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Low and medium temperature control

edited 5:15PM in EggHead Forum
Recieved my Egg two weeks ago and have used it for high temp grilling of steaks.I'm anxious (and a bit intimidated) to do lower temp cooking for ribs,brisket,roasts, etc. Can anyone give advice on how to light and maintain a consistant low temp (say 200-250) and a good medium temp (say 300-400). I've only used an electric heating element to light my fires to date which is a fairly straight forward process for hi temp cooking of steaks. I've read about weber fire cubes but have no idea how many to use,where to place them, how to set my vents, etc. for low and medium temperature cooking. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Comments

  • WessBWessB Posts: 6,937
    Scott Entman,
    The only trick to low temp cooking is DONT let it overheat...I prefer 1 starter cube placed in the center on top of the lump..top and bottom vents wide open..dont be fooled by the temp reading initially as the thermometer will be reading the burning starter cube it will rise to well over 300° sometimes....once you are sure the cube is out and the lump is starting to burn, you will notice your temp has dropped back to a normal level.....as the lump begins burning the temp will rise slowly, roughly 50° lower than your desired cooking temp you will want to close down the lower vent (for 200°-250°) to around 1/4 inch and place your daisy wheel on the top...you want to keep adjusting these closed more the closer you get to your desired temp....you want to keep it from getting hotter than desired...HTH[p]Wess

  • Scott Entman,[p]I agree with WessB about not overshooting. If there is one thing that the Egg is not good at doing it is cooling down, so don't over shoot.[p]I avoid the Green Goo and starter cubes when doing low and slow. I prefer using propane, or Mapp if you use that, on a small spot of the lump. Usually if you are beginning a 5-24 hour cook you will be going through some ceremony of getting extra racks, ceramic mass, foil pans and other stuff into the egg and a quick start on the fire is completely unnecessary. If you use the cubes or goo, don’t use much – a half to quarter cube or a quarter-sized glop of goo will be ample to get the lump started. [p]One very key point - don't wander off during this ramp up period, make sure that you are truly at a stable low temp before you go and make sweet tea.[p]Try ribs first. It is only a 5 hour commitment without the need for an alarm clock. They cook at 225-250. Although 225 will take longer than 250, I would say that 250 is max before you are sacrificing tenderness and moistness for cooking time. Besides, the 3-1-1 method takes 5 hours regardless of the temperature so try to stay within that range and err to the cooler. Cook them for three hours over a drip pan (on some kind of rack to keep them out of the drippings) then wrap them in foil and cook them for another 1 hour (you are actually braising them here) then unwrap them and cook direct for the last hour over direct heat. Don’t put sauce on them until the last 10 – 15 minutes, the sugar will burn and taste bad. Dry rub is desirable for the cook, but if you don’t have any, don’t sweat it, ribs are pretty flavorful things just the way the pig made them (try pork baby back ribs first, they seem to be the most forgiving). If you do put some rub on the ribs, it is not necessary to cake it on, a nice dusting will do.[p]During the cook, don’t lift the dome unless you really have to – it lets out heat and lets in oxygen. During the first three hours you can fiddle and frob with the vents and get to know what combination you like best. Make small adjustments, then wait for 3-5 minutes – the egg doesn’t respond very quickly, and that goes for cooling down as well. When you take the ribs off to foil them, close the lid and you won’t have as dramatic a temperature swing. When you put the foiled ribs back on and close the dome, wait a minute or two to get an accurate temperature reading before adjusting the vents – you just let out the hot air, but you gave the egg a big gulp of oxygen to make up for it, give it a chance to recover. Also, every time you close the dome, check that you haven’t inadvertently readjusted your daisy wheel vent. [p]If for what ever reason you overshoot, don’t get too bent out of shape. If there are no ribs on the egg, shut it down by closing the vents and wait for it to cool down to a reasonable temperature. Be careful opening the egg after cooling it like this, there is often some angry gases inside just dieing to get out. Adjust your vents first, thus getting a little airflow started, then open the dome an inch, close it, and do that again a couple of times. If the gas does ignite it is much less dramatic and if you react by letting go of the lid, it only has to drop a mere inch, also much less dramatic. Let’s say you went to mix a Mojito, and when you return the egg is at 320, I’d say take the ribs off (easier if they are on a rack) and do the above procedure. Probably better to lengthen your cook than over bake a rib.[p]To get and hold 250 on the egg the bottom vent will be open a bit (different for everyone, but a centimeter plus or minus should do). The top vent will probably be slid closed leaving all of the adjustment to spinning the daisy. If this setup wants to go above 250, decrease each vent’s opening by half. [p]If you get hooked on ribs, PP, and brisket (and you probably will) you might want to investigate the BBQ Guru. I made a temp controller before the guru was available - based on my own personal experience and reading the posts it looks like that Pit-Minder is a heck of a good deal.[p]Everything point above is debatable. But the bottom line is that BBQ on the egg should not be intimidating – searing a steak at 1000 degrees is intimidating. Low temperature and long cooking times are the key. The out of control portion to BBQ usually happens when you aren’t watching.

  • StubbyQStubbyQ Posts: 156
    You put your stater cube on top of the lump? I try and bury mine. Maybe that's what's something different. Anyway it works my way but maybe I try your way next time. You're always so inventive.
  • StubbyQStubbyQ Posts: 156
    Try a BBQ Guru. I can as low as I want. All the way down to 175°. Never have to worry about the fire going out. The fan keeps it going.
  • WessBWessB Posts: 6,937
    StubbyQ,
    Used to be I would put the starter cube right on top for low temps and place under the charcoal grate for high temps...pretty much just use the mapp torch almost all of the time now...I got a big stash of starter cubes, so I try to use them from time to time.....[p]Wess

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