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Temp spikes on Pitboss/LG K24


ChrisGrillman
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Hi all,

 

I’m a noob learning to cook on my first Kamado grill, which is the new LG K24 from Costco.  I’m having difficulty with my low and slow cooks, and am hoping for some advice and tips.

 

First, just a note on how I’ve modded it.  Based on the comments on these forums, I added gaskets around both my bottom slider vent and my top vent to get a better handle on the airflow.

 

That being said, here’s what happened to me today.

 

I loaded the grill up with lump coal (Frontier brand from Home Depot — fairly big variety of small and large pieces) alongside some old pieces left over from a previous cook and lit one fire with both vents open and the top up.  After about 10-15 minutes, I saw that there were some smoldering embers around where I lit the fire, so I set both the bottom and top vents to where I wanted them and closed the lid.  

 

After about 30-45 minutes, the temperature look liked it stabilized around 225 degrees.  I noticed that I had forgot to put on the heat diffuser, so I opened the lid real quick and put it on.  After another 30 minutes or so the temperature appears to stabilize around 250-270 degrees.  That was about the temperature I wanted for my tri-tip, so I opened the lid and fairly quickly put the roast on.  I did not make any further adjustments to the vents at that time.

 

I came back about 10 minutes later, and saw the temperature had spiked to about 350 degrees — hotter than I wanted.  Fortunately it didn’t matter that much for my tri-tip roast, so I let it go until I liked the internal temperature and then proceeded with a high heat reverse sear.

 

But here’s my problem — even though it worked out okay for this cook, the temperature spiking a hundred degrees from 250 to 350 would work on a true low/slow cook like brisket or butt.  And, I’ve had similar problems in the past with low/slow cooks on this grill like with some ribs.

 

Help!  Is there something I did wrong?  Are there any tips for improving what I’m doing?  For example, what if I’d just put the meat on when I decided to close the lid, thus obviating the need to open the lid once it hit 225?

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@ChrisGrillman to be honest I could never keep it from slowly creeping up. I tried multiple fixes to stop any extra air, different coals and all failed. 

 

 

Just as an FYI after 4 months my firebox cracked and the company told me to take it back to Costco. Now I have a Kamado Joe Big Joe II and no issues thus far. I can lock it at 225 or 250 and go to bed. I have done this with FOGO coal and Cowboy

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What John said!  I have the same grill, 2017 model I believe.  I had the same issues.  If you monitor the grill and continue to make vent adjustments, you'll end up frustrated, and chasing the temp you want, without it staying there for long before it shoots back up or drops too low.  Get a temp controller.  I personally use the flame boss version 2 I believe.  It works very well, but I have been looking at the Fire Board recently.  It looks good as well.  Do your research and pick one.  For Low and slow, or higher temps that you want to keep steady, like for baking bread or a cake, you will wonder how you ever coped without it.  It makes life much easier.  Here is the temp control for a rum cake I baked in the grill the other night:

https://myflameboss.com/cooks/1026946

 

the big temp dip in the beginning was from me cleaning the grill, I didn't want to mess up the cake pan.  But after the cake went in, it kept the temp right at 325.

 

And here is a 9.5 pound pork butt I did a couple weeks ago:

https://myflameboss.com/cooks/1006250

 

I put this one in at night and let it go.  The next morning I got a bit impatient and bumped the temp from 225 to 230, then toward the end I bumped it to 240, just to fini#### off.  I was hungry!

 

Like I said, get a temp controller, you will not regret it.

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3 hours ago, cmills said:

@ChrisGrillman to be honest I could never keep it from slowly creeping up. I tried multiple fixes to stop any extra air, different coals and all failed. 

 

 

Just as an FYI after 4 months my firebox cracked and the company told me to take it back to Costco. Now I have a Kamado Joe Big Joe II and no issues thus far. I can lock it at 225 or 250 and go to bed. I have done this with FOGO coal and Cowboy

 

I’ve added extra felt gaskets at the top and on the spark slider (the one with holes).  I also just put a bit of permatex silicone gasket along the bottom vent underneath — there’s a felt gasket there but it isn’t shaped to the ceramic so there was this enormous gap I could see through.

