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Kamado fuel efficiency...

 
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Gogogordy



Joined: 29 Nov 2014
Posts: 75
Location: Winchester/Murrieta Ca

PostPosted: Tuesday 3-31-2015 1:07 pm    Post subject: Kamado fuel efficiency... Reply with quote

I own several Kamado, ceramic cookers. They range in size from 10" to 24". I've been cooking on them longer than any other outdoor cooking method (and sometimes the food is even palatable!) As a relative newbie to DO/camp oven cooking, I'm always amazed at the speed with which the briquets get consumed without any control over draft, etc.

This is my 15" Kamado Joe Jr. my go-to for 2-4 people


This past weekend I did a low-and-slow on my largest, a Kamado Joe Big Joe 24". A pork shoulder, bone in for PP sammiches, and a spatchcock chicken.

I started this unit at 9:15 in the morning, stabilized it to 250 deg. where it resided until 5 pm providing 4 1/2 hrs on the pork (pulled and rested for hours while the chicken cooked) and 2 hours for the bird with just a small overlap where both where cooking at the same time.

I am pleasantly surprised to find approx only 1/4 of the fuel I loaded at the beginning consumed, leaving me to shut the draft door and re-light the leftovers next time.
Thats 8 hrs of burn time there, with enough left for some serious searing, baking, or grilling or another 8 to 16 hrs of low and slow cooking,


My question is: is there a longer, cleaner burning briquet recommended for use that burns longer or hotter? I've been using Wal-Marts brand and it seems to go fast, and leave a lot of ash behind.

I have used some coconut based grilling lump which works very well (some can be seen in the picture above...its octagonal as its extruded) but its too large to fit beneath my camp ovens unless I raise them up and thats not always practical.

Is Kingsford or another the gold standard in the cast-iron kingdom?
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tinksquared



Joined: 26 Mar 2015
Posts: 1
Location: The Ozarks

PostPosted: Tuesday 3-31-2015 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm also new to briquettes and dutch oven cooking, but a long time big green egg user, and I couldn't agree more. I use Kingsford, and it burns up extremely fast, plus I always seem to need a lot more than recipes call for.

As soon as we can get a fire pit set up, I'll be switching over to coals. Lump charcoal just seems silly, unless the situation doesn't allow for a wood fire.
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Joanne
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Joined: 11 Dec 2006
Posts: 4632
Location: Las Vegas, NV

PostPosted: Thursday 4-2-2015 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dutch Ovens:
I've used Kingsford for a long time. I'm not necessarily a big fan, I just haven't found anything I like better. I buy half a dozen twin packs when it goes on on sale at the big box stores.

Grilling:
Lump mesquite. Grew up in southern Arizona so it's the taste that brings back memories.

WSM Smoker:
Usually Kingsford with hickory and/or apple chips.

Joanne
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Bigbamaboy



Joined: 28 May 2014
Posts: 102
Location: N.E. Alabama

PostPosted: Saturday 4-4-2015 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only time I use charcoal is when I am in a hurry (relative term concerning DO cooking) or I can't build a fire. I do the vast majority of DO cooking fireside and much prefer hardwood coals.

Whenever I need to, I can simply scoop a few more coals on.
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Gogogordy



Joined: 29 Nov 2014
Posts: 75
Location: Winchester/Murrieta Ca

PostPosted: Monday 4-6-2015 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bigbamaboy wrote:
The only time I use charcoal is when I am in a hurry (relative term concerning DO cooking) or I can't build a fire. I do the vast majority of DO cooking fireside and much prefer hardwood coals.

Whenever I need to, I can simply scoop a few more coals on.


For the benefit of a DO newbie such as myself, when you use coals how do you ascertain your temps etc? Since everything recipe-wise Ive encountered for DO is largely controlled by numbers of briquets used and I assume the uniform size and density offered by briquets vs lumps of coal helps.

And for kamado grillers such as I am, I simply adjust the drafts and watch the temp gauge.
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