HOT SPOT

Craig Lares

New member
Joined
May 7, 2020
Messages
9
Reaction score
2
Points
3
Location
Chico, CA USA
Excitedly I tried cooking 2 ribeyes and some asparagus on my brand new EX6 yesterday at 500 degrees. Before cooking I had carefully completed the 40 minute burn-in at 600 degrees. I put the two steaks on the grill to the left of the firebox and the asparagus on the right side of the firebox. I went inside for about 7 minutes. I came back to find the asparagus badly burned on one side, and the steaks hardly cooked. There was clearly a super hot spot to the right and a cold spot to the left with dramatic temperature differences. I look down into the BBQ to see lots of flames coming out of the right side of the firebox shroud below my hot spot.

I finished the asparagus then moved the steaks over to where the asparagus had been (right of the fire box) and they then cooked very quickly with lots of char.

Is this normal? Am I doing something wrong? I checked the manual and all it said was to be sure that the cover is not left open long (I opened it just long enough to put the food on). I was quite distressed to experience such uneven cooking temperatures at 500 degrees. My asparagus were burned and my steaks looked like I had them on at 270 degrees, not 500 degrees. The next morning I took the center shroud out and checked to see if the shroud over the firebox was installed correctly as per the manual and it looked fine. Help! Did I buy a bad product? I also bought a second unit for my cabin.
 

Zhatt

Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2020
Messages
28
Reaction score
48
Points
13
Location
Millbrae, CA
Excitedly I tried cooking 2 ribeyes and some asparagus on my brand new EX6 yesterday at 500 degrees. Before cooking I had carefully completed the 40 minute burn-in at 600 degrees. I put the two steaks on the grill to the left of the firebox and the asparagus on the right side of the firebox. I went inside for about 7 minutes. I came back to find the asparagus badly burned on one side, and the steaks hardly cooked. There was clearly a super hot spot to the right and a cold spot to the left with dramatic temperature differences. I look down into the BBQ to see lots of flames coming out of the right side of the firebox shroud below my hot spot.

I finished the asparagus then moved the steaks over to where the asparagus had been (right of the fire box) and they then cooked very quickly with lots of char.

Is this normal? Am I doing something wrong? I checked the manual and all it said was to be sure that the cover is not left open long (I opened it just long enough to put the food on). I was quite distressed to experience such uneven cooking temperatures at 500 degrees. My asparagus were burned and my steaks looked like I had them on at 270 degrees, not 500 degrees. The next morning I took the center shroud out and checked to see if the shroud over the firebox was installed correctly as per the manual and it looked fine. Help! Did I buy a bad product? I also bought a second unit for my cabin.
A lot of users are seeing this. My EX4 does it. I suspect that it is related to the direction the fan spins and somehow causes more air to blow the right side.
 

laketater

New member
Joined
Mar 4, 2020
Messages
21
Reaction score
8
Points
3
Location
Elysian, MN
Excitedly I tried cooking 2 ribeyes and some asparagus on my brand new EX6 yesterday at 500 degrees. Before cooking I had carefully completed the 40 minute burn-in at 600 degrees. I put the two steaks on the grill to the left of the firebox and the asparagus on the right side of the firebox. I went inside for about 7 minutes. I came back to find the asparagus badly burned on one side, and the steaks hardly cooked. There was clearly a super hot spot to the right and a cold spot to the left with dramatic temperature differences. I look down into the BBQ to see lots of flames coming out of the right side of the firebox shroud below my hot spot.

I finished the asparagus then moved the steaks over to where the asparagus had been (right of the fire box) and they then cooked very quickly with lots of char.

Is this normal? Am I doing something wrong? I checked the manual and all it said was to be sure that the cover is not left open long (I opened it just long enough to put the food on). I was quite distressed to experience such uneven cooking temperatures at 500 degrees. My asparagus were burned and my steaks looked like I had them on at 270 degrees, not 500 degrees. The next morning I took the center shroud out and checked to see if the shroud over the firebox was installed correctly as per the manual and it looked fine. Help! Did I buy a bad product? I also bought a second unit for my cabin.
OMG dude, I had EXACTLY the same experience!! Did the burn in. The next day I put some chicken on. In the exact same spot you are talking about, chicken jerky!! Since I was so excited to use my new Weber after waiting since December and going to the web site every now and again dreaming of mm-mm future food, I was soooooooooooo pissed. I emailed the pic's to Weber and had to call them since they didn't respond. They had every excuse of what I, yes I, did wrong. I told them there was nothing in the web site or manual that told me I was to do what they were telling me over the phone.
I have since done many many cooks on it with numerous other issues but I have to say that the last 5 or 6 cooks were good. I just don't put anything in that spot unless I need a sear. It actally saves you pellets from not having to go to 600.
I do go in and clean the bottom out, despite their marketing profiles never mention it. The grease and wood dust build up pretty goo and I've seen pic's from a guy that had a massive grease fire and I don't want that to happen.
Anywhoo, sorry for the book. Morel of the story is..poor design, poor customer service. Just hang in there, it appears to me it gets better with age...
 
