This question has come up a few times in the Char-Griller Gravity 980 Facebook Group and in the emails and chats with customer service. We thought it would be best to address the question in one blog post for everyone.
Some Gravity users have asked us why different parts of the Gravity 980 registers at different temperatures. The easiest way to explain it is to compare it to an oven. If you were to measure the temperature at different parts of your oven (back, front, left and right), you will get slightly different measurements at each part.
That’s why a lot of bakers and chefs recommend turning and rotating the food in your oven as is cooks. There are hotter and cooler parts and so food will cook differently depending on where you put the food. If you have an electric oven and have ever baked cookies, you have most likely experienced this. Some of the cookies on the tray are a little bit more or less baked than others.
We took this into consideration when designing the Gravity 980 since much like an offset smoker, the heat source is on one side of the grill.
The controller on the grill has an algorithm built in that will approximate the grill temperature at the center of the grill, not at the direct left where the temperature probe is located or at the direct right where the hopper is located.
If you are using your own probes to measure temperature, you should notice that there is a variance of ambient temperature from the left to right side of the grill. Cooler as you move away from the hopper, hotter as you move towards the hopper.
As ambient temperatures increase inside of the grill, the difference from the left to right of the grill will decrease. You will notice the biggest difference as the grill is coming up to temperature.
Part of the reason we designed the fire channel the way we did was to help make the temperature consistent across the whole grill surface. The right side will be a little hotter in general because that’s where the fire is. Because of this and the larger variance at the lowest temperatures, we’ve found that thinking of the Gravity 980 a little bit more like an offset grill has been helpful.
When you are in those lower smoking temperatures (under 350), place your meat in the center of the grill as much as possible for the most consistent temperature. If you have loaded up the grill, rotate the meat as you would in an offset smoker. This gives all of the meat a chance in the slightly hotter and slightly cooler parts of the grill and gives you a chance to baste the meat.
As you dial in the temperature and the fan settles into a rhythm, the temperature variance will become less and less.
If you are still having trouble with the temperature, please do not hesitate to reach out to us using the chat box in the lower right corner.