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i just received the cooker today! I haven't had enough time to get all the parts for the mods suggested so i will be waiting a bit to assemble and get to the first cook. I wanted to let everyone know that I found and online site for the nomex gasket. I called Barbeque's galore and they are selling the gasket for $39.99, plus tax. The online site, http://bbqgaskets.com/contact_3.html., is 16.95 with no shipping or tax charges!

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i just received the cooker today! I haven't had enough time to get all the parts for the mods suggested so i will be waiting a bit to assemble and get to the first cook. I wanted to let everyone know that I found and online site for the nomex gasket. I called Barbeque's galore and they are selling the gasket for $39.99, plus tax. The online site, http://bbqgaskets.com/contact_3.html., is 16.95 with no shipping or tax charges!

BBQ gaskets is a vendor here on the forum check the vendor section I think they even offer us a discount.

Sent from my Sero 7 Pro using Tapatalk

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i just received the cooker today! I haven't had enough time to get all the parts for the mods suggested so i will be waiting a bit to assemble and get to the first cook. I wanted to let everyone know that I found and online site for the nomex gasket. I called Barbeque's galore and they are selling the gasket for $39.99, plus tax. The online site, http://bbqgaskets.com/contact_3.html., is 16.95 with no shipping or tax charges!

BBQ gaskets is a vendor here on the forum check the vendor section I think they even offer us a discount.

Sent from my Sero 7 Pro using Tapatalk

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Still, it seems to me that there should be a way to block airflow (and leaks) through the hollow part of the ash pan aside from unriveting or applying external patches.]

I plan to do just that, un-rivet the ash pan, and apply Permatex copper along the inside seam around the edge of the pan. Mine has just a tiny crack, and I don't think I can get good coverage of the RTV from the outside without it looking like crap. I will re-install the ash pan with pop rivets, unless someone suggests a better method...

Just leave it alone. With the vent holes through the ash pan what possible advantage could sealing the ash pan to the bottom give you? If you want to stop air stop it at the outside vent where the air come in no inside the cooker.

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Just leave it alone. With the vent holes through the ash pan what possible advantage could sealing the ash pan to the bottom give you? If you want to stop air stop it at the outside vent where the air come in no inside the cooker.

I am not sealing the ash pan to the bottom. As you point out, the vent holes would make that useless. What I am sealing is the bottom outside skin to the flat ring that the bottom gasket seals to. Air leaking through this crack enters the inner cavity, then proceeds through the three vent holes in the ash bowl.

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While waiting for reply from Chargriller if they will send a new topvent with numbers to Denmark, I decided to make a workaround.

I used the pictures from the forum and drilled small dimples in the vent where the numbers normally are. The dimples got a little bit of white Hammerite paint and the arrow also got some paint.

post-2372-13756509999344_thumb.jpg

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Hello,

This is my first post here in the forum, just got a Char-Griller "King-Griller Big Red" Kamado Kooker from Menards yesterday. I've watched the review videos before I purchased, done a lot of reading since (read my way all the way through this thread!). Not sure what generation I have, but the top vent was cast with the o-ring but there are no numbers on it, I kinda wish it had the numbers...

My first cook was high heat after seasoning the cast iron grate, awesome steak and potato! Second time around I shot for the low and slow, 250-275 was the best I could get (225 was unattainable). Perhaps I need to lite fewer coals to start the fire, or perhaps I need to do some seal work?

I read all the ideas in this long thread and right now I am thinking the best place to start would be to tighten up up the clamps that hold the ash pan on the cooker, cause right now it doesn't pull up there very tight and seems its bound to leak. I am going to try loosening and moving the clamps first, if that doesn't do it I will bend the links a little bit until that ash pan is pulled up there good and snug....

I was going to RTV the bottom vent in until I realized the vent itself is pretty loose and leaky, so sealing it to the pan will only do so much. I gather this is why the felt seals better, because it seals the vent housing to the pan but the felt also pushes out on the slide part of the vent and seals up the leaky nature of the vent a bit. I've decided to go with the felt instead of the RTV for this reason.

I already own a LinkMeter/HeaterMeter PID BBQ controller, WiFi enabled and the whole bit, built it myself from a DIY project on the internet. It's a pretty sweet unit and it controls the temp on my other cheap water smoker really well, but not so well on the Char-Griller. Main reason being the cheap smoker does not hold heat well at all, so the HeaterMeter keeps stoking the fire up to temp and can hold nice and solid from about 200 degrees and up. The Char-Griller, however, holds heat BIG TIME. I was unable to get the temp down to 225 so my controller was useless at that low temp.

I'm hoping some felt on the vent and a tighter fit of the ash pit will allow me to snuff out the fire a little better and hit the low 200's. I will also be lighting as little coal as possible to start for low and slow cooks, and build a coal cage to contain the coals in the center a bit more.

One concern with using my BBQ controller for low and slow with the Char-Griller is the fan when turned off still allows a small path for air to draft in, so far I have needed that bottom vent pretty much closed to get anywhere near low and slow, so this may be a problem for the fan driven controller. If I am unable to get low and slow under control with the fan I am going to have to switch over to servo mode and have my controller automate the vent adjustment rather than stoking with a fan. This way the servo can close the vent all the way off to get the pit down low, then open it up a tad when it needs some air.

I must admit I am surprised I had a hard time doing the low and slow, (below 250-275) with this grill and my controller, it works so well on my cheap old smoker! Then again that thing burns through coal like a freight train heading up a mountain!

I will try to post back some updates as I get this Akorn dialed in. The goal is to be able to do low and slow, wood fired pizza and high heat grilling on the same cooker. This thing is pretty close to that right out of the box, I'm hoping a little tweaking will get it the rest of the way there....

