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Flame boss 300 Start Up Issue

dstearndstearn Posts: 1,626
edited December 2020 in EggHead Forum
Question for other FB users. I have used other controllers such as the DigiQ and the CyberQ. Never had issues starting low and slow cooks. Now that I have been using the FB 300 I have trouble with it staying under 250. It seems that I have to set it up within 5 minutes of lighting the XL to ramp it up to my target temp. Even then it overshoots the target temp by 15 degrees before it settles down. I have never had these issues with my DigiQ or CyberQ. I was able to light the Egg without the plate setter or stone and get it to the target temp and then add the wood chunks and stone. The temp would decrease a bit and reach the target temp and stay there within 30 minutes.

With the FB it seems that it has trouble regulating the temp for low and slow cooks unless you start the egg and set the stone, probe and fan up within 5 minutes of lighting the lump. So now I am considering switching back to one of the new BBQ Guru models instead.

Has anyone else had similar issues? Any advice? Perhaps it is because the fan on the FB does not have a damper to control the airflow like the Pit Viper fan?
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Comments

  • YnoYno Posts: 457
    I have a 300 and a 500 and have never had this issue. Either unit will keep the Egg at 225 with no problem. My method is to start the fire in my XL with two halves of a Rutland fire starter, bottom vent open, no top, and lid open. When the flames are out and there is a small patch of bright coals, I put in the platesetter and grill, close the lid, and put on the daisy wheel, open fully. When I get to 175 on the dome thermometer, only then do I attach and start the Flame Boss, with the fan in place and the daisy wheel almost closed. Sometimes it overshoots by a few degrees but settles quickly st 225 for hours. I did a 9 pound standing rib roast for Christmas, and the graph line for set temp and pit temp were one line for five hours, and I never touched a thing.
    XL BGE in San Jose, CA. Also a Pit Barrel Cooker, a Cal Flame P4 gasser, and lots of toys including the first ever Flame Boss 300 in the wild. And a new Flame Boss 500.
  • lkapigianlkapigian Posts: 8,537
    FB500 here, don't use it on the egg but 9n my stumps ...Rock Steady no matter set point 

    Is your fan ramping or is it leakage 
    Visalia, Ca

    LGBE- Pit's by Klose Trailer -Stumps XL Stretch - Custom Santa Maria-Modified HD Offset Smoker Reverse Flow- FatStack Smoker FS120 coming soon FatStack 500- Blackstone 36 Blackstone 22 - Custom Cold Smoke House and a lonely Brinkman Vertical Smoker
  • dstearndstearn Posts: 1,626
    edited December 2020
    lkapigian said:
    FB500 here, don't use it on the egg but 9n my stumps ...Rock Steady no matter set point 

    Is your fan ramping or is it leakage 
    Not leakage. Checked the gasket which was replaced in October. No cracks on the base. This has been a issue for me since I purchased the FB. I really think the issue is that the fan does not have a damper. It was a lot easier with my DigiQ and CyberQ before I got the FB
  • calikingcaliking Posts: 16,074
    edited December 2020
    A tip I picked up from @stlcharcoal, is to set the temp lower than your target, then ramp up incrementally. 

    Having said that, I find it difficult to find any real difference between something cooked at 240 vs. 255.  

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • Photo EggPhoto Egg Posts: 11,300
    dstearn said:
    lkapigian said:
    FB500 here, don't use it on the egg but 9n my stumps ...Rock Steady no matter set point 

    Is your fan ramping or is it leakage 
    Not leakage. Checked the gasket which was replaced in October. No cracks on the base. This has been a issue for me since I purchased the FB. I really think the issue is that the fan does not have a damper. It was a lot easier with my DigiQ and CyberQ before I got the FB
    It’s almost impossible to run hotter than 250 unless you are pulling a draft. Air does not leak into the lower vent or leak through the FB Fan. It has to be drawn in by warm air rising and venting out causing more air to be pulled in. So if your fan is not running you must have air gap with upper vent cap if your gaskets are good.
    No issues with my 500 running my XL. But I have always stepped my temps up to target. Did the same with my Guru.
    Thank you,
    Darian

    Galveston Texas
  • dstearndstearn Posts: 1,626
    Photo Egg said:
    dstearn said:
    lkapigian said:
    FB500 here, don't use it on the egg but 9n my stumps ...Rock Steady no matter set point 

