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I had tempture control problems - what I found and what I've done


omikey
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Pictures will be included

 

I was having temperature control problems, even with my early trial burns before my first cooks.

After several trial burns and 3 cooks it was clear that the Vision was leaking air  'someplace'

I took some serious looks and found these areas to be leaking pretty badly.

The electric starter port:  

  • The door does not close tightly. Although there is a rubber gasket there. If you remove the ash tray and close the starter door, look at the starter door from the inside of the ash tray. I could CLEARLY see daylight around both side and the bottom.
  • I tried putting a nomex gasket (1/4 x 1/8 inch thick) around the door. However this was too thick and the door would not close.  So I chose to no longer use the electric starter.
  • I used HVAC Duct tape and taped off the entire door.  .
  • I now use some starter blocks to get the fire going. I find this better than the electric starter - starts fewer coals to begin with and gives me more control over how hot the fire gets started.

The ash drawer:

  • If you remove the ash drawer you'll see the rubber gasket that is 'supposed' to seal it off when it's inserted, it doesn't.  If you look down inside the opening, at the bottom you'll see a rubber gasket that goes clear through to the bottom of the outside of the kamado.  On mine that gasket was not adhered to the kamado.
  • Using HVAC duct tape I taped off totally around the ash pan entrance to the kamado.  This blocks 'some' of the air infiltration around the opening.
  • Further examination of the ash drawer itself finds that the side edges of the drawer are not flat = will not/does not seal against the rubber gasket that is installed on the kamado.  I installed a nomex high temp gasket (1/4 x 1/8 inch) all the wall around the entrance for the ash drawer.  Now when the drawer is inserted and push all the way in it seals against the nomex gasket.

The Felt Gasket on the bowl and lid:

  • Removed factory installed felt gasket and replaced with Fireblack 220 gasket w/LavaLock (1 x .220)  (got it on Amazon from BBQgaskets.com)

After these changes:

  • I wanted to have a test fire, however I didn't have time, next thing I knew I was on the hook for cooking ribs for dinner
  • Here's a timeline of the temps for this cook (pic follows)

12:30 Start – top and bottom vents (TV and BV from now on) wide open

1:07 Temp 232 – set BV to ¼, TV to ½

1:12 245

1:20 put on smoke wood

1:30 put on ribs

1:40 temp at 203 adj TV to ¾

1:50 temp 211 BV set to ¾

2:00 215 BV set to 1

2:10 219 TV set to 1

2:20 226 TV to 3/4

2:30 235

2:40 244 BV to 7/8

2:50 251

3:30 253

Open smoker to wrap ribs in foil

3:55 226

3:40 265

4:00 255

4:30 249 BV to 1 ¼

5:10 253

5:30 250

Remove ribs from foil

6:00 258

Rib off, smoker closed

 

the end results:

 

 

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My Vision is 4 years old.  I have never modified it except to permanently fuse my party q plate to the starter door from the inside.  I don't seem to have issues with temp control.  I think it is more a learning curve.  I know when I first got my grill, I over lit and it is hard to bring temps down when you do this.  I do see smoke coming out the ash drawer sometimes but it doesn't seem to affect my temps.

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BSA is right about it being a learning curve more then anything ,having the knobs vs the slider doors gives you the feeling that it is as easy to control as a gas grill. Mine is going on 4 yrs this next year and still smokes out of top and bottom ,but does not effect anything ,they are not made to be airtight. As long as you have unburned charcoal the next day I would say it is working like it should. 

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