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We hope you had a great Labor Day and are excited for the start of the NFL this week. If you’re not a sports fan, you can celebrate National Breakfast Month all September and National Cheese Pizza Day on September 5. We can’t wait to share some awesome fall recipes with you all! It's time to think about getting out to one of the many #EGGfests around the country - see a list here

SmokyBear ·

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  • Re: How to grill with BGE? Is it worth it?

    KiterTodd said:
    I have noticed no difference in taste on hamburgers/hot dogs using the BGE vs. a gas grill.

    Weird.  I've had the exact opposite experience - dogs and burgers on the BGE are AMAZING compared to cooking them on the Weber.

    I actually go through the extra work of cleaning the Mini BGE out, loading it with lump and waiting for startup (can be at 400 in about 12 minutes) just to cook a couple of dogs.

    I took some pics last time I did dogs on the Mini BGE but forgot to save them to the camera roll (from SnapBot) and don't have them any longer - but will post the next batch when I do some.

    Hamburgers on the Mini are moist, smoky, and just undescribeable compared to cooking them on the Weber (dry, comparatively flavorless, no smoky flavor, etc). 

    I've found part of the reason for the smoky goodness is using RO lump on the Mini and the closeness of the food to the fire..I use OO + RO on the KJ, but the RO puts off copious amounts of smoke on the little Mini and food on it - regardless of whether it's dogs, burgers, chops or anything else have a taste I haven't been able to replicate on the gasser.

    Like some others, I haven't turned on my Weber since I got my Mini (and KJ) and it's now it's not much more than a glorified Kamado accessory storage cabinet..

    PS: Since I have a Cookshack SM025 for dedicated smoking (which does an AMAZING job), I only use the Mini BGE and Kamado Joe Classic for grilling (literally 'everything' from Spatchcock chick to Chops to Burgers to Chick parts) and pizzas.  No L&S on the KJ as it's on a wood deck and I don't want to leave an unattended fire for 12-16 hours..

  • Re: Lump Level

    Seems like you'd burn a lot of lump unnecessarily loading that full.  So, the downside is the cost of the lump that you don't 'have' to burn..

    I put 2 - 2.5 lbs of lump into my "black egg" (KJ) and can get to 400 in 20 minutes - and have lump left over.

    One good trick I came across is to use the 'Kick Ash Bucket' which winds up leaving a pretty big gap all the way around between the side of the metal and the firebox.  That seems to increase airflow and also reduces the amount of lump I need to get a really good fire going.

    2 - 2.5 lbs for me seems to be the magic amount.  Pretty consistent results with that.  (Believe it or not, I do weigh the lump - just until I get the hang of how full that really is..)

    PS: This is for pizza, steaks, spatchcock..I do all smoking on my Cookshack.
  • Re: pizza question

    No cornmeal, ever.  Makes a heck of a mess (ask me how I know..it took us years to quit using it and find a better way..)

    We always parbake the dough - 2 min at 450 in the oven, THEN put toppings on.

    I use a combo of GP Flour and Semolina to help "spin" / stretch out the dough on a baking mat that I have..once it's in (roughly) a circle shape the size I want, I transfer to parchament paper and onto a peel..paper and dough both go onto the pre-heated pizza stone in the oven for 2 min..remove, and put on sauce, cheese and toppings.

    Parchament and prepared pizza then go onto the KJ (errr.."Black LBGE") :) which has been heating a Old Stone Oven pizza stone for 30+ min at 500 or so.  Remove parchament at ~5 min in..last 5 min directly on stone.

    Makes for awesome pies.  Of course, it REALLY helps if you can make your own dough (I do with 00 flour and 25% freshly ground whole wheat..)

    We just did this last night and the pizza was amazing..I think after 20+ years of trying, I've finally figured out a recipe and a way that works - at least for us.  It takes me two hours to make, but I'd rather do that than spend < 60 seconds calling the local pizza joint.  (As I tell my wife.."you can't buy pizza this good - anywhere").
  • Re: I was proven wrong.

    I found that combining OO with RO also works well, and lowers the overall cost of the cook.

    I use about a half pound of OO on the bottom (big pieces) and pile the considerably smaller pieces of RO on top of that.

    Even this small amount of OO (I make sure there's 2 - 2.5 total lbs of lump in my firebox when lighting - whether all new or a combination of new and old) has made a huge difference in ability to get to 400 quickly, and to get hotter temps overall.

    I also like that I can still get the smokiness of RO using this approach.

    BTW, RO has been awful for me this year - tons of very small pieces in the 16 lb bags from WW.  Seems like almost half the bag is unusable or for "top of pile" only.  The "bigger" pieces have not been much better, and it's been a challenge to find many big pieces at all in an average bag of RO.  Not sure if WW guys just bashed the bags around or what the deal is, but it's truly been garbage lump for me this year.

    So, for anyone who wants to save a few pennies - a combo OO + RO is a good way to go in my experience.
  • Re: Lump storage for the winter

    Hey there @SmokyBear - I live in Flint and have a GFS store near me that carries their brand of lump (made by RO) year round.  I think it's $12 or $13 for 20 lbs. 
    Thanks..I'm pretty sure I can get lump year round, so that's not as much the motivation to place the order with Firecraft..

    I've had pretty bad luck with RO lately (VERY tiny pieces in the 16 lb bags from Wally World) and have one bag of Ozark Oak that's worked well for me so far - so, I want to get more OO.  Problem is I can't find OO anywhere in the Detroit Metro area, and hate paying shipping - Sooooo..I was thinking of ordering from Firecraft and want to get up to $100 so I can get their "free" shipping..but, it'll take either a bunch of Dizzy Pig added to my lump order or 10 bags of OO - which there's no way I'll go through (in addition to the RO that I already have in the garage) before winter..

    If I could buy Ozark Oak anywhere around here, I probably wouldn't stockpile..the RO will do "in a pinch" but I'm getting REALLY tired of all the tiny pieces in the bags and am willing to pay a few more pennies for "good" lump..