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dissapointed by first grill cook and lack of smoke flavor...

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  • dissapointed by first grill cook and lack of smoke flavor...

    I got the Kamado Joe Classic last week, and I finally got around to using it last night. Just a simple grill session of hot dogs and brats that had been boiled in beer. Prior to getting the KJ, we primarily cooked on the charcoal side of a dual charcoal/propane grill I had. But the charcoal side had started to rust out, hence the new grill. This time I wanted a grill that was built to last a long time, and that was also a smoker too.

    So I used Royal Oak brand lump, and stabilized the temp at 350 degrees. Granted with brats and dogs it's not a very long cook as they are already essentially cooked.....but I'm used to really tasting a charcoal smoke flavor as I always experienced on my old grill using Kingsford Briquettes. These brats had no smoke flavor at all, despite there being smoke coming out of the top chimney of the KJ. Even my wife commented there was no smokey flavor like we traditionally like.

    Is that just the nature of ceramic cookers using lump charcoal? Do they not provide that smoke flavor like briquettes do unless I use wood chunks?

    I could have just cooked those things on the propane grill and wouldn't have even noticed the difference. Is there anything I can do to remedy this, or did I make a mistake with the KJ if that's the kind of flavor I want while making grilled foods? I was pretty disappointed with the outcome last night. Tonight I am going to try chicken, and I have apple wood chunks to go with it.

  • #2
    if you want more smoke, add some wood. all charcoal imparts some smoke flavor, but you obviously want more. add wood.

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    • #3
      I have never had brats, or dogs, or sausage get a good smoke flavor from a kamado. They are cooked too soon. YRMV.

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      • #4
        As Steve said most lump charcoal will not add much smoke flavor, You will need to add wood chunks into your cook
        here is a link that might help you out
        http://amazingribs.com/tips_and_tech...n_of_wood.html
        Palmdale Ca.
        Red Classic Joe -
        Black Big Joe - Red Jr Joe

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        • #5
          You can still use briquettes in the KJ classic. Don't use lighter fluid and make sure your briquettes aren't the match light kind. You will never get the lighter fluid smell out of the Kamado.

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          • #6
            I don't recommend in using briquettes in a ceramic cooker due to the following:

            1. it creates to much ashes;
            2. It can leave a foule taste to your food because the ceramic of the cooker will absorbe the chemical used to make them;
            3. also with briquets you can't get as a high temp as you would with lump

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            • #7
              Originally posted by protecteur View Post
              I don't recommend in using briquettes in a ceramic cooker due to the following:

              1. it creates to much ashes;
              2. It can leave a foule taste to your food because the ceramic of the cooker will absorbe the chemical used to make them;
              3. also with briquets you can't get as a high temp as you would with lump
              protecteur: The amount of ash left by briquettes is ridiculous I first discovered that when I switched to a wood burning smoker. I don't know that it is conclusive that the briquests (sans lighter fluid) will significantly alter the 'seasoning' of the Kamado. Besides, that's the flavor the owner prefers so, it may be in his interests to use it.

              bgaviator: I would also add that if you've never cooked with wood in general, you still are not going to replicate the distinctive flavor of Kingsford or other reg. brands of charcoal. Chemicals or not, many people, including bbq champions and chefs, prefer it to the flavor of oak, hickory, pecan, etc. If it's been cooked over charcoal you are going to know it immediately. The lump has far less impurities in it also so it burns far cleaner than seasoned wood also. So, adding chucnks or chips is essential, in my opinion also, to adding a smoke flavor profile to the cook. And as was mentioned, the time the meat is on the grill matters greatly. For the last several years, I start hot dogs, bratts and metts over very low heat to allow time for the smoke to penetrate before I go direct over coals...

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              • #8
                Originally posted by protecteur View Post
                I don't recommend in using briquettes in a ceramic cooker due to the following:

                ...
                2. It can leave a foule taste to your food because the ceramic of the cooker will absorbe the chemical used to make them;
                ...
                That is just so untrue.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by HeavyG View Post

                  That is just so untrue.
                  beleave what you want i know from experience on this one. Got pretty foule tasting ounce from using briquette on a navy ship KJ when we ran out of lump and it was the only thing available to us. It took us 4-5 high temp clean it to get the taste out that it left in ceramic.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by JaxxQ View Post
                    As Steve said most lump charcoal will not add much smoke flavor, You will need to add wood chunks into your cook
                    here is a link that might help you out
                    http://amazingribs.com/tips_and_tech...n_of_wood.html


                    Awesome link there! Loads of good information getting me ready for my Kamado J

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                    • #11
                      OK this is just a wild guess. Could the lack of smokey flavor be do to the fact that hot dogs, Brats, and sausage are encased in a casing? Could that casing block the flavor or smoke getting into the meat?

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