1 hour ago, Pigfqr said:

Get a temp controller

 

I have a Traeger also that does temp controller, but the reason I wanted a Kamado was to do it “tech free” so to speak.

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I took off that spark slider thing on the bottom vent and played around with tightening the channels that hold the solid cover slightly with a rubber mallet.  It sounds like you've sealed up the major leak under the vent.  What I would do to test is get a fire going then throw on some chunks of wood and close everything down and watch to see if there is a major smoke leak anywhere around the lid gaskets or vents.  Some smoke is fine and normal but if you see a cloud somewhere that could be your leaker.  My cooker will hold 225 as long as I need it to without a controller. 

 

My other thought if it isn't leaking, maybe you are over-opening the vents, ie. my bottom vent is maybe 1/8" open, top vent set at 1 or just under for that temp.  You don't need much.

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8 hours ago, KamadoChris said:

My other thought if it isn't leaking, maybe you are over-opening the vents, ie. my bottom vent is maybe 1/8" open, top vent set at 1 or just under for that temp.  You don't need much.

 

Fingers crossed it may be okay now...

 

I lit the bad boy up a few hours ago to start today’s cook - baby back ribs.  Started my fire cube, gave it a minute or so, then close the lid with both vents.  Waited until it hit about 125 degrees, then closed the vents to about 1/8” to 1/4” on bottom and the 1 marker on top.  Had to run an errand so I figured I’d let it go and see.  Came back about 90 minutes later and it settled at 240 degrees.  Put my ribs on, tapped the top vent closed just a little more, and hallelujah! Looks like it’s settled at right about 225-230.

 

Only problem now is I think I didn’t put enough hickory blocks in there, there’s not enough smoke when I put my ribs on! 

 

 

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5 hours ago, ChrisGrillman said:

 

 

 

Only problem now is I think I didn’t put enough hickory blocks in there, there’s not enough smoke when I put my ribs on! 

 

 

 

Looks like you’ve got it dialed in!  If you can’t see any smoke you are in the zone.  Don’t throw another chunk on hoping for thick white smoke. Thin blue barely visible smoke is all you want, that is the sweet kiss you want. 1-2 chunks of wood is plenty, especially hickory. A better test is just take a smell at the top vent, it should smell good, not sting your nose. I always give a whiff even if not using wood chunks to make sure the lump is burning clean before I put meat on. 

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It came out great!  Photo from last night’s cook, left side was bare ribs, right side wrapped in foil.

 

 I was able to keep the temps around 225-260 the whole time.  I still need to practice with the vents to get it exactly right.  I was tweaking and chasing more than I should have.

 

I’m convinced  I put the meat on too late — by the time I did, the hickory was all burned up.  There was no smoke ring on the meat at all.

 

Still, absolutely delicious!  Wife said it was my best ribs yet.

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Looks good. Ya chasing vent settingS can drive you nuts, just trust it’s going to work. Smoke ring isn’t the holy grail, it’s more of an aesthetic thing and does nothing for taste, doesn’t really have anything to do with how much smoke your making.  Sometimes I get it, sometimes not, sometimes only on part of the meat. The amazingribs site has a good write up on smoke ring science. You can bury some wood chunks throughout your lump pile if you have a longer cook going. If you are doing the volcano method put a chunk near the hole and another chunk or two closer to the outside, so as the fire burns from middle out it catches wood and smokes throughout the cook. I’m going to tondo ribs tomorrow now!

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  • 8 months later...

I too have issues keeping temps consistent, or even dialing in temps at all sometimes.  Been grilling on this thing for about a year now (about 1x per week at least on average).  I figure I have enough cooks under my belt to have dialed it in by now.  Maybe I do need a temp controller!  Sux.

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