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Anyboby have experience with a lump reducing ring for the XL?

Just placed an order for an XL to go with my medium.  Saw this on Ebay and was curious to your thoughts on the following product: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Charcoal-Ring-for-use-in-XL-Big-Green-Egg-/230880369895?pt=Barbecues_Grills_Smokers&hash=item35c18adce7#ht_25wt_1170

Should I only use it on direct cooks?  Remove it on low and slow?  Is it even worth it? As always, I appreciate any thoughts or comments you guys/girls could provide.

 "Where the weak grow strong and the strong grow great, Here's to "Down Home," the Old North State!"

Med & XL

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Comments

  • JWBurnsJWBurns Posts: 325
    I have an XL, and for small cooks I simply stack the lump in the middle in a pyramid shape. Never found a need to purchase the ring.
  • tazcrashtazcrash Posts: 1,747
    no experience what so ever, but why not get some bricks to partition the firebox if you feel a need to reduce lump usage? 

    Bx - > NJ ->TX!!! 
    All to get cheaper brisket! 
  • rtt121rtt121 Posts: 420
    tazcrash said:

    no experience what so ever, but why not get some bricks to partition the firebox if you feel a need to reduce lump usage? 


    This is what I do. 2 bricks. Works great
  • stlcharcoalstlcharcoal Posts: 739

    The inner diameter of the XL BGE fire ring is 21".  That reducing ring is 17.5".  What are you gaining by spending $50 to reduce the diameter by 3.5"?

    With or without a reducing ring, you still need to heat up the entire Egg.  You're not saving any charcoal.

    Then it only sits 3-4" high......with that minimal amount of charcoal, you do not have to be worried about clogging the grate or firebox holes.  There is more than enough air to feed that little amount of charcoal.

    I do not understand the concept at all.  But if there is still some reason to do something like this, just use a few fire bricks in the firebox.

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  • Shipped for $55? WOW! Go to a scrap yard and get someone to cut you that grate then weld it together.. Probably cost you about $15 or so..
  • stlcharcoalstlcharcoal Posts: 739

    One upgrade for your new XL--a new firegrate.  A $9 Weber 18" cooking grid from Home Depot or Lowes drops right in and replaces BGE's cast iron one.  If you have problems with lump falling through, buy two, sandwich them together at a 90 degree angle to form your own cross hatching.  Best upgrade yet, and CHEAP.

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  • BjorgBjorg Posts: 231
    I use my lump reducing ring for 80% of my cooks, both direct and indirect. I feel I use less lump with it, especially for high temp cook such as pizza or steak. Also provides for 2 heat zones witch is useful. For low and slow, I do not use it so I can cook longer. 

    Why not get the one from Ceramic grill store?


    Quebec - Canada
  • Smokin_GoodSmokin_Good Posts: 37

    I didn't think the ring was worth it. I got these and use them almost every time I am grilling direct.

    http://shop.ceramicgrillstore.com/ang-l-brackets-pair-xl/ 

     

    XL & Medium BGE Keller, TX
  • travisstricktravisstrick Posts: 4,001
    I have one of similar size. It's a prototype that Tom made.

    I have not taken it out in 6 months. I'll say that again so it sinks in.

    I HAVE NOT TAKEN IT OUT IN 6 months.

    It makes the xl superior in every way that counts. I've gotten 18 hrs of cooking out of one load.
    Be careful, man! I've got a beverage here.
  • rtt121rtt121 Posts: 420
    I have one of similar size. It's a prototype that Tom made. I have not taken it out in 6 months. I'll say that again so it sinks in. I HAVE NOT TAKEN IT OUT IN 6 months. It makes the xl superior in every way that counts. I've gotten 18 hrs of cooking out of one load.
    Say word?
  • EggRacerEggRacer Posts: 400
    edited May 2013
    I use a reducing ring from the Ceramic Grill Store and only take it out when doing a pork butt or brisket. I prefer it to the ang-l-brackets although they both have their plusses. I don't have any way to quantify if it allows me to use less lump or use lump more efficiently but I believe it does. That's my thought.
    XLBGE & LBGE
    North Richland Hills, TX
  • Fred19FlintstoneFred19Flintstone Posts: 3,618
    @travisstrick - Your ring, is it like the open walled model or the closed wall?

    ........................................................................................

    Flint, Michigan.  Named the most dangerous city in America by the F.B.I. three years running.

  • travisstricktravisstrick Posts: 4,001
    Open. It looks like a grate bent into a circle.
    Be careful, man! I've got a beverage here.
  • Fred19FlintstoneFred19Flintstone Posts: 3,618
    Open. It looks like a grate bent into a circle.

    Travis, clearly I should have listened to you when you advised me to buy a ring.  When I cooked my butts this weekend, I was loosing temp at the 15 hour mark.  The lump was too spread out to sustain a hot fire if that makes sense.  There was lump left over, but spread out.  Good thing I was at 193 IT.  I was shooting for 200, but 193 seemed to be ok with these particular cuts.

    Two lessons learned: 

    1. Lump reducing rings are good to have.

    2. Listen to Travis.

    ........................................................................................

    Flint, Michigan.  Named the most dangerous city in America by the F.B.I. three years running.

