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Temp Control with the Kick Ash Basket


BennyB
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How about airflow being allowed to follow the shape of the fire bowl as opposed to being forced through the holes in the bottom center of the bowl, as an added variable?

Not that it speaks to heat control, but with my KAB in place I see the coals around the perimeter burning (based on ash) more than with the OEM plate installed.

 

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8 hours ago, Marty said:

 

 

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.

 

 

 

This is the part that makes people think the KAB either increases airflow or makes it harder to control temps.  The fire will get going quicker with the KAB and the vents fully open.  They have more charcoal lit and burning when they decide to close down their vents and the temperature can get away from them more quickly in this situation.  

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3 hours ago, John Setzler said:

 

This is the part that makes people think the KAB either increases airflow or makes it harder to control temps.  The fire will get going quicker with the KAB and the vents fully open.  They have more charcoal lit and burning when they decide to close down their vents and the temperature can get away from them more quickly in this situation.  

Yes John I completely agree. I find the same thing my self. If I do a ten minute fire  up with the dome open there is a good bed of coals. Then to come to temp I have to set my vents tighter when I close the dome. My take is you can hold a temp with a little bit of lump lit burning or a bed of coals with in reason temp wise---but the bed will take off almost instantly if given air and the capacity to  flow more air makes this even more pronounced. I have even found that if iI am doing a cook with the stock grate and it is a long cook and  I want to baste-- say ribs-- the bed of coals is bigger and can take off . I find that I am best off to close the bottom vent and hopefully remember to open it. I also close the top vent a litttle bit and watch the temp. If the temp takes off with the force of draft from a bigger bed of coals --if they start heating -- it can require closing the vents much more than if the dome was not opened and things were in a equilibrium.

 

I agree that the KAB can make stabilizing the fire more difficult when a big bed of coals is lit on start up. Having a shorter open dome period would help.

 

Still like you say the vents control the temp and any temp can be achieved

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I've had cookers go out completely because ash builds up on long cooks and chokes out the fire. (Medium Big Green eggs are the worst about this.) Adding a high que grate (similar to KAB) prevented this. 

I guess I get lost in the semantics of the discussion regarding what "air flow" actually is but I've found the ultra scientific "fire no go outie" measurement on the KAB to be very high. lol

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1 hour ago, michaelt said:

Anyone with a temp monitor that charts temp over time could do a simple unscientific test. There are too many variables to be certain, but this may shed some light on the situation.

 

What do you want to test?  How fast it comes up to temp, or the max temp achievable?  I have not seen any change in max temps since getting the KAB, it mostly varies with the amount and quality of the charcoal.

 

Time to temp is dependent on how you light the fire and if you use a blower.  If you start with a bunch of lit coals at the bottom, cover with new charcoal and then blow air through the intake with a controller, it will come up to temp in a small fraction of the time it will take if you fill the bowl, light one spot with a starter cube and just leave the vents open.  I can tell you that using my HeaterMeter and Rotodamper 3 with a 6.7 cfm fan at 100%, lighting the leftover coals on the bottom, covering with fresh RO lump and leaving the top vent wide open gets up to a target of 400 in about 8 minutes with or without the KAB.  I don't save the graphs, but this is a cook I have done a bunch of times to make chicken wings and I was surprised how linear and consistent the temp rise is on the HM graphs. Perhaps if I used my RD25 (25 cfm fan) to force more air in the bottom vent there might be an advantage to the KAB.  If I ever make an adapter for the RD25 to fit the PB I will test and report back with graphs. 

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forcing more air via the bottom vent or any other place will speed the spread and burn assuming you have more fuel to burn, regardless of that it will also quickly raise the temp of already burning fuel. Very easy experiment for anyone that cares to witness, use a hair dryer or heat gun. Concept is really no different than how the forced air controllers work.

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2 hours ago, m-fine said:

 

What do you want to test?  How fast it comes up to temp, or the max temp achievable?  I have not seen any change in max temps since getting the KAB, it mostly varies with the amount and quality of the charcoal.

 

Time to temp is dependent on how you light the fire and if you use a blower.  If you start with a bunch of lit coals at the bottom, cover with new charcoal and then blow air through the intake with a controller, it will come up to temp in a small fraction of the time it will take if you fill the bowl, light one spot with a starter cube and just leave the vents open.  I can tell you that using my HeaterMeter and Rotodamper 3 with a 6.7 cfm fan at 100%, lighting the leftover coals on the bottom, covering with fresh RO lump and leaving the top vent wide open gets up to a target of 400 in about 8 minutes with or without the KAB.  I don't save the graphs, but this is a cook I have done a bunch of times to make chicken wings and I was surprised how linear and consistent the temp rise is on the HM graphs. Perhaps if I used my RD25 (25 cfm fan) to force more air in the bottom vent there might be an advantage to the KAB.  If I ever make an adapter for the RD25 to fit the PB I will test and report back with graphs. 

 

 

I suspect, given time, the max temp would stabilize to be equal. As far temperature acceleration goes, I think most people are interested in what the results would be with just plain lighting (cube, starter, cotton ball) and open vents, no forced air. I assume that is how most people here light up their kamado.

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This is getting technical without watching out for variables.  With the stock CI charcoal grate one needed to stack the lump in a way where a minimum number of holes were blocked.  There is a learning curve to this method.  I could easily get to 900 F on my BigJoe doing this.  

 

The biggest thing these alternate grates do is to minimize Ash clogging. 

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My experience with my KAB is there is little to no difference in either starting or burning, UNTIL smaller pieces/ash etc started blocking holes.  I find it maintains airflow under more circumstances/variables, but doesn't improve anything if good airflow already is present.

 

I also love it for cleaning out the small stuff....

 

I also love it for RAISED charcoal cooking.  I remove the KAB and place it on TOP of the x-rack and it brings the coals up about 1" below the grate.  Makes for great searing.

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