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First PartyQ Cook-Help!

My first low and slow overnight cook with the Party Q. Should there be any opening in the bottom vent besides where you plug the Party Q into the adaptor? I am confused because I am wondering if the only way the air will come into the bottom vent is if the fan is running. It is a little late but would someone that uses the PartyQ tell me the process they use for the PartyQ. At what point do you plug it in and turn it on? Thanks for your help. My family is coming at 1:00 tomorrow to help eat this 10 pound butt so I don't want to mess it up.


  • I have one and yes, the only air going in should come off the fan. I put it on as close to 250 dome as possible so as not to waste the battery, because if you do it too soon the fan will just run and run and you'll likely overshoot your temp.
  • That is exactly what happened. So now I am at 300 instead of the 225-250 that I was shooting for. I have the top vent closed as small as I can get it but I have been at 304-306 for the last hour so I guess that is where my temp is going to hang. So much for the low and slow.... Thanks for your comments.
  • No worries...just let it go and the temp will come down. The PartyQ will keep it from dropping too low. If you're doing a butt, the temp change won't hurt it, just may be done a little earlier.

    Just relax, I'm sure it will turn out great!!
  • jaydub58jaydub58 Posts: 1,944
    Agree with @Boileregger, get to about 250 dome, or very close to your target temp.  Then install the PartyQ and let it take over.  I usually use the DFMT with the petals open just barely tooth-pick wide.
    John in the Willamette Valley of Oregon
  • twlangantwlangan Posts: 294
    If you look at the unit closely, you will see that some air CAN get through it even while the fan is not running. I have owned one for about a year and have done several pork butts. I have learned that having the daisy wheel open too far will allow too much draft to pull through the fan and it will overshoot. Close your daisy wheel down to just a crack. If you find the fan cycling on and off too much, open them just a crack more. You want to find a balance between the thing cycling on and off constantly, which can drain your batteries on a long cook, and overshooting your target temp.

    As others have stated - bring your Egg up to temp manually before attaching the PartyQ. I even let it go manually for an hour or so after putting the butts in. The cold butts will give a false reading on the probe which is usually placed near the meat. Once the butts warm up, this is much less of an issue. I also try my best to place my probe over the plate setter or one of its legs so the probe is not sensing direct heat. Even after an hour, I will still set the temp lower than my target temp and raise it bit by bit until the meat gets hot. I watch my dome thermometer and adjust controller temp accordingly to prevent it from overshooting.

    Due to these issues, which are unavoidable and I feel not a design flaw of the controller, you will find that the digital readout often will vary from the dome thermometer early in the cook. As the cook progresses, you will see them come closer and closer together.

    I sometimes think a better solution would be to remove the dome thermometer and place the PartyQ probe there instead of clipping it to the cooking grate. It would be less influenced by cold meat.

    One may think that my tinkering kind of takes away from the advantages of using a controller but I only do this early in the cooks. I make a point to start overnighters early enough for everything to stabilize and finally get the controller set to my target temp. From that point on, it is a great hands-off tool that lets me sleep comfortably. I still get up somewhat early to check on the meat internal temp as I have found that some butts take what seems like forever to cook and I have found others of the same size DONE at 6 am when I checked on them. Just differences in the meat.

    Overall, I really like my PartyQ. The only change I would like to see is a DC jack to power it from an optional wall wort. My Egg stays put and is near an outlet so I'd rather use and AC/DC converter to power it than the AA batts. I did one overnight cook last Jan where my batts gave out early due to the bitter cold we have on this frozen WI tundra. Fortunately this happened the following morning and I noticed it right away.

    Good luck and enjoy your toy!
  • twlangantwlangan Posts: 294
    I should add that once I get my daisy wheel dialed in, I shoot for the controller to give a puff of air every 30-60 seconds. Anything more than that, I get concerned about battery life if it turns out to be a long cook - and less than that, I worry about the possibility of the temp getting away from me with too much natural draft.
  • Thanks for all of your good information.  I will print this and put it in my PartyQ box to read before my next cook.
  • MickeyMickey Posts: 16,885
    I said the hell with it and gave mine to Travis. He is much smatter than I. I no longer get aggravated with cooks (that and I don't overnight anymore).
    Salado TX Egg Family: 2 Large and a very well used Mini, just added a Mini Max (I'm good for now). 

  • jaydub58jaydub58 Posts: 1,944
    After checking with BBQ Guru, I started using rechargeable batteries.  Now I just make sure they are freshly recharged before each cook, and no worries about battery life.
    John in the Willamette Valley of Oregon
  • I bet there's an Instructable on how to rig up a DC converter to the Party Q.

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