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Big Reveal - introduction to "The Beast" aka Camp Chef FTG900

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    Big Reveal - introduction to "The Beast" aka Camp Chef FTG900

    Ok folks, time for the big reveal, and thanks to the generosity of some really great friends, the decision of what griddle I am getting is settled. Yvonne and I are now proud owners of the big bad Camp Chef FTG900 flat top grill!


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    I had to do the assembly last night in the garage, due to rain. You basically build the grill upside down, then flip it upright, and set the top on it. The top on this bad boy is 80 pounds or more - total weight is 160 pounds! It is very substantial. The wheels work very well - solid wheels at one end, and swivel casters at the other end. I was able to navigate a wet yard to get it from the garage to the pool area this evening.

    Preheating on medium on all 6 burners gets the heat of the cooktop up to around 350 almost uniformly in 5 to 10 minutes. There is a hot spot at each end that runs up to 400 or so at the same setting as the interior burners. Knowing about the hot spots could be useful for placing pots for melting sauces, or I just turn the end burners down some. I plan an IR photo of the cooking surface at different heat levels as part of a detailed writeup/review of the cooker over the next few weeks.

    Tonight, Yvonne watched on as I did my best to imitate a hibachi style cook of shrimp fried rice. More time was spent prepping and putting stuff into bowls than in the actual cook.

    First - ready to start cooking... Once it was up to temp I turned off the 2 burners on the right, leaving the burners on the left around medium, and the ones in the middle on low, for 3 temperature zones.

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    Yvonne had an iron infusion at the cancer center today, and worked up enough energy to go outside and look on from a safe distance as I made dinner.... she really wanted to see this bad boy in action!

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    Started sautéing some onions in a squirt of peanut oil (I know, weird, but I use it for frying and the only other oils in the house were olive oil, sesame oil and truffle oil).

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    Once those were translucent, added some spices to the onions (minced garlic, pepper, powdered ginger), and dumped some peas and carrots on:

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    Followed by shrimp:

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    Everything just got a squirt of oil, spread it with the spatula, dump the bowl out. Easy peasy. Once the shrimp were looking pink and had been flipped around a couple times, it was time to dump on the rice - about 4-5 cups of cooked rice, and get 3 eggs going - the eggs went really quick.

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    And finally, cut the eggs in, added a little more soy sauce, used the spatulas to move it into a nice pile, and BOOM! DONE!

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    All in all I doubt the cooking took more than 10 minutes start to finish, and having SO MUCH SPACE... I never got more than about 2/3 of the way down the length of the cooktop for this cook, and used less than half the surface probably, but it is nice to know I have PLENTY of room to grow into bigger cooks.

    I carried things inside, went back out with water and a scraper and did an initial quick clean, and then sat down and ate:

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    I think we both had seconds tonight! Things were still warm when I went out 20-30 minutes later, did a final wipe down and an oiling of the cooking surface, and its good to go for the next cook! If you've ever cleaned a commercial grill (I worked at Wendy's in 1983!), or have been to a hibachi style Japanese restaurant, you know the drill - squirt water, scrape, wipe with rags while hot.

    All in all I think we are REALLY going to enjoy cooking on this thing, and I can see how it will be a very forgiving way to cook as well. The plan is to work on more veggie cooks for sure, and to try to get my lovely bride involved in the cooking too. I also need to work on my spatula skills - I just got a cheap Blackstone griddle tool set for use with two Grillgrate griddle plates a few weeks ago, and I am not ready to spin or catch an egg just yet. But I will work on it! I will say that this is a far superior experience for griddle cooking than my other outdoor griddle options (Drip 'N Griddle or Grillgrate griddle panels). The amount of oil used was pretty minimal, and I will look for a lighter high temp oil other than peanut oil, although I noticed no flavor contribution from that oil that was objectionable - it was certainly lighter than olive oil in flavor. The only food that stuck at all tonight were the shrimp, as I didn't have enough oil down when I dumped them out.

    Now I gotta go flip through Paul Sidoriak allsid 's book, "The Flippin' Awesome Backyard Griddle Cookbook" and get some more ideas... it's currently one of my "coffee table" books in the den.

