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Erratic Temperatures on Weber Kettle Grill

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  • RAmorris
    Charter Member
    • Dec 2014
    • 449
    • Winter Haven, Florida
    • Equipment:
      Thermoworks Chef Alarm Food and Smoker Thermometer
      2 Landmann 2 Drawer Vertical Water Smokers
      Backwoods G 2 Party Insulated Vertical Water Smoker
      Brinkmann Trailmaster Limited Edition Offser Smoker
      Weber Spirit E-310 t Three Burner Gas Grill
      Char-broil Classic 4 Burner Gas Grill

    Erratic Temperatures on Weber Kettle Grill

    Cooked a chicken on my Weber 22 inch kettle grill yesterday afternoon. I did not smoke it, just cooked it on indirect heat with a drip pan filled with hot water under the chicken. I have been cooking chickens this way on a Weber kettle grill for over 20 years. But this time I could not get the temperature to stabilize. I wanted to cook at 350 degrees. But the best I could do was fluctuations between 300 and 400 degrees. The same settings on the air intake and exhaust dampers produced inconsistent and different results. The chicken turned out great. But I don't understand why I couldn't stabilize the temperature. This is the second time I have cooked on this grill. And the first time, last week, I had no problem.
  • Medusa
    Charter Member
    • Sep 2014
    • 666
    • For those who are about to Cook - WE SALUTE YOU!

      Weber Genesis Silver B - 14 years
      GG's
      Weber OTS
      Vortex
      SnS
      Maverick ET-733 dual 6' probes / Thermo-Pop
      ennoLogic eT650D IR ( -58 to 1202F)
      Weber Rapid Fire Chimney
      Kingsford Blue

    #2
    WOW! Did you have goofy weather conditions, i.e., wind ( off - on ), rain, etc. I haven't seen this on mine, but you have 20 more years experience than me.

    Here's a thought, though. You could let it run hot ( once it gets there, say around 375 ), and then control the temp by spritzing the kettle lid with water as needed. This is a trick from Pit Boss , and it certainly helps to control unruly high temps.

    Sorry, don't have any real answers here. Can't figure out the low temps, either.

    Good luck; hope someone here has better answers!

    -- Ed

    Comment

    • Valsacar
      Club Member
      • Sep 2015
      • 34
      • Grills

        Weber Performer 22" (For now)

        Thermometers

        ThermoWorks Pro BBQ Kit

        Me

        System Administrator, US Government Contractor
        Located in South Korea (with APO, so online ordering is primary)

      #3
      I had temp issues on mine today as well, couldn't get it up high enough. Was a fairly cold day, but it just would stay over 300 (I wanted 325, was doing a loin). Full open, all coals lit... just would not stay up.

      Comment

      • David Parrish
        Founding Member - Pit Boss Emeritus
        • May 2014
        • 5042
        • Charlotte, NC
          • Slow 'N Sear Kamado (SnSK)
          • Lots of grills that work with Slow 'N Sear
          • LOTS of digital thermometers (my fav)
          • LOTS of accessories
          • Favorite Beer - Fat Tire
          • Favorite Bourbon - Woodford Reserve
          • Favorite White Wine - Cakebread Chardonnay
          • Favorite Red Wine - Yes, Please
          • President/Owner - SnS Grills

        #4
        You've got a leaky lid problem. Try using binder clips to reduce the leaks. I bet this fixes things nicely.

        Comment


        • Rfuilrez
          Rfuilrez commented
          Editing a comment
          I put a nomex gasket on my upper lid, and use a bungee cord from the bottom of the legs. Seals it up good.

          I'm thinking of getting some rubber draw latches to be an easier pull down solution.

        • David Parrish
          David Parrish commented
          Editing a comment
          That sounds like a good solution too.

        • Siouxfan
          Siouxfan commented
          Editing a comment
          +1 on the nomex! I use it on my 22" kettle and left a 1/4" gap on the vent side to run temp wires. That way I didn't have to drill it!
      • Danjohnston949
        Former Member
        • Dec 2014
        • 4418
        • 1410 9th. St. N, Fargo ND

