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Halp! Waaaayyyyy too hot


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So yea im sure this is an ongoing question in these forums... and i should probably search for the answer... ive tried YouTube vids and a few other resources but cant seem to get a good answer... a friend gave me a akorn jr recently and this is my first time using it. Im using harwood lump. The issue is i cant get the thing to go below 400 degrees... ive tried burping it. Ive tried closing the vents... but the moment i close it the temperature skyrockets up to 400. Im trying to get it to the 250 - 275 range.... any advice is greatly appreciated.. 

 

P.s. im standing in front of it right now with my poor ribs begging to be put in 

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Hi and welcome.

 

Start a very small fire, VERY small.  Shut the vents down after you hit 150f.  Once you go past your target its too late.

 

Do not use a chimney to start it, you need a fires the size of a tuna can.

 

Good luck and read the stickies in the akorn section. 

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Thanks.... yea i think i used way to much coal.... almost filled it halfway... this was given to me used... so i sorta winged it... i see now the errors of my ways... anyways to fix it ? Im currently trying to get it to temp by spraying it down with water.... or would i need to remove some coal ?

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2 hours ago, Judas said:

Thanks.... yea i think i used way to much coal.... almost filled it halfway... this was given to me used... so i sorta winged it... i see now the errors of my ways... anyways to fix it ? Im currently trying to get it to temp by spraying it down with water.... or would i need to remove some coal ?

When I do ribs, or anything else low and slow, I fill it full with charcoal and start a very small fire as @philpom said. It's the size of the fire and the amount of oxygen, not the amount of charcoal in the grill.

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6 hours ago, Judas said:

... a friend gave me a akorn jr recently and this is my first time using it. ...

First off, WELCOME!

 

Second, when it cools down after this cook, take a good look at your Akorn Jr. Many hand-me-down grills have an undiscovered problem behind the original owner's generosity. The most common is air leaks. Any gaps where parts meet can be gasketed. My full-size Akorn was handed down due to a leaky bottom vent, that limited its capability. Mine was great between 275-500F - burgers and corn an hour after lighting ain't bad!

 

Third, Akorns are sensitive to leaving the lid open. They suck air in around the perimeter of the grill and become infernos in minutes. "Burping" only lets in more air. Once you pass your target temp, the only quick way to lower temperature is to put a bunch of cold stuff in. Patience with vents can also work, unless the vents are leaky. 

 

And lastly, ribs are a great first cook, second only to pork butt in terms of "things hard to ruin." You can get great ribs at 275-350F as long as you adjust cooking time and rearrange them regularly to keep the thin end from burning. I assume the racks are cut in half to fit. That's SOP even on my 24" Big Joe. 

 

HAve at it and enjoy!

Frank

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4 hours ago, Golf Griller said:

When I do ribs, or anything else low and slow, I fill it full with charcoal and start a very small fire as @philpom said. It's the size of the fire and the amount of oxygen, not the amount of charcoal in the grill.

 

Are you guys lighting the top of the pile or the bottom.. i guess im using my vague knowledge of how to start a bonfire and was adding kindling under the coal so it would catch and light the rest

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I've had the most luck with my full size Akorn leaving a void directly in the middle of the bottom most grate and lighting it with a torch in that little void.  You can use cotton balls soaked in something flameable, however, I'm lazy and just have a bottle of MAP gas on hand.  It's quick and easy and gets the fire started in under 30 seconds.  There's a guide pinned somewhere in the forum that has many very good tips on that.  And then you watch it like a hawk for the first 30 minutes to keep it from climbing away from you.  Once it's over temp it's very difficult to bring it back down.

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14 hours ago, Judas said:

 

Are you guys lighting the top of the pile or the bottom.. i guess im using my vague knowledge of how to start a bonfire and was adding kindling under the coal so it would catch and light the rest

I just nestle a fire starter into the coals at the top.

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Like a runaway train....

 

Once the cooker reaches 50 degrees UNDER the target temp... shut it DOWN to a WHISPER of air going in the bottom vent and same on top.  If you shut down "too hard", that's is when the cooker will "reverse flow" and render the food tasting like a campfire.  Just make sure the air is always going up and OUT.  The trick is the super super slow whisper slow you need to be escaping from the top vent.   

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Sounds like either too much coal lit or an air leak. Easy way to see your air leak is to take to about 350 or so throw some wood in it when it smokes good close all the vents and the smoke will show you the leak. Some leakage is normal . but above all don't give up you'll get better. Don't know if you saw this it applies to all kamados

 

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