    Is your fan ramping or is it leakage 
    Not leakage. Checked the gasket which was replaced in October. No cracks on the base. This has been a issue for me since I purchased the FB. I really think the issue is that the fan does not have a damper. It was a lot easier with my DigiQ and CyberQ before I got the FB
    It’s almost impossible to run hotter than 250 unless you are pulling a draft. Air does not leak into the lower vent or leak through the FB Fan. It has to be drawn in by warm air rising and venting out causing more air to be pulled in. So if your fan is not running you must have air gap with upper vent cap if your gaskets are good.
    No issues with my 500 running my XL. But I have always stepped my temps up to target. Did the same with my Guru.
    I use the Smokeware cap. I will replace the gasket for the cap to see that helps.
  • stlcharcoalstlcharcoal Posts: 4,458
    edited December 2020
    None of temp regulators are really meant to ramp up from start up.  You have a lot of cold ceramic in there, plus the meat, so it has a pretty good amount of charcoal going for that.  Then once everything comes up to temp, it kills the fan and it takes a while for the fire to die down since it can still pull air past the fan.

    Bring it up to temp manually, or undershoot the temp.  Start at 175, let it stabilize or overshoot while the ceramic warms up, then bump it up to 225F.  

    No need for a damper.  They used to have one, but the variable speed fan is the fix for that and it only causes problems.  Guru is a full on/off fan, that's why it needs a manual damper.
  • dstearndstearn Posts: 1,626
    None of temp regulators are really meant to ramp up from start up.  You have a lot of cold ceramic in there, plus the meat, so it has a pretty good amount of charcoal going for that.  Then once everything comes up to temp, it kills the fan and it takes a while for the fire to die down since it can still pull air past the fan.

    Bring it up to temp manually, or undershoot the temp.  Start at 175, let it stabilize or overshoot while the ceramic warms up, then bump it up to 225F.  

    No need for a damper.  They used to have one, but the variable speed fan is the fix for that and it only causes problems.  Guru is a full on/off fan, that's why it needs a manual damper.
    I understand but I never had to bring my XL manually with the other controllers. I would just light the lump and set up the Digi or CyberQ within 5 minutes and bring it up to 225. Then set the wood chunks platesetter. I never had issues like I am having with the FB. Variable speed or not I will give it one more shot. I just think that the FB requires a lot more babysitting to keep the temps down.
  • @dstearn I ran 3 digiq units and a Cyberq before switching to the Flameboss 500. I currently run my big gravity fed unit and my eggs with them with no problems.  I did have an unexplained temperature excursion once that was caused by a couple of big lump pieces.  I always light my eggs with a Mapp torch and immediately install the Flameboss with the top vent open. As it approaches temp I start trimming back the top vent and as it approaches set temp I add the plate setter and grid.  The temp usually stabilizes pretty quickly.  I don’t think a valve adjustment is necessary since the Flameboss has a variable speed fan and the digiq pulses at 100%. 
    Southeast Louisiana
    2 Larges, 1 XL, Rockin W Smokers gravity fed unit, KBQ 
    Go Tigahas!!!
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 39,268
    IMO it's not a good idea to use it to ramp up to operating temp during startup.  The reason is you create a big fire, which will then need to be snuffed some to handle and decreasing heat load.  A waning fire is burning lump getting extinguished and think about how a match or candle smells when you put it out.  Take your time and either don't use the stoker or set a much lower setpoint starting out. 

    Also, if don't have a damper on the fan, you have one on top of your egg. It's actually redundant for the egg.

    Sorry if anyone already said all this, didn't read all the responses.
    ______________________________________________
    Just a regular guy that likes to do regular things.
  • Ozzie_IsaacOzzie_Isaac Posts: 12,999
    edited December 2020
    I recommend putting platesetter in from the start.  That should be at cooking temp prior to adding protein. Light, put in platesetter, drip pain, grates, set 25-50 deg below target temp, then once it hits that temp, bump up to final temp.  I only leave my smokware cap open about a dimes thickness.

    The Flameboss supposedly had a "learning curve" for your egg and if you use it on same egg in same way it will reduce the overshoot.  At least they did for earlier units and firmware.  I personally have always just set lower temp at start and never had much issue.  I do have to push down on my XL lid once I close it to seat everything, but that is another entire issie.
    If it is worth doing, it is worth overdoing.