OP
C

Craig Lares

New member
Joined
May 7, 2020
Messages
9
Reaction score
2
Points
3
Location
Chico, CA USA
Thanks for the feedback. I"ve since noticed that the shroud over the firebox is not precisely/rigidly positioned and I'm wondering how sensitive the hot spot phenomenom is to it's right/left position. Will have to do some experimenting to see if this affects it.
 

laketater

New member
Joined
Mar 4, 2020
Messages
21
Reaction score
8
Points
3
Location
Elysian, MN
There isn't much flexibility for left/right movement. The right is definitely hotter. I do my cooking on the left and if needed for a sear, I move it over the right side. I thought about modifying the roof of the flame cover but figured I shouldn't modify which would probly void any warranty.
 

JetRanger

Member
Joined
May 13, 2020
Messages
27
Reaction score
30
Points
13
Location
Long Island, NY
Since reading about the hot spot online, I've been placing the fire pot shroud all the way left. What I can tell you is that my grill is hot on the LEFT. Not the right. I need to start playing with the position of that shroud. I doubt it matters, but for some reason mine is hot on the left. Not the right
 

dudemcnally

Active member
Joined
Apr 24, 2020
Messages
89
Reaction score
103
Points
33
Location
Texas
Since reading about the hot spot online, I've been placing the fire pot shroud all the way left. What I can tell you is that my grill is hot on the LEFT. Not the right. I need to start playing with the position of that shroud. I doubt it matters, but for some reason mine is hot on the left. Not the right
Now that's interesting...I always just assumed the right side was hotter due to the fan direction or something like that. Can you put multiple probes on the grate and quantify your temperature difference across the surface?
 
OP
C

Craig Lares

New member
Joined
May 7, 2020
Messages
9
Reaction score
2
Points
3
Location
Chico, CA USA
These are all interesting questions guys. I have two Smokefires (one at home and one at the cabin used on the weekends) and they are finally both working consistently now and doing a nice job cooking tasty food. I still have a lot to explore about this grill's capability. My only current frustration is the big variance in the grill temp left and right of the center shroud (right is still MUCH hotter) and learning to deal with that. At 400 degrees the left side is not hot enough to cook a steak and the right side does a great job. What about the other locations on the grill? Yet to be tested. I'm happy to be off my old Green Mountain with the two step startup and two step shut down and I'm hopeful cleaning will be much easier as well.
 

JetRanger

Member
Joined
May 13, 2020
Messages
27
Reaction score
30
Points
13
Location
Long Island, NY
Now that's interesting...I always just assumed the right side was hotter due to the fan direction or something like that. Can you put multiple probes on the grate and quantify your temperature difference across the surface?
I will definitely try this. I went out tonight and bought an ambient temp probe to plug into the Smokefire's control panel. That along with two ambient temp probes on my Thermoworks Smoke will give me 3 reference points for grate temp.
 

dudemcnally

Active member
Joined
Apr 24, 2020
Messages
89
Reaction score
103
Points
33
Location
Texas
I will definitely try this. I went out tonight and bought an ambient temp probe to plug into the Smokefire's control panel. That along with two ambient temp probes on my Thermoworks Smoke will give me 3 reference points for grate temp.
Just seeing evidence of one user's SF being hotter on the left would be enough. I'm not sure what we could do with that information, but it would be interesting. Assuming yours is as you say, I'll bet there are a lot of us that would like to see the differences between yours/ours. Maybe that information could be used to help even out temps a little. Mine isn't too bad, but more even would always be better
 

JetRanger

Member
Joined
May 13, 2020
Messages
27
Reaction score
30
Points
13
Location
Long Island, NY
OK .. Here we go .. I was going to make a long drawn out post with all kinds of timing and other details, but I'm realizing the pics speak for themselves. So, here it is. I heated the grill up to 600° and the right side was hotter until 170°. After that, the left side became hotter. Much hotter. One thing I learned was that my Thermoworks temp probes are only rated to 572° .. That makes sense, as they are made for low and slow cooking. So you will see "HHH" displayed once the temp passes that mark. It doesn't matter. This grill is super hot on the left.

Probe setup ... Two thermoworks Smoke probes on the grates ... Top reading is left, bottom reading is right. I rigged a piece of foil to hold the Weber ambient temp probe in the same location as the built in SmokeFire probe. Another interesting observation ... The Weber probe has fine resolution at low temps, meaning it jumps up by a degree or two as it heats up. Over 400°, it starts jumping by about 16° at a clip, over 550°, well it's a mess. It was bouncing between 624° and 826°. Anyways .. pics....

