Primo Kamado Grill/Smoker
I had used my brother’s Big Green Egg a few times but my local BBQ go-to store Johnstone’s isn’t an Egg dealer so I got my eyes opened to the Primo brand. Primo grills are known for their oval shape but I bought the budget conscious “all-in-one” which is round like the Egg. The main difference I’ve found is that the fire box is higher on the Primo so the grill sits higher (flush with the opening when the deflector plate is in) and you can’t fit as big a turkey standing up as you can on the egg. Personally I like the Primo better and it didn’t set me back as much. My fire box cracked this winter when, I assume, I fired it up really hot after it sitting in freezing temperatures. Johnstone’s ordered me a new firebox on warranty and I had it in a couple of days. Nice. The “All-in-One” comes in a rolling kettle stand with collapsing shelves on the side. I used it as such for the better part of a year before plunking it down into the unit I built. Oh, and check out the super bitchin’ chrome cap my brother got me. Really good if your Primo or Egg is not covered, better for vent control (doesn’t get all stuck and nasty) and looks super cool.
I have used two CyberQ models – the one with WiFi (CyberQ Wifi) which I borrowed from my brother and did about 20 cooks with and the non-WiFi version which I bought (DigiQ DX2) and have done countless cooks than that with.
I am not sure how people do long cooks (overnight?) without one of these. Basically it attaches to a grill level thermometer, a fan for the air intake and a meat probe. You set the temperature you want the pit to be at and it controls how much air is forced in with magical results. When you insert the food probe you can set the temperature you want the meat to be at and it will start ramping down the heat automagically when it starts getting close to done. It also has alarms for high/low heat in the pit or for when the meat is at the done temperature.
The WiFi version has a better user interface and you can update the settings via web browser whether you have it set up on your network or not. It also has two food probes where the non-WiFi version has one. If you have the technical ability (or a tech friend) you can set the WiFi model up so that you can access your Guru from you smart phone… control the temperature from work! After using the WiFi version extensively I chose not to spend the extra money and got the simpler non-WiFi version. That being said, I would happily use either. If you truly want to get your geek on then the WiFi version would be the choice.
My back up temperature gauge…
I sometimes use a back up wireless thermometer set up from Maverick called Redi Chek. This also has a grill level thermostat probe and a meat probe. One unit connects to those while the other unit connects to it through the wireless receiver. Call me paranoid but not only do I like to keep an eye on the temperature while inside I like the reassurance that the temperature is somewhat accurate. I only use this with overnight cooks now so I can just open my eyes and check that all is well out in the smoker without getting out of bed.
I have tried a couple of injectors and this one is far and away the best I have used. I think the key is the needle that has the holes on the side of the needle itself. Most injectors can get plugged since you are jabbing it into the hunk o’ meat and then you wonder why you aren’t using much of your injection liquid… This one is called the Beast Injector from Grill Beast. You can buy it here.
This is the latest addition and part of my BBQ Center build project. I had a Vermont Castings 48″ for about a decade but it was time for a serious upgrade. Mostly what I can say about the DCS is that it can get super hot and is easy to dismantle for cleaning. It doesn’t come with a thermometer so I just buy fairly cheap oven thermometers that hang on the warming rack and can be replaced easily. The only thing negative I would say about it is that the carts they come on (if you go that route) are super lame. The doors don’t close well and they seem super cheap when you consider how bloody expensive they are…