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RonnieQ

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  1. OK I am still relatively new to the world of Kamado cooking. I got my classic II in December and it's become an obsession. I've done a handful of smokes on the KJ so far and none of them have been bad, but I'm sort of on this perpetual quest to just try and perfect it as much as I can. I have been scouring youtube, forums, IG and books for the "optimal" way to set up a kamado in regards to wood placement and airflow. I have found that there's about a dozen or more different ways, and everyone has their own idea of what is best. Some people say just toss a couple on the top of the lump pile before your deflectors go on. Harry Soo in one of his "brisket fundamentals" videos where he cooks on a kamado cooker, specifically says "always put wood chunks on the bottom under your coals, no matter what you read on the internet, because the wood needs to smolder (Others say wood should never smolder and thats what causes poor combustion). He also goes on in another video to talk about how wood needs to combust at a lower temp range in order to properly vaporize lignin or some sciency word I already forgot for proper flavors. Chef Eric @ KJ told me to put the wood in the hottest part of the coals because you want good combustion. Chris Grove and others say that they spread the wood around in layers throughout the coal. Then airflow.. I understsand that you obviously want good airflow which means not obstructing your holes with small pieces or ash, and keeping your grill clean. But then I think about how some people talk about the idea of using a smaller fire that is taking up less volume in the fire box, and would seemingly give you better air flow (but maybe not last as long on a super long cook?). Then you have others that say you should ALWAYS fill the fire box up all the way for a long cook ( I feel like this would inherently give you worse airflow?). So yeah basically I feel like I have read every various opinion under the sun so far and I'm just curious for all of you guys that have been doing this for years, what you have personally found with trying these different results, if one has yielded noticeable improvements over another, if there are methods that should absolutely be avoided, etc. I also realize that there are other cookers out there that are going to do a better job with smoking than a Kamado, but for me its more of a quest to turn out the best possible product with what I have. Thanks!
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