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Lowest Sustainable Temp?


Randy
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I'm unthawing some salmon to brin overnight and subsequently alder smoke, and was wondering what's the lowest sustainable temp. folks have been able to maintain with their Vision Kamado? I'd like to be able to do 150 but the lowest folks seem to talk about is around 200. Am I dreaming, thinking I might be able to maintain a 150 smoke?

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I don't have a vision but I might be able to offer some solutions to smoking at 150...

One thing you might try, and might also want to run an experimental test in advance, is starting with an empty firebox and just add one or two pieces of lit lump to the cooker with some wood chips on top of them. Monitor your temperature during the process to see where it goes. I have also seen some setups where people stack lump or briquettes in a circle around the edge of the firebox where each briquette or piece of lump overlaps slightly and start it out with a single piece of lit lump. That single piece of lit charcoal will burn slowly and then light the one next to it. I think it would be worth an experimental try!

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what thermometer are you using? Is it the one in the dome or a separate one? Are you measuring the temp on the grill itself? I find the included thermometer to be quite off.. 50 degrees or so.

also, how much coal are you using?

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JM - great suggestion - I'll try it, thanks

Jon - todate I've just been using the thermo that came installed in my vision lid with the bad assumption that it's probably close enough. I'll double check it with my digital prob. thanks

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I have never attempted, but a couple things to help achieve that temp: seal the lower vent, and also, remove the top vent completely, take a paving stone and wrap in aluminum foil. Set this on the chimney hole, blocking all all air exhaust except the smallest crack. I saw a video if a guy doing thus with his Green Egg. He claimed it was more efficient in controlling temps.

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Smoked some salmon using the limited/overlaped fuel method suggested by JM. Worked very well. I was able to hole 122 plus/minus 2 for a 4 hour smoke. Recessed grill hasn't come in yet so I placed 3 clay brick in the clean firebox (long side down) and used a 14' pizza stone on the bricks as a deflector. The brick helped hold the fuel in an overlaped configuration and kind of helped kept the alder smoke chips in a nice pile with the fuel. Bottom vent open about an inch and fine tuned temp using a barely cracked top vent. I watched it fairly closely might have just got lucky first time out of the shoot, but I can't argue with the results. Been eating smoked salmon since it came off the grill!

post-255-13756506954718_thumb.jpg

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That's great that you were able to bring it down to so low. I have never tried to keep it below about 240. Tonight I am doing a pork but, so I think I am going to shoot for about a 230 temp, at least for the first 3 hours. I would love to try that salmon some time, It looks incredible.

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Thanks JM & Ross for the encouragement and really great advice over the last week. I doubt I'd be looking at a pile of quality smoked salmon tonight without your guidance. (my wife thanks you too!)

Side note - according to my digital thermometer, my "out of the box" installed in the lid vision stock thermometer is currently very, very accurate. I was expecting some difference, but it was indicernable to me. The BGE region rep (came in to cook at the local eggfest today) told me he calibrates his every year. Any experience/advice along this line?

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  • 7 years later...
On 4/20/2012 at 1:19 PM, John Setzler said:

I don't have a vision but I might be able to offer some solutions to smoking at 150...

One thing you might try, and might also want to run an experimental test in advance, is starting with an empty firebox and just add one or two pieces of lit lump to the cooker with some wood chips on top of them. Monitor your temperature during the process to see where it goes. I have also seen some setups where people stack lump or briquettes in a circle around the edge of the firebox where each briquette or piece of lump overlaps slightly and start it out with a single piece of lit lump. That single piece of lit charcoal will burn slowly and then light the one next to it. I think it would be worth an experimental try!

 

Trying to smoke my first duck on a Kamado and the recipe calls for ‘drying for 1 hour at 140F (without smoke) and then 5 hours with smoke with temps lowered as low as possible’ (followed by roasting in the oven at 375F).

 

So I’m thinking of trying this ‘fuel-limited ring-of-overlapping-briquettes method’ and my question for anyone who has tried it is, should a heat deflector be used when the only source of direct heat is a few lit briquettes at the edge of the fire bowl?

 

The recipe calls for hanging the duck vertically so that some smoke passes through the empty cavity, but I’m worried that all of the smoke will be diverted away from the cavity if I use a deflector.

 

Any advice from anyone who has tried these fuel-limited low-temperature smoking techniques, especially with duck or other fowl, appreciated...

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On 11/27/2019 at 1:46 PM, fafrd said:

 

Trying to smoke my first duck on a Kamado and the recipe calls for ‘drying for 1 hour at 140F (without smoke) and then 5 hours with smoke with temps lowered as low as possible’ (followed by roasting in the oven at 375F).

 

So I’m thinking of trying this ‘fuel-limited ring-of-overlapping-briquettes method’ and my question for anyone who has tried it is, should a heat deflector be used when the only source of direct heat is a few lit briquettes at the edge of the fire bowl?

 

The recipe calls for hanging the duck vertically so that some smoke passes through the empty cavity, but I’m worried that all of the smoke will be diverted away from the cavity if I use a deflector.

 

Any advice from anyone who has tried these fuel-limited low-temperature smoking techniques, especially with duck or other fowl, appreciated...

 

In case anyone else follows the path of this old thread, I thought I’d report back.

 

The fuel-limited technique did not work out that well for me but I had pretty good success with a hybrid/airflow-limited technique.

 

I lit 5 Kingsford Professional Briquettes covered with one large chunk of Pecan and 5 small chips of Applewood for smoke, all piled in the center of the firebowl.

 

By having the input and output vents reduced to pin-width openings, I was able to smoke for 3 hours at temps around 135F.  As long as smoke continued to be visible coming out of the outvent, I left it alone, and the 2 times I saw no smoke, I opened everything up for 2-3 minutes until I saw smoke again before closing is back down to bare-minimum openings.  I was glancing at the smokestack about every 20-30 minutes and had no difficulty maintaining burning embers and smoke with that minimum level of oversight.

 

Recipe called for increasing temps to 150F for the final 3 hours and I lit another 5 briquettes in a chimney for that.  Opened everything up to reinforce the nearly-spent embers with those 5 new briquettes, another chunk of Pecan and 5 chips of Apple and went another 3 hours at 150F without issue.

 

So I’m pretty confident I can maintain temps of ~135F with 5 briquettes for 3 hours using airflow control.

 

Below 135F I believe the fire would have gone out, so trying to smoke at lower temps I’d try using only 4 or even 3 briquettes which out to stay lit at lower overall temps but might require recharging more often than every 3 hours.

 

Still, I’m very impressed with how fuel-efficient these Kamado’s are and how easy they are to control through air vents alone.

 

And resulting smoked duck was fantastic and the best duck/fowl I’ve ever cooked:

 

F8470BBC-085E-4987-9CD3-C42F831CD6C8.thumb.jpeg.ed231b7a7a2d1c2ed401b80b7a42d764.jpeg

 

F539027A-1853-49C5-8948-FB2058437CC3.thumb.jpeg.96670c8880eddd981231f7f4ab57e4a5.jpeg

 

In in case anyone is interested, here is the recipe I followed: https://honest-food.net/how-to-make-smoked-duck/

 

(Duck was finished to 165F in the oven covered with foil and then skin was crisped under the broiler without foil for 5 minutes).

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