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John Setzler

Offset quality cook in a Kamado?

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I had some time for experimenting this afternoon.....  I wanted to play around with having a small hot fire in the kamado where the wood stays ignited and doesn't smolder...  I got a small bed or charcoal lit and set a decent sized chunk of wood on it and hit it with my propane torch.  It didn't want to stay ignited initially, but I closed the dome lid and opened the vents fully for maximum airflow.  The wood chunk finally did ignite and it has stayed lit like this for quite a while now.  I odn't have any heat deflectors set up in the grill at the moment and the dome temp is riding around 250 with a good bit of stability.  It's a very small and clean burning fire.  It has a lot of potential and I intend to keep playing around with the idea until I ultimately do a cook wtih it....

 

 

More updates in the future....

 

 

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43 minutes ago, ndg_2000 said:

Mmm this looks like it's going somewhere. Were the coals on the other side of your divider lit as well? 

 

No... just the small pile with the wood chunk.  I am gonna do a cook with this technique this week... just something that is short to start with so I can see if the flavor profile created by it is good or not.

 

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Chef Eric Gephart from Kamado Joe does most of his cooks this way.  The tradeoff of doing it is just the fact that you have to maintain the fire and you have to let go of the unnecessary draw of cooking at precise temperatures.  Once you realize that you can cook adequately in temperature ranges rather than at specific numbers, cooking outdoors gets so much easier :)

 

Low - 225°F - 300°F

Medium - 325°F - 375°F

High - 400°F - 500°F

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A little different than where John is going with his testing, but because of the poor low/slow cooking of my keg, I've since converted to higher temperature smoking and have had stellar results.  You don't need to do 8-10 hour cooks.

 

After watching Harry Soo's videos on youtube, I've been doing brisket, pork shoulders etc at around 375 with a much larger amount of wood in the firebox, placed UNDERNEATH the lump.  I can place 4-5 fist size chunks of wood under the lump, bring it up to around 375, and get great blue smoke for at least a couple hours, and thinner smoke for an hour or so after that.  Usually by then, the meat is ready to wrap and I have started to finish them in the oven (to save lump)....been working great.

 

No stalls, faster, much more predictable cooks, and very clean smoke flavours.

 

Only downside is that there is not a lot of hardwood around here, so the chunks are a few $$.

 

I'm looking forward to your results John as you may have provided my another avenue to look at....

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16 hours ago, John Setzler said:

 

You could maintain it as long as you were willing to do so.

Ah I misread your original intent.  Your comment in OP was that you are maintaining 250 in dome WITHOUT deflector plates, so you can then feed the beast?    That is indeed interesting. Would be just like back in my stick burner days.  maintain a bed of coals, add a log when blue smoke quits.

 

When you get the procedure dialed in, a video would be worth a million words for those like me with low reading comprehension!

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Hey John, any further developments? I'm also on a similar all wood fire quest with my Vision kamado. When using a heat deflector it seems you have to increase airflow in order to get clean smoke. I've had to prop open my exhaust vent and it works, good smoke with that perfect perfume of wood flavor. The bad news is because of the faster airflow the smoke is moving so fast through the chamber that it doesn't have time to flavor the meat. I'll keep experimenting but fear we may be trying to force a square peg into a round hole.

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