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JCKelley

Electric starter vs starter cubes

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I have been using an electric starter on my Vision Pro-S for grilling/smoking. This weekend was my first time trying out low and slow and I used the electric starter. I was able to keep the temp around 285-290, but this was hotter than I wanted. I was told that I shouldnt use the electric starter for smoking temps, only grilling temps and that I should use paraffin cubes or another similar starter. anyone have any insight into this? can I use the electric starter, just for a shorter period of time, or with less charcoal? thanks in advance

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Never used an electric starter, but with a starter cube light one in the center for low and slow, and bring to temp slowly. Kind of like the old saying “aim small, miss small” when shooting for low temps! Also, have fun, and don’t sweat a “magic number” let it settle anywhere between 220-265ish and      Let it ride!

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+1 in the cotton ball camp.  I haven't used an electric starter.

 

I imagine you have too much charcoal burning. 

 

How long are you leaving it open when starting the fire? 

 

For long cooks, I close it down earlier and take my time getting it to temp. Also try and minimize opening the dome and peaking during the cook  Doing that tends to increase the fire size and result in higher temps.

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On 5/10/2018 at 10:25 AM, JCKelley said:

I’ve generally been leaving it open about 10 minutes while the starter is going. I mound the lump charcoal over the starter then spread it out after.

 

There's your problem. Don't spread it out. If you are going to try to smoke, it may take you 30-45 min to sneak up on the temp you want at first. Light a small spot with a starter cube or cotton ball and leave it alone. The goal is the smallest fire that will get to temp. If you spread it out it just lights more charcoal and puts out too much heat. I don't leave the dome open when lighting if I'm smoking either. I typically make a "volcano", put a soaked cotton ball or cube in the top, then put a couple pcs of lump on top of it, ease the heat deflector on, make sure the vents are open and close the lid. you should keep seeing little whisps of smoke to tell you the fire is slowly going. When it hits 150-160 I usually cut down the vents to about half. then at 200 I shut them down a little more. by 225 the top is as closed as I can get it without completely closing it and the bottom is almost closed. I have a classic B so We have different vents or I would give you better detail on the settings. once you have it there the vents really don't change much throughout the cook typically. 

 

That's how I used to do it anyway....

 

Now I light it the same way close the top vent, set my flameboss on 225. Once it gets to temp I put the meat on and go to bed...

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