Newbie at charcoal and Kamado. Emberpak?

Charcoal cookers (such as Weber Kettles)
Pickeee
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Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 12:33 am

Newbie at charcoal and Kamado. Emberpak?

Post by Pickeee » Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:55 pm

Firstly hi all!

Just bought a KJ last week and must say am very impressed. Looking at buying some charcoal and found Emberpak 10mins away from home.

I am thinking of going and buying a couple of bags from them but am wondering what would be the best types to buy for a kamado. I have been cooking a range of meals from steak, to smoking ribs, pizza, and am looking at doing a slow cooked roast this week. I bought a couple of bags of Diggers lump charcoal but it's expensive.


Joeka
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Re: Newbie at charcoal and Kamado. Emberpak?

Post by Joeka » Mon Nov 05, 2012 8:37 am

Hi & welcome!

I've got no experience with Emberpak, but whatever charcoal you buy have a feel of the different bags & try to get one with lots of bigger chunks - better for hot cooking as you'll get more air circulation around them. Use the smaller shrapnel for low & slow, in a pyramid lit at the top. If they're off a pallet, grab a bag from the top if you can as it will be less crushed.

Hogsy
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Re: Newbie at charcoal and Kamado. Emberpak?

Post by Hogsy » Mon Nov 05, 2012 8:54 am

Emberpak is great. The owner is a member here and normally gives a discount to other forum members
I like the stick the best. I think it's all mangrove charcoal from Asia gives off a great smell and burns well
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Livewire
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Re: Newbie at charcoal and Kamado. Emberpak?

Post by Livewire » Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:34 am

I second what Hogsy said

David is very accomodating.

Get a combiation of stick & lump charcoal bags and also get a few boxes of the compressed and carbonises "robot turds". For low and slow I use a 50/50 mix whilst a quick cook for steak etc is mostly charcoal with any left over turds from prior cook (they light faster when previously burnt)

Glenn
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Pickeee
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Re: Newbie at charcoal and Kamado. Emberpak?

Post by Pickeee » Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:37 pm

Ok so I should get two bags sticks and logs. Let me get this straight, sticks for high temps??? Like I said I'm totally new to this charcoal cooking.

Can some one write me a shopping list with directions. I know... But I told yas I was a noobie lol

Gumb

Re: Newbie at charcoal and Kamado. Emberpak?

Post by Gumb » Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:08 pm

Pickeee wrote:Ok so I should get two bags sticks and logs. Let me get this straight, sticks for high temps??? Like I said I'm totally new to this charcoal cooking.

Can some one write me a shopping list with directions. I know... But I told yas I was a noobie lol
Correct. The guys have given you sound advice. Use the sticks to light it up and for a quicker, hotter fire. The robot turds take longer to light but last at least twice as long. Use a mixture and you'll get the hang of it.

Fredescu
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Re: Newbie at charcoal and Kamado. Emberpak?

Post by Fredescu » Mon Nov 05, 2012 8:09 pm

Are these the robot turds you guys are talking about? http://www.emberpak.com/sawdust.html

Do they leave behind a bunch of ash like heat beads?

urbangriller
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Re: Newbie at charcoal and Kamado. Emberpak?

Post by urbangriller » Mon Nov 05, 2012 8:29 pm

Yep, They'd be Robot Turds. Yes, that compressed charcoal drops a lot of fine ash, there are a few brands, Wiltshire, Redheads etc....they are all different, but they all leave a fair bit of ash.

Cheers
Chris
Common Sense is so rare these days it should be a Super Power!

Pickeee
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Re: Newbie at charcoal and Kamado. Emberpak?

Post by Pickeee » Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:11 pm

Thanks for the info guys helps a lot. I read somewhere not to use robot turds in a kamado. Is that correct? I got lucky tonight with a 2kg leg of lamb. But for some reason couldn't get the heat to hold over 200c to get the potatoes done. Not
Sure if it was the diggers lump charcoals or the deflector plate. Really pissed me off to the point where I used the missus' hair drier to blow more air in

urbangriller
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Re: Newbie at charcoal and Kamado. Emberpak?

Post by urbangriller » Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:50 pm

Robot Turds are fine in a Kamado.....Briquettes like Heat Beads don't work so well.

Put in a Huge fuel load...light it and then use the vents to get the temp you want....after the cook, shut the vents, most of the charcoalwill still be there for the next cook.

Cheers
Chris
Common Sense is so rare these days it should be a Super Power!

Pickeee
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Re: Newbie at charcoal and Kamado. Emberpak?

Post by Pickeee » Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:01 pm

Thanks guys yous are all a huge help! Urban I will try that next time!!!

Gumb

Re: Newbie at charcoal and Kamado. Emberpak?

Post by Gumb » Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:31 pm

Pickeee wrote:Thanks for the info guys helps a lot. I read somewhere not to use robot turds in a kamado. Is that correct? I got lucky tonight with a 2kg leg of lamb. But for some reason couldn't get the heat to hold over 200c to get the potatoes done. Not
Sure if it was the diggers lump charcoals or the deflector plate. Really pissed me off to the point where I used the missus' hair drier to blow more air in

200C with the deflector in place is plenty hot enough for roast spuds. Cut them up (peeled of course) and give them a boil first, just to soften the outside. Before you take them out of the saucepan, drain off the water, pour in the oil, put on the lid and give them a shake. They won't fall apart as long as they aren't over boiled. This gives them a 'furry' look and they'll be oil coated as well (duck fat is best but oil will do the job). Put them on the rack in the kamado BUT NOT IN A TRAY. Just on the rack (top or bottom) as they are. They'll be done in 45-60 minutes and perfect and the 'furry' bits are nice and crisp. But if you just want to do them without boiling etc, 200c will still be plenty, they just take a bit longer to cook.

Joeka
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Re: Newbie at charcoal and Kamado. Emberpak?

Post by Joeka » Tue Nov 06, 2012 6:24 am

Pickeee wrote:Not Sure if it was the diggers lump charcoals or the deflector plate. Really pissed me off to the point where I used the missus' hair drier to blow more air in
I don't *think* the deflector plate affects the maximum temp you can reach - it just stops the food from being zapped by direct radiant heat, instead cooking it via the indirect ambient air temperature.

I'd have to get out a ruler & calculator, but I'd bet that the amount of space between the deflector plate & kamado shell is greater than or equal to the total area of a fully open top vent. That way, the deflector plate wouldn't be a bottleneck in the air circulation....?

Pickeee
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Re: Newbie at charcoal and Kamado. Emberpak?

Post by Pickeee » Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:22 am

I cooked the potatoes in a disposable aluminum tray with a bit of olive oil they looked alright, will try them on the grill. Have to cook a roast this weekend for 8 adults and 4 kids.... should be interesting. Hopefully going down to Emberpak today after work and buy a bunch of charcoal.

Joeka - it makes sense. Must have been the amount of charcoal. Missus lit it for me so it was ready to go when I got home from work. Just a question though, when lighting is there a suggested temperature I let it hit before I try and control the temperature?

urbangriller
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Re: Newbie at charcoal and Kamado. Emberpak?

Post by urbangriller » Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:32 am

Let the temp get up to within 50F of the target before you start to wind the vents back.................but use at least a plastic bucket full of charcoal!....I can't stress that enough......use a mountain of charcoal!

Chris
Common Sense is so rare these days it should be a Super Power!


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