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BBQ Grills and more specifically, Kamados

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BBQ Grills and more specifically, Kamados

Postby Sam » Tue Jul 26, 2016 7:50 am

Looking for a new grill. I am ruling out gas as I find it does not impart any flavor, much less smokiness. Pellet grills have their allure, and can go low and slow for a brisket or butt or ribs, but my eye is on a Kamado for some reason. A friend has a Big Green Egg, but for half the price, I can get a Vision at Sams and get the stand and side boards. There is a Akorn at Home Depot for $299 (the Vision at Sams is $499) but it is not fully ceramic.

Any thoughts?
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Re: BBQ Grills and more specifically, Kamados

Postby brothers » Tue Jul 26, 2016 1:54 pm

Sam, I have been using my Kamado for 37 years. My son bought the one (Vision?) from Sam's about 4 or 5 years ago and he loves it. I have also seen the Akorn at Home Depot, and for that price I probably would have bought one, if I thought my old Kamado wasn't going to be around for another 37 years. I believe I saw where the Akorn is a combination of porcelain and steel. I believe the Sam's cooker is all porcelain? Mine is terra cotta, and that's what makes it more remarkable that it's lasted this long. I keep it dry at all times, and it resides permanently on a 5 wheeled dolly to keep it off the concrete in case of rain or snow.
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Re: BBQ Grills and more specifically, Kamados

Postby Sam » Tue Jul 26, 2016 2:00 pm

Yeah, Gary, I can't decide between those two. The Akorn comes with a cover and a built in tray/table and would be $299, and could go on sale. Same with Sam's but it is all porcelain. I want to get to smoking more than just grilling, but steaks and burgers are better on a grill and with smoke - that is why I don't want to go with gas.

Also the lump charcoal imparted a better flavor off the BGE than my regular old charcoal grill
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Re: BBQ Grills and more specifically, Kamados

Postby Rufus » Wed Jul 27, 2016 3:31 am

Why are some komados significantly cheaper than Big Green Egg? My neighbour recently bought a large BGE and when all said and done it cost him over Cdn$2,000 including tax. Rather eye watering to put it mildly. I'd like to get one, but at the price it's just not worth it. Hence I'm considering a Kamado Joe.
Last edited by Rufus on Wed Jul 27, 2016 10:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: BBQ Grills and more specifically, Kamados

Postby ShadowsDad » Wed Jul 27, 2016 6:45 am

I've been using a Primo for over a decade now and love the thing. When I think of all the wasted years trying to find flavor when using a gasser, well, it was just wasted time. Would I ever cook outdoors by a different method? Absolutely not. It's one of those items that if it should ever get destroyed I'd buy another in a heartbeat.

Gents, I don't know if it's important to you, but check out where the job was that made the cooker. That's a big reason for the different prices; US labor is expensive. Then there is warranty. It all comes into play in the final price.

If you ever need gasket I'm the guy to contact. I make Cotronics gasket available to the masses. There is no better gasket for them than the Cotronics. Mine has been in use for a decade now and others report the same longevity. They claim that it's a permanent gasket. I claim that it all depends on the installation and whether or not folks can follow simple instructions. :)
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Re: BBQ Grills and more specifically, Kamados

Postby Sam » Mon Aug 01, 2016 8:55 am

Went to view a Napolean grill. A higher end model of the Weber Kettle. Then saw and read up on the Webers. Really thinking a Kamado is overfill for me and the Weber premium model of the kettle, at $159, is what I want. The Napolean had cast iron grates, a plus, but they were thick, which means the average burger would be on the grate and not resting between the grates.
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Re: BBQ Grills and more specifically, Kamados

Postby ShadowsDad » Mon Aug 01, 2016 11:33 am

Sam, if all you're going to do is grill for one or 2 people all I would have is a hibachi. They do still make hibachis don't they? But before I would do that I'd get a Sous Vide circulator and browning torch. You'd never miss grilling. The flavor is much the same and actually has a better meat flavor if you can get over the burnt fat taste (yuck!) that most folks associate with grilling. We do have folks on the Primo forum who still also use tiny Webers. They use them for hot dogs and such and for taking them to the beach.

