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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 11-08-2012, 12:43 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dano View Post
Did you try to contact Grill Dome? I have a couple of buddies that have them and love them.
I did, I talked with TK the owner, and his son on numerous occasions. They admitted to me that they were having major quality issues in India where the cooker is made. After about 2 years I just got tired of dealing with them and their product failures.

Subsequently, I sold the Grill Dome and bought a 22.5” Smokey Mountain, a 22.5” OTG AND a 22.5” Performer for less than I spent on the GD. Its not the money, but if your going to pay $800-$900 for something it had better work as advertised.
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Unread 11-08-2012, 02:38 PM   #17
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JMS I've got a standard KJ and love it. There have been a few times that I wish I had a BigJoe (which is bigger than the XLBGE) but most of the time I've got more than enough room. If you got the adjustable rig from Tom at ceramic grill store you have more than enough room.

If you like the swing rack on the acorn you can order something simular from Franco at Ceramic grill works.

There is a KJ dealer near you. It's off exit 119 then north - a little hardware store with a good selection of accessories.

I don't mean to say BGE is not good in fact I think they're great. I understand they have improved their gaskets which was there biggest problem.
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Unread 11-08-2012, 02:56 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JONESY View Post
I did, I talked with TK the owner, and his son on numerous occasions. They admitted to me that they were having major quality issues in India where the cooker is made. After about 2 years I just got tired of dealing with them and their product failures.

Subsequently, I sold the Grill Dome and bought a 22.5” Smokey Mountain, a 22.5” OTG AND a 22.5” Performer for less than I spent on the GD. Its not the money, but if your going to pay $800-$900 for something it had better work as advertised.
I agree. Well it sounds like you got a bunch of nice stuff with the cash you got for it.
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Unread 11-08-2012, 03:10 PM   #19
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Make sure you get one big enough,i wish my LBGE was an xl.
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Unread 11-08-2012, 04:22 PM   #20
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We have a Kamado Joe, and love it. No issues at all. It didn't matter to me between the KJ and BGE. My wife on the other hand who is a Interior Designer decided the red KJ was a much better option for our deck than the Green egg. I really liked the black KJ, but red matches the umbrella, and chair cushions on the deck. Maybe one day we will change the color scheme out there, and I can get a new cooker to match.

Either way, I dont think you can go wrong with a KJ, BGE, or Primo. I have absolutely no issues holding temp for overnight cooks, pizzas are amazing, I havent had a burnt hamburger since we got our KJ, chicken is good to go, ribs are good, best baked potatoes I have ever eaten.

Our KJ is the Classic Joe, which is the same size as the Large BGE. At first it will look as if you cant get enough food on there but you can. I can do any of the following:
4 Beer can chickens at once.
4 spatchcocked chickens at once
1 13lb packer brisket
A bunch of hamburgers, never counted.
A bunch of hot dogs, never counted.
1 pizza at a time roughly a 16" pizza ( I can cook about 8 pizzas in just over an hour, that included prep etc. )
a couple of racks of ribs at once
3 nice sized pork butts. I have done 4 smaller butts.

All of the above is without a grill extender or second shelf. Just on one grid.

Hope that helps and good luck.
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Unread 11-08-2012, 05:01 PM   #21
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Awesome feedback, thanks all! Given a kamado would be my fifth cooker by the time I'm likely to buy, I have the luxury of not needing to buy something that will "do it all". I want an insulated cooker that excels at pizza and baking over live fire, and let's face it, it's always fun to master (aka: "play") with a cool new way to cook.

This weekend will be fun as I have a day all to myself and decided to spend it driving all over the bay area to see some floor models first hand. I suspect that after tax time I'll see how many nickels are left in the piggy bank and then either decide to spend for a "quality" model or go the other direction and grab a Char-Griller I can mod, learn and experiment on without breaking the bank. I really love the looks, style, and reputation of KJ, and would probably go that way if price were no object. Guess we'll see!
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Unread 11-08-2012, 05:15 PM   #22
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If you get hot days in your summer consider the tech insulated Keg range, they shed little heat.
I have a BSKeg and have no problem smoking sub200f, and love the high heat grilling and roasting aspect.
I'm perfectly satisfied with it, if that helps.
Any of them would be great tho
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Unread 11-08-2012, 05:26 PM   #23
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Haven't looked at Kegs very much so far, sub-200 is impressive, thanks!
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Unread 11-08-2012, 06:09 PM   #24
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I have the XL and M big green egg and I've owned a keg. My biggest complaints on the eggs are the gaskets are total garbage. Like, laughably awful. I HIGHLY recommend finding a replacement and planning on installing it BEFORE you use the egg. I followed all the recommendations and almost never cook over 550 and mine still fried in the first few months of use. When I asked my dealer why they were so bad he told me if big green egg upgraded the gaskets, they couldn't sell us the replacements. That REALLY pissed me off.

I upgraded the fire grates in both eggs to wire grates and am very happy with that upgrade. The XL didn't really need it (but it still works better with the wire grates) but the Medium definitely did need it. In fact, I'm not exactly sure how anyone does long low and slow sessions with the medium stock grate. Mine easily clogged up on long cooks over about 6 hours. WITH the high-Que, it works very well though.

I also found the Medium nest to be too short and a bit unstable so I had to build a table. I'm not very handy, but I'm happy with my set up now.

