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nikon5400

New Vision Pro S owner. Somewhat new to charcoal. Lots of questions :)

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Hi there.

 

I just got this grill and did my first cook - started at 200 degrees with top vent closed and finished at 250 with top vent opened. 

After I was done I closed top and bottom vents. 2 hours later some charcoal was still burning red, even-though both vents were closed. 8 hours later I still had some charcoal pieces left, so it wasn't all burned but maybe fire didn't get to those pieces

 

I know some smoke came out from the closed top vent and little from the thermometer seal. I'll check top vent tomorrow, to see if gasket material is good.

I want to do a dry run to see where it's leaking. What's the best way to test it?

 

I noticed a lot of condensation inside the grill when I lifted the electric lighter door. I guess this is normal, as long as it does't rust.

 

Should I cover stone with foil paper? I brushed all 3 sides with virgin oil before the first cook. 

 

I have a few bags of wood chips left from my propane smoking days. Should I just dump chips on the lump charcoal or should I use foil paper or the cast iron smoker box I have? If latter, should I place the foil/smoker box on the charcoal or on the lava stone?

 

I also have a few bags of pellets. Is there a way to use it in kamado without buying additional parts? 

 

Do you guys recommend water pan for smokes or not? Meat on my kamado grill was a little dry, that's why I went with Kamado. My first cook was brined chicken, it came out perfect but I didn't try the brined chicken with pellet and propane smokers. 

 

Sorry if any of my questions are answered already in other treads.

 

Thanks

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I don't see a way to edit my post... 

...Do you guys recommend water pan for smokes or not? Meat on my PELLET GRILL was a little dry, that's why I went with Kamado. My first cook was brined chicken, it came out perfect but I didn't try the brined chicken with pellet and propane smokers. 

 

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I would get a few more cooks on it before you get too excited about chasing leaks. Minor leaks might go away once you get a little bit of buildup. Not sure how to put that without making it sound bad. It’s not like your grill will be “dirty” but the vaporized fat and whatnot from cooking may help.

 

Some people foil and some don’t. Not sure you needed to oil it unless that is recommended for the Vision lava stone. I foil, but I can be a little over the top about keeping things clean. But you can always clean a dirty stone with a higher heat cook as long as you don’t get too carried away. If the position is low you don’t want to trap too much heat in the firebox if you were to really let it get hot. 

 

Skip in the water pan. Not necessary at all. When using a drip pan set on your stone, it can be a good idea to use a spacer or sorts (some use copper elbows, others use little balls of aluminum foil) to create an air gap so you don’t have burning fat in it. 

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1 hour ago, nikon5400 said:

After I was done I closed top and bottom vents. 2 hours later some charcoal was still burning red, even-though both vents were closed. 8 hours later I still had some charcoal pieces left, so it wasn't all burned but maybe fire didn't get to those pieces

 

Been a long time since I ever checked after shutting down but if I remember correctly after I cooked and opened the dome after a couple of hours I have had a small amount of hot coals still burning

 

1 hour ago, nikon5400 said:

I know some smoke came out from the closed top vent and little from the thermometer seal. I'll check top vent tomorrow, to see if gasket material is good.

I want to do a dry run to see where it's leaking. What's the best way to test it?

 

This normal , I will probably get some hate for this but I see a lot of people on here so concerned on here about seal and dollar tests and for the most part to me is just wasted energy , unless it is some huge leaking air flow there is no need to worry about it and just learn your vent settings for you cooker

 

1 hour ago, nikon5400 said:

..Do you guys recommend water pan for smokes or not? Meat on my PELLET GRILL was a little dry, that's why I went with Kamado. My first cook was brined chicken, it came out perfect but I didn't try the brined chicken with pellet and propane smokers. 

 

no water pan needed that the beauty of having a Kamado

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Do you guys get condensation in the winter? I get too much condensation when it cooks. If I open lighter door the water is dripping. 

 

I cooked today, with charcoal at the holes level, maybe slightly above and after about 2-3 hours of steady 225 the temperature started dropping. I removed everything and while I still had some charcoal left it was cold, I was able to touch it. The area by the lighter door was wet. I think it was just under 40 today.