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Joker (see what I did there?), sounds like you're on the right path - you seem to understand all the issues pretty well.

What CFM is your fan? It could be it's just too powerful for the akorn. My partyq is only 6 cfm and it barely puffs once it locks on to a temp. Unless there's a damper, all PIDs are going to let a little air in while not running. How do you hook the fan to the akorn? can you restrict the size of the exhaust hole of your adapter with furnace tape or something similar?

Good luck!

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Joker (see what I did there?), sounds like you're on the right path - you seem to understand all the issues pretty well.

What CFM is your fan? It could be it's just too powerful for the akorn. My partyq is only 6 cfm and it barely puffs once it locks on to a temp. Unless there's a damper, all PIDs are going to let a little air in while not running. How do you hook the fan to the akorn? can you restrict the size of the exhaust hole of your adapter with furnace tape or something similar?

Good luck!

Thanks for your input. The fan from HeaterMeter is very tiny, can't recall the CFM rating but it is lower than any of the commercial units (I think maybe 4.7CFM?). To connect it to the Akorn I built a metal plate that fits into the bottom vent (tightly), I soldered a 3/4" copper pipe to that (air tight) and the fan fits on the end of that copper pipe. So the opening from the fan is the size of the ID of a 3/4" copper pipe. I had considered using a reducer inline with the fan vent to make the passage smaller since I don't need much air flow to stoke the Akorn, this would reduce the size of opening present to allow a convection draft through the unit.

There is no damper on the fan to prevent the convection flow of air when the fan is off, if I am unable to get the low and slow under control by using better lighting method next time (I read the low and slow thread last night) I may have to rig up some kind of damper on the fan duct. I'm gonna try the "Volcano & Cotton Ball" method next time and see how that works. For my first low and slow cook I just used some wadded paper under the coals to light and let the HM blow and stoke the fire up. This works perfectly on my other smoker (that leaks like sieve) but I think it lit WAY to many coals for the Kamado.

If all else fails I will have to build an automated damper to put on the bottom vent and have my PID control that instead of using a blower. The HM is a pretty awesome unit and can be run either way. It's open source, can be run stand alone (no network) or you can connect it to a tiny Raspberry Pi computer (~$45) and that will enable WiFi connection to a web interface to control the HeaterMeter and monitor your probe temperatures. You can even monitor your pit temps over the internet with a smart phone or whatever, really nice for those long cooks.....

PS Where can I get some of the felt gasket that everyone is using to seal the bottom vent? My vent slide isn't very tight inside the base, I think it's leaking a bit and would benefit from having some felt behind it. I would prefer a store I can walk in and buy the stuff, but will mail order (and wait) if I have to. I know most are using Big Green Egg gaskets, but that company is a bit illusive, not allowing internet pricing and such, and I don't know of an outlet to buy them locally. Is there any other source for the felt gasket other than BGE?

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I had considered using a reducer inline with the fan vent to make the passage smaller since I don't need much air flow to stoke the Akorn, this would reduce the size of opening present to allow a convection draft through the unit.

3/4 inches is awfully big - I think you're on to something here using a reducer. The partyq only has about a 1/4 inch diameter tube for convection draft as well as the mechanics of the fan itself which provides some additional draft control when off.

For my first low and slow cook I just used some wadded paper under the coals to light and let the HM blow and stoke the fire up. This works perfectly on my other smoker (that leaks like sieve) but I think it lit WAY to many coals for the Kamado.

how much paper? I use 1 or 2 phone book pages drizzled with old cooking oil to start my lump - the oil allows the paper to burn longer than paper by itself. unless you're using a chimney, paper by itself shouldn't be over starting your coals - I'm thinking it's your fan being on too long. (see below).

If all else fails I will have to build an automated damper to put on the bottom vent and have my PID control that instead of using a blower.

hmmm, interesting. I would try a reducer first (removable of course). Without a fan, people do a lot of fiddling with the vents to get it 'just right' for low and slow. I don't know how it would react with "fully open/fully closed" action. (emphasis on "I don't know")

PS Where can I get some of the felt gasket that everyone is using to seal the bottom vent? My vent slide isn't very tight inside the base, I think it's leaking a bit and would benefit from having some felt behind it. I would prefer a store I can walk in and buy the stuff, but will mail order (and wait) if I have to.

poke around here - just make sure you choose Nomex and self adhesive. Go ahead and get enough of it to add a seal for both your lid and your ash pan. don't remove the existing gasket, just put the nomex on the other side of it.

http://preview.tinyurl.com/kybaq3p

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PS Where can I get some of the felt gasket that everyone is using to seal the bottom vent? My vent slide isn't very tight inside the base, I think it's leaking a bit and would benefit from having some felt behind it. I would prefer a store I can walk in and buy the stuff, but will mail order (and wait) if I have to.

poke around here - just make sure you choose Nomex and self adhesive. Go ahead and get enough of it to add a seal for both your lid and your ash pan. don't remove the existing gasket, just put the nomex on the other side of it.

http://preview.tinyurl.com/kybaq3p

This will also help tightening the seal on your lid without having to bend your clasp.

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forgot my (see below) reference:

How low can you set your PID? others here, including me, have had trouble with their PIDs when you set it immediately to your target temp - it invariably overshoots that temp and it's nearly impossible to bring it down.

The "group think" around here is that you do some combination of... a) don't plug your PID in until it's very close to target temp; B) set your target temp to 60 - 100 degrees low, and slowly bump it up until you reach target temp.

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