The keg, on the other hand, had a different set of issues. It was not air tight out of the box and required some silicone and lots of use (gunk) to get that way. Also, the paint was pretty bad and would come off relatively easy. It was porcelain coated underneath though so no rust issues. I personally really liked the simplicity of the swing grate on the kegs.

The eggs are easier to control the temps...particularly when you need to bring temps down. My keg averaged about 1 degree drop per minute so a 50-75 degree overshoot would take about an hour to come back down. My eggs will come down about that much in about 20 minutes. (This is is under normal conditions and in typical cooking ranges of 250-400.) I'm sure extreme temps would drop much quicker.

2 myths. No matter what you hear, ceramics get CRAZY STUPID HOT ON THE OUTSIDE. Kegs don't. At 400 degrees, my eggs will burn in certain spots and my keg was barely even warm. Also, even my smaller medium egg uses WAY more charcoal than my keg did. Considering an XL egg is roughly the same cooking space as a Weber, I do not find it to be efficient with charcoal at all. I don't think this would matter much to someone who uses their grills once or twice a week, but for those of us who grill every day it adds up. It really irritates me when I hear this repeated over and over again. Yes, it's more efficient than an offset (I assume...never had one) but if you want to save charcoal, get a keg instead of an egg.

Having said that, the XL is a great size. Huge briskets fit really well and there is lots of head room. I'm pretty sure I could get 7 large pork butts on it without having to get "creative."

Don't let anybody talk you out of a Primo because they say pizzas won't cook evenly. Eggs don't either.

The side tables on the kegs serve their purpose but feel cheap. The cast iron grate, however, was awesome if you like that kinda thing and I love the simplicity of the swing rack.

At $200, my Bubba keg was the best grill purchase I've ever made. HUGE BANG for the buck! but now that I've made all the mods (new gaskets, grill table, new fire grate, and the toys from ceramic grill store), my eggs are the best all around cookers I've ever had. They just work well...with the mods.

I liked all the kamados I've owned but I'm not sure I would buy them again at current prices. From a pure cooking standpoint they are great, but I feel like they cost about twice what they are actually worth. Contrary to what a lot of people think, I don't feel like I paid for a "luxury." I think I just overpaid. If I had bought in 10 years ago when the prices were a lot lower, I honestly think I'd have a different opinion.

In closing, they really need to fix those dang gaskets! lol. Hope this helps.
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Unread 11-08-2012, 07:33 PM   #25
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JM, what are you looking for in a BGE that you are not getting with the Akorn? As far as online support, I think this forum is one of the best if not the best one around, all kinds of pitmasters with all kinds of cookers to draw experience from... just my IMO though.
The first thing I'm looking for is an air-tight cooker. The Akorn is not air tight but with some modifications it is close. Controlling the temperature in an air tight cooker is very easy. When the Akorn temp shoots up, its nearly impossible to bring it back down without actually snuffing out the fire. There are several other reasons I want a ceramic but they aren't related to shortcomings of the Akorn. I plan to keep the akorn as well.
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Unread 11-08-2012, 11:23 PM   #26
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Sounds like you are salesman and answered your own questions.

I'll stick with my 3 Large Big Green Eggs, the safe bet and PROVEN cooker.
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Unread 11-09-2012, 12:48 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxfire View Post
Awesome feedback, thanks all! Given a kamado would be my fifth cooker by the time I'm likely to buy, I have the luxury of not needing to buy something that will "do it all". I want an insulated cooker that excels at pizza and baking over live fire, and let's face it, it's always fun to master (aka: "play") with a cool new way to cook.

This weekend will be fun as I have a day all to myself and decided to spend it driving all over the bay area to see some floor models first hand. I suspect that after tax time I'll see how many nickels are left in the piggy bank and then either decide to spend for a "quality" model or go the other direction and grab a Char-Griller I can mod, learn and experiment on without breaking the bank. I really love the looks, style, and reputation of KJ, and would probably go that way if price were no object. Guess we'll see!
In your area you shouldn't have to drive too far to find those floor models. If you head over to the KJ dealer in Santa Clara you're only a few blocks away from Eggs By The Bay (a Brethren Egg dealer). I believe you have a Primo dealer in S.J. and I'm sure a Lowes to see the Akorn & maybe Cypress.
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Unread 11-09-2012, 06:46 AM   #28
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I have cooked on the Kamado Joe BigJoe, and that divided firebox is MONEY for fuel consumption and direct/indirect options. We had no problems ramping it and bringing it back down. What a monster. I will be saving up for one of those as well. You know, because they need friends out there in the Meat Manger. Three Traegers, a UDS and the KJ need more buddies to play with.
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Unread 11-09-2012, 07:12 AM   #29
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The felt gasket on the Primo is junk too. One or two high temp pizza cooks and that thing is toast. Once you burn it real good it isn't that hard to scrape off though. I put a cotronics gasket on it and have not looked back.

If you plan on buying a Primo or a BGE, just know that you will be replacing the gasket. The cotronics is not expensive and it is easy to do.
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Unread 11-09-2012, 07:40 AM   #30
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Had our Primo for several years and would repurchase the same. The initial choice was easy as my wife does a lot of baking and this offered more overhead clearance and better shape for fitting in pans. For her it was a no-brainer. I regularly smoke at low temps (150*) and have done several pizzas (up to 700*). Never had any problems and the gasket is still intact. The standard racks and diffusion plates make it very easy to do indirect and direct at the same time! I do this a lot.
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