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Temp Control with the Kick Ash Basket


BennyB
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@Chasdev - so its the fire grate removal that increases air flow as you so cogently state above.  Again, removing the grate will indeed increase airflow.  The KAB doesn't do one single solitary thing to increase airflow.  Howeverm you removing a fire grate will indeed increase airflow.  Thats a very old and well known trick.  It predates the KAB by decades.  Sorry, but once again, your logic and actions lead one to understand that the KAB is useless in increasing airflow.

 

Again, show me the data/refereed papers, or any fluid flow theory to justify your thesis and I'll gladly admit my error. 

 

Have a good rest of the weekend.  Here's to cold beer, hot cooks, and great memories down there at your house in Austin!

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I'll just add that I did a 6 1/2 hour cook off a pork belly on the Pit Boss today using the KAB for the first time and had no problem maintaining a very consistent 240-260 temp.

 

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Not so far, but I've been cooking at 275/300 with it installed.
What fuel are you using and how much?
Where are you setting the top vent?
I run with mine at 1/2 of the "1"  or perhaps a little less to run 250 or lower.
FWIW, Kickash says to lite the fire over the intake opening area and let it burn across the lump rather than in the middle-out fire method.
Are you using the stock fire grate too or running without it?
When I ran with the stock grate it started to clog and enough on a long cook to reduce the air intake somewhat.
Who knows, if nothing else works maybe you need the stock grate to reduce airflow?

I tried to load up the top vent pic last night but it didn't work, hopefully here goes now. Basically it hovers around half to three quarters between 0 and 1.

The fuel I use today Gidgee which is an Australian hardwood that burns hot, long and little ash, I've always used the same however my last bag were smaller chunks instead of the larger stuff I normally get. I'm starting to lean towards the small chunks burn hotter theory now.

The bottom grate is the stock standard one & I clean the ash put before each cook, maybe I should leave it in to restrict airflow lol.

Cheers,
Ben 073cc326277a48bf0fb854966f46638c.jpg

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10 hours ago, BURGER MEISTER said:

I've noticed on mine that the smaller the pieces of lump are, the hotter it cooks.   The stuff I'm using now (2 boxes left) is awfully small and hard to keep the temp down.  When it's gone, I'll probably go with KJ and see how that works. 

You could be on to something here, my last bag of charcoal was the same variety but smaller chunks. I've now got a bag of larger chunks and I'm using these, though I'm still using up the smaller stuff as well. I guess I have to use the larger stuff solely to figure out if there's a difference.

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7 hours ago, John Setzler said:

Here is a fact to consider:

 

The kick ash basket does not alter your kamado's ability to hold steady at any particular temperature.

 

This should open a good discussion...

 

Well the science should agree with that John so I need to look at some other factors. The next thing I'm looking at is the size of my chunks, I'm finishing off some smaller stuff at the moment as I couldn't get the usual larger chunks. However I'm pretty sure I've done a few cooks with smaller chunks and no KAB without temp dramas. The bottom line is that I need to cook more :-) Love your vids by the way John, you've been a massive help to me on my BBQ journey thus far!

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5 hours ago, Sky1926 said:

Just bought one really for this reason...ease of lump clean up
 

That's worth the price alone! It's a million times easier to clean with the KAB. Now, if only we could get a drawer like accessory to catch the ash in the first place!

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49 minutes ago, kirkk said:

I'll just add that I did a 6 1/2 hour cook off a pork belly on the Pit Boss today using the KAB for the first time and had no problem maintaining a very consistent 240-260 temp.

 

Welcome. Please stop by and introduce yourself. 

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Removing the fire grate doesnt increase the airflow either.  It does increase the exposure if the airflow to the entire bed of charcoal though..  that can cause the fire to build faster and hotter which will cause you to,get more charcoal lit and burning in a shorter time which in turn will make you think the kab is causing your grill to run hotter.

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On 7/2/2017 at 9:02 PM, John Setzler said:

Removing the fire grate doesnt increase the airflow either.  It does increase the exposure if the airflow to the entire bed of charcoal though..  that can cause the fire to build faster and hotter which will cause you to,get more charcoal lit and burning in a shorter time which in turn will make you think the kab is causing your grill to run hotter.

 

Both true and false, without having all the variables we cannot conclusively say if it will or will not increase airflow. We can talk in circles all day, The most restrictive point (weak link / choke point) is going to be the bottom vent, however removing the fire plate and allowing air to more freely flow will change the dynamics (as has been previously stated) of the fire and will have side effects on how your particular grill reacts and stabilizes at a given vent opening prior to and after removing the plate. Though I tend to like new recipes in debate.....

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Would the addition of a KAB stop ash & small charcoal from clogging the holes in the fire plate and therefore allow more exposure to air?

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48 minutes ago, ifican said:

 

Both true and false, without having all the variables we cannot conclusively say if it will or will not increase airflow. We can talk in circles all day, The most restrictive point (weak link / choke point) is going to be the bottom vent, however removing the fire plate and allowing air to more freely flow will change the dynamics (as has been previously stated) of the fire and will have side effects on how your particular grill reacts and stabilizes at a given vent opening prior to and after removing the plate. Though I tend to like new recipes in debate.....

 

What is the part of my statement that is false?

