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newb24

Duluth Forge Kamado Grill

27 posts in this topic

Hey guys New Kamado Grill owner here.  Did so much research here, thought it would be nice and fair for me to post my findings and my attempts at Kamado Grilling.

 

Our old stainless grill got damaged in a move, so i was on the look for something new.  I decided I wanted to get an Egg Style Grill.    I went and talked to a Kamado Joe dealer and a BGE dealer and just couldn't justify the money for one of the name brands so started looking at Vision Grills.   Stumbled across this Duluth Forge one and for the money based on what people were doing with their Visions, thought how could I go wrong  (I now know, multiple ways) so I pulled the trigger.

 

Showed up yesterday and I checked it over and everything looked good.  Not sure how they get these things from China and shipped freight across the country and everything is in tact and not shattered.

 

First impressions, not too bad...it was all preassembled and ready to go.  The felt is a bit iffy, the top vent is stainless and huge, the bottom air vent was about 1/4" away from the surface and the thermometer looks cheesy.  I knew I would have to seal up some areas and had the RTV caulk ready to go, also took a chance on getting a Vision deflector plate in hopes that it would fit and it does.

 

There is a 2 step 18" diameter stainless steel cooking grate, which is nice, I can put a ton of meat on this thing.

 

28" tall and 23" wide without the handle

 

It doesn't come with a nest, but I plan on making an outdoor cooking area so didn't need it.  It is missing the handle which I found weird, but already send them a note, so will see their customer service soon.

 

I've taken some measurements on the Kamado Joe and it looks like if I can get an entire divide and conquer set up, I can easily swap out my internal grills for the KJ internals and get a lot more flexibility on grilling and smoking and 2 zone cooking.

 

I was excited to use it so I did my best to caulk the new vent and installed the Vision deflector plate and bought some lump charcoal from Home Depot.    Woke up bright and early, a balmy 10 degrees out side so I was worried about how everything would go in those temps, but from my research, if the grill was worth anything it should be fine.

 

Per my research, I tried to find some bigger lumps of coal but my bag was basically all chips (which is proving to be problematic as we speak, more on that in a minute).   I started a few lumps and watched the temp rise with lid closed and everything wide open.  It came up nicely and I cranked it down and watched it climb up to 400 degrees...I was like well this isn't good.  I put the deflector plate in and cranked all the vents almost closed and watched the temp fall right to 275 (who knows how accurate this thing is, I'm convinced I need a good dual thermometer)  To my amazement, it stayed right there....didn't fluctuate at all.  So whatever temp it really was, I didn't care at least it was steady.  I put a drip pan and filled it with water and put the pork shoulder and ribs on the grill.

 

I let it sit for 2 hours and around the 2 hour mark, started noticing my temp dropping.  I was due to check on the ribs so I decided to pull it all apart and see what was going on and low and behold my charcoal was just about gone.   HMMMMM

 

I've also noticed that the temperature gauge is billowing smoke, so I have another leaker area to tend to later.

 

Dug around and found the biggest pieces I could and loaded it back up, put it back together and watched that temperature go right back to 275 and level out again.  So I'm pretty happy about the steadiness.

 

Now I have a lot of opening for rib maintenance but seems to be doing well.  4 hours in and temp starts dropping again and yep, low on charcoal again.  I take it all apart, fill it back up and this time the temp creeps up to 325, I crank down the vents a tad bit more and it settled back in at 275.  maybe I put too much fuel in or maybe I left it open too long, but still back to holding steady again.

 

Ribs take about 5.5 hours and come out perfect.   Still have a long time to go on the pork shoulder but I just go out every half hour and look at the temperature gauge and watch what is happening.

 

So, wondering why so much charcoal....are the walls too thin causing heat loss and needing more fuel or is the small pieces of lump to blame or combination of the 2?

 

The external part of the egg is very hot if that helps anyone tell me, yay or nay on quality issue being the blame.

 

For the price and after the first go around, I'm super happy with the purchase.  I need to see what kind of things I can do upgrade the lid components and control the air leaks.  Was really hoping to swap out the top vent for cast iron but the hole on this thing seems to be twice the size of a KJ hole.   I'm going to research getting KJ divide and conquer system and if I can buy that separate.  I need to see if I can get some bigger chunks of lump to line the bottom with and see if it helps with my consumption of charcoal through a cook.   Going to do some research into self monitoring temp systems or at a minimum going to invest in a good 2 way temperature gauge.

 

Other than that, I need to settle on some rubs I like and keep experimenting with different things, as quickly as the lump charcoal lit, I think this is going to be great for actual grilling so getting a nice cast iron grate would be a good addition.

 

 

Photos in the next post

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

marauders and JeffieBoy like this

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Hello Newb24, 

 

I have not heard of a Duluth Forge kamado. I looked it up on line and the Duluth Forge looks to be an Auplex kamado. Auples is a company out of China that makes ceramic kamado components. A lot of the new brands like Vision, Pit Boss, Browning, Monolith in Europe, use the Auplex components. I used to cook on a Vision and I can tell you from experience that the components work well and hold up to a whole lot of cooks.  To let everyone meet you, please go to the introduction section and let folks know who you are.  

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So, finished up the night and a few more thoughts and things to improve on....

 

9 pound shoulder cooked for 9.5 hours and got to 195 internal temp, let is rest for an hour and it literally fell apart.  Truly amazing.  No matter what happened today, the end result was well worth it.  Need a different rub for the ribs, but other than that really great.

