Help! 50+ degree temp difference between left and right side of grill - Help

AvonSmoke

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I smoked two three-bone beef short ribs yesterday. After 2 hours I went to spritz to and notice the ribs on the left side of the grill were significantly more cooked than those on the right. I understand not all meat of same type cooks the same, but it got me thinking. So put an InkBird probe in onion on left and one of the right of the grill. After closing lid for 10 minutes, the probe on the left read 266 and the one on the right read 208 (see picture). I was very surprised but that difference continued throughout the cook. Additionally, the probe on the left was closer to what I set on the D2, even though the Traeger thermocouple is on the right. I am at a loss to explain the difference. Is this normal? By the way, the vent stack is on the left side of grill on the Century 885.
 

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John S.

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REM E, has a technique for a way to level out a temperature gradient, though it maybe a fan issue....
See his posts....
 

RemE

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I suspect that this is normal. Cool air blows from the fan under the pellet hopper, around the auger to cool the pellets, then thru the holes in the firepot to feed the fire. The fire blows upward and is dispersed by the firepot cover to the right and left, then exhausts in your case out the left side. It's logical that there would be a temperature gradient from right to left.

This is something that most folks learn about their particular grills and place their food appropriately, maybe thinner cuts on the right, thicker ones on the left etc.

In my case the left was just too hot, I would melt foil liners when going above 450F. I did post what I did, adding some easy to work with, thin 26gage stainless steel. I cut it with tin snips and hand folded a baffle that clips to the firepot cover and shields the left side from the direct fire. This helped balance the heat from left to right. The 16" square cost me $20 from my local sheet metal shop. It was money well spent.

Here's the link to that post;
 
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AvonSmoke

AvonSmoke

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I suspect that this is normal. Cool air blows from the fan under the pellet hopper, around the auger to cool the pellets, then thru the holes in the firepot to feed the fire. The fire blows upward and is dispersed by the firepot cover to the right and left, then exhausts in your case out the left side. It's logical that there would be a temperature gradient from right to left.

This is something that most folks learn about their particular grills and place their food appropriately, maybe thinner cuts on the right, thicker ones on the left etc.

In my case the left was just too hot, I would melt foil liners when going above 450F. I did post what I did, adding some easy to work with, thin 26gage stainless steel. I cut it with tin snips and hand folded a baffle that clips to the firepot cover and shields the left side from the direct fire. This helped balance the heat from left to right. The 16" square cost me $20 from my local sheet metal shop. It was money well spent.

Here's the link to that post;
Thanks for your reply. I am a little hesitant to make these mods and void warranty. Seems to be a design flaw.
 

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Clipping a piece of sheet metal to the existing heat baffle doesn't hurt or modify the grill. I do think they should re-design their baffles for better balance, but that's doubtful.

Otherwise, it's just work with what you have then.
 

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I smoked two three-bone beef short ribs yesterday. After 2 hours I went to spritz to and notice the ribs on the left side of the grill were significantly more cooked than those on the right. I understand not all meat of same type cooks the same, but it got me thinking. So put an InkBird probe in onion on left and one of the right of the grill. After closing lid for 10 minutes, the probe on the left read 266 and the one on the right read 208 (see picture). I was very surprised but that difference continued throughout the cook. Additionally, the probe on the left was closer to what I set on the D2, even though the Traeger thermocouple is on the right. I am at a loss to explain the difference. Is this normal? By the way, the vent stack is on the left side of grill on the Century 885.

I have a 30° difference from left to right in my 575... I will be trying a baffle/tuning plate soon and testing results
 
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AvonSmoke

AvonSmoke

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REM E, has a technique for a way to level out a temperature gradient, though it maybe a fan issue....
See his posts....
thanks, I reviewed his post and it seems like a solution. I don't think I should need to change the design after paying $1200 for the grill, just the principle of it. I want it to work and having that large of a difference between right and left makes a big difference. I will have to keep moving the meat around. I am going to call Traeger and see if it could be related to fan. thanks
 

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Ha, I paid $2k for my grill and well, it's not the fan. I think a gradient is normal and something Trager and probably other pellet grill users get used to, my first "Junior" model before had it as well, I just don't think they even tried to optimize the temp balance.
 
