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I would bet money there is no Firebox in there. The Fire Ring has no air gap between it and the inside surface of the Egg. There is no Firebox holding the Fire Ring up at the right height. So you were missing the thickness of the Firebox and the air gap normally found between the outside of the Firebox and the inside of the Egg. This would explain all of the problems you had.
I would insist on a totally new replacement, Who knows what else may have gotten damaged from exposure to the excess heat. If they won't do that, get your money back and go elsewhere.
Agree with the gasser vs BGE. One thing, I still have hot spots on my Egg. I just jockey the meat around a bit. Seems to be worse at the 350 -500 range...if I'm low n slow or fast and hot I'm pretty even.
I am glad I am not alone here. This is the one area I still struggle with on my Egg. At that temperature range I end up with areas of lit coals clustered around where my fire starters were. The insulating qualities of the Egg allow it to reach that temp range before there are enough lit coals to try to spread around and create a uniform bed of coals. If someone has a good solution to that problem, I'd love to hear it.
Also while I never went back to using my 6 burner gas grill after I got my first LBGE, there are some areas where it was clearly better. The first was evenness of temp. My last gas grill held even temps to within about 1-1 1/2" of the grill edge. The ones I owned before that were pure crap in that department, but they were cheaper models. The second thing I miss is the ability to easily do a two or three zone fire on the 6 burner gasser. Also direct/indirect cooks were a lot easier. If I have much food to do, I will often use one Egg for the direct and the other for indirect. Now I don't want to go back and I don't regret retiring (sounds so much nicer than disposing of) my gas grill. But there are some things that some gas grills do better than the Egg. Just not enough of them for me to want to keep one around.
I will also add in a related comment. BGE seems to be drastically increasing their number of dealers. In my area the number of dealers has doubled from a dozen to 2 dozen in about a year. IMHO this is perhaps overkill. The BGE is not an impulse buy where you just walk in and buy one. You need help and support from your dealer both before and after the sale. If the amount of dealers exceeds the amount of potential sales, this is not a good situation for anyone.
Thanks guys. @TexanOfTheNorth there were just too many variables. Cooking pizzas on a totally new set up, at a temp that was 250 degrees lower using a new recipe and different type crust. Oh and then trying to do a bunch of them...nope. Dry Runs are fun and you get some good food (hopefully).