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New member from New Mexico

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    New member from New Mexico

    Greetings from Las Cruces, New Mexico (Las Cruces is only close to El Paso, Texas—and El Paso isn’t close to anything). I am an entomologist/ecologist by training; I work at NMSU, administering agricultural research throughout the State of New Mexico (aka “the land of enchantment”).

    I have traveled a lot and am an avid cook of international cuisine; I take a scientific approach to cooking (I’ve subscribed to Cook’s Illustrated since the beginning). Because only my wife and I are at home, my grilling has been mostly confined to gas grills (Weber Genesis Silver), as it seemed wasteful to heat up a charcoal grill for just dinner for two. The gas grill works pretty well and can smoke, too. I have a Brinkman water smoker (with electric element), but it doesn’t work well, so it goes mostly unused. My brother gave me an Akorn Kamado grill for Christmas 2013 (he has a Big Green Egg, which he loves). I’ve experimented with it. In looking for advice, I found this site and it has helped. My main problem with the Akorn Kamado is maintaining a low temperature (I have the Redi Check sensors); it keeps creeping up, even with the bottom vent almost completely closed, so ribs tend to be drier than I wanted (though still tasty). I’ve bought a Flame Boss blower/regulator to maintain the temperature. My first attempt with it was equivocal. I’ll try attaching and using it earlier, before the temperature gets high.

    Even so, I’ve been successful with smoked turkey, chicken, Peruvian style grilling, smoked pork shoulder (hard to screw that up), and leg of lamb. If I can master the low temperature settings, I’d like to try rib roast and brisket. I’m looking forward to conversations about achieving those goals.

    Steve Loring

    Hello Steve, Welcome to the Pit.


      Let's see:

      1. Lives in New Mexico
      2. Is a scientist by education and training
      3. Cooks

      Hmmmmmmmmm! I wonder if he owns a pork-pie hat?

      JK, welcome Steve.



        Sorry, 225 miles away. When I say "Let's cook", it means something more prosaic.


          Hi Steve, welcome to the Pit


            Welcome to the Pit Steve! We love the scientific approach to cooking around here. However I let others do the science and then I read about it! Here is Meathead's Rib Roast recipe and his Texas Brisket recipe.

            And, since I'm link happy and you' re a new member please check out our homework assignment post for new members, it contains a few how-tos and please-dos!

            Hope to hear & see more from you.


              A big Pit welcome from the SC Lowcountry!


                Hi Steve, welcome to the pit! I have a Big Green Egg, which is similar to the Akorn. I found it easiest to regulate temp with the top vent, not the bottom vent. Using the top vent for large swings, and the bottom one for small adjustments. The top vent affects draft, which is key to dialing in the right temp. When I fire my egg up I wait until it goes past 270° F or so, because then I know the egg itself is warmed up, then I start closing the top vent which brings it back to 220° - 230° F. Hope that helps.


                • sloring
                  sloring commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Thanks for the suggestion. I have kept the top vent nearly closed, with the bottom vent also nearly closed, and have still had trouble keeping the temperature low. I don't know if that represents a design or construction difference from the BGE. I will try the blower/regulator when the temperature is still in the 200-225 F range and see if I can keep it there. As test pilots are reported to say, "Problem solving continues 'til the moment of impact."

                • Henrik
                  Henrik commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Start a separate thread and we'll continue the discussion. I have a few pictures I could upload of how I start mine (photos of charcoal, the lighting procedure et.c.). The startup phase is critical, as you know it is hard to get a kamado to run cooler once it is hot. Let us know what charcoal you use, exactly how you light it, and we'll see if we can't figure something out.

                Welcome Steve. Seems like you'll fit in perfectly around here. Looking forward to your contributions


                  Welcome Steve, I understand what you mean about cooking for just two. It is just me and my wife at home too. However, I have found as I get better at this I can give stuff away and make others fat and happy.


                  • Dewesq55
                    Dewesq55 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I second that, Guy. With the need to "save some" for my GF's mother, daughter, boss and/or co-workers it's becoming hard to count on a second meal for us from a cook.

                  No don't get in that situation sometime the seconds are better.



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