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Big Joe 3 not heating up


Mindreader101
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Bought a BJ3 recently and had two cooks already - I’ve had a good amount of charcoal in basket each time with clean ash tray.  I don’t understand why it takes half hr to just heat up to 175F. I can’t even get it past 250 no matter how long I wait. I’m using lump charcoal from Central Market and BB’s. Have the bottom fully open and top vent either fully open or half open. Didn’t seem to matter either way…

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Most folks with temp issues have a difficult time keeping it below 250.  If the charcoal is burning in more than a tiny spot it’s above 250. Ya sure ya don’t just got a bad thermometer?
 

if it’s not the thermometer you are doing something funky with either air flow or lighting the charcoal. Not a whole lot of moving parts in a clay pot, ya know
 

how u lighting it?

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12 minutes ago, prowe said:

Most folks with temp issues have a difficult time keeping it below 250.  If the charcoal is burning in more than a tiny spot it’s above 250. Ya sure ya don’t just got a bad thermometer?
 

if it’s not the thermometer you are doing something funky with either air flow or lighting the charcoal. Not a whole lot of moving parts in a clay pot, ya know
 

how u lighting it?

Using loofliter

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If your charcoal is dry and of good quality, fill the basket to the brim, light it in several places.  Go in the house and set the timer for 10 mins.  Go back out and DO NOT leave it unattended for the next 15 minutes or you will have a fire going nuclear on you and likely to damage something in the process.  Guess how I know this.  Fuel+air+ignition=great fire with due diligence.  If you're goin for low and slow, not so much fuel and light in one place.  Same process as before 10 min....etc. Good luck.

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30 min to 175 isn't terrible. Kamado grilling isn't a sprint; it's a marathon.

Be sure and keep your Looftlighter on the spot you're trying to light for a good while. When you pull it away, you should have a flame a few inches high.

Once I get the coals going in the one spot, I pull the Looflighter back a bit and use the air coming from it to fan the flames a little bit.

I usually spend nearly an hour getting my grill stable at 250-250 before it's ready to put the meat on.

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15 hours ago, Mindreader101 said:

Using loofliter

I never have used a looflighter.  I have used cotton balls in 90% alcohol. Cheap.  KJ fire starters.  Tumbleweeds.    These starters all are pretty much the same. Bury 1 for a low n slow. 3 for high and hot. Light. I leave the dome open the first few minutes.

 

I have used a chimney as well and that’s super fast to high heat, but I don’t recommend as it can cause ash to launch into the sky as you pour, and that could spell disaster. 

 

perhaps ditch the looflighter.

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agree with everything, especially this

 

On 10/24/2021 at 5:54 PM, BURGER MEISTER said:

If your charcoal is dry and of good quality, fill the basket to the brim, light it in several places.  Go in the house and set the timer for 10 mins.

 

 and this

14 hours ago, prowe said:

 I leave the dome open the first few minutes.

 

If I'm trying to get hot fast, 15 or more minutes is a good starting point to leave the dome open

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Just a comment or two 

1: A fair amount of charcoal is always a full load, top of fire bowl

2: light in three or four spots

3: leave dome open for about 10 minutes or so bottom vent full open, if using starter cubes wait till they quit burning

4: close dome and leave top vent full open, on my Kontrol Tower I remove the top  of it 

5 Pour a REFRESHING beverage I prefer something from Kentucky

6: after contemplating how life is good for 30 to 45 minutes your grill should over 250 

7 if not repeat step 5

 

This never fails me on my classic II

 

 

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Granted I have a Classic III, but I load the basket with what I think I will need for the cook, and push it all to the back of the basket so there is no charcoal in the front near the lower vent.  I empty the ash catcher.  I put one fire starter in the front of the basket and put charcoal over it so it is standing like a pyramid over the starter, and I light it with a plumbers soldering torch until it catches.  Leave the lower vent open completely, and the top vent open completely.  Leave the lid open until the fire catches the charcoal and it begins to burn.  This takes about 12 minutes on average.  Close the lid, and leave the vents open until you get to 50 degrees of your target temperature, and then set your vents.  I can easily get to 500 degrees using this method within half an hour.  If I need it to start faster, and electric lighter buried in the charcoal and plugged in for 9 minutes will get me there in less than 15 minutes.

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