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First cook for newly minted Egghead (Long post, w/pics)

Beanie-BeanBeanie-Bean Posts: 3,092
edited 11:54PM in EggHead Forum
Hello Everyone,[p]Again, I'd like to send out a sincere "Thank You" to all who have helped me on my journey to become an Egghead, especially to my brother. Tonight's cook was to figure out how the plate setter affects the cooking, and also to learn how to adjust/maintain temperature. I almost forgot the real reason: I was cooking dinner tonight![p]Here is the first fire on the egg:[p]IMG_8327.jpg[p]After watching the fire burn for the first ten minutes or so, I closed the lid and set the lower vent to about 1/2" and the upper vent to about 1/4" to maintain a target temp of about 350 deg. for the chicken:[p]IMG_8329.jpg[p]Here is the chicken just before I pulled it off the grill:[p]IMG_8332.jpg[p]I didn't use anything but Stubbs Teriyaki marinade. That's something I never used before, but was trying to see if the indirect setup would cook something like the oven inside the house. Lesson learned. I'll be doing the standard seasoning on the next batch of chicken. That sauce burned during the cook. Perhaps I should have just tried to use it toward the end of the cook. Oh well, nobody seemed to mind as they were eating it up.[p]Next, I had to see if I could pass the gasket-roasting test by doing some strip steaks T-Rex style. Here is the cooker getting up to temp:[p]IMG_8334_2.jpg[p]Here are the results of that one:[p]IMG_8337.jpg[p]A few notes, with some questions for you guys and gals out there.[p]1. My grate does not sit level in the cooker. I didn't notice that yesterday, but sure did notice it this afternoon. A bit of a list (actually, trim) adjustment is required for the forward end (hinge side from the driver's perspective.) Has that happened to anyone else? If so, what was the fix?[p]2. Drip pan used between the porcelain grate and the platesetter. No liquid added. This is much different than how I would do an indirect setup on the Weber kettle. Should I put any liquid in the drip pan next time? Will having liquid in the drip pan on the egg affect the crispiness of the skin?[p]3. Temperature control on this thing is fairly easy. I think that I've learned how to do this my reading lots and lots of posts here on the forum and from the members' individual sites. My brother also gave me some sound advice when I was setting up to do the T-Rex sear. I basically pulled the metal top off and opened the lower vent fully to let the cooker get up to temp before dropping the steaks in there.[p]4. I burped the egg all the time. Even after the T-Rex steak cooking method was employed, the gasket is still there. I'll check in the morning, though to make sure that I didn't just weld it shut. I put the green cap on and shut the lower vent after I was done cooking. Even after I was done eating and cleaning up, I went outside and noticed that the cooker was still very hot to the touch. Dome temp was reading about 200 deg.[p]5. All the thermometers I planned on using were calibrated with the boiling water method: the BGE dome thermometer (off by about 15 deg,) the IKEA digital thermometer I got on sale, and the $5 instant-read I picked up at the grocery this morning just to be sure. I'm broke now after hooking up with the egg. I've got one of those TP5 Thermapens on my mind, along with the matching DigiQ II. Ya gotta have both, right? Did I miss something else I may need for future cooks?[p]6. Grates and extenders are also on the list. The next one I'll get will likely be the Woo2 extender, followed by the cast iron grate. I still have the Weber gasser on standby right next the egg, and I'll grab a grate off him if I really need to sear something as only the iron grate can. Meanwhile, I'll have to "get by" with the nice clean porcelain grate.[p]7. Dawn Power Dissolver is sitting beneath the sink, ready to be deployed after I buy a trash can lid to use for the cooking grates.[p]8. The last of the Kingsford Charwood is gone. The little pieces remaining were placed on top of some Ozark Oak. I gotta tell ya, that Kingsford stuff is very sparky and has burned me numerous times when I was using some in the chimney starter for my other grill. I'm really glad that I don't have any more of that stuff. After the Ozark lump is gone, I'll try the bag of B&B I also have in the garage.[p]9. After wondering whether or not the gaskets melted the cooker shut, I went and checked on the egg as I was headed over to the fridge for a beer. Nope. Gaskets still intact, and the lid still opens. The egg still has that "new car smell" to it. I'll have to fix that with some more cookouts, eh? Oh yeah, I didn't use any smoking woods on the maiden voyage. I've got lots of chips and chunks to select from on the next round, which will be tomorrow evening.[p]My apologies for the long post, I can't tell you how excited I am to have joined the Egg Nation, and to finally be an "Egghead."[p]Have a good evening, everyone!

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