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lunchman
04-25-2017, 09:18 PM
It's been quite a long time since I've posted to this forum, figured since I received a new toy today that some folks might be interested in, some pics would be nice.

Quick background: I've had a Bubba Keg and a Bayou Classic Cypress ceramic since 2010, use them all the time. Due to a misaligned hinge, the BC suffered a fatal lid crack a few weeks back so it was time for a replacement. I opted not to get another ceramic, leaving a handful of choices. After some research I chose a Goldens' Cast Iron Cooker (Columbus GA), which arrived today.

No cooks on it yet, still sitting in my garage, but I'll hopefully get it good and dirty this weekend. There are only a handful of reviews on this cooker, lots of conjecture re: cast iron, rust, surface temps, lump usage, etc. that only owning it can put to rest. I'll report findings as I put it to use. There are a good number of videos on their Facebook page.

OK, some pics. The cooker (top vent not yet installed) -

http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l50/lunchman77/Grilling/20170425_192555_zps9s87js4n.jpg (http://s93.photobucket.com/user/lunchman77/media/Grilling/20170425_192555_zps9s87js4n.jpg.html)

http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l50/lunchman77/Grilling/20170425_192651_zpsg6bhw6t2.jpg (http://s93.photobucket.com/user/lunchman77/media/Grilling/20170425_192651_zpsg6bhw6t2.jpg.html)

http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l50/lunchman77/Grilling/20170425_192728_zpsujyadqgv.jpg (http://s93.photobucket.com/user/lunchman77/media/Grilling/20170425_192728_zpsujyadqgv.jpg.html)

Cast iron firebox with optional divider plate for indirect cooks -

http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l50/lunchman77/Grilling/DSCN3868_zpsxrormohd.jpg (http://s93.photobucket.com/user/lunchman77/media/Grilling/DSCN3868_zpsxrormohd.jpg.html)

Cast iron split grates (shown with one of the two extra I purchased so they can be racked for items like ribs.) Flipping them over with feet up allows the grates to be closer to the fire -

http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l50/lunchman77/Grilling/DSCN3869_zpse72qfzaa.jpg (http://s93.photobucket.com/user/lunchman77/media/Grilling/DSCN3869_zpse72qfzaa.jpg.html)

Searing plate / diffuser -

http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l50/lunchman77/Grilling/DSCN3870_zpsd45y3xf8.jpg (http://s93.photobucket.com/user/lunchman77/media/Grilling/DSCN3870_zpsd45y3xf8.jpg.html)

I ordered it directly from Goldens, arrived on a pallet today, drop shipped in an eighteen wheeler to my door.

Weight: 460 lbs according to their website. Well packaged, only a small amount of assembly to do which was easy. The hardest part was the concern of rolling it off the pallet on a temporary ramp, but that went well.

I'll answer questions if needed as I get time on it during the next few weeks. Needless to say I'm psyched to have a brand new toy and will post more details on how well it grills, smokes, does over-nighters, holds temps, uses lump, etc.

-lunchman

Dweverett
04-25-2017, 09:26 PM
Nice! That looks like a beast. Nice divider design

Stlsportster
04-25-2017, 09:26 PM
Watching :pop2:

16Adams
04-25-2017, 09:46 PM
That is cool

ronbrad62
04-25-2017, 09:59 PM
Very interesting. All of the design aspects look to be well thought out and executed. I can't wait to see it in action.

MisplacedTexan
04-26-2017, 01:17 AM
That looks really cool! Can't wait to see how it cooks and your reviews!

lunchman
05-06-2017, 12:07 PM
An update for those who were following this thread. The cooker had arrived missing a few parts and with damaged parts thanks to the trucking company unboxing it and "strapping" it to a rickety pallet. Goldens sent the missing and replacement parts which was fine. I can replace a damaged caster wheel. They even included a nice t shirt and hat.

When I finally got it out into the sunshine a few days later there were far too many deep scratches in the powder coating on the lid. I sent pics to the folks at Goldens and within an hour received a phone call that they were shipping me a new cooker. No questions asked, no back and forth discussions, just a simple "New cooker is on its way to you." This is the type of customer service more businesses in the US should exhibit.

