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Fly High or Fly Home

Frustrated Vision B Classic Owner - Runaway Temps

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Greetings everyone,

 

I've been trying my hand at Kamado grilling for a good year now with mixed results.

 

My problem is, I cannot get the temperature to ever stay consistent. The pain in the rear likes to run away from me which makes low and slow cooks incredibly difficult. 

I've already ruined a brisket (too dry) and burnt a salmon wellington. 

 

First things first, I performed the RTV gasket mod around the ash vent on the bottom to seal it. I also made sure the felt seal is good. No leaks whatsoever. 

 

I've read the following instructions at the top of this forum as well as this informative post by Nunyabiz on page 5. He cleverly used the top vent to control temps and left the bottom one wide open.

Even with all of these tips and tricks, I still cannot get the temperature to sit reliably either using Nunyabiz's advice above or the instructions in the booklet. 

 

I'm smoking some ribs today for the arrival of the beloved in-laws. I started with Nunya's tips above and set the top vent at 0.6 (a little over halfway between 0 and 1) and the bottom vent wide open. 

The temperature started to creep up past 300. Frustrated and angry, I removed the tray and heat deflector and doused the coals with a big heaping glass of water. 

 

This helped a ton in reducing the temperature quickly. However, now the SOB is back up at 300. I ended up setting the bottom grate at 1 to snuff the hooligan back down.

 

Clearly, the fire is in control of me. How do I regain control of this flame? If it helps, right now I have a combo of mesquite hardwood, some generic hardwood, and smoking apple/cherry. The mesquite is left over from a previous cook. 

 

Appreciate any and all advice. 

 

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First thing...NEVER add water to a hot ceramic kamado. You can damage the cooker.

 

I'm not familar with Nunyabiz's  tutorial, however I only run the bottom vent wide open when I'm cooking for max temps to sear steaks. For smoking temperature cooks, my bottom vent is usually 1/4 open. I do have a kick ash basket in my Vision. If your're running the stock fire grate you might need to open it a tad more. 

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42 minutes ago, Fly High or Fly Home said:

Greetings everyone,

 

I've been trying my hand at Kamado grilling for a good year now with mixed results.

 

My problem is, I cannot get the temperature to ever stay consistent. The pain in the rear likes to run away from me which makes low and slow cooks incredibly difficult. 

I've already ruined a brisket (too dry) and burnt a salmon wellington. 

 

First things first, I performed the RTV gasket mod around the ash vent on the bottom to seal it. I also made sure the felt seal is good. No leaks whatsoever. 

 

I've read the following instructions at the top of this forum as well as this informative post by Nunyabiz on page 5. He cleverly used the top vent to control temps and left the bottom one wide open.

Even with all of these tips and tricks, I still cannot get the temperature to sit reliably either using Nunyabiz's advice above or the instructions in the booklet. 

 

I'm smoking some ribs today for the arrival of the beloved in-laws. I started with Nunya's tips above and set the top vent at 0.6 (a little over halfway between 0 and 1) and the bottom vent wide open. 

The temperature started to creep up past 300. Frustrated and angry, I removed the tray and heat deflector and doused the coals with a big heaping glass of water. 

 

This helped a ton in reducing the temperature quickly. However, now the SOB is back up at 300. I ended up setting the bottom grate at 1 to snuff the hooligan back down.

 

Clearly, the fire is in control of me. How do I regain control of this flame? If it helps, right now I have a combo of mesquite hardwood, some generic hardwood, and smoking apple/cherry. The mesquite is left over from a previous cook. 

 

Appreciate any and all advice. 

 

As stated never add water to a hot grill. I would recommend cleaning out your grill and inspecting it for any cracks, caused by the water. I have never been an advocate to trying to cook with the bottom vent wide open. You should work with both vents to get the temp stabilized. For low temp cooks, try just opening the bottom vent about 1 inch and the top about ½ inch. As the temps reach your desired point start controlling the temps with small changes to the top vent only.  Wait at least 10 minutes for any changes to stabilize before you make any further changes or you will just be chasing the temps. After you have some more experience you will know what vent setting will get you in the ballpark of what you want and then you can fine tune from there.

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Thanks for the advice Earl. I generally keep it very clean and this time was no exception. 

 

I believe my issue may have been with the bloody spring-loaded shock absorber. Even with the dollar bill test, I sometimes would see smoke sneaking out from the felt. 

 

Once I removed it, my temps have settled at roughly 260*. I'll keep making minor adjustments to lower it down to 225. Thankfully, the ribs look great and aren't burned at all. I'll let you all know how it turns out. 

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Thanks again Ret and Slap for your advice and patience. 

 

Turns out, the issue was with the lid shock. Once I removed it, I was able to get my temperatures to stay locked in at 225. Odd how much extra modding one needs to do with this particular model.  The ribs turned out pretty good. 