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AvonSmoke

AvonSmoke

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Ha, I payed $2k for my grill and well, it's not the fan. I think a gradient is normal and something Trager and probably other pellet grill users get used to, my first "Junior" model before had it as well, I just don't think they even tried to optimize the temp balance.
On phone with Traeger for 40 min. They are sending me new fan. I am not confident this will work, but will give it a try. The issue i have with just accepting this big temperature difference (55+ degrees) is I will ruin meat (overcook or under cook) unless I keep rotating. What I will end up doing is only using one side of the grill. Sorry, but using half the grill is not acceptable to me. I will return the grill if replacing the fan does not work.
 

magoo40

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If you cook to internal meat temps, the only issue you will have is meat on one side of the grill will be ready before the other?
 
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AvonSmoke

AvonSmoke

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If you cook to internal meat temps, the only issue you will have is meat on one side of the grill will be ready before the other?
Not really...if I want to go low and slow and set the temp to 225 I will have one side at 225 and the other at 275. Very different temps and the meat will heat up too fast and not render fat. I experienced this first hand this weekend when I was cooking two three-boned beef ribs. After two hours I went to spritz and saw the meat on left (the side that is much hotter), was twice as "shruken" as the meat on the right at the lower temp. I was able to recover somewhat by switching sides, but If I was cooking a brisket where I don't check for 6 hours, I would have ruined the meat on the left side. The grill needs to circulate the hot air better. I just got off a chat with Traeger where I asked them if replacing the fan has been documented as a fix to the temp issue I am experiencing. He said it has been shown to address my issue. He also suggested I look for any obstructions (wire, dirt, etc.). I will check while waiting on part (backordered until December).
 

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For a single piece of meat in the middle... Well I'd do like I did with my pastrami brisket, take the 2 end temps and consider the middle to be meat temp. I held 250 pretty easy keeping that number using the 2 extremes. So it's doable with a single meat to not even have to turn it, but a rack full or 2 pieces... no, I understand then.

Also for now try wrapping aluminum foil around the left 3rd of your grill rack and cook on the right 2/3, I do this a lot with my side box smoker to push that hot spot over
 

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Not really...if I want to go low and slow and set the temp to 225 I will have one side at 225 and the other at 275. Very different temps and the meat will heat up too fast and not render fat. I experienced this first hand this weekend when I was cooking two three-boned beef ribs. After two hours I went to spritz and saw the meat on left (the side that is much hotter), was twice as "shruken" as the meat on the right at the lower temp. I was able to recover somewhat by switching sides, but If I was cooking a brisket where I don't check for 6 hours, I would have ruined the meat on the left side. The grill needs to circulate the hot air better. I just got off a chat with Traeger where I asked them if replacing the fan has been documented as a fix to the temp issue I am experiencing. He said it has been shown to address my issue. He also suggested I look for any obstructions (wire, dirt, etc.). I will check while waiting on part (backordered until December).

When I slow cook, I use the upper rack which should also help balance. I have cooked my briskets with the point on the left, worked great.
 

AlbinRVA

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I don't agree with having to work around temperature issues in order to properly cook a meal. I am experiencing temp ranges across my silverton 810 as well. Not acceptable for a company making pellet grills for such a long time. I was sent a new thermocouple which did not fix the issue. I believe it is a design flaw in the air flow. If I wanted to babysit my cook every time, I wouldn't have bought a pellet grill. Full disclosure, I had a BBQ075 for 7 years and found it more reliable.
 
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AvonSmoke

AvonSmoke

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I don't agree with having to work around temperature issues in order to properly cook a meal. I am experiencing temp ranges across my silverton 810 as well. Not acceptable for a company making pellet grills for such a long time. I was sent a new thermocouple which did not fix the issue. I believe it is a design flaw in the air flow. If I wanted to babysit my cook every time, I wouldn't have bought a pellet grill. Full disclosure, I had a BBQ075 for 7 years and found it more reliable.
"babysitting" is a good way to describe my frustrations. Once I replace the fan I will post the results here.
 

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