Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Dan the Man the "BIG RED" Kamado Kooker

For Christmas this last year, Dan the Man received a few gifts cards for Mernards from our boys. For those of you who do not have a Mernards where you live, it is like a Home Depot or Lowes. Danny has been sitting on those gift cards all this time waiting for the summer grills to come in stock so he could use them to help purchase a new grill. Danny has been wanting a new grill, a charcoal grill, for a year or so now. We currently have a gas grill that never seems to work right.

He originally did research on charcoal grills several years ago and ran across one called the "Big Green Egg" or some such thing. He has been obsessed with getting one since. The only thing holding him back is that they cost around $800 and while Danny can easily dish that kind of money out for some piece of machinery or equipment for the ranch/farm... he has a hard time spending that amount on something that falls in the "household" category.

Well, he finally found a "knock-off" version of the "Big Green Egg" at Mernards! Oh happy day! It's called the "Big Red" Kamado Kooker of which Dan the Man is the new owner of. It is about the third of the cost of the egg one. I like it, because it is red and matches perfectly with the Cleary building. Green would not have looked so good!

Kamado Kooker

(I just noticed his grilling "tools". What is my garden spade doing hanging from there?)

Oh my gosh, can I just tell you he has been like a little boy at Christmas with his new hot wheels race track that he simply can not get enough of! He has turned into an OBSESSED GRILLING MACHINE! Hee, hee! I'm not complaining, I've actually have enjoyed someone sharing the daily cooking chore with me! I am in charge of making sure there is something thawed out for him to grill each night (unless we are having left overs) and he does all the research on the internet as to the best way to prepare it. Sometimes this can take hours or even days!

We started out easy with hamburgers. Then moved to steaks and chickens.

At one of the winter farmer's markets I bought a chicken roasting pan that Jennie Salters of Chalk Butte Pottery made for me. Dan the Man just HAD to roast a chicken using it in his grill. I succumbed to the notion, but told him specifically, it could not get any hotter than 350 degrees or it could crack. He promised me, that it would not. I told him if it did, he would owe me another one.

Beautiful Open A Bar 2 Ranch Pastured Poulty
(Seasoned with Famous Dave's Country Roast Chicken Seasoning)
5.5 lb Roaster waiting to be roasted in my beautiful
chicken roasting pan, hand-made, just for me...
which by the way I hadn't even got to use yet.

Potatoes with a little olive oil and seasonings ready to roast.

Dan the Man, the chicken and my chicken roasting pan...

Dan the Man carefully setting everything in the grill.

He roasted the chicken for about 2 hours at 350 degrees. One of the nice things about these grills, is that it is extremely easy to keep the heat regulated in.

The finished chicken!

The finished potatoes.

The chicken turned out great! Very moist and juicy. The potatoes... well... since Dan the Man didn't know that he should probably turn them half way through cooking they were pretty brown... well, actually they were BLACK on the bottom half. And perhaps 2 hours was too long for them. And my pan, you are probably asking yourself... CRACKED! Boo, hoo. I am so sad. Guess Dan the Man owes his Country Chicken Girl a brand new chicken roasting pan from Chalk Butte Pottery! Oh Jennie....

Yesterday, he made a huge leap and smoked two 11 lb. chickens! That's not a typo, by the way, the 11 lb. chickens... Some of you know the story about the BIG chickens!!! Those of you who don't... in a nut shell, we had our commercial freezer konk-out on us last year in the middle of chicken production and ended up growing some pretty big chickens, as in 10-13 lb. chickens which we coined as our "churkeys"... chickens as big as turkeys! So these two chickens were from that whole episode.

Anyway, Dan the Man smoked them for 5 hours at 230 degrees and used apple wood chips. Oh my! He might be on to something. Perhaps Open A Bar 2 Ranch will soon be offering smoked chickens! Dan the Man's Smoked Chicken!

I'm just wondering how long this "grilling fascination" will last until it becomes "work" instead of "fun"! When that happens, the grill will end up being my duty!


  1. never seen a grill like this - amazing

    definitely putting it on my gift wish list

  2. My suggestion is to cook the chicken to temp rather than time. Cooking on a big green egg for a couple years, and countless chickens on it. I believe that he could cook it at 350 for an hour and a 5.5 lb yardbird should be close to appropriate internal temp. Just my two cents, but trust me when I say, this obsession will not end!

  3. Thanks for your suggestion jb! I hope you are right about the obsession, I am rather enjoying only having to come up with the side dishes for our meals.

    Paul, you should get one!!

  4. Roasted a 5 1/2 bird on the Big Red today for the first time. I set a aluminum pan above the coals to keep the drippings contained and the bird moist. I was able to keep the temp at 350 to 400 throughout the cooking period. Unfortunately, with the lid down there was no way to determine the optimum cooking period, so the bird got a little overdone. But, now I'm a bit smarter and have a better idea when to pull the bird off the grill the next time.

  5. They should have called it the pink kooker! I love the way it grills but it's an eye sore now. Bought a cover from CharGriller, and that faded to grey by seasons end. My 8 year old weber cover is still black! I have to hide it when I'm not using it.