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Talon65

Can’t get KJ II to cook low n slow

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@fbov No the deflectors were clean as I did a high temp cleaning the night before. The smoke was the acrid type, not pleasant. As for being in control, hell I’m definitely not in control. Lol
How you state you start the fire with a chimney is exactly as I envisioned it. However, do you put wood chunks on the fresh coal bed or on top of the mature coals after dumping them in?

 

@len440 I use KJ big block primarily, got like 120 lbs on they’re last sale. Have used RO but it’s hit or miss on any medium to large chunks. Last bag was nothing but very small pieces, I burned that in Mini Max. Also,  tried B & B but it smelled like it had lighter fluid on it while burning. By sweating I mean the inside of the dome was literally covered in beads of water. I wish I had thought to take a picture but was more concerned with what was going on. No it hadn’t rained or left uncovered. It wasn’t greasy inside as I had done a high heat burn. I know these hold moisture very well and all I can think of is the fire was starving or something causing inside to sweat. 


I certainly appreciate y’all assisting with this. 
 

Paul

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5 hours ago, Talon65 said:

... do you put wood chunks ...

... anywhere you want, that gets hot enough!

 

Charcoal is "smoking wood" that's been baked but not burned. It bakes off the volatile components, but leaves the base carbon, our fuel. A little of that volatile stuff can taste good, and I think you get the best smoke putting chunks on top of burning coals. It was nice being able to add wood a second time to the half-bowl cook last weekend. 

 

Stay well,

Frank

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Talon65 this just a W.A.G.  but with the original post complained of billowing white smoke I wonder if you Have a creosote build up in the dome. I don't know how hot to get the stuff burned off. Hopefully some one with more knowledge can help us.

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@len440 I followed Johns video to burn it off and was amazed that it was nearly completely back to beige color as new. I’m fighting it as we speak using @fbov method. Started out great but then settled in around 250 with white acrid smoke like it’s choking. I’m beginning to wonder if it’s the charcoal. 
 

Paul

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One more thing I’ve noticed but forgot to mention, should smoke come out of the bottom vent? It seems logical if it’s windy but it’s coming out now, just a hint mind you, with no breeze. 
 

Paul

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8 hours ago, Talon65 said:

... settled in around 250 with white acrid smoke ...

So, temperature worked out well, but smoke did not? It's been 8 hrs., did it clear? Was there a specific source?

 

Smoke can come out the bottom vent when you close down the top vent. Air flow is balanced - in = out - but the air is heated so it expands. If the top's a lot tighter than the bottom, you it balances air flow at the bottom vent. 

 

BTW, keep the bottom vent open farther than you think it should. You need fresh air if you want a smoke ring. I've shut it too much, and the ring disappeared. Now I set "bottom vent for low-n-slow" and use the top to fine tune. 

 

Stay well,

Frank

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I've had some smoke come out the bottom vent usually when im trying to lower temp of grill. In fact if you hit it right you can see the Joe breath smoke in and out. 

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Didn’t have anything particular to do this afternoon so I figured testing was in order.
 

Guys I think I might just have it. I started a small batch of coals with chimney then followed directions from another video I found on the subject. It says put deflects in with a pie shaped opening then close the gap once you’re 25-30 degrees above desired temp. I had always put mine in  closed up and that’s when the billowing white smoke would start. I also have the bottom vent open 2 fingers wide, wasn’t that wide before. And top vent at the first mark on kontrol tower. I had to close mine down a little as my temp was at 240 and I’m trying for 225ish.  It’s not sitting between 225 & 230 with a wisp of thin blue smoke every so often. @len440 it was doing exactly as you stated and “breathing.” Gonna let it run for a while and see how it goes. Wish I had something to throw on it now. Lol

I’ll update in a little while. 
 

Paul

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Well after about an hour and a half in it went out. I’m thinking I had the top vent closed too much trying to hold around 225. Reignited it and split the difference on top and bottom, bottom half of what it was and top opened a little more than before. It settled around 240 last I checked about 30 minutes ago. Not giving up yet. 

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24 minutes ago, Talon65 said:

Well after about an hour and a half in it went out. I’m thinking I had the top vent closed too much trying to hold around 225. Reignited it and split the difference on top and bottom, bottom half of what it was and top opened a little more than before. It settled around 240 last I checked about 30 minutes ago. Not giving up yet. 

225, 240. Same thing. You are right there.

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Talon just reread you last posting. It might be a typo but you mentioned closing the gap in the plates once your 20-25 degrees over temp you should do it before the desired temp, you want to sneak up on the final temp, once you over shoot it will take a while to lower it. The breathing will go away once it's temp stabilized. 

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@len440 believe it or not, that little trick worked and really didn’t take but a few minutes to settle back down. I ended up doing it twice (since I killed the first fire) so I know it’s not a fluke. I guess the fact I had the lid open to push plates closed, closed vents to set temp and the direct heat to the temp gauge no longer there makes it happen.
Well I let it sit at the 240 mark for a couple hours before opening it up and tossing on some leg quarters, couldn’t stand not cooking on it!! Brought it up to 375 and cooked indirect. Funny thing is I noticed more TBS from 300-375 and it lasted the whole cook. Once finished I opened it up full to burn off the drippings on the deflector plates, so I know it’s clean next time I mess with it. 
I’m going to do a comparison in the morning to see if it’s me and lack of experience or not. Going to brothers and cook brisket flat on his Big Green Egg. Told him I wanted to start it and do it the way I’ve been doing mine. Biggest difference I know of is his has the one piece deflector. I’ll report findings when I get back or tomorrow evening if possible. Thanks again for y’all’s input and assistance. 
 

Paul

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@prowe sorry, just noticed your comment. Yes it’s definitely close enough for government work. If I can hit that every time with “good” smoke I’ll be satisfied. 
 

Paul

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Well, it isn’t my lack of knowledge on ceramic grills. I loaded my brothers BGE and started it with one fire starter (BGE version of the KJ starters squares), had 4 chunks of cherry wood on it (from the bag I use and took with me), fire started and was going pretty good within 15-20 minutes. I added the plate setter and grate, closed dome and waited for it to get close to 225. Then starting closing the vents down, his BGE has the new type top vent, and it settled in at 230ish (verified by my TW Signals). After a few minutes brisket was on with a thin blue smoke coming out for the better part of the cook. Held temp for 10 hours. Spritzed meat every hour and didn’t wrap. Pulled it off grill at 203* per TW MK4. It definitely rivaled what a brisket on my Rec Tec is like. Tasted excellent with great smoke ring and bark. 
Biggest differences: BGE with plate setter, no Kickash basket and Rockwood lump charcoal. 
I brought home half a bag of the RW lump to try in mine soon. If that doesn’t work I don’t know what else to do but take a hit on my KJ and get a BGE. 

 

Paul

 

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