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Various xl temp ramblings/questions

InksmythInksmyth Posts: 308
edited 11:25PM in EggHead Forum
I have had my XL about a year. I still have temp problems. When I set the vent and daisy to 1/8" vent and daisy petals 1/2 open I am lucky to maintain 180 degs. I hit 250 degs with vent about 1/2" open and petals full open. Could this be due to type of lump, how much of the lump is ignited when lighting, pre-heating? Also I have experienced temp spikes. The egg will be stable at 250 for hours, then the temp will start to climb. I have a maverick remote temp sensor which shows temp swings of as much as 50 degs. I am really at a loss here. I know the temp will vary without a digiQ setup, but 50 degs.
The egg is cleaned of ash on a regular basis. I use Cowboy lump. Any info/input will be greatly appreciated.

Comments

  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 28,817
    Inksmyth,

    That is strange. I find the XL is the easiest to maintain steady heat. Mine is nowhere near 1/2" open for 250*, probably less than 1/8".
    I would try another brand of lump and see what happens.

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • gtalvolagtalvola Posts: 42
    Cowboy lump tends to have smaller pieces than some other brands. I've found on my Large BGE that if I put in a really big load mostly consisting of small pieces, there's too much restriction in the airflow through the lump which causes oxygen starvation which will manifest itself with slow temperature climb and erratic temperature swings and even sometimes mini-flashbacks coming out the bottom vent.

    My solution is to set a vertical chicken roaster (like the one shown on http://www.biggreenegg.com/racks.html ) on top of the fire grate and dump the lump around and on top of the roaster. The presence of the chicken roaster in the middle keeps a clear airflow path up through the lump and for me it has solved all the problems of restricted airflow.

    It's worth a try and I'm curious to know if it helps you.
  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
     
    I haven't used an XL and don't know if there is any differences with that size.

    I can use what I think is good lump and bad lump, once it is going there usually isn't much variation in temperatures.

    Out here Cowboy usually has pretty large pieces of lump, larger than RO, Kingsford or Ranch.

    The first thing I would look at/for is air flow through the lump.

    Possibly it might be the number of spots you are lighting the lump. I would guess the XL would need several light points.

    Just some thoughts.

    GG
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,739
    dont have a xl but i can tell you that my two larges have different vent settings for the same temp. i dont go by that, i shut it mostly down and open slowly to where it wants to hold the temp i want. for the stability issue i have better luck lighting with my weedburner than in just a couple places.
  • HamiltonHamilton Posts: 115
    I agree with Steven, the XL is probably the most stable Egg regarding temperature.

    Two things I always do :

    1. Fill all Eggs to the top of the fire ring - no cheating.
    2. Make sure that there is plenty of charcoal well lit before closing the lid.
  • Photo EggPhoto Egg Posts: 7,640
    That was a great idea with the vertical roaster...
    darian
    Thank you,
    Darian

    Galveston Texas
  • InksmythInksmyth Posts: 308
    I think the well lit lump is part of the problem.
    Should I have a very hot fire going before closing the lid and damp it down? Currently I lite in 3 places and have 3 areas roughly the size of a tennis ball going well. I then close the lid and set vents.
  • Photo EggPhoto Egg Posts: 7,640
    Thank you,
    Darian

    Galveston Texas
  • InksmythInksmyth Posts: 308
    Several have mentioned lighting the lump.
    Should I have a pretty healthy fire going before closing the lid and setting vents?
    Currently I have 3 small fires, about tennis ball size, when I close the lid and set vents.
  • gtalvolagtalvola Posts: 42
    Once lump is lit in a few places, close the lid but leave the bottom vent wide open and top vent with metal top off until the dome temperature rises to near your target temperature. Only then should you close down the vents. Or at least, that's how I've always done it.

    If it's taking too long for the temperature to rise, open the lid and use a small battery-operated hand-held fan to stoke up the lump from above. That shouldn't be an issue with Cowboy lump though -- I've always experienced very quick temperature rise with Cowboy.
  • Photo EggPhoto Egg Posts: 7,640
    Thank you,
    Darian

    Galveston Texas
  • InksmythInksmyth Posts: 308
    I will try to call this evening.
  • HamiltonHamilton Posts: 115
    Inksmyth wrote:Should I have a pretty healthy fire going before closing the lid and setting vents?
    Currently I have 3 small fires, about tennis ball size, when I close the lid and set vents.

    Well, this is what works for me. If I'm doing "low 'n slow" I light an area in the center about 10-12" in diameter. I then wait for the wood chunks to get well lit before closing the lid - they will go from smelling bitter to a pleasing sweet aroma. I then close the lid and damper down the vents and bring the temp up slowly.

    If I'm grilling, I light the entire area with a torch and again wait for the smoke to smell sweet before closing the lid.
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 28,817
    Inksmyth,

    Your lump is lit, do you close the dome and close up the vents or let it burn until you are close to your desired temp? The XL has a greater ratio of air to lump volume than any of the others. It has to be choking with small pieces of lump. Your firebox opening is aligned with the lower vent?
    You could try a very thin layer of lump, say halfway up the firebox or less. If it works like that it should work when it's full.

    Steve

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

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