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newbie heat quesstion


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I like to make bacon, among other things. Now here's my question: when my Kamado Jr is heating up, do I stop it when it hits 200, or let it get hotter and then bring it back down. If I stop it, will the wood chunks smoke enough?

 

Cheers,

Michael

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Inherent in with most Kamado style cookers is high mass construction.  Therefore they take time to change temp whether up or down.  But getting the temp to drop has the added challenge that at at temperature of 400 deg you have ignited a quantity of charcoal to sustain that temp.  To lower the temp you need to snuff out some of the fuel consumption and suck heat from the cooker itself.  This takes time.    It is much easier to increase temp by adding more air, but lowering the temp is not so easy. So the trick is to never let it get above your desired heat range. 

 

Also bacon on a Kamado cooks and releases its' grease so fast that grease fires are possible. I would suggest cooking it in a pan that allows smoke to get to the bacon but contains the grease.  I like wire racks over cooking sheets that fit.

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Depending on what I'm cooking, after the fire is out and the coals are getting hotter I put my food of choice on the grill and let the temp rise towards the desired temp and then tamper down the vents. Usually do the tampering around the half-way-mark of desired temp.

 

I never take the grill to desired temp and then open it to put on the food(s) as the oxygen will engulf the coals and you can get whacky temp results.

 

Bring the temp up 1/2 of 2/3 of the way, apply the foods, close that lid and don't open it, and adjust the vents down ..

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Lid wide open for a while to get the fire started then lid shut to around 200 with vents wide open, I like to place the meat at around 25 degrees below my desired set point then shut down the vents to what I think it will need which is usually around 1/4 to 1/2 inch each.

Opening the lid adds a gulp of air that will raise the temp so do it as quickly as possible or you can waste time tinkering with the vents trying to cool it off.

Much much easier to raise temps than to lower.

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