Probe setup ..

20200520_185844_compress10.jpg


Grate temps at "600°" .. Note: "HHH" means over 572°

20200520_191823_077_saved_compress19.jpg


Flame pattern. Hard to capture by photo, but flames blowing hard left. Intermittently exiting right.

20200520_192137_compress52.jpg


After all was said and done I took the grill down to 250° .. it took a good 15 minutes to stabilize ... I then let it sit for about 10 minutes where I experienced temp roll backs to as low as 180°, up to 250°, roll back to 200°, and back to 250°. I also heard some creaking, cracking, and knocking from the auger. I wonder if that cotter key sheared on the shaft again? 🤔 Full disclosure, I was really low on pellets, temps seemed to stabilize at 250° after I shifted them around.

Finally, we wanted to eat, the grill was hot and fuel was low. I went for broke and cranked it to 500° and here you can witness what happened. With the lid open I can easily tell the left is putting off much more heat ... So much more that I was literally able to touch the grate at it's furthest point to the right. Held my hand close over the grate with no issues... On left. Wow. Like an inferno ... I decided to quickly put back the temp probes ... Here it is as they heated up. The right side is literally like a warming zone.

20200520_202844_compress2.jpg


I'm not sure what any of this means to you folks or to me .... What I do know, is that I keep the burner pot shroud all the way left. It has so little lateral movement though, I don't see how it could matter.

For reference, this grill has a hopper insert and welded auger/chute assembly. It has a Rev D motor with the new auger that came with the welded chute installed as well. My replacement Rev F motor/auger aseembly came yesterday and I have not installed it yet.

Please let me know what you think.
 
Last edited:

abmet

Well-known member
SOTM Winner
Joined
Feb 11, 2020
Messages
836
Reaction score
803
Points
93
Location
Missouri
Thanks for sharing. That’s a drastic difference and as far as I remember seeing the first where left side is hotter. My right side is hotter on my EX4 but only 30 to 50 degrees the time I tested it.
 

dudemcnally

Active member
Joined
Apr 24, 2020
Messages
89
Reaction score
103
Points
33
Location
Texas
oh wow!
When I get home this evening I will attempt to determine the direction of rotation of my fan. I think we should be able to see that fairly easily given the fan's location. Then we can immediately test that theory regarding fan rotation and the direction the flame exits.
 

Brad S

Active member
Joined
Jan 31, 2020
Messages
132
Reaction score
179
Points
43
Location
Michigan
OK .. Here we go .. I was going to make a long drawn out post with all kinds of timing and other details, but I'm realizing the pics speak for themselves. So, here it is. I heated the grill up to 600° and the right side was hotter until 170°. After that, the left side became hotter. Much hotter. One thing I learned was that my Thermoworks temp probes are only rated to 572° .. That makes sense, as they are made for low and slow cooking. So you will see "HHH" displayed once the temp passes that mark. It doesn't matter. This grill is super hot on the left.

Probe setup ... Two thermoworks Smoke probes on the grates ... Top reading is left, bottom reading is right. I rigged a piece of foil to hold the Weber ambient temp probe in the same location as the built in SmokeFire probe. Another interesting observation ... The Weber probe has fine resolution at low temps, meaning it jumps up by a degree or two as it heats up. Over 400°, it starts jumping by about 16° at a clip, over 550°, well it's a mess. It was bouncing between 624° and 826°. Anyways .. pics....

Probe setup ..

View attachment 866

Grate temps at "600°" .. Note: "HHH" means over 572°

View attachment 868

Flame pattern. Hard to capture by photo, but flames blowing hard left. Intermittently exiting right.

View attachment 869

After all was said and done I took the grill down to 250° .. it took a good 15 minutes to stabilize ... I then let it sit for about 10 minutes where I experienced temp roll backs to as low as 180°, up to 250°, roll back to 200°, and back to 250°. I also heard some creaking, cracking, and knocking from the auger. I wonder if that cotter key sheared on the shaft again? 🤔 Full disclosure, I was really low on pellets, temps seemed to stabilize at 250° after I shifted them around.

Finally, we wanted to eat, the grill was hot and fuel was low. I went for broke and cranked it to 500° and here you can witness what happened. With the lid open I can easily tell the left is putting off much more heat ... So much more that I was literally able to touch the grate at it's furthest point to the right. Held my hand close over the grate with no issues... On left. Wow. Like an inferno ... I decided to quickly put back the temp probes ... Here it is as they heated up. The right side is literally like a warming zone.

