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Kamado Joe ClassicCharcoal Basket Issues

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I recently purchased  KJ classic Charcoal basket.  I have two issues that I am concerned about.

1. Because of the hooks at the top of the basket, I am not able to place the grills in lower settings.  I can get them lower but they don’t balance.  Either I’m missing something on how to set my grills closer to the fire or these hooks make this too difficult.  The basket does keep things neater but limits using the BBQ the way I should be able to.  Any insight on this would be appreciated.

2. Is it a good idea to take out the grate when using the basket? I have read that this helps the air flow.

Any suggestions to make this basket more useful would be appreciated.

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Not sure but it sounds like you have the basket that is designed for the divide and conquer system. I think you need an "old" style basket without the hooks.


Someone with a KJ may be able to confirm.


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The only thing I'll add to that, is that I was having a bit of an issue with the fitting of the heat deflectors on the ears of the KJ basket.  Seemed pretty delicate to balance. I solved this (for me) by using some channel-lock pliers to pull the ears _just_a_bit_ toward the center of the grill.  If it's not a problem for you, then don't do it.  But I found the deflectors easier to set on the ears with that minor adjustment.  


The other point is that @Selli does have a point about the utility of the lower (mid) rack setting with the basket.  With the deflectors sitting on the ears, there's only about a half-inch of air space between the deflector and the rack in the lower position.  With the deflectors on the lowest level of the D&K system, it's about twice that much.  I don't know that it makes much difference on a cook, tho.  A couple pics of the difference, with 1/2 inch spacers for scale. The first without the basket.



And with the deflector on the basket ears.


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