If you're going to do BBQ and such, as well as grill, well, that's were the kamado comes in. BBQ is soooo much easier done in a kamado. And the thing makes me look good, almost like I know what I'm doing. For grilling alone it would be very hard to justify since the only thing it will do for grilling is to add smoke flavor easily, and that can be done in other ways.
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Re: BBQ Grills and more specifically, Kamados

Postby Sam » Mon Aug 01, 2016 11:42 am

Brian, I want to learn to actual BBQ, but my doing a 12 hour brisket is probably gonna happen once a year if that. We have so many good rib places around Memphis, that maybe once a month I would do ribs. I can see me actually doing a butt, to make sandwiches. But mostly steaks, chicken, fish, veggies, and burgers.

A friend said get a gas grill and I had one, but I had no smokey flavor even trying to use wood chips in an aluminum pouch. I am thinking a Weber is the best option for me over the barrell. First, it is porcelain enamel coated and some people are able to go low and slow with that. The barrel is made of cheap stamped sheet metal and can blister if painted. Second, the Weber premium has the one touch ash tray, very convenient. Also the grates that hinge so you can add coals. The barrel has more room on the cooking grate and the charcoal grate can be moved up and down into three spots, to increase or reduce heat, but I would buy those Weber coal holders that I can use indirect heat on. Other than chicken or fish, I think direct heat for grilling works for me. I would be getting some sort of thermometer as I am bad about judging doneness other than cutting into the steak or chicken and then juices run out.
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Re: BBQ Grills and more specifically, Kamados

Postby kaptain_zero » Mon Aug 01, 2016 12:16 pm

Sam,

I think you are on the right track... a Weber kettle grill is a fine all around device. Yes, you have to play around a bit if you want to do 12 hr cooks, but for that once or twice a year... it's fine, and for the rest of the time, it's a great *grill*. Personally, I'm rather fond of the deluxe job on the cart.... but price wise, it's a bit much up here in Kanuckistan with our dollarettes. Oh, and most of the other smokers will require you take the time to learn their personalities too, so unless you're going all out on BBQ, I don't think you'll spend any more time learning to do an indirect cook on a Weber Kettle than you will spend on any of the other devices out there, and trying to do a quick grill on a pellet smoker..... that's going to take some head scratching and time too.

As for a thermometer.... I cringed and cried, wrung my hands and worried... and then I bit the bullet and ordered a Thermapen from Thermoworks. They have a newer model now, with backlight and the display sets itself to whatever orientation you are in... but my old model is fine... I've had it at least 3 years now and still have yet to replace the coin cells in it. 3 seconds and you know exactly what the temperature is inside what you are cooking. Comes in handy for that holiday turkey as well. The probe comes to a point, but for some reason, it does not let much in the way of juices escape. The price has dropped on the original (I think it was $99 when I bought mine) and every now and then they have a sale, but no matter the price, I found it's worth it! If mine were to get lost or drove over by my car... I'd buy another in a heartbeat. If it ever requires repair, it's a flat rate of (don't quote me here) something like $35?!?!?! There are other brands out there, with many so called "features" much like Gillette and their multiblade monstrosities, but the Thermapen is built like a tank, accurate as all get out and gets the job done.

Regards

Christian
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Re: BBQ Grills and more specifically, Kamados

Postby fallingwickets » Tue Aug 02, 2016 4:40 am

ditto on the thermapen review

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Re: BBQ Grills and more specifically, Kamados

Postby ShadowsDad » Tue Aug 02, 2016 7:09 am

Sam, If I had places close by that did good BBQ I doubt that I'd have my Primo. But as you can imagine, BBQ, especially good BBQ, isn't on every steer corner up here in Maine. :-) After all there's a reason it's called "southern BBQ".