    Some Eggs, some Weber stuff, the occasional Traeger, and various other things that make flames and hold coals.
  • dstearndstearn Posts: 1,626
    I recommend putting platesetter in from the start.  That should be at cooking temp prior to adding protein. Light, put in platesetter, drip pain, grates, set 25-50 deg below target temp, then once it hits that temp, bump up to final temp.  I only leave my smokware cap open about a dimes thickness.

    The Flameboss supposedly had a "learning curve" for your egg and if you use it on same egg in same way it will reduce the overshoot.  At least they did for earlier units and firmware.  I personally have always just set lower temp at start and never had much issue.  I do have to push down on my XL lid once I close it to seat everything, but that is another entire issie.
    I will give that a try. I did that once before. When I used the DigiQ and the CyberQ I never had to set the temp lower to start. I think the FB used to have a leg up on the Cyber Q due to ease of set up but from what I have seen the UltraQ now is even easier to set up compared to the FB. 
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 39,268
    I recommend putting platesetter in from the start.  That should be at cooking temp prior to adding protein. Light, put in platesetter, drip pain, grates, set 25-50 deg below target temp, then once it hits that temp, bump up to final temp.  I only leave my smokware cap open about a dimes thickness.

    The Flameboss supposedly had a "learning curve" for your egg and if you use it on same egg in same way it will reduce the overshoot.  At least they did for earlier units and firmware.  I personally have always just set lower temp at start and never had much issue.  I do have to push down on my XL lid once I close it to seat everything, but that is another entire issie.
    Agree putting platesetter and all that in after you light.  Why waste time destabilizing the system and waiting longer after you're reached setpoint?

    Most digital temperature controllers are PID (proportional-integral-derivative).  Without getting into the technical details, they essentially use feedback to "learn" how the environment behaves.  If you radically change the heat load, there's a lag on their adjustment of the fan.  Best thing you can do is start them up after you have a stable temp, or you are near it.
    ______________________________________________
    Just a regular guy that likes to do regular things.
  • calikingcaliking Posts: 16,074
    @dstearn - I didn't see it asked or mentioned (or missed it), but how mch do you have the Smokeware cap open? It should be open just a crack, about the thickness of a coin. 

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 39,268
    caliking said:
    @dstearn - I didn't see it asked or mentioned (or missed it), but how mch do you have the Smokeware cap open? It should be open just a crack, about the thickness of a coin. 

    When I used stokers (not any more on the eggs), I set the damper(s) with the fan off to a temp maybe 20F *below* what you plan on running with.  Whatever your egg likes to be stable at, maybe around 230-240F.  That works great if you're setting the stoker from 250-300.  Obviously set the "no-fan" temp higher if you are going to run higher so you fan doesn't have to run as much.
    ______________________________________________
    Just a regular guy that likes to do regular things.
  • dstearndstearn Posts: 1,626
    edited January 2021
    Used the FB300 today to smoke a pit ham. After starting the lump set up
    for indirect and target temp at 25 degrees below target 275. FB ramped the temp up to 285. Once the temp went to 275 set for target temp. After using the FB300 for over 2 years I have decided to replace it with an Ultra Q . 
  • flyt100flyt100 Posts: 3
    edited January 2021
    For another datapoint, I have a Stoker wifi (understand it isn't available anymore, and the recent drama about the system). It has always dealt with the startup without overshoot just fine (I have it running right away)... 
  • calikingcaliking Posts: 16,074
    edited January 2021
    dstearn said:
    Used the FB300 today to smoke a pit ham. After starting the lump set up
    for indirect and target temp at 25 degrees below target 275. FB ramped the temp up to 285. Once the temp went to 275 set for target temp. After using the FB300 for over 2 years I have decided to replace it with an Ultra Q . 
    Could you post the graph of temps for this cook? I'd like to see if the fan is running right before, or during, the time the temp overshoots. 

    The reason I mention this is because I recently set up my FB to run the LBGE at 250. Came up to temp just fine, but about an hour later, I peeked, and the temp was at 310. My bands warped some time ago (I knew this, but sort of forgot). As the cook progressed, warped bands got hot enough that they shifted the lid, and created an air gap between the lid and base. The solution= weigh the lid down by placing 2 bricks across the handle =) (yes, I know I need to order new bands). Once I did that, things ran very smoothly, and the prime rib turned out great. 

    tl;dr - Maybe you somehow have air leaking into the system?

