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Unread 04-06-2013, 10:29 PM   #1
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Default Klose Charcoal Basket - Time Trial

I bought a custom Klose 20 x 48 last year. When I ordered it, I also ordered the stainless charcoal "S" basket. My first few attempts to use the baskets were busts. I never got the temp over 200 and it never lasted more than 3 hours. Last time I tried it, I was at 160 for 2 hours and 150 for an other hour. David Klose claims he can get 5-6 hours at 225-250 out of them.

I have spoken to David several times and met him in person. He strikes me as a straight up guy and I have no reason to doubt him. I e-mailed him about it and he gave me some pointers. I still couldn't get it to work. I pretty much gave up and used splits. I can hold this pit at 200, 225, or 250 all day with splits. I have entered two charity cook-offs and placed 1st in ribs, 1st in chicken, and 3rd in butts, so I must be doing something right.

Recently, I decided that I must have an Id10t error and that I needed to try again. I Googled "Klose charcoal baskets" and found many people who were having similar problems and several who claimed the damn thing worked. David claims to have tested the hell out of this thing. I have to figure it out.

One thing I found online was discussions about fuel. I had only tried lump. Many commenters were using briquettes. The complained about clogging the basket with ash. One guy claimed that Kingsford and Royal Oak produced too much ash, but that Stubbs would work. I went to Lowes and bought two bags of Stubbs.

Tonight was the perfect night to run a test. 68 degrees, low humidity, no wind. I used a coffee can to keep the end open and packed the basket 1/2 full with Stubbs. I lit 1/2 of a chimney of Stubbs. I put the basket in with the open end first, removed the coffee can, and dumped the lit coals into the open area at 7:00 PM on the dot.

I left the stack open and closed the damper down to 1/2".

At 8:00, the pit was reading 175.
By 8:15 I was at 210.
By 8:30 - 225! Now we're cooking!
At 9:00, I was at 250, which is a little hot for me.
At 9:30, I was at 275.
At 10:00 I hit 300
It is now 10:30 and the pit is at 280 and the fire has made it all the way around the "S"

Clearly, I have more learning to do, but I am encouraged that this thing can in fact generate the necessary heat.

Any brethren out there that have mastered the Klose basket?

David
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Unread 04-06-2013, 11:58 PM   #2
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Fire management brotha you'll figure your pit out, you got any pics of you rig ?
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Unread 04-07-2013, 06:53 AM   #3
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Are you adjusting the exhaust stack damper?
Once the pit is too temp, close the damper to help maintain temps in the pit and get a longer burn time.(Or so i have been told. I haven't mastered the basket either.)
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Unread 04-07-2013, 10:37 AM   #4
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Here it is (with my Performer hiding in the background).

What's maddening is that I can manage the fire just fine with splits, but not the charcoal basket. I thought the basket was supposed to be the easy one.
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Unread 04-07-2013, 10:35 PM   #5
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So I cleaned the pit today and noticed something- the Stubb's briquettes burned so clean that there was no ash in the basket. It all fell through to the ashpan. Nice. I will try this again, but I think I will add some small splits vertically to act as firewall and slow the spread of the fire.

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Unread 04-07-2013, 10:40 PM   #6
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Hey SS...GREAT looking pit......I really wanted one of those just because of Dave...but couldn't find a used one in my area....but Dave told me one thing I won't forget....He said "If you ain't having fun (cooking) why the heck are you doing it?"...
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Unread 04-08-2013, 09:51 PM   #7
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OK, I was off of work today and decided to do a full time trial. I got the idea of adding two splits to the basket to function as firewalls and hopefully slow down the burn at the corners.

Here is the setup:

Then I filled the gaps with Stubb's Briquettes:

Notice that I left a larger gap in the front. Instead of a 1/2 chimney, I opted to use a whole one in hopes that the pit would get up to temp faster.
I lit the chimney at 1:45 and dumped it around 2:15.
At 3:00, the pit had reached 200 and had climbed to 225 (intake 1/4 open) when I put some babybacks on at 3:15:

The pit reached 250 around 4:00. I closed the intake all the way and the exhaust 1/2 way. The needle stayed glued to 250 from 4:00 - 5:30. By 5:45, the temp dropped to 2:40. When I pulled the ribs at 6:15 we were back down to 225.

