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Can't get the dome temp down!

Gwei-loGwei-lo Posts: 12
edited 9:14PM in EggHead Forum
It's a hot and sunny day here in Australia, and I'm currently doing a test run of my first ribs in the Egg. The firebox is nearly full, and it's smoking heaps with a fist-sized chunk of hickory and several smaller pieces, but the dome temp is 300F and I can't get it down to the low 200s. Both vents are open by just the tiniest of cracks, but the temp still won't go down! What can I do? It's been in there for about 30 mins. Thanks for any help!


  • BoccieBoccie Posts: 186
    Gwei-lo,[p]Close down your egg. Shut the bottom vent and shut the daisy wheel off. If necessary put the rain cap on.[p]Once the temp gets down try the slightest crack on bottom vent with daisey wheel full closed. The daisy still leaks by...its never a full close on the upper vent.
  • Thanks for your help, Boccie :) I did what you suggested, but I left the rain cap on a bit too long and the fire almost went out! However, my first ever rib experience on the Egg was a failure. In retrospect, I think I was simply too inexperienced to have even attempted to cook ribs over a direct fire, but I didn't have any sort of heat deflector so I had no other option.[p]I started a small fire in the Egg using a wood firestarter, and as soon as that died down and the lump started to take, I closed the dome and opened the vents wide. At about 300F, I placed some dry hickory chunks on the glowing lump and threw half a rack of spares on. I had prepared them just before the cook by coating with yellow mustard, then Steven Raichlen's basic BBQ rub (which was the only rub I had prepared in the pantry, and I'm a bit unimpressed by it now that I've used it for a while). I expected the dome temp to lower after I had closed both vents to the smallest crack, but it stayed at 300F for a bit over an hour. After following your suggestion, I managed to get the temp down to 250F. After 2 hrs 15 mins, I applied some Bullseye BBQ sauce to the ribs, then again after another 15 mins. I removed the ribs after a total of 2 hrs 45 mins. I should've left them on for longer, but after using the rain cap to lower the temp, there was barely a fire left. The ribs ended up quite tough, and I don't know if it was because there was too much smoke initially or the rub burned, but they tasted very spicy. I think the cut of meat wasn't up to scratch as well - there were quite a few shiners. The ribs are currently sitting covered in my fridge. I don't know if there's any way to salvage them, but I think I'll try cooking them uncovered in the oven at 200F for a couple of hours.[p]After this experience, here's what this Egging newbie has learned:[p]1) When buying ribs, get them from a good butcher, NOT a grocery store, and ask to inspect them first and check that it's got a lot of meat and no shiners (I doubt we here in Australia would be able to get ribs (spares or babybacks) of the size and quality that you folks can get in the States, but if so, I've yet to find some!)[p]2) Get some kind of heat deflector and learn to cook indirectly - it's a much more forgiving method than cooking directly[p]3) Be patient, and resist the urge to keep opening the dome to check the meat[p]4) Try to get some practise controlling the temp, and I'm sure once you get that down pat, you can set it and forget it :)[p]I reckon that's it for now, but I bet I have an awful lot more to learn about Egging! Right now, I'm gonna go have a shower because my clothes are saturated with smoke, and tomorrow, I'm gonna go hunt down some firebricks or a kiln shelf, whichever is easier to find :) Oh, and for anyone interested in the news following my wisdom teeth extraction, I saw the dental surgeon again on Tuesday, and it looks like another 2 weeks of soft foods until the wound fully closes and my gums harden up. Probably wouldn't have been able to enjoy the ribs today had they been successful, but I'm glad for the learning experience :)
  • jwitheldjwitheld Posts: 284
    check your thermommeter.
    also its easier to keep a low fire in winter (some folks resd this as shade)

  • Gwei-lo from Oz,
    Sometimes when the temp gets to high in my egg, I just open the lid for a couple of minutes, and it cools down a couple hundred degrees. Then I put the solid cap on the chimney and close down the bottom vent. Then you have to stay right there until the temp comes down, then put the daisy wheel back on and start adjusting the daisy wheel and the bottom vent until you reach the temp you want--See-Yaa

  • BlueSmokeBlueSmoke Posts: 1,678
    Gwei-lo from Oz,
    That's the spirit! There are no failures, just learning experiences (and we've all had our share of them).
    Glad to hear your recovery is proceeding on schedule.

  • hounddoghounddog Posts: 126
    The thing to learn is that the egg doesn't go backwards gracefully. It does not cool down to your cooking temperature well. It heats up like a pro. So always go up to your temp and not back.
    Another thing that can help with a direct fire is to get the food up higher and farther from the fire. A rib rack can help with this. I sometimes just put a couple bricks on edge on top of the grill and then put another grill on top of that.
    Course, sometimes I just ruin dinner and got nobody to blame but myself. I generally have fun though.

  • JSlotJSlot Posts: 1,218
    Gwei-lo from Oz,[p]Actually, cooking ribs direct produces a very fine product and I think you could have survived if you had followed JJ's method. When cooking ribs direct, it is IMPERATIVE that you turn them every 15-20 minutes. The ribs should also be laid flat on the grill with the sides exposed to the fire. The preferred temp is ~250°, but if it spikes to 300°, that's ok as long as you get the temp back down relatively quickly. The key is frequent turning. This method requires a lot of attention, but it produces a very, very good product. The reason I don't use it is because I can only fit 3-4 half-slabs on the grill.[p]Keep the smoke risin' down under!

  • BoccieBoccie Posts: 186
    Gwei-lo from Oz,[p]Regardless of how much information we absorb here on the forum sometimes we have to just experience our own failures. Lord knows we have had our share also. But with each success (or failure) we get better and better dont we? LOL[p]Next time you'll turn out some wonderful ribs![p]There are so many rib methods available. I think a fellow could cook them every week a different way.[p]Good luck on your next round!

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