08:34 PM
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Got it today, a Large Green Egg. Fired it up for dinner and made some New York Strips, just as a quick meal.

Temperature control was surprisingly easy. WFO on both grates got over 700F. Seared the steaks 2 minutes each side (not enough), capped it, and let the grill dwell to cook them through. It dropped slowly to 400F and stayed there for over 20 minutes. (Only needed 12 to finish the steaks)

Had a meat thermometer but still managed to overcook the steaks to Well Done. As a screw up, the steaks were great. Nice and juicy, good charcoal flavor.

Ive got some natural hot dogs for tomorrow. Then going to try Brisket on Sunday. Ive got to get a digital remote thermometer first and some wood chunks.
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Old 06-17-2011, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
Go big or go home!!
 
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Hey, congrats!!!

Post up what thermometer you get. I got a chep one but would like a nicer model with adjustable temp settings.

I tried a pizza on it Wednesday night. It was a total loss lol.

You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away people's initiative and independence.
You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves.

....Abraham Lincoln
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