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Big Joe Vent settings and charcoal burning.

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5 hours ago, IMAVGAN said:

... unless the top is almost totally closed.

Yes it is!


I've found one can control a Kamado in the 225-250F range using only the lower vent. Quite to my surprise, it killed my smoke ring. I was letting in so little air that CO and NO levels were too low for the smoke ring reaction. Since I use my fingers to set vents, "half pinkie" works well, making the upper vent quite effective for control in this temperature range. 


My only "proof" is the temperature rise when the water's gone. A water pan is a temperature buffer, it helps you control temperature by reducing/slowing changes. You still need to watch what's happening until you're stable near your target. This makes it easier to do. 


5 hours ago, IMAVGAN said:

... 5 lbs of lump produces 80 cubic feet of CO2

1 ml of water produces 60+ cu. ft. of steam at STP, for comparison. I think you'll find that the temperature rise causes far more air expansion than conversion of solid fuel to CO2.


Remember that ambient air has moisture, fuel is rarely pure carbon, and the food gives off a lot of moisture, too. Using water as a temperature buffer just makes it easier to cook the way you want to. 


Stay well,


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7 hours ago, fbov said:

My only "proof" is the temperature rise when the water's gone.


From my perspective that's caused by there being no more water using the available heat for change of state from liquid to vapor.  The now-available heat energy can be measured.


I don't want you to think that I'm angry or discount your right to publish your opinions.  I just don't agree with you on a water pan's merits in a kamado.  And I'll ask you to elaborate every time you bring it up.  Nevertheless, I'd happily share a table with you.


Many of my friends are wrong about something.


(That's a joke.)

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On 7/27/2020 at 11:49 AM, John Setzler said:

I have been playing around a LOT with using a smaller basket inside the grill to keep my charcoal together.  When charcoal is spread out over a wider area, it will not burn as efficiently.


Hey John.  Certainly post your results.  Though I've had it for years....I've never really used it - your post/ideas have given me some motivation to dig out my Keg cast iron charcoal basket and try that for a while.  If you recall in other posts, I've always had low temperature management issues with the Keg, so maybe this will help!  Crossing fingers....



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