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Primo Oval XL Problems [4 Problems & Solutions]

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Primo Oval XL is one of the latest smoker models on the market. The oval cooking surface matches the shape and size of a 3 rounded burner gas grill making it more efficient. The product is impressive, yet people face a few common issues.

Primo Oval XL Problems

Primo Oval XL comes among the top choices of buyers due to its advanced design and features over rounded grills. However, problems such as making the grill reach the desired temperature, tiny cracks on the smoker, and the issue of ashes buildup are often common. Fortunately, all these issues have easy and practical solutions, so you don’t need to replace your grill. 

The article shares the details on the Primo Oval XL smoker, including its design and features. Further, it discusses some common Primo Oval XL problems and solutions. 

About Primo Oval XL 

2-Zone Cooking 

The oval shape of the grill allows it to perform 2-zone cooking that operates simultaneously. You can quickly shift food items from a cooler side to a hotter one to crisp the chicken/beef and carry out reverse searing steaks. You can attach the cast iron firebox divider to separate the zones further. 

Cooking Grates

Primo Oval XL comes with reversible cooking grates with premium porcelain-coated steel. It adds value to its 2-zone separating design.

The reversible cooking grates maintain two sides for different purposes. On one side, the cooking surface can be reached at high insulation.

On the other side, the surface gets close to the coal area when you flip it. 


Primo has a lid-hinge that is strong and spring-loaded. You can lift the heavy dome easily. 

Dome And Damper

The dome size is adequate; it can hold a turkey up to 30 lb. It is provided with an Allen screw that holds the damper in place at which you set it, and it keeps it from flopping open while you’re lifting the lid.

4 Common Primo Oval XL Problems & Solutions


Primo Oval XL needs fresh and dry natural lump charcoal; otherwise, it won’t work as expected.

If you live in a high humidity area or the charcoal has gone damp, getting the desired temperature would become an issue.

Also, you can not mix other charcoal with fresh charcoal to increase the amount of heat source as it can decrease the temperature. 


You can get the company’s Primo natural lump charcoal fresh bag. However, you can purchase the same from any other standard brand.

Next, make a lump charcoal mold that reaches at least half the firebox’s height. Ensure small charcoal pieces or ash particles are not obstructing the proper airflow from the down area of the fire grate at the firebox base.

Open the top vent of the draft door to allow maximum airflow. 

2. Sun Damage Problems


Direct sunlight and other external elements affect Primo Oval XL’s surface.

Also, when you put it in storage for the off-season, its wood grill surface might suffer a few damages.

Primo smokers are created to be used outdoors, so avoiding such harm becomes quite tricky.  


Getting a high-quality grill cover for your Primo Oval XL grill is best. The cover can protect any external substance that can potentially harm the grill. Also, it will reduce the frequency of occasional cleaning. 

3. Ashes Building Up 


Though ash buildup is an issue with almost every smoker unit, cleaning feels more complicated with Primo due to its unique design. A reduced airflow due to ash buildups affects heating speed as well. 


Though the design is new, knowing how to remove buildup can make the task much easier.

Open the sliding door at the bottom. Rack out the left-out dead ashes using an ash tool. Note not to remove the ceramic plate or firebox.

Clean the ashes after every eight to ten uses for better maintenance. 

4. Emerging Tiny Cracks


Buyers often complain that the Primo Oval XL smoker model shows minor cracks, which concerns their performance quality and durability.

And, if you buy the product in Slate black, the cracks become more visible. 


Though it seems a severe concern, visible cracks are normal on ceramic materials.

The cracking process is known as crazing, and it does not affect the performance and durability of your Primo Oval XL.

However, it might be a problem if you notice ceramic chunks or big chips coming off. It is better to contact the company’s support team in this case. 

But, if only a few cracks and fine lines are visible, you can ignore them. 

Why Is Primo Oval XL Considered Better Than Any Other Smoker/Grill?

Following are the reasons that make Primo Oval XL your best choice: 

  • Prepared using a hi-tech ceramic manufacturing material that can hold heat more efficiently than other grills. 
  • Maintains a high thermal shock resistance and allows high-temperature degrees. 
  • The ceramic material keeps the smoker from getting affected by weather conditions. Hence it is suitable to operate all seasons of the year. 
  • The outer surface has a non-toxic, lead-free glaze, making its finish look fresh. 
  • It allows you to cook without flames preventing your food from drying out. 
  • It can cook faster in comparison to other grills.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Safe To Use Primo Oval XL All Seasons?

Yes. It is safe to use the smoker in all seasons. The Primo offers high-quality cooking performance and helps you maintain the flavor throughout the seasons. Primo will perform pretty well whether you live in an Arctic location or a tropical area. However, ensure to buy its fresh charcoal bags.

Is It Ok To Leave Primo Oval XL Outside When It’s Raining? 

The outer surface of Primo is well-protected with a lead-free glaze cover. It is also thermally combined with the ceramic that protects it from snow and rain. Additionally, you can get a Primo vinyl cover to provide extra protection to its exposed parts from rain. 

What Is The Utility Of A Gasket?

The gasket makes a reliable sealing separating the two sections of your Primo grill. Also, it enables you to control the temperature from the top slide and the metal slide door. It effectively protects the Primo if the lid gets lowered too soon.

The Primo gasket is created using a chemical-free generic material that deteriorates with time. So, ensure to replace the part on time by contacting Primo company or a local dealer. 

However, if your gasket gets detached through the grill on its own, still being in good condition. Then, re-glue it with the grill using a high-temperature adhesive material. 

How Can You Extinguish Your Primo Grill?

It is recommended that once you finish cooking, shut the cast iron top and slide the door properly. It will make the charcoal residue extinguish.

Due to the presence of thermal characteristics in your Primo model, its grill will take some hours to cool down. Never try to extinguish the coals with water. 

How Can You Reduce The Temperature Of The Grill Quickly?

Completely shut the sliding door at the bottom and the damper at the top. Please keep it in that way until the cooking temperature is attained. Later, readjust the top damper settings and slide doors to manage the temperature. 

Can You Use Liquid Lighter Fluid?

It is recommended not to use the liquid lighter fluid. It is because ceramic material can easily absorb its smell and impact your food’s taste. 

Can You Cook By Keeping The Lid Open?

No, it would be best if you were not cooking with your lid open. It will make you lose every cooking specialty of Primo. Keeping the lid open affects the cooking benefits that a ceramic grill provides. Also, the food would get extra dry. 

Do You Require A Rotisserie With Your Primo?

No, a rotisserie is not a need for your Primo. Because of the heat reflection inside the ceramic of the Primo grill, it will evenly cook the food. Food items like chickens, whole turkeys, or roasts do not require to be turned.

Instead, if you want to cook slowly, keep the Primo’s temperature up to 250 F, and if you want to cook quicker, keep it around 350 F. 


Grilling is one of the exciting cooking activities and lets you enjoy the tastiest meals. Choice of your grilling model plays a vital role in maintaining the taste of the cooked food.

Primo Oval XL has many features that allow you to cook more conveniently. Though it shows up with a few problems, solutions are also handy.

So, if you are facing any issues among the ones mentioned above, ensure to try out the advice we have provided. And, cook the best meal with your Primo Oval XL.