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nikon5400

Do I need to clean my kamado? Or is charcoal smoker better choice for me?

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I've smoked on vision kamado once or twice a week for the past year and half using Royal Oak. I loved it - easy to use, always predictable results. 

 

Recently I switched to weber kettle with baskets using kingsford charcoal and I like the taste a lot better. It's not nearly as smoked, it's just perfect. I must admit, smoking on kettle turned out to be hard work - been having very hard time controlling the temperature.. for some reason charcoal in right basket always dies out regardless of the wind direction or even when there's no wind... :)

 

This video was taken when chicken internal temperature is around 160 

 

It seems like my food cooked in kamado is covered in ash like never before. I don't think I ever had my chicken dark brown like this....it has rubbery taste like hot dog..  or I just had too much of smoked meat, something I've been eating almost every day for a year and half. 

 

I would much prefer using kamado over weber, it's much easier to use and works very well in cold weather (although vision drawer area rusts because of the condensation) ... but kamado \ royal oak flavor may be just too much for me these days. Either that or something else needs to be done. 

 

this is what kamado walls (video) look like... 

 

Any recommendations? 

Do I need to clean my kamado? if so, how? I only vacuumed it, but never touched the walls. 

Do I need to switch to other, less strong smoke flavor of lump charcoal? If so, what kind?

 

Do I just need a break from smoked food for months, so that I can start enjoying kamado as much as I have for the 1st year owning it?

 

Thanks

 

Edit -  the flame is never touching the food as I use lava stone in kamado and charcoal baskets in weber. 

Although the lava stone cracked in the middle, so I have 2 pieces touching one another with weber drip pans on the bottom shelf

 

 

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Yes scrape that crap off

 

had it fall in my food once and I thought it was paint

everyone here had a good laugh at my expense  and now 4 years later my feelings are still hurt 

 

 

 

 

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So, I guess the e

18 minutes ago, King19 said:

Yes scrape that crap off

 

had it fall in my food once and I thought it was paint

everyone here had a good laugh at my expense  and now 4 years later my feelings are still hurt 

 

 

 

 

So, I guess the best way to go is to start with "self cleaning" by removing the lava stone and bringing the temperature to the max, keeping it at that temperature for a couple hours and then brushing with wire brush? 

 

if so, any lump charcoal will do or some burn hotter than others?

I'm ready to try flavors other than Ryoal Oak. What's good and sold at big box stores (hd, lowes, wmt)?

 

 

P.S. this is what the manufacturer says in regards to cleaining - 

..... The interior of the Kamado needs no cleaning and over time will season. To ensure full protection, it is recommended that Vision Grills Ceramic Kamados be covered when not in use. ....

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I do kamado burnouts a couple times a year. Fill it with lump, open up all the vents and let it burn through the fuel until it's spent. After the cooker cools down get in there with some crumpled up tin foil and scrub out the dome. Your cap needs particular attention.

 

FWIW, I have not been pleased with recent RO, made in USA lump. I've had a couple cooks this season where the initial white smoke was a little dirty, and even after it went to clean blue smoke (when I put on the food) it still imparted a slight, acrid taste to the finished meat. Some might call that smokey, but I find it just nasty. I used to have really consistent cooks with RO, but not this year.

 

Ro is still fine for grilling on the Weber Kettle, but I'm going to try some premium lump for my next Kamado low and slow.  

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34 minutes ago, nikon5400 said:

So, I guess the e

So, I guess the best way to go is to start with "self cleaning" by removing the lava stone and bringing the temperature to the max, keeping it at that temperature for a couple hours and then brushing with wire brush? 

 

if so, any lump charcoal will do or some burn hotter than others?

I'm ready to try flavors other than Ryoal Oak. What's good and sold at big box stores (hd, lowes, wmt)?

 

 

P.S. this is what the manufacturer says in regards to cleaining - 

..... The interior of the Kamado needs no cleaning and over time will season. To ensure full protection, it is recommended that Vision Grills Ceramic Kamados be covered when not in use. ....

This is your answer.  Build a 800+ degree fire with just enough charcoal to get it going and let it burn down all the charcoal.  Be sure you clean out all the ash first so you get maximum air flow.  1/2-3/4 hour should be plenty at 800 degrees+.  More about temp than time.  A 600 degree fire for two hours won't get it done like 900 for 30 minutes.  If you use too much charcoal you won't get to the high temp and you will waste charcoal.    Don't open the grill at anything over 700 degrees (too dangerous).  Just let her burn till the temp drops then again clean out the ash.  There is no reason a Weber should outperform a Kamado.  Actually the opposite.

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25 minutes ago, Family_cook said:

 There is no reason a Weber should outperform a Kamado.  Actually the opposite.

