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Starting classic b for long smoke?


luvysbbq
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Hello, I have read several post concerning keeping the temp down on long smoke. My first cook, I needed the temp high, so I lit 3/4 chimney of lump and poured on top of lump in bowl. This worked great for quick, high heat cook which was needed.

My question is how much do you light for a long smoke? I purchased the vision accessory kit and have not tried the electric start? Should I use it or just light a few pieces of lump and add to lump in grill? I usually cook between 250-275 for long cooks. I'm trying a couple Boston Butts this Friday night. I'd like to try and get a little sleep as well :-)

Thank you, Mike

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Hi Mike. First time i lit my Akorn i used the chimney starter. I havent used it since.

Fill the bowl full of lump in the shape of a volcano. I use an old water bottle to keep the center open all the way to the grate. Then cotton balls soaked in alcohol in the center hole. How high of a temp i want will determine the number of cotton balls i use. Once i lite the balls i add some small lumps into the center hole to get the fire going.

For low temps it takes very little lit lump.

Good luck.

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Mike - please forget the chimney. You don't need it in kamado cooking. Ever. For your low-n-slow cooks, simply light a single spot in your lump pile. I use a MAPP torch, others use starter cubes, some use a paper towel soaked with cooking oil and lit on one end. They all work. Never use any kind of petroleum distillate, i.e. lighter fluid! It will ruin the ceramic in your Vision!

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If most of the charcoal is small to medium size chunks you can start just one good size spot near the middle.

If most pieces are large then I would light at least two spots one on each side opposite each other.  Larger pieces have a harder time lighting each other, especially if it's good dense charcoal.

 

If 250-275 is your goal then honestly you can light the entire pile all around, just open the bottom vent 100% wide as it will go, then open the top vent to about 0.8 (just before the 1) so just cracked slightly.

Do this from the start and it should reach over 200 to 220 in about 45 minutes or less, you "may" have to slightly bump it to 0.9 to get it to 250. Fine tune it to your particular charcoal.

Best to get to temp slowly that way it never gets outa control and it stabilizes nicely.

I think the only time you might have a slight problem and need to light a single small area and maybe even mess with the bottom vent at all is when you are trying to maintain under 200 degrees, especially something like say 140-150 degrees for like 15+ hours for smoking Jalapenos to make Chipotle peppers, that's a bit tricky.

 

I would light it with either a MAPP torch or a Weed Torch.

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I just put all the big charcoal pieces on the bottom, add a piece of a starter cube (cotton ball with alcohol works fine), add the small pieces of charcoal on top and light it. Open up the vents fully until temp reaches 150-175 and then close the bottom vent to 1/2 and the top of vent to 1/2 as well and keep a close eye on the temperature rise. Once it reaches 200-225 i close the top vent to just about the thickness of a credit card. This will keep my vision at about 220-250. Whant it higher, open up the top vent just a little more.

Remember that any change you make will take a while to reflect.

Good luck

Z

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Thank you all!

 

Last night, I grilled a few hamburgers up real quick. I used my looflighter (which I like a lot) and was up to 450 degrees quick. Once I hit 450 degrees, I shut everything down. I noticed smoke rolling out of the right side (between felt), top, and bottom vent. This was only my second cook, how common is it for air to escape between the felt? Have any of you used a sealer around bottom vent to control air flow?

 

I'm a little concerned how hard it will be to maintain a 225-275 cook for an extended time now?

 

Thank you, Mike

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My Akorn will do that too. It doesnt concern me.

IMO dont change anything unless you have to. If you close all vents and fire goes out you should be fine. The smoke eacaping around the vents is because its not air tight but you dont need air tight.

Low temp is easy. Practice a bit without food. Lite the lump. close the top and set your vents. Then sit back and watch. Take note of how much you lit and how your vents are set.

Good luck.

(BTW i have only been using charcoal for 4 months. I hit my temperature everytime now. If i can do it so can you. )

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I light 1 spot with a mapp tourch

MAP or Map-Pro.   Mapp is unavailable.   

