Air leak.. bad or normal - BBQ Central

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Old 08-17-2012, 01:28 PM   #1
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Air leak.. bad or normal

hi guys..
I'm kinda new to grilling..
I bought a Weber Kettle 22.5" and noticed that a lot of smoke leaks on a section of the lid when is closed...is this normal?

I've seen people say it's normal and others say it should be taken care of as it means the grill is losing temperature... Can anyone tell me their opinion?

Chicken wings take over 1.5 to 2hrs to cook which I think is waaaay to long.. I know that they shouldn't take more than 45 mins...so I know there is something wrong.
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Old 08-17-2012, 06:34 PM   #2
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If you have air leaks, that will make the temp too high, not too low (too much oxygen getting to the fire). If you're getting a lot of smoke with just charcoal, it sounds like you have the bottom vents closed too much. The long cook time for chicken pretty much confirms this diagnosis.

Time to buy a thermometer. The attached picture shows the ones I got when my 22" OTS was new.
The one closer to the camera has a 12" shaft and is just stuck through the vent hole and held in place by the clothespin. It shows the temp at the grate. The one in the background is one I bought at Home Depot and has a 1" shaft and a threaded collar. It is held in place by a fender washer and nut (again, through the vent hole). It shows the temp at the dome. That thermo is still mounted on the OTS.
The temps shown in the photo are with the lower vents closed way down because I was smoking some ribs. With the bottom vents opened wider, it should be easy to achieve 350º which is optimum for chicken, I believe.

After you get some experience, you'll be able to get the temp you want pretty darn close just by knowing how far open to set the vents.
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Old 08-17-2012, 07:54 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewHeart View Post
If you have air leaks, that will make the temp too high, not too low (too much oxygen getting to the fire). If you're getting a lot of smoke with just charcoal, it sounds like you have the bottom vents closed too much. The long cook time for chicken pretty much confirms this diagnosis.

Time to buy a thermometer. The attached picture shows the ones I got when my 22" OTS was new.
The one closer to the camera has a 12" shaft and is just stuck through the vent hole and held in place by the clothespin. It shows the temp at the grate. The one in the background is one I bought at Home Depot and has a 1" shaft and a threaded collar. It is held in place by a fender washer and nut (again, through the vent hole). It shows the temp at the dome. That thermo is still mounted on the OTS.
The temps shown in the photo are with the lower vents closed way down because I was smoking some ribs. With the bottom vents opened wider, it should be easy to achieve 350º which is optimum for chicken, I believe.

After you get some experience, you'll be able to get the temp you want pretty darn close just by knowing how far open to set the vents.
Hi thanks for the suggestion...
I just checked the bottom vents and they were opened all the way
..so now I'm kind of confused because if a lot of smoke is coming out from the lid and the bottom vents are opened all the way..doesnt that mean that if I close them half way it will generate more leak?
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Old 08-17-2012, 08:51 PM   #4
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1-1/2 hour chicken wings definitely add up to not enough heat, and not enough heat is caused by not enough air or not enough fuel. If the vents are wide open, not enough air is not an issue.

Are you using briquettes? Are you letting at least some of them get a nice coat of white ash before closing the cover?
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Old 08-17-2012, 09:00 PM   #5
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1-1/2 hour chicken wings definitely add up to not enough heat, and not enough heat is caused by not enough air or not enough fuel. If the vents are wide open, not enough air is not an issue.

Are you using briquettes? Are you letting at least some of them get a nice coat of white ash before closing the cover?
I am using briquettes and I use a chimney starter until they are white..
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Old 08-18-2012, 05:59 AM   #6
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How many are you using in the chimney?
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Old 08-18-2012, 09:25 AM   #7
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How many are you using in the chimney?
I fill it to the top,
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Old 08-18-2012, 02:05 PM   #8
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Try making a rope of aluminum foil and shove it into the area where the smoke comes out from and plug the leak.
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Old 08-18-2012, 02:49 PM   #9
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Try making a rope of aluminum foil and shove it into the area where the smoke comes out from and plug the leak.
I know I can stop the leak..but I wanted to know if it was normal for this Weber kettle grill to do that....it's a brand new grill..I bought it a few days ago...should I return it or this is nothing to worry about?
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Old 08-19-2012, 05:42 AM   #10
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Does the lid or the lower section seem out of round? If yes I'd return it or just call customer service and they are pretty darn good about replacing stuff.
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