Cooking BBQ with a Kamado Joe and Fireboard

September 24, 2022

I recently found a new hobby in BBQing. It started with a curiosity in cooking with wood for more flavor depth. I can’t remember exactly the catalyst, but I think it was something about how the chicken I cook in our electric convection oven didn’t taste as good as a true rotisserie chicken.

I started with buying a Kamado Joe (from a slickdeals sale). I decided to buy a ceramic grill because they are efficient from a heat/fuel perspective and it is simple–there are no moving parts–it’s just a container with an intake and exhaust that you can adjust. While I’m very happy with it so far, I do wonder how I will use it on longer smokes if I need to refuel the fire. Like most traditional grills, the fire is below the grates, so I would need to move the grates to refill the fuel. I suppose that is one of the advantages of offset smokers–they have a dedicated door for the fuel.

The first thing I tried cooking was rotisserie chicken. I splurged on the JoeTisserie(R), an attachment that allows me to connect a powered spit rod and fork. I power it by plugging it into a bluetti portable power station (pictured below) rather than running an extension cord outside. I’ve cooked about four whole chickens on it so far and they have turned out great. I enjoy using the leftovers in sandwiches.

Yesterday, I got an early birthday present: a Fireboard Drive with a blower fan. Today I’m cooking some ribs using the Fireboard:

fireboard app

You can program the the blower fan to go to certain temperatures for a duration, or you can create instructions to do it based on temperature. I still have a lot to learn about it but it was pretty easy to set up. The fireboard fan controls the air intake for the grill. Currently I have the oven temperature set to 225F and I’m monitoring the meat temperature. Here is a screenshot of the phone app:

fireboard app

It’s pretty impressive the Fireboard was able to keep the temperature so consistent. It might be more accurate than my kitchen oven. Some people enjoy the hands-on experience of managing a fire, but if you don’t to deal with that, the Fireboard has made this almost as easy as wood pellet grills. I still have to load and light the charcoal, but that isn’t too much work.