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Having a hard time keeping classic 1 under 250


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Hey guys. New to the forum and fairly new to my joe. I’ve done a few briskets and although they all turn out pretty good there is always a hard crust on the bottom side. I’m having a hard time keeping it under 250 throughout the cook. I’ve been using jealous devil charcoal and kamado joe charcoal, and always keep the heat deflectors in. 
 

Just wondering if you guys have found any tricks to get it to roll a little lower.

 

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Perhaps you are starting too much charcoal in the beginning. I light 2 cotton balls with bottom vent open and lid open after 10 min os so add deflectors on bottom of d&c rack add grates and close lid. Temp comes up to 170 close bottom vent to 1 inch open and top to first mark as temp rises close bottom and top vents as needed . My final setting for 225 -250 is 1/2 inch bottom vent and 1/4/ to 1/2 inch on top,your grill settings may be different. How are you measuring the 250? The hard crust could be from the deflector plates may not be together and allowing heat from the coal to hit the briskets, or if your thermometer is off and the grill is really hot the plates will be hot and this might over cook the brisket . Iv'e only had my joe for 15 months so i am NOT an expert. The big thing is not to give up keep trying You can do some dry runs to learn the vents and fire starting John Seltzer has a good video on this

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I suggest using a Pit Controller of some sort, especially if you plan on running lower temps. I use a Flame Boss and absolutely love it.  Also, if your not already doing so, add a drip pan that is elevated above the deflectors. Research different ways to do your brisket such as wrap or not wrap.

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13 hours ago, Mike0927 said:

... there is always a hard crust on the bottom side...

What's under the meat? The fix may be as simple as a water pan. 

 

I use remote thermometer probes, centered on the grate and in the exit vent. I see differences in the readings depending on what's under the grate probe: nothing (highest), a drip pan and a water pan (lowest). It's possible the bottom of your brisket is cooking faster due to radiational heating from the heat deflector. Put a water pan underneath and it's never hotter than 212F under the meat. Try it. 

 

Have fun,

Frank

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If you cant keep it low, you are not choking off enough air to the charcoal. Make sure your gasket is making a good seal and try only light in one spot. This may make it easier to control. Once you get the grill heat soaked and steady, throw your meat on and don't adjust the vents. There will be a bit of a crash in temps due to the giant cold piece of meat you just put on there, but if the grill was rolling a steady 225 before, it will come back.

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As mentioned above, light in one spot and let it burn across the fire box instead of lighting all around. If that doesn't work, and I hate to say it and I know some will disagree, but you can also use some quality briquettes instead of lump. In my experience, they burn cooler than lump.

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