I'm pretty new to the site, this is my first post. Been BBQing all my life, but just recently moving from whole hog cookers (cowboy cookers)to the smaller and in my opinion easier charcoal cookers. I have been cooking on a BWS for a few months now, and I like it, but I started getting the itch for a stick burner type cooker. I didn't want a large one, and from what I have read, the small ones can be quite difficult to use. Enter the Karubecue. After about 6 months of research and talking to Bill Karau who makes these, I decided to pull the trigger. It arrived today and since I personally had trouble finding reviews and pictures, I thought I would put up a box opening today and then this weekend I will cook on it and post my thoughts on how it cooked. So, here we go.
The cooker arrived FEDEX in two boxes:
You can see that the cooker and associated parts were packed very tightly but well protected.
This is the cookbox, where hopefully the magic will happen!
This is the autodraft control box. It is KCBS legal.
I'll be nit picky here, the setpoint for the dial on the control box is not marked. I don't know how you set this except to put an external thermometer in the box and adjust the dial until its holding the temp you want, then you can make a reference mark or something. This is a guess, since I haven't used it yet. I'll update on that later.
The Firebox came with 2 envelopes packed inside of it and a string holding some cardboard around the backside of the firebox. The backside of the firebox has two poppet valves which allow the user to choose what type of smoke goes into the cookbox.
The two envelopes:
Contents of Envelope 1: Legs plus hardward to attach legs, plus fire poker.
Contents of Envelope 2: Firebox Tray and Firebox lid
The firebox tray slides into the middle of the firebox like this. The fire and coals sit on top of this tray and the ash falls beneath this tray.
The firebox lid simply fits over the firebox. I'm not 100% sure at this point, but I think this lid is only needed if your using "dirty smoke" from the top poppet valve.
Legs installed. I had a little trouble getting the legs just right. I kept having a corner too high or low. This was finally solved by keeping all of the mounting hardware loose and putting the cooker on a surface which was known to be flat (a countertop for me). Once on a flat surface, I tightened the hardware and all was good.
Two additional boxes. These hold the shelf racks and the shelves. The shelf racks are different that what is on the video on the website for Karubecue. One the video the racks are held in place with some wing-nuts. Now they simply hang from some tabs on the top.
The tabs which hold the shelf racks:
Shelf racks and racks installed:
The complete setup:
I didn't start a timer, but I think it took me about 1.5 hours to unpack and put everything together, and that was with my 4 year old "helping" me. My initial impressions are what I had hoped for: this thing seems well built and well thought out, even the way it was packaged was well thought out. I did run into one bump in the road, but didn't get any pictures of it. I noticed that the door when latched was not tight, so I made some adjustments. It was only after this adjustment, that I noticed that the handle for the door was installed on the inside of the door for shipping. You can see in the photo above, the handle is not visible.......because its inside of the cookbox. Dern. Well, after I moved that to the outside, the latch was too tight and I had to return to the original setting. Not a problem, just a note. I'm not sure how I overlooked that handle being in the wrong place, but I did.
So, if anyone has any questions or wants to see a picture of anything specifically, just let me know and I'll do my best to oblige. I also update when I cook on this thing this weekend. I'll be cooking two butts with applewood, South Carolina Lowcountry style......Vinegar and Pepper. YUM!