The plate got some rust already..grill been outside for a few days only, used once before today and covered when not used. I guess condensation resulted in rust, but that's just too quick for a brand new grill. 

 

 

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low temp cooks often produce moisture in my Vision S too.  spring, summer, fall, winter.  it's not season-specific.  for me, it seems to happen with the larger cuts (or very full grill) on prolonged low and slow.

i was suspect the first time it happened to me while i was learning, so i asked and it was confirmed that this is not uncommon. 

lotta good folks on here with a lotta great knowledge from their own experience.  so my turn to pass a wee bit your way.

my most recent low & slow was on christmas eve and i did a full packer brisket for 12+hr and it never stopped dripping out the bottom (below the vent dials) so i decided very early on with this cook to keep an aluminum pan under to catch it all.  pretty much liquid smoke.

it's nothing for you to be concerned about, other than possible staining where it's dripping.

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Is it metal parts that attract moister? I wonder if other kamados without electric starter door have the same amount of condensation. While electric starter seems like a very nice option, is it more efficient than weber cubes? 

so far I'm happy with this smoker, just worried a bit about rust after very first use. 

 

Another question - if after I'm done cooking I can touch grill everywhere...  do I still need to wait before putting the cover on? If I cooked at 225-300 and when done all the vents are closed, is there a chance the temperature may rise ? 

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3 hours ago, nikon5400 said:

Another question - if after I'm done cooking I can touch grill everywhere...  do I still need to wait before putting the cover on? If I cooked at 225-300 and when done all the vents are closed, is there a chance the temperature may rise ? 

 

I wouldn’t risk it. You could bump a vent getting the cover on and situated. I am really picky about having my grills covered all the time, but I always wait until the next day. 

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Nothing you discribe in your shut down details sounds out of the normal range. I learned to cook on a Vision Pro C, which except for a few cosmetic differences is the same grill as yours. When the grill was new and until it really seasoned with numerous cooks, my shutdown times took longer to extinguish. The shut down time just gets progressively shorter as you continue to use your grill. The more you cook the faster your grill seasons. I would not be too quick to put the cover on a warm grill, those things are expensive and you don't want to melt it or damage it. I just left my grill uncovered overnigt and covered it the next morning or day. Happy Cooking.

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Thanks for the replies.

 

I have another question -

I did 3 cooks so far following the directions on this site (Temperature Control by Vision Company Owner)

1st cook, charcoal just under the holes, 1 chicken. Went very smooth, almost set it and forget it. 

2nd cook, charcoal just under the holes, 10lb pork, 2 shelves - ran out of charcoal. Had to add some.

3rd cook with charcoal just above the holes, then I moved charcoal to the middle thinking it'd distribute heat more evenly with lava stone. 10lb chicken quarters on the rack, bottom shelf only.  Have lots of charcoal remaining 

 

When I put meat in, grill is at ~~200-225. However, with my last 2 cooks an hour or two later I had temperature drop to 200 or just below. I had to play with top vent, open dome (add charcoal in 2nd cook).. to bring it to ~250

 

Why didn't it hold the temperature the last 2 cooks? I didn't really check all the grate holes, to make sure they are not blocked and are visible. Could that be the reason? 

 

Temperature is just under 40 today.

 

Thanks

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By the way, I'm still not clear whether I should have top vent closed or partially open when I smoke (poultry, beef, pork shoulder)

I kept it closed, but that's probably the reason why temperature was dropping on my last 2 cooks

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Little late to the party. I don't wrap my stone or season. Burn gunk off on hi temp cook. Condensation I have had 6 inch grease water icy glob form on the ground after a long cook in very cold weather. When smoking you can use a drip pan. Vents for low slow are just barely open on top and bottom. You got to play around a few times to get an idea of what setting will give you a temp that you want.  Chips and pellets you can wrap in foil or mix in with lump. Search this site for smoker pot.  Fill the bowl up as high as you can. Still being able to get lava stone in. For long cooks. When you shut down the coals will go out and you might have enough lump for another couple of quick cooks.  When messing around with vents it takes time to make change. Keep practicing and keep coming here to learn more!

