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dwell question

I have read several messages that mention searing (say a steak), then dwelling. Since I don't have an egg yet, I'm not exactly sure what happens when you dwell. If I understand correctly, after searing, you close both dampers and let the meal cook inside to the desired doneness.[p]My question is wouldn't closing off the air cause the fire to smolder and impart creosote on the meal? Obviously not since no one would eat it if it did. But I'll be danged if I can figure out how you can fuel starve the fire and not cause it to smolder.[p]Since my only experience is with an NBBD smoker which is a long way from airtight, I am assuming there is just something I don't know about the egg.[p]Mike


  • Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
    Mike Bowen, I stand to be corrected, but IMO, charcoal has little creosote left in its blackend already charred body. Its burn is pure clean carbon dioxide. (I think) When you mention creosote, I tend to think of needle pines. They are really loaded with bad stuff.[p]Yes, searing is done to seal the exterior of the meat very quickly. Some used to do it in nearly red hot skillets or special steak stoves with super hot surfaces. A quick sear, and then to close up the dome and lower vent to accomplish internal heat finishing of the steak. Usually you adjust your sear and simmer/dwell times to the thickness of the steak. I have yet to use a thermometer on a steak as I like mine medium rare. A 1.5 inch thick ribeye will go for 3 minutes per side, and another 8 to 10 minutes in the shut down mode.
    You can make near shut down, by leaving the lower vent just cracked, and the daisy wheel or (?) on with a full opening. This will give you a quicker finish, yet no flame in the interior of the BGE.
    Just red hot coals...Cherrio..C~W[p]

  • Char-Woody,
    I may have used the wrong word when I said creosote, but that is what I thought you got from smoldering wood. Again, my only experience is from smoking on a horizontal smoker and I used hickory and sometimes mesquite wood chunks for flavor (lump for heat). If I cut the air flow too much, I got a thick smoke and it imparted a very bitter taste.[p]Do you use any wood for flavor when you do steaks?[p]
    >You can make near shut down, by leaving the lower vent
    >just cracked, and the daisy wheel or (?) on with a full
    >opening. This will give you a quicker finish, yet no flame
    >in the interior of the BGE.[p]So in this phase, does the temp stay the same or rise? [p]Mike

  • Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
    Mike Bowen, I too am brain fog bound tonight.:-) Carbon dioxide is the exhaust exchange from inhaling oyxgen and breathing back out carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is readily aborbed by plants and recreated into oxygen. Carbon Monoxide is the gas created by burning charcoal. Thus the reasoning you must use it in a well ventilated area or outside.
    When you sear and then do as suggested, cap off your unit, your temperatures will drop rapidly from 700F to around 400-450F..and stabilize with a gradual downgrade. Usually by the time the dome temp sets at around the 400F the meat is ready to take to the table. In my experience anyway. After about 8 minutes, your fire is nearly extinguished due to lack of oyxgen. This is where you might get reignition of the gases causing the whooooof. Rare but it happens.
    And BTW..this happens in a lot of cookers, not just the ceramics where you have a oxygen starve fire.

  • Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
    Mike Bowen, and for smoking wood for steaks, very rarely!
    Due to the high temps, IMO, its a waste of wood, and only adds what your trying to avoid. If you want a smoke flavor, pre smoke the steak partially frozen at 200F or lower with some smaller wood chips. Then remove the your heat to the 700+ level, and sear and cook as normal. Burn off your small amount of wood chips in the process.

  • GaDawgGaDawg Posts: 178
    Mike Bowen,
    Creosote is a by-product of the combustion of soft greenish wood like pine. It is a tar-like substance that will line a chimney flue and eventually ignite causing a chimney fire. Lump charcoal is the exact opposite, it is the carbonized(?) remains of hardwood burned without O2. There is nothing left in the lump charcoal to create creosote.[p]Chuck

  • Char-Woody,
    Thanks for clearing this up for me. It has been nagging at the back of my brain since I first heard of the egg.[p]Regards,

  • Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
    GaDawg, yupper's, that's the way to put it. :-)

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