Okay this beats all I have ever seen

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by newarcher, Mar 22, 2014.

  1. newarcher

    newarcher Fire Starter

    I've been cooking on my Akorn Kamado (cheap knock off of an egg smoker) for about a year.  I had it dialed in nicely--I could manage the temps at 230 degrees all night and day.  Food was great, no issues.  I've replaced the gaskets and sealed it up with some RVT silicone.  I had it really tight.

    Today I did a WONDERFUL smoke of a few chicken breasts and some corn.  The food turned out really wonderful

    But here's what's creeping my mind out, I can't get the stupid thing to shut down.  I closed the grates which usually stops this smoker in it's tracks, in fact I have to be careful to not close the bottom grate too much so that I don't shut down the fuel mid-cook.  Re-lighting is a pain.  I cannot get this stupid smoker to shut off, it's wasting my lump (and I filled the thing up to the top).  I shut the grates at 5:30 tonight and four hours later the grill is still at 150 degrees.  When I shut it off originally, it shot up to 350+ degrees and stayed there.  I adjusted the ash pan to make sure a gasket wasn't crimped or something and nothing helped.

    Frustrated, I employed redneck technology in an attempt to figure where the smoker was getting it's oxygen.  I first sealed up the ash pan with duct tape.  It reduced the temperature just a little bit, but not much.  Seeing that wasn't the culprit, I sealed up the main opening with duct tape.  That began the cool down but it still seems to be going.  I've sealed up every opening on this smoker, where's it getting the O2?

    Anyone else ever experienced such an oddity?
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2014
  2. Just saw this - did you get it figured out?
  3. deansomers

    deansomers Smoke Blower

    I was thinking about getting one of those did you solve the problem?
  4. newarcher

    newarcher Fire Starter

    For the money, despite my issues, I think it's one of the best values for the money.  The new model has one of those built in carts that will make it harder to tip over.  The wheels on my model do not roll well on grass and it wants to be top heavy. 

    I still love mine but something has changed.
  5. newarcher

    newarcher Fire Starter

    I still can't figure it out.  Maybe it could be that I normally yank the thermometer when I pull the food off and just didn't notice how long it took to cool down.  Nah, it's never gone into autopilot mode.

    I did notice that the O ring on the upper chimney was out of place a little.  But I doubt that upper chimney would allow enough air flow for the unit to goto and stay at 350 degrees with both vents closed and the only other two openings sealed completely with duct tape.

    This is a mystery that I do not understand.
  6. coast2coast

    coast2coast Newbie

    You definitely have an air leak somewhere, it's just a matter of finding it.  The most likely candidates are the ash pan gasket or bottom vent slider.  I added a nomex gasket to my ash pan and lid in addition to the factory gasket.  This makes sure those joints seal up tight.  If you have had a runaway lately it will cook the gaskets and cause what you are describing.  It takes only a few minutes with both vents wide open to reach temperatures of 800 degrees or more.  The factory gaskets are pretty tough, but they get hard, especially after a runaway.  Just pinch them with your fingers to loosen them up and get any burnt material off.  The bottom slider can benefit from removing it from the body and sealing it back to the body with high temperature sealant.  I also add a little nomex gasket material to the ends of the opening behind the slider to tighten it.  The last time I had a runaway it cooked all of the gaskets and my cooker would not shut down, just as you described.  I pinched out the factory gaskets as described above, replaced all of the nomex that had burned off, put a new O ring on the top vent, and resealed my bottom slider.  That fixed the problem and it now seals up better than before.
  7. newarcher

    newarcher Fire Starter

    Ding ding ding, I think we have a winner....we have to.

    I too sealed my lower grate and ash pan up with the high temp RTV silicone.  I never take the ash pan off or even move it so I couldn't think that would be it.  I tightened it up none the less.

    During the time I couldn't stop it, I taped the two primary seams (the main opening and the ash pan) completely so I know it wasn't them.

    I did find what might have been the leak.  The upper vent's gasket had completely deteriorated on one side...not sure when or how.  I can't imagine the air leak being enough from the top vent alone to drive the temps up to the mid-350's.  But maybe it was.  I'm going to put in a new gasket to fill the gap and then seal the exterior with high temp RTV.  Hopefully that will fix the problem.
  8. coast2coast

    coast2coast Newbie

    Let us know if that was the problem.
  9. volsfan

    volsfan Fire Starter

    If you have one of those smoke generators of any kind, you can put it in the grill then open the top vent and use a hair dryer to blow air through the top vent and see where the smoke comes out. If you haven't found it yet.
    mtm29575 likes this.

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