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Anyone have any experience/thoughts on this grill? I have read so many times ...not necessarily about the Kong...of new kamados not being able to operate at  low and slow temps (240°ish). Anyone had this problem on a Kong?

 

In general, what is the remedy? Less charcoal or only trying to better seal the grill (something that it seems to me should have been done properly at the factory)?

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I don't think less charcoal is a remedy for a Kamado - you're going to want to be able to fill your firebox and manage your fire by controlling airflow with your vents.  If there are significant leaks, then sealing the grill would be the remedy. However, there are a number of people who have cooked with obvious leaks (such as no gaskets) for extended periods of time with no real issues.... 

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On 11/12/2017 at 8:26 PM, KismetKamado said:

I don't think less charcoal is a remedy for a Kamado - you're going to want to be able to fill your firebox and manage your fire by controlling airflow with your vents.  If there are significant leaks, then sealing the grill would be the remedy. However, there are a number of people who have cooked with obvious leaks (such as no gaskets) for extended periods of time with no real issues.... 

Yup, Kismet, hit the nail on the head. Temp is regulated by the amount of air you feed the fire, not the amoungt of lump in your fire box. A very small fire in the middle of a full load of lump will burn at the temps you desire for a long time. Conversely, a big fire in a small pile of lump will burn hot for a short amount of time. Your vents are the key to controling the amount of air you feed the fire. Think about it, low and slow cooks generaly run for several hours so you will need ample fuel to keep even a small fire going for something like a butt or a brisket.  I am not familiar with a Kong, so I checked it out on the net. Your Kong grill  uses Auplex ceramic components, like Vision, Pit Boss, and a host of other new kamado companies. Auplex component grills are generally very capable grills. I cooked on a Vision when I was learning to cook on a kamado. I am pretty confident with a little trial and error you will be able to hold temp on your Kong pretty well. I used to fill my Vision with lump way up past the air holes just below where the deflector hangs. With a smal fire lit with one starter cube, or an alcohol soaked cottom ball set in the middle of your lump you will get a nice small manageable fire   If you set your vents to a sliver on both the top and bottom and let it sit. Probably take 45 mins to an hour to see the nice blue smoke and have your grill settle in at a temp. Remember, it is much easier to raise temp than to bring it down.  Shut you vents way down and give your fire time to establish itself. Relax and chill, have a beer, listen to the birds chrip Enjoy the Zen of kamado cooking. .  If you rush it,  light to much lump, or feed the fire to much air, it is easy to overshoot your target temp. Happy Cooking. and Have Fun. 

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I have had the Kong for around 8 months now and can report that there are no issues maintaining temps. I have smoked ribs at least a dozen times for 6 hours and once you get it dialed in at 225 it will hold for hours. It's a great value. Everything on it is durable and built to last. I would recommend it for sure. 

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