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Getting BGE up to temperature with placesetter

I have an XL BGE, and love to use it for indirect cooking.  I find that it is very difficult to get it up to temp in anything less than 30 mins with the placesetter. I previously heard that the BGE absorbs so much heat that putting it in cold will drop the temp quickly and will make it hard to get up to cooking temp.  So, I started inserting it immediately after the charcoal was lit, waiting a few minutes, and then closing the dome.  Still, it takes a terribly long time.  My second thought was that maybe I don't have enough fuel in the firebox, but that doesn't seem to make much difference either.  Any thoughts?


  • GreenhawKGreenhawK Posts: 398
    I light my fire and get it to temp without the plate setter or grate in it.  Sometimes I have the smoking wood in when I light the fire, and sometimes I put it in after temp is stable.  When I have the temp stable, I put the plate setter, grate, and meat on it all at the same time.  I don't touch the vents.  It was stable at that temp before, so it will get stable with the vents in the same position again. 

     I can usually have the meat on in 15 minutes or so.  

    Yeah, it does take a few minutes for it to catch back up, but I don't worry about it.

    Large BGE Decatur, AL
  • CAT SellerCAT Seller Posts: 208
    I get my large about to my target temp or just a little above, then I insert platesetter. Temp drops a little, but then comes back up.. You are restricting the air flow during start up, that is why it is taking so long.
    If it ain't a CAT, it's a dog!!! 2 LBGE's & BGE Backyard Chef Edition Cart
  • RickyBobbyRickyBobby Posts: 744
    Have you pulled the firebox ring out of the bottom lately and gave everything a good cleaning? Seems like an airflow problem to me. Are you leaving the top vent wide open long enough to get a good draft going?
    My PitMaster IQ120 FREAKIN ROCKS!!!!!!! Current BGE arsenal: XL & MiniMax
  • USAFA90USAFA90 Posts: 8
    All good thoughts...I used to do it the way that Greenhawk and CAT Seller recommended, but it seemed to take forever for it to come up to temp.  I'll try it that way again next time and see what happens.  RickyBobby, I cleaned things out really thoroughly and left the bent wide open to maximize air flow, but it didn't make much difference.  I clean thoroughly before all of my longer cooks and find that it makes a tremendous difference.

    Thanks for the help.  Any other ideas are appreciated.
  • GrillmagicGrillmagic Posts: 1,550
    I am a newbie with only 400 pounds of lump through my XL and have found it's best to get the coals up there before you put the plate setter in, if I want to spatch a chicken at 350/400 indirect I let the rig come up to 450 before I drop the PS then let it stabilize for 20 min. It's hard to rush a master piece, love me some chicken
    Dimondale, Michigan XL BGE
  • It was suggested to me, before my first pizza cook, that I get the dome up to 550-650 before putting platesetter in for preheating. This is because the temp will drop about 100 once it is put in. I tried it and Bingo! Temp dropped just about to 450 which is the temp I needed for pizza. Try some variation on this. 
    The main takeaway I got was 
    1. it takes an impossibly long time to get up to cooking temp with the platesetter in unless it is a low and slow cook and 
    2. overshoot the temp you need to compensate for putting the platesetter in after the fire is up and running. It's not that the platesetter is cold, it's that it restricts the airflow.
  • USAFA90USAFA90 Posts: 8
    All excellent ideas, and I agree that it's probably the restriction of air flow that creates the problem, instead of the cold places setter acting as a heat sink.  I'll try the methods recommended tonight when I indirect some ribs and will report the results.  

    Thanks to all!
  • rsmith193rsmith193 Posts: 219
    Try putting a charcoal basket in the XL. We found out that just having all the space filled with fuel, the air flow isn't that great. I made mine with flat expanded metal about 3 1/2" high and about the diameter of the plate setter. Fill the ring and light it. Put the PS in with the grate. Bring it up to temp, its about the same as the Large. This is also better for the PS. Cold PS in a hot egg, increases the chances for thremal shock. I can't risk doing that, very few places we go have XL PS. Even though I carry one with us its too risky for us.
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 6,151
    Air flow is crucial. Do clean outside the fire box every now and then. I've had a few times when I was cooking a lot, that by the time I got around to pulling everything out, there were ashes all the way up to the fire box vent holes.

    And, if the fire is burning in various places, and the platesetter is put in, the air flow changes, and most likely the fire will be damped some.

    But, what does an XL platesetter weigh? 20+ pounds? That is just not going to heat up quickly.

    FWIW, my average home stove will not bring a pizza stone to 450 in less than 20 min. When I do a pizza in either the Egg or the stove, I expect the ceramics to not reach the desired temp until at least 10 minutes after the cooking chamber air reaches temp.

    The fastest way I know to bring the Egg to temp is to use a weedburner w. MAPPro gas. Spend the time to light most of the top lump surface. My experiences have been that the dome temp will be 300 in minutes, and w. a platesetter, about 10.
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