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temp control

Still fairly new to this but I have another temp control question. This last weekend I tried a 15 pound brisket. Put it on at 6:30 PM after I thought I had the temp stabilized at 250. I started it up, put the plate setter in and thought I had it fairly stabile when I put the brisket on - it was at 250 for 20 mintes or so before I put the meat on. At 11:00 my egg grate temp had dropped to 200 so I went out and opened up the daisy wheel just a tad. Forgot to turn the alarm on my Maverick back on and woke up at 5:30 to a grate temp of 390. Needless to say it was done way early.

How long do you guys let it stabilze before adding the meat? Do you find yourself having to do many adjustments during a long cook? Should I be trying a different approach?

Thanks.

Comments

  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 5,362
    edited March 2013
    @SPRIGS If you put 15# of cold meat onto a 250 grid, the temp will drop by quite an amount. Unless you are on an XL or maybe an XXL (Egg-zilla) even a stable large or medium will not be able to handle that much cool mass suddenly added without the temp dropping. If I understand your OP, the meat hit the grid at 6:30 and it was some 4 1/2 hours later the grid temp was 200. Do you know what the grid temp was at 7:30PM and 9:30 PM? Was the temp decrease gradual or did the egg even recover from the introduction of the brisket?

    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • ChubbsChubbs Posts: 3,588
    edited March 2013
    Agree. The temp will drop with a huge hunk of meat. I think a lot of people struggle when they chase temps. Goes down slightly so open vents some, temp rises close down some, etc. I usually get the dome stable for at least 30 minutes. Get everything out by the egg. Open it up, add chunks ( chips mixed in lump) add meat and watch it for 30 mins to an hour before I go to bed. Works for me. Just let the egg hang at the temp it settles in at and you will be fine
    Columbia, SC --- LBGE 2011 -- MINI BGE 2013
  • NibbleMeThisNibbleMeThis Posts: 2,224
    When smoking, by the time my smoke is clear and ready to go, my temp has been at 250f for about 30 minutes or so.

    I don't make a lot of adjustments during an overnight cook.  As long as I'm within 10 degrees of my target temp, I don't touch it.  I usually regulate my temp by the bottom temp and leave the daisy wheel alone. 
  • Charlie tunaCharlie tuna Posts: 2,191
    As posted above ---- KNOW ------ what "stabilized" means.  It is easy to rush things, but until you are truly stabilized can you START your cook.  You said you were stabilized "when you put the place setter in" ???   Come on, the place ster is part of your egg, it too must be stabilized!!  Without stabilizing your egg --- you really can't open the egg to put the meat on the grill without a major temperature drop and very slow return to your setpoint !!!  Sad part is -- during this period your egg is usually producing crappy smoke that will effect the taste of your cook ??? 
  • SPRIGSSPRIGS Posts: 186
    Sorry if my post was a bit confusing.  I stabilized the temp (or so I thought) with the platesetter in the egg.  i realize the temp will drop when putting in that much meat but it recovered fairly quickly.  i think was back to 250 or so within an hour or so of putting the meat on.  Perhaps I didn't have it stabilzed to begin with.

    I filled the ring half full of lump.  Put 4 chunks of oak in along with a sprinkling of chips around the charcoal.  more lump then more chips.  Lit it in the middle top towards the front.  Also lit two other small spots to the left and right of center.   
  • SPRIGSSPRIGS Posts: 186
    edited March 2013
    Closed the lid after 10 minutes and left the bottom vent fully open and the daisy wheel fully open and off to the side until 200.  i then closed the bottom vent to about an inch open and shut the daisy wheel but left the petals open.  it settled in at around 250 - 255 and stayed there for about 20 minutes.  i then put the meat on.

    The temp dropped initially as expected with that much meat but came back up and although didn't keep a log, would say it was back at 250 or so by 7:30 to 8:00.  Am doing something wrong?  i am getting good prolonged smoke now (that was a problem for me initially).  Am I just chasing temps?  Need to let it stabilzed longer?

    Thanks.
  • SPRIGSSPRIGS Posts: 186
    XL by the way.  should have mentioned that earlier.  
  • Charlie tunaCharlie tuna Posts: 2,191

    Sprigs,

    You said " i think was back to 250 or so within an hour or so of putting the meat on. Perhaps I didn't have it stabilzed to begin with."   This one hour period means you were not stabilized.  Being stabilized, means that your entire egg -- not only the firery hot lump, but every part of your egg was trying to maintain the original temperature.  When you realize "stabilization" you will quickly see how very fast the egg will respond to ANYTHING that effects a temperature change.  One hour -- tells me you were not stabilized.  It is a learning experience.  You will see, in the later parts of your cooks, how very fast the egg will recover from opening the dome, compared to early inyour cook.  The whole idea and advantage of owning and cooking on an egg is it's ability to maintain a constant temperature -- unlike many other cookers.  Just consider the fluctuations of temperatures cooking with a Weber kettle......

  • ScottborasjrScottborasjr Posts: 1,921
    I've got a Large and a Medium.  The gasket on my Large is pretty good and shot.  So this is just from memory but in order to keep the temp below 300 when I had a gasket the bottom vent was open about 1/4th to 1/2 of a inch depending on outside air temp.  Now I have to keep it at about 1/8 of an inch since my gasket is leaking a little. I've never cooked on a XL so perhaps someone who has will speak up with their experiences.
    I raise my kids, cook and golf.  When work gets in the way I'm pissed, I'm pissed off 48 weeks a year.
    Inbetween Iowa and Colorado, not close to anything remotely entertaining outside of football season. 
  • Charlie tunaCharlie tuna Posts: 2,191
    I either cook with my bottom vent wide open or controlled by my DigiQ, and i control my dome temperature by the top vent -- thats the way i learnt it -- i am used to it.  this works for me..
  • SPRIGSSPRIGS Posts: 186
    So how long do I let it go at a constant temp before knowing it is stabilized?  say get it to settle in at 260 and that is a temp want to cook at.  How long do let it stay there before knowing it's stabilized?  Once stabilized - ho wlong will it take to get back to that temp after loading it up with meat - say a 15 lb brisket?  Thanks.  


  • ScottborasjrScottborasjr Posts: 1,921
    @SPRIGS first thing I would do before any cook you want to last more 8-hours I would take the inner parts of the Egg out and shop vac out the Egg to make sure you have clean environment for the lump to burn in.  Some people have Egg's that are so dialed in that they will not have to mess with the vents at all after about 35-45 minutes.  Others depending on gasket condition, alignment of dome, seal around bottom vent etc. have to play with the vents every couple of hours.  Others still get a controller so they don't have to even worry about it. My recommendation is to get the a bag of inexpensive lump and just light it without food in the egg and play with temps for a day. Choose a day you'll be out doing yardwork or something around the house anyway so you can just take a couple of seconds every half hour to see where you are at.
    I raise my kids, cook and golf.  When work gets in the way I'm pissed, I'm pissed off 48 weeks a year.
    Inbetween Iowa and Colorado, not close to anything remotely entertaining outside of football season. 
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