The damaged one was returned this week, the replacement arrives on Monday. I'll get to see how these are actually shipped from the factory in Georgia.

The folks at Goldens have been in constant contact with me via email and phone. They have been outstanding to deal with.

As soon as it's assembled (handles need to be attached to the cart with the cotter pins, that's it for assembly), I'll be anxious to get some cooks on it and post more reviews.

-lunchman

KevinJ
05-06-2017, 12:26 PM
Sorry you have to go through the inconvenience of having another cooker shipped, it's great the company stepped up to make it right. If it cooks as well as the customer service they are providing, you have a heck of a cooker. Looking forward to seeing the new one getting dirty.

effinUker
05-06-2017, 03:23 PM
Looks like a lot of fun to cook on. Congrats.

Hoss
05-06-2017, 03:31 PM
I have been itching to try one.I will use you as the determining factor after you do a few cooks with it.I am about tired of the frailty of ceramics.Good luck.

ssv3
05-06-2017, 03:36 PM
Nice cooker and I'm also tuned in for the cooks and review.

gtsum
05-06-2017, 03:45 PM
Interesting. Looks like a beast!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

4ever3
05-06-2017, 04:55 PM
That's a cool looking cooker!

I hate to hear of the trouble but it sounds like they are on the ball!

lunchman
05-08-2017, 08:39 PM
Replacement grill arrived today, it's all set up on my back deck (one step up from ground level so ramps a friend brought over came in handy). Due to work constraints I wasn't able to do much with it other than add a load of lump and do an initial burn-in. Probably best to let the factory oils burn off before I put food in it. I took it up to about 450-500, seemed to hold temps well.

Yeah, the cast iron lid gets hot but that's expected. My other Kamados do too, this wasn't excessive. I'll use my IR gun at some point to take temps and compare it to the Bubba Keg.

Tomorrow I expect to have more time and will put it to work for dinner. I think a pork loin is on the menu but perhaps I'll grill something up that will help season the CI grates, more than I was able to do in my oven last nite.

No time for pictures today. I'll keep this thread updated as I get cook time on it over the next few weeks.

Something I get to experiment with: On the website some of the pictures show a daisy wheel for the top vent. Mine came with a flat plate which swings open. The flat plate was a new design change, but Goldens sent me the daisy wheel as well at my request. Currently I have the flat plate attached. I'm used to both styles, the Bubba Keg uses a daisy wheel, the Bayou Classic used a flat plate. Not a huge deal, but at least I have a choice.

Not sure if I mentioned the grate diameter: 20.5". A good sized area to grill on.

More later.

-lunchman

KevinJ
05-09-2017, 08:21 AM
Glad you got your replacement cooker and everything is good to go. Looking forward to seeing your cooks.

Jrogers84
05-09-2017, 08:32 AM
I am very interested in this cooker! Seems like it would be a lot heavier. Thats a lot of cast iron!

Pstores
05-09-2017, 08:40 AM
Can't wait to here about the food

lunchman
05-09-2017, 10:18 AM
This morning I'm seasoning the cooker, using the typical method you guys would use for seasoning an offset smoker. High temp cooking oil on the inner surfaces, used Pam canola on the dome. It's running at about 275-300, I'll let it go for a number of hours. I'll need to season the second pair of grates and the sear plate at another time.

Some pics of it in action, coming up to temp, there is smoke coming out the top vent -

http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l50/lunchman77/Grilling/DSCN3899_zpsymnk6twh.jpg (http://s93.photobucket.com/user/lunchman77/media/Grilling/DSCN3899_zpsymnk6twh.jpg.html)

Grates and dome taking on a nice patina -

http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l50/lunchman77/Grilling/DSCN3900_zps1sqnpfvf.jpg (http://s93.photobucket.com/user/lunchman77/media/Grilling/DSCN3900_zps1sqnpfvf.jpg.html)

http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l50/lunchman77/Grilling/DSCN3901_zpslkjuqar0.jpg (http://s93.photobucket.com/user/lunchman77/media/Grilling/DSCN3901_zpslkjuqar0.jpg.html)

A view of how well the lid is balanced -

The spring is enormous -

http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l50/lunchman77/Grilling/DSCN3903_zpsaa6q1d3f.jpg (http://s93.photobucket.com/user/lunchman77/media/Grilling/DSCN3903_zpsaa6q1d3f.jpg.html)

And does its job quite well -

http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l50/lunchman77/Grilling/DSCN3902_zpscrg3asyu.jpg (http://s93.photobucket.com/user/lunchman77/media/Grilling/DSCN3902_zpscrg3asyu.jpg.html)

When it gets to within about 4" of closing it gently closes. Nice.

