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Lighting Tips

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Hey Folks - Since receiving my KK six months ago, I have been using my 10+ year old MAPP torch to light. Has been working well until it died. Before I replace, I wanted to check and see if the MAPP + Blower method was still the best approach to firing it up or is there something else that you would recommend?

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I use a weed burner, with a hose clamp on the neck so I can rest it against the KK lip, wedged under a charcoal basket handle, and walk away.

My first weed burner "died" when the igniter failed. Perhaps a repair one could manage, but instead I bought a second one. You only need one to light, the rest can light off the first one. Now I can wedge two weed burners on opposite sides, come back a bit later to move them...

Once fire is started where you want, the blower takes over. The Milwaukee cordless blower, feeble for serious work, is perfect for fires.

Edited by Syzygies
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I used a weed burner with mapp gas fit deck years but after igniter failures and bring too lazy to make a special trip to get gas, I've switched over to using the Weber paraffin starters, sometimes combined with a chunk of lump wrapped in a paper towel and doused with cooking oil. I usually use the KK for low and slow roasting but if I'm doing a fast and hot cook, I'll use a chimney starter with the paraffin starters.

I just ordered an old fashioned hand driven bellows from Amazon on prime day sale; it's primarily for use with the Santa Maria grill to help get wood splits going but i can see using it with the KK as well.

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I know I am in the minority but I just use fire starter squares/sticks.. not the paraffin ones but the fibrous ones. It may take an extra.. 5-10 minutes to get to temp but I have never been in such a rush as to need a fire NOW to cook. Heating slower also was a good rule of thumb back when I had a BGE as I was convinced seeing all the people taking them to nuclear temps with MAP torches/weed burners without any heat soaking was the reason so many people had cracking issues in their eggs. I had mine 8+ years and never had even a hint of cracking.. but maybe I was just lucky.

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I'm loving my current method.  I keep a jar of left over part burned fuel (coconut briquettes or charcoal) soaked in isopropyl alchohol.  When I need to light the KK I drop a few of my pre-soaked lumps into my pile of coals, light with my MAPP torch and walk away.  With top and bottom wound right open, the fire is established really quickly and reliably.  Depending on the cook I either wind everything close to closed for a low and slow or leave longer to build up for a high temp cook.  If I am in a real hurry I use my mini leaf blower but I generally don't need to rush and I love the fact that I can leave the KK to get going while I am doing other things.  

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I have nothing different to add here, I use a compressed cardboard starter from Samba- 100 lumps cost $5. I place one in the basket, build charcoal around it, strike a match, then take the whole basket out and leave it in a garden bed while I sweep out yesterday’s ash, then hit the fire with a rechargeable battery blower, then put the basket back in the KK and open up the vents, then blow it again and place a chunk of timber on it,
Fire away.
This works for me, no fuss, I think Aussie does the same, whatever works in your world.
While the fire is soaking the KK, I prep the food for cooking….. unless it’s been a big Tekobo like prep day before.
Each to their own.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I use one of those cane style weed burners with a 1lb propane canister. I hit a few areas of the basket, close the kk, open the top hat and pull out the bottom door and let the kk do its thing!

While the kk is coming to temp (15 to 30 minutes depending on desired temp), I will go prep the meal, then adjust the kk for desired temp. That is my typical path for grilling.

For low and slow, I overfill with extruded and light one or two small areas, once the kk is around 175, I adjust the Kk to my low and slow settings and let heat soak for an hour+.

Regards

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4 hours ago, C6Bill said:

I’m surprised there are not more Looft Lighter users here. I’ve been using one for a few years now, it does a great job of starting kamado’s, I use it to start my pizza oven too.

Yeah, I use an LL - works fine.  Probably not quite as fast as a torch, but with the built in blower, it's a one step operation.  But my thumb does get a bit tired holding the trigger down - it isn't a turn on and walk away operation.  

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closeup.thumb.jpeg.2973b29c93c5e39ddfa2ac0d48b26b24.jpegweedburners.thumb.jpeg.4ffe0c96bd0132130825b1d063ba3e7c.jpeg

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I use a camera!

By fixing a hose clamp onto the neck of a weed burner, one can prop it in lighting position, to leave it briefly unattended.

When my first weed burner stopped lighting, I bought a second one, figuring I could light one off the other. Alas, I still haven't figured out why the first one won't light!

Shown is the Milwaukee cordless blower, which accelerates any fire once lit.

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I was a Looftlighter guy for years, like not having to buy anything else and keep stock of it etc. Simple wins for me. When the looftlighter died after a few years of use, I got smart and paid $25 for a heat gun that works a little faster. I try to bury it until I get sparking and then pull it back a little, works like a charm!

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On 6/22/2021 at 10:51 AM, Basher said:

Each to their own.

That's the funny thing.  I think we all come to this with our own method and don't tend to change.  I finally migrated from my original roofer's fire blower because the huge gas tank was a pain.  The MAPP torch, as recommended by @tony b was a great substitute because it uses so little fuel.  I think I change the bottle once every year and a half or so.  I also moved onto using the mini leaf blower because I was riled by the fact that @MacKenzie said she could get a fire going quicker than me.  She was right and I have upped my speed game for when I need it.  I was skeptical of @Syzygies's use of isopropyl alcohol in his Solo stove but I find a few isopropyl soaked charcoal cubes give me a nice, quiet and foolproof way to get the fire in my KK going.

What I don't understand is why anyone takes their basket out to light it or uses a separate chimney.  The KK works like the perfect chimney for me with the vents wide open at bottom and top, drawing the air through the fire basket and accelerating the fire.  Oh well, as @Basher said: each to their own.  

Edited by tekobo
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What I don't understand is why anyone takes their basket out to light it or uses a separate chimney.  The KK works like the perfect chimney for me with the vents wide open at bottom and top, drawing the air through the fire basket and accelerating the fire.  Oh well, as @Basher said: each to their own.  

I don't get it either but then I have my KKs on a wooden deck. :smt046 :-D

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