Newbie Question From First Time Kamado User

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Newbie Question From First Time Kamado User

Post by DonR » Fri Dec 29, 2017 3:08 pm

I don't why why I put myself under this kind of pressure! I'm having a few people over for New Year's Eve and decided to cook some pulled pork for sliders on a brand new kamado I've got zero experience with. I've done some online research and video watching but one aspect of firing up a kamado eludes me. I understand that I need to aim for a rack temp of around 110-120 deg C but I'm not sure how to arrive at that temp. Once the fire is initially started do I keep vents near closed to allow the temp to rise to the target temp but risk the fire not establishing itself? Or do I get the fire well established first and then close up the vents to bring the temp down to target? Hope that makes sense.

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Re: Newbie Question From First Time Kamado User

Post by 12x7 » Fri Dec 29, 2017 5:41 pm

I wrote the Kamado 101 post a few year ago. ... 15#p150056

Lot's of tips to help you out. Alot of videos are in the post. If you can't see them on your PC try using explorer as it doesn't block the video scripts like Chrome and Firefox browsers.

Here's a quick way to get you going.

* Load up the firebox fully with lump charcoal.
* Open top and bottom vents wide open
* Lid open. Put a couple of firelighters in amongst the charcoal in the centre. Use natural firelighters eg Samba from Bunnnings and not the chemicals ones.
* Light firelighters. Put deflectors, racks etc in. Close top.
* Wait until dome thermometer reaches about 110C. Depending on charcoal this may take 30 minutes.
* Close top vent to about two match stick width is till open
* Close bottom vent to quarter open

If the temp keeps rising, close the bottom vent some more. Do the opposite if the temp drops too much.

Don't do dramatic vent changes from now on as it is a bit like trying to slow down or speed up a car by pushing the pedal to the floor to speed up and then slamming on the brakes to slow down.

Each Kamado acts differently. The same Kamado may act differently depending if you have the deflectors in or out or how much meat you have in it.

Don't get paranoid if the temp is a bit off. All you will get is ulcers worrying about it. Close enough is fine.

Pulled Pork takes about 8-12 hours.

buy a dual probe thermometer from BBQG. ... hermometer

Here's a good video on how to do pulled pork ... _9GwD2Qf-Y

Cook to internal meat temperature and not to time.

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Re: Newbie Question From First Time Kamado User

Post by Michael_Dunn » Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:24 pm

the very basics of a kamado:

fill the bowl with charcoal (1/2 fill, whatever)

top/bottom vents fully open

low'n'slow 225f (107c) light only a single fire on top
mid-range 375f (190c) light 2 fires on top
higher temps = 3+ fires on top
pizzas = experiment, what works best for you

when first alight, your research will tell you 2 things:
1) let temps go to 50 degrees over, then reduce
2) when temps get to 50 degrees under, start to modify

I prefer (2), but there's so much info out there that both
must work OK.

from there it's all about the airflow.

I don't do much smoking but I've read that for smoking
the top vent is closed more than the bottom vent. For
my normal use (non-smoking) I have the top vent open
more than the bottom vent (sometimes almost closed),
so it's trial and error until you get the settings suited
to you.

just remember it's not a set'n'forget bbq (unless you add
a PartyQ type gadget) - the fire will grow, meaning regular
vent adjustments (normally just a tweak).

and sometimes the fire won't get hotter at all, and you'll
probably find that ash from prior fires has blocked the airflow.

can't hurt to experiment the day before - see if you can get
stable temps.

one more golden rule of all bbq's - if the bbq has an inbuilt
temp gauge - don't believe it.

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Re: Newbie Question From First Time Kamado User

Post by Davo » Sat Dec 30, 2017 9:22 am

Experimenting on a technique or style you haven't done before using guests as guinea pigs usually can go pairshaped, but people have known to fluke it for the first have plan B

Buy other meats you can simply grill and keep the hordes happy or stick the local pizza joint's phone number on your fridge.

Allow heaps of time for Pulled pork, it needs to come up to around 90C internal temp (8-12 hours pending size at 110C), wrapped and rested for at least an hour, 2 or 3 hours is better for lovely pullable pork. As a Komado will retain alot of moisture, you may be able to go 150C and have a much shorter cooking session but the resting of the meat is crucial. I usually wrap in 2 layers of foil then many layers of newspaper (you can use old towels if you want) and place it in a dry esky or just you oven will do.....even after a 3 hour rest, it's still very hot to the touch.


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