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Author Topic: Maximum grilled grill  (Read 1256 times)
Finnegans Wake
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« on: Jul 17, 2012 at 09:43 »



Well, it was time to upgrade the grill situation.  I'd been looking at the egg-type grills for a while (e.g., Big Green Egg), but they are crazy expensive, as in ~ a grand.  The idea behind the egg (kamado) grill is that its heavy ceramic shell provides monstrous insulation, allowing super-long, low-temp grilling or cranking that baby to 700F or higher.  Apparently, you can load it with hardwoods and run it for 12 hours without adding coals.  At 700F, throw on a steak and get a beauty of a sear in just a couple of minutes per side.  The egg shape allows more headroom and better air circulation.

So this year, Costco gets its kamado in, and it's about half the price of premiere brand names ($459), but timing was poor was an unfortunate series of expenses (new furnace, car body repairs not insured, etc.) piled up, weakening my case.  I had seen an all-steel kamado at Lowe's, which was even cheaper than the Costco kamado, but I wasn't as excited by the lack of heft and wondered whether it could be as well insulated.  Read some reviews (Char-Griller has a couple of similar models that they sell at Lowe's and Gander Mountain), and all seemed to compare the steel eggs favorably to the ceramics.  So, at $300, maybe it would be a good compromise.

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Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #1 on: Jul 17, 2012 at 09:52 »

Also, the ceramics are MUCH heavier and can sometimes crack.  Both steel and ceramic are cool to the touch, at least up to the 400F-500F range.  And unlike the Big Green Egg, the egg and the base are not sold separately.  I saw Gander had theirs on sale for $249, and actually liked it better than the Lowe's version.  Pluses:  nice, heavy cast iron surface with a lift-out in the center if you do need to add coals; wood sideboards; swing-out warming rack included; temperature gauge included (lots of the ceramics you have to pay extra!).  Negatives:  Still not sure how well the air intake at the bottom of the egg is sealed - to get low temps, need that not to leak; gasket seal between upper dome and base is a bit flimsy; Gander floor model didn't align top and bottom halves precisely.

But I also have a friend who works at Gander, so when all was said and done, I had an egg for $210, as opposed to $1000.  Or more.  Assembly was easy, everything was pretty well milled (there was a flaw at the top of the hood where the damper goes in, but I don't think it will affect grilling), and the wheel assembly was a little hinky.  Need to season the cast iron by cleaning, oiling, and firing it up a couple of times.  Meanwhile, I have a brisket defrosting and some rib steaks coming in tomorrow.  The dog knows he's getting some leftover scraps, LOL.  Before cutting back on grains, I had been in search of the perfect, Naples-style pizza, so I may revive that by making thin-crust shells on the hottest I can fire the grill.  Also on the quest for the perfect hamburger, and I'm thinking 700F, nice outside sear, medium inside.  Thinking ahead of smoking turkeys, pork butts, pork bellies...  I already have the perfect salmon recipes, curious to see how they come out on this...

Happy early birthday to me!
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jonzr
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« Reply #2 on: Jul 17, 2012 at 10:28 »

The dog is thinking, "I gotta keep an eye on this.  Sometimes there's stuff up there."
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aj_law
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« Reply #3 on: Jul 17, 2012 at 11:41 »

Pig roast at Finny's for the season opener.  Nyquilitinis on tap.
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Big Virgil
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« Reply #4 on: Jul 17, 2012 at 14:10 »

I think poochie is committing that smell to memory so he'll know if he's on the menu.
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otismalibu
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« Reply #5 on: Jul 17, 2012 at 15:07 »

BV wants to ride/carry that beast up a steep incline in the hopes of getting his heart rate to 195.
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pensodyssey
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« Reply #6 on: Jul 17, 2012 at 18:26 »

Quote
Apparently, you can load it with hardwoods and run it for 12 hours without adding coals.  At 700F, throw on a steak and get a beauty of a sear in just a couple of minutes per side

A couple of minutes per side at 700F?  Why don't you just make beef jerky instead?

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Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #7 on: Jul 18, 2012 at 06:46 »

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Apparently, you can load it with hardwoods and run it for 12 hours without adding coals.  At 700F, throw on a steak and get a beauty of a sear in just a couple of minutes per side

A couple of minutes per side at 700F?  Why don't you just make beef jerky instead?


OK, a minute a side.  THick steaks.  Usually you're talking 6-7 minutes per side at ~350-400 for MR.
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pensodyssey
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« Reply #8 on: Jul 18, 2012 at 07:00 »

I guess I like mine on the bloody side.

:clownmouth:
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« Reply #9 on: Jul 18, 2012 at 07:31 »

Crispy on the outside and bloody on the inside, yes.  My grill won't get to 700 unless a grease fire starts but I do like it hot as possible before putting on the steaks.  I endorse the finny method.
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