Thursday, July 16, 2015

Barbecuen' in Ceramic

One thing that's always appealed to me about a Kamado grill is that they're pretty much airtight. Ultimately, controlling airflow is the single best way to control temperature in a grill. You don't need to control airflow to control temperature... you can play the sorts of games I've played, like propping open the lid with a chunk of a 2X4

But that isn't really best. For one thing, it's not really addressing the burn rate of the grill: so what I was effectively doing was burning a fire far too hot, then throwing away the heat from the fire in order to keep the temperature where I wanted it.

The Kamado, on the other hand, allows me actually to slow down the burn rate. So it's not merely that I'm keeping the grill down to 200°F, but I'm reducing the size of the fire. Very cool stuff!

I've tried a couple times to do barbecue to on my new Kamado. The first time, I followed the conventional wisdom the Kamado community follows and set up my grill with the ceramic heat deflectors just above the fire, then set up the cooking grates over that and put a pig shoulder on the grates.

The pig shoulder was done in about 20 hours, and I was very happy with it. The pork was smoky and tender.

Best of all, I didn't have to do much with it. The Kamado pretty much held the temperature for the whole time.

But... I missed the flavor of barbecue cooked directly over the coals. The question I was asking was, "Can I cook directly over the charcoal, but keep the temperature low?" The answer is, yes you can!

So on July 3, I fired up the Kamado and set it up for 215°F.  I got the Kamado going around 7:00 AM on July 3, and it ran until about 6:00 PM the next day. 35 hours of a 215°F cook without reloading the charcoal. Oh yeah!

In that time, I cooked chicken thighs, pork butts, and whole chickens:

No comments: