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Flameboss Inaccurate on Keg


Kozik
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just wondering if anyone else here uses a flameboss controller? I did my first low and slow on the keg and found the flameboss to be somewhat inaccurate....

 

I come from a weber kettle where I had it installed there and on the kettle it was literally able to keep the temp within a 5-8 Fahrenheit range so it was very consistent, doing a brisket on the kettle i could go 12+ hours and it would have the temp pinned the entire time between 220-230.

 

Now on the Keg I found it would let the temp drop and by the time the fan kicked it the charcoal was already so put out that it would drop another 5-10 Fahrenheit before finally heating up and then it would work so hard to heat up that it would sometimes overshoot the temperature by up to 30 Fahrenheit.

 

Essentially while I was trying to maintain say 225 it would drop sometime to 210 and then skyrocket up to 255.

 

I essentially had the top vent at 1 sometime playing with it to 1.5, bottom vent was closed so that only air from the flameboss would come in.

 

any tips? anyone else able to get it to work better?

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There is an inherent flaw (benefit?) to the Keg in that it is TOO efficient.  I've run into this issue many times over the years I've had mine.

 

There is such a small amount of energy needed to keep it at a set temp that any "forced" introduction of oxygen (lid open, controller fan kicking in etc) immediately stokes the fire and wants to push it up beyond set temperatures, and then because it HOLDS the temps so well once at temp, by the time the system realizes the temperature is dropping and tries to ramp up, the fire has already gone out...

 

This is less noticeable at higher temps where more oxygen is needed and the transfer of energy is more pronounced, but at low/slow temps it is a very fine balance which I always find hard to manage.

 

I keep telling myself I am going to drill out all the rivets and remove the insulation in the lid to make is less efficient to see if it solves this...

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42 minutes ago, SmallBBQr said:

There is an inherent flaw (benefit?) to the Keg in that it is TOO efficient.  I've run into this issue many times over the years I've had mine.

 

There is such a small amount of energy needed to keep it at a set temp that any "forced" introduction of oxygen (lid open, controller fan kicking in etc) immediately stokes the fire and wants to push it up beyond set temperatures, and then because it HOLDS the temps so well once at temp, by the time the system realizes the temperature is dropping and tries to ramp up, the fire has already gone out...

 

This is less noticeable at higher temps where more oxygen is needed and the transfer of energy is more pronounced, but at low/slow temps it is a very fine balance which I always find hard to manage.

 

I keep telling myself I am going to drill out all the rivets and remove the insulation in the lid to make is less efficient to see if it solves this...

 

any chance you've been able to get it to be more accurate than my experience above? or your results so far are about the same?

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24 minutes ago, Kozik said:

 

any chance you've been able to get it to be more accurate than my experience above? or your results so far are about the same?

 

Not really.  The results I had using a controller at low/slow temps pretty well mirrors what you are seeing.  One solution - it will be more accurate if you do your "smoking" at higher temperatures...it is what I do often and it works better with the controller.  Check out Harry Soo's videos and you'll see how he lays out his smoking wood (at the bottom) with charcoal on top and smoke at higher temps.  Results are pretty great!   I find the quality of the smoke is better too.

 

18 minutes ago, Struja said:

I use the FB400 on my KJ and have never run into that issue so it might be Keg specific.

 

Yeah...ceramic kamados don't really have the "keg" issue as they bleed more heat through the shell...they are *balanced" better if that is the correct term.... so I believe they are more controllable.

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12 minutes ago, SmallBBQr said:

Not really.  The results I had using a controller at low/slow temps pretty well mirrors what you are seeing.  One solution - it will be more accurate if you do your "smoking" at higher temperatures...it is what I do often and it works better with the controller.  Check out Harry Soo's videos and you'll see how he lays out his smoking wood (at the bottom) with charcoal on top and smoke at higher temps.  Results are pretty great!   I find the quality of the smoke is better too.

 

just wondering what do you use as a diffuser? I used the BKK diffuser wire but a pizza stone as the diffuser not the bowl that it comes with, wondering if I used the bowl and filled it with water it would hold as much heat.

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I've never tried a water pan....certainly doesn't need it from a moisture point of view, but as a heat/energy sink, perhaps it would help.  I use a 3/4" thick Broil King grilling stone as my diffuser (covered in foil).  I also have a 1/4" thick grilling steel...but I have not found much difference as a diffuser once they are at temp....

 

Breaking the bond to go from liquid to gas takes a lot of energy...so who knows....

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Hi @Kozik... You mentioned you had the bottom vent closed so that only air from the flame boss would come in? Where is your fan located?

 

I have a ThermoWorks Signals and Billows... fan mounted on the rotary bottom vent... I have the vent fully open (but sealed by the fan) I also leave in the factory diffuser and sit a kick ash basket on top - Maybe this limits the air input and temperature upswings?
 

My last cook I saw steady within 6 DegF Setpoint of 240 (239.4 up to 245) for hours. I also had the top vent almost closed the whole time..

 

I was thinking maybe you didn’t have the coals lit enough - strange for there to be such a drop in temp -  Could you hear the fan working hard when it was below setpoint? That would confirm the issue is more with coals / vent settings than the flame boss controls...

 

Hope something in that rambling message helps!!!!!

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On 7/1/2020 at 1:39 AM, Lesta80 said:

You mentioned you had the bottom vent closed so that only air from the flame boss would come in? Where is your fan located?

 

Yea im on the older BKK where it has the sliding door at the bottom, so that was fully closed but the fan was unobstructed it had a clear path to blow as much air as needed.

 

On 7/1/2020 at 1:39 AM, Lesta80 said:

I also leave in the factory diffuser and sit a kick ash basket on top - Maybe this limits the air input and temperature upswings?

 

I used a pizza stone so I have a feeling it was holding too much heat and potentially taking pressure off the charcoal and thus allowing the charcoal to go out too much... will definitely have to try with the factory difusser, do put water in yours? or is it dry?

 

On 7/1/2020 at 1:39 AM, Lesta80 said:

I was thinking maybe you didn’t have the coals lit enough - strange for there to be such a drop in temp -  Could you hear the fan working hard when it was below setpoint? That would confirm the issue is more with coals / vent settings than the flame boss controls...

 

yea i think this was the problem, it overshoots the temp and the stone held so much heat that by the time the temp is coming down the coal is pretty much out so the fan has to work extra hard to get it up again and then just overshoots it again. 

 

i also think the flameboss programming could be better.. it seems to wait too much while the temp is dropping even if it overshoots the temp.. so say i'm targeting 225 and it overshoots to 255, it won't kick in the fan until it's at like 220, well the temp already dropped 35 degrees by that point... in a BKK to drop 35 degrees when you're that low already you have to have like 0 heat production in the keg... so i think if the flameboss program did some little bursts of air even when the temp needs to drop it could keep the coals somewhat lit better so that when it did get to 220 it wasn't so much work to get back to 225.

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9 hours ago, Kozik said:

 

I used a pizza stone so I have a feeling it was holding too much heat and potentially taking pressure off the charcoal and thus allowing the charcoal to go out too much... will definitely have to try with the factory difusser, do put water in yours? or is it dry?

 


Sorry, I meant the factory charcoal plate (not the diffuser) with kick ash basket on top... For low and slow, I didn’t think I needed full airflow (so kept the plate in place)..

 

Sitting above that I have the factory diffuser dry, lined with foil and then a tray sitting on the foil to catch drippings.. The factory unit looks flimsy, but does the job at that temperature.

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