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DennisLinkletter

Heat Deflectors in the KK?

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On 10/31/2019 at 11:35 AM, DennisLinkletter said:

I sell a coffee wood lump charcoal with a wonderful flavor profile that I often am unable to keep in stock because if shipping/sea freight issues, nothing to do with coffee.  That being said, coffee grounds will impart some flavor.. not sure what it would be like..  I'm guessing most of the oils/flavor has been extracted.  I've smoked chicken with rosemary leaves.. Less is more!

I use the coffee wood for nearly everything that I smoke to me this is on the same par as sliced bread right at the top of best things …..

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On 10/29/2019 at 7:29 AM, DennisLinkletter said:

 

Yes all Komodo Kamado grills currently come standard with heat deflectors..

I've learned it's easier to give people what they want than to educate them.  I supply them because people coming from the glazed-pot Kamado world think they're very important.  Glazed pot Kamados are basically un-insulated and when the ambient temperature changes/drops their temperature can crash.  Having a heat deflector reflecting heat back into the firebox gives these grills thermal mass/ a heat sink to help stabilize temps during these ambient temperature swings. Their deflector and firebox are the only components that are not exposed to the changing ambient temps. The thin glazed pot walls are unable to hold and give off heat the way a big thick cement hot face that is also insulated can.

Because KK's are so well insulated, this is not a factor. In fact, the heat deflector requires you to burn more fuel, creating more airflow and more evaporation and less retained moisture in your meat. I suggest, preheating the grill empty and then putting foil on the lower grate the size and the area you want to be indirect. You only need the foil to be large enough to block the  infrared radiation coming directly off the coals from hitting your meat.  Put your drip pan on top of the foil,  install the main grill and put your meat above the area with the foil. Put the upper grill on top of that and more meat. You're off to the races.  The foil is much higher above the charcoal than where the heat deflectors sit and will not trap/reflect as much heat back into the firebox.

That being said I have not use the heat deflector in one of my grills for probably 10 years. Your results will be better using foil to create an indirect area.
You will burn less fuel, create less airflow, less evaporation and will have more retained moisture in your meat..

Will the forum family please chime in how they feel about using foil or the deflectors so I can use this post as a reference.. 

 

Oh I am so glad I read this - I thought it was necessary to create the indirect heat area - I will remove my heat deflector and find a lovely use in the garden also. 

Love this forum - learning so much. 

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7 hours ago, Caroline said:

Oh I am so glad I read this - I thought it was necessary to create the indirect heat area - I will remove my heat deflector and find a lovely use in the garden also. 

Perfect use for it. Assume that you've read the posts with the "preferred" alternatives - drip pans, aluminum foil??

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I use the big ceramic heat deflector. If it takes longer to heat up the KK or uses more fuel I haven’t noticed, and couldn’t care less. We argued about this in another thread as I recall. I like that big block of radiating thermal mass in there. And if you actually use it a few times and then use foil a few times you will see that foil can allow some scorching. There’s no way in hell a couple thousandths of an inch of aluminum can provide the shielding of that huge paver. Y’all told me foil would work, why you thought it would work, I tried it, and my briskets got a little scorched. Well, there’s one way to find out and that’s to do it both ways a few times. I have. And I’m sticking with my big ass stepping stone. The only downside is it’s a little heavy, oh heaven forfend! I like it so much I ponied up the dough to buy a spare. Y’all send me yours…

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For a brisket cook, I use a Costco full size disposable steamer pan. A pack of 10 is around $15.  I had no scorching on the bottom but I cook my briskets at 230.  I used to use a heat deflector back in the day and there's nothing wrong with doing it. After a few experiments, I decided that disposable aluminum pans or heavy duty foil for chicken does the job. 

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@mguerra - as the saying goes - Each to his own taste. If you think it works for you, by all means keep using it. The majority of us, including Dennis, don't share your enthusiasm for using the deflector stone. Not saying this to spark another debate (see the other thread for that), just to point this out to the new folks who've joined the Forum since then. 

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Would someone know what, if any, negative impact not using this pictured deflector would have on a cook?  It is right behind the air vents at the base inside the firebox.  I am trying to figure out a less invasive way to add more smoking wood during really long slow cooks.  I currently bury it in the charcoal and put a foil packet with a couple of holes on top, but have had occasions where it burned itself up to soon.  When I have it loaded up with meat, it is quite a job to remove all the racks and drip pans to get the wood down into the charcoal basket.  My thought was to wrap additional wood as needed in foil and throw it in below the charcoal basket.  Any advice would be appreciated.             

Edit: I forgot to mention I typically use my Billows controller in case that may impact a suggestion.  

IMG_1567.jpg

Edited by Dono
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@Dono i assume you rather not spend money on the kk smoke generator, so alternatives would be using a smoke pot, or larger wood chunks for smoking. i use cherry wood the size of toy blocks. this was after 12 hours. still lots of unspent smoking wood @ 250f. if i use wood chips in a foil bag, it would be gone in an hour..

not sure what would happens if you remove that air deflector, but i wouldn't touch it..

 

image.thumb.png.9878e56c85c3a52e317be10477b3b49a.png

 

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Considering your meat takes on smoke up to 140 degrees and then substantially lessens there in afterwards, I would suggest using a lower temp to conserve your smoking wood vs a higher temp, it simply lasts longer.  The second would be the fire basket setup, light "only" one side and place the loaded smoke pot on that side with a couple good size chunks wrapped in Al hidden down below away from the creeping fire. Say a prayer to Smoky the Bear, wear your favorite lucky shirt/sneakers and hope for the best. Let there be smoke!

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