View attachment 870

I'm not sure what any of this means to you folks or to me .... What I do know, is that I keep the burner pot shroud all the way left. It has so little lateral movement though, I don't see how it could matter.

For reference, this grill has a hopper insert and welded auger/chute assembly. It has a Rev D motor with the new auger that came with the welded chute installed as well. My replacement Rev F motor/auger aseembly came yesterday and I have not installed it yet.

Please let me know what you think.
Would be interesting to see this test with the shroud all the way to the right to see if it really makes a difference.
 

laketater

New member
Joined
Mar 4, 2020
Messages
21
Reaction score
8
Points
3
Location
Elysian, MN
Hi.
I pretty much did the same experiment with the probes and had pretty much the same results. If you have ever looked at other pellet grills, they all have a shroud across the whole cooking area, just below the grates. Weber decided to reinvent the wheel and go with the chincy small cover. I've thought about modifying the roof of the cover so it extends both ways much further, which I think would stabilize the temp's across the grill but I don't want to void any warranty so i haven't done it. Like everyone else, I just learn to adapt to its personality, whatever it decides its mood is during that cook.
 

dudemcnally

Active member
Joined
Apr 24, 2020
Messages
89
Reaction score
103
Points
33
Location
Texas
Hi.
I pretty much did the same experiment with the probes and had pretty much the same results. If you have ever looked at other pellet grills, they all have a shroud across the whole cooking area, just below the grates. Weber decided to reinvent the wheel and go with the chincy small cover. I've thought about modifying the roof of the cover so it extends both ways much further, which I think would stabilize the temp's across the grill but I don't want to void any warranty so i haven't done it. Like everyone else, I just learn to adapt to its personality, whatever it decides its mood is during that cook.
your SF cooks hotter on the left side? That's the part I'm trying to understand. I believed it was universal that they all cooked hotter on the right side. The speculation I have read seems to attribute this to some aspect of how it was designed, whether fan rotation or whatever else.
In any case, personally I'm glad weber attempted to reinvent the wheel...I didn't want a standard pellet cooker/smoky convection oven. I wanted direct heat, and frankly I'm thrilled with the results. Last night I smoked chicken, then upped the temps to crisp the skin/finish them off. Then I immediately started smoking a pork butt. I wanted one grill/smoker that could do most everything well, and I have been successful. I have sold my offset smoker and haven't touched my charcoal grill since I bought the weber.
 

Bruno

Well-known member
SOTM Winner
Joined
Mar 27, 2020
Messages
732
Reaction score
1,290
Points
93
Location
Bay Area
your SF cooks hotter on the left side? That's the part I'm trying to understand. I believed it was universal that they all cooked hotter on the right side. The speculation I have read seems to attribute this to some aspect of how it was designed, whether fan rotation or whatever else.
In any case, personally I'm glad weber attempted to reinvent the wheel...I didn't want a standard pellet cooker/smoky convection oven. I wanted direct heat, and frankly I'm thrilled with the results. Last night I smoked chicken, then upped the temps to crisp the skin/finish them off. Then I immediately started smoking a pork butt. I wanted one grill/smoker that could do most everything well, and I have been successful. I have sold my offset smoker and haven't touched my charcoal grill since I bought the weber.
I haven’t touched the charcoal either, Smokefire just makes it easier.
 

JetRanger

Member
Joined
May 13, 2020
Messages
27
Reaction score
30
Points
13
Location
Long Island, NY
Would be interesting to see this test with the shroud all the way to the right to see if it really makes a difference.
Last time did the test, the grill was super hot on the left and warm at best on the right. I had the burner pot shroud to the left.

20200522_195333.jpg


Tonight I moved the shroud all the way right and surprisingly the grill evened out immensely.

20200522_195450_compress21.jpg


Here's the burn pattern at 600°. Much more even.

20200522_202002_compress39.jpg


And grate temps at 600° with lid closed .. They were within 15° before they hit 572° and the Smoke temped out.

20200522_202830_compress83.jpg


I did some quick burgers and with the lid up, the grate temps were within 30° side to side. It would then swing around wildly with the wind. But once the wind stopped all was pretty even again.

Cooked some burgers and deliberately spread them out across the grates. Everything cooked pretty evenly. No complaints. I even was having a tough time finding a cool spot to melt cheese. Not a bad thing at all.

Running up to 600° right side ...

20200522_202056_compress3.jpg


Running up to 600° left side

20200522_202100_compress37.jpg
 

JetRanger

Member
Joined
May 13, 2020
Messages
27
Reaction score
30
Points
13
Location
Long Island, NY
Pro Tip .... don't try sloughing off the metal slag on the top of the burner pot shroud with your bare hand. Splinters will happen. 🤦‍♂️

20200522_195307_compress28.jpg
 

Latest Discussions

Top