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Asking for help... I think I'm going it all wrong (First Time Kamado Owner here)

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  • Asking for help... I think I'm going it all wrong (First Time Kamado Owner here)

    The first item is that I tried to attach pictures and for some reason, I keep getting errors and it will not allow me to which stinks because the pictures help tell the story of me being bad at this Kamado thing. Any help with this would be a big help to this for you guys I'm sure.

    So I have grilled with charcoal and gas for years (gas most of the time for convenience) and never really had any "issues". Just last weekend picked up my Costco display "deal" of a Big Joe and Joe Jr to start getting into the smoking side of things as well as have a nice pizza oven as my family loves pizza and entertaining (live on the water). With that said on Monday, I fired up the Jr to grill up a couple of burgers and some chicken for the family and to "play" with the Kamado style of grilling. Overall it went well although took longer than I expected to warm up and cook. Food tasted great (slight smoke flavor) and we were excited to play with the Big Joe for pizza this week.

    *Note that post the initial cook on the Jr the ceramics of the grill looked almost brand new, no smoke deposit or soot.

    So then we get to last night (Wednesday) for my wife's birthday we fired up the Big Joe for the initial cook and it was pizza. Here is the process that I used:

    - I put a "full load" of Kamado Joe Big Block (used in both cooks) into the BJ (seems to be the recommended thing for "high temp" cooks)
    - Two KJ starters to get it going
    - Allowed the fire to go for 15 - 20 minutes
    - Put the accessory rack in the "up" position, deflector stones on top of that, used the accessory rack from the JR on top of the deflector stone with the 21" KJ pizza stone on top of that
    - Left the bottom vent wide open as well as the daisy wheel up to 500* then closed the daisy wheel a bit to stabilize around 550-600.
    - Allowed the oven to stabilize that temp for 20-30 minutes
    - Seen no "white smoke" and most of it was clear/blue
    - Started cooking pizzas each taking about 7 minutes

    OK so now that I have said all of that comes the part that I just don't get. The first pizza had what my wife referred to as a "chemical" taste that I didn't take but I did pick up on a smokey taste which was not desired but OK I guess. Second pizza the "chemical" taste for my wife was not as bad but there was a smokey taste to it again but somewhat expected. The other thing that happened during the cook is that the ceramics of the grill are BLACK now and so are the deflector plates and the pizza stone and there is black residue/soot on everything (including the gasket) which I think is part of the smokey flavor but I feel like it trashed a brand new grill...

    I guess my question is if this is normal (the black residue and black ceramics)? Is there a way to clean the stones so that they are not black? Most of all what am I doing wrong?

  • #2
    Ok. Your not doing it wrong.....

    Try heating the grill longer before cooking to get rid of the taste problem.

    As far as it turning black, all grills season to that color on the inside.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by SteveInStL View Post
      Ok. Your not doing it wrong.....

      Try heating the grill longer before cooking to get rid of the taste problem.

      As far as it turning black, all grills season to that color on the inside.

      StevenlnStl - Thank you for the feedback.

      With the pizza stone and the defuser plates now "black" is there a way to clean them? Should I clean them? Knowing that they are porous I just don't want that taste "stuck" on/in them.

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      • #4
        Don't worry about the deflector. Once in a while you will have to burn it off, or you could cover it with foil. Rub a light coat of oil on the pizza stone (and cook it). Basically, treat it like you would cast iron.

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