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New to the Forum

smokesniffersmokesniffer Posts: 2,014
edited December 2011 in EggHead Forum
Helo everyone. Newbie here. Have had my large egg for about two weeks now. I know I am going to love it, but it does take some getting used too. Patience is also part of the learning curve. I have cooked a few meals on the egg so far: burgers, they do taste juicier than my gasser. We have done a few different types of pizza, one night I had a frustrating time trying to get the egg up to about 500 and hold it there. I was all over the place. How should one go about stabilizing the temperature on the egg. Do you damper down before hitting the required temp or do you heat your mark and then throttle back. I have heard of both ways working. That would be one question if someone has the time to answer, I will now be able to surf the forum in more detail, (I believe being a member has its privileges) We did one slo and low pork butts. Cooked a 3 lb. butt (what to test the water before going and destroying a lot of meat) and we did it for about 7 hours at 250. Removed it and when we went to pull it apart, it seems very tough to do. Went ahead away and continued pulling it. Taste was ok, but I thought that it would just kind of fall apart. Did I need to cook it longer?? What am I missing here. Thanks for any help. This is going to be a good time, once we get our kinks out.
Family from out of town is here for the next while, and want to do a few things on the Egg for them.
Large, small, and a mini

Comments

  • The Naked WhizThe Naked Whiz Posts: 7,780
    edited December 2011
    Generally speaking the way to get to your temperature is to start closing the vents bit by bit as you approach it from the below. 

    When you did the pork butt, what temperature was the meat when you took it out?   You don't cook pork butts by time, but by temperature.  If it hadn't hit 190 or so, it would have been harder to pull.  You probably want to cook it to 195-205 internal temp of the meat.
    The Naked Whiz
  • As you get more familiar with the controls you will  have an idea where to set the vents from the get go. You are right about not overshooting target temps although that is more important with lower temps. As far as the butt goes, it isn't possible to know if it is over or underdone without knowing the internal temp but with butts tough is usually underdone.

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • Thanks for the quick reply. Sounds like I need to get some kind of a probe. My good wife and I thought that it should be done, maybe the internal temp wasn't as high as you suggested. She is an awesome cook, and I relied of her expertise. What type of probe is recommended?
    Large, small, and a mini
  • Instant read Thermapen is most widely used but it is a little pricey. It is fast though when you are doing a chop or steak at high temp. I think the Maverick ET732(?) is a well known one for monitoring low temp cooks. I have had a couple of those style and never found they lasted. I just use a Thermapen now.

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • BakerManBakerMan Posts: 154
    edited December 2011

    @smokesniffer welcome to the forum!  As a new Egg owner I 'll share what I have learned in the past few weeks with my Large Egg.  The following is what I have observed as far as temperature control and has worked for me cooking wings, tenderloins, beer can chickens and pizzas.

    The trick is to be consistent each time you build a fire and cook so you are not trying to control what "appears" to be random events.

    Temperature Control

    There are three factors that control how much heat your Egg produces and your ability to control it.

    • The amount of charcoal you light initially and total amount of charcoal in the grill.
    • The amount of intake air from the lower vent
    • The amount of air that can exit the upper vent

    For the purpose of my discussion I classify heat into three ranges

    • Low - 200-300
    • Medium - 300-500
    • High - > 600

    Charcoal Lighting

    The more charcoal that lights initially the hotter your fire will be.  If you light the fire and leave the the lid up until most/all the charcoal lights you will have a tremendous amount of heat that will be hard to regulate.  Closing the grill at this point and trying to lower the temp to cook at low/medium will be tricky because so much charcoal is burning and producing heat.  On the other hand, if you light the fire, wait until an amount of charcoal that will fit in your hand is lit and then close the top it will be easier to adjust the vents for low/medium cooking and maintain a constant temperature.

    Air Flow (upper/Lower)

    With the combination of lower and upper vents you can limit air flow to the point the coals go out or open the vents and get the grill going like a blacksmith's forge and every range in between.  The trick is to not let the grill heat run away but instead plan ahead for the type of heat and duration you want.  Also limit the number of variables each time you cook.

    Preparation

    Before lighting a fire I always stir the remaining charcoal in the firebox and knock all the ashes into the the lower reservoir.  I also make sure all the vent holes are clear.  Performing this step will insure consistent, predictable air flow each time you build a fire.  Once the ash and air holes are clean I fill up the firebox with charcoal.  I like to start with the same amount of charcoal (combination of new/used) each time I light the grill.  Now you are ready to light the charcoal. 

    I have found that using the guidelines below I can set a desired temp and maintain it for severals hours.

    Low Heat

    Light the charcoal and leave the top up until you have several pieces of charcoal lit that is about the size of your palm.

    Lower Vent - Open about 1/2 inch

    Multi-function Top - Slide top closed and open rotating vent so holes are unobstructed.

    Stay with grill and close lower vent as you approach tour desired low temp.  You can fine tune with rotating vent.

    Medium Heat

    Light the charcoal and leave the top up until you have several pieces of charcoal lit that is about the size of your palm.

    Lower Vent - Open about 1/2 to 1 inch

    Multi-function Top - Slide top halfway open and close rotating vent so holes are closed.

    Stay with grill and close lower vent as you approach tour desired low temp. You can fine tune by sliding the top open/closed.

    High Heat

    Light the charcoal and leave the top up until you have approximately 1/2 the charcoal lit.

    Lower Vent - Open about 1 inch to start

    Multi-function Top - Remove and set aside

    Stay with grill until temperature is stabilized.  If you walk away before temps are stabilized the grill can easily hit 1000 degrees and "freak you out" as the gasket catches fire (been there, done that)  Use lower vent to regulate temperature.

    Keep in mind these are guidelines.  By insuring ash/ air vents are clear and using the same amount of charcoal each time you cook you have removed two potential areas that can cause inconsistent results.  After you try this a few times you will start to get a feel for how the grill reacts and you will feel comfortable controlling the temps.

     

    Temperature Probe

    A wireless temperature probe is a must have.  Once you get the hang of regulating your grill temp the wireless thermometer will allow you to relax and monitor the meat without having to constantly open grill (lose heat/smoke) to check the temperature.  A lot of people on the forum like the Maverick  ET 732 (see below).  I already own the Oregon Scientific and it works great.

    Maverick ET732

    Oregon Scientific

     

    Hope this helps,

    BakerMan - Purcellville, VA "When its smokin' its cookin', when its black its done"
  • Thanks for the information BakerMan.  That is the best I have seen it explained.  You should submit that for the next revision of the BGE Manual.

     

     

    Thomas Bubba's BBQ and Harris Family Catering Pigs on the Run Competition BBQ Team Medic-Que BBQ Team, LBGE, Party Q
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 9,748

    in addition to the info you will find here, check out www.greeneggers.com .  Get to the main forum page and on the left side you will see the following links:

    Use the following links to view the Quick Reference for BGE resources.

    BGE Quick Reference Part 1: CLICK HERE!

    BGE Quick Reference Part 2: CLICK HERE!

    Lots of good info across the board.  BTW-if you search here and can't find what you are looking for-check out the search on the above site-not much of a filter but lots of info from those who have years of eggsperience.  Used to be the affilitated BGE site but that all changed several months ago.

    Enjoy-

    Louisville;  L & S BGEs 
    Pit Barrