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Rediscovering The Pimped-Out Options I Bought With My 2005 Kamado #9

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    Rediscovering The Pimped-Out Options I Bought With My 2005 Kamado #9

    I have to admit that for the past few days, I've been in a severe state of grill envy over the Lone Star Grillz Adjustable Charcoal Grill and Smoker that AZ Fogey has been posting about. The versatility of that beast is amazing. But then I got started thinking about the fact that my beautiful, trusty Kamado #9 that I purchased in 2005 from Kamado Company in San Diego is also remarkably versatile. Sadly, I tend to use it for only a very small fraction of the number of things it will do. But with all of the wonderful techniques that are taught here on the site, I realized it's time to broaden my horizons and my cooking by diving into some of these other capabilities.

    Those thoughts also get jumbled up with the fact that there have been an amazing number of very impressive pizza cooks many of you have put up using various cooker setups. So, earlier this week I ordered the 14 inch Lodge Cast Iron Pizza Pan (hi, Spinaker, this only takes me up to two CI pieces, so I'm still a newbie who needs to be treated gently). Delivery is scheduled for tomorrow.

    The little bit of reading I've done on pizza in Kamados or Big Green Eggs suggests that the best results come from getting the pie high up so that it's closer to the radiant heat coming off the walls as they come together where the top narrows. I then remembered that although I've never cooked in that setup, my Kamado came with the ability to have grill surfaces at two levels (the sales literature said up to 90 pounds of meat could be accommodated). So this morning, I went out the garage and dug out all the pieces that came with this cooker but have been neglected for most or all of the nearly 15 years it's been here. There was a LOT more stuff than my addled old brain recalled, so that prompted me to go to the filing cabinet and dig out the original packing slip:

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    It appears that I ordered it in July of 2005 and then it shipped in October. My thinking on ordering it was that this would be a once in a lifetime purchase, so if there was an option offered, I ordered it.

    In playing around with all these parts, I tried first to set up the second level grill. There's a support ring with legs that fold out to hold the second grill about 6 inches above the primary cooking grill. I decided that might not be high enough, so I experimented with putting an old rib rack on top of that. I used the Baking Steel that I use in place of a heat deflector to simulate the weight of the CI pizza pan. This puts the pie about 9.5 inches above the grill and into the region where the top begins to come in from the sides. The lid still opens and closes easily with the Baking Steel in place, so the smaller diameter CI pan will be fine. Here's my Rube Goldberg setup:

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    This seems to be stable enough that putting a pie onto the heated pan and moving/removing it with a peel will not be dangerous. I like that the bottom of the pan should get very even heat by sitting on the rib rack instead of something like bricks.

    Even though the pan arrives tomorrow, it may well be a week before the first pizza cook since we are spacing our grocery runs a week or so apart and I don't have everything needed right now.

    But the fun doesn't stop there! I had totally forgotten about the meat hanger. Here it is, installed in all its glory:

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    That is actually the longer of two spits (more on that below), but it shows that a very substantial piece of meat can hang in this thing. The piece that is near the bottom of the spit in this photo can slide to anywhere along it and be anchored with a set screw. It seems to me that it can act to prevent meat from sliding off the end of the spit or be at the top for hanging metal skewers that have an eye at their top. With skewers hanging really high, tandoor type cooking is definitely possible. But with the hanger in the orientation shown, and most likely with the shorter spit, this will be wonderful for shawarma or meat for tacos al pastor. With the meat up high, no rotisserie action will be needed for even searing around the outside of what is on the spit. I can't wait for the gyro parties and taco parties this will make possible, as meat gets sliced off the spit onto a plate held underneath. People can start assembling their food while the lid gets closed for more meat to sear on the outside and the next group can be fed.

    Finally, there's a grill that can be adjusted to almost any height along the longer spit. This will only work for single level cooking, as the frame for hanging prevents the main level grill being in place. I suppose this might have benefit for a larger tandoor cook than is available on small skewers hanging from the four arms, but the grill can't go really high before it starts to hit where the frame narrows, so I don't know if you can get to the ultra hot zone with it. Maybe somebody here will have an idea on what sort of cook this is designed for.

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    At any rate, I see some fun adventures ahead that hopefully will make me want to hang onto my trusty companion rather than moving it on and building an outdoor kitchen with the LSG Adjustable installed.

    #2
    Wow the possibilities. Can't wait until next week to see some pictures. Nice surprise I'm sure can of like finding a $100 bill in your pocket!

    Comment


      #3
      You have some cool accessories. As for,hanging meat you might check out what the Pit Barrel Cooker can do. That hange almost like you could make it into a Santa Maria type grill by adding a chain.

      Comment


      • Jim White
        Jim White commented
        Editing a comment
        I was definitely seeing the similarity to PBC with the hanger and plan to read up on some of those cooks.

        And a chain for Santa Maria style is very interesting. Thanks for that idea. Might need to rig a fire box higher than the normal spot for that to work right if the chain works.

      • LA Pork Butt
        LA Pork Butt commented
        Editing a comment
        Jim White I am not sure you can do this, but I have a spike from the Ceramic Grill Store that I pile chicken thighs on cooking indirect to make Chicken Shwarma. Perhaps you can hang it down and roast it direct which should be even better than my indirect on a spike.

      #4
      Jim White Put your pit envy away in a box someplace. Not only did you save yourself a bunch of money, but you've already got enough bells and whistles to keep you occupied for the next couple of years. I never followed the Kamado market, but given the accessories that were available for you to buy at that time, I have to wonder why BGE dominated for so long. Was there a big price difference between the two? I think you've just found a bunch of forgotten reasons to fall in love with your pit again.

      Comment


      • Jim White
        Jim White commented
        Editing a comment
        Oh, for sure on the forgotten treasures.

        This particular manufacturer no longer exists although there are some similar things made today and they are generally twice as expensive as BGEs and up from there. I'm guessing that many of these mods are available on these other cookers, too, at least for the more popular ones. I haven't looked though.

      #5
      Jim White thank you! I'm moving into my new shop now. By this time next week I'm going to be building some thing like that hanger setup for my KJ. That is a great tool.

      Comment


        #6
        Very cool to see alla th 'new' options ya have available at yer disposal, even cooler to see ya had em all along, so zero MC$ outlay....
        Lookin forward to yer new adventures, Brother!

        Comment


          #7
          It's easy to get in a rut with cooking. Glad you found some motivation to try something new.

          Comment

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