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1st cook with Kamado questions


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Tomorrow will be my first cook with my new Louisiana Grills kamado. I've smoke a good bit in the past with a Weber Smokey Mountain bullet smoker. But have done anything in about 10 years. I've researched plenty about the kamado, so I'm ready. But I do have two questions that I can't find the answers to.

 

1. How much lump do I fill the fire pit with? Up to the holes? More=better? I did the recommended curing that the manual has. It said only to use a handful for the curing. (temp 180-220). A handful barely stayed lit and temp barely reached 180. Obviously I need more, but I don't want to over do it. (cooking 10lb spareribs)

 

2. Tomorrow will be rainy, windy and cool (low 50's F) Anything special I should do to compensate for the weather? 

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Welcome @chanceflight!

 

Don’t be afraid to fill up the firebowl. You will be controlling your fire / temp with your vent settings and not the amount of charcoal.   You don’t want to run out on a longer cook. 
 

Shouldn’t really need to do anything special to compensate for the weather. Depending on which direction the wind is coming from it might change your vent settings a bit, but given it’s your first cook that won’t matter as you won’t be used to any particular setting for a specific temp. 

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Wish it was rainy cool and windy here. Right now i have an inch of snow and big flakes are still falling down. I keep telling myself the snow will make the ribs on the Joe taste better. I always fill the fire bowl up you can turn off the charcoal when your done. The weather might effect the settings a little, but not too much to worry about 

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Fill up to just below the holes should give you enough for a medium length cook. You should have left over charcoal to reuse next time and can better judge how much you need.

 

Weather only effect the Kamado getting up to temp. Once it at temp it shouldn't matter what the weather is, unless you only have a hand full of charcoal.

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IMO, some of the vent holes should remain exposed. Of course it depends on the length of your cook, but I am really surprised how long quality lump burns. I have found that if I am cooking ribs or reverse sear steaks, you don't need to fill the bowl.

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Kamado grills – of all types – are remarkably stingy when it comes to fuel.

 

Of course, one of the key reasons is that they are actually charcoal-fired convection ovens.  The food is cooked, not [just ...] by radiant heat from the fire, but by constantly-recirculating hot air, passing between the outer shell and the inner liner.

 

(Take it from my latest kitchen "toaster oven" – convection makes a dramatic difference.)

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