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TOO Low and slow

PjoePjoe Posts: 224
edited 7:35PM in EggHead Forum
Lit a fire at 9 last night for my first butt. Built it from a new bag of lump starting with large pieces on the bottom and smaller toward the top. Checked to make sure the dome thermo would not hit the meat. Let it burn an hour to stabilize at 225* and then put the butt on. Watched it for an hour and everything seemed to be doing well. Went to bed and checked it at 3 am and temp was at around 200*. Got up at 6 am to a cold grill and no fire. Got it lit again and was thinking of going 275 to finish it today? It seems to me that the plate setter disrupts the air flow and requires larger openings in the vents. Comments?


  • SmokeyPittSmokeyPitt Posts: 9,095
    Hi Pjoe,

    Assuming you are talking about dome temp- it is difficult to keep the fire at 225. The general consensus is 250 dome for low and slow. It will be close to 225 at the grate. So, I think your fire just slowly burned out.

    I don't think the plate setter affects the fire. It will definitely bring the dome temp down when you put a cold plate setter in, but shouldn't affect the actual fire.

    I think your butt should be safe. If it was 200 at 3 AM and you re-lit at 6 AM, then the meat should not have been below 140 for very long if at all. Did you notice what the dome temp was at 6?

    Which came first the chicken or the egg?  I egged the chicken and then I ate his leg. 

  • PhilsGrillPhilsGrill Posts: 2,256
    If you use the search forum in the upper left you will find low and slow temp to be 250 for the egg. Your grid temp is 25 degrees lower so if you heat at 225, your grid is 200 or less and your butt will take forever to get done adding wasted hours and lump.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    the size of the openings in the vents is much smaller than the openings at the sides of the platesetter. it doesn't restrict any airflow, at least not significantly enough to cause problems.

    250 for overnights seems to be the ideal natural groove for the large egg, not much benefit to 225 in my limited experience
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • 2Fategghead2Fategghead Posts: 9,623
    pjoe wrote:
    Went to bed and checked it at 3 am and temp was at around 200*.

    At 3am I would have stayed up and stabilized the egg at 250-275F dome. Tim
  • NC-CDNNC-CDN Posts: 703
    If you are trying to get your meat to 200F, even at 225 dome the grate is going to be at a different temp. Cooking at 225 to get the meat to 200F is going to take a prolonged amount of time regardless. I think this is another reason to go with the 250F range.

    As others have said the airflow is not restricted in the least with the platesetter. You can also buy a unit like the BBQ Guru that will mind your pit for you. They cost a bit of change, but if you can afford an EGG you can likely afford one of them. They give you peace of mind and also reduce the amount of fuel used up to attain and maintain the cooking temp overnight.

    In the past I have done 225 overnight without a GURU, but it usually does drop a bit as you experienced. With 250 this usually isn't the case. IT may go down to 225 by morning. Then again every cook can be different. LOL.
  • Hhhhmmmmmmmm, I've never had an issue maintaining 225 dome temp. In fact, once the egg is stabilized, I've always enjoyed rock steady dome temps at 225 for upwards of 24 hours; and then, I killed the fire. I wonder how long it can go before dying on its own?

    But, I'd heed the advice of others on this forum, if 250 is more stable, then try and go with that. The BBQ Guru will give you peace of mind, though I can't bring myself to spend the $$ on one.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    250 just tends to be a little more 'fire friendly' for some reason. but the egg will hold 225, sure. it's just if you are nervous, there's no real benefit to 225 versus 250.

    40-plus hours at 250 is doable. at 225, no idea how long it'd go...
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Another explanation for what happened to you is that you burned down through the middle of your fuel and the fire went out because it did not have anything to burn. You are probably going to say that there was plenty of lump in the BGE when you opened it this morning. It is possible to burn out all the fuel in the middle while having plenty on the sides. This has happened to me.

    What I do now is stir the coals with my wiggle rod from the bottom before I go to bet. That helps collapse the fire and give it more fuel. I have not had a fire go out since I started doing this.

    As for your meat, you should be okay as long as the meat was at or over 140 when you went to bed. Just need to crank it up to 250 - 275 until the meat reaches 195 - 200. Good luck.
  • ShiffShiff Posts: 1,612
    I didn't want to spend the money on a BBQ Guru, so I bought a Maverick ET-73 remote thermometer. It has 2 probes, one for the meat and one for the grid temp. You can set alarms which will sound if temp is above or below your limit. I use this on every low and slow I do and it saves me a lot of time. On overnights, I just put the receiver next to my bed and check it a few times during the night.

    This item costs about $40 on the internet.
    Large BGE
    Barry, Lancaster, PA
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