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Old 10-18-2009, 06:08 PM   #1
BBQSamYesIam
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Join Date: 08-09-09
Location: Plano, TX
Default Country Smoker 680 Hot Spots

I have had my CS680 now for a couple of months. I'm getting better results with each and every weekend that has passed. After a few weeks, I decided to add the digital control board, and am glad that I did! The problem that I am having now is that I am seeing quite a temperature variance from end to end of the smoker, so I decided to do a little experiment using my digital thermometer. Hopefully, you can see the results in the diagram below. Bottom line is that I am seeing significantly higher temperatures on the end away from the firebox and somewhat lower temps at the firebox end. Since I placed the digital control board thermostat in the center per the instructions, the temp readings in the center of the grill matched pretty much dead on between the control board and the thermometer. Does anyone have any ideas on how I can possibly equalize the temps across the grill? I have heard something about adjusting the heat shield, but I'm not sure what adjustment to make. It is currently set as it came from the factory.
Thanks in advance for any assistance that you can offer!
Alan
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Old 10-18-2009, 09:57 PM   #2
bbqdano
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Check the metal plate that supports the right end of the heat shield. If it has a half moon cutout, try filling that void with heavy duty foil. This will force more air (and heat) to come up along the sides rather than out the end. Another option, get some electrical conduit plugs and close off the vent hole on the far right end. Don't block off more than one hole as you will be messing with the combustion air velocity. You can play around with blocking off more or less of that opening under the heat shield till you get the temps evened out.

Just watch it if you're grilling at high heat with that foil in place. You can singe your knuckles rather easily with that increased heat coming along the edge of the door opening.
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Old 10-18-2009, 10:34 PM   #3
BBQSamYesIam
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Yes, I do have the half moon at the right end. Any initial recommendations as to how high I should place to foil to block the opening? Should I start with having foil going all of the way up to the top of the half moon? If you have done this mod or the plug that you mention, could you possibly attach a photo or two? It doesn't sound like rocket science, but pictures never hurt! And, of course, THANKS for the help!
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Old 10-19-2009, 12:20 AM   #4
DMDon
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Don't block off more than one hole as you will be messing with the combustion air velocity.

If I understand you correctly. Plugging more than 1 hole will affect the air velocity pushing the ash out of the fire pot. I have been running mine with the 3 closest to the middle plugged and have problems on long burns with the ash filling the fire pot and causing the pellets to back up the chute and the fire to keep moving back up the chute also. I thought it was the brand of pellets I was using having more ash that some other brands. I was tring to get the smoke and heat to circulate back to the hopper end to even out the temps. I had a piece of sheet metal fabricated to block the open half circle area. If this is not what you meant, please elaborate.
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Old 10-19-2009, 08:31 AM   #5
BBQSamYesIam
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I hope I'm not being too picky, but could you please take a picture of the piece of metal you had fabricated? I am thinking about doing the same thing rather than use foil. I just want to make sure I understand correctly how you have positioned it. THANKS!
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Old 10-19-2009, 10:48 PM   #6
bbqdano
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Blocking off more than one hole is definitely resposible for ash build up in the fire pot. The combustion fan can't generate much force (static pressure) and there is a fine line between being able to keep the ash out of the burn pot. The original CS design is right on the edge. So don't choke it off much.

Your half moon piece of metal is exactly what is needed to send the air along the sides. It's not rocket science and you don't need to block off the entire opening. Blocking off only 1/2 of the space would most likely even out the temps. Easy way to do it is when you're covering the heat shield with foil, just cut your foil about 10" longer than necessary and tuck in down under the right side of the heat shield into that open space.

I actually added a couple of holes on the end of the unit on the back side next to the pellet hopper. Going for the reverse flow concept you know. I now have all of the original holes open and with the extra holes added, the fan runs with full force and keeps the burn pot relatively clear no matter what pellets are used. Overnighters /15 hour plus cook sessions are no problem.

BBQ Delight pellets, Fast Eddy and OHP pellets seem to burn the cleanest in my 570. (For what that's worth.)

Good luck!!
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Old 10-24-2009, 01:37 PM   #7
BBQSamYesIam
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OK, this morning I placed some aluminum foil in the half moon opening and fired up the grill. Results were as follows:
-- the temps at the left end of the grill did level out in line with the center of the grill, but the right end is still running considerably hotter - grill set at 225 and the reading at the right end of the grill was 260!!
-- it may be my imagination, but there seems to be more ash blowing around inside the grill

For the record, I did not cover any of the exhaust holes. It maybe should also be noted that the heat shield currently slopes downward from left to right as the bracket on the hopper end is at its highest setting (came from manufacturer that way). I see that it is adjustable - should an adjustment be made??

THANKS !
Alan
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Old 10-24-2009, 03:00 PM   #8
embo500
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajsamuels1 View Post
It maybe should also be noted that the heat shield currently slopes downward from left to right as the bracket on the hopper end is at its highest setting (came from manufacturer that way). I see that it is adjustable - should an adjustment be made??
I think part of the reason for that slope is to help the fat drain down into the drip can.
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Old 10-24-2009, 03:22 PM   #9
BBQSamYesIam
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Well, that definitely makes sense, but I'm reaching for anything here!!!
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Old 10-24-2009, 07:04 PM   #10
MillerTime
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I've heard of a few people installing a cast iron griddle mounted right over the fire box. They say it helps spread the heat more evenly.

I haven't personally tried it but it makes sense.
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Old 11-13-2009, 09:28 PM   #11
BBQSamYesIam
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Hmmm......anybody have any experience with this cast iron technique? Or better yet, anybody have a picture of an example of one??
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