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Upgrade to Ceramic?


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5 hours ago, A.O. said:

 I have a charcoal basket in mine so it may look a bit different than yours but you get the idea. 

 

Actually, I have a charcoal basket in mine as well, however, I have more charcoal which covers the basket completely. If you look to the right side of the picture you can see the handle of my KAB. You can get a lot more charcoal into your fire box. 

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8 hours ago, keeperovdeflame said:

Actually, I have a charcoal basket in mine as well, however, I have more charcoal which covers the basket completely. If you look to the right side of the picture you can see the handle of my KAB. You can get a lot more charcoal into your fire box. 

Yeah, I was kind of talking to eolson who was talking about his new KJC I, so he could compare what I thought was a full basket to what he was doing.

And I definitely like the charcoal basket!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Good advice on loading up more charcoal. I didn't put in as much, having seen some Youtube videos saying ceramic grills burned so efficiently that they didn't need much charcoal. I will experiment with that.

 

I wish I had a charcoal basket. That's another thing I thought all KJ models came with now.  I think I might end up purchasing a lot of extras. :-)

 

I'll keep at it and let you know how it goes.

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26 minutes ago, eolson said:

I think I might end up purchasing a lot of extras. :-)

Actually, the charcoal basket (KJ brand) is one of the additions I'm glad I got.  The Smokewares chimney is the other one I see as really a help. Don't use the Joetisserie as much as I thought I would, but it is a nice thing to use when I do. 

 

And use an inexpensive Lodge griddle rather than the semicircular griddles, works well.  Still dropping hints about the soapstone, because the cast iron don't have the heat retention of that material.  But if the family don't take the hints, that's ok too.

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On 5/12/2021 at 10:04 PM, CentralTexBBQ said:

Other than cooking in the rain, I don't really prefer my Big Joe II over my Big Joe I. Disclosure, the firebox was warranty upgraded on the BJ I when the original cracked and I added a Kick Ash Basket. As John mentioned, you'll get a great cooking experience with either and with confidence in setting and maintaining stable temps. And, yes, the ceramics play a huge part in that.

 

Mostly, I chimed in to say that 6 plus years into my first Big Joe and the thing still looks amazing and very little signs of aging even after having spent the better part of that outside in the elements uncovered. I have full confidence that it will outlive me and be passed on to my children or their children. The BJ II is about 3+ and looks even better.

I am also having same experience. 

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Its an interesting topic and ive come in at the end 

 

my akorn-kj experience is the same 

 

the kj uses so much more charcoal , ive got a classic 1 

 

my non scientific testing suggests 

 

the ceramic sucks up so much heat and thens sheds some heat through the ceramic , the akorn is just so well insulated 

 

i agree i hate the daisy wheel after using the akorn 3 years on and i still hate it 

 

the charcoal grate sucks on kj , the holes block with ash , about to buy a basket on amazon 

 

i bought my akorn used about 5 years back and it was in good condition , its prob fair now , so ive been looking for a used replacement , which i bought a dragon kamado which isnt near the same quality of the akorn , prob a 7 compared to the akorn 

 

ive seriously thought about selling the kj since im moving 

 

if you havent got an akorn jr , then get one , it killer for steaks and those quick weekday cooks 

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Hmmm... never did like my akorn much, just didn't work that well and it rusted out twice! Love my KJ classic, cooks SO much better.. like night and day!  And the KJ uses WAY less charcoal in my experience. To each thier own though!

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9 hours ago, Johnnie5 said:

the kj uses so much more charcoal

I’ve had the opposite experience. Regardless of how much I fill the basket, I almost always have charcoal left over unless I do a high heat cleaning burn. The only exception was a crappy bag of Royal Oak that had small chips instead of lump. I’ve never owned an akorn, but compared to many other steel grills, the KJ is by far the most fuel efficient.

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22 minutes ago, jark87 said:

I’ve had the opposite experience. Regardless of how much I fill the basket, I almost always have charcoal left over unless I do a high heat cleaning burn. The only exception was a crappy bag of Royal Oak that had small chips instead of lump. I’ve never owned an akorn, but compared to many other steel grills, the KJ is by far the most fuel efficient.

I agree completely, I’m amazed at how much charcoal the KJ doesn’t use!

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6 hours ago, CentralTexBBQ said:

 

sorry, haven't been on in a while... The III is taller indeed and the slowroller aids in airflow and supposedly a better smoke.

Supposedly?? Do you think its any better?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi All. Glad this topic is getting some traffic. :-)

 

I'm making progress. I recently cooked another pork butt low and slow. I loaded up on the lump and it went much better. Thank you all for that suggestion.

 

Again, the taste was outstanding. Unfortunately, it took a crazy amount of time to complete: 7 pounds -- 13.5 hours. I even went with a higher temp, 250°F, rather then the 225°F I usually go with. A charcoal basket is definitely in my future as the plate with holes clogged up with ash. I think that might be part of the problem.

 

On the upside, I was able to set the daisy wheel to maintain a relatively constant temp. I suppose practice makes perfect, but I still hate that thing, and will probably end up replacing it with something akin to a control top.

 

More to come.

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8 hours ago, eolson said:

I still hate that thing

Yeah, it was the first change I made on my grill.  Went with a Smokeware cap, very happy I made the move.  I'd ordered the KJ basket at the same time I'd ordered the grill, so that don't count as a change....

 

Just to not have to fiddle with the daisy wheel, and to see that temp keep stable after opening the grill - and not having to even think about fiddling with the cap - just so nice! 

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 I don't have a dog in this race, but just thought I would say that there's nothing wrong with the daisy wheel. I've been using it on my Big Joe I for years now, and it works just fine. Took a weekend when I first got it and burned a load of coal just to find out where to set it to get the temps I need most often (225, 350, 400, 450) and have never looked back. It's just air flow. As long as whatever you're using allows you to open up wide and close down small, it's all good.

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