  • EggRacerEggRacer Posts: 400
    I like my lump reducing ring. That's my story and I'm sticking with it.
    XLBGE & LBGE
    North Richland Hills, TX
  • ChokeOnSmokeChokeOnSmoke Posts: 1,615

    I don't cook anything without my lump reducing ring.  I made mine from an old weber smokey mountain fire ring and attached it to a charcoal grate with lock washers.  The best benefit is that I can shake the used charcoal over my ash can before each new cook.  Giving me 2 zones (direct & indirect) is a close second benefit.  Can't imagine running my XL without it.
    image
    Packerland, Wisconsin

  • CowdogsCowdogs Posts: 310
    I have one of similar size. It's a prototype that Tom made. I have not taken it out in 6 months. I'll say that again so it sinks in. I HAVE NOT TAKEN IT OUT IN 6 months. It makes the xl superior in every way that counts. I've gotten 18 hrs of cooking out of one load.
    x2 I never remove mine either.  The only cook I would remove it for would be a large direct cook ... like 10 burgers on the 24" grid where the whole grid needs to be hot.
  • Plano_JJPlano_JJ Posts: 448
    I love mine and I do use less charcoal. I had enough lump spread out from cooking a brisket this past weekend to fill up the ring and cook (4) pork tenderloins tonight at 400 deg without adding any lump. Get it from the Ceramic Grill Store. 
  • cortguitarmancortguitarman Posts: 1,799
    I use the angle l brackets. They are fantastic and so much more versatile than the reducing ring. I can divide my firebox into 1/4's, 1/2's, or 3/4 or anything in between. They allow me to have a direct and indirect zone as well as only use a fraction of the charcoal.
    Mark Annville, PA
  • R2Egg2QR2Egg2Q Posts: 1,330
    That ring from eBay looks overpriced. For more opinions, here's another post on reducing rings: http://eggheadforum.com/discussion/comment/1315747/#Comment_1315747
    XL, Large, Small, Mini Eggs
    Bay Area, CA
  • Black_BadgerBlack_Badger Posts: 774
    Great thread, thanks guys!

    I've been thinking about this a lot recently, especially for using the wok on the XL.

    @travisstrick, is a reducing ring like the one you have available now? Maybe CGS?

    Cheers all -
    B_B
    Badger at heart, living in SoCal

    Carlsbad, CA
  • travisstricktravisstrick Posts: 4,001
    It's available now. Here is a LINK.
    Be careful, man! I've got a beverage here.
  • stlcharcoalstlcharcoal Posts: 739
    It's available now. Here is a LINK.

    That one makes a little more sense at 14.5" diameter.  But it's still going to be over $50 by the time it's delivered.  I guess it depends where you are in the country with charcoal prices, but around here you'd need to save 60-70 lbs of lump before you even broke even.

    Even if the coals are spread out on the bottom, just pour new charcoal on top.  You still need to heat the entire Egg.  You can heat it with 5 lbs of lump burning fast, or 20 lbs of lump burning slow.  At the end of the day, you still used the same amount of BTU's.

    The only exception is searing something small, then it makes sense to have the fire ripping in the middle of the Egg and not the entire grid.  To each his own, but I still do not the cost vs. benefit gain of the ring.

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  • CowdogsCowdogs Posts: 310
    It's not a cost thing.  For many cooks, you get better results with the ring.  

    For indirect cooks, the ring is allows you to build a smaller and taller stack of charcoal which has less of a chance of going out.  The ring also ensures a completely indirect cook as all the burning lump is completely hidden by the stone/platesetter.

    For high heat direct cooks, the ring plus a spider and the cast iron grid give you a nice tight super hot 18" grill.  
  • travisstricktravisstrick Posts: 4,001
    Cost aside, I still prefer the ring. For example, it makes indirect more indirect by keeping the flame farther underneath the stone.
    Be careful, man! I've got a beverage here.
  • EggRacerEggRacer Posts: 400
    If I were worried about cost or return on investment I would never have bought the XL BGE. I'm with travisstrick, I prefer the ring.
    XLBGE & LBGE
    North Richland Hills, TX
  • One upgrade for your new XL--a new firegrate.  A $9 Weber 18" cooking grid from Home Depot or Lowes drops right in and replaces BGE's cast iron one.  If you have problems with lump falling through, buy two, sandwich them together at a 90 degree angle to form your own cross hatching.  Best upgrade yet, and CHEAP.

     

    Great reccomendation, and thanks to everyone who replied.  A lot of mixed reviews.  I think I'll try to manufacture something.


     "Where the weak grow strong and the strong grow great, Here's to "Down Home," the Old North State!"

    Med & XL

  • stlcharcoalstlcharcoal Posts: 739
    edited May 2013
    EggRacer said:
    If I were worried about cost or return on investment I would never have bought the XL BGE. I'm with travisstrick, I prefer the ring.

    LOL.....yeah, I'm not as big of a XL fan as I am the large.  If I had it to do over, I would have three Larges rather than the Med, Lrg, and XL.  It would be nice to be able to interchange all the accessories as well.

    If they would have taken the Large and just blown it up by 50% to make an XL, it would have been a lot better.  That short/squat firebox on the XL makes for hot spots and such.

    I would really like to see someone engineer a Large "square egg" with a 18x18 square grid and versus the 18" round grid.  You would pick up almost 25% surface area, without a bigger foot print on the deck.  Primo tried it with that oval thing.

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  • I'm not sure if I missed it but does anyone know what the diameter is of the lump reducing ring for the extra large egg?
  • fairchasefairchase Posts: 186
    edited May 2013
    What problems are you having with the fire grate in the xl ?

    First time I've heard of problems with it.

    I've heard of problems with the grate in the large ashing over and snuffing out the fire. This is why people are replacing with the Hi Q , but never the XL.
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