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Temp fluctuations

BoilereggerBoileregger Posts: 483
edited January 2012 in Root

Hey everyone,

I've owned my Large for about two weeks now, and after a few test runs I was confident enough to do my first low and slow cook yesterday (loin back ribs).  The ribs turned out really well, but I must say, after doing the research on the egg I was surprised at the range of temps that I saw from my Maverick ET-732.  I targeted 250 on the startup but actually overshot and had temp stable at 261 for about 30 min before putting the ribs on.  After I put the meat on, temp dropped to 226 and stayed there for about 30 min, then jumped to 255 where it stayed for probably 10 min and then went back to 235.  I made no adjustments at all during this time.  After 3 hours, I lifted the lid to foil them, and temp went up to 270 after I put them back on.  I had the bottom vent so barely open to try to bring the temp back to 250 that the fire went out.  I restarted the fire and put the ribs back on and from then I was able to maintain a range between 235-255 for the final 90 minutes. 

I did go outside to check the dome temp several times and it did move around a bit during the first three hours, but after the re-light it was pretty stable, but the grate thermometer showed a lot of movement.

So, my question is this.  After reading posts about maintaining ranges of 5 degrees for 20 hours, am I doing something wrong?  I tried to not touch the vents after I had the temp stabilized, and still had 30 degrees worth of fluctuations.  If not, what temp range do you usually set your thermometer to?  Had I set a narrower range the thing would have been alarming like crazy. 

Again, no complaints on the end result.  The wife said they were the best ribs I've ever made (had a chargriller offset before the egg).  But, I'm a little nervous that I'm not going to get much sleep when I attempt my first over-nighter.

Thanks in advance for the advice.


  • BakerManBakerMan Posts: 159

    Make sure you have good air flow for low temps.  Before I start a cook I always stir the old charcoal around and make sure the ash and small bits fall through the holes in the fire grate,  I also make sure the air holes in the fire box are clean.  For a slow cook, I'll scoop out the old charcoal, reload with fresh and place the old, small stuff on top.  After a long cook (8+ hours) I'll open the lower vent and poke at the holes in the fire grate to release any built up ash so the air can get to the coals.  I use a metal skewer bent at the end.

    BakerMan - Purcellville, VA "When its smokin' its cookin', when its black its done"
  • What BakerMan said!  I go one step further.  I remove all of the old lump and use a shop vac to clean out all of the ash in the firebox and ash area so that I start with a completely clean Egg.  The do just like BakerMan.

    I find that it's pretty normal for temperature fluctuations.
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