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Starting a Fire for Low and Slow - Definitive


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Holy smokes! 14 pages!

After 14 pages it's no longer definitive. Sort of mass confusion at its best.

 

 

When i mentioned that the definitive string was the longest-- Philpom said---- hey I tried. I got a good laugh out of that. In reality many new people with an AKORN are going to post in this section.

 

It appears that there is a whole range of factory delivered air leaks or in some cases not. The first post by Philpom will get you there if you follow it.

 

Ultimately if you have a tight bottom and top then you will have easy control.

 

To find leaks get a good hot fire going around 350 and add wood for smoke and shut it down.

 

LEAKY TOP

 

1--seal around the base of the top vent and dome or get a new O ring.

 

2- At dome gasket--- bend the latch. Test when latched--- can you move the top dome when it is latched? If it is not movable then you do not likely have a leak.

 

Once sealed temperature can be controlled from the top with a leaky bottom.

 

LEAKY BOTTOM

This is indicated when you are down to a sliver or just the half moon on the top vent to control temp. Hey if you are liking your results cooking this way no need to go any further--you have control of the temp.

 

Below is my opinion based on my experience. As they say mileage may vary.

 

1-most common source of air leaks IMO--between the air slide and its base.---felt behind slide--new ones that I have seen run from very loose to perfect.

 

2- second most common source of air leaks is between the entire  air slide assembly and the round ash trap.---silicone around the edges.

 

3- open seams where the round bowl and the flat top of the ash trap meet---between the tack welds.---silicon on gaps--check from time to time when you empty the ashes.

 

4- between the ash trap and the main body of the  Kamado----latch and see if you can wiggle it around---bend the latches.

 

All of these are detailed in the beginning of this topic and the mods section. Philipom has posted some great pictures.

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  • 5 weeks later...

I used the cotton ball method yesterday to season my new Akorn, but I could not get the cotton ball to stay lit.  It would burn for about 15 seconds and then go out.  I tried several times but could not get it to stay burning  Any suggestions?

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I used the cotton ball method yesterday to season my new Akorn, but I could not get the cotton ball to stay lit. It would burn for about 15 seconds and then go out. I tried several times but could not get it to stay burning Any suggestions?

Try lighting the cotton ball with MAPP torch.

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Yes, check the percentage in the alcohol bottle. Isopropyl comes in various "strengths" and you need the strongest "proof" on the shelf. 91% will do the trick...

 

I tried squirting alcohol directly onto the charcoal but it didn't seem to provide an even fire. And it took a while for puddles of alcohol to burn out; time that was better spent cooking.  Using alcohol directly will for sure work, but it requires some practice.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I just recently purchased a chargriller kamado and the top vent on it has no number grading on it what so ever. I was wondering if someone could elaborate on the system so I could have a better understanding of what is trying to be explained. Or if someone has enough time to post a pic of theirs so I may copy the numbers with some paint onto mine it would be very helpful and newbies like myself would be grateful for it. I tried to enlarge Phils profile pic but it gets too fuzzy to make out any detail.

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I used the cotton ball method yesterday to season my new Akorn, but I could not get the cotton ball to stay lit. It would burn for about 15 seconds and then go out. I tried several times but could not get it to stay burning Any suggestions?

Try lighting the cotton ball with MAPP torch.

 

LOL

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I just recently purchased a chargriller kamado and the top vent on it has no number grading on it what so ever. I was wondering if someone could elaborate on the system so I could have a better understanding of what is trying to be explained. Or if someone has enough time to post a pic of theirs so I may copy the numbers with some paint onto mine it would be very helpful and newbies like myself would be grateful for it. I tried to enlarge Phils profile pic but it gets too fuzzy to make out any detail.

HI

 

I don't have my CGK any longer or I would take a pic but....

fully open is 5, fully closed is 0, open your vent visually to 1/2 and that would be 2.5 - from those marks perhaps you could determine the others?

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Thanks Phil, I scoured the internet and found a good pic that led me back to the mods section of this site. Someone posted a pic on how they painted the numbers and I was able to use it to add a scale to mine. I used some painters masking tape to mark the two ends, 0 & 5 and then pulled it off so I could lay it flat and measure the increments easier. Once divided up I put the tape back on it about a quarter inch up and used a toothpick and some paint I had in the basement and just put a drop at each point so I would have a repeatable index to follow.post-4280-0-37982400-1388326268_thumb.jp

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Thanks Phil, I scoured the internet and found a good pic that led me back to the mods section of this site. Someone posted a pic on how they painted the numbers and I was able to use it to add a scale to mine. I used some painters masking tape to mark the two ends, 0 & 5 and then pulled it off so I could lay it flat and measure the increments easier. Once divided up I put the tape back on it about a quarter inch up and used a toothpick and some paint I had in the basement and just put a drop at each point so I would have a repeatable index to follow.

Looks great, nice job.

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