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Adding charcoal during the smoke


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Question, fairly new to the Pit Boss - finding it tough to control the temperature on longer smokes.   First off, we are instructed to wait until the charcoal is covered is ash color before cooking...so what happens when you add black charcoal to an existing fire?  My concern is I see black smoke coming out of my grill?  

 

Another question is how do i get the pit boss to stay at 225 for long periods of time - like 4-8 hours?  It jumps up to 350 and slowly drops and lands about 150.  This is with the Bottom vent open an inch and the top vent closed.  

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Welcome to Kamado Guru. 

 

Charcoal covered in ash is directions for using charcoal briquettes. In a kamado you really need to be using lump charcoal. Lots of posts about starting a fire for low-n-slow. The basic procedure is the same regardless of the brand of kamado. I'm sure someone will chime in with more specific instructions,  I just don't have the time tonight to elaborate. 

 

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5 minutes ago, John Setzler said:

I thought I had this section setup to where you had to be a moderator to create new threads... Apparently not... should i correct that?

 

 

Yes that should be corrected and this thread moved. I didn't notice the section when I approved the post. 

 

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9 minutes ago, John Setzler said:

@ckreef - how did this post end up in this section?

 

@John Setzler - I know exactly how this post ended up where it did.  @12thman - is an Aggie, as am I!  Need I say anything more?:rofl:

I would indeed make this a section where only Mods could add new threads.  I'd also move this to the appropriate section.

 

@12thman - welcome to Kamado Guru and welcome to The Addiction!  Gig 'em!  :good:

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I've always thought the "Kamado Challenges" section could be misread and used as 12thman did. 

 

To try to answer your questions - load up the firebox with lump, you shouldn't need to add lump during a long low and slow cook. An 8 hour cook at 225 should not be a problem. 

 

If you have one of the vents closed, the grill will be gasping for air and won't be stable. You need  to create some air flow through the kamado to have a healthy fire. Search Youtube for videos about controlling kamado temperatures.

 

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On 6/21/2017 at 8:35 PM, 12thman said:

Question, fairly new to the Pit Boss - finding it tough to control the temperature on longer smokes.   First off, we are instructed to wait until the charcoal is covered is ash color before cooking...so what happens when you add black charcoal to an existing fire?  My concern is I see black smoke coming out of my grill?  

 

Another question is how do i get the pit boss to stay at 225 for long periods of time - like 4-8 hours?  It jumps up to 350 and slowly drops and lands about 150.  This is with the Bottom vent open an inch and the top vent closed.  

 

My recommendation is fill your charcoal bowl with lump charcoal and get it started to the point you see your temperature rising on the gauge.  Then close your top vent until it's about 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch open, and then start dialing it in with your bottom vent.  I'd start your bottom vent at about 1/4 to 3/4 of an inch and go from there (more open or more closed on the bottom vent).

 

The goal is to control air flow in and out of the kamado to control temperature and quality of smoke.  You want to look for a consistent jet of smoke and heat exhausting from the top vent and a relatively consistent temp on your thermometer.  Just keep in mind that temperature adjustments take time to see on the thermometer because of the properties of a ceramic grill.  It takes time for it to heat soak, and in turn, it takes time for it to cool down.

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As others have pointed out, there is no need to add charcoal to your kamado during even a very long cook.

 

Your initial problem is allowing the fire to get too big, by waiting for all the charcoal (lump, not briquettes) to be covered with ash.  Light your (full) firebox in a couple places, leave the lid open with the bottom vent wide open, for about 10-15 minutes.  Confirm that you have an active fire (some coals glowing) then close the lid, with the top vent wide open.  

 

If you're shooting for 225-250 degrees, begin shutting your vent opening at around 175 degrees, closing both top and bottom vents slowly, but never shutting either completely unless you want to extinguish the fire at the end of a cook.  On my Pit Boss, which I have done the Nomex gasket mod, I'll end up with the bottom vent open 1/4" or even less, and the top vent maybe 1/8" to 1/4" open.  Once stable for at least 15 minutes, add food and try not to touch your vents unless you see a steady rise or fall.  If so, mak VERY small adjustments.

 

Enjoy your new grill, it's a good one.

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