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Keeping the temp at 225..


TexasRob
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The other important point that hasn't been said yet it's that 225 isn't magic, any temp from 225-300 will work fine with basically identical results, only the cook time varies. The only time I care is an overnight cook where I want to get a full nights sleep. Basically, as we say in homebrew circles, relax, don't worry, have another homebrew (eg don't sweat things too much it's supposed to be fun and relaxing)

 

RDWHAHB!

 

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Yes I lit the charcoal in 3 different areas....after 10 mins...I added chunks of wood like(6 pieces)...added the deflectors...drip pan...grates...let it get to like 275 for about 15-20 mins to heat soak and added the meat.

 

 

Only light it in one place if you want to cook at 225.  Heat soaking at 275 is 50 degrees higher than you wanted to be so this is why you had trouble cooling the grill back down...

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Like John said only light one cube it's all about fire management it's easy to control a small fire then a bonfire lol I know you referred to it in your post but don't worry about times look at your meat how much is there I cooked some ribs the other day for only 2 straight one foiled with sauce because I knew I would end up with a burnt stick if I just went off some method. Another good thing of getting into the habit of is close the bottom vent wait burb this stops the influx of oxygen that causes spikes do what you have to do close lid wait a bit then readjust vent .once you get it sussed it's to easy keep cooking

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And lastly (if you can take even more constructive criticism) don't cook by time alone. With ribs, and I've seen Bosco state this numerous times, try the bend test. Pick up a rack of cooked ribs at slightly less than halfway in and lift. If the remaining half bends nicely at 90 degrees, (more or less), they're done. Some people like their ribs falling off the bone, while others prefer ribs requiring a bit of tug with your teeth. Whatever works for you.

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I light in one spot. Close lid and have bottom slider open only half way to start and daisy wheel half open. Let it rise very slowly. Once around 175 I add wood and place deflectors. Start closing everything down and dial in 225

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And lastly (if you can take even more constructive criticism) don't cook by time alone. With ribs, and I've seen Bosco state this numerous times, try the bend test. Pick up a rack of cooked ribs at slightly less than halfway in and lift. If the remaining half bends nicely at 90 degrees, (more or less), they're done. Some people like their ribs falling off the bone, while others prefer ribs requiring a bit of tug with your teeth. Whatever works for you.

Thanks for the shout out!! Cook by feel man don't worry about the clock!!!!

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I appreciate all the feedback from everyone. As stated I clearly should have thrown the clock element out the window when I knew I was not going to drop it to 225. I do recognize they came out dry by me overcooking them...I guess we could say "I cooked by the clock.....not by the feel" Lesson learned for sure....I did have so much fun cooking on the Joe!

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I have a somewhat academic question about the issue of lighting in 1 spot vs 3.  To be clear, I understand and agree that it may be easier to achieve and maintain 225 if you only light the coals in one spot.  Also, if you light in 3 places and wait too long to shut down the air, it can take a very long time for a big heat soaked kamado to cool down to 225 and the fire to get choked out to the point where it will steadily burn at 225.  With that said, ultimately isn't the temperature a function of air control? 

 

Even if you light one spot, at some point in an overnight cook isn't the fire going to spread to a much larger area/number of coals than what would have been lit initially if you had started it in 3 places?   That is, if you light in the center, the ring of lit coals is going to expand out into a circle that will continue to increase in diameter throughout the cook.  At some point many more coals are going to be lit than would have initially been burning if you had lit it in 3 places.  Of course this assumes you have an air tight kamado that can shut down the air intake to the point that it will keep the fire very low.

 

With respect to the OP, TexasRob's second post in the thread (#3) read to me like the bottom vent was almost completely shut down but the top vent was completely open.  On my cooker that would be a problem.  To maintain 225 I have to keep the top vent almost completely closed as well as the bottom vent.  Of course I also agree that there isn't anything magical about 225 vs 240 or 250, but at times you might want to cook as low as is safe so that the general timing of your cook works out as conveniently as possible (e.g. to start at 11pm instead of 1am for dinner the next day).

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When I do ribs I always add a water pan

I use the bend test for doneness.

I personally find that 225 IS magic

I usually start two areas on a 225 cook I pretty much always keep my bottom vent wide open and control the airflow with my top vent only.

I crack the top vent just barely it's maybe an 1/8th inch gap.

This brings my temp up slowly will probably be 45 minutes to an hour before it actually reaches a full 225.

After about 2 hours of smoking I foil them for an hour or more.

Any time I open the lid I close the bottom vent.

I take the ribs out of the foil and finish smoking until they pass the bend test.

Then I start coating them with BBQ sauce until I get 3 good coats nice an sticky.

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I must admit it has never occurred to me to try to control the fire with only the top vent.  I would think that would be better than the opposite though since an open top vent might amplify the effect of any small air leaks below.

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Rustwood - temperature is dependent on how much fire you have.  I've been able to get to searing temps quite easily and quickly with only a single spot lit in my fire box.

 

You control the fire (temp) by limiting the amount of oxygen you allow the fire to consume.  Lighting one spot and limiting the oxygen allows you to control the temperature.  

 

Vents allow you to control the amount of oxygen to the fire.  Vents create a draft from the lower vent to the upper vent and then outside the kamado.  My personal experience is that the upper vent is much more critical in controlling temps than is the lower vent.

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Even if you light one spot, at some point in an overnight cook isn't the fire going to spread to a much larger area/number of coals than what would have been lit initially if you had started it in 3 places?   That is, if you light in the center, the ring of lit coals is going to expand out into a circle that will continue to increase in diameter throughout the cook.  At some point many more coals are going to be lit than would have initially been burning if you had lit it in 3 places.  Of course this assumes you have an air tight kamado that can shut down the air intake to the point that it will keep the fire very low.

 

 

I'll have to ask the gurus here whether this is accurate, but I think when you start with a small fire and keep the vents mostly closed, the fire will *spread*, and will migrate to other areas, but it doesn't have enough oxygen to *grow* very much. 

 

You see on low & slow cooks that people put their smoke wood strategically around where the fire is lit, because they're not sure which way it's going to spread. I think this is done because it doesn't just become a progressively larger diameter over time, it moves but stays small.

 

Now, if you open the vents up, it definitely spreads out from where you light it pretty quickly, but that's because it's got so much oxygen that any new coal that catches will stay lit.

 

I would LOVE to see a time-lapse of the fire over a long cook with a camera inside the kamado firebox, to see exactly what it looks like in a low & slow...

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