    Later folks, and look for a more in depth review of the cooker itself once I have time to do some more scientific testing and get more cooks under my belt.

    Jim
    Last edited by jfmorris; June 26, 2020, 06:52 AM.

    #2
    Originally posted by jfmorris View Post
    Ok folks, time for the big reveal, and thanks to the generosity of some really great friends, the decision of what griddle I am getting is settled. Yvonne and I are now proud owners of the big bad Camp Chef FTG900 flat top grill!
    Nice!!! 😎👍
    Last edited by MBMorgan; June 25, 2020, 09:10 PM.

    Comment


    • jfmorris
      jfmorris commented
      Editing a comment
      Yes indeed! I'm already loving it!

    • Steve B
      Steve B commented
      Editing a comment
      Dang MB. You said a mouthful right there. 😁

      Seriously though jfmorris great stuff here.
      I have gotten a little away from griddle cooking as of late.
      Well I do use my 17” BlackStone quite a bit. But that’s more for burgers and such.
      Love the real estate of the larger griddles.

    #3
    Looks awesome. Just imagine how much bacon you could fit on that thing!!!

    Comment


    • jfmorris
      jfmorris commented
      Editing a comment
      I imagine it will hold more than I usually need to cook! At least 4 pounds at once, I would think. That would be a good test of the grease management -this cook generated no grease to speak of.

    #4
    Congrats on your new FTG900!!! I sold my Blackstone’s a couple of years ago and bought the 900 myself. Use it a minimum of 5x/week. Absolutely love it!!! Do you have a cover for it?

    Comment


    • jfmorris
      jfmorris commented
      Editing a comment
      rwalters, no - I wouldn't eat from it. I just saw some comments on the Etsy page that indicated folks used it as a table to put stuff on, and was wondering if it was really sturdy enough to use as a casual side table for drinks or serving food from, when the griddle is not in use.

    • leol2
      leol2 commented
      Editing a comment
      I have the stainless steel cover for the ft600. Works really well. I do not think it would be rigid enough to use as a side table. I only use the regular cover if it’s going to rain hard, otherwise I just use the stainless one to keep the grill vlean

    • rwalters
      rwalters commented
      Editing a comment
      jfmorris As a table top to sit stuff on while cooking on another cooker, or plates/cups/etc... absolutely it’s sturdy enough

    #5
    Looking good working that grill with the lovely lady looking on. Hoping you two enjoy the heck out of it.

    Comment


    • jfmorris
      jfmorris commented
      Editing a comment
      I know we will enjoy it! Now I just gotta get her involved in cooking on it. She did offer to help as I was cutting up an onion, but I told her I was good today - she had a rough time of it today with about 4 hours between two doctor's visits. I was just along as chaffuer...

    #6
    Really Nice! Enjoy! Looking forward to more reports.

    Comment


      #7
      Wowsers, Brother!!!!

      Th top of that thing looks like th flight deck on an Aircraft Carrier! A stainless steel carrier, at that!

      I'd haveta make more room in my garage, even if I got rid of my beloved Blackstone 36"!

      See why I always advocate fer real estate, on these griddles???

      Excellent first cook, food looks great, way to work that flattop, ya ol Wendy's guy!

      Like ridin a bicycle, now ain't it?

      Wishin yerself an Mama lifetimes of enjoyment, an best of health an fortune to yerself, an Yvonne!

      Cain't hardly wait to see more cooks offa "Th Beast"

      BTW, peanut oil works jus fine, same fer everyday veggie oil, up until ya wanna do some crazy high Mega Sear on a ribeye, or summat...then, an only then, buy into th mindset of spendin lotsa extry hard-earned dinero on more exotic oils...
      Last edited by Mr. Bones; June 25, 2020, 10:34 PM.

      Comment


      • Alabama Smoke
        Alabama Smoke commented
        Editing a comment
        The voice of experience.

      • jfmorris
        jfmorris commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks! We plan to enjoy it, and my daughter and son-in-law who came by (too late for dinner) were simply amazed at it. I think they are thinking of things they can bring over and cook...

        Yeah - I will keep using the oils I got. The exotic stuff is reserved right now for recipes that call for it.

