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Multi-Petal Firebox Question


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I have had my KJCII for a couple of months. I have tightened up the lower vent slide (Thanks, John) and it still seemed difficult to get it to hold temperature. 

I was using a small ash basket. 

And upon closer inspection I noticed that the petals of the firebox had opened up a bit. 

Using the full firebox for lump and putting the petals back together seems to have made it much more stable. 

What are y'all's thoughts on running safety-wire through the holes in the petals to keep the firebox together? 

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Yah, I believe the ring was secure but the bottoms of the petals shifted and allowed them to separate and get out of alignment with gaps between them. 

I need to reread the assembly instructions get a better grip on where the grate sits. 


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When you say holding temp, is it dropping or raising?


It it keeps raising regardless of closing the vents, then you either have an air leak somewhere or your lighting too much charcoal at the start.


If it keeps dropping, then you either have something blocking airflow, or the vents are closed up too much. Also quality of charcoal can make a difference. Charcoal can also absorb moisture in humid environments and that can alter how hot it burns and how it spreads to neighboring coals. Crap charcoal with small bits can also clog up the firebox or impede airflow.


If the temp is all over the place, then you are either adjusting too much and not giving it enough time to settle before making an adjustment, or the wind is gusting, or the lid is being opened. A 20-30f degree shift over an entire cooking over time is fine, and pretty normal as it burns through different sized pieces of lump it may go up and down. I think people keep trying to keep it deadlocked on a certain temp and the are adjusting the vents way too much and as such causing the temp swings. Small adjustments, then give it time to respond. With so much thermal mass in the KJ, it going to take awhile to change. Just my $.02


PS. Another thing that dogged me for a long time was that the temp my electronic probe was showing vs the dome thermo. The electronic probe is showing you real time instant temp at the exact location the probe is at. The dome is showing you the dome temp and is slower reacting. So it's more of an "average" temp. So I was also chasing the electronic temp which would vary as air currents changes, which side of the coal pile was burning more vs the other, the proximity to the cold meat, momentary flair-ups etc. If you know your dome temp is accurate, then go off of that and use the other as a reference point.

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