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How long to stabilize?

glc203glc203 Posts: 39
edited November -1 in EggHead Forum
Started a full packer late Friday night. I had stabilized dome temp at 225 before putting in (about 45 minutes), then got it back to 225. Waited another 45 minutes before going to bed. When I awoke, the temp was pushing 400 and the flat was like shoe leather (the point wasn't too bad though).

I've done several long cooks, this was the first to go awry. Was I just lucky in the past? What is a reasonable time to wait to confirm it's stable?


  • RascalRascal Posts: 3,348
    Most seem to start backing off the vent openings as the temp reaches what you're looking for. I wanted a quick fire recently and let it go WFO until the lump looked like it was ready. By that time the dome temp had risen to 500+ and it took forever and a day to get it back to the 250-275 I was looking for. Lesson is, aim for your target temp on the way up, rather than on the way down..
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 4,347
    "stabilized dome temp at 225 before putting in (about 45 minutes), then got it back to 225. "

    Did you change the vents any to get it back to 225? If so, that is where some of the problem is. Otherwise I'm perplexed, as 1.5 hrs should give a pretty stable fire. For a dome of 225, the vents should not have been more than 1/8" open at the bottom, probably almost closed, and the daisy petals just barely open.

    The other thing that happens is that as large masses of meat cook, they shrink and the airflow improves. I had one large brisket go from a 250 dome to about 310 2 hours later when the meat size reduced.
  • to me shoulda been enough time. Was the initial stabilization with the platesetter in or out? If in may have given a false reading
  • glc203glc203 Posts: 39
    Yes, first stabilization was without grate or platesetter (BTW, temp never went over 250). Put everything in and got it back to 225 (never went over this time) and let it sit there for the next 45 minutes.
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 16,373
    what you did was stabilize your egg, put the meat on, then opened your vents. once its stabilized the idea is it will come back up to temp on its own, may take a couple hours even. dont go touching the vents again. 250 dome seemes to be an easier temp to maintain for an overnight cook
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 4,347
    Put the platesetter in right after starting. It will take longer to come to the dome temperature you are aimg at. The platesetter soaks up huge amounts of heat, and eventually becomes a heat source on its own.

    If after putting a large piece of meat on the grill, the dome temperature has not returned to about what it was before, consider opening the vents ever so slightly, but assume they will need to be closed again after several hours.
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