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Vision Professional S air leak solutions


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Hello,

 

I recently bought one of the Vision Professional S grills from Home Depot.  It was shipped on May 27 and arrived on June 6 which was quicker than I was expecting.  I was very eager to get smoking on it this weekend and did 2 practice runs to see what could be done to keep and hold temperatures so I could do a low and slow cook.  First attempt was to start out low and increase temperature to initially season the grill from initial shipping materials and such.  I started by filling about ¼ of the firebox with hardwood lump charcoal and started 2 pieces of charcoal in a chimney to get something started to begin the low test.  Placed the 2 lit, but not red hot pieces on top of the rest, covered with the lava stone and closed the lid.  Set the top to 1 and bottom to 1 to get air in to generate the burn.  The temperature quickly rose to 200 and I closed the bottom vent and moved the top to about 1/2 on the dial.  Temperature just kept rising so I just figured I would abort and go with the high heat test. Opened all vents and got grill hot to a sear temperature around 575 on the temperature gauge.  Ran for about 20 minutes and closed off all vents to snuff out the fire/charcoal.  Interesting enough, the temperature did not seem to drop over the next 4 hours and I chalked it up to heat retention from the ceramic.  I check on the firebox the following morning and to my surprise, all charcoal burned up and there were no chunks remaining as I would have expected.  Cleaned out the firebox and reset this time to ½ full of charcoal and same set up as before.  When temp got to 175, I  closed the bottom vent and moved top again to about 1/2.  I added some wood chips to create a bit more smoke to see if I could track any leakage.  The front vent set up seemed to be allowing air to easily churn through and smoke would come through all 4 sides of the front assembly.  It almost looks as if the ash drawer sits in there cockeyed which is preventing from making a good seal.  There was also an abundant amount of smoke that was pillowing out the top of the closed cast iron top vent which I could not understand since this should be a sealed tight unit.  I could not keep a consistent temperature to smoke and ended up closing all vents to call it a day to come back and check on it in the afternoon.  Grill thermometer was over 500 degrees in the afternoon and there were visible red hot coals when I opened the top.  There seems to be a large failure here allowing air to push through and keep this thing hot.  I had purchased this to do my smoking in, but feel as if I cannot do that with the assembly as received. 

 

Do you have any recommendations on what I should try?  Is there some additional sealing set up to use or would there be a way to replace the ash drawer and see if that covers any of the issues I am experiencing. 

 

I sent this exact email to Vision and their response was lacking to say the least. 

 

"We suggest you cooking on grill 5-6 times before attempting to smoke to get creosote build up and flavor in the grill. Once you have done so, then you can try smoking at low temperatures. We also suggest, when smoking, not to use as much fuel as you do with other grills. The ceramic absorbs heat a lot better and maintains it very well so you can start with low fuel and add charcoal accordingly."

 

My thought is that out of the box, this thing should not have had any issue holding a temperature that is adequate of smoking.  I bought this specifically to use as a smoker, not as a grill and part time smoker.

 

Thanks in advance! 

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I put felt around the ash tray and control knobs.    Got it it from amazon for 20$~ cut it into thin strips and it curved to match the profile of the knobs.   Worked great !

@doodie110 - Home Depot has all kinds of trucks at their disposal.  Let them pick up the bad Vision.  Let Vision and Home Depot work tis deal out.  Let both know that you're not going to jump thru hoo

"We suggest you cooking on grill 5-6 times before attempting to smoke to get creosote build up and flavor in the grill. Once you have done so, then you can try smoking at low temperatures.  

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First off, welcome to Kamado Guru, @doodie110.  

 

Secondly, the Vision is generally regarded as a really fine cooking machine.  I've not heard of the kinds of problems you're having.  Rest assured, they are not fatal, and most certainly not a deal killer.  Off the bat, I'd be talking with Home Depot and getting another Vision.  Tell them the unit is defective, which it certainly is. 

 

Thirdly, forget you even have a chimney.  It will create more problems for you than you know.  Learn to light the lump in the fire bowl of your Vision.  I use a propane/MAPP torch.  Very cost effective.  Others here use starter cubes, oiled paper towels, alcohol soaked cotton balls, etc.  The thing here is that just aout everyone lights their fires in the fire bowl.  It's easier, more efficient, etc.

 

Fourth, completely fill your fire bowl  for every cook.  If you get in the habit of partially filling your fire bowl, I promise it'll jump up and bite you where you sit.  No matter how small the cook, you'll always guess wrong on nom much lump to put in the fire bowl.  And there will be times when that means you'll ruin the cook.  Lump is cheap, cooks are dear.

 

Fifth, know that the bottom vent is used for gross temperature control and the top vent is used for fine tuning temps.  Thus, you'll set your bottom vent for temps between 200-300° F and the top vent is used to dial in the fine temps, i.e. 225, 250, 275.  The same holds true for temps between 300-400, and 400-500.  Spend a weekend day learning your kamado's response curve to changes in vent setting.  Know exactly which vent settings yield which temps.  Once you have dialed in a specific temp, let your Vision dwell at that temps for about 30 minutes or so.  Finally, this is hot work, so have plenty of your favorite iced adult beverage near by!  