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good read!   Is that shock adjustable to lower  / raise or is it fixed in that position thus making you need to remove it for it to seal right? 

 

 

A question for someone that may know....

 

 

Other then that are there various felt thicknesses that you can purchase to get a tighter seal? 

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I haven't done too many mods to my Vision. One of my bands snapped so I had to install a replacement. I decided that was a good time to upgrade the gasket. I removed the lid shock and side tables at that time. That was a couple of years ago. I get some smoke from the top vent so it might be time to replace that gasket again. 

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You have more patience than I do if you have been working for a year to maintain temps. I think I can do an okay job working with the vents alone, but if I am doing a long cook I just use a Party Q. It cost me $150, but I would say it is worth it. Just a couple days ago I threw a pork shoulder on at about 11pm. Between the Party Q and the Smoke thermo set up I felt fine going to bed. If there were any problems the thermo alarm would wake me up. Got a good nights rest and woke up to the smoker still at the temp I set it to the night before. 

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20 minutes ago, DrunkenMeatFist said:

You have more patience than I do if you have been working for a year to maintain temps. I think I can do an okay job working with the vents alone, but if I am doing a long cook I just use a Party Q. It cost me $150, but I would say it is worth it. Just a couple days ago I threw a pork shoulder on at about 11pm. Between the Party Q and the Smoke thermo set up I felt fine going to bed. If there were any problems the thermo alarm would wake me up. Got a good nights rest and woke up to the smoker still at the temp I set it to the night before. 

4

 

I grill and sear a lot more which thankfully is far more forgiving of air leaks than a low and slow smoke is. 

But anything that needs a consistent temperature was a frustrating nightmare. I still shudder at my ruined brisket. 

 

 

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When i bought mine, removed the shock on the front and added felt to the backside of the lower door to seal it off a bit better. It has worked vary well, thought I don;t use ether one of the Kamado's for low and slow. The vision can maintain  temp nicely, 350 grilling lower vent about 1/4 open and use the top for fine adjustment. 

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I have an S-Series Professional and I've found that once I get temperatures rising, I need to adjust my venting appropriately to maintain the levels I'm looking for.  For smoking, generally I start out with all vents wide open to promote airflow through the kamado and get the fire going.  Once I get temperatures rising, I open just one of my bottom vents roughly 1/2" and my top vent only about 1/8" open.  This seems to keep the temps at a comfortable smoking temperature and allow for movement of smoke through the kamado. 

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If you want temps sub 300 degrees, close that bottom vent to 1 inch or narrower.
You are getting WAY to much air coming in to expect the temp to stay low for long.

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I am glad I saw this thread. I have had my Classic B for 2 years and gave up on it after a few months. I DID buy it on clearance at Sam's after reading so many positive reviews here and I waited for the clearance in fact as it was to be a secondary grill to my Primo XL which I love and no problems with.

 

I DID expect to have to modify the ash catch tray, bottom vent and top vent just like I did on my Akorn, and I did so. It will not hold a temp below 340*. Period! I tried every trick I had learned in 3 years of Kamado style grilling short of rebuilding the grill itself and I am no engineer, and it just will not cook low and slow. Several failed cooks later, i just parked it on my deck at the river and I always use my gasser there instead. 

 

I have decided tonight to try removing the dome shocks as suggested here, and I also pulled the trigger on a Flame Boss for it. Yeah, I only spent $400 bucks on it but right now, it's no better than a $40 briquet special from the dollar store so might as well try again to make it usable. I just did not expect to have spend over $300 to make a $400 grill do what it is supposed to do. 

 

I do have renewed hope though!

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14 hours ago, Ratman said:

I am glad I saw this thread. I have had my Classic B for 2 years and gave up on it after a few months. I DID buy it on clearance at Sam's after reading so many positive reviews here and I waited for the clearance in fact as it was to be a secondary grill to my Primo XL which I love and no problems with.

 

I DID expect to have to modify the ash catch tray, bottom vent and top vent just like I did on my Akorn, and I did so. It will not hold a temp below 340*. Period! I tried every trick I had learned in 3 years of Kamado style grilling short of rebuilding the grill itself and I am no engineer, and it just will not cook low and slow. Several failed cooks later, i just parked it on my deck at the river and I always use my gasser there instead. 

 

I have decided tonight to try removing the dome shocks as suggested here, and I also pulled the trigger on a Flame Boss for it. Yeah, I only spent $400 bucks on it but right now, it's no better than a $40 briquet special from the dollar store so might as well try again to make it usable. I just did not expect to have spend over $300 to make a $400 grill do what it is supposed to do. 

 

I do have renewed hope though!

You'll get it figured out!  Don't worry, you don't need to spend a lot of money on gadgets to get her rolling right.  Although, the FlameBoss looks like some good kit!  I've found that the vents barely need opening once you get the temperature where you want it.  I barely crack my top of bottom vents for the best low-n-slow smoking temps when I'm not using my CyberQ.

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