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Smoker lost all it's heat

MagnumpigMagnumpig Posts: 3
edited November 2011 in Root
So I just got a BGE and fired it up last night for the very first time. I was so smoking a butt. It was running 280 degrees 6 hours into the cook. I closed the bottom damper from 3/4 inch to 1/2 inch. The top vent I went from 1/4 open on the slots to half of that. Some time in the night the fire went out. The temp gauge said it was below 50 degrees for sure.

What did I do wrong?

How much charcoal should I be putting in the bottom? I feel like I put to much in. I'm use to the webber and it uses a ton.

As I'm in Minnesota the night time temp outside was 32 degrees the entire night. Can I just warm the meat up or because the green egg cools down so slow am I going to get sick. With my old webber smoker it would be safe.


  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,383
    Just a filled fire box should burn all night even at 280. If you filled way up to the top of the fire ring, you should have been good anywhere from 18 to 30 hours.

    2 main reasons for fire going out are ash buildup clogging the air flow, or the fire burning straight down the center. Both of those things will leave a lot of un-burnt lump. Its a good idea to check every 4 hours during an all nighter. You can usually catch a fire going/gone out in time to safely rescue the cook. I keep a wiggle rod by the Egg to stir the lump if it looks like the fire is fading.

    In a restaurant setting, if you can not say the food was in the "danger
    zone" for less than 2 hours you would be obligated to pitch it. The butt might be O.K. to continue cooking because the outside temperature was so cold. There is a small chance that it was contaminated, and took longer than 2 hours to cool down. Was it cool to the touch when you opened the Egg? Personally, if it is only going to be served to healthy adults, and not toddlers or elders, I would finish cooking it, altho it will be drier than usual.

  • Is your lump gone or did it burn straight down and not spread across the diameter?


    Caledon, ON


  • Everybody needs to remember that it is airflow that matters. Vents are not the only thing to consider. A clogged grate, as mentioned above, can have an impact, as can ambient wind. Wind that pressurizes the top will prevent/stall O2 flow, which can snuff a fire.

    My opinion is to get a controller if you are going to do overnight work.


  • I doubt that restricted airflow is the cause of this particular problem as it was the first use of the egg.


    Caledon, ON


  • ShiffShiff Posts: 1,598
    Always fill up the egg to the top of the fire ring with charcoal.  When done, you'll close the vents and the charcoal will go out.

    If you are going to do all night cooks, a good purchase is a remote thermometer. I use the Maverick ET 732 which has 2 probes - one for the meat and 1 for the pit.  You can have it sound an alarm if the temp drops too low. I keep it next to my bed while sleeping and it saves me a lot of stress.
    Large BGE
    Barry, Lancaster, PA
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    Tweev is wise (about littlesteven)
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • stike is wise (to recognise that) Hope dude wasn't using briquettes


    Caledon, ON


  • stike is wise (to recognise that) Hope dude wasn't using briquettes
    Haha true day

    "The wise gain wisdom before they become wise. "

    Paul Go there. I write it.
  • The 2 nights that I had trouble holding temp the wind came up and swirled around my egg.
    I now believe that I must watch that drafting closer because no matter how wide I opened the air, my heat would not maintain. I am using egg lump but now in retrospect may not have used enough. My air holes are clean, my ash pit is clean so will try more lump and watch that wind. Thanks folks. It's nice to be in the group.
  • I have never had wind affect low and slow cooks. I sometimes use a floor fan on low in front of the egg if there is no wind. I believe it slows ash buildup


    Caledon, ON


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