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • dstearndstearn Posts: 1,626
    caliking said:
    dstearn said:
    Used the FB300 today to smoke a pit ham. After starting the lump set up
    for indirect and target temp at 25 degrees below target 275. FB ramped the temp up to 285. Once the temp went to 275 set for target temp. After using the FB300 for over 2 years I have decided to replace it with an Ultra Q . 
    Could you post the graph of temps for this cook? I'd like to see if the fan is running right before, or during, the time the temp overshoots. 

    The reason I mention this is because I recently set up my FB to run the LBGE at 250. Came up to temp just fine, but about an hour later, I peeked, and the temp was at 310. My bands warped some time ago (I knew this, but sort of forgot). As the cook progressed, warped bands got hot enough that they shifted the lid, and created an air gap between the lid and base. The solution= weigh the lid down by placing 2 bricks across the handle =) (yes, I know I need to order new bands). Once I did that, things ran very smoothly, and the prime rib turned out great. 

    tl;dr - Maybe you somehow have air leaking into the system?
    Bands are new as well as the gasket. I have struggled with temperature issues with the FB for 2 1/2 years. 
  • calikingcaliking Posts: 16,074
    @dstearn my wonky bands are just an example. Posting the temps graph of your cook may help figure this out. 

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • dstearndstearn Posts: 1,626
    edited January 2021
    caliking said:
    @dstearn my wonky bands are just an example. Posting the temps graph of your cook may help figure this out. 
    Here are graphs. The FB overshot the set temp of 250 to 283 and later when I added a few small cherry wood chunks the temps overshot my target temp of 275 to 296. In both instances the temps eventually settled to the target temp and held the temp. The FB will hold the temps eventually my problem has been the overshooting of the temps especially in startup. 

  • HogFatherHogFather Posts: 237
    My suggestion is to stop opening the dome for long periods of time and then blaming the FB for overshooting temps. You are introducing a lot of oxygen to an uncontrolled environment. 

    Or just replace your controller. You’ve beatched about it long enough 
    Fighting off the trolls 1 by 1
    Large Egg

    Pig, KY 
  • dstearndstearn Posts: 1,626
    HogFather said:
    My suggestion is to stop opening the dome for long periods of time and then blaming the FB for overshooting temps. You are introducing a lot of oxygen to an uncontrolled environment. 

    Or just replace your controller. You’ve beatched about it long enough 
    Reported. 
  • HogFatherHogFather Posts: 237
    dstearn said:
    HogFather said:
    My suggestion is to stop opening the dome for long periods of time and then blaming the FB for overshooting temps. You are introducing a lot of oxygen to an uncontrolled environment. 

    Or just replace your controller. You’ve beatched about it long enough 
    Reported. 
    Ooh! I’m scared. 

    I’m sorry you can’t handle the truth 
    Fighting off the trolls 1 by 1
    Large Egg

    Pig, KY 
  • dstearndstearn Posts: 1,626
    HogFather said:
    dstearn said:
    HogFather said:
    My suggestion is to stop opening the dome for long periods of time and then blaming the FB for overshooting temps. You are introducing a lot of oxygen to an uncontrolled environment. 

    Or just replace your controller. You’ve beatched about it long enough 
    Reported. 
    Ooh! I’m scared. 

    I’m sorry you can’t handle the truth 
    You have a history of reports against you. Hopefully the admin will block you.
  • HogFatherHogFather Posts: 237
    dstearn said:
    HogFather said:
    dstearn said:
    HogFather said:
    My suggestion is to stop opening the dome for long periods of time and then blaming the FB for overshooting temps. You are introducing a lot of oxygen to an uncontrolled environment. 

    Or just replace your controller. You’ve beatched about it long enough 
    Reported. 
    Ooh! I’m scared. 

    I’m sorry you can’t handle the truth 
    You have a history of reports against you. Hopefully the admin will block you.
    Yes, mostly from snowflakes like yourself that get butt hurt when I point out they are idiots. I blame the FlameBoss
    Fighting off the trolls 1 by 1
    Large Egg

    Pig, KY 
  • calikingcaliking Posts: 16,074
    I don't remember if the open lid feature is active by default, or if you have to turn it on. Confirm that this feature is on, then try setting the pause duration to 5mins (tweak as you need to).

    https://support.flameboss.com/support/solutions/articles/14000109026-how-to-change-the-default-open-pit-pause-setting-on-fb500

    The fan was off after the first major dip in pit temp. Either the lid was open, or you moved the pit probe and it was measuring ambient temp. The temp probably spiked because of air introduced while the lid was open. This seems to have happened again, at the second major dip in pit temp (the middle dip, in that 5:13pm segment).

