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Thunder77

Primo Junior High Temps

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Good morning all. Yesterday i wanted to to try out Junior for some bread baking. It has worked so well for everything else that It though it would be good for bread.  I filled the firebox, lit the fire in two spots, and left the bottom vent wide open . I had the top vent open to about 1/4" crescent. I had the heat deflectors on the top of the grates, to use as baking stones. The grates were in the upper position. Now for the bread I was making, I needed 450 defgrees F. I figured the Junior could handle that. I could not get above 450, and When I added the bread, it dropped to 350, and never came back up to temp. Has anyone else had issues with Junior for high temp cooks? Maybe I didn't light enough charcoal in the firebox? I have no trouble getting higher temps without the heat deflectors, but I needed some kind of baking surface.

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Good timing on the question. Friday and Saturday nights I had my oval Jr cursing along at 500* for 2 of my lump comparison tests. Today I was doing a pizza test when I read your question so I snapped a quick picture. 

 

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I've done a bunch of testing lately. The answer to your question is your last sentence you posted. Those are heat deflectors with their main purpose being for low-n-slow used on the deflector holders. I've tried using them on the main grate as a baking stone like you did and it just doesn't work. You'll never get the temperature you're looking for. My suggestion for the future is an aluminum 1/4 sheet cake pan down on the heat deflector holders and a proper baking stone up on the main grate. For high heat the aluminum 1/4 sheet will pass more heat than the Primo heat deflectors. Biggest issue is going to be finding a proper sized baking stone. I have 2 huge baking stones that came out of a Blackstone Pizza Oven. One of these days I'm going to take my angle grinder with masonry wheel and cut them down to a custom oval baking stone for the Oval Jr. 

 

 

 

 

 

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So this post prompted me to get off my lazy butt and break out the angle grinder on this rainy Sunday afternoon. He is my Blackstone Pizza Oven stone cut down to a Primo Oval Jr stone. Only took about 5 minutes and not the prettiest stone. I have the oval Jr shut down and later today after it cools a bit I'll reload some charcoal and give it a test. 

 

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Thanks for the quick response. My main concern would be that the the sheet pan would pass too much heat, and burn the bottom of the pizza. I will definitely look into the sheet pan though.

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1 minute ago, Thunder77 said:

Thanks for the quick response. My main concern would be that the the sheet pan would pass too much heat, and burn the bottom of the pizza. I will definitely look into the sheet pan though.

 

Problem is the Primo deflectors don't pass enough heat. A sheet pan definitely passes a good bit of heat but if you have a baking stone on top all should be okay. I have a temperature gun so later today we'll know the answer. 

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For a nice long story.......... 

 

I started with the 1/4 sheet pan in the lower deflector position and the custom stone on the main grate. I brought it up to 520* and let it ride for 30 minutes. Stone temperature riding too high. Totally unacceptable. 

 

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So I put on my high heat gloves, disassembled everything, reconfigured, then put it all back. This time I put the Primo Jr deflectors in the lower position and custom stone on the main grate. I brought it back up to temperature and let it ride for 30 minutes. Mch better but still the stone is a little hot compared to dome temperature. 

 

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Not happy with this and would not recommend using the Primo deflectors in the lower position for high heat. Low-n-slow would be okay but with high heat the Primo Jr deflectors are too big and trap too much heat down in the firebox. That is what causes fireboxes to crack and I'm not into that. 

 

I do have another idea to try but it will have to wait until later this week or maybe next weekend. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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