BTW, I have had terrible 'Q' up here. Just horrible.
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Re: BBQ Grills and more specifically, Kamados

Postby brothers » Tue Aug 02, 2016 5:10 pm

As with most things of this nature, as guys, we tend to overthink stuff like this. I say get whatever makes you feel like you're not depriving yourself of what you really wanted in the first place.
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Re: BBQ Grills and more specifically, Kamados

Postby Rufus » Wed Aug 03, 2016 2:49 am

Another vote for the Thermapen. I've a Mk4 and it's well worth the money. As for the grill, I'm going for a large Kamado Joe.
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Re: BBQ Grills and more specifically, Kamados

Postby Sam » Tue Aug 09, 2016 1:39 pm

Ended up getting the Kettle 22" Premium - better grate (hinged to allow easier access to add coals) and the ash catcher. Great reviews across the board. The 26 inch one, while it would have allowed for more grilling area, would be fully utilized once in a blue moon. Gonna get a nice cover and did get a Thermopen Thermopop digital thermometer to better tell when chicken and pork are done. Also more cognizant of using half the gill so I can have an indirect heat zone. And getting the charcoal baskets which come standard on the Master Touch model so that I can better stack the coals and put a drip pan in the middle of the two baskets for drippings (also could use it for water and getting more steam and will have to read up on that)

One thing I noticed is that being a little bit more thoughtful or intentional, my steaks have turned out better. I would just slap burgers on, steaks on, chicken on, everything over the coals. Still don't use enough coals as it seems that with just two burgers, one should not need a ton of coals. however, the Weber design allows the coals to die out due to oxygen-deprivation instead of just being reduced to total ash with the cheaper grill. Last night, first use, I had some actual hard coals left.

id like to think I would make wood-fired pizzas in a grill, but we aren't even doing made from scratch pizzas in the kitchen, and we have a Grimaldi's that has some great pizzas using what I think are wood ovens.

Got the Premium model for $128 shipped and locally it is $149 and then $13 tax so I save about $34.00.
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Re: BBQ Grills and more specifically, Kamados

Postby Rufus » Tue Aug 09, 2016 3:15 pm

Good choices, Sam. I had one of those Weber charcoal grills several moons ago; however, I traded it in for a Weber gas grill, which works well, but I find myself going back to charcoal. Thermapen make great products. As concerns a cover, I'd think twice about it because condensation can build up under it. I've stopped using one on my gas grill for this reason and it has fared very well notwithstanding that it gets buried under snow until I shovel it off to fire up the grill. Also, the company that maintains my air conditioner and furnace discouraged me from covering the outside compressor to avoid condensation build up in the unit outside.
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Re: BBQ Grills and more specifically, Kamados

Postby kaptain_zero » Tue Aug 09, 2016 3:15 pm

Nice score Sam. =D>

22" is plenty big, if you think you are going to run out of space for a big crowd, rethink the menu!

Thermopop? Just got an email today about them, looks very nice and should do just fine. Those Thermapen units are for those of us who have more money than brains! :mrgreen:

The charcoal baskets let you do indirect cooking in the middle of the grate, and as you pointed out, you can have something to catch grease in the middle. I've settled on those tin foil deep trays I buy at the local $ store (they look like pound cake forms or I use the smaller lasagna style pans), use them once and toss them away with the grease still inside.

You will have years of fun cooking on that grill, and the taste should be great!

Regards

Christian
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Re: BBQ Grills and more specifically, Kamados

Postby Rufus » Tue Aug 09, 2016 3:21 pm

kaptain_zero wrote:Nice score Sam. =D>


Those Thermapen units are for those of us who have more money than brains! :mrgreen:

Regards

Christian


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Re: BBQ Grills and more specifically, Kamados

Postby brothers » Tue Aug 09, 2016 7:03 pm

Sounds like a good choice Sam! I appreciate the follow-up and your reasons for picking the one that seems best suited for your needs.
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Re: BBQ Grills and more specifically, Kamados

Postby kaptain_zero » Tue Aug 09, 2016 10:54 pm

Rufus wrote:Jealousy won't get you anywhere, Mr. Winterpegger. [-X :mrgreen:


Who? Me? :mrgreen:
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Re: BBQ Grills and more specifically, Kamados

Postby Sam » Mon Dec 26, 2016 7:07 pm

Since I bought a Weber kettle and a quick read thermometer, and the charcoal baskets , my grilling has improved. I now leave the coals alone. Got me a beer can chicken stand I want to use. Just that our local Kroger has them already for like $5. But I'll get to it.
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