        #5
        RAmorris, Now that you brought the subject up RA, I seem to be having a bit of a problem with temp control on our new Weber Performer Deluxe! Not being the sharpest knife in the drawer I blamed this on the Maverick 733 and never having this good a way to monitor grill temp beforehand? Then I thought it was related to the S 'n S and the amount of Charcoal use Different? Slowly I am becoming convinced that it might be related to the redesigned ash catcher and vent system including the shape of the new vent openings? The first Weber Kettle we had 30-40 years ago you set the bottom vents turned the Lid so the Top Vent was opposite the front leg and you turned the grill so the front leg was facing the wind! The Second Weber came with the ash catcher and I still ran the top vent opposite the front leg but orientation to the wind didn't seem as important as beforehand? Now with the new Weber with it's redesigned ash catcher and vent system I think the Top Vent and Lid may need to be turned to maintain temp settings? I am going to try turning the lid 90* this afternoons? Dan

        Comment


        • David Parrish
          David Parrish commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks for the review! I don't see it yet but I'm sure it'll pop up soon. =)

          We need all the reviews we can get. They really help increase our business. The better the reviews, the more Amazon will promote the Slow 'N Sear in searches for barbecue accessories.

        • Danjohnston949
          Danjohnston949 commented
          Editing a comment
          Huskee @ Pit Boss, thanks Gents I am going to review the vent settings again before I cremate the Chicken this afternoon! Dan

        • David Parrish
          David Parrish commented
          Editing a comment
          Sounds good. Let us know if you need some more tips.
      • Jerod Broussard
        Moderator
        • Jun 2014
        • 9870
        • East Texas
        • Pit Barrel Cooker "Texas Brisket Edition"
          Weber One Touch Premium Copper 22" Kettle (gift)
          Slow 'n Sear for 22" Kettle
          Weber One Touch Premium Black 26" Kettle (gift)
          Slow 'n Sear XL for 26" Kettle (gift)
          Weber Smokey Joe Gold
          Weber Rapid Fire Chimney
          Vortex
          Maverick ET-732 White
          Maverick ET-732 Copper
          2- Auber SYL-1615 fan systems(Awesome!!!!!!!!)
          Thermoworks Thermapen w/ Back light (gift)
          Thermoworks Timestick
          Cambro Model 300MPC110 w/ Winco SS Pans
          B & B and Kingsford Charcoal
          B & B Pellets

        #6
        Occasionally my kettle will allow the temp to creep up ever so slowly. I press down firmly and rotate the lid 10-15 degrees, problem solved. Just did it again.

        Comment

        • RAmorris
          Charter Member
          • Dec 2014
          • 449
          • Winter Haven, Florida
          • Equipment:
            Thermoworks Chef Alarm Food and Smoker Thermometer
            2 Landmann 2 Drawer Vertical Water Smokers
            Backwoods G 2 Party Insulated Vertical Water Smoker
            Brinkmann Trailmaster Limited Edition Offser Smoker
            Weber Spirit E-310 t Three Burner Gas Grill
            Char-broil Classic 4 Burner Gas Grill

          #7
          The temperature was in the mid 80s, and the wind was calm, 3 - 5 MPH. The lid fit tightly in place. There's no reason I can find that the temperature was so uncontrollable.

          Comment

          • CapersQ
            Charter Member
            • Apr 2015
            • 6
            • Winnipeg, Manitoba

            #8
            Were the coals fresh, did they get soaked and since dried out?
            That could be an issue.

            Comment

            • David Parrish
              Founding Member - Pit Boss Emeritus
              • May 2014
              • 5042
              • Charlotte, NC
                • Slow 'N Sear Kamado (SnSK)
                • Lots of grills that work with Slow 'N Sear
                • LOTS of digital thermometers (my fav)
                • LOTS of accessories
                • Favorite Beer - Fat Tire
                • Favorite Bourbon - Woodford Reserve
                • Favorite White Wine - Cakebread Chardonnay
                • Favorite Red Wine - Yes, Please
                • President/Owner - SnS Grills

              #9
              How did you have your coals arranged?

              Comment

              • Siouxfan
                Club Member
                • Sep 2015
                • 54
                • La Vista, NE
                • Weber Performer Deluxe 22"
                  Slow N Sear
                  Maverick ET-732
                  ThermoWorks RT600C

                #10
                Guess I never thought about wind orientation with the top vent. Ive used my new Performer Deluxe a handful of times, and no issues yet. 6hrs running it yesterday, and I was able to maintain 218*-225* with very small adjustments.