 

From Wikipedia:

" In the spring of 2008, true MAPP gas production ended in North America when production was discontinued at the only remaining plant in North America that still manufactured it."

 

 

I use propane and it works well.

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Thank you all!

 

Last night, I grilled a few hamburgers up real quick. I used my looflighter (which I like a lot) and was up to 450 degrees quick. Once I hit 450 degrees, I shut everything down. I noticed smoke rolling out of the right side (between felt), top, and bottom vent. This was only my second cook, how common is it for air to escape between the felt? Have any of you used a sealer around bottom vent to control air flow?

 

I'm a little concerned how hard it will be to maintain a 225-275 cook for an extended time now?

 

Thank you, Mike

My Vision has leaked through the felt on both sides since day one, even with a switch to Nomex. Not a concern. 

The vents will gunk up over time and seal themselves. It's not a problem, until it causes problems.

Don't over think it. The best way to learn is by doing.

 

On the B, start a small fire, give it 5 minutes with the lid open. Set your top dial to 1, bottom to 1, then as you approach your temp, back it off to about .5 on each until you settle in to the desired temp. Just remember, it takes very little air flow to maintain 250.

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Mike after your high heat cook ,when you shut your grill down,and the next day,or next time you opened it ,if you had un-burned charcoal left ,then your grill is working like it should. The grill was never meant to be air tight ,I am a 2 year cooker now ,and if I was to cook a medium grade hamburger ,one that has a fair amount of grease to it, I will have a lot of smoke with that ,and when I close it down the smoke ,will come out of the top and bottom ,for a few min.  As far as the chimney use what ever method you prefer ,There is a you tube video on cooking a brisket by the bbq guys,and they used a chimney to light there grill ,They sell grills . Since you are new to this I would not do the overnight cook yet.       

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I am new to the Kamado, but I've cooked in a UDS and Carolina Pig Cooker for years. My only concern was getting the ceramic grill at the smoking zone and keeping it there. In my UDS, I use a coupel methods, one being I use the snake method and light one side and let it eventually light all the charcoal. I have also used a coffee can method and pour the charcoal around the can, then pour the chimney of charcoal in the center. It seems after just a couple cooks, the Kamado takes a lot less lit lump and holds heat pretty well. I have to learn sometime, so I will give it a try tonight. Worse case scenario, I move to my oven and cook all night :-) I'll have my Maverick 732 beside my bed and set to let me know if it hits above 300 or below 220 :-)

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luvysbbq - make certain you always start every cook with a fire bowl completely full of lump. A fire bowl completely full of lump means you won't have to use your oven because you ran out of lump. A priori, you have absolutely no idea how much lump it will take to do a cook. Please just fill your fire bowl and you'll never make the mistakes that I and others have made. A full fire bowl will last you much longer than any cook you be doing. No surprises with a full fire bowl and no mid-cook alarms during the night!

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Do you have to rake it around at some point during the cook? I just filled it up in preparation on the cook tonight and that hit my head. I never had to with my UDS. I've not used lump much, mostly charcoal.

Thanks for the great advice team!

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If most of the charcoal is small to medium size chunks you can start just one good size spot near the middle.

If most pieces are large then I would light at least two spots one on each side opposite each other.  Larger pieces have a harder time lighting each other, especially if it's good dense charcoal.

 

If 250-275 is your goal then honestly you can light the entire pile all around, just open the bottom vent 100% wide as it will go, then open the top vent to about 0.8 (just before the 1) so just cracked slightly.

Do this from the start and it should reach over 200 to 220 in about 45 minutes or less, you "may" have to slightly bump it to 0.9 to get it to 250. Fine tune it to your particular charcoal.

Best to get to temp slowly that way it never gets outa control and it stabilizes nicely.

I think the only time you might have a slight problem and need to light a single small area and maybe even mess with the bottom vent at all is when you are trying to maintain under 200 degrees, especially something like say 140-150 degrees for like 15+ hours for smoking Jalapenos to make Chipotle peppers, that's a bit tricky.

 

I would light it with either a MAPP torch or a Weed Torch.

Once I hit 200, do I change the bottom to one as well?

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