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Paint peeling on vent & unable to maintain temp


HeadhunterMike
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My KJ BigJoe arrived  Wednesday 9/13/17.  Cooked a chicken the first night at  ~300F.  Had a little trouble maintaining a consistent temp, but was more or less happy with results.  Thinking a little technology would help, I purchased a ThermPro to help me monitor grill and food temp.  Friday night I put a brisket on around 10pm.  Intent was to cook at 225F.  Temp was was initially stable around 230F and I felt that was good enough.  Set the ThermPro for for 300 and headed off to bed.  The alarm was sounded and I watched as the grill temp bounced a few degrees and then crept up to 255F.  Got up, made a minor change to top vent, thinking small steps over time would solve the problem.  I had the bottom vent about 1/4" to 1/8" open and top vent set near the first hash mark.  

 

Finally decided after an hour or so of that 255F was good enough and went back to bed.  Pulled my brisket off when internal temp reached about 202F, wrapped it in foil and put in a cooler with an electric heating pad to keep the meat above 140F per health code.  While I had a good smoke ring and good bark, the brisket was pretty dry.

 

Then today, I went out to clean my grill and noticed that the paint near the corner of the top vent had bubbled up and come off.  Contacting KJ today online.

 

As anyone had temp control or paint issues or am I making some novice mistakes?

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4 minutes ago, ckreef said:

Your only mistake was attempting an overnight cook before you mastered vent and temperature control. Do a bunch of successful daytime cooks before attempting an overnight. 

 

The paint peeling had nothing to do with temperature control. 

 

 

Agreed. It took me many months before I attempted an overnight cook.   Spend a day, try to hold temps 250, 350, and 450 F for an hour.  Give the joe atleast 30 min post vent adjustment to stabilize. 

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KJ has had issues with paint peeling from their top vents. I have the old style vent that started peeling within the first few cooks. I just kept scraping it when it was hot to get off any of the loose paint just so it wouldn't fall onto my food. Otherwise, it still works as intended.

 

Have KJ send you a new one and either replace yours or continue to cook with it until you think it's too ugly.

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On 9/17/2017 at 7:45 PM, cschaaf said:

KJ has had issues with paint peeling from their top vents. I have the old style vent that started peeling within the first few cooks. I just kept scraping it when it was hot to get off any of the loose paint just so it wouldn't fall onto my food. Otherwise, it still works as intended.

 

Have KJ send you a new one and either replace yours or continue to cook with it until you think it's too ugly.

Yup. Some other posts on this. IMO  grease and moisture combined with any amount of  heat overwhelming the paint.

Maybe a "bomb proof" paint out there but probably costs more than the KJ.

Temp control-only an issue if vent settings are  not what they should be, peeling paint or not.

Exterior of my vent is fine. If that goes, then I'll consider  working this out with KJ CS. I'll remain patient and satisfied 'til then.

There is an opinion of using an ultra sonic bath. Harbor Freight can help with a unit. Not my "cup of tea".

Saw the picture of what an after market stainless steel vent looks like after a few cooks. Yuck. I hate using Brasso on my copper cups-let alone polishing up stainless.

 

M.

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@HeadhunterMike

 

It takes a Big Joe much longer than most people realize to 'stabilize' at a temperature.  You know your temp is stable on a Big Joe when the temperature doesn't move up or down more than 5 degrees or so over an hour period.  There is lot of thermal mass there to get saturated with the heat and it takes a while.  I like to get my grill to that STABLE point before I put the meat on.  When you put a 15lb hunk of cold meat on the grill it will give you the allusion that your temp has dropped significantly in the grill.  In reality, if you put that meat on, close the lid, and leave it alone for another hour or two without adjusting the vents, it will restabilize really close to where you had it to start with.  If you open the vents up to bring it back up to temp more quickly, you will end up overshooting your target temp.

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I often don’t wait for stabilization to occur before I throw my meat on the grill and head off to bed. I don’t use a temp control device and never have. I have cooked many many times low and slow and know exactly how much to light and how exactly where the vents go. Without fail when I awake the temp is within 10 degrees of where I want it. Took a long time to get me there, but I am sure once you figure out your vent settings after stabilization, you will be golden every time. Fill the firebox to the same spot, light the same way, and set vents in the same spot and you will get the same results. I do not vary my settings much whether with new gaskets or trashed gaskets. I pretty much use the same two brands of coal, and doing that I stay consistent. Good luck.

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