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How do you start a "Low & Slow" fire ?

DougDoug Posts: 132
edited 11:40AM in EggHead Forum
Is there a method to start a "Low & Slow". Say I want 200 - 225 degrees for 10 hours plus.[p]I don't have a problem getting ones to hold on higher ranges, say 350. But I'm struggling a bit on lower ones. Do I start high and crank it down or start with a partial burn and try to keep it there?[p]Doug


  • Tim MTim M Posts: 2,410
    Doug,[p]What size Egg do you have? Allowing the ceramic to get too hot will prevent it from dropping back in temp quickly, so don't let it go past your desired goal temp for too long (5-10 min max). Closing the lower vent to about 1" after getting the fire started and closing the slide daisy top to just a cracked position on the daisy part will hold your temp around 225-250° (assuming no breeze blowing in the lower vent). If you have to shut the daisy all the way - do it. It leaks enough to hold 225 or so. If you can't, and it zooms higher - look for a leaking gasket. It sounds like you might have a gap in the gasket seal. [p]A thread below talks about how to check for a good seal.[p]Tim
  • WessBWessB Posts: 6,937
    As Tim said you want to keep it small at first...but I`d also like to add that you don`t want to get confused by the starter burning, I use the sawdust cubes and can see temps hit 350° + until it burns out and the charcoal lights then temps settle back down to the 150° range...this is when you want to start keeping an eye on things and back the vents down around 175° to 200°....HTH[p]Wess

  • CRCR Posts: 175
    I have found that stabilizing at the lower temp takes a little bit of time, at least 1 1/2 to 2 hours. And, as Tim advised, if you overshoot it takes quire a while to get down again, especially to low temperatures. This is why most of the Eggers who do overnight cooks recommend getting your fire stabilized for at least couple of hours before going to bed. [p]For me temps above 300 degrees hold fairly well once you get to the desired temp.

  • BlueSmokeBlueSmoke Posts: 1,678
    I start with MAPP, so don't have the "starter cube false reading" problem mentioned below. I run wide open till the dome gets to 175º, then crank down the lower vent and daisy wheel and monitor every 5 to 10 mins. till I get to desired temp.

  • Tim MTim M Posts: 2,410
    WessB,[p]Yep, good point. I don't see this much anymore since I start most of mine from under the grate. Good point.[p]Tim
  • DougDoug Posts: 132
    BlueSmoke,[p]Thanks, all comments have been helpful.[p]What is MAPP? Sorry I'm a bit new.[p]Doug

  • DougDoug Posts: 132
    Tim M,[p]Thanks, that helpful. I've only had 5 cooks on my new "large" Egg and the temp always goes past my target. I start with a Weber charcoal starter tank (the kind you put paper under)which gets pretty hot.[p]Regarding the gaps. I have very tight on front and right side at 3:00 o'clock. The paper slides out easier at 9:00 o'clock and in the back.[p]How would you describe the gaps on your grills ? (I really appreciate your feedback)[p]Doug

  • Doug,
    I still just stick the electric wand starter in the middle of the coals (filled to the top of the fire box), let it got for 5 or so minutes, see that the coals are going and then pull the starter out. Add a couple of chunks or small limbs of pecan wood (dried from my tree), put the plate sitter in there (legs up), sit three ceramic cones on the sitter to elevate a round drip pan 1/2 inch off the sitter and then put on the grill.
    I did take a hand grinder and slope the outer edges of the sitter's upright legs so that the grill fits perfectly on it.
    I then leave top and bottom vents open until 200 degrees and close them back about 1/2 inch on the bottom and small openings on the daisy wheel top. You will have to adjust from there.
    Years ago before I got the sitter the openings had to be very small top and bottom. The mass and obstruction of the sitter requires the vents be open more.
    By standing the drip pan off the sitter it does not burn up the drippings. I have also hung the pan under the grill also.
    Hope this helps.

  • WardsterWardster Posts: 1,006
    MAPP is a gas, similiar to propane, but it burn hotter. Lot's of people use this to light their egg. It can be bought at any home improvement store and they say a bottle will last you a year. Cost around $40.

    Apollo Beach, FL
  • Doug,
    You can read about my first low and slow at the following link. Basically I used a chimney starter and got it going like an F14 on afterburner. This was not by design, but it worked out OK. I dumped the coals on top of my charcoal in the egg, added the plate setter, the drip pan, the meat, etc. then fixed the thermometer in place in the meat. By time I closed the lid, the temp inside the egg was 175 degrees. I then let it sloooooooowly come up to 220. I fiddled with it a little for the next hour, but then it held 220/230 all night long and all the next day.[p]TNW

    [ul][li]My First Crack At An Overnight Low And Slow[/ul]
    The Naked Whiz
  • Tim MTim M Posts: 2,410
    Doug,[p]Can you push a dollar bill (or a small piece of paper) in and out in places? If so you have a gap. The 3 o'clock position is where I have noticed a problem in some cookers - not sure why it picks on that area. It sounds like you have an air leak somewhere. Loosening the bands and pushing the dome down might help. See if that removes the gap. Then retighten the bolts and see if the gap returns. I had that happen on a friends Egg. I had to insert a second layer of gasket material in the offending area and it solved the problem. [p]A call to Bge would be in order if that is the case.[p]Tim
  • DougDoug Posts: 132
    The Naked Whiz,[p]Whiz, That's outstanding. [p]I played out and will save info from your site. Looks like the answer. I have a Weber chimney starter but have loaded it to the top which gets things going too hot. Also I've not used as much coal or loaded the bottom with the big stuff. I think that may make a difference because the few time I've done it i get 8 hours or so and it goes out with lots of coal left and ash in the vent holes.[p]Doug

  • DougDoug Posts: 132
    Tim M,[p]Tim, I called BGE and they are sending me a new band to try. This must be a common problem as he immediately said let's start with a new spring load band.[p]That makes me a little nervous because I'm not sure what he means by "let's start with" - What else is there ? Incorrect drilling of small front and back center holes ?[p]Doug
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