 

Lastly, really push Home Depot to take back this Vision.  You mentioned a cockeyed ash pan.  Beat them over the head with this.  This shouldn't be the case.  You don't spend the kind of money you spent just to get a defective unit.  and this unit doesn't meet muster, at least in my opinion.

 

I wish you well.

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CeramicChef... Thank you for the tips.  I was really wishing to work directly with the manufacturer first before just sending this back to get a new one as this would require me renting a truck to transport back.  I had done a lot of research and was really impressed with the Vision Grill, both in the reviews and in person.  I am looking forward to gaining much experience from the group here and becoming a master of the craft.  I had it down with the electric smoker, but had to finally upgrade to cook like the pros.  I will provide an update with what direction I end up taking with either Vision or Home Depot to remedy the issue with temp control. 

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@doodie110 - Home Depot has all kinds of trucks at their disposal.  Let them pick up the bad Vision.  Let Vision and Home Depot work tis deal out.  Let both know that you're not going to jump thru hoops just to get what you should have gotten the first time.  If Home Depot and/or Vision don't want to step up and step up in a hurry, call the State Attorney General Office Division of Comsumer Affairs.  You can also call the local TV stations and talk to their consumer affairs reporter.  Either way, you win.  Don't do unnecessary work.  You first call should be to Home Depot, not Vision.  Home Depot is Vision's agent.  Home Depot took your money, not Vision.  Think of it this way.  You buy a car.  There are some defects.  Do you call the manufacturer or do you call the dealership?  Good luck!

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"We suggest you cooking on grill 5-6 times before attempting to smoke to get creosote build up and flavor in the grill. Once you have done so, then you can try smoking at low temperatures.

 

Ok, I hope they meant "season" where they said "flavor." There is something to this. Every grill I've ever owned except 1 ran hot the first 10 cooks until the vents got flavored...I mean "seasoned." lol. 

 

We also suggest, when smoking, not to use as much fuel as you do with other grills. The ceramic absorbs heat a lot better and maintains it very well so you can start with low fuel and add charcoal accordingly."

 

Wrong answer! If that's their official response, I'd take it back. They don't know what they are doing. I admit it's surprising because they have always seemed like a company that knows what's up. 

 

I have heard about air leaks with the professional series before. I thought they got it all taken care of. 

 

 

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This was my thought as well. Even though I am new to ceramic grill cooking, this made absolutely no sense to me.  I just got another response from Vision which is entertaining enough that I am just going to take advice and call Home Depot to replace. 

 

 

Quote

 

Andrew,

Please send pictures.

Sincerely,

 

 

 

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If your ash drawer has a gap in the bottom you might be able to shim the angle iron in the back , I did this with mine using some dimes between the angle and bottom of the grill to keep it from flopping down in the back. I know that someone just posted a picture that long ago in one of these threads of what they did , something similar but can't find it now.

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So Home Depot came through with great customer service. They will be having freight service come and pick up the grill within next 5 days. They don't do replacements on a one for one basis, but full return and reorder with 10% discount. Since the chili red color is back ordered into August, another 10% discount and will work with local store to deliver the in stock black version at no charge. Looking forward to the next grill to arrive but anxious with having to wait a bit longer when I was so ready to be smoking weekend after weekend. Ceramicchef thanks for the wisdom and will post updates on how new grill performs when received. 

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@doodie110 , not to complicate things for you, but i did notice with my Vision S, that i was able to get an even better seal by;

- closing the lid

- loosening the acorn nuts on the shock cap (front-centre behind handle)

- loosening the acorn nuts on the spring shock itself

- letting them find their sweet spot, and tightening them snugly again.

- you may also want to play around with washers +/- on these same parts to get a really nice alignment too

 

i did a few cooks on it first, and it was slow to extinguish, so i thought i'd give that a try.  it worked for me.  your results may vary, but could be something simple to check on your replacement vision too.

 

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I found sometimes I was burning up a complete bowl of charcoal after shutting down, and sometimes I wasn't.  What I found was when I used an ash rake to spread out the charcoal when I'm done with a cook, before I close up the grill, I don't burn up the charcoal.  If I just shut it all down and walk away, the next day I'll find all of my lump to have been burned up.

 

Grab yourself one of these: https://www.amazon.com/Bayou-Classic-500-586-Ash-Rake/dp/B004CPFBQ2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1497441802&sr=8-1&keywords=ash+rake

and knock your lump out before you shut that grill up after a cook and I bet you'd see some favorable results.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Did you get a new vision?  Did you have the same problems again?  Vision's customer service seems reAlly good, they sent me silicon.  Unfortunately it did work and I will be callin them again tomorrow.  Grilling is great on mine but smoking is near impossible as the temp always goes up even with the vents shut down.  I would be interested for a follow up to your story as I am in a similar situation

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I did get a new vision but I ended up going with the classic B model with removable ash drawer. Sams had them on sale for $499 and free shipping so I decided to go with trying out this model. I finally got it this past week, put it together and have played around with temperature controls the last couple days. So far, very much impressed with the change to the different model as it seems like much less to be an issue and go wrong. First real cook is happening today but only going to be some chicken and steak!!  The smoking is going to start next weekend!!

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