It seems to be holding temps pretty well. As with most Kamados, the dome temp is lower than the grate temp, but I'm used to that. Thermometer was reading about 300, grate temp with the IR gun was shy of 400. It'll take a few cooks and experimentation to get used to its controls. First cook should be dinner this evening.

-lunchman

lunchman
05-09-2017, 07:39 PM
After letting it season from around 7 am with temps holding steady around 350 from mid morning to mid afternoon, it was time to start grilling. A lone pork loin wasn't going to suffice. I added lump, opened the vents a bit and brought temps up to about 425.

http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l50/lunchman77/Grilling/DSCN3909_zpsftz2gxdq.jpg (http://s93.photobucket.com/user/lunchman77/media/Grilling/DSCN3909_zpsftz2gxdq.jpg.html)

I racked the grates, one high, one low, since I wanted to get a nice sear on the CAB top round I'd picked up. Plenty of room on the upper grate for the pork loin and roasted carrots in my CI casserole, potatoes on the lower grate -

http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l50/lunchman77/Grilling/DSCN3911_zps1blj6e7e.jpg (http://s93.photobucket.com/user/lunchman77/media/Grilling/DSCN3911_zps1blj6e7e.jpg.html)

Added the CAB top round steak -

http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l50/lunchman77/Grilling/DSCN3913_zpsxsuxxozv.jpg (http://s93.photobucket.com/user/lunchman77/media/Grilling/DSCN3913_zpsxsuxxozv.jpg.html)

And plated, rare just the way I like it -

http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l50/lunchman77/Grilling/DSCN3915_zpsltf13eoo.jpg (http://s93.photobucket.com/user/lunchman77/media/Grilling/DSCN3915_zpsltf13eoo.jpg.html)

The pork loin is tomorrow nite's dinner -

http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l50/lunchman77/Grilling/DSCN3916_zpscqaf6li9.jpg (http://s93.photobucket.com/user/lunchman77/media/Grilling/DSCN3916_zpscqaf6li9.jpg.html)


All in all, I'm quite pleased with the purchase. Lots of room on the grates, the ability to go legs up or legs down with them is a plus. It holds temps quite well. At some point over the next few weeks I'll try an overnight low n slow, we'll see how it compares to the Bubba Keg which is downright stingy on its lump use, easily going 16 hours. That'll be tough to match but I'll put the Goldens to the test.

With the smaller cart with handles only, there's obviously no place to put plates, hang utensils, etc. but that was a conscious decision on my part. I've got plans to build a barbeque table between the two grills, matching a patio set I recently built.

I closed the vents to shut it down for the nite, temps are dropping as expected.

I'm impressed with this cooker and it's nice to finally get to use it.

-lunchman

Pstores
05-09-2017, 08:55 PM
I am really looking forward to the taste test on the low... And how was the flavor?

KevinJ
05-09-2017, 09:46 PM
Dinner looks delicious.

lunchman
05-09-2017, 09:51 PM
I am really looking forward to the taste test on the low... And how was the flavor?

Just as good as anything I've grilled on the Bubba Keg. The steak was simply seasoned with Worcestershire, pepper and Montreal Steak. Moist and tender. I'm looking forward to the next cook, whatever catches my attention in the meat or fish market at my local Market Basket.

One plus I found during the day was the ability to easily remove a half grate and add lump.

I was just watching videos posted today on their Facebook page, where they're out in Vegas at a National Hardware show. They were using the divider plate for indirect, with a reverse sear at the end for a tri-tip. Looked good. Not sure I've ever seen a tri-tip here in New England, but the indirect cooking method they show is the reason I bought the optional divider plate.

