Posted 21 July 2011 - 11:11 PM
Just wondering if anyone have experience with this brand of Kamado grill. Good? Bad? I'm quite new at bbq so would this be too difficult as a first grill for me?
Posted 22 July 2011 - 06:18 AM
I've had a Big Steel Keg for a couple months now so have a little experience with this style cooker.
The kamado style grills are great for low and slow temp controlled cooking. Once you get a feel for the venting you can set temp and leave it for hours on one load of lump charcoal. I understand the big green eggs are set and forget. My insulated steel version has difficulties dropping temp if you overshoot because it's so well insulated, the ceramics loose enough btu's through the ceramic that this isn't an issue, and they are still very efficient. To drop the temp effectively you have to be able to do so without letting additional air in which stokes the fire. I added a $140 pitmaster IQ-110 temp controller (a thermal probe and a fan controlling air intake) and it works great, wouldn't hesitate to run it over night with that setup.
I've done mostly ribs low and slow this summer which my daughter and her friends love, and a spatchcock chicken or two on direct heat.
One drawback is there is no door to get to the fire once you start it and put the grills on, so adding lump or wood chips after the fact is a pain because you have to take the grills off. As efficient as these are thats really not an issue for low and slow, one pile of lump goes for hours. For wood chips I add them in the pile of lump either near the middle of the pile for early smoking or out around the edge for later in the cook smoking, that's pretty loose control though.
Have done pizza a few times and it's fine for 500 - 600 deg pies, I was hoping to get to do 800deg 2 minute pies when I bought it but at that temp it's difficult to control the pizza stone temp vs the heat to the top of the pie as needed for fast pies like that. For low temp pies in the summer without heating up the kitchen it's fine.
So to me low and slow cooking and an outdoor oven in the summer are the reasons to get one. Next project is going to be a big pulled pork roast, that may be an overnight cook.
A google search turned up several threads on this cooker in the bar-b-q forums. Good luck with it.
Posted 22 July 2011 - 06:40 AM
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Posted 22 July 2011 - 08:13 AM
Is there a statement about what the cookers highest temperature range is? Lower fire ceramics are useful for BBQ, but not as well suited for high temperature grilling. Its possible to make a ceramic cooker out of large flower pots, but at high temperatures, those will collapse.
What is the internal set up? Is there a way to change the grill level with an accessory, or will you have to improvise with fire bricks, kiln shelves, etc?
Assuming the vent system is tight, and will control air flow, this sort of cooker is very easy to master. If its anything like an Egg, it will have very good temperature control, and a full load of lump should easily last 24 hours.
As mentioned above, the only real difficulty is cooling them down is they get really hot.
Posted 22 July 2011 - 11:54 AM
Posted 22 July 2011 - 06:50 PM
Apparently, the Vision Kamado is a little different, such as not having a separate fire ring (Not really quite sure what that means....). On some forums, folks have some warranty concerns as the metal parts is warrant for 90 days and the ceramic only for 1 year.
I guess I need advice more on if this particular brand of kamado (Vision) is good or should I be looking at other brands. I know I can always return it if I'm not happy with it, but that thing is heavy and returning it would be a hassle.
Posted 22 July 2011 - 09:37 PM
Posted 22 July 2011 - 10:55 PM
It's Costo! Buy it, try it, if you don't like it take it back. IMHO that's why you pay for a membership!
Again, returning something that bulky isn't ideal. I much prefer to find out more about it before making the purchase and lugging it home (and returning it) in my little car....