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Squarehelmet

Logic Behind Positioning the Heat Deflector

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I have a Big Joe.  As I am trying to expand my use of the grill for more and more things, I am quite confused as to the reasoning behind either placing the heat deflector in the top or bottom position.  

 

As an example, for pizza the recommended layout is to have the heat deflector in the top position with the stone on top.  However, I read numerous posts about people saying that stone gets hotter and hotter during the cook.  If you had the heat deflector on the bottom and put the stone on top of the grate, I would think that the temperature between the top of the stone and the bottom would be about the same.

 

When cooking lasagna, do you put it in the top or the bottom?  Why one location versus the other?

 

So, rather than doing food by food, what are the general principals that you use to decide where to put the heat deflector?

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For grilling or smoking I use low position. For high heat like pizza I use upper. I believe the user manual gives a better description.

One time after a low and slow I did a 600 degree burn off with my deflector in the low position. It trapped all of that heat into the firebox and cracked it.

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Hey SH,

The difference in the defector positions actually has a huge impact on how hot and how much hear the dome and stones will absorb. In the higher position more hot air is allowed to pass though increasing temp of the dome and the stones. This also impact the amount of smoke inside the Joe. More smoke reaches the item your cooking more quickly which is ideal for more smoke flavor on something that will only be cooking on your Joe for 15 - 20 minutes.

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I own a Kamado Joe for the last two years and have had the ceramic deflector plates break twice.  The second replacement of deflection plates I placed disposable aluminum pans placed on top of the ceramic plates to catch the drippings thinking that the cause of the breakage.  Is anyone else having this problem and have you found a way to prevent the the ceramic deflector plates from breaking?

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Welcome to KG.

 

How do you store the deflectors when not used? Any chance they got wet? Also, do you let the Joe come up to temp with the plates in or do you add them after the you hit your temp? Too much moisture and/or sudden temp changes can be detrimental to plates. Other than these, I am afraid that I can not offer much more. I have had my plates for years and never have had an issue. One time I had an Akorn Smokin' Stone get left out in a rain storm. It didn't get used for a few weeks while it dried out in the back shed as I didn't want to risk heating it up and cracking it.

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Digging a pizza off a stone that's below the gasket level isn't really ideal. Sliding a pizza off a raised stone is much easier. If the deflectors are raised, the Kamado will breathe the fire it takes to spike the thermos.

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When doing Pizza I put the deflector stones on the X rack and then raise my pizza about 2 inches above the main grate with some copper spacers. It works well for me and the top gets done at the same time as the crust. I never put the deflector stones in the bottom position when I am going above 300°, just like Andy.

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