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Everything posted by m-fine

  1. HAH, I bought it, so hopefully CGS has a patent. All I did was a bit of bending and cutting to change the size slightly but it is 100% their design that they have been selling for Eggs, KJ's and visions for years. https://ceramicgrillstore.com/collections/vision-xl https://ceramicgrillstore.com/pages/spider-for-large-big-green-egg-introduction
  2. I forgot to mention that with the half stones you should be able to do an indirect and a direct zone. I will have to try it out at some point and let you know how it works, but others are doing it with smaller 18" large BGE's a KJ's.
  3. So, I know many of you are looking for a good deflector solution for the Pit Boss. I believe I have the perfect solution, although it took a bit of work. You may be able to custom order one or get them to make a bunch for us if there is demand. What I got was the Ceramic Grill Store's Vision XL Spider. It sits in the notches in the firebox and puts a ring about 2 1/4" down below the main grate. You can then set a 16" stone or 2 half stones on the spider, and if you want, a 16" drip pan (also from CGS) on the stones. You could also set a 15-17" searing grate on it to get closer to the fire. The main grate sits on the firebox as normal with plenty of clearance from the drip pan below. Alternatively, you can flip the spider, and it will hold the main grid up near the felt line. What needs to be done to mod it? The Vision XL spider is 23" across and the PB internal is only 21.5, so you need to trim the 3 feet to get it down to about 20.5-21" or so. Also, the width of the legs is 18" which JUST fits in the PB fire bowl. I was worried about thermal expansion so I re-bent one of the legs to get it down to about 17 1/2" - 17 3/4" which leaves plenty of room. CGS may make one for you or start carrying it as a model if we give them these dimensions. Let me know if you need help with that. See pictures below and fire away any questions... Legs trimmed. Sitting in place. With 2 16" half stones 16" Stainless drip pan on stones Clearance from grid to drip pan rim and base. Upright and with Grid at felt line
  4. Yes, I was trying to show the flexibility of how one can use it. If you have the PB/Loisiana grill deflector it can be used with it. Or if you already have pizza stone and want to use that you can as well. It also still allows you to use both racks. You could acutally pick up a third small grate ad have three levels. It is the Large BGE pizza stone. $49.00. I got it a my local True Value hardware store. For someone who hasn't purchased any accessories yet (deflector, pizza stone), what route do you recommend I go? So if I had to do over again, I would get the Saffire Multi level, skip the PB deflector and get a pizza stone which you'll need anyway to do pizza and 2 half moons to use as a deflector. The half moons give you the ability to do 2 zone cooking. One for searing and one for indirect at the same time. Be a little cheaper and even more flexible. Thank you! Any recommendations on half moons that fit our PB? I went with a pair of these. The firebox is 18" so I wanted a 1" space around the outside and therefore 16" stones. https://ceramicgrillstore.com/collections/ceramic-stones-pizza-heat-diffuser-indirect-set-up-full-half-size-available/products/16-half-ceramic-stone-large I also ordered a spider from the same store. The Saffire multilevel does not fit properly as the lower level is suppose to drop into the firebox. I will see how the CGS spider fits this evening although I expect it will need a bit of modification. After I test fit and figure things out, I may suggest reaching out to CGS to see if they will make a version of their spider to fit these. Stay tuned.
  5. Yes, I intend to replace the dome thermometer with a Tel-Tru model. The factory one is held on by a wing nut and will come right off. The model of tel tru I want will not have the threads but uses a the BGE style spring clip, but they have models that would screw in as well. I am using a digital thermometer with a K type thermocouple to know what the actual temp is at the cooking grate.
  6. We had a mostly rain free day today, so I fired up the PB and roasted a chicken my wife had brined. I don't have a controller setup for it yet, but had no trouble holding the temp right where I wanted it (400F). I put a tray on the lower grid to ask as a deflector and as a drip tray and put the spatchcocked chicken on the upper grid. Near the end, I pulled the tray, flipped the bird over, and opened the air a bit more to get the skin to crisp up a bit. The results were excellent, and other than the thermometer, the PB performed admirably. When the chicken came off, I opened both dampers fully and let it heat up to 600F for a bit of a self clean and then shut her down. It was still too hot to cover about 90 minutes later when the rain came back. The grill held up fine, but the nearly useless thermometer filled up with water. I could dry it out, but I know this situation will happen again so I am done wasting my time with it. After a few days and a couple of cooks I am very pleased with the overall Pit Boss package and I have no regrets about purchasing the PB cheap from Costco rather than spending double on a smaller egg or Kamado Joe setup as I initially planned.
