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View Full Version : Getting a Kamado to Temp????


greenmountainsmoke
12-19-2016, 07:05 AM
Fired up my Akorn for the first time yesterday. Seasoned it for a little over a couple hours. After, I wanted to do a short cook, but quickly realized that getting the temp to drop is not all that easy.

LOVE how this grill works!! Super efficient (barely used any charcoal in almost 3 hours) and just fun to use. Feel like once I get it dialed in, I will be ready to take on the longer cooks for sure.

Looking for advice on how to get it up to temp without blowing by where I want to be. I did some fiddling and have figured some things out (and learning by doing is the best way), but would love to know what works best for the Brethren out there with a Kamado. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

GreenDrake
12-19-2016, 07:17 AM
Yeah that's the first lesson with ceramics, you have to catch it on the way up. with my KJ, I would regulate once it hit about 125-150, draft door open about an inch and daisy wheel open slightly, see where it settles. Cooling off a ceramic is a tricky deal.

mjpmap
12-19-2016, 07:23 AM
Congrats on the new Akorn. I have Primo and the Akorn and the Akorn definitely gets hot faster. I find that I can control temp better with the deflector plate in. How you light it can have a big effect. I pick up firestarters from ACE hardware and just use a 2 inch piece. Dig a small hole in your charcoal and put the firestarter in there. Once it flames, cover it with a few pieces of lump. Close it and let it climb. I start to damper mine when its 50 degrees away from target. Close the bottom down to less than a finger width, and close the top to where you just see a "d" shape. There have been a couple of times where my temp spiked enough that I just opened the dome for a couple minutes. The down side of that is that you do give the fire more oxygen. The first time I used my Akorn, I used a chimney starter that was half full. It was way too much and I had 500 in no time. No worries though, you'll have control of that cooker in no time.

mjpmap
12-19-2016, 07:24 AM
Yeah that's the first lesson with ceramics, you have to catch it on the way up. with my KJ, I would regulate once it hit about 125-150, draft door open about an inch and daisy wheel open slightly, see where it settles. Cooling off a ceramic is a tricky deal.

True statement, the Akorn is steel though.

greenmountainsmoke
12-19-2016, 07:35 AM
Basically did exactly the start up method you mention. At one point, I choked it too hard and had to re start it. From there, I started at 5 and slowly closed it down every 25 degrees starting at 125. While it got up to 300, I felt like I had some control. Should I be closing the bottom down more and earlier?

mjpmap
12-19-2016, 07:51 AM
I have to confess, I never look at the numbers on the vent. I pretty much leave the bottom open wide and then when I want to slow the climb, I close it down to about a half inch. I use an Igrill2 to monitor my temps, and that helps tremendously. I've also found with both my kamados that things like humidity, re lit charcoal, etc. all have an effect on your startup. The other thing that I think is important is to not try to chase temps. If it wants to settle in at 275, or 300, just go with that temp. Its a pretty friendly cooker when you do that.

greenmountainsmoke
12-19-2016, 07:54 AM
Cool, thanks! Yesterday was the first day in a while that temps rose above the teens (and they are back to 0 this morning). With that being said, the Akorn responded real well. Held temps and cooked my fatties super fast (IT went from 140 to 165 in about 15 minutes when grill temps were around 300). I am psyched to get to know this grill and do some awesome cooks.

Smoking Piney
12-19-2016, 07:55 AM
With my BGE, I start closing the bottom vent in increments when I get within 50 degrees of target temp. Within 25 degrees, I'll start closing off the top vent and let it ease up to temperature.

The time to temperature is dependent on how much lump you have lit - the more you have lit, the faster it will climb.

After a few cooks, you will have a sight picture of the vents for different temperatures, and you'll be dialing it in without too much thought. Just be patient and try not to let the temp overshoot. Kamados don't like losing temperature, as you've seen.

Single Malt Slacker
12-19-2016, 08:38 AM
I love my Akorn, it just takes a little getting used to. Here is a previous thread that I've chimed in on for reference.
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=203185

Iíve had my Akorn for about 9 months and couldnít be happier with it. My overarching suggestion is to be patient with it. Small changes in vent settings can take 15-20 minutes to show an effect. And in the case of overshooting the target temperature, it takes quite a while to bring back down. Thatís why I normally shut down the vents sooner than 200 (@ the grate) for a ~275 smoke. Here are some of the things I do:
Almost completely fill the firebox with lump charcoal (I use Royal Oak with no complaints) and smoking wood chunks, for either low or high temperature cooks
For less than 300 degree temps:
ē Open bottom vent and top vent fully
ē Light the top center of the lump with a propane torch (only light that one spot)
ē Close the lid when confident lump is lit
ē Start shutting both vents down when temperature @ the grate is ~175, almost completely closed on the bottom and top (very similar to what retfr8flyr specified earlier)
ē Let the Akorn settle and adjust top vent from there, allowing at least 15 minutes between changes
I have made no mods to my Akorn and am quite happy with it. I find that I have to be patient getting it started but once dialed in, it is like it is on cruise control. Iíve learned an awful lot from the Brethren and have made some fantastic grub in the last 9 months!
Iím happy to answer any questions you may have.

greenmountainsmoke
12-19-2016, 09:11 AM
That is some great advice. Thanks!

BigBobBQ
12-19-2016, 11:19 AM
I start mine with 8 or 10 coals in a chimney, pour that on top and open top and bottom vents. When temp hits 180 or so I close the bottom vent to the width of my pointer finger vertically not horizontally. I set the top vent where there is just a slight crack more open than the D, maybe 1/16". That runs me right around 240-250. I set my vents and give it an hour or so to settle in while I get the meat ready and I usually never have to touch the vents again. I did add a grate on the charcoal tub and use a pizza pan wrapped in foil (easy clean up) as a heat deflector.

thirtydaZe
12-19-2016, 02:07 PM
you'll learn pretty quick where it runs. it kind of takes the guess work out of itself.

gtsum
12-19-2016, 02:43 PM
Tried all kinds of ways over the years lighting the primo. It now just use a map torch in a few places with all vents open. Start to adjust vents when I get about 50 degrees from target. As long as u don't leave the cooker and go inside for 10 minutes etc you will learn quickly about how long it takes and what the vent settings do. I can't remember the last time I overshot a cooking temp by a large amount...but if u do, it will take awhile to bring down due to the ceramic properties


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