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Greetings from new Kamado owner


doodie110
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Welcome, Andrew, glad to have both you and your new Vision with us. I started my kamado cooking experience on a Vision Pro C, which is almost identical to your S except for the shape of the ash drawer assembly and the knob configuration. Other than those small items, they are the same grill. I read you entry post, and possibly have a few tips for you. I only use a starter chimney when I do high heat cooks like steak and pizza.  In my experience Even a few fully lit coals will jump start your fire to the point where you can overshoot your low and slow  target temp. I use one fire starter cube or an alcohol soaked cotton ball set in a depression in the middle of my lump to start a low and slow fire. Even though you think your Vision leaks a bit, it probably has a much better sealed cooking environment than most smokers and BBQ you have cooked on previously. A small fire is all you need to get to 225-250,  I always fill my fire box to the top past the air holes. If your anticipating a long cook you don't want to run out of lump. Also even though you didn't mention oversmaoked taste, it is a malady for most folks new to kamado cooking. When you start your fire it will put out thick white smoke, this is normal. The white smoke, however, will give your food an acrid taste, like you can imagine an ash tray tastes. Hold off putting food on the grill until the white smoke dissipates and a nice beautiful thin grey blue almost invisible smoke replaces it. When you get the blue grey smoke your good to cook.   As you cook on your Vision, the top vent will pick up some grease and gunk  which will serve to seal it up. The same thing will happen to your leaky ash drawer assembly. I have seen lots of folks labor over the ash drawer to make it less leaky. Personally, I Never did, mine leaked from day one, but I had no trouble holding temps for a wide variety of cooks. But, suite yourself. some folks have worked on the gaps with black high heat silicone or cut down gasket material. My advice is always to just cook on the thing, before you start tinkering with it. Just because you see a whiff of smoke here and there it doesn't  mean you have to do anything about it, if it doesn't  affect your cooking result. I just learned where to set the vents.  If you notice a problem with your cooking results then you can address the issue beyond vent settings if you feel you need to. . As you cook you will learn what settings you need and how to build your fire for a particular cook. The settings on my old Vision were much different than the settings on my current large BGE but both grills turned out excellent cooks.  My advice is not to look at it as a learning curve but as fun. Relax listen to some tunes, pop a beer, and just cook. Amazing things happen when you just focus on the food and how your family responds to it. Happy Cooking, hope this is useful to you. 

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