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temperature control

Other than practice, what's the best way to maintain consistent temperature over long periods of time? Tried cooking a butt last night and never could hold 225-250 for more than 2 hours. Made sure firebox was full when I started.[p]thanks!

Comments

  • Wise OneWise One Posts: 2,645
    TomR, I have found that I can maintain the temperature by getting the temperature up to about 200 and then close the bottom vent to about a quarter of an inch and then play with the daisy wheel on top to get it up to 225 to 250. If you go over 250 initially, I have found it is much more difficult to get it to down and hold it there.

  • RRPRRP Posts: 21,915
    TomR, you got it praactice! but another hint is to sneak up on the lower temps and when you're within 50° start shutting down the lower vent and place Miss Daisy on top greatly restricted also. Then don't figget with it once you get going. I kinda wonder when you said you couldn't maintain the temp for more than 2 hours. Once the coals "know" how much air flow will be the temp tends to lock on. We have a BGE dealer locally who, when demoing his merchandise is for ever tinkering with the vent opening and the daisey. I wonder how many customers have walked away thinking why do I want one of those when a gassy is so simple to light and sit. It makes me want to go over and whack his knuckles with the ash tool!

    L, M, S, &  Mini
    And oh yes...also a 17" BlackStone gas fired griddle! 
    Ron
    Dunlap, IL
    Re- gasketing AMERICA one yard at a time!
  • Wise OneWise One Posts: 2,645
    RRP, it's looking like we were saying the same thing (and at the same time) but I think you said it a little better (or gooderer).

  • Wise One,[p]You are a Wise One, as that's what I did, got it over 250 and couldn't get it down very easily. thanks for the help!
  • RRP,[p]You and Wise One hit it right as I went over 250 and try to come back down. thanks for your advice!
  • TomR,
    I used to have a problem with temp control - until I re-read Elder Wards suggestion on how to prep. Like he says, if it didn't work - you did not pay attention to the instructions![p]Not to be rude to you or other posters on this forum - but use the temps everyone says you should use ONLY as starting point. As the ad's say - "your results may vary!" - and that is the truth.[p]I'm in Las Vegas - no humidity. Altitude about 2300 ft. What works for me temp wise may not apply to your location.[p]The two keys I found to temp control are 1) Elder Wards fire prep advice and 2) dont' start too hot. When I'm doing a long cook I clamp the vents down when the dome temp reaches 150 - 170. Then monitor closely as it gradually builds up to the temp I want.[p]I was greatly frustrated with temp control - spike city - until I re-thought (read - until I paid attention to what was said!) the process. Since I have followed both techniques - I have not had a problem with temp control.[p]Started a 14 lb. pork shoulder and a 6 lb. beef roast this morning at 9:30. Took about an hour to let the beast get up to temp I wanted - 250. I put stone in for initial warm up - makes a difference in starting. Put the food in when it was still below 200.[p]It's now 6:50 pm and the temp has wondered no farther than + or - 10 degrees from 250.[p]You have to watch - and learn - what temps are good for your area. Some folks say to cook at 200. I have a hard time maintaing that low of a temp. I can maintain a steady 220 - 225 for hours on end. Play with it and record the results.[p]Bottom line is that it tastes GREAT!!!!!!![p]LVM[p]

  • sdbeltsdbelt Posts: 267
    TomR,[p]To add to what LVM says, I'm wondering why your temp ever spiked up. For ribs and jerky I really, really struggled maintaining sub-250 temps, until I realized what it was that was causing the temp to rise: I was opening the lid! For ribs and jerky, I open the lid somewhat frequently (every hour or so to flip). As a result, the Egg was getting this great rush of fresh cool air inside and the fire would flair up. After the flair up, the previous vent settings no longer applied, and the temp would rise out of control.[p]For butts and brisket, I would never open the lid, until I thought it was done. For those I was never having a problem with temp spikages, and can leave it going all night and the temps don't change significantly.[p]So my thinking is that if you are maintaining a low temp and then there's a sudden spike up, you've opened the lid. If you've opened then lid, then when you close the lid, you may want to consider clamping the vents down significantly to re-control the fire. After that, you may have to open them up again to re-establish a fire...just kinda depends.[p]I know it sounds like a lot of hassle, so the bottom line would be: Don't open the lid.[p]Of course if you didn't open the lid, and it shot up from 225 to 275 for no apparent reason, then I'm at a loss. The only thing I can think is that the fire spread to "fresher" lump that burned hotter.[p]Enjoy![p]--sdb
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