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How not to overshoot for low n slow?


Whutzgood
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Fill the fire box full and start a small fire in the middle. Then as the KJ heats up keep closing down the vents until they have a small opening.  When you open the grill to put your meat in don't keep the top open for too long. Give the grill time to come back to the temp before you adjust the vents.

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Good summary by @Golf Griller I'll expand just a little.

 

  • Don't use a chimney to start the fire.  It will bee too hot from the start.
  • Use 1 small fire starter down in the center of the lump.
  • Leave the kamado open until the starter goes out.  Close the lid and open all vents fully.

 

Example: Targeting 230f - When you reach a dome temp of about 175f cut the top and lower vents down to maybe a 1/4" and wait to see what happens.  Give 10-15 minutes.  It should slowly creep up on temp.  Make fine adjustments from here.

 

If you overshoot temps a little using this method just cut the vents down a little more and in short order it will fall back on temp.

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+1 on not using the chimney at all for most cooks.  Unless you need really high heat quickly for pizzas, etc.

 

I use one paraffin starter block in the center of a full load of lump.  I never run with less than a full load by the way, for shorter cooks just shutting down the vents puts out the fire and saves any excess charcoal.  I started doing that because I wanted repeatable conditions for every cook before I got my HeaterMeter temperature controller and I was running the grill manually.

 

After lighting the starter, open the top and bottom vents all the way.  When the internal hits about 175¯F as the previous poster said, then shut down the vents to about 3/4" on the bottom and one mark on the top and see what happens.  Those are the settings that work on my KJ Classic II by the way.

 

Now however, I just load the charcoal, start the fire, and let the HeaterMeater do its thing. :)

 

But learning to control the cooker manually is something everyone needs to learn IMHO.


Tom

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I've used charcoal chimneys when i was using my old charcoal grills, haven't used it since i got my joe. It might be useful if your in a hurry to get up to temp fast for a steak or burgers.The info above is the way to go. Each joe is different so your results might be a little different. I keep a log book on my cooks so i can look it up when i do a cook. I use the heater meter sometimes on long cooks but i first learned to control the temp of the grill first. This came in handy when i had a 2 day power outage  last summer and i was smoking a butt. Hard to believe in this day and age not to have reliable power. Guess it part of  the joy of living in the country  and in the middle of a large amish community.

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Everything mentioned above, plus leaving time to heat soak the KJ.  For low and slow I start my grill 90 minutes before my cook time.  This lets me dial in the temp and let the ceramic heat up at temp for 45-60 min.  I toss my smoking wood on about 30 minutes before the meat.  Since the ceramic is now heat soaked, when you put the meat on the grill quickly returns to cooking temp when you close the lid.  Don't worry about an initial temp drop, that  is normal when you add 10-15lb of cold meat.

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