Too many things to cook, too little time. It's all fun though.

-lunchman

Pstores
05-09-2017, 09:58 PM
I am interested in how hot you can get it. I do miss the 900 degree steaks on my BGE. Thinking this could be better even if it only gets to 600 or so...... High heat you must burp I am sure like and egg...... Otherwise it's doubles as a hair removal tool.... Lol.

MisterChrister
05-09-2017, 09:59 PM
That's a beautiful cooker, and a throwback to days of old when stuff was made to last forever. Congrats!

Saint
05-09-2017, 11:25 PM
I was looking at these not too long ago. Glad to see they perform well. Thanks for sharing!

rwalters
05-10-2017, 12:23 AM
Sweet cooker!! I have long been interested in these CI beasts! Tuned in to this thread :)

cholloway
05-10-2017, 11:39 AM
Thanks for the report on this cooker.
I wasn't aware of the Golden's name.
Looked at their website and found a local dealer not far from my house.
I'll have to stop by and check them out.

Macky
05-10-2017, 12:05 PM
Looks like you got a real winner there and its making me think!!!!!!

lunchman
05-10-2017, 12:53 PM
Thanks all for the kind words.

I'll be doing more cooks on it in the upcoming weeks, will try different grill setup variations. The Goldens' website is www.goldenscastiron.com for those who haven't found it yet.

I've seen a few new products on their Facebook page, namely a CI fire pit in various sizes based on a syrup kettle (I need to look up history on these, they seem interesting) and sauces. These products aren't on the website yet.

After watching their FB videos last night I almost wanted to fire it up again at midnight and grill all night. :-D Somehow I resisted the urge.

Grilling has suddenly become fun again.

-lunchman

cheez59
05-10-2017, 10:03 PM
That cooker looks great. I bet it would season up nicely if you cooked a couple fatty butts nice and slow. I love me some cast iron cooking surface.

lunchman
05-11-2017, 09:23 AM
I am interested in how hot you can get it. I do miss the 900 degree steaks on my BGE. Thinking this could be better even if it only gets to 600 or so...... High heat you must burp I am sure like and egg...... Otherwise it's doubles as a hair removal tool.... Lol.

Yes, burping is not rude as they say on their website. I've only been burnt once in my years of grilling and that was due to not gradually opening the cooker (I think it was the Bayou Classic).

I'll get some high heat cooks in over the next few weeks and post reports. I'm anxious to grill some pizza on this!

jlrichar
05-12-2017, 09:31 PM
That deflector\griddle looks quite nice. I wonder if it would fit in an Acorn? Any idea what the dimensions are?

lunchman
05-12-2017, 09:48 PM
That deflector\griddle looks quite nice. I wonder if it would fit in an Acorn? Any idea what the dimensions are?

Diameter is 16.5" and the tabs add an additional 2".

I have two of them now, since one came with the replacement cooker. The one pictured has a slot in the center so it can be lifted with the grate tool. The second one is completely solid across. I'm not sure which is the newer of the two designs.

Both have a lipped edge on one side, no lip on the other.

lunchman
05-26-2017, 09:23 PM
Simply posting Friday night dinner prepared on the Goldens' Cast Iron.

I decided to break out the Firewire skewers, thread up some bottom round cubes which I had cut from a roast, thread some small potatoes on another and peppers on yet another, allowing them to be placed on the grill at different times. The portabella mushrooms were sort of an afterthought and it was easier grilling them whole rather than skewering them in small chunks.

Simple seasoning on the beef with Worcestershire, S&P & Montreal Steak. Grill was about 325-350.

Everybody happy out on the grill -

http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l50/lunchman77/Grilling/DSCN3920_zpsejgbb2kb.jpg (http://s93.photobucket.com/user/lunchman77/media/Grilling/DSCN3920_zpsejgbb2kb.jpg.html)

And plated, beef was medium rare -

http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l50/lunchman77/Grilling/DSCN3923_zps4jqz59lo.jpg (http://s93.photobucket.com/user/lunchman77/media/Grilling/DSCN3923_zps4jqz59lo.jpg.html)

And served with some Midland Ghost White Pepper Sauce, which I learned about on the Goldens Facebook site -

http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l50/lunchman77/Grilling/DSCN3925_zpsoqqmhmji.jpg (http://s93.photobucket.com/user/lunchman77/media/Grilling/DSCN3925_zpsoqqmhmji.jpg.html)

Thanks for checking out tonite's dinner!