  7. Thanks! Please let us know how they fit and work for you once you receive them.
  8. Mine is about 21.5" ID for the ceramic, and the factory first grate is 20.5" OD.
  9. My fire bowl measured 18 1/8" inside diameter, but I do not know how consistent or round they are. I will be receiving my CGS spider later this week. It puts the deflector about 2 1/4" below the rim which I think is about the perfect balance between not taking away too much fire space, and still giving room for both a stone/deflector and a drip tray or water pan below the first grid. My one concern is that the OD of the spider I ordered is 18" which should fit...at room temperature. If it gets above 800 degrees, I think it may expand enough to put pressure on the fire bowl and possibly crack it (I have no idea how much the ceramic will expand or flex) so I am going to mod one leg to give more room. The inside diameter will still have enough space to easily hold a 16" deflector and drip tray which should be about perfect. There will be a full 1" all around for air flow for higher temp indirect cooks, but little or nor grate area exposed to direct radiant heat.
  10. Yes, as far as I know, the only accurate thermometers that will safely go over 1000F use thermocouple probes. The good news is they can be had cheap. I buy 5 packs of 3 meter long probe wires rated to 700c off eBay for $10. The shorter ones are less. I have various devices to plug them into at a range of price points and features but you certainly don't have to spend much just to see an accurate reading.
  11. It will. particularly after the grill heat soaks. Also, the placement of the dome therm makes it more useful than on some other grills. It's not the perfect solution but it's useful for lazy days when you don't want to play with wires. It will give a relative reference on your low and slow cooks as to whether your temps are hanging steady and will let you know when your grill is hot enough for grilling (at 500 degrees, a few degrees off, doesn't really matter). Then again, you can probably get those same benefits from the cheap one that came with it. Every time I double check my digital therm against my dome, I always feel like it's close enough though. I do not feel that way with the one of my kettle or the one that came on my akorn. A few degrees off at 500 I could live with, but if you look at my picture a few posts up, it is almost 185 degrees off at 475! I guess if it is consistent (I don't know if it is or isn't yet) I could make a conversion chart for it or paint on new numbers. If the dome location will give usable results, I think I will spend the $25 on a tel-tru.
  12. Thanks for that post- a few questions: 1) why do the half stones? From what I've read it's hard to get 2 zoned cooking in a round kamado like the PB. If it works well though- let me know!! 2) how come you don't like cast iron? Some people swear by it- I don't have enough experience with either. 3) what is the strategy for multizoned cooking. My guess is put the food more likely to burn on a higher level. But the swing grate that comes with the PB is kinda awkward... Haven't gotten used to it yet. Thanks again for the insight 1) the half stones were blemishes that were cheaper than a single full stone. That was the only reason. I am not a huge fan of horizontal zones in a smaller round kettle, but I will give it a try simply because I can. 2) Cast iron makes great grill marks, but not an even, great tasting sear. Cast iron pans on a gas burner yes, cast iron grates over a hot charcoal flame, no. You want the radiant heat from the fire to evenly sear as much of the meat surface as possible and not have a grate that over sears or burns some areas and leaves under seared areas in between the lines. Look up the amazing ribs Guy's article on it, he explains it well. 3) my strategy is going to be vertical separation from the fire. I bought a third grate and will try to figure out a better system than the factory hinged second grate.
  13. I am still debating what to do with the thermometer. If I do put another bi-metal, it will likely be a tel-tru LT225R that can be calibrated and that has a thinner stem so I can also run a thermocouple through the same hole. I question the usefulness of a dome thermometer in a grill, but perhaps the insulation from the ceramic will make the dome temp closer to grill temp than it is in other grills. Since the PB can easily get to over 700 degrees, it seems like thermister type probes won't cut it and a thermocouple is going to be needed to handle the grill temps, be able to read high enough, and be accurate across the range. I may end up using the dome hole to mount a small digital thermometer and run a thin 700c/1300F rated K type thermocouple wire that can adjust to the grill height
  14. After adding gasket to the bottom damper and a full second layer on the top damper, I was able to successfully damp out a fire. I put a big load of (cheap) charcoal in and ran it up to 700* to make sure the fire was well established, then shut her down. I woke up this morning to a cold grill with most of the charcoal left. Also, you can see how bad the stock dial thermometer is. And no, this is not a lag issue, it is this far low warming up and cooling down.
