Grill = Akorn. Temp control by TipTopTemp. No leaks. Probes = Thermoworks Smoke and Thermopen MK4. I've confirmed that the probes are accurate, and there was no obstructions on the pit probe.
Put on a 16lb Packer (probably a few pounds less after trimming) at midnight. According to the Smoke's graphs, the pit temp held between 215-235 all night.
The brisket hit the stall after only 3 hours of cooking, so IT of 160 by 3AM. When I woke up to make some pit adjustments (it jumped to around 250 at 6AM, probably when the sun came up and the TTT compensated for change in ambient temp) the meat was already at around 180, so I'm wrapping in butcher paper, however it's going to be finished - including resting - in under 12 hours, which just doesn't seem right.
Had I wrapped when the stall hit, that would have been at 3AM, and maybe it would have been done around 8. How is that even possible for a 16lb packer? Everything was timed so that it would be done (including rest) in around 16 hours, though obviously every piece of meat is different. I would not have expected a piece to be THIS different though.
First cook with the Tip Top Temp on my Akorn Kamado. Smoked a pork loin to perfection this morning. Have a pork butt on now (less the apple wood chunks) In prior cooks on both a vertical smoker and on the kamado, temp would sour when the wood chunks for smoking would catch. Now with the Tip Top Temp, it closes the damper until the temporary spike subsides, then opens back up to maintain constant temp. Before the Tip Top Temp those adjustments were manual and much more tedious!
Hi Everyone, Was hoping you may be able to give me some pointers. I recently order a "tip top temp" temperature controller for my Kamado Company K5 smoker. My first question is - has anyone ever modified one of these to fit a k5? The only post I found online involved drilling in to the cement which I would hope to avoid if possible. My second question pertains to lighting. In doing some research I found that most folks that use this temp controller avoid lighting all briquettes in an effort to avoid over shooting the targeted temp. Wouldn't your food taste like briquettes then? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for reading. - J
Tip Top Temp
This mod is fairly straight forward. I used the plate hangers that are found at either Homedepot or Lowes to mount the Tip Top Temp (TTT) on the top of the vent.
Double Colander for Coal Dust
I double up on colanders of two different sizes so that I can put my coal inside the colander and then the colander allows the coals to breathe but also catches all the dust. My first cook I used a single colander and then I shook it by accident when removing the remains and coal dust went everywhere. Lesson learned and I doubled up on the second attempt!
Makes my life easier and I don't have to hassle with cleaning the darn thing. Not original idea as I got it from this guy on YouTube. He also cut his Pizza tray but I think that is a little too much.
Terra Cotta Clay Pot
Diamond 4.5" Blade and a Mini Angle Grinder were used to cut the Terra Cotta Clay Pot ($19.98 @ Lowes) to fit it up in side the bottom pit. This particular one from Lowes fits perfectly BUT you have to cut your shims that hold the stone deflector!
How I cut the three-piece steel shims for stone deflector:
Cut the two edges and then bend the living hell out of the shim until the four welds give out. Use a Dremel to clean the rough edges Welds do not interfere with the above Terra Cotta Clay Pot from Lowes
How I shaved off the top of the Terra Cotta Pot:
Initial cuts were done around the diagonal pattern design but I need to redo it to make it a bit lower so that my pizza tray deflector doesn't choke the fire. However, my initial suspicions of the fire being choked have subsided because the grill is holding steady at 220*F. Might have taken a bit longer to get there though.
The top grate does not sit flush and is being held up by my pizza tray and all the weight of the terra cotta clay pot is resting on the three sheet metal legs that supports the entire core at the bottom. Need to fix it after I am done with my initial cook on the pork baby back ribs.
Lava Rock Gasket
Plenty of information on this forum as to how this is done. I did the upper and bottom rims of the main lid, ash tray bottom pan to body area, as well as the air intake at the bottom to a very good seal. Judging by the smoke that comes out it is doing a fine job.
Top hat to cover the TTT Deflector Drip Pan Mod (Make the Pizza pan a little more versatile and can hold some liquids) Might add a deeper dish in there to catch more items Could run a stainless steel line to the bottom as a permanent grease trapping solution into a grease keg
More to follow and happy grillin'!
Hey guys, I need some advice.
I've done a number of low and slow cooks on my Akorn now (mostly ribs). I've gotten pretty much everything down but one thing: consistent and good smoke.
Here is my setup for ribs: I use 100% lump piled up below the tabs. I leave a hole in the middle for lighting and mix hickory and apple chunks in with the lump around the hole. I'll also add a couple on top of the fire before I put on the smoking stone and grate.
I start the fire and after the flames die down and a few coals are lit, I'll close the lid and let the TTT start regulating airflow. I usually shoot for 250 for ribs. Once the grill temp gets to about 150 or so, I'll close the bottom vent to about an index finger width.
The smoke will be pretty solid as the grill heats up, but dies off and eventually goes away when the grill gets up to temp. At this point, the TTT vent is just barely open. After the cook, it looks like the wood chunks have been basically turned into charcoal.
I feel like there isn't enough airflow to allow for good smoke. The only two things I can think to try are either nearly shutting the bottom vent so that the TTT is open more, or trying to wrap some wood chips in aluminum foil so that they don't burn as easily.