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MrT

Maintaining Temps

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On 2/17/2019 at 9:37 AM, Golf Griller said:

I would also suggest that you put your heat deflector and cooking grate in while you are bringing your grill up to temperature. The cold heat deflector and cooking grate is going to cool off your grill.

I'll suggest there are no hard and fast rules here. Everything @Golf Grillersaid is true, but there's still room to experiment, depending on what you want to do. 

 

For low-n-slow cooks, I leave them out until the fire matures, giving me good-tasting, clear smoke. The grill's kind of hot by then (the price of clear smoke), so cold deflectors, grates and food are a good thing for temperature control. Dial in the appropriate vent settings for the target temperature and give it an hour to stabilize. 

 

That said, I had an Akorn, and my only complaint was temperature control; it ran great at ~275F and higher, but the fire tended to slowly go out when set to run any lower. Others have not had that problem. I took the ceramic cure. 

 

Have fun,

Frank

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Oh, one other thing that will affect temps - taking pictures!

 

Besides checking for doneness, rotating or flipping the food,  there's the extra time with the lid open trying to get that perfect shot. 

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5 hours ago, lunchman said:

Oh, one other thing that will affect temps - taking pictures!

 

Besides checking for doneness, rotating or flipping the food,  there's the extra time with the lid open trying to get that perfect shot. 

Rule 1:  If you're lookin you aint cookin

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Some more good info and replies, thanks guys!  I did some burgers a couple of nights ago.  Even though I had to readjust the dampers to get the temp back to where I needed it after opening the lid, I was able to get it stable in a desirable range.  I guess I shouldn't be too irritated that I have to readjust after opening the lid, as long as I'm able to get it to stabilize afterwards.  I've been making sure to use plenty of lump charcoal for every cook.  I had been using a little less because I had read some other forums where folks were saying that if you used too much lump charcoal that the fire would burn way too hot regardless of the damper settings.  So I don't know how true that is or is not?  There's no indicator "fill" line to use as a general guideline.  Any hints or tips on how to know when I've got a good amount of lump charcoal?

 

I'm going to be smoking a couple of pork tenderloins tomorrow night, so I'm excited to get to use my Smoke thermometer and see if there are any temp differences between it and the dome thermometer (which I'm sure there will be!) 

 

Again, thanks guys!

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The amount of charcoal does not cause or prevent high temps, the amount of oxygen that that gets to the burning coals determines it.

That's why a blacksmith uses a billows to force more air into the burning coals, to raise temp.

If your cooker's temps run away with the inlet closed off there's an air intake leak.

If the temps are too low, open the inlet vent.

Opening the exhaust allows more air to pass through BUT is also dumps heat from the top of the dome.

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alright, y'all.... last night i smoke a couple of pork tenderloins and they came out perfect!  no problems getting the temperature to stabilize... i statede around the 250 degree mark.  i took my time, was patient and it worked out for me..  lol  thanks for all the tips and advice!

 

now I want to try and smoke some ribs this weekend.  Is there a certain amount of time per pound?  or, is it just smoke until the internal temperature is reached?  Looking forward to this!

 

Thanks!

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11 hours ago, MrT said:

now I want to try and smoke some ribs this weekend.  Is there a certain amount of time per pound?  or, is it just smoke until the internal temperature is reached?  Looking forward to this!

I have learned the goal is to cook them until there is bend in the rack of ribs when it is picked up. I just have not had a lot of luck with ribs. Still in the learning mode on them.

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Which ribs are you planning to cook?

St.Louis take longer to cook than babyback, AND your chosen cook temp shortens or lengthens the time.

In general, no less than three hours (for hot and fast) to no more than six hours for low and slow.

If babyback I try to cook them for 4/5 at around 250/275.

Wrap in foil or not, depends on how you like the meat to "pull" off the bone.

I like both but I'm starting to lean toward no wrap just because it takes less effort/fussing around with the lid open.