    As mentioned above, try not to open the lid that often. Set up the egg, light it up, and add the FB in to the mix when the temp is near your target. The top damper should be open just a crack.

    Your FB unit is likely fine. Call FlameBoss (if you haven't already), and See what they say about the unit's functioning.

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • dstearndstearn Posts: 1,626
    edited January 2021
    caliking said:
    I don't remember if the open lid feature is active by default, or if you have to turn it on. Confirm that this feature is on, then try setting the pause duration to 5mins (tweak as you need to).

    https://support.flameboss.com/support/solutions/articles/14000109026-how-to-change-the-default-open-pit-pause-setting-on-fb500

    The fan was off after the first major dip in pit temp. Either the lid was open, or you moved the pit probe and it was measuring ambient temp. The temp probably spiked because of air introduced while the lid was open. This seems to have happened again, at the second major dip in pit temp (the middle dip, in that 5:13pm segment).

    As mentioned above, try not to open the lid that often. Set up the egg, light it up, and add the FB in to the mix when the temp is near your target. The top damper should be open just a crack.

    Your FB unit is likely fine. Call FlameBoss (if you haven't already), and See what they say about the unit's functioning.
    I started the egg my lighting the center. Then set up the egg for indirect at 250. During startup I did not open the lid or reposition the pit probe. Smokeware cap was opened just a crack and I even lined the inside of the cap with fresh nomex. Open lid is set to on.

    Once the FB settles down it will hold the temp. My issue has been it overshooting the target temp and having to wait an hour or so until the
    temp settles down. 
  • Photo EggPhoto Egg Posts: 11,300
    Smokeware caps are great. But even with a fresh gasket, it’s still a 2 piece unit, and air will leak between the 2 pieces. This, in combination with you leaving it open a crack, will cause a small draft to be drawn. For a low temp cook, with temp control unit, there is little reason to leave top vent open at all. The fan will push air out of the small air leaks around vent cap.
    It’s obvious you are frustrated. True, the FB is not the same as Guru or Stoker. FB does not have a flap or adjustment on fan. Looking at the chart you posted above. You can see that the fan is shutting down to stabilize temp, but temp continues to rise. So yes, there is air continuing to flow through your Egg to allow temp to continue to rise and it takes a little time for it back down. If this extra time really bothers you that much, you can close down your smokeware cap completely. This will greatly help. I close mine completely when using my FB. I also have slower response after I throughly clean my Smokeware cap. After a couple cooks it gunks up a little and I get less air leak and response time is quicker with FB.
    Using my Guru or Stoker, I can leave the top vent open a little. FB uses a multi speed fan and will not over stoke a fire. But you also need a tighter air control at top vent to run low temps.
    All I can say is it’s great to have choices buddy. 
    Thank you,
    Darian

    Galveston Texas
  • dstearndstearn Posts: 1,626
    edited January 2021
    Photo Egg said:
    Smokeware caps are great. But even with a fresh gasket, it’s still a 2 piece unit, and air will leak between the 2 pieces. This, in combination with you leaving it open a crack, will cause a small draft to be drawn. For a low temp cook, with temp control unit, there is little reason to leave top vent open at all. The fan will push air out of the small air leaks around vent cap.
    It’s obvious you are frustrated. True, the FB is not the same as Guru or Stoker. FB does not have a flap or adjustment on fan. Looking at the chart you posted above. You can see that the fan is shutting down to stabilize temp, but temp continues to rise. So yes, there is air continuing to flow through your Egg to allow temp to continue to rise and it takes a little time for it back down. If this extra time really bothers you that much, you can close down your smokeware cap completely. This will greatly help. I close mine completely when using my FB. I also have slower response after I throughly clean my Smokeware cap. After a couple cooks it gunks up a little and I get less air leak and response time is quicker with FB.
    Using my Guru or Stoker, I can leave the top vent open a little. FB uses a multi speed fan and will not over stoke a fire. But you also need a tighter air control at top vent to run low temps.
    All I can say is it’s great to have choices buddy. 
    Great advice, I may test it out using my original daisy wheel or close the cap completely. . My Smokeware Cap has a lot of build up. I was using the Smokeware with the CyberQ so having a controller with a fan damper could make a difference. 
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