I've been lurking for a while but now I've actually smoked something, thought it was time to say hello.
I'm Piers and live in Southeast London/Kent borders, I have owned various smokers over the years starting with a Luhr Jensen Mini Chief which I used regularly for hot smoking fish, and cold smoking cheese. Then I got an ECB which I never had any joy with at all, I tried doing all the mods I could find on the internet which didn't seem to improve it much. It is used now occasionally for cold smoking, I make my own bacon now and again.
I then bought a cheap offset Landmann (I think) smoker from Makro which also I didn't have much joy with either, despite modding it too. My adventures in bbq smoking pretty much stopped there for a few years, I stopped trying to make pulled pork on the bbq when I discovered a fantastic recipe for it done in a casserole for 5 hours, which was so much easier and tastier than anything I'd achieved in the past.
I have often looked at ceramic kamado cookers with envy knowing it's unlikely that I'd ever be able to afford one, then recently I discovered the CharGriller Akorn Kamado and that it was available in the UK and affordable (though obviously for twice the price of it in the States!)
I've just spent the last couple of weeks learning how to use it, how to set the vents to cook at different temperatures, searing steaks, roasting chickens, burning pizzas etc. I also learned an absolutely fantastic way to light the charcoal - a heat gun. It manages to get the charcoal lit in less than a minute with no risk of tainting the food from firestarters
Last night, it was eventually time to attempt pulled pork again. I googled how long I should cook a 3lb hunk of pork shoulder for, and kept coming across people mentioning the "stall", so decided to put it on at about 11pm last night. I set the Akorn for 225ºF (I have an Auberins temperature controller which I bought for the offset), set my wireless thermometer alarm for 205ºF, and then proceeded to stay up far too late.
This morning I woke up to find the alarm on the thermometer going off, I have no idea how long it had been going off for as it turned out I couldn't hear it from the bedroom. The thermometer was reading 206ºF, so not too much of a disaster.
I left it to rest for a couple of hours before pulling it.
It turned out to be the best pulled pork I've ever made, even juicier and more succulent than the casserole recipe.
Things I learned today.
1. Pulled pork for breakfast is a bit weird!
2. Don't put a small hunk of meat on the bbq at 11pm unless you want pulled pork for breakfast.
3. Don't use neat apple juice in the drip pan if you want to use the drippings for sauce - way too sweet, mouth puckeringly so!
4. Loving the fact the kamado will cook for over 24 hours on a single filling of charcoal, so no having to get up during the night to tend the cook.
Next stop brisket! Once I figure out what I need to buy and where I can get it from.