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Temperature Maintenance Problems

I run into trouble every time I cook something that requires me to add chips or chunks when I add the meat to the BGE.  This time it was a ham.  The recipe called for a cooking temperature of 375°F to 400°F.  I brought the BGE up to 400°, opened the lid, dumped in the wood chips, added the plate setter, the drip plan, the wire grid and the meat.  I had everything staged and ready to go, so it might have taken 60 seconds, yet it lost about 175°.  The temperature was down to around 225°.   I continued to keep the lower vent wide open and opened the daisy-wheel more and more monitoring the temperature with my Maverick thermometer.  An hour later it was just 250!   I finally removed the daisy wheel and got it up to the proper range again, but it took forever and I don't like the way the meat came out.

What's the best way to do this?  I thought it best to wait until the meat was on to add the chips, so I held the plate setter back until that point and in doing so lost about 175°.  Is it better to get the plate setter up to temp first.  If so, how to handle the hot plate setter?

I'd appreciate hearing your sequence of handling a cook like this.

Thanks for your help!


  • ThatgrimguyThatgrimguy Posts: 306
    edited June 2013
    You added a lot of cold mass. It takes time to get back to temp. I always preheat with my platesetter and grid in place.  I have never had trouble from adding the chips from the start. Never waited to add them and I'm getting plenty of smoke in my foods.

    "Far better it is to dare mighty things to win glorious triumphs, Even though checkered by failureThan to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer muchbecause they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat"Theodore Roosevelt
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 10,757
    Yep, what he said.  Mix your smoke wood in with the lump and you'll get steady smoke through the whole cook.
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  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 6,717
    Never bring it up to temp and DO anything. Bring it to temp and let it stabilize at that temp. At least 30 minutes, longer is better.

    As was said, add all your stuff in the beginning and let it come up to temp. Sometimes I can add smoking chunks by simply lifting the grid and tossing them in. Usually, I just light the lump and put the chunks where I didn't light. Then add the hardware and wait for the temp to stabilize.

    The only time I use chips is when I want a certain wood and can't find anything but chips. I find they burn too fast.

    As for handling a hot platesetter, welders gloves work for me. Just make sure you have a heat proof spot VERY nearby - you don't have long so be quick! Also make sure that nothing (including your kids or pets) is between you and that spot.
    Central Connecticut 

    "Avoid at all costs that vile spew you see rotting in oil in screwtop jars. Too lazy to peel fresh? You don't deserve to eat garlic." Bourdain
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