Thanks for reply. 

 

Kamado is much easier to use, but the chicken I get from weber using kingsford tastes better than what I get from Kamado (Royal Oak). Either the taste was always the same and I just had too much of smoked meat eating it almost every day for the last year and half or maybe arclite (post above yours) is on to something in regards to Royal Oak

 

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I also like the taste of kingsford cooked meats but you need to quit using royal oak, it sucks IMHO.

Get some FOGO and re-test that meat, it's a night and day difference.

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It's OK to use Kingsford in your Kamado. Lots of people don't care to use it because it creates a

lot of ash due to the fillers in it's composition. You might give it a try and see if the taste is any

better for you.

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2 hours ago, K_sqrd said:

It's OK to use Kingsford in your Kamado. Lots of people don't care to use it because it creates a

lot of ash due to the fillers in it's composition. You might give it a try and see if the taste is any

better for you.

is ash the only reason why it's not recommended for kamado?

Does kingsord charcoal last just as long as lump charcoal?

I believe charcoal doesn't run as hot, which I guess means I need to open dampers more? 

 

I want to try it, make chicken on both at the same time and compare. 

thanks.

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12 minutes ago, nikon5400 said:

is ash the only reason why it's not recommended for kamado?

Does kingsord charcoal last just as long as lump charcoal?

I believe charcoal doesn't run as hot, which I guess means I need to open dampers more? 

 

I want to try it, make chicken on both at the same time and compare. 

thanks.

 

Just don’t use matchlight type charcoal that is infused with anything to make it light easily. Just like you don’t ever want to use starter fluid in a ceramic, you don’t want to use that type of charcoal either.  But as far as regular old Kingsford or other briquettes go.... go for it and see what you think. 

 

I do agree you should do a burn off to clean it though. Just be careful on your temps and don’t let it go totally nuclear. 

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24 minutes ago, nikon5400 said:

is ash the only reason why it's not recommended for kamado?

Does kingsord charcoal last just as long as lump charcoal?

I believe charcoal doesn't run as hot, which I guess means I need to open dampers more? 

 

Folks don't care to use Kingsford because of amount of ash it produces. It also does not burn quite as hot as

regular charcoal. However, from personal experience, I have a Kamado K5, the same size as a BGE Large.

The first burn, break-in cook needed to be low and slow over a fairly long period of time. I loaded up the charcoal

basket with Kingsford and got a 27 hour burn at ~225 degrees with only two or three minor adjustments to the

vents. I was left with a load of ash and one small glowing ember. 

 

My suggestion is to load up your Kamado with some Kingsford, light it off and give it a try. It will probably last a bit longer

than what you get with a kettle because of better vent / air control. KismeKamado gives excellent advice- DO NOT use

Matchlight or similar products as they are filled with petroleum and can give an off taste to your food. Besides - They Stink!

JMO!

 

As for controlling the temps on a Weber kettle, check out this YouTube video for the "Snake Method". It gives a long,

slow burn and may be of interest to you if you opt for the Kettle instead of the Kamado.

 

 

 

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15 hours ago, Family_cook said:

This is your answer.  Build a 800+ degree fire with just enough charcoal to get it going and let it burn down all the charcoal.  Be sure you clean out all the ash first so you get maximum air flow.  1/2-3/4 hour should be plenty at 800 degrees+.  More about temp than time.  A 600 degree fire for two hours won't get it done like 900 for 30 minutes.  If you use too much charcoal you won't get to the high temp and you will waste charcoal.    Don't open the grill at anything over 700 degrees (too dangerous).  Just let her burn till the temp drops then again clean out the ash.  There is no reason a Weber should outperform a Kamado.  Actually the opposite.

 

+1

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Based on my experience, looks like you are getting a lot smoking grease, tar and likely a little creosote as well.  Kamados need to be run at a high temp from time to time to keep this from occurring.

 

My son and I just cleaned up his new to him Primo XL.  It appeared to have never been properly cleaned, gaskets leaking badly, and worse of all was full of grease and creosote buildup.   We scraped all the surfaces, particularly the dome, with a putty knife and a hickory wedge.  We removed the dome to do the cleaning.  Once we had all the bubbly looking gunk/tar off and scraped to a clean surface, we ran it thru a burn without food to finish the cleaning process.  

 

It cleaned up well and runs like new now.  We put a top shelf brisket on it over the weekend that was perfect.    

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20 hours ago, King19 said:

Yes scrape that crap off

 

had it fall in my food once and I thought it was paint

everyone here had a good laugh at my expense  and now 4 years later my feelings are still hurt 

 

 

 

 

You need to file a Snivel Report! 

JK, this just tickled me for some reason. I can relate! 

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