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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 11-19-2013, 12:03 AM   #1
mcyork28
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Default New Kamado

Hello,

I bumped onto a used Saffire Kamado cooker on Craigslist at to good of a price ($250.00)to pass up. It was a little rough around the edges but it cleaned up pretty well. The cart is showing its age but I plan on making a table for it in the spring.

I cooked a rack of spare ribs on it yesterday and had some issues with temp control. I anticipated a bit a learning curve with it and am hoping to get some pointers from the BBQ-Brethren gang.

The cooker didn't come with a heat deflector so I used a ceramic pizza stone. it's probably a little thin but I couldn't find a real one locally in time for the weekend. I initially brought the cooker to about 400 degrees and wasn't able to get the temp down. I finally scooped some of the charcoal out to bring the temp down to about 225. It seemed to hold that temp for a half hour or so and then slowly but surly crept its way to around 290. I had all of the vents completely closed and I could not get the temp down. The cooker came with two bags of competition all natural charcoal briquets and that's what I was using. I know natural lump is better but I didn't want to waste what I had.

Did I just get the cooker to hot to begin with? Would the natural lump burn a little slower which would help keep the temp from creeping up?

I got about 45 min of smoke from a mix of pecan chunks and apple chips. Is there a better way to add additional wood without pulling the meat completely out of the cooker?

Thanks in advance for the help.
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Unread 11-19-2013, 12:46 AM   #2
rwalters
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For low-n-slow, you wanna load your fire bowl ALL the way with lump charcoal, and lite one spot in the middle. Leave the bottom vent wide open, along with the lid for aprox 7 minutes. At this point you should have a decent little fire going in the middle of your pile of lump. Close the lid, leaving the top and bottom vent wide open until you are about 10-20 degrees from your desired temp. At that point, start closing down your top and bottom vent. Close both quite a bit until you stop the temp from rising...and then gradually open them a hair at a time until you slowly bring your cooker up to temp. Give it about 15 minutes to heat soak the ceramic and stabilize before adding food.

If this method does not work, you probably have air leaking in somewhere...most likely through a bad gasket or leaky bottom vent.
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Unread 11-19-2013, 01:36 AM   #3
J'ville Grill
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Congrats on the new to you smoker.
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Unread 11-19-2013, 07:11 AM   #4
foam2
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If you have closed off the vents for 15-20 min and your temperatures continue to climb that tells me you are sucking in air. Check all areas where air can get in and replace the gasket as needed and use rtv silicone around other areas such as the top and bottom vents. Also, check the position of your temperature probe and place it an inch or two away from the meat as you could be reading a hot spot at the edge of your deflector instead of the actual temp.
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Unread 11-19-2013, 09:14 AM   #5
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That's a great find!
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Unread 11-19-2013, 09:53 AM   #6
mcyork28
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Thanks for the feedback. I'm pretty sure it is sucking some air in. I'm not impressed with the vents but I can't complain to much as, like I said, I only paid $250 for it. The top vent leaks smoke from under the cap. I removed it to look at the design and found that they used nothing to prevent air seepage. I'm considering using some felt similar to what seals the lid under the vent to prevent the air leak. I believe the lower vent is leaking as well but I haven't really looked at that one yet.

Foam2 - That's a good point about the probe placement. I will put it in a more central location next time.

RWalters - What do you use to light your fire in the center? I have seen electric probes and some sort of fuel cubes used. I used a chimney and dumped the hot coals in.
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Unread 11-19-2013, 10:06 AM   #7
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You have to start the fire smaller...Kamado cookers hold heat so once they get hot they stay hot...That's the beauty of them....Its much easier to get the temp to rise...

I use 1 Weber cube for low temp cooking...Shut down vents to about 1/8 inch when the temp hits 200 and let the Kamado heat soak and temps stabilize...Once the fire has stabilized and is burning clean I add the meat and wait to see where the temps settle...and adjust accordingly...works for me...your results may vary...Good Luck, Smoke on!
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Unread 11-19-2013, 10:25 AM   #8
aawa
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Great find for that Kamado.

I noticed your location, are you and The Gangster from West Linn Oregon, Chael P. Sonnen friends? Please say yes!!!!!
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Unread 11-19-2013, 11:03 AM   #9
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Kamado Guru is a site dedicated to Kamado Grills and most of the folks there are Brethren
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Unread 11-19-2013, 11:12 AM   #10
mcyork28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aawa View Post
Great find for that Kamado.

I noticed your location, are you and The Gangster from West Linn Oregon, Chael P. Sonnen friends? Please say yes!!!!!
I am in West Linn but I don't know P. Sonnen.
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Unread 11-19-2013, 11:14 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcyork28 View Post
I am in West Linn but I don't know P. Sonnen.
He is just one of my favorite UFC Fighters. Chael calls himself the Gangster from West Linn Oregon. I think he has a pizza shop called Mean Street in West Linn.
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Unread 11-19-2013, 11:27 AM   #12
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Nice Find Congrats and Enjoy
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Unread 11-19-2013, 11:35 AM   #13
mcyork28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aawa View Post
He is just one of my favorite UFC Fighters. Chael calls himself the Gangster from West Linn Oregon. I think he has a pizza shop called Mean Street in West Linn.
Mean St. is our go to pizza! it's about a mile and half from the house.
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