Ceramic Egg Smoker temp question

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by qualitysmoke, Nov 7, 2015.

  1. qualitysmoke

    qualitysmoke Newbie

    Good morning all. I have a Saffire brand egg type smoker like Big Green Egg, Vision, etc, that Ive only owned for a couple months. Still learning for sure. Last Sunday I decided I was going to do pizza. Using Vision brand lump charcoal, and a suspended Vision lava stone to deflect heat, and a pizza stone. I couldn't get the temperature above 400, with vents wide open. Needless to say, the crust was burned and the cheese melted but not hot.
    Any suggestions? I know these grills are supposed to be able to obtain temps of 600-700 degrees.
    Thanks, and while this is my first post, Ive read a lot on this site and love it, Learned a lot and tried some great recipes. Thanks for any help offered
  2. rogerwilco

    rogerwilco Meat Mopper

    Chamber temperature is a function of fuel and available air. Make sure you use enough lump, and then that the free flow of air is not obstructed by clogged grates, vents, or even the deflector plate.  Adding the plate will always cause a ceramic cooker to heat at a much slower rate, in general, as compared to not having a plate. Any time we use a plate we have to open the vents considerably more than we would without one. Also, we start the fire is several more places, in the beginning or a high-temp cook, so as to shorten the pre-heating time.

      The top vent is usually not placed on top of the cooker when we desire temperatures above 500°F or so.

      One thing that has been a help to pizza making, to us, is to make three little balls of crumpled aluminum foil, and to place these between the pizza stone and the deflector plate. This has helped to prevent burning crusts while allowing everything to bake to that "just right' doneness.

       Also, we made a "stirring stick" by bending a short length of wire coat hanger into an "L" shape. The short end is inserted into the lower vent hole of the cooker and is then pushed up through the holes in the bottom of the fire grate. Pushing up through the lighted lump and wiggling around a bit can make a big difference in how much air is getting to the burning lump. The rapidity of the increase in temperature can be pretty impressive.

      Good luck!
  3. mikeincalgary

    mikeincalgary Fire Starter

    Lots of fresh lump and make sure the ash pan/trap is clear to let the air flow. I suggest you put the deflector on the top grate, put little copper plumbing tees on the deflector and then the pizza stone on that. 600 is my pizza temp.
  4. qualitysmoke

    qualitysmoke Newbie

    Thank you both, good sage advice. I don't know if it matters, and I know there are plenty of options by different mfgrs. The Vision suspended lava stone sits so the top of the stone is about equal with the top of the ceramic fire ring, with my grate 2-3" above that, on which I sat the pizza stone. I'm wondering if the suspended lava stone is restricting airflow after seeing some other heat deflectors that have "legs" that raise the deflection and allow better airflow? I'm going to try turning the stainless "suspension" bars over to see if my theory works. Should raise the deflector an inch or so above the top of the fire ring.
    Will post results here for those interested, and again, thanks for the above replies.

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