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Temperature - Vent Questions

robnybbqrobnybbq Posts: 1,907
edited August 2012 in EggHead Forum
This weekend I got the Maverick ET-732.  I cooked a chuck roast on Saturday.  Besides the the temp on the grate level matches the dome thermometer I have some questions.

I emptied the egg and cleaned out all the ash.  I filled the fire box to the top with fresh Royal Oak.  I added some hickory chunks mixed in.  I lit the Egg dead center in one spot with the Maap torch.  I got the egg to 225 and let it run for about 45 minutes before adding the roast.  The bottom vent needed to be at about 1 inch open and the DW petals almost all the way open for 225/240.  The roast took a total of ~9 hours and came out great.  But at the end of the cook the temps were down to 200 and not much lump left. 

What am I missing here?  There is no way I would be able to do a 15+ hour brisket on this Egg.  Allot of other state there bottom vent is barely open and the DW barely opened.  If I close the DW down to 1/8 inch the fire chokes and goes out. 

Any ideas?

LBGE, Adjustable Rig, Spider, High-Que grate, maverick ET-732, Thermapen,

Garnerville, NY


  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 8,299
    Glad your chuck came out great, have never done one. The Maverick takes much of the apprehension out of the cook, I really like mine. Didn't notice, did you say what size of egg you were using? 
    From my experience, no question that with the bottom vent at 1" and the DW 90% plus open, the air flow through your BGE "chimney" is significant. I'm actually surprised you got 9 hours out of it. My medium egg holds close to 350-400F with those settings once stabilized and although I've never pushed it, after 4 or 5 hours the lump is pretty much "toast". I use Royal Oak. 
    Some of the experts here will have some help for you, but there must be an airflow issue somewhere. Check the dome is fitting correctly, that is the gasket is really "gasketing". 
    There are some other posts on loading lump for long cooks, big stuff on bottom, smaller on top etc... I just dump my lump but some swear by sorting and placing - whatever works. 
    Delta B.C. - Move over coffee, this is job for alcohol!
  • TonyATonyA Posts: 582

    You might try a bigger fire to start with less oxygen. These long cooks also see the firebox filled well into the fire ring.  I never like to blame the charcoal, but trying different brands doesn't hurt until you find something you like.

  • robnybbqrobnybbq Posts: 1,907
    An other ideas or is it what it is?

    LBGE, Adjustable Rig, Spider, High-Que grate, maverick ET-732, Thermapen,

    Garnerville, NY
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,718
    An other ideas or is it what it is?
    i have two large eggs, vents settinings are different with each but you should quickly learn what works with yours. things thaty change the rules though are an egg not used in a while that picks up moisture in the ceramic, not puttining big lump directly on the grate (small lump on the grate blocks the holes), water pans with water need a bigger fire to keep the egg hot as too much energy goes into evaporating the water, too big of an indirect settup witll force heat down and block heat flow(this doesnt seem possible til you see a 1000 degree fire below a 16 inch pizza stone and a 200 degree dome temp), meat probe getting a fake reading because its too close to the cold meat(both grate probe and dome gage can give this fake reading so probe placement is key) im sure theres other reasons but if your burning a firebox of lump that quickly at that low a temp im sure its one of them
  • Bumm39Bumm39 Posts: 52
    edited August 2012
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    regardless of vents settings, a fire that holds an egg at 250 is going to be about the same size as any other fire that holds 250,  all things being equal.  that means if you light large number of spots to try to establish the proverbial "good" fire (what's implied is a better fire), those fires are going to be about the same size all together as if you'd just lit one fire. lighting in one spot like you did is absolutely fine for a low and slow.

    regardless, the airflow thru the egg will be about the same, no noticeable difference. so your vent settings indicate a problem.

    something is obviously 'wrong' with your case.

    thermometers could be reading low, but you said, your maverick is brand new.  if the temps you refer to are grate temps, that could be the issue.  we say 250 meaning dome temp, not grate.  and there can be a 30-40 degree difference between the two (just the way it is).  if your grate temp was 250, you could really be closer to 300 dome

    your egg is WAY open.  i could be at 400 with those temps, and fresh fuel.

    royal oak is a good medium lump, not too light, not too dense. it was my go-to lump when it was more available around here, and there's no way it is just going to burn that much in 9 hours unless the fire is too hot, or our definitions of 'full ' are different.

    my egg is always full, topping off each time, up into the fire ring or at least as high as the ring, with a mound in the middle.  that will go for a heckuva long time.

    you didn't say what temp you took the roast to, or how big it was. that might help us understand if your temps were accurate too.

    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,830
    Were you cooking indirect? Were you using a platesetter? The setter soaks up a lot of heat. At least at the beginnings of long cooks, it sometimes takes a long time to bring the temperature up to 250 dome (my preference.)

  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 16,183
    edited August 2012

    @ robynybbq- If I recall, this is not the first time you have posted about temperature/vent settings and lump consumption.  Given you have tried everything mentioned above and in the past-I'm at a loss.  As stike says-once stable, the air-flow is what determines the size of the fire which then results in the thermo readings.  Perhaps reaching out to local Egger's is the way to move forward on this.  FWIW-

    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 26,331
    It would also help if you posted a pic of the lump in the firebox right after you light it and at the end of the cook.
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  • robnybbqrobnybbq Posts: 1,907
    The cook was at 210-230 grate (Maverick) and the dome stated the same.  That is alarming but I dont know.

    The chuck roast (4.5 lbs) cooked at that temp from 10:30 AM to 5:30 PM indirect.  The meat was at 160 then.  I removed the meat and put in a foil pan with some beef broth and onions and covered.   Raised the Egg temp to 250-270 grate and dome Cooked for ~3 more hours until the meat hit 210.

    The cook came out very good just need to know how to get longer or just plan to remove the meat - reload - burn off for an hour and put the meat back on after 9 hours.  Its getting better as the first low and slow a few months back I only got 5 hours out of a full lump load.

    LBGE, Adjustable Rig, Spider, High-Que grate, maverick ET-732, Thermapen,

    Garnerville, NY
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