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Firebox Material

CRCR Posts: 175
edited 7:30AM in EggHead Forum
Okay maybe this is a dumb question but. why does the firebox have to be made of a ceramic material that seems to suseptable to cracking? What if it was cast iron? I'm not a materials expert so maybe iron would not withstand the temps seen in the firebox. What if they made a ceramic firebox in say, three pieces instead of one.[p]These solutions have probably been considered already so could anyone enlighten me?[p]Thanks, CR


  • Tim MTim M Posts: 2,410
    CR,[p]Cast iron would really expand and be prone to sagging if you got some really high temps in there. It would also transfer much more heat to the outer shell and subject it to the forces of expansion that crack the firebox. A cast iron firebox would be harder to build and heavier too.[p]A three or four piece firebox is a good idea -- just design one that stays together and you could make a lot of money. It isn't an easy design.[p]Tim
  • CRCR Posts: 175
    Tim M, well, I guess that, as Rosseana Rosanadanna used to say on Saturday Night Live, "...just goes to show ya--It's always something."

  • Tim M,
    Why not just cut the present boxes in thirds, add three stainless clips to hold them in position and be done with it?..(Suppose you can tell I am not an engineer)

  • CR,[p]Nice to see someone thinking "outside" the box..NDE

  • CRCR Posts: 175
    Strmn2smoke, I was thinking that if you cut the box into three pieces, but made the cuts on an angle, the pieces would stack in the Egg without needing any holding devices; this is what the folks with cracked fireboxes are doing and it works fine.
  • Tim MTim M Posts: 2,410
    CR,[p]I am thinking the best thing is to have a firebox with a crack --- let's call it an expansion joint. That is how mine ALL are and they all seem to work just fine. Why don't we just say it is suppose to do that? Works for me![p]Tim
  • CRCR Posts: 175
    Tim M, I think that you are on to something. Develop a culture where we say " Eventually your firebox will develop the cracks desired by expert BBQers. These cracks help control your cooking temps and fuel consumption to degrees of precision never dreamed of without cracks". [p]
  • CR,
    I agree with the 3 cuts. Make them veritcal instead of horzontal. [p]Mine has never cracked... Then again, I have also not cooked at higher than 550 and lite one lump in the middle and slowly bring the egg up to temperature instead of opening top and bottom all the way to scorch the dome to temp ASAP. I wonder if some of the eggers that experience cracking also using MAPP gas or other quick starting techniques that rapidly raise the dome temp. Perhaps it is the sudden temp changes and rapid rise that is causing the cracks. I usually work my way to 550 (mmm, love my pizza) over an hour. I have heard of those reaching 550 in 20 minutes.[p]Are the cracks random cracks or is there a pattern. I mean, does the crack seem to run along the flange, or very close to the vent holes. If the location of the cracks are systematically happening in the same location among several eggers and fireboxes, perhaps a real design solution can be figured out. Someone (don't remember who) did make mention of expansion joints; like in a bridge. THe key with an expansion joint is knowing the specific location of the needed joint.

  • CR,
    I think you are on to something here... Just like antique china.[p]My grandmother always said, it is the chips that make it antique LOL

  • CRCR Posts: 175
    Banker John, I tend to agree with you just based upon my own experience. I've had my LBGE for almost a year; no cracks. Like you I have always lite from the top of the lump (with Weber Fire Starters). I have also never attempted to find out how rapidly I could get to high temps; MAPP gas and small fans are some of the methods used. Finally, I normally cook at 250-450 degrees although I sometimes go to 550 for pizza or steaks.[p]Who knows if any of this has anything to do with firebox cracks. Anyway the cracks, unless very serious, do not seem to matter.
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