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Lighting and stabilizing


Ivan DeSlayer
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Hey everyone,  recently purchased a Louisiana Grill Kamado from Costco. I'm new to the ceramic grill scene and have tried various ways of lighting this fiasco but it still seems once I think I get it stabilized and start to cook it'll creep up on me by 50°F to 75°F. When I light it I use three starters for the charcoal should I use just one? Anywho some advice would be great with these. Thanks

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How long does it take to be stabilized?

What temperature are you trying to obtain?

I usually cook low and slow. Open the vents to get started and close them(small vent holes) before I getting to temperate. Closing them when temperature is reached is too late (and temperature will overshoot) as it takes a while for the effect of closing  the vents to take place.

Russell

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I have the Pit Boss version, same grill, but I use 1 alcohol soaked cotton ball to light if I'm going hot or low and slow. (91% isopropyl alcohol) After about ten minutes with lid open and bottom vent fully open, I close the lid and open top vent fully. After another 5 to ten minutes I close the top vent down to about 1 and the bottom  mesh will be closed fully with about 1/4 of the solid screen open for low and slow and the solid fully open (with the mesh shut) for hotter.

I suspect you may have some leaks if you are having trouble controlling temp, have you done any sealing around your top and bottom vent with some extra felt?  Also do you notice any smoke rolling out around the middle? That could indicate the the top and bottom aren't fully aligned. There are lots of thread explaining how to seal your grill better in the Pit Boss section.

Hope that helps!

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You will get used to how far away from your target you need to be before shutting it down, but it sounds like you need to start a bit sooner.  For low and slow at 250-275, I light a single spot in middle and 'll heat it on full open until it hits about 200-225, then close it down to a little less than 1 on top and like a .5 on bottom.  Should settle in nicely for smoking temps.  You might need just a minor tweak, but remember small changes is all you need.  I normally do a two-stage approach if I'm going for the 375-400 degree range, I light 3 spots with torch, at about 275 I'll close it to about half of what I need, then watch it for about 10-15 minutes, the temp will drop a bit when I close it down, smoke starts a bit heavier, then it will eventually clear and start creeping up again, I then close it down to final settings once it hits about 350 or so, this will usually stabilize it right about that 375-400, setting would be roughly 1 -.75 on bottom and 1 on top.  You should plan on taking an hour to heat soak, stabilize, and fully burn off any volatiles from the lump.  And don't walk away on start-up, did that a few times before I learned my lesson and it can get away from you real quick once it takes off.

 

Just as an aside I have sealed up my vents and removed the bottom screen vent and just roll with the single solid on the bottom, I found it so much easier to adjust temperature with only the solid vent in place.  Your settings would be different using both screen doors.

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18 hours ago, KamadoChris said:

You will get used to how far away from your target you need to be before shutting it down, but it sounds like you need to start a bit sooner.  For low and slow at 250-275, I light a single spot in middle and 'll heat it on full open until it hits about 200-225, then close it down to a little less than 1 on top and like a .5 on bottom.  Should settle in nicely for smoking temps.  You might need just a minor tweak, but remember small changes is all you need.  I normally do a two-stage approach if I'm going for the 375-400 degree range, I light 3 spots with torch, at about 275 I'll close it to about half of what I need, then watch it for about 10-15 minutes, the temp will drop a bit when I close it down, smoke starts a bit heavier, then it will eventually clear and start creeping up again, I then close it down to final settings once it hits about 350 or so, this will usually stabilize it right about that 375-400, setting would be roughly 1 -.75 on bottom and 1 on top.  You should plan on taking an hour to heat soak, stabilize, and fully burn off any volatiles from the lump.  And don't walk away on start-up, did that a few times before I learned my lesson and it can get away from you real quick once it takes off.

 

Just as an aside I have sealed up my vents and removed the bottom screen vent and just roll with the single solid on the bottom, I found it so much easier to adjust temperature with only the solid vent in place.  Your settings would be different using both screen doors.

 

Thanks Chris that helps. I think I'm 1) Lighting to much charcoal for the low and slow 2) Not being patient enough for the higher temp (300 - 400F) for the higher temp stuff. Thanks again.

 

Walt

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