 

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On 2/19/2019 at 9:11 AM, Ogopogo said:

In general, try to leave the dampers alone for about half an hour before you make any adjustments as sometimes the fire will adjust itself. Best of all is just to minimize how often and how long you open the lid.

 

this is the best advice that I could possibly thing of.  Once I hit a temp, I very rarely have to touch the vents to adjust, even after opening the lid or adding meat.  Each will cause a drop, but it will stabilize back to that number  fairly quick.

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I saw areally good post on here about getting to know your kamado.  I can't find it otherwise iwould have linked it.

 

Basically it said spend a day not cooking but learning the way your kamado adjusts to changes in the vents. 

 

So set your grill up.  Get to 225f and hold.  Mark the vent position.  Adjust the vents till you get 250, 275, 300, 350, 400 and so on.  Take note of the vent position is. 

 

Once you know those vents settings they won't change. There might be some factors like wind, type of charcoal etc where u might need to change slightly but all in all the vent settings won't change.   Take the time to learn where they are and how your grill adjusts to changes in the vent positions. 

 

Best advice i got. 

 

Will see if ican find the post as it was more elloquent than my description.

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On ‎2‎/‎23‎/‎2019 at 3:23 AM, MrT said:

I had been using a little less because I had read some other forums where folks were saying that if you used too much lump charcoal that the fire would burn way too hot regardless of the damper settings.  So I don't know how true that is or is not?  There's no indicator "fill" line to use as a general guideline.  Any hints or tips on how to know when I've got a good amount of lump charcoal?

 

IME the thing about charcoal amounts and temperatures doesn't apply to the total amount of charcoal in the pit, but rather the lit surface area. This is something you'll have to learn for your own pit and cooking style, but in general when you light the pit for a low temperature cook you don't want the fire to spread the way it does when you dump a lit chimney over a coal pile, or even when you leave the vents and lid open for a long time to make sure the fire catches sufficiently. A kamado requires very little lit surface area to maintain a sub-300 chamber temperature, no more than a few visible square inches in my steel Akorn plus whatever part of the fire is concealed (fire tends to spread in the direction of the oxygen source, so when you light the top of a coal pile the fire moves down toward the ash pan/vent). If this glowing lit area gets too large, it's going to be a pain to bring the temperature back down without smothering/choking, which can yield some nasty smoke. I've seen a video where a cook gets a too-large starting fire and could only bring it under control by pulling a large ignited chunk of charcoal out of the pit, which I don't recommend for obvious reasons. Start with a very small lit area since it's always easier to heat up than cool down.

 

In general you should fill the chamber all the way to the diffuser. Just be careful to not choke off the airflow with little pieces or crumbs.

Edited by Ogopogo
chose = choke

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Great tips, y'all!!  After starting to fire the grill up a little earlier than usual when cooking, it's helped!  I've smoked 3 or 4 times since this post and each time I'm using the same settings for temps.  The Smoke temp probe is a *REALLY* nice addition!  Anyways, I did my first long 5 hour smoke yesterday with some ribs and they came out friggin' awesome!  Then, I threw on some chicken afterwards for another (almost) 2 hours.  The whole time it maintained a 245 to 260'ish temperature range.  Y'all are right....  it just takes some patience.  I'm not 100% there yet, but I'm getting there.  Thanks again!

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1 hour ago, MrT said:

Great tips, y'all!!  After starting to fire the grill up a little earlier than usual when cooking, it's helped!  I've smoked 3 or 4 times since this post and each time I'm using the same settings for temps.  The Smoke temp probe is a *REALLY* nice addition!  Anyways, I did my first long 5 hour smoke yesterday with some ribs and they came out friggin' awesome!  Then, I threw on some chicken afterwards for another (almost) 2 hours.  The whole time it maintained a 245 to 260'ish temperature range.  Y'all are right....  it just takes some patience.  I'm not 100% there yet, but I'm getting there.  Thanks again!

Pic from the rib smoke yesterday.....

 

 

IMG_20190305_143906.jpg

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