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Having trouble getting jr temp up for indirect!


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Hello everyone,


I'm still trying to get the

 hang of these things!   I'm trying to make these chicken grillers using indirect.  Want to cook at 350ish   


To start I add new lump.   light starter.   Starts warming.   Around 200. Place deflector as shown.  I figured if I raised it up more it might allow for better draft?   I had the top vent opem with daisy wheel open and the bottom about 2 inches open.   It just seemed to stall at 225 or so.  It probably sat there for 15 minutes till I increased the draft more.  Pretty much wide open on both till it go to 300 or so then closed it back down till where I have in pictures below and sat around 380 for the cook.


does it normally take that long to heat up when doing indirect?   Does placing It too soon decrease the air flow to much thus decrease fire output?


just looking for thoughts on how to help guide these along!!  My thought is if barely wants to get to this point with indirect how

the heck am I suppose to get it to 500-600 for a pizza that I'm itching to try!  

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I normally light a starter

Leave lid open for 10-20min

Install all hardware (deflector, grates ext)

Leave both vents wide open til it hits 600f

Choke vents down a little so it doesnt go too high

Start cooking

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No experience with the Jr but it sounds like you're closing down the lower vent too soon. For 300-450 or so I light in 2-3 places and leave the lower vent fully open. I keep the lid open until the starters smolder (10 minutes maybe) then shut the lid with the top vent fully open. When I'm within 50-100° of my target temp (depending on how fast the temp is rising) I close the lower vent about halfway or an inch more open for 400+. I'll start to close down the upper vent when I'm 25-50° away from my target. At these temps I find it easy to stabilize at my target but beware that you may need to further choke the vents down as the ceramic begins to absorb heat. I can usually control just from the upper vent at that point but I'll adjust the lower if needed. Once you've had a few cooks the lower vent position for a target temp becomes more intuitive.


Airflow is important! Especially if you want to hit 600. Completely clean out all ash for high temp cooking and build your lump pile with larger pieces on the bottom to ensure good airflow.


The Jr will surely vary from my exact methods. Just have to get some cooks in to learn the ins and outs.



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Oops, I left that out. When I cook low and slow I add the deflectors as soon as I'm going to close the lid, usually with one propped a little out of position if I'm going to add smoking wood shortly before cooking, which I manipulate into place with the ash tool. I like the deflectors to heat with the cooker on the theory it avoids cracking them. Most of the time that I'm cooking 350+ I'm using only one deflector for 2 zone so I throw it in right away. If I'm baking or roasting indirect at 400 or so I'm likely letting the fire build a bit to maybe 250-300 before putting in the deflectors, same time that I'm initially closing down the lower vent.

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Yup, I don't force the cooker. I light with one alcohol soaked cotton ball in the middle of the charcoal. Bottom vent wide open and the lid open. 10 min or so, I put the deflector plate, rack and grate in, close the lid with the top and bottom vent wide open. As the thermometer gets within 50*+ of my target, I close down the bottom vent and the top vent, with the top being the critical control.

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