Archive | May, 2012

After School (or Work) Cookin’ on the Kamado Joe

29 May

Used to be that for a school week or work week grillin’, I would come home and fire up the Weber Genesis or the Weber Q220 or Q320. Those are wonderful grills and in 10 minutes, max, they will heat up and be ready to cook.

However, as fond of them as I am, they do not use charcoal and while gas grilled beats pan seared, oven roasted steaks any day, charcoal grilled steaks beat gas grilled steaks hands down (in my humble opinion, lest we start a blog war). The perception is, however, that it takes too long to fire up a charcoal grill. I’m not sure that is true under ordinary, chimney starter charcoal lighting circumstances, but I KNOW that isn’t the case when you happen to have a propane powered torch nearby! With a long handled propane torch ( check in the welding supply area at Lowe’s) or a weed burner ( bigger ) I can have a Kamado Joe full of lump charcoal lot in about 5 minutes.

Tonight I came straight in from work and hit the lump left over from last night’s pizza cook with the propane torch for about 5 minutes, went inside and changed clothes, poured a cold beverage, and came back to the patio. The Kamado Joe was at 500 degrees and ready for some steaks. I am now enjoying that beverage and waiting until 6:10 to put the steaks on so they will have 10 minutes to cook and a few minutes to rest before the announced dinner time of 6:30.

That is just as fast as any of my gas grills and with a lump of pecan tossed in on top of the lump in the Kamado Joe, I will get flavor not possible on my gas grills.

My technique is simple: steaks on for 3 minutes (rotate half way through if you like cross-hatched grill marks), flip, wait three minutes. Then remove the steaks to a platter. I put a 10 inch metal pizza plate on the grill, put the elevated Kamado Joe second grate on the cooker, and put the steaks on the elevated grate, over the pizza plate, and finish the steaks indirect to get a good, even degree of doneness throughout. Start checking temps on 1 1/4 inch steaks after about 4 minutes on the elevated grate. Once the steaks get over 100 degrees internal, the temps rise quickly. I pull the steaks around 120 internal and let them rest for at least 5 minutes then destroy them!

Great way to finish any work day!

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3:00 am and all is well

28 May

I am so far behind on chronicling my grilling and BBQ adventures that I may never tell all of the stories of the past month. That, however, is not why I am posting at 3:15 a.m.

Indeed, I am up at this hour because my biological clock had me up at 2:00 a.m. and I took the opportunity to check the temperature on The Professor’s small Big Green Egg, on which we had deposited a decidedly large Boston Butt, 4 hours before after my arrival from Turk Lake, Michigan. The temperatures had dropped below my comfort zone, which was not totally unexpected since the Professor had eschewed the Minion Method of lighting the lump charcoal for this Smith Boy’s Memorial Day Butt Cook, and had instead dumped a chimney starter of lit charcoal into the Egg. So, the charcoal supply in the Egg was exhausted a bit sooner than normal. No problem. I just sat the grill grate on the chimney starter, removed the plate setter with the help of some welding gloves and replenished the charcoal supply with a healthy dose of unlit lump. The temperature inside the Egg quickly recovered, and the Smith Boys are once again on the proper path to BBQ Nirvana.

I am a bit curious where the Professor’s charcoal grate has wandered off to inasmuch as the charcoal is resting on the bottom of the firebox, but the Kamado-style cookers can be very forgiving and versatile tools so the cook appears no worse off at the moment for the absence of the charcoal grate. Still, we need to find that rascal.

Now that I have discovered the iOS app for WordPress, perhaps my adventures can be more timely posted on my humble blog.

So, 3:30 and all is well in the BBQ world. I think I will head back to bed. The Egg has settled back into cooking temperature and that big ole’ butt has a ways to go.

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Update: the butt went into the foil at 5:30. The internal temp was about 185, which was higher than I would have estimated for a butt of that size, but Thermapens tell no tales. At 7:30, the butt was at 202, and the Thermapen probe fell into the meat. “Done!” The Egg is steady at 180 after closing down the vents, so we are using it as a cambro until time to pull the pork. Happy Memorial Day to all, and especially to our “cousin” Capt. Kate Hinds, USAF. Come home soon, Kate.