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Air Flow in the XL

I don't know if any other XL owners have had a problem with contoling their cooking temp  but after two years with the XL i have finally solved the air control problems.  I could never set the temp below about 300 to 330 for low and slow.  To reduce the air flow into the fire box, I purchased 12 one inch diameter steel ball bearings which I used to reduce the number of openings into the fire box...worked like a charm...

Fixed ribs today...low and slow...had to open the lower air inlet about a half inch to keep the temp at 250...Ribs were great...

Rockwall Texas, just east of Dallas where the humidity and heat meet! Life is too short to get caught in the fast lane behind somebody slow!

XL, LG, Sm, Mini and Weber for drink holder

Comments

  • SMITTYtheSMOKERSMITTYtheSMOKER Posts: 2,087
    edited March 2013

    Newer XL's have smaller holes in the firegrate.  

     

    Sounds like you may yours "dailed in" now.

     

    -SMITTY     

    from SANTA CLARA, CA

  • jccbone62jccbone62 Posts: 194
    Nice mod.
    XL owner in Wichita, KS
  • stlcharcoalstlcharcoal Posts: 979

    I run a Weber 18" cooking grate in the bottom of mine which allow 4x+ the amount of air that the stock grate did.  I have never had issues maintaining 200-250 in it though with or without a iQue110.  Without it, the lower draft door is cracked 1/4" or so.  Daisy wheel is barely open.

    What happens to yours when you damper it down?   

    I light mine with a torch from above and as soon as I can see the heat from the charcoal I get the plate setter in it and throttle it down.  If you let it get above 300-350 on start up, it's hard to get it back down.

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  • YEMTreyYEMTrey Posts: 1,669
    I bought my XL last July and have never had a problem holding temps at 235-250.  Matter of fact, the damn thing is so efficient at those temps it hardly uses any lump.  I'm amazed more and more every time I use it.
    XL BGE and Mini Max in Cincinnati, Ohio

  • I would typically have the bottom vent open about a 16th of an inch or less, the dmft open about 1/3 and would lock in about 330 or so...Couldn't get it to ever hold at 225 to 250..

    the use ofthe ball bearings has let me control it like my lg...easy

     

    Rockwall Texas, just east of Dallas where the humidity and heat meet! Life is too short to get caught in the fast lane behind somebody slow!

    XL, LG, Sm, Mini and Weber for drink holder

  • MickeyMickey Posts: 15,270
    Where have you been? Have not seen you posting on either forum of late. Will you make Salado this year?
    Salado TX Egg Family: 2 Large and a very well used Mini, just added a Mini Max 5th Salado EggFest is March 14, 2015 http://saladoeggheadgathering.blogspot.com

  • I'll be there...have been working a lot...check the forum when i can...

    See you on the river...

    Rockwall Texas, just east of Dallas where the humidity and heat meet! Life is too short to get caught in the fast lane behind somebody slow!

    XL, LG, Sm, Mini and Weber for drink holder

  • ChokeOnSmokeChokeOnSmoke Posts: 1,697

    I would typically have the bottom vent open about a 16th of an inch or less, the dmft open about 1/3 and would lock in about 330 or so...Couldn't get it to ever hold at 225 to 250..

    the use ofthe ball bearings has let me control it like my lg...easy

     

    Weird, never has any issues like that with my XL.  Also, never heard of issues like that with the XL.  Something odd going on there...
    Packerland, Wisconsin

  • LitLit Posts: 3,098
    My XL is newer but I have never had an issue keeping low temps. My first cook on it I finished my table and put the egg in it and fired it up after dark and threw a brisket on. It was at 200 when I woke up in the morning. The controls are very similar to how my large reacts. If you look at previous posts there are plenty of examples of same size eggs acting different for different people. My small comes to temp slow while others state theirs is fine. My mini comes to temp fine and others state theirs come to temp slow. Good idea to kill some airflow though.
  • Ragtop99Ragtop99 Posts: 1,271

    I would typically have the bottom vent open about a 16th of an inch or less, the dmft open about 1/3 and would lock in about 330 or so...Couldn't get it to ever hold at 225 to 250..


     

    Glad you found a solution, but there must be a root cause out there.  Plenty of us can hold 225* pretty easily.  Are you sure you don't have a leak around the bottom vent or gasket leak?  330* is a very high minimum temp.


    Cooking on an XL and Medium in Bethesda, MD.
  • twlangantwlangan Posts: 285
    Sounds like you had/have air getting in somewhere. Limiting air with the bottom vent should have been the solution. Based on what you've said, you had it choked down pretty good - but being unable to keep temps low tells me you have air getting in somewhere where it shouldn't be.

    Have you tried the dollar bill test?
  • dlk7dlk7 Posts: 983
    I agree with Ragtop and twlanqan.  As long as your lower vent is sealed and there are no cracks in the base, the hole size in the fire grate should not make a difference to the amount of intake air.  I'm betting you have an air leak somewhere. I can hold both of my XLs at 190 with or without my digiq.

    Two XL BGEs - So Happy!!!!

    Waunakee, WI

  • stlcharcoalstlcharcoal Posts: 979

    I would test the dome thermometer as well.  Boil some water and see what is says, or stick a thermopen into the dome to verify the temp.

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  • Sgt93Sgt93 Posts: 704
    I have never had an issue, love my XL.  
    XL BGE - Small BGE - A bunch of Webers - A bunch of accessories - Ceramic Grill Works 2-Tier 
    Follow me on Twitter & Instagram: @SSgt93
  • I have checked temps and did the dollar bill test on the gasket...no problem..just cooked gasket the other day and will have to change it out...the lower vent did not show any problems...tried all kinds of tricks and finally came up with the ball bearings which has solved the problem...cooks like a champ at any temp now...love it :)

    Rockwall Texas, just east of Dallas where the humidity and heat meet! Life is too short to get caught in the fast lane behind somebody slow!

    XL, LG, Sm, Mini and Weber for drink holder

  • One last thing:  My wife wishes I had figured this out before I bought the other three :)

    the nest includesan XL, Lg, SM and 'mini'...I keep looking at the medium...

    Rockwall Texas, just east of Dallas where the humidity and heat meet! Life is too short to get caught in the fast lane behind somebody slow!

    XL, LG, Sm, Mini and Weber for drink holder

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 12,242
    The top vent, in cases like yours, I would use it to get lower temps.  But I don't have an XL, so I might be off base.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr., smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

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