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I too am a little late to the party, but I'll chime in on a few things...

 

I cover my deflector stone in tin foil (top only) to keep drippings off of it.  I also use it for pizza cooks and on the rarer occasion for baking as a deflector.  I don't want any off flavors from stuff cooking off.  I've also found that the foil burns off of the bottom of the stone and I don't want that in my food! 

When I smoke, I put a shallow disposable aluminum pie pan on the deflector and fill it with water.  It is not a lot of water; say, like what one would use as a water pan.  But it is enough to keep drippings from burning and causing off flavors and it puts a touch more moisture in the dome.

 

No matter what, I get a lot of condensation dripping from the bottom of my Vision.  Irregardless of what I'm doing with it (grilling or smoking) I get some drip-age.  Smoking produces more though, obviously over a longer time.

 

As for adding smoking woods to the charcoal, I just arrange them on top of the charcoal in a circle around where I start the charcoal.  My thoughts being that as the charcoal begins to catch and burn, the grill starts heating.  About the time the grill gets up to temperature, the area of burning charcoal has spread to now catch the wood; this is about the time the kamado is up to temp enough for me to put the food on!  I don't soak the wood or wrap it in tin foil; as I mention above, foil can burn off and end up in your food.  I've never fooled with pellets but I've considered one of those metal mesh tubes for using pellets on a conventional grill/kamado.  One thing I'd consider if I were you is using pellets and chips for grilling, and chunks for smoking.  When I'm grilling steaks, burgers, chicken, etc.; I use chips to add some flavor (typically Hickory because it's strong enough to add a hint of smoke but not too powerful like Mesquite to make it taste like an ash tray).  I found more subtle woods don't add enough flavor for my tastes because they seem to require the time a low and slow smoke provides.

 

My grill leaks air.  It's not a sealed environment!  I'm okay with this.  I'm running a CyberQ bbq controller and when the fan kicks on and starts flowing air into the grill, smoke leaks out from everywhere.  It's no big deal though because the majority of the airflow is from the bottom exiting through the top.  When I shut my Vision down at the end of a cook, it still extinguishes the charcoal.  I help this process by stirring up the lit charcoal before closing her up.

 

I wait until the next day before I put the cover back on!  Generally, my procedure for shutting her down is to spread out the charcoals in the fire bowl, scrape the grates and put them back in with the deflector stone, and close the grill.  I figure the latent heat in the kamado helps cook off whatever oil and junk may still be on the grates.  As the kamado cools, I check it occasionally.  Once I'm confident the temperature is lowering, I'll wheel it back into my garage and store it for the evening away from the walls or anything else combustible.   Kamados hold heat!!!!  It's pretty cool (or actually warm :) ).  The next day I cover it and wheel it up against the wall; out of the way.  Putting the cover on while hot not only is a risky proposition, but it could also trap nasty moisture that could do funky things.

 

On the subject of the smoker holding temperatures; I think it's just a matter of fulling around with your vent settings over time and figuring out what works for you.  Also, are you loading your bowl full of charcoal?  I fill mine up!  I've also been using the aforementioned BBQ Guru Cyber Q bbq controller and it keeps really steady temperatures.  Prior to that, I found that once I got my kamado up to temperature, I just needed one of the bottom vents barely cracked open and the top vent just barely cracked open.

 

Have fun learning your Vision and creating some great food on it!!!

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I think that most folks will tell you fat cap up. This allows that fat to melt down into the meat. You will most certainly will need to add the stone. I am no expert but going with out stone might be a little hard. Dang it now i'm gone have to try with out stone!  You will want to try and get a stable grill temp of 250 or so. The top daisy wheel will be open just a sliver bottom maybe half or less. Fill the bowl up to the top allowing room for the stone. Use fire starter cube cotton ball alcohol or what method you use. The goal is to have one spot lit. Let the fire grow add stone, let it go for a few min, close lid, watch temp and as it rises start to close down vents. Ideally in about an hour you should be riding around 250 270. Hope this helps.  

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