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cmpeisker

Temperature Surge When Opening Lid

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Hi all,

 

I recently got myself a Kamado Joe Classic II and have had a blast cooking on it.  I also have a set of temperature probes that I use to gauge grill grate temperature (a Thermopro with two probes) and I noticed something while cooking; if I lift the lid to take the ribs/butt/etc. out to wrap or even lift the lid in general for any amount of time, the grate (probe) temperature will raise ~75 Degrees Fahrenheit when it resettles out at equilibrium.  Gauge temperature on the grill remains relatively unchanged (i.e. much lower than probe temp).

 

At this point, I will have to completely choke out the fire (lower and top vents almost completely closed) to lower grill temp and the grill becomes very sensitive to air vent adjustments.

 

Any ideas what is going on here?  Should I choke out the bottom vent when I'm opening the grill?  Could it be a charcoal selection/distribution problem?  Thanks in advance!

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Opening the lid introduces more oxygen to the fire so temp spikes are normal. To minimize the spikes don't keep the lid open too long. Open and do your business. Alternately, you could close the bottom vent before opening the lid if you plan to keep the lid open for more than a few moments. Either way, after you close the lid the kamado should settle back to temperature.

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22 minutes ago, SmoovD said:

Opening the lid introduces more oxygen to the fire so temp spikes are normal. To minimize the spikes don't keep the lid open too long. Open and do your business. Alternately, you could close the bottom vent before opening the lid if you plan to keep the lid open for more than a few moments. Either way, after you close the lid the kamado should settle back to temperature.

Very true, To  accomplish tasks such as wrapping or anything else that takes more than just a couple of seconds, the best practice is to remove what your cooking, shut the lid, wrap it, and then open the lid for just a few seconds to  replace it,  and then  immediately shut the lid.

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This is a huge issue with some Kamado cookers, but not so much with our KJs. Your dome thermometer is telling you that. I suspect the probe location is part of what you're seeing. Temps vary under the dome. 

Cool spots: near food, over water pan, center of grate (far from the edges)

Hot spots: edges where hot air is rising, directly over deflectors (no drip/water pan), above any gap in the deflectors.

 

I dangle one probe in the exit vent and one in the center of the grate, then compare them both with the dome. Dome and exit vent will usually agree, eventually, with the grate center slowly rising as the food heats up. Try some different locations, see what you get. 

 

In general, you don't want to mess with the vents. Once it's stable, it comes back pretty well. My big surprise is how well I can control temps with the bottom vent alone!

 

Have fun,

Frank

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In my first 4 to 6 months of cooking on the kamado, I had this issue regularly. Then I adjusted how I started fires for the low and slows beginning with a much smaller fire that I did not have to choke down, allowing the kamado to come slowly up to temp and to heat soak. I can now open the kamado for up to a minutes or more without seeing any spikes, if I need to. Granted, I still prefer to do much of my wrapping, etc. off grill and with the lid closed. But, those issues are a thing of the past for me.

 

The other piece of the puzzle was using a grease pan for brisket cooks. The fat from the brisket would flare up from time to time before that adjustment.

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The temperature on your Thermapro probe is going to bounce around throughout the cook while your dome thermometer remains relatively steady. The probe is great for remote monitoring, especially for overnights if you want to sleep well, but have trust in your dome thermometer. I reference both as I cook if I use the grate level probe at all.

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