| Kamado Joe "MoJoe" Newscast||February 2011 |
Kamado Joe Company
4034 Enterprise Way
Flowery Branch, GA 30542
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|Building Better "MoJoe"|
New grill, new accessories and upgrades on the way.
February will be a busy month for everyone at Kamado Joe as we put the finishing touches on several new products and accessories that we will be introducing at the upcoming industry trade show in Salt Lake City in early March. We are especially excited about our new “Pro Joe” grill and smoker, the first grill in Kamado Joe’s new Revolution Series. Every aspect of the Kamado style of grill has been reengineered for optimal performance and efficiency. Our engineers have also given the Pro Joe a unique exterior look that truly makes Pro Joe a work of art. We are confident that our Pro Joe will be considered the best charcoal grill and smoker ever made. We will also be introducing a few new upgrades to our “Regular Joe” that you have asked for at the trade show in March. Stay tuned...
I would like to personally thank everyone who has submitted a recipe to our online database. We are starting to get a very nice database of recipes that you all can search, rate and offer comments on. I would also like to thank everyone who is helping to make our Facebook page a truly useful forum for all our users. Many of you have shared your best recipes and tips and quickly respond to questions that other users have. Every day I learn something new myself.
| Product Review: Baxter’s Original Wood
Fresh cut chunks and chips from Georgia.
I have used wood chunks over the years, but mainly apple wood for pork and poultry with excellent results. I was inspired by fellow Kamado Joe users on facebook and others over the last few months who are passionate about using a variety of wood chunks as part of their recipe, so I thought it was time to expand my horizons.
Peach is one of the most popular woods. It infuses a mild sweet flavor in meat. It is a favorite of smokers who cook pulled pork and other pork cuts. Being located in the “Peach State” of Georgia I didn’t think it would take much effort to find a supplier.
I did a google search for “georgia wood chunks smoking” and fourth on the list was a company called, Baxter’s Original. Based solely on their pricing, I placed an order for a 20lb box of peach chunks from their website, but the cart kept coming up as pecan instead of peach, so I emailed the company. I received a phone call within an hour from Michael Baxter, the owner of Baxter’s Original. He thanked me for pointing out the error and said to place the order and that he would replace it with peach.
I learned from our conversation that Michael and his wife started the company a year ago when they lost their jobs due to the economy. Necessity is the mother of invention and I could tell that Michael was motivated to provide exceptional customer service, so I was hopeful that the product would be as good as his service.
Two days later my peach chunks arrived. They fit easily in the palm of my hand and about one third of them had bark on it. Some smoking purists prefer wood that has been debarked and claim that it offers a milder flavor, but I did not find any noticeable difference in the flavor using both methods. Peach bark is very thin, but a thick barked wood like oak would be an issue.
I used four pieces of peach wood on two different recipes: Slow smoked baby back ribs and a roasted chicken. I soaked half the wood in water for 30 minutes and left the other pieces dry. The reason for this method is to allow the dry wood to smoke immediately and the damp wood will slowly increase in the amount of smoke it gives off during cooking. The object is to give the smoke of the wood the maximum amount time to infuse itself into the meat.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to limit yourself to water for hydrating wood chunks. Experiment with different liquids such as wine, beer, bourbon, Coca Cola, fruit juice or any liquid that will impart additional flavor to the meat. If you use a hearty liquid like red wine or bourbon you should consider reducing the hydration time to 15 minutes or it can overpower the flavor of the wood smoke and even the meat.
Both meats had a wonderfully mild peach flavor with the ribs having slightly more smoke flavor, due to the length of the cooking time. I was so pleased with the results that I called Michael Baxter and asked him if he could send me a sample pack of his most popular woods to test for the purposes of this article.
In a few days an assortment of hickory, pecan, cherry and oak arrived. I decided to test the hickory and the oak on the same boneless ribeye in two separate tests. I used hickory for this month’s recipe and it imparted a very strong almost “bacon” flavor to the roast. It was so pungent I was glad it did not infuse too far into the meat, but it gave the meat a very hearty flavor. In the future, I will cut the amount of hickory in half.
Next I tried the oak, which many say is the preeminent wood for smoking meat. I used the same size roast, cooking time and amount of wood. The result was a hearty but smoother flavor. I was surprised at the oak’s ability to infuse itself deeper into the meat. Sampling a cut deep in the roast still offered a smoky flavor.
- The wood is cut at the time of order to ensure freshness (never kiln dried)
- Small palm sized pieces
- Good variety of hardwood and fruit woods (11 types)
- Competitively priced
- Chips and sawdust are also available (the latter for cold smoking)
- Timely shipping
- Responsive friendly service
– Some wood chunks contain bark if you are a purist
- Variety packs are available, but are hidden under various wood chunk types
- Paypal is the only method of payment (but you can use a credit card without creating an account)
The Last Word
While true charcoal flavor alone stands as my favorite for grilling, I am impressed with the flavor of the hardwoods and fruit woods that Baxter’s Original offers. They offer a good variety of wood types (almond, apple, apricot, cherry, hickory, maple, oak, peach, pecan, plum and walnut) and their customer service is friendly and responsive. They also have a line of BBQ sauces and something I consider quite “original”; Smoked Sea Salts. They smoke sea salt in a combination cherry, apple, peach, red oak and pecan woods for a coarse salt that can be ground and used like table salt on anything from steaks to vegetables.
* Derald Schultz, Kamado Joe
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