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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 11-26-2012, 11:52 AM   #1
JMSetzler
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Default 225° Low and Slow on the Kamado Joe


I uncovered my first 'issue' on the Kamado Joe while making this review video on the Low and Slow cooking process. I had read in several places that kamado owners (not just KJ) had run into problems with ash stopping up the charcoal grate air flow holes during really long cooks. About 12 hours into this cook, my temp started to fall and I had to take the meat and deflector plate out to agitate the charcoal to keep it going and clear those air holes. What I didn't do here that I should have done was either make a photo or include it in the video. I mentioned it in the video but didn't shoot that process.

After looking into it deeper today, I'm thinking that the Kamado Joe branded lump charcoal produced a lot more ash than I'm used to seeing with the B&B and Royal Oak I have been using in the past. I'm not sure if that contributed to the issue or was simply the culprit...
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Unread 11-26-2012, 12:02 PM   #2
centexsmoker
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That can happen although if you build your fire right and stir any leftover lump before lighting, you should be OK. Good idea to stay away from ashy lump. I've also found that Kamado cookers like to lock in a little higher (like around 250-260). It's perfectly OK to let them settle in there and your fires will be much more stable. They will go for days at those temps with no worries about drifting down. Also, at those temps, the grid level can be 10-20 degrees lower than the dome temp. IF you are cooking at 225 dome, you may be at 205 grid which adds hours to your cooks and can dry out your meat. If you have a digital thermo, measure it at the grid and compare it to the dome to see where yours is.
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Unread 11-26-2012, 12:09 PM   #3
BBQJack
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This: http://www.thebbqguru.com/products/Turbo-Grate.html
or
This: http://www.nakedwhiz.com/productrevi...-que/highq.htm

I have the High Que one on my egg and it works great!

I replaced mine when the original rotted out.

Before this, I used the ash tool and tapped on the grate from below through the bottom air vent
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Unread 11-26-2012, 12:42 PM   #4
Smoothsmoke
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I know some just swap out their cast iron fire grates for a stainless steel version, like the smokey joe. I see that you put your smokey joe grate on top of the fire grate, perhaps next time remove the cast iron grate altogether.
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Unread 11-26-2012, 02:17 PM   #5
nucornhusker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBQJack View Post
...Before this, I used the ash tool and tapped on the grate from below through the bottom air vent
This is what I have done and it works well.
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Unread 11-26-2012, 02:53 PM   #6
centexsmoker
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yep- those hi que grates are awesome. zero clogging if it remains a problem.
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Unread 11-27-2012, 12:44 AM   #7
JMSetzler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBQJack View Post
I have the High Que one on my egg and it works great!

I replaced mine when the original rotted out.

Before this, I used the ash tool and tapped on the grate from below through the bottom air vent
Could you do me a favor? Could you measure the actual diameter of the High Que grate for me? I have done some measuring and I'm afraid that if it's actually a 9" diameter it will be too small for the firebox in the KJ.
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Unread 11-27-2012, 06:42 AM   #8
GreenDrake
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Try experimenting with other lump. The KJ charcoal is, in reality, Wicked Good. Although a good lump, I kind of prefer the Lazari oak for the last few years. I get larger pieces and not so much fines in the bottom. When I note a drop in long cooks I also use the ash tool and give a couple pokes to the grate from the draft door, usually works just fine. Then again when doing a long cook, I make sure and really clean it out beforehand.
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Unread 11-27-2012, 07:32 AM   #9
nucornhusker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenDrake View Post
Try experimenting with other lump. The KJ charcoal is, in reality, Wicked Good. Although a good lump, I kind of prefer the Lazari oak for the last few years. I get larger pieces and not so much fines in the bottom. When I note a drop in long cooks I also use the ash tool and give a couple pokes to the grate from the draft door, usually works just fine. Then again when doing a long cook, I make sure and really clean it out beforehand.
KJ has a North American blend and a South American blend, so it may just be one of the blends that is causing the issue. The bags are printed the same, but made of a different material. Was the bag the traditional craft paper texture, or did it look/feel a little like a synthetic material? The traditional is North American, the latter is South American.
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Unread 11-27-2012, 10:47 AM   #10
JMSetzler
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After another test of sorts, it's not the lump causing the issue. I ran a load of lump and let it burn down completely and the lower grate vents were almost covered completely, but the lump did burn all the way down during the process. I will be replacing the grate. I plan to use the smokey joe charcoal grate until I can find out if the high-que grate will fit or not.
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Unread 11-27-2012, 12:44 PM   #11
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Hi-Q won't fit. I called them and asked about fitting KJ. you need a 10" grate for KJ.
They suggested the smoky joe replacement grate. I started with one and it works fine but would warp after a while. I just turned it over and let it warp itself back. I got another grate and use them both at the same time but rotate one 90 degrees and after 6-7 cooks it hasn't warped.
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