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Need help on Egg temp

DocWonmugDocWonmug Posts: 225
edited August 2012 in EggHead Forum
Doing my third pizza cook, having trouble betting past 525. PS, legs down. 3 bricks on that, pizza stone up in the dome. I think the thermal mass of the bricks is a problem. Both vents wide open, glowing red when I look through the bottom vent. I saw a rig with a wire rack to get the stone up in the dome, set on top of the PS. Maybe that will work better than the bricks. Any suggestions? Thanks.
LBGE

Comments

  • travisstricktravisstrick Posts: 4,314
    Fire requires spark(ignition), fuel, and oxygen. If you are having problems with your temp, my guess is that it is one of those. I would start with Oxygen. Nine times out of ten, when an egg wont get up to temp, its due to lack of air. 
    Be careful, man! I've got a beverage here.
  • Doc_EggertonDoc_Eggerton Posts: 3,877
    Not sure I can help, but I am curious.  Is this homemade dough, why are you shooting for so high?

    If the thermal mass of the structure were an issue, it would just mean it takes longer to get to temp, right?  The Egg is capable of sustained high heat, so you just would need to let it soak awhile.

    Usually issues of stalled temperatures relate to air flow, which can have a couple of sources, but mostly densely packed lump or blocked air holes.

    A hair dryer or a fireplace bellows can kick things up, or you can use something to clear the air holes through the fire grate.
    Pasquali Luciano
    Buon appetito to all the BGE family
    XLBGE, LBGE, MBGE and lots of toys

  • Doc_EggertonDoc_Eggerton Posts: 3,877
    Fire requires spark(ignition), fuel, and oxygen. If you are having problems with your temp, my guess is that it is one of those. I would start with Oxygen. Nine times out of ten, when an egg wont get up to temp, its due to lack of air. 
    Heat, fuel, oxygen, the triad for fire.  Remove one and you no longer have a fire.  Did I mention I was a firefighter at one time :-)
    Pasquali Luciano
    Buon appetito to all the BGE family
    XLBGE, LBGE, MBGE and lots of toys

  • DocWonmugDocWonmug Posts: 225
    Thanks guys. Fire triangle of course. But the vents are wide open. Can't get more air without artificial means. Like a hair dryer. I know lots of guys say they can get up to 700. I have gotten that high with a direct fire, but not with the PS.

    Not that I am shooting that high. I want 550 to 575. Based on previous pizza cooks, I think that is just about right. Yes, home made dough. This dough came out pretty good. I am loading a good bit of Egg lump. Good level of lump, glowing red hot bed of coals. It just seems like I should be able to get higher. There were a few small pieces of lump. Maybe next time I will try to pick out the big pieces for the bottom. But as red hot as it is, I am not sure how it will make a difference.

    Should I get it up to temp and then put in the PS, bricks and stone? So far, I have been putting them in once the coals are well lit.

    Anybody who can get up to say 600 indirect, let me know how you set up your rig.

    Thanks.
    LBGE
  • Doc_EggertonDoc_Eggerton Posts: 3,877
    edited August 2012
    Vents open don't make much difference if the air holes are blocked, or if you have a lot of little pieces and dust clogging the lump pile.  It happens to all of us.

    Stir the lump before the cook, to get the little stuff down through the holes.  Sometimes you just have to do some hand picking to make sure the pile is not too densely packed.  If you have gloves that can handle it, you can disassemble your current set up (carefully), stir the lump, maybe add some nice sized pieces, and put it back together.  It is a pain, but very doable.  

    PS I did a burn off for a platesetter and a stone at way above 1,000.  The issue is not the amount of ceramics you're heating, it is a problem with your fire.  I really suspect you have densely packed lump which is hurting your O2 flow.  It is a very common problem, which you will solve during your set ups.
    Pasquali Luciano
    Buon appetito to all the BGE family
    XLBGE, LBGE, MBGE and lots of toys

  • DocWonmugDocWonmug Posts: 225
    So, if I preferentially use the big lump, what do I do with the small pieces? Even the Egg lump has small pieces and dust. Thanks.
    LBGE
  • misumisu Posts: 213
    Are you filling it with lump all the way to the top of the fire ring? I do pizzas and breads with that setup and if I leave it wide open it goes to 700 quickly
  • Yep, air circulation is usually the culprit. If you have ash left in it spread it out flat. Make sure the lump grate isn't clogged with small pieces and verify the holes in the fire box/ring are completely open. I will also take the ash tool and clean some ash out from between the egg and the fire box/ring, you do this through the lower vent, the ash tool actually goes back pretty far. One other thing that has happened to me is damp lump, don't know if that seems logical to many eggers but I did a moisture test on a bag I was having some problems with and a brand new bag and there was a big difference in moisture, of course it was my fault the lump had moisture. Very humid temps and left the bag on the cover patio after several rains. My .02 worth.
  • Doc_EggertonDoc_Eggerton Posts: 3,877

    There is going to be some waste, but you can mitigate that some.  If you get a bag that has been crushed into small pieces, combine it with bigger pieces from another bag.  If you can get Best of the West it generally has large to huge pieces.  I find the really huge pieces don't work the way I would like, but you can break them and it gives you another source to combine with some smaller pieces.

    Always stir before cooking to agitate the smaller pieces and get ash out of the firebox.  By stiring I get stuff that will fit through the air holes to drop out of the fire box.

    Never dump the dust in the bottom of the bag into you lump.

    Ash, dust, and tiny pieces end up in my garden or flower bed.

    Except for hand packing the lump (which I only do for very particular cooks) you alway stand a chance of getting a pile that won't heat as you would like.

    Pasquali Luciano
    Buon appetito to all the BGE family
    XLBGE, LBGE, MBGE and lots of toys

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