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temp problem with Small green egg

edited November -1 in EggHead Forum
I have owned a large green egg for 8 years with no problems thatI couldn't solve. Never a problem with it getting to the tempature i wanted 200-750 degrees. My problem is I purchased a small green egg for our small cooks since there are only two of us.I have tried everything to get this thing up to steak searing temps to no avail. I got it to 600 once but most of the time 550 is its limit. Example: last night cleaned it completely out, put cowboy charcoal in by using big lumps first and then smaller pieces last. lit it with a mapp torch in 5 places waited at least 40 minutes and it was only up to 550. never got to 600.I usually use royal oak but tried coboy because it burns hotter. have tried bge charcoal for same effect. have checked alighment of ash cleanout to outer door and always fill to the fire ring and open top and bottom vents wide open. I don't need advice on what to do because I have tried everything. I need to know if anyone else has had same problem.I dont think it's getting proper air. Thanks for your input ahead of time. Jim


  • RRPRRP Posts: 12,799
    I swear this problem baffles many owners - OTOH I had my small at 770 last night searing ribeyes. It was a regular towering inferno in there! I use Royal Oak and let it take time to get to high temps. Are you giving it enough time?

  • 40 minutes RRP,last night ut I can have the large at 750 in 20. How long should I wait on this thing? Thanks jim
  • BacchusBacchus Posts: 6,019
    Others have filled the gap between shell and fire ring with tin foil. I have not as I tend to stay at 500 and lower.
  • what does the foil do? seems like that would cut off more air? I need more temp for steaks. I ruined a nice filet last night because of low temp to sear.Thanks jim
  • RRPRRP Posts: 12,799
    I started it 50 minutes before the 770 was a solid, sustaining temp. BTW all I used was one Sure-2-Burn starter pack. Years ago I used to start my small from underneath - yup, by pushing a lighted Weber cube in to the bottom vent. I would leave the dome closed but uncapped of course. The naturally occurring updraft lights the lump and just develops one heck of a fire - however it consumes nearly the whole load of lump by this upside down method.

  • Mike in AbitaMike in Abita Posts: 3,302
    I remember someone posting about a possible fix to your problem. I think it was Grandpa's Grub. He found that the clearance between the firebox and shell of the egg was quite large. He was actually asking for some measurements from all of us.

    His solution was to make a "foil rope" and use that to force the air entering the egg to go through fire box.
  • BucketheadBuckethead Posts: 285
    Same boat! Cooked gasket, low temps.
  • Ike WittIke Witt Posts: 195
    Mike has it right, the thread was yesterday and it
    was Grandpa's Grub. He has been doing several tests because he has the same problem you describe.

    good luck
  • BrocBroc Posts: 1,398
    Since raising the grate 1/4" at the bottom of the firebox, I've had no draft problems. Three 4" stove bolts and a double set of nuts...

    ~ B
  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    I have been using RO so far and am going to do a test today with Cowboy to see if the lump will make a performance difference.

    All I can offer you right now is... Plug the gap between the egg wall and fire ring and fill the lump to the top of the fire ring light with MAPP.

    From your posts it sounds like you are doing most of this now.

    All my tests have been with lump filled to the top of the fire box and lighting using oil/napkin.

    I am thinking using oil/napkin or lighting cubes takes more energy (more lump) to get to temp than using MAPP or weed burner.

    The slower lighting method may affect high temp achievable and shorter burn times.

    More questions keep coming up. I hope this testing will be worth the time.

  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    Thanks a lot Broc!

    I see yet another test needed.

    My thoughts on the fire grate bolts is that it creates clean out difficullties. However, more air in = better starts and higher temps.

    I do need to try that out.

  • Thanks for the info kent, my question now since it seems that we are having the same problem does green egg have a design problem on the small. a couple other posts indicate that others are having problems also. It may be that the latest runs could have a flaw.I have talked to green egg about this and informed them that I was an unhappy camper with the small. I understand that even the mini will perform at high temps. Jim
  • Mike in AbitaMike in Abita Posts: 3,302
    I don't feel it is a design issue. All the eggs perform a little different, just have to take the time a learn those differences. Make adjustments and experiment.
  • ok mike, guess I am spoiled because my large has always done what I asked it to do and this dam small has been driving me nuts because I can't grill a steak on it. jim
  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226

    I have also talked with BGE about this, hence the reason for my testing. I want some factual information in my next talk.

    Other thoughts.

    My mini will get to temp quick. I haven't had a need to go 550° yet. I will try looking at the max temp in the next while.

    With these tests I have been wondering about the base of the fire box on the medium and small. The fire box seems proportionately much smaller than the large.

