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When do I add wood?

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I have only had my Vision for a couple of weeks and have been trying to following some recipes over at amazingribs which call for adding wood every half hour for the first 2 hours. The problem is that when I do that my fire has been getting away from me - usually to about 300 when I am shooting for 225. I have been cooking on the upper grate in my Vision classic and gotten pretty fast at pulling the deflector and flinging wood in, but apparently not fast enough.

I am guessing that the every half hour thing just doesn't work with a kamado - yes? What about when first starting - when do I add the wood? I've seen people spread it around evenly in the coals but that seems like it would either spread out the smoke over much longer than 2 hours or (perhaps more likely) the smoke will be mostly over in a half hour or so. Is that not the case? Although the temperature has been getting away from me, I have been getting good smoke rings/flavor adding wood every half hour.

Of course if I get a spider and stone for indirect, then it seems like I would have to put the wood in and set the stone in not very long after first lighting it because I don't want to open it up just when I need to start closing down the vents to keep the temperature from overshooting. Does everyone just put the wood in early and keep the lid closed for the first 2 hours? What about wrapping some of it in foil - does that help spread it out?

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On a kamado, when your fire and temp are stablized, add your wood, preferably chunks, don't soak, that only adds steam, which cools your fire. If wood soaked up water it would sink, right? For about 30 minutes, you'll see the thick, bluish smoke. When that starts to thin out add your meat. The thick stuff is what burns your eyes, and adds acrid flavor to your meat.

I would very much recommend a diffuser of some kind, very important to lo/slo cooking.

Meatheads site is full of great info, but very little is geared directly to kamado cooking.


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do you need to make sure your wood gets ignited right off the bat to burn off all the impurities from the get go? I add my wood right away but some chunks dont start burning until after food is already on the grill

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I add my dry wood chunks when I am pouring in lump and prepping it to light. I make sure that there is a good mix throughout the lump so that as the fire progresses, it constantly has a new source of wood in the pit. Remember somebody said it here before - you only want to kiss the meat with smoke.

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