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Gumbo806

High Temps

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Agree with mewantkj... need more info.  Can you take us step by step through your startup procedure?

 

Here's what I do, and can be up to 600+ within 15-20 min every time.

 

>Clear all ash from previous cook (good airflow is CRITICAL).

>Add new lump charcoal up to air holes (or a little past) in fire bowl.  DO NOT be stingy with the charcoal... remember, what you don't use you can always snuff out and reuse.

>For hot grilling temps 400+, i light five small fires.  12, 3, 6 and 9 o'clock positions... and right in the center.

>Leave lid and bottom vent wide open for 10-12 minutes, or until you have a nice solid fire going.

>Close lid, and leave bottom and top vents wide open until you are about 25 degrees from your target temp.

>At this point start making your vent adjustments to allow you to arrive at your desired temp.  I always allow my KJ to overshoot my target by 50 degrees, knowing that as soon as I put my food on, the temp will drop a good 50 degrees, bringing me right to where I wanna be.

 

There's not much more to it then the steps above.

 

Give it a whirl and let me know if you are still struggling.

 

**Low n slow startup procedure is a bit different... meaning I take a bit more time to allow it come to proper temp, and then I let it sit there and heat soak the ceramic.  This method makes for insanely stable temps during a looooong cook.

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Also note that you want to be careful with deflector placement, both for airflow and to avoid cracking the firebox.

 

Under 300 degrees (low & slow): Place deflector on lowest location of the Divide & Conquer system.

300-450 degrees (roasting temps): Place deflector on the "X-rack" on the lower grate level of the D&C system, and the grates above it at felt level.

450 degrees or higher (high-heat): Deflector should be placed at grate level.

 

Try it without the deflector entirely just to see. Assuming you're using enough charcoal, if you leave both the top & bottom vent open 100%, the temp should easily get into the 700s or higher.

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Also note that you want to be careful with deflector placement, both for airflow and to avoid cracking the firebox.

 

Under 300 degrees (low & slow): Place deflector on lowest location of the Divide & Conquer system.

300-450 degrees (roasting temps): Place deflector on the "X-rack" on the lower grate level of the D&C system, and the grates above it at felt level.

450 degrees or higher (high-heat): Deflector should be placed at grate level.

 

Try it without the deflector entirely just to see. Assuming you're using enough charcoal, if you leave both the top & bottom vent open 100%, the temp should easily get into the 700s or higher.

"450 degrees or higher (high-heat): Deflector should be placed at grate level."

 

I understand your 1st two suggestions about deflector placement, but can you explain the 3rd?  Just not seeing it in my mind...

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What kind of charcoal are you using? How are you lighting the coal? 

 

Also, here's the link to the video on setting up the KJ Classic. 

 

 

Here's a video in which John sets up for indirect and direct grilling with high heat:  

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Exactly what Rwalters said and I place my large pieces of lump on the bottom then add the rest of the charcoal. The large pieces of charcoal help with the air flow.

I am a positive believer in upgrading the charcoal grate to a high airflow grate like a High Que grate or a Kick Ash Basket.

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Also note that you want to be careful with deflector placement, both for airflow and to avoid cracking the firebox.

 

Under 300 degrees (low & slow): Place deflector on lowest location of the Divide & Conquer system.

300-450 degrees (roasting temps): Place deflector on the "X-rack" on the lower grate level of the D&C system, and the grates above it at felt level.

450 degrees or higher (high-heat): Deflector should be placed at grate level.

 

Try it without the deflector entirely just to see. Assuming you're using enough charcoal, if you leave both the top & bottom vent open 100%, the temp should easily get into the 700s or higher.

"450 degrees or higher (high-heat): Deflector should be placed at grate level."

 

I understand your 1st two suggestions about deflector placement, but can you explain the 3rd?  Just not seeing it in my mind...

 

 

Only time I run temps that high *with* a deflector is when I'm baking. Typically pizza. If a pizza, I put the deflector right on top of the grate, then two bricks on the deflector, then the pizza stone. I'm trying to raise it high into the dome anyway. If it was something I needed the grate for, then I could put the deflectors on the X-rack, and put a grate up on the bricks to get some room between it and the deflector.

 

But generally, unless I'm making pizza, I'm not sure why I'd need a deflector at those temps, because usually at those temps I'm direct grilling. I might use a half-deflector, but then with a half-deflector I've got PLENTY of airflow. 

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Hey gumbo, I never used a Joe, but I get to high temps real quick with the method stated above of 5 alcohol soaked cotton balls, wide open bottom vent and lid up for 15 min. Then close with top vent wide open. Over 700 in half an hour. I think I heard some Joe users say they take out the ash tray to get real hot. But most important, make sure you have enough lump, but are not blocking air. Sometimes I fish out the big lumps and place them on the bottom for air flow, but usualy is not nessicary.

Is it possible your lump got wet? If so get rid of it.

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Thanks, guys. That was helpful. I think the problem is the deflector put in early and in the lowest position. I'll try again this weekend. But my first effort was butterflied cajun pork chops at 350 and they were awesome!

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