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  1. Thanks to all who advised. Subsequent attempt revealed as suspected. I just didn't wait long enough for the fire to settle down, stabilize and burn in before starting to cook. Lesson learned. Do you find that brand of lump charcoal matters much? It seems that Royal Oak is all that is available around these parts.
  2. I used no smoking wood at all. Lump charcoal was used. When you're waiting that 30 minutes or so for the fire to get stabilized, are the top and bottom vents in the full open position?
  3. Bingo! It might be as simple as that. Started to cook too soon and a bit too hot.
  4. The airflow was quite good. Not enough charcoal if anything. I didn't use any smoking wood either. I use a drip pan in the previous smoke so things were pretty clean. Maybe I just started the cook too soon.
  5. This is surely covered many places elsewhere but I got lost in the archives. I'm a beginner with a new KJ Classic I. After watching several videos and reading a bunch, the first cook of ribs (St. Louis and beef) were exceptional. Around 270 F for about 4 hours and the balance of smoke, texture, moisture, flavor was perfect. One finger opened bottom vent, cracked the daisy wheel a little. Then the wheels fell off the cart! Attempted spatchcock chicken. Indirect, targeting 375 F +/-. Expecting it to take about an hour and a half. The results: I couldn't get it into the garbage can fast enough. The dog didn't even get any for fear of toxicity. It was an ugly shade of sooty black. It smelled like the inside of a creosote lined chimney and tasted like licking one (not that I've ever tried). I assume that I just don't yet know how to make a good clean burning fire and manage the balance of airflow, smoke and temperature. There was indeed a fair amount of white smoke coming out of the top. I think I had a reasonable amount of charcoal and this time use no smoking wood. I let the fire burn for about 20 min. before starting to cook. I hope this is one of those "been there, done that" experiences to put in the rear-view mirror. Thanks for any advice.
  6. Thank you! The book of knowledge is brilliant!
  7. Mr. G's Liquidation Center, Walpole, NH has KJ Classic 1 for $499. Questionable supply but claim to have more in the warehouse.
  8. Greetings from Vermont (new member, first post), Just acquired a first Kamado cooker after eyeing them for years. The first firing starts in a few hours. Filled with questions, the answers of which I'm sure are buried in these forums. Not the least of which is advice on which accessories are a must have and which are a waste of $$. I purchased a Kamado Joe Classic I. The benefits of the Classic II and III were apparent but, Classic I is available locally for $499 and I found that an irresistible starting point for a beginner. Now where to post the questions...
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