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    Pit Boss

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  1. Mostly no. The PB is a 21” inside diameter grill where the KJ’s are 18 and 24.
  2. I mostly use Kamado Joe Big Block, with some occasional Royal Oak and Rockwood.
  3. If you need the vents open that much to hold temp, you probably need to use significantly more charcoal. Kamados work best with way too much fuel and just enough air flow.
  4. You can tell if the fire is snuffing out by how much charcoal is left in the morning. The grill will hold a lot of heat without a fire, and if you open to look when it is still hot the fire can recatch.
  5. Especially for BBQ, I prefer the commercial knives with plastic NSF handles. They are usually $15-$35 depending on style and brand but can be sharpened just as sharp as my expensive knives yet they have much better grip in a greasy hand. I have several from Mercer, Dexter, ICI, and they are all good.
  6. I didn’t have to touch the rings, just the hinge. Mine is a 2016 and I have not had to touch it again since new so hopefully this is a one time adjustment for you.
  7. This happened to me at first. Loosen all the bolts, get it aligned properly and then tighten.
  8. There are a couple things at play here. First, a high temp cook tends to be less temperature sensitive and quicker, so the need for a controller is less. Second, and more importantly, most controllers on the market use temperature probes that either cannot read effectively above 400, wont hold up over 400, or both. The HeaterMeter has an option to add a K type thermocouple for the pit probe. There are a ton of K type probes to choose from, including simple wire probes that can read and handle temps from 750 up to 1800+ and they are only a buck or a few bucks each depending on length rating and how many you buy at a time (eBay). If anyone ever considers an HM make sure you get the thermocouple option. With that all said, I do regularly use the controller for higher temp cooks, 400 ish for chicken, 600-650 for pizza/calzones. The main benefits are a faster heatup time with the fan (0-400 takes as little as 8 minutes! Faster than my old gas grill) and the ability to start and go into the kitchen to do other prep and not worry about an overshoot. Kamado’s can take forever to cool down after an overshoot so it is nice to not have that worry. Note that both of those benefits are more pre-cook than during cook. To sear steaks, no controller, I just open the vents wide for max temp. I am pretty sure I am in the minority though. There was a significant bug in the HM software in how it handled higher temp readings (now fixed) that I don’t think very many people even noticed over the years.
  9. Technically the HM itself has neither but it can control both. The RotoDamper has a blower/fan with a servo driven damper that works a lot like a rotating Webber air control. There are a few other damper/fan designs out there as well, either with free plans or available to buy for a reasonable charge. My graphs had the “fan output” turned off because I find it is a lot of clutter that doesn’t really tell you anything you need to know as a cook. I see as just for debugging. I put fan output in quotes because it really is a combined PID output. You can see a blue bar near the top of my graphs under the big pit temp labeled output 9% on one and 34% on the other which is the instantaneous PID output. Since the kamado is so efficient and works very well without a fan (or controller really) I set the HM to do most of the control with the servo. At a PID output of 0% the servo is closed and at 90% the servo is fully open. From 90% to 100% I have the fan come on and blow incrementally stronger. If I had the output graph on, you would see it is constantly adjusting every second or two, but the fan mostly only comes on at startup and when increasing the set point. Once temp stabilizes, the output doesn’t usually go near the 90% level except for high temp cooks. I’ll try to remember to turn on the output graph on my next controller cook and maybe catch a video of it making a bunch of small adjustments. For now, here is the designers intro video of the RD3. He has the fan set to ramp up more as the damper opens which might be necessary on a UDS or Webber that is less efficient than a ceramic kamado. The HM software is great because it gives you the flexibility to do whatever you need/want for whatever cooker you hook it up to.
  10. Here is a “zoomed in” look at an hour of super low temp. The set point is 158 degrees and with the servo controlled roto-damper it has no problem holding this low mostly plus or minus about 3 degrees. There is no way I could hold the kamado at a stable temp this low manually or with a fan only controller. My oven can’t do this either.
  11. Gaskets can get moisture even when covered and then freeze shut. In the winter I make sure not to store anything in the grill so I can pop off the top vent and pour 1/2 a chimney of lit coals in there 45-60 minutes ahead of time to thaw it out. I replaced my original gasket with the high temp “gold” stuff from Amazon and it is holding up great.
  12. Here is a HM graph from a brisket cook I am in the middle of. I started at 225 to give a little room for it to get hotter when opening the lid. I switched to 250, my cook temp for today and opened the lid twice, once to put in the smoke wood, deflector, drip pan etc. and a second time to put on the meat. You can see it wasn’t quite holding temp at first because I had the PID settings set for another grill, but I fixed that around 10:15 and she is tracking right on after that. This brisket was already cooked sous vide so I set it up to bring the IT to 145 and then ramp the pit temp down to hold the meat at 155. That’s the type of thing the HeaterMeter can do automatically that the simpler off the shelf units either can’t do or need human intervention for.
  13. Put the pellet tray under the firebowl so it gets the air first.
  14. Pit Boss K24 HeaterMeter with servo controller Rotodamper 3 and RD25 (not for the Kamado) Top vent setting varies with target temp. Wide open for pizzas at 600+, slightly open for low and slow. I put in on the grate with the food, at least 1” away from cold meat or ceramic that might throw it off. As soon as I light the charcoal. The fan gets the kamado up to temp way faster than without. The HM with a servo damper will not overshoot and will hold the temps steady until the ceramic heat soaks. To be added later #1. Servo damper allows it to control a kamado way better than a fan only unit. The HM is extremely configurable and with basic scripting can do things like automatically changing set points or alarms. The HM is not an open the box hit a button and go solution. You need to have some inner geek to get the most out of its capabilities. To be added later.
  15. I use a propane torch and a controller fan as well. There is no dip with wax burning out and it is much faster than this. Starting the timer when I walk onto the deck (not when the fire is lit) I get to 400 by 8 minutes and 600 in 12 minutes both faster than my old gas grill could do, and with the controller there is no worry of overshoot.
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