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False Reading onTemperature?

edited 5:50AM in EggHead Forum
Cooked three slabs of babybacks last night indirect over a pan of water. I had a roaring fire with bulk charcoal up to the top of the fire box, and I couldn't keep my hand over the vent, yet the temp gauge only read 330. It didn't appear that the gauge needle was touching the ribs. I noticed that when I lifted the lid a half inch, the temperature rose. If the needle was almost touching the ribs, would I get a false reading?[p]Side question: Should you wait until all of the charcoal is burning well before cooking on the EGG, or can you start cooking as soon as the desired temp is reached?[p]P.S. - the ribs were chewy. Maybe not cooked long enough (1 1/2 to 2 hrs)or the temp was too hot but falsely read 330.


  • Hoytmeister,[p]I've learned when you're in doubt about the temp gauge - check it (212) in the middle of a pan of boiling water. Mine was reading low for a while.[p]You'll see others posting responses to these questions. I'm no expert, but ya don't want a roaring fire for cookin' ribs. 220º to 250º seems to be the average suggested temp range for ribs. The temperature will rise when you open the lid because you're letting more air in to feed the fire.[p]I usually put ribs and butts on before the dome reaches my target cooking temperature. Other times, I'll stabilize the temp before placing the meat on.[p]When using lump charcoal, you don't have to wait for all of it to be lit... go by the dome temp. For low temp cooks, I light the lump in the middle with firestarters. Once the firestarters are gone I close the lid. I then monitor the temp closely and I'll start closing vents once the dome gets to within 30 - 50 degrees of my target. Other people probably have a better, faster method... but I like to drink a coupla cold ones while I cook![p]Good luck,

  • Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
    Hoytmeister, tell us more about your set up in the BGE. Racks/defletors..etc..
    Yes, if the thermometer is anywhere near the proximity of the cooker meats, your off target. I sometimes take the "mometer" clear out and stick it in the top vent thru the slider or the daisy wheel and shut the daisy on the stem. Works there about 30 degrees from your grill temps.
    I read this just the other day maybe on the Arizona BBQ Society pages, and it reminds me once again..If your cooking BBQ its low and slow. If you want to grill then your at the 300 plus temperature zones. BBQ ribs require 220 to 250 F degrees. From there you can do as you like with foil or non foil.
    Good luck on the next one and welcome to the forum.

  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,508
    Good tips already! Not really any shortcuts to killer ribs. Once you get a good little core fire going (I use a firestarter, and usually wait about 10-15 minutes for it to burn up, and a group of glowing coals going) you can put your food on. Or at least adjust your vents down at this point. You really don't want a screaming fire. Once you are at around 200 dome, put on your grub, and give the ceramics time to get heated up to the 250 favorite temp for cooking ribs. [p]With your drip pan setup, as you described, those guys will take 4 or 5 hours at 250. No need to open the egg until you flip at the 2 hour mark.[p]Hope that helps. Time to try again!!
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