SMF Premier Member
- Joined Jan 14, 2021
To me, it sounds like airflow the issue. If you're able to get the cook chamber up to 400 (even if it takes a long time), then your charcoal is getting lit. Once it's lit, the fan should be able to push enough air through to stoke the charcoal fire and push heat into the cook chamber, so that the temperature should rise quickly.I have been using the Weber wax starters wrapped in a oil sprayed paper towel. It lights and I have flames within a few minutes. The problem starts once I set the temperature and close up the hopper and ash bin lids.
Is it normal to feel some air blowing around the sides of the fan. It seems the fan isn’t aimed directly at the firebox and there is some air coming out of the sides of the fan
If the charcoal is getting lit, but the cook chamber isn't heating, then something is inhibiting the airflow. The first question is to confirm that you've completely removed both slides from the hopper and the firebox. More than once, I've got the charcoal lit, closed the doors and set the temp, but when I've come back a few minutes later, the temp has barely risen because I'd forgotten to remove the slides.
If the slides are removed, then confirm that the fan is running. When the cook chamber probe is measuring much lower than the set temp, the fan kicks on and is quite audible. On my grill, when it gets to about 10 degrees of the set temp, it slows way down and you have to strain to hear it. But that very low speed is what keeps the fire stoked to maintain the correct temp.
You say that you can feel air coming out the side of the fan, which leads me to believe that it's blocked somehow, and air is being pushed out the side. Again, first culprit would be the slide not being removed. After that, a misaligned fan could be the problem. Can you post a pic showing your fan set up? You should be able to look in through the ash hopper door and see the face of the fan.