      #8
      Holy Crap that thing is huge!!

      Comment


      • Jerod Broussard
        Jerod Broussard commented
        Editing a comment
        Mr. Bones I do think I see a hookup for the lights, round not flat, so it wouldn't work on my truck

      • jfmorris
        jfmorris commented
        Editing a comment
        Isn't it?

      • jfmorris
        jfmorris commented
        Editing a comment
        Jerod Broussard you just gotta keep one of those round to flat trailer wiring adapters in your truck toolbox, like I do! Never know what you gotta haul or tow...

      #9
      Great to see it in action! And yes, that thing is HUGE!

      I plan an IR photo of the cooking surface at different heat levels as part of a detailed writeup/review of the cooker over the next few weeks.”

      Looking forward to it Jim - Absolutely love the nerdiness in this forum, thanks!!

      Comment


      • Mr. Bones
        Mr. Bones commented
        Editing a comment
        +1 to Th Nerdiness!!!
        Lookin forward to th IR Adventures, as well, Brother!

      • jfmorris
        jfmorris commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks Henrik! And yes, I am a nerd. I only have a FLIR here because work bought it for me to look at thermal dissipation on some products we are developing. It's a fun toy to play with, even though this one tops out at 500F on the upper end of the range.

      • pjlstrat
        pjlstrat commented
        Editing a comment
        +++++1 to nerdiness......First thing I thought of when I saw the post was the uniformity of the heat distribution!!! That was not sarcasm, I actually did,,,,,,,

        Great Post and congratulations.

      #10
      Great choice! I have the 600 and love it. I know you will enjoy that extra real estate. Nothing like a flat top!!

      Comment


      • jfmorris
        jfmorris commented
        Editing a comment
        David, just curious as to whether you ever bother to switch the 600 to the grill top, or if you just keep the griddle on all the time? They don't offer that option on the 900, and the reason I saw in a response to to someone from Camp Chef was that most folks are too puny to manhandle the 80-90 pounds of cold rolled steel on and off the cooker.

      • DavidNorcross
        DavidNorcross commented
        Editing a comment
        No, I have just used it for the griddle. I am sure it would do great, but I just have not had the need especially since I am always using the griddle. They are fantastic and you will find that they get very hot. I had to learn to not go over medium temp. I have been nothing but pleased.

      • leol2
        leol2 commented
        Editing a comment
        I have the ft600 and only take off the griddle top for steaks. Besides that I rarely take off the top

      #11
      I’ve got the 600 and really like it. Wow, that 900 is big! Enjoy!

      Comment


      • jfmorris
        jfmorris commented
        Editing a comment
        Do you ever remove the griddle and use it as a grill with the included grates? That's only an option on the 600, not the 475 or 900.

      • DavidEmpey
        DavidEmpey commented
        Editing a comment
        jfmorris I don’t. I already had a gas grill. It is a cool feature, though.

      #12
      Wow, that's a great looking griddle! Have fun with it!

      Comment


        #13
        Great lookin' cook. I do something similar in a wok, but this looks like more fun. I suggest adding a little teriyaki sauce. It adds a nice flavor. And if ya really want to take it to another level, add some cooked and crumbled bacon just before it's ready.

        Comment


        • jfmorris
          jfmorris commented
          Editing a comment
          Actually, I had a bottle of teriyaki sauce, and added it to the shrimp while sautéing them, before mixing into the rest of the stir fry. I'll have to try the bacon some time!

        • RonB
          RonB commented
          Editing a comment
          Try adding some to the whole pile of ingredients too.

        #14
        That's really cool. So many cookers, so little time.

        Comment


        • jfmorris
          jfmorris commented
          Editing a comment
          I know! My son in law asked if I was going to move the other cookers back around here by this one, by the pool, and I told him no - I'll use them where they are. Not going to forget about them, but this one seems well suited to the types of cooks we do in the summer for pool get togethers, plus its the new toy, so will get a workout for a while. I'll have to give the other cookers some love soon though.

        #15
        Awesome cook! And great to see Yvonne out there!

        Comment


        • jfmorris
          jfmorris commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks! I was glad she felt interested enough to get up her energy and go out there too!

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