You have the Kamado Kooker/Akörn and the Smokin’ Stone. This is a very cool and unique way to smoke! Remove your cooking grate and place the Smokin’ Stone on the tabs in the firebowl of the grill. If you wish, you can rest a drip pan filled with a water mixture on top of the stone for added flavor.
Place approximately one pound of computer mouse-sized lump charcoal in the center of your firegrate. Light the top of your coals with a kerosene-free firestarter, as described in your manual. When the coals ignite, close the lid and regulate the temperature with the smokestack and ashpan dampers. It is easier to raise the temperature than to lower it, so as the temperature rises, begin closing the dampers to ease into your desired temperature range (200°F-350°F).
Pre-soak wood chips cut from fruit or nut-bearing trees for 35 minutes. Soak large chunks for 1 hour 30 minutes, or until the wood is completely saturated. After your grill has reached the desired temperature, sprinkle two handfuls of soaked wood over the lit coals. Let the chips begin to smoke, and close the lid. After a few minutes, begin cooking your food.
The general rule for smoking times is one hour of cooking per pound of food, or for every inch of meat thickness. When you are cooking slowly at low temperatures, the meat will stay moist and needs little attention. If you so desire, you can wrap the meat in foil after a few hours to limit browning and to keep it moist. You can also baste it while smoking, but keep in mind that each time you open the smoking chamber, your smoking time will increase.
“If the smoke is white, the fire’s right; if the smoke is black, add some draft.” If you see black smoke, your fire is dying and needs more wood or charcoal added. Do not over-smoke your food either; too much smoke flavor will cause it to taste bitter and turn black.
You can use a drip pan with any of the above configurations. Just make sure the pan is directly underneath your meat. In the pan, you can put a mixture of water and wine, water and beer, water and apple juice, or your favorite marinade. This way, the liquid will add extra flavor by evaporating up onto the meat when it gets hot. Check the water level after 4 hours or if you cannot hear the water simmering.
Before you put your meat on the grill, we recommend marinating it overnight in the fridge, using your favorite marinade. Then let it stand at room temperature before and after smoking. To ensure the meat is fully cooked, insert a probe of your Dual-Probe Remote Thermometer into the thickest part of the meat, without touching bone, and allow at least 5 minutes to register. Internal temperature for birds should be 170°-180°F. Pork and beef should be 140°F for rare, 160°F for medium, and 170°F for well done. After smoking, you can also put the meat back in the marinade (after boiling it to remove bacteria) for several minutes before serving, to make it juicier and more flavorful.