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Fire Bowl Mod?

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Easiest way would be to go to my profile. There should be a button to see my content. Both threads are recent. Alternatively you could search for "lump experiment" and they should come up.

Lump experiment #1 is on the Akorn Jr but that is virtually the same as a full sized Akorn except for size. I filled the firebox completely full. I then did back to back cooks for 8 days without disturbing the lump between cooks. No touching, no stiring, no nothing. Different temp cooks including a Low-n-slow. It illustrates how you really don't need to do anything special with the lump to get a proper burn.

Lump experiment #2 is on the full sized Akorn to compare how well different lump brands burn. Part 1 is using Royal Oak lump. I have 6 cooks so far and should be able to get 2 more cooks before I'm out of lump.

I will then move on to part 2, then part 3 ect ........ Each time using a different brand of lump. I am using a somewhat crude method to keep track of how much heat is produced with the various cooks. In the end we should be able to compare the figures to get a general idea of the burn quality of different lump brands.

Anyway these experiments are good fun for me and I have produced some pretty decent food along the way. Of course food pictures are included in the posts.

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If you're using the regular (not mobile) version of this site, move your mouse pointer over ckreef's name. A menu should pop up with a button on the left that says Find Content. Clicking that will take you to a page that shows all of his posts. From that page, there's a link on the left that says Only Topics, which will show you all of the threads ckreef has started. You should be able to see his two lump experiment threads from there.

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  • 1 month later...

I found that the ring of fire method works real good for low and slow. I took a old 6" pot cut the handle off and drilled holes in the side of it. I place the pot in the center and fill the sides up with lump. I have done several 8 hour cooks and might have burned through half the ring.

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Well since I started this post, I've settled in to a pretty consistent method. The majority of my cooked are 225-250 and all I do it start with a half full basket with a slight mound in the middle. Then I light a half a weber cube and cover it with at least one good sized lump. Then set my smoking chunk on or near that. Put my smoking stone in place, shut the lid and open both vents full.


Then, When the temp gets towards 180, I shut the vents to their low and slow positions and some times the temps stop right there so I have to open them up some. Other times temp climbs slowly to my target. If I do a reverse sear, all I do is open the vents wide and I'm up past 500 in 15 minutes.


This method got me 14 hours last weekend with plenty lump left over.


My original reason for the post was just questioning why the ceramics have all the holes in their baskets for air flow, but our open bottom/grate design baskets must be sufficient because I have no trouble dialing my temps in.


Took me a while, but I've got this down.....I think

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When running low and slow I use a broken brick in the base to build a ring if lump and chunks of wood. I find this leads to a smaller fire that burns more cleanly that the minion method. The result is a better quality of smoke that is more controlled and less likely to get away when opening the lid to play with my food.

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Just searching youtube for Kamado style recipes and techniques, I noticed that a lot of the ceramic cookers have a series of "air holes" around the fire bowl about half way up the side.


I wonder if this would allow more air in the Akorn so we didn't have to worry so much about the hole/volcano technique.


I see a lot of ceramic users just loading in the charcol and lighting. No arranging.






I leave the air holes that are located in the wall of my Big Joe's fire box clear of obstruction when I'm building my coal bed on slow and low cooks.   I also arrange things so the largest pieces of lump are on the bottom....on tope of the cast iron fire grate.


Is this necessary ?      I don't know for certain.   It's just the way my guru advised me to do it and I've never had a second of trouble on slow and low cooks.

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  • 6 years later...

I agree with the vent controls, but I have trouble keeping the fire lit when smoking in the low 200 temps.  If i let the fire really heat up to be sure it is well lit, it is difficult to them get the temp back down.  Any tricks in how to maintain a 220 temp without the fire going out?

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I have a jr so it may be different than full size (although I've heard jrs are even harder to control). These settings were from a 6 hour cook for a chuckie. Held 230 at grill grate though 5 hours or so and rose about 30 degrees during the last hour.

I make sure my fire is well lit and often go over my desired temp before I dial in the the final vent settings. But once I throw the meat on it typically drops the temps pretty close to where I want them.





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I use a "junior," and I bought a "senior" for my Dad.  Both of us are thoroughly satisfied with our purchases.


"The secret," if there actually is one, is to bring the oven temperature very slowly upwards, then don't let it go above that.  It is much harder to cool the grill down than it is to heat it up.  Once you get it "parked" at the desired target, it will stay there.


Full Disclosure: my target us 300ºF.  If I need to slow-roast meat at temperatures lower than that, I use my kitchen oven.


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