Jump to content

Really Cold + Fireboard 2 Drive = Extra Fuel Consumption

Recommended Posts

I ran my Big Joe overnight to do a couple pork butts, like I always do. I set the Fireboard 2 Drive to hold 225 overnight, and usually some time during the day I turn it up toward 250 to kind of time things so they're ready for dinner.


My charcoal basket was filled to the top of the firebox. Buried in the bottom were two fist sized chunks of applewood.


My max fan speed was set to 50%.


The difference was that the temperature was about -11.


I ran out of fuel by around 12:45 the following afternoon, which was unusual. I had maybe 1-2 lumps of charcoal left in the basket, which I filled to the brim before the cook.

The only thing I can think of is that the Fireboard fan forcing subzero temperature air into the grill caused it to burn more fuel in an attempt to stay hot. I had a feeling this was going to happen because I'd see the temperature drop when the fan would kick on.

Next time I do an overnighter this winter when it's this cold, I think I'm going to run it without the fan and see if I get a longer burn time.


On the Fireboard chart you can see how the temp struggled to stay stable toward the end, and then started dropping off, even with the vents wide open. That's how I knew I was out of fuel.

I don't really have an explanation for the spike to around 255 before midnight. I had to go out there and close down the top vent a bit and let it come back down.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kamado losing heat to environment at faster rate (also wind chill will impact too!) + colder air entering kamado = much higher fuel usage.


Overall, I would say the overall environment drawing off heat would be the largest impact.  You are not pushing tons of air once temps are stabilized other than to offset loss.


Fuel + Oxygen to keep the kamado at a set temp is going to be somewhat equal, regardless of using a fan or not....you can't change the laws of physics.  Drawing naturally or controlling with a fan is going to be roughly the same.  i.e. energy in vs energy out of the system.


I see the same on my Weber Summit kamado...at both smoking temps and higher temps...the lower the temp (I did a roast at -28C the other day with wind) the more fuel usage easily seen.


My Keg (super-insulated) would hold temps even at -30 and barely use any more fuel than at +30. Put a fire-proof blanket/insulator over the KJ would likely be the only way to reduce usage I would guess.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Finishing off the butts in the oven and they look really good, regardless of what happened. I'll be firing up the other KJ here soon for some cheesy hash browns and brownies. This will be my first time grilling brownies.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...