-lunchman

Sid Post
05-26-2017, 10:17 PM
Looks good from here! :icon_smile_tongue:

Hoss
05-26-2017, 10:24 PM
Tastee lookin vittles.When my ceramics finally finish crumbling into themselves,I will definitely consider a Golden.Thank you for taking your time to inform us.

Smoke on Badger Mountain
05-26-2017, 10:53 PM
Great thread! Cool cooker, and good looking grub. Thanks

lunchman
05-28-2017, 06:56 PM
For those keeping up with my postings on this cooker, the Goldens did quite well today for a family outing. Unfortunately, no pics as I had it and the Bubba Keg going for boneless chicken breasts, burgers and dogs. Both grills were keeping me too busy for the camera.

The one new thing I wanted to point out was I used the second tier of grates (one half only) today for the boneless chicken breasts. It worked out well, but was a tad difficult getting under the upper grate to pull out the chicken to flip it. I suppose if I were doing something like ribs that don't need to be turned as often or where the food on the upper grate could be taken off and the grate removed to get at what's on the lower grate, then using them would be easier. They're still useful, don't get me wrong and toasting buns on them turned out fantastic. They definitely have their place and I'm glad to have purchased the second set. The next time I use them I'll remember to take some pics.

I've yet to use the firebox divider or the searing plate. Their time will come. The inside of this cooker has turned a beautiful black and looks wonderful. It holds temps quite well and temp control is not much different than Bubba, meaning it's very straightforward. I'm easily getting accustomed to where to set the top and lower vents to reach the temps I want.

So far, a thumbs up from me.

-lunchman

lunchman
06-16-2017, 09:41 PM
I finally made use of the firebox divider using it for a reverse sear on a London broil. I set up the grates high on the indirect side, low on the direct.

Some red peppers on the hot side of the grill, Baby Bellas on the indirect -

http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l50/lunchman77/Grilling/DSCN3944_zpscv4ulso0.jpg (http://s93.photobucket.com/user/lunchman77/media/Grilling/DSCN3944_zpscv4ulso0.jpg.html)

Some of the ingredients for a red pepper pesto -

http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l50/lunchman77/Grilling/DSCN3945_zpsdlgcpazf.jpg (http://s93.photobucket.com/user/lunchman77/media/Grilling/DSCN3945_zpsdlgcpazf.jpg.html)

Mixed -

http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l50/lunchman77/Grilling/DSCN3946_zps2yuiooch.jpg (http://s93.photobucket.com/user/lunchman77/media/Grilling/DSCN3946_zps2yuiooch.jpg.html)

I missed some pics as it was starting to rain.

After about 4-5 minutes per side indirect, I moved the steak to the hot side for a quick 1 minute sear each side -

http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l50/lunchman77/Grilling/DSCN3947_zpsopofgeuy.jpg (http://s93.photobucket.com/user/lunchman77/media/Grilling/DSCN3947_zpsopofgeuy.jpg.html)

Resting -

http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l50/lunchman77/Grilling/DSCN3948_zpsovh6ofvm.jpg (http://s93.photobucket.com/user/lunchman77/media/Grilling/DSCN3948_zpsovh6ofvm.jpg.html)

Plated, served with roasted carrots, the shrooms and the pesto -

http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l50/lunchman77/Grilling/DSCN3950_zps8r638jgj.jpg (http://s93.photobucket.com/user/lunchman77/media/Grilling/DSCN3950_zps8r638jgj.jpg.html)

The split firebox divider is a nice design and works quite well. I'll be using it again for future cooks.

I'm liking this cooker more and more.

Thanks for reading.