The reward:

I checked the temps during dinner and we were still holding 200 at 6:45.
I checked again at 7:00 were were down to 195 and at 7:15 we were at 175.
Here is what the cook looked like in a graphical format:

I'd call this much improved. I set the dampers and ran 225-250 for 3 1/2 hours without touching it or adding any fuel.
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Unread 04-09-2013, 07:08 AM   #8
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Quote:
got the idea of adding two splits to the basket to function as firewalls and hopefully slow down the burn at the corners.
Interesting technique.
Is there anything you will change on the next cook?
Do you think using a deeper stack of charcoal would benefit your cook time? You would have to use bigger/taller splits also.
Are you starting your chimney inside the pit to help pre heat the cooker?
Any other tips from Dave K that you can share?

The ribs look great.
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Unread 04-09-2013, 08:58 AM   #9
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This is a REALLY great post....thanks for sharing......learned alot from this ...
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Unread 04-09-2013, 09:11 AM   #10
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Great thread. Like jonboy, I'd suggest filling the basket to the brim. That should (may?) give you longer burn time/hotter temps, depending on intake control (and ambient temp., wind factor, beer consumption, etc).
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Unread 04-09-2013, 01:40 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonboy View Post
Interesting technique.
Is there anything you will change on the next cook?
Do you think using a deeper stack of charcoal would benefit your cook time? You would have to use bigger/taller splits also.
Are you starting your chimney inside the pit to help pre heat the cooker?
Any other tips from Dave K that you can share?

The ribs look great.
jon
Jonboy,

As you can see in the pictures, I only had the basket 1/2 full. David Klose recomends between 1/2 and 3/4. I think that I will try a little more charcoal next time. Also, I may try standing the splits on end vertically and closing the dampers earlier.

I got frustrated with the basket early on and gave up on it. When I used lump, I couldn't get the temp over 150-170. Now that I am getting the temp higher, the trick is going to be figuring out how to slow the burn. I mentioned in my first post thatt when the whole basket lit, I jumped to 300. (on the lower rack, which means my upper is 325-350!).

I'll keep tinkering with it. I believe Klose when he says he can get 5-6 hours, I just need to figure it out. I'll post follow-ups here as I make progress.

David
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Unread 04-09-2013, 02:38 PM   #12
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Quote:
I got frustrated with the basket early on and gave up on it
I'm right there with you. I have the same basket and it still looks new.
I think i will give it another go asap.
I try to light the charcoal chimney inside the pit to bring the pit to temp and then load up the charcoal basket. Without the firebreaks like you use, it is easy to get the whole load of charcoal burning and over shoot the temp.
Thanks. You have inspired me to fire the basket up soon.
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Unread 04-09-2013, 03:47 PM   #13
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jonboy,

Try the some Stubb's Briquettes. I just started using them, but the seem to burn much cleaner than Kingsford or Royal Oak.

David
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Unread 06-19-2013, 11:15 PM   #14
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As promised, I am updating this thread as I continue to experiment with my Klose charcoal basket. Tonight I did a time trial with the basket, but this time I stood my splits on end to create the firewalls. Compare this pic to the ones from the prior trial:



I also used more charcoal. I am sticking with Stubb's briquettes; this time with a 3/4 full basket:



I left more space and dumped a full chimney in it:



I dumped the chimney at 6:00 sharp. With the full chimney, the pit jumped up to temp pretty quickly. I hit 210 degrees in 30 minutes.

The temp continued to climb. By 7:00, I had hit 300 (too hot for my tastes). I closed the intake and then closed the exhaust 1/2 way. I held 300 until almost 8:30, then the temp slowly fell for the next couple of hours. The pit finally fell below 200 around 10:15.

Here is a graphical look at my cook temps:



I am still not where I want to be, but I think I am on the right track. I think that if I had closed the intake and exhaust earlier, I might have been able to prevent the spike to 300. Also, next time I will look for splits that create a better seal for the firewall. I think that the gap in the first one allowed the fire to jump to the next section of charcoal too quickly.

David
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Unread 06-19-2013, 11:45 PM   #15
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Heck, I would be all over that. If you opened the vents at 8:45 and added one chimney when needed... you could have cooked a nice brisket with only one fuel addition.

I know that is not your goal, but it would have worked well.
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