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Temp control - Louisiana Grills 24" (Pit Boss)


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I have a LG 24" from Costco last year.  Smoked a pork shoulder yesterday, also have a smart fire controller I purchased recently.  Typically haven't had too much trouble controlling temp, but was my first smoke in a while.  I set the controller for 240, but the temp kept creeping up to 250-260ish, basically unless I had the top vent open only the slightest little crack, the temp would creep up.  Not the biggest deal in the world, I can deal with 250ish, but has anyone seen these larger kamados run on the hot side?  I've used the controller a couple other times late last year and didn't have any issues just setting it.  I also recently got an ash basket and this was my first time using that rather than the built in ash plate and filling the whole firebox.  Possible the increased air flow in the firebox could have something to do with it?

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I have a couple fan based controllers and with each of them on any of my ceramic grills the daisy wheel is open a hair. Does not matter whether its an XLBGE, LBGE, MBGE or Primo Oval XL. Many say the width of a dime. I will admit for some reason my old Flameboss 200 and the Primo XL have a Jekyl and Hyde relationship. Sometimes the cook is a thing of beauty sometimes the temps run wild.

Though lately I have be running the SMOBOT non fan controller and 11 out of the past 13 cooks its been data logged at almost a flat line. No more than +/- 2°.

Do not use a kickash basket on any of my ceramic, so I can't speak for that.

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I'm confused as to why anyone uses a temp controller on a Kamado.

 

I find with a good lump, minimal lid opening/closing, temp control is a non issue.

 

Being home at this time, I've done nearly daily brisket, pork shoulder, and chuck roast cooks that last anywhere from 6-15 hours.  My temps always stay within 3-5 degrees of my target.  It is literally boringly consistent.

 

Anytime I ever experience temp problems is with inferior lump (like Royal Oak), or if I leave the lid open for too long or too often when doing spritzing.  If I open the lid for less then 10 seconds or so every 30 minutes it doesn't seem to affect temps.

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@BrianAZ definitely not a needed item. Been cooking on Kamados myself since 1977. Wife bought me first controller for XMAS 2014.

To be truthful my original clay Kamado (Kikuya Hibatchi Pot) that I still have I never even use a daisy wheel in the temp equation.

 

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3 hours ago, BrianAZ said:

I'm confused as to why anyone uses a temp controller on a Kamado.

 

I find with a good lump, minimal lid opening/closing, temp control is a non issue.

 

Being home at this time, I've done nearly daily brisket, pork shoulder, and chuck roast cooks that last anywhere from 6-15 hours.  My temps always stay within 3-5 degrees of my target.  It is literally boringly consistent.

 

Anytime I ever experience temp problems is with inferior lump (like Royal Oak), or if I leave the lid open for too long or too often when doing spritzing.  If I open the lid for less then 10 seconds or so every 30 minutes it doesn't seem to affect temps.

The main reason for me for is overnight cook early morning ambient temp drop.  I have had more than one fire drop below 180 on its way to completely snuffed by 7:30 am.  They are also great for starting the fire - set it and forget it.  Otherwise you are constantly distracted while doing food prep going out to make sure it is on track.  Necessary - no.  You can beat the ambient temp drop by running the cook a little hotter.  In general cooks have gotten hotter anyway.  20 years ago it was all about 200 deg pork butts for 36 hours.  Now for many, low and slow is 225-275 for 12-18 hours.  Much easier to fight the morning dew drop from 250 than from 200.

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I use a heater meter controller sometimes when i do a butt. One of the biggest hints i had on setting it up was to make sure there is no air leak where the controller plugs into the vent, and that the damper ( if it has one ) is air tight. The heatermeter was a diy project and had to make the blower attachment myself. I did have an air leak at the attachment point that did cause this to happen. I use mine when i'm busy and wont be able to look at the komodo as often as i would like., mostly i just use the wifi thermometers on it.

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Why use a controller? I lit up my coal, put the meat in and walk away from it til the meat is done, 5 or 10 hours no difference. It makes smoking a lot easier and consistent from the first cook 'til last. I was resisting pellets grill like some folks resisting the controllers, but the first time I used it I was sold, no more ash to cleanup! You just gotta try it. Another advantage of using controller is if you have to open the lid frequently, like in a party cooking session, the controller will keep the grill temperature stable.

With a controller you can also control many different type of smokers. I have two weber Kettle, one WSM, two Go-Anywhere and a couple of 15" kamado grills, i can run them all like a kitchen oven. 

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