 

Started losing temp again, seemed to be just about every 2 hours or so, last time, I either took too long or put too much fuel in because the temperature went to 400, I cranked down the vents even more and got it to get back to 275 range.

 

After I took the shoulder off, I cranked open all the vents and that fire really started cooking, temperature inside the egg got up to 550 and when I opened the top, those coals were really flaming.  It was good to screw around and see how this thing will work when I try and grill on it.

 

I'll spend some time and redo all the gaskets, take the thermometer out and check around the top vent to see how I can seal it up as tight as I can.  I will say the slider part of the bottom and twisting of the top vent seem to be very tight but really hard to tell.

 

You can see the smoke coming out of the thermometer in the one photo so that definitely needs to be fixed.

 

 

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JeffieBoy and ckreef like this

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Nice first cook and good looking Kamado! There are a lot of commercial brand rubs but you may like making your own!

 

Garvin

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OK, so was looking for the divide and conquer systems and I think I had a revelation...

 

Can I just get the flexible cooking system and put my Duluth supplied grates on top of all that?  Seems I would gain several inches in height. and be able to get a split heat deflector.

 

 

My fire bowl is the same dimensions at the KJ and seems this would sit right on it.

 

Any thoughts?

 

 

 

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34 minutes ago, newb24 said:

OK, so was looking for the divide and conquer systems and I think I had a revelation...

 

Can I just get the flexible cooking system and put my Duluth supplied grates on top of all that?  Seems I would gain several inches in height. and be able to get a split heat deflector.

 

 

My fire bowl is the same dimensions at the KJ and seems this would sit right on it.

 

Any thoughts?

 

 

 

Try the Ceramic Grill Store the main store is in tx but there is a dealer here:  Specialty Gas House
4500 Indianola AVE
Columbus OH 43213
614-261-0824 give them a call and give them the size of your fire dia and grate size and they will hook you up. Visit the webstore to see the different items. You would need the items for the large BGE or the Vision.

newb24 likes this

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Made a call into Factory Direct Buys and it looks like they are shipping out my new handle with no problem.  I'm not convinced till it shows up.

 

I did call CGS OH and talked to them a bit about different things and they were very helpful, he seemed to be at least familiar with my knock-off model grill.

 

They are quite a bit away from me, so I went ahead and purchased the Aura zone cooking stuff from Amazon.  Got the pro-zone cooking base and 2 halves of the heat deflector.

 

I'm convinced my cooking rack that came with it will fit right on top.

 

I did some research and I'm going to give the Black Diamond Charwood a try this weekend and see if it does any better.

 

I think some beef tenderloin is on tap for this weekend....quick little test to see how everything goes.

 

 

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Can you take some pictures of the inside of your rig there?  Both empty and then with the amount of lump you would put in it???

 

I'm wondering if you're loading up with enough lump.  I load my Vision up and on my last smoke, saw around 250 degrees for around 11 1/2 hours in 20 to 25 degree weather.  I also barely need my top vent open to maintain those temps over a long period.  I'm talking my top vent is only cracked 1/16" to 1/8".  When I'm not using my CyberQ, my bottom vent is basically just barely cracked open too.  I seem to maintain good airflow (the smoke looks to be coming out of the top vent at a good clip) and I can generally maintain temps very well over time.  With the CyberQ, it's ridiculously cool to me how well I can hang around 250 degrees!

newb24 and Tarheel like this

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3 hours ago, GLOCKer said:

Can you take some pictures of the inside of your rig there?  Both empty and then with the amount of lump you would put in it???

 

I'm wondering if you're loading up with enough lump.  I load my Vision up and on my last smoke, saw around 250 degrees for around 11 1/2 hours in 20 to 25 degree weather.  I also barely need my top vent open to maintain those temps over a long period.  I'm talking my top vent is only cracked 1/16" to 1/8".  When I'm not using my CyberQ, my bottom vent is basically just barely cracked open too.  I seem to maintain good airflow (the smoke looks to be coming out of the top vent at a good clip) and I can generally maintain temps very well over time.  With the CyberQ, it's ridiculously cool to me how well I can hang around 250 degrees!

 

Yes, I sure can....

 

I'll see what I can grab tonight and post some photos.

 

I know I have an air leak around the thermometer that needs to be taken care of and upon further review of the bottom vent, there is a pretty good gap even when fully closed.  I did RTV the entire exterior perimeter so I know that is good and tight

 

Thanks for the post and helping me figure out how to get it loaded with lump correctly.

 

 

GLOCKer likes this

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Was able to snag a few photos tonight.  I also snagged a nice looking tri-tip from Sam's as well as a bag of Vision brand Lump.

 

So tomorrow will be smoked Tri-Tip and I will get a snap of how much lump I put in.

 

The Aura components came in, the deflector plates don't sit really well in the unit but the unit sits right on the money for my fire box.  The deflector plates are 15" diameter instead of the Vision brand being 14".  

 

The bad news is that my grates do not fit on the unit, but I have the tools to make some adjustment to the grates to make it fit perfectly, so all in for very cheap and achieved some more height out of my existing grates.

 

 

 

 

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The depth of the bottom half of the kamado is about 15" without the firebox in.

 

I don' t know if any cared about the measurements, but here they are anyway.

 

 

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You should be lasting much more than two hours. How much charcoal have you been loading? On that rig you should probably be filling it passed the holes around the sides of the firebox. Basically, fill it to just a few inches below where your deflector will rest.

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