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len440

New Kamado Joe 2 years later

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got my classic II 2 years ago and have a few observations and thoughts. 1st ive been burning charcoal since the mid 60s ( my Dad before that) It did take a little piddling around to get used to my classic II . First thought is i should of bought one earlier. Except for a few minor hiccups this has been a great Grill. I think this type of grill can be effected by the charcoal more than my other grills. Case in point  last year i had 2 bags of Royal oak that had only 50 cent and smaller pieces, and the grill was hard to control the fire temp, needless to say i quite using RO which i have been using for a long time. Next came RockWood, i think is cooked (?) more and is lighter. Lights easier and smokes less on start up does not impart a smoke flavor to foods. Next i tried B&B doesn't smoke much on start up but will spark once in a while not much smoke flavor in food. We did have a charcoal shortage and i went back to ro (all they had) and this bag had a good mix of big and little pieces. I found the flavor it puts out is great for 700 degree pizza but we don't care for it with chicken. this might be because i'm now grilling with the dome closed, on my other grills i kept the lid open.Last i splurged and got a bag of FOGO premium. After my 3 times a year cleaning i filled the fire bowl full lit with a starter did a 5 hr 225 degree rib smoke followed by upping to 400 for corn roast then back down to 250 using a controller it held 250 from 7pm till 11am next day. After putting out coals had enough colas left to relight and do a 3 hour 350 rotisserie chicken I was impressed. A word about the use of a controller it does not do away with you learning to control the grill manually. There always the chance of a power failure. I use mine for peace of mind.Before this gets too long final thoughts 1 this grill is easy to use 2 its frugal with charcoal 3 charcoal type does mater somewhat 4 takes some learning 5 is a lot of fun 6 needed to learn patience 7 good reason to be on this forum. Lastly i'm not trying to but in to reefs charcoal review i can;t even imagine the time money effort that was put in for his review. Thanks reef

 

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Yep - choice of charcoal makes a big difference in performance and taste.

 

I always buy "restaurant grade" charcoal in 15Kg (33lb) bags. That way you get the big chunks rather than the gravel that comes in a lot of cheap gas station charcoal.

 

Big chunks seem to make for better airflow.

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