                Comment

                • RAmorris
                  Charter Member
                  • Dec 2014
                  • 449
                  • Winter Haven, Florida
                  • Equipment:
                    Thermoworks Chef Alarm Food and Smoker Thermometer
                    2 Landmann 2 Drawer Vertical Water Smokers
                    Backwoods G 2 Party Insulated Vertical Water Smoker
                    Brinkmann Trailmaster Limited Edition Offser Smoker
                    Weber Spirit E-310 t Three Burner Gas Grill
                    Char-broil Classic 4 Burner Gas Grill

                  #11
                  The charcoal was Kingsford, from a new bag. The coals were arranged for indirect heat using charcoal rails, an accessory made by Weber for indirect cooking. The coals were lit using a Weber chimney starter. Here are pictures.

                  Comment


                  • David Parrish
                    David Parrish commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Dan he's using the Weber charcoal rails and not an SnS.

                  • Danjohnston949
                    Danjohnston949 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Boss, RA had posted on Friday that his S 'n S had not arrived yet! So he is trying to make due with his Birthday Presant? 20/20 Memory 😚 Dan

                  • David Parrish
                    David Parrish commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Ah! Thanks Danjohnston949 for the reminder. RAmorris did your SnS show up?
                • FLBuckeye
                  Founding Member
                  • Jul 2014
                  • 565
                  • Florida
                  • Brand new 26" Weber kettle. Three Weber 22.5"kettles, An 18" Weber kettle.

                    Two WSM's, 18.5", one with an extra mid section

                    Maverick ET 733 and 732. ThermoWorks RT600C Thermometer & Thermoworks MK4. Two PartyQ's

                    Kingsford blue bag
                    Royal Oak lump for searing

                    Have competed in two BBQ comps and plan on more this year

                    Huge fan of The Ohio State University.

                  #12
                  A problem I had was my lower vent blades were slightly bent upwards, allowing too much O2 into the kettle. I got new ones, installed them and had no further issues. Are you saying that you used a brand new grill for the second time?

                  Comment

                  • RAmorris
                    Charter Member
                    • Dec 2014
                    • 449
                    • Winter Haven, Florida
                    • Equipment:
                      Thermoworks Chef Alarm Food and Smoker Thermometer
                      2 Landmann 2 Drawer Vertical Water Smokers
                      Backwoods G 2 Party Insulated Vertical Water Smoker
                      Brinkmann Trailmaster Limited Edition Offser Smoker
                      Weber Spirit E-310 t Three Burner Gas Grill
                      Char-broil Classic 4 Burner Gas Grill

                    #13
                    The Slow N Sear finally showed up, but I have not had a chance to use it yet. I checked my lower vent blades and they are fine. I think my problem was with my new ChefAlarm. We are getting a new kitchen because of water damage from a faulty ice maker. Thankfully, insurance is covering the cost. Anyway, yesterday, I smoked 4 slabs of spare ribs and 2 turkey breasts on my Landmann vertical gas water smoker, and gave 3 slabs of ribs and one turkey breast to the two workers. But I couldn't stabilize the temperature on my gas water smoker either. I remembered that when my ChefAlarm was showing fluctuating temperatures on the Weber, the thermometer in its lid was fairly constant. The thermometer in the door of my Landmann smoker, which is reliable, was also fairly constant at 260 degrees, while the ChefAlarm fluctuated from 220 to 300 degrees with very small adjustments to the flame. Then when I switched to the food probe, it showed a turkey breast temperature of 173, when the ThermoWorks Thermo Pop showed 145. I'm going to call Thermoworks today. By the way, the workers are back and they raved about my BBQ. One of their wives even called last night and said it was the best BBQ she had ever had.

                    Comment


                    • Danjohnston949
                      Danjohnston949 commented
                      Editing a comment
                      It sounds like you are on the Path of BBQ Bliss RAmorris! I think you are really going to like your S 'n S, I do but it really does help to go over the instructions on abc.com. I won't pretend to say I have it all figured out after just four uses but I think I am getting better with it! 👍👍👍. Dan
                  • bep35
                    Founding Member
                    • Jul 2014
                    • 309
                    • Pierre,SD
                    • 1987 Weber Kettle (Still going!)
                      2004 Cookshack Smokette (The original!)
                      2012 Weber Genesis (Wonderful for steaks and chops!)
                      2014 Pit Barrel Cooker (Lovin it!)
                      Thermoworks Thermapen
                      Thermoworks Mini Handheld Thermocouple & Meat Needle Probe
                      Various other wireless remote thermometers

                      Beer...Bud Light (Timeless)

                    #14
                    Great troubleshooting! I love it when people figure these things out. It helps the rest of us who now have something to think about if we have a problem maintaining temperature down the road. Thanks!

                    Comment

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