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Quote

 

Again circles, though i will admit false is a bit harsh as for a very high percentage of use cases its on point. The small issue i take, and i mean no disrespect but folks read things, take them as fact then rinse and repeat. In some cases this is great in others not so much. Back to the point, simply this, the fire plate because its a plate over a hole as a single variable to air flow restricts said flow based on the number of holes in the plate. Less holes less air, more holes more air. Nutshell of course...

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2 minutes ago, ifican said:

Again circles, though i will admit false is a bit harsh as for a very high percentage of use cases its on point. The small issue i take, and i mean no disrespect but folks read things, take them as fact then rinse and repeat. In some cases this is great in others not so much. Back to the point, simply this, the fire plate because its a plate over a hole as a single variable to air flow restricts said flow based on the number of holes in the plate. Less holes less air, more holes more air. Nutshell of course...

 

I understand that completely.  What you are implying here maybe is that the fire grate is the air choke point instead of the bottom vent.  If that indeed is true then removing it would allow you to increase airflow.  

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No i agree the bottom vent at least with lump that is kept in the fire bowl below vent line in the bowl is the choke point. And i dont mean to beat variables here again and to keep it simple because i have to think enough at work and thinking in these terms makes my brain hurt. When fire pulls air it pulls from the least restrictive point first but will pull from where ever else it can based on the negative pressure from the rising heat. As air flows through eat hole it is effected by drag which creates a turbulence on the flow that affect the amount of air that can be pulled though each hole. Simply speaking by making the holes bigger or removing them completely in lieu of round metal bars you decrease the drag allowing more air to flow at the same negative pressure through the same space. OK OK enough of that, now i cant wait for someone down the road much like me that likes to debate ping me and start another discussion on variable q,r and p. lolololololololol Time to get back to que talk ........

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The top vent total area when open and the bottom vent when totally

open are the limits to air flow. Or if one is less than the other the smaller one will be the limit -- if both are fully open or in any combination.

 

Note from here on I am referring to removing the stock grate and using only the KAB  when using it. I do not see why one ever would use both.

 

The heat from the burning gases creates creates a lift that produces a vacuum. As the fire gets hotter the lift or velocity will increase and the fire grows.

 

The lump and its container provide resistance to the air flow. A standard fire grate with 6 half inch holes with have much less open area for the ignition air for the  fire to pass through as compared to a KAB and more resistance. Eventually it will reach the temp because as the fire grows so does the lift from the hot gases. It will just be slower to get there.

 

If you sealed the  the standard cast lron fire grate into  the bottom of a bath tub and the KAB into another and dumped 100 gallons of water instantly into both --the one with the KAB would empty much quicker. It would form much less of a barrier because of the added area.

 

If you ran the water through a certain setting of the bottom vent  and top vent and then into the  bath tub-- both would flow similar. At wide open though the KAB probably would take all of the water but the stock grate would probably have a back up. But we do not cook with the vent wide open typically or maybe ever. So steady state temp can be attained with either one.

 

The same holds true when they are in a Kamado. The KAB can allow much more air to pass than the cast iron grate. This capacity other than never having a clog will not be used in a normal cook.

 

However it is the settings on the top- and bottom vent that  that allow the air through the  lump. So yes the vents control the temp by their setting not the KAB or the stock cast iron fire grate.

 

With large settings the  KAB will allow more air flow,  possibly more directly to the point of ignition, and heat faster but it is passive not the control in the operation.

 

It is a bit like two cars. One is an 8 cylinder and one is a 4 cylinder. The setting of the throttle will ultimately allow each to hit 75MPH. If the two throttles are set to the same gas flow(air flow) that will reach 75 MPH both will eventually reach  75MPH. The V8 having more cylinders will easily hit 75 quicker and be stopped by the fuel limit(air flow). The four cylinder will take longer to get to 75 because it will not have the ability to rise to use the available gas as quickly but it will get there. By this I am saying that there is more resistance to air flow through the smaller openings but ultimately it will reach the setting. Since we are typically cooking at from 225 to 500 both can easily accommodate this range but from my experience the KAB by allowing more volume of air and more direct access to the burning area will hit temp faster with big vent settings. How ever the control is the vent settings-- not the fire grate or KAB--unless the holes are clogged.

 

I used to aggressively rake out the old lump and dump new directly on top. At one point I could not get above 300 even when blowing air in the bottom vent. When I took out all ,of the lump I found 3 or 4 of the holes plugged with pebbles. In that case the fire grate had become the become a fixed bottom vent. It would just not go above 300. It had become the restriction instead of the bottom vent.

 

I agree that under normal conditions the stock fire grate is not an obstacle to attaining or holding temp. I also say that with big vent settings the temp will climb faster with the KAB. Note I said that the vent setting controls the temp.

 

If a temp is over shot it can easily be brought back to the desired temp when just starting by closing the vent setting to the known vent settings for that temp. This is two reasons. The KAB can not flow air if it is not available and the shell is not heat soaked to that high of a  temp in the short time it has been rising.

I like the KAB for grilling because I perceive that I hit my temp quicker and can then set the vents for my desired temp.

 

I do find that with the KAB I do use slightly smaller settings. I attribute this to less  resistance of the KAB to air flow.

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