    In my posts there have been a lot of folks jumping in and saying their med & small's get to 1000° really quick. There have been a fair amount of folk that have said they are not getting much higher then 500 - 600 degrees.

    There is not a lot of reason to take any egg to high temps. I somewhat question some of the question some comments. I have to rely on what is being said.

    If one begins to shut temps down when getting to cooking temps then why would they be looking at extreme high temps unless there was a run away. But that wouldn't happen every time.

    I have an extremely hard time going above 450° - 550° on either my medium or small.

    Right now I am more looking at what I am doing rather than thinking a design flaw. Hopefully I will get to the bottom of this.

    How full did you fill the small in when you did your steaks?

  • up to the bottom of the fire ring or maybe a little above. I use the 650 TO 750 TO sear my steaks. I use the TREX method otherwse the 550 would be ok but i don't like to be limited to that temp when it's supposed to go to at least 750. jim
  • BucketheadBuckethead Posts: 285
    Mike I disagree with you. If we are looking at foil ropes, raised grates,and poor air flow, what would you call our problem? Egret mentioned to me in an earlier response (when I posted my problem two weeks ago) the door on the small and mini were the same size, which may result in the air flow problem. This is all speculation on our part. GG is trying to find a fix for all affected, which I appreciate. BUT I still ask, why do some have the problem and other don't? I have an investment that I want to utilize more, and better. Just trying to find an answer.
  • This is simple, really. Air flow and more time to temp than a large.
    You must keep most of the lump grate holes open for optimum air flow with the small. Each time I use my small I rearrange the lump and clean out the ashes.
    More air flow equals higher temp.
    Also no matter what you do the small takes longer to get to searing temps than the large.
  • been there done that and i still cannot get this egg to 600 degrees. changed thermomenters changed charcoal ,vacummed the ash space and the holes in the firebox and used as a desparate attempt cowboy because it burns so hot but still 550. now tell me what to do waited 40 minutes to achieve would not get hotter.
  • Mike in AbitaMike in Abita Posts: 3,302
    If some are having a problem and others aren't then I'll have to answer, different cooks. I'm in no way trying to start a flame war over this. It's just that I realize there are going to be different circumstances around each different size. I am sorry you are having problems with yours. I wish you weren't. I realize these cookers are made in Mexico and may not have the same level of QC as other places. Not admitting this is an actual problem, just different. Kinda like comparing the driving characteristics of a Porche vs a Lamborghini. Both are excellent sports cars they just handle differently.

    Maybe some experimentation may improve the cooking characteristics of yours.
  • Mike, neither am I trying to start a firestorm but i have paid for an underperforming product and no one can tell me why, not even Green Egg. I am very happy w/my large. Never had a problem except gaskets. Am i to accept that this small green egg don't do what it is supposed to do> i have been cooking on a large green egg for 8 years. i think i know how to start a fire and cook most things. I don't think its the cooks!
  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226

    I finished two more tests today and burnt a gasked out on the medium. grrrrr... I knew I was getting in the danger zone and sure enough it. But I learned a couple of things.

    I have been boasting for a long time how much hotter & quicker the mini comes to temp. Big surprise coming up...

    Curing, as far as I am concerned - no way an issue. The adhesive membrane will always fail at a given temp. The felt will melt at a different temp.

    The 'O-ring/rope' theory has some twists too and a cautionary note.

    Royal Oak vs Cowboy - interesting results.

    Max egg temps - yup they are real. Possibly it is altitude which I won't be able to confirm. But, I can't come up with anything else.

    The method of lighting a fire and the list goes on and on.

    I have got to figure out how I am going to present all this and to what detail.

    I am pretty mad at myself for burning up another gasiket #5. My feeling at this moment is that if the adhesive membrane is the same on both felt and Nomex, going to nomex is a waste of time.

    Found a new way to remove the old burnt gasket - both top and bottom on the meduim in about 9 minutes.

  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    "Also no matter what you do the small takes longer to get to searing temps than the large"

    Not so sure - more detail later.

  • BucketheadBuckethead Posts: 285
    Mike I'm not mad at you I just disagree. I have been egging over three years on my large and cook 4-5 times per week and have never had to replace a gasket.I'm very happy with my large egg. I am just dumbfounded that we are trying to fix a very expensive investment with foil, bolts, washers and nuts.
  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226

    I am to a point I am wondering if it is altitude... I am cooking at 4,500'

    I would be really interested in what altitude you are cooking at.

  • BucketheadBuckethead Posts: 285
    I'm in North Ga about 45 minutes north of Atlanta.
  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226

    As I read above, Jim's large works well. His problem is the small.

    My large performs great, but I am not very happy with the medium and not to the same extent but the small is somewhat the same.

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