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Not heating past 150 degrees C - 2020 Costsco UK 24" Louisiana Kamado Grill


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Hi everyone, 

 

I only purchased my Louisiana Kamado Grill from Costsco UK 2 months ago and am now having problems getting it to head beyond 150 degrees Celsius. 

 

I have just come across this forum today and there is so much great info here! All very good stuff but I didnt see anyone having the same difficulty I am having. 

 

I have checked the gasket and there does not appear to be any obvious leaks so I am struggling to understand what the issue is. 

 

I opened all the vents fully and ran my hand around the seal between the lid and base and couldnt feel any head escaping.

 

If anyone has had any similar issue it would be great to hear if you managed t fix this, like others are saying its a difficult piece of kit to return! 

 

 

 

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Yeah assuming enough fuel, without knowing more I'd say the giving it enough time sounds like the culprit.

 

I say this from experience as when I first got my KJ I didn't give it nearly enough time after lighting it with the top open to get heated.  It also took me several months to realize I could fully open the top vent, which allowed the 600F+ temps.....but start with lighting it and letting it sit open for awhile to make sure you have a good burn going.

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I came from Akorn to Louisiana Grill, so can relate to this. I replicated my high temp cook from Akorn and couldn't get there fast enough. Like others said, you will need to add more fuel and don't start closing the vents until few degrees past the required temp.

 

If your charcoal / wood have a mixture of small and large pieces, the small will burnout faster than the large. This would mean if you wait too long, then your fuel has significantly reduced. I noticed this to be the case with Royal Oak. I found a charcoal chimney / fire-starter to be extremely useful to avoid such burnouts. 

 

In the Akorn I noticed the air entering is quickly super heated because of the metal compartments, whereas in the ceramic the flow is cooler but the quality of radiant heat is very good.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi everyone, thanks so much for taking time to give me your advice, great to hear its likely an easy fix!

 

I am planning to load up this weekend so i will report back 

 

I have both the cheap Costco fuel and the good Kamado Joe big block fuel 

 

I had been using a mix so not sure why my first few cooks would have been any different in terms of fuel. The only thing I can think of is I ran out of my first batch of the cheap Costco stuff and bought another bay so maybe I just got a bad quality batch 2nd time around 

 

I will try with just the big block fuel loaded up and see. I always use the chimney starter fully full and leave that burn for around 15 minutes then load into the Kamado.

 

Imagines of the two fuel brands I have been using attached. 

IMG_5929.jpg

IMG_5930.jpg

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On 7/17/2020 at 6:04 PM, ianfld said:

its a difficult piece of kit to return! 

Indeed! And no need to... this is a common problem. A lot of good advice above. 

- not enough fuel had been covered. I fill to the heat deflector, reuse what's not burned. 

- getting it lit well is also mentioned above; I use a chimney, but in a Big Joe, which warms slowly. 

- use the right size fuel: KJ BB is great fuel, but for high temp, I break any pieces bigger than my fist. 

 

Time and air are the only other things left! Wide open is safe as long as you check every 5 min. I give an 850F pizza cook a full hour to reach temperature, then another half hour to stabilize at that temperature before cooking for about 30 minutes before I can no longer recover to 800F+. That's fine with 4-6 minute cook times. Every cook is different;  a low-n-slow cook may have food on in 15 minutes and go for 20 hours. 

 

Regarding fuel, I am bothered by the phrase "instant light lumpwood charcoal" on the second bag. You'll want to avoid any kind of self-lighting charcoal; they have chemicals that affect food flavor. A sheet of newsprint and a chimney are hard to beat. 

 

I have a hard time breaking 500F with KJ BB without breaking up pieces bigger than my fist. But location matters:

- put your biggest pieces in first, on a clean grate, to protect the holes. An ash basket has great advantage here. 

- cover the bigs with a range of size, but no powder, and try to reserve anything smaller than your little finger.

- Put the littlest stuff in the chimney starter, after filling it with larger stuff to catch the powder. 

 

Conversely, I have a mesquite-based fuel that runs to 850 without doing anything special, despite recognizable logs in the bag. It gives pizza a bit more smoke taste than the wife prefers. KJ BB taste is more neutral; great for low-temp cooks. 

 

Oh, and welcome to the forum! Pics always welcomed!

 

Stay well,

Frank

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 months later...
On 8/7/2020 at 5:00 AM, ianfld said:

Hi everyone, thanks so much for taking time to give me your advice, great to hear its likely an easy fix!

 

I am planning to load up this weekend so i will report back 

 

I have both the cheap Costco fuel and the good Kamado Joe big block fuel 

 

I had been using a mix so not sure why my first few cooks would have been any different in terms of fuel. The only thing I can think of is I ran out of my first batch of the cheap Costco stuff and bought another bay so maybe I just got a bad quality batch 2nd time around 

 

I will try with just the big block fuel loaded up and see. I always use the chimney starter fully full and leave that burn for around 15 minutes then load into the Kamado.

 

Imagines of the two fuel brands I have been using attached. 

IMG_5929.jpg

IMG_5930.jpg

Did you end up figuring t out?

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Please don't use the cheap Costco instant light stuff in your kamado it can leave a residue in the ceramic and a weird flavour in your food. It is impregnated with wax to help it burn and when lit in a ceramic kamado it can get into the ceramic. Just use the lump wood charcoal in your Pitt boss and keep the instant light stuff for metal grill type barbeque or a chiminea.

 

If you have used it clean out all of the ash in the bottom of your kamado and I would do a high temperature cleaning burn to make sure you get rid of any residue.

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