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Everything posted by dbh21

  1. Ok. I have a game plan for the next cook. I *do* have the heat deflectors at the lowest level. So I will move those up as well. Thanks all for the tips
  2. Shop vac? You lost me. I read a few people shop vac out the ashes. Seems overkill to me. I want a relatively low-effort cook.
  3. I am agitating the coal and trying to get the ash through the vents before I dump them. I am not removing it all and shop-vac'ing like i've seen suggested. But the charcoal I have left is nugget sized. Not a lot of large pieces like you have in the picture. I will removing the charcoal the next time and making sure large pieces are over the vents.
  4. I'm new to charcoal cooking. I've cooked on my KJ maybe 6 or 7 times now. Nearly each time, it takes forever to light and get to temp. I've watched a couple of videos to see what I am doing wrong - and I am still not sure. Basically what I have done is top off the KJ with more charcoal. I was told more is better so you don't run out, so I usually add enough so its an inch lower than the diffuser plates. I usually then bury two fire starters in the charcoal and light. When they light and burn out (and the coals surrounding them are going) I put in the rack with diffuser, close the lid and open the vents (top and bottom) fully. The videos say after 15 mins it should be roaring, but It seems to take 45 minutes for me to bring it up to 400F or so. Today I got the electric starter, The product and videos claim you bury it in the charcoal, start it, and after 8 mins, you are lit. But it took 16-20 minutes before I saw the coal lit with a small flame. Clearly I'm not doing something right. No one in my family cooks with charcoal so I'm approaching this pretty green. I'm using the lump KJ charcoal if that makes a difference. And its not very windy where my KJ is placed. Any advice?
  5. ok... this is some of the info I need. Thanks. I was cooking the chicken to attempt to replicate tandoori chicken. Quick and hot. I'm smoking ribs next at 275... so I understand a fully load of lump should easily last 4-5 hours. Actually, it should last 12+ hours for cooking pork shoulders or brisket, no?
  6. I just picked up a KJ Classic. I'm new to cooking with charcoal. So I have grilled two times on the KJ now. The first time I loaded the lump charcoal up to around the round vents in the ceramic wall. I got it to 500F well enough, but then I couldn't keep it there long enough. I cooked my chicken fine (for maybe 15 mins), but I was also grilling naan and the temp died down and couldn't get past 375. When I shut it down, most of the lump was burned out. The second time I filled it much more. Just shy of the lip of the ceramic above the round vent holes. This time I was grilling chicken again, but found the heat was much more fickle. And lots and lots of sparks. I cooked the chicken for 20 mins at 500F or so and shut it down. A lot of charcoal was used. The first time I used half the heat deflector, the second time I used none. Don't know if that makes a difference. I'm trying to figure out how full to fill the unit. I thought more was fine since excess gets used the next time. Also how long should the charcoal last at 500F? I assumed I should be able to cook longer than say 30 mins at that temp. I'm planning on smoking in a couple days at 250F and hoping I learn how to keep it going long enough. I have no sense for how charcoal burns. Totally new at this. The sales guy said 4 bags of 20lb lump would last me the summer if I cooked 2-3 times a week. Thanks
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