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Bronson

Charcoal not lasting.

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Cooking 2 shoulders today and after about 6+ hours the heat started dropping. Meat was at 161° and was running Kamado Joe at 250°. Started opening bottom and top vents trying to keep Joe temp steady however temp kept dropping. When I decided I wasn’t going to be able to get temp back without drastic measures I took shoulders off an put them in a warm oven just to hold till I got temp back up. It had dropped to about 200°.  I opened the Kamado up an although there were still coals the middle coals were mostly burned up and the perimeter had never caught fire enough to keep temp up. 

I added charcoal to the basket and allowed the fire to settle then put the shoulders back on. Now as I set about 4 hours later my temp is again been dropping out for the last 45 min. 

I am using a bit of Royal Oak Lump with mostly Kamado Joe Lump. I keep it in my garage. I started the cook with no used charcoal. 

I guess I want to say charcoal issues but i had no trouble lighting it. I also had this same issue back in May with a cook, same charcoal. 

The only modification I have made to my Kamado is a kick ash basket. I am not running the bottom plate. I took it out when I added the kick ash basket. 

Your thoughts please. 

 

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21 minutes ago, landscaper said:

You didn't start with enough charcoal.  Fill it up till its about to hit the deflector.  

I know that I could have put a little more in (and should have) knowing the previous issue I had. 

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I switched back to the OEM fire grate and ditched the KAB, for one thing the basket reduces the amount of charcoal I can load in plus mine burns more evenly with the OEM grate installed.

Clean up is harder without the KAB but I'm retired and have plenty of time to clean my cooker/s..

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1 hour ago, Chasdev said:

I switched back to the OEM fire grate and ditched the KAB, for one thing the basket reduces the amount of charcoal I can load in plus mine burns more evenly with the OEM grate installed.

Clean up is harder without the KAB but I'm retired and have plenty of time to clean my cooker/s..

This is the reason I mentioned the KAB and not using the original fire grate with all the holes. 

As mentioned I had this to happen once previously. However both times were after the addition of my KAB and with this same batch charcoal. 

My philosophy is usually to only change one thing at a time thus you can narrow the problem down this way but the last two long cooks were nightmares. 

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I'll take a stab at this. 

 

I too agree with not enough lump but also you are probably running your top vent open more than needed. That lets a lot of heat escape causing you to run your bottom vent more open than needed for your target temp. This will always result in higher lump consumption. 

 

A kickashbasket won't result in higher lump consumption by itself. Because it has better air flow than a plate with holes you probably have to adjust your vents to smaller openings compared to before you had the kickashbasket. 

 

 

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On 12/23/2018 at 4:25 PM, ckreef said:

I'll take a stab at this. 

 

I too agree with not enough lump but also you are probably running your top vent open more than needed. That lets a lot of heat escape causing you to run your bottom vent more open than needed for your target temp. This will always result in higher lump consumption. 

 

A kickashbasket won't result in higher lump consumption by itself. Because it has better air flow than a plate with holes you probably have to adjust your vents to smaller openings compared to before you had the kickashbasket. 

 

 

I agree with ckreef.  I have a KAB in my KJ Classic without the base plate (it was cracked and broke into pieces) and I had to modify my starting technique as well.  I use less cotton balls to start it and close it down earlier with tighter vent settings.  I also try to keep the lid closed as much as possible during the cook.  As much as I like to check progress, the added air/fuel for the fire normally results in a bump in temperature.  My longest cook recently was a rack of St Louis cut ribs and I had plenty of charcoal left afterwards.  If you like the convenience of the KAB, modify your technique a little and you will be right back on track.

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6 hours ago, Bronson said:

Those of you running a kick ash basket (KAB) do you run with or without the bottom plate? It sounds like most of you are running without it. 

 

I've removed the bottom plate from mine.

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7 hours ago, Bronson said:

Those of you running a kick ash basket (KAB) do you run with or without the bottom plate? It sounds like most of you are running without it. 

 

I use mine without the grate, and have had no issues - even on longer cooks (12 + hours).  I have not gone much past that - with a pork butt I rarely need to, but a brisket I do on occasion.  However, I have not done a full packer on the KY (not sure it even fit the classic) - I do those on my 22" WSM.  I have found with the more open air flow of the KAB - I can raise temps much easier - Temps lower about the same either way. 

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