  15. Thanks. No it wasn't too tight, which shows how much of a gap there was! I just had to relocate the holes for the retaining bolts, and pierce the new gasket. I just ran another test on mine and could not fully kill the fire even after adding gasket felt to the bottom damper so I checked my top. I was able to double up the top gasket and it still slid on easy. May try a third layer. I am also thinking about making a second top to kill the fire like a BGE ceramic top. Perhaps the right sized flower pot with gasket on the rim that I can set right over the adjustable damper.
  16. I just posted in the accessories thread, but I ordered a Ceramic Grill Store Spider and a set of 16" half stones to serve as my deflector. I believe the Spider will need to be modified to fit, and I will update everyone on that once I have details. The CGS Spider sits in the indentations on the firebox and provides a shelf to hold the deflector stones about 2.25" below the main grid giving room for a drip pan without raising the main grid. I also ordered a third grid, so not losing space above was important. CGS may be willing to make one for the PB if there is sufficient demand, so once I test it, someone may want to contact them about a group buy or adding the PB to their regular product line. Otherwise I will post modification instructions for those willing to make a couple cuts or bends.
  17. I ordered a Ceramic Grill Store spider and a pair of 16" half stones for my deflector. I am expecting the spider will need to be modified to fit in the PB. The feet will need to be trimmed, and while it should fit in the firebox cold, I am worried it will be too tight to allow for thermal expansion, so one leg may need to be re bent to give a little clearance. If you are into cast iron grills (I am definitely NOT a fan) I suspect the spider will be able to hold a 15" CI grid from a medium BGE dropped 2 inches closer to the fire than the PB's main grid. I will post an update and review when I get it. I am also getting a third 20" grid. Due to the fairly flat dome profile, I think there will be enough room to get 3 grids in there with 3.5" between each and 2.5-3.5" above the top grid. Again, I will post an update after testing.
  18. Here is my initial review which I also posted to Amazon. I have some accessories on order and will update my opinions when I have more cooks and some experience with third part add-ons. I picked up one of these from Costco after considering a BGE, Kamado Joe, Vision and others. Despite the name, this is really a 20" grill that fits between the large and XL Eggs. BGE and KJ measure the grate diameter, this PB is 24" across the outside of the ceramic bowl with grids that are 20.5" and 20" so it is much smaller than a Big Joe or XL BGE with true 24" grids. This is not a bad thing as I like the extra size over the KJ classic and large BGE, but thought the true XL's were too big and too pricey for my needs. Cons: The ceramic is not as smooth and high quality as the BGE. Not sure that matters. The hinge is not has nice as a KJ and the lid is a bit heavy. The lower air damper is not air tight and needs a little felt gasket added to be able to snuff out the fire. The cheap thermometer, like most, is not very accurate (about 100* off at 500*, less at lower temps). Pros: Good size, enough grilling area for ribs and briskets that are marginal in an 18" grill. The top damper wont lose setting when the lid is opened like some other brands. Parts are hefty and look like they will last. Cart is solid and casters lock well. Ash tool, 2nd raised grid, and cover included, along with cart and side shelves. With BGE those options could set you back what I paid for the entire PB! Most importantly, fix the air damper leak and use a better thermometer and it will cook as well as any other comparable Kamado.
  19. The grill temp likely would be higher since it is closer to the (radiant) heat source and not cooled as much by the ceramic body of the kamado.. Have you tried using the Maverick to measure the temp of the dome thermometer's probe directly? It was the elevated grill, so closer to the dome. I'm going to take it apart this week and test it in some boiling water to see how close it is. I picked up a new Pit Boss on Saturday. The thermometer on mine is useless as well. I ran a thermocouple up within an inch or so of the probe tip to compare. The PB thermometer was about 40* low at 200 and about 100 low at 500. The question now is do I replace it with a more reputable analog unit, put something decorative there, or just leave it as a hole filler and ignore it? I also added a little felt to the bottom damper which I will test when the rain stops. Otherwise I am pretty pleased, especially at the Costco price point. I will add more of a review later.
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