-lunchman

KORND4WG X
06-16-2017, 10:42 PM
Great cook, nice pictures :clap2:

Sid Post
06-17-2017, 06:16 AM
:hungry:

Looks yummy! And thanks for posting about this cast iron alternative to ceramic cookers and the Akorns.

Big George's BBQ
06-17-2017, 09:02 AM
Very nice cooker Nice cooks Thanks for the review I think my son is thinking about getting a grill I will have to tell him about it
Glad to see you posting again

IamMadMan
06-17-2017, 09:09 AM
Great looking food and an awesome review...

lunchman
04-04-2018, 08:43 AM
It's been about a year since I purchased the Golden's Cast Iron, had a PM from a member asking about comparisons between it and a ceramic. I thought I'd provide an update after a year of ownership for those who might be interested in this unit. (I've not posted in a while since my photobucket account caught up with me.)

I'm still as enthusiastic about this cooker as when I first received it. I've had zero issues with it, it gets used at least 3-4 times per week and has just about completely replaced the Bubba Keg which sits idle (Bubba is used these days to fire up the Weber chimney starter).

The Golden's had no problems with the New England winter, held temps quite well. I've been out there in below zero temps; sure, it took a bit longer in those freezing conditions to come up to temp but so would any cooker. Somewhere I have a picture of it with a line of thin blue smoke coming out of the vent and icicles hanging from the handle and cart (eventually they did melt off).

About the only negative thing I can think of is cleaning. I use the Bubba Keg grate tool to clean out the ashes along with my shop vac. Without the vacuum I do need to be careful not to dump ashes on the ground (this is due to the cart support bars being right in front of the ash door.) Other than that, nothing negative to speak of.

I would still recommend the optional divider plate, I use this quite a bit for things like reverse searing or simply to grill indirect without the need to break out the searing plate (Golden's equivalent to a BGE platesetter).

I'm still quite happy with the cart I purchased - still as sturdy as it was on day 1, no rust, no issues whatsoever.

Things I would do differently - I probably would not have ordered two additional half grates, one would have sufficed. I've only used one stacked half grate two or three times, it's impossible to use two.

I will admit I have still not done an overnight low and slow on this grill. It does seem to go through lump a bit faster than the Bubba Keg. With some all day cooks, I've had to add lump after about 8 hours or so. It holds temps quite well, I rarely have to adjust settings once it's dialed in.

That's about it. An old thread resurrected with updates for those who might be interested.

Regards,
-Dom

bschoen
04-04-2018, 10:09 AM
Thanks so much for that update. May I ask about rust? I had a cast iron gasser many years ago, I really liked it, but I could never get on top of the rust on the grates and burners. I understand the seasoning concept well as I have had cast iron pans for over 40 years.

How does the Golden fare with oxidation?

TIA.

sarth67
04-04-2018, 10:10 AM
Thank you for the updates this looks like an amazing unit.

jermoQ
04-04-2018, 10:51 AM
Pretty cool cooker! I also like the raised up leg feature to make pizza cooking or flipping burgers easier.:thumb:

lunchman
04-04-2018, 12:18 PM
Thanks so much for that update. May I ask about rust? I had a cast iron gasser many years ago, I really liked it, but I could never get on top of the rust on the grates and burners. I understand the seasoning concept well as I have had cast iron pans for over 40 years.

How does the Golden fare with oxidation?

TIA.

Oxidation is not a problem at all. The grates are rust free.

Anything "steel" that's exposed to the elements on the cart is stainless steel, haven't had any rust on items like the casters or pins which hold the handles in place. The rest of the cart and the cooker itself is powder coated.

I think the inherent fear with this cooker is "it's cast iron" and folks seem to equate that with rust if it isn't seasoned. The inside of the cooker was seasoned after the first few uses as were the grates. I suppose if you were to not use the cooker for some number of weeks and moisture were to build up inside (it's happened with my ceramic), you'd get mold and some rust perhaps. Given my usage, that's not gonna happen.

Hope this helps.

legendaryhog
04-04-2018, 02:14 PM
Cool looking cooker. My only concern would be the cast iron rusting. My DCS has cast iron burners and I have to replace them about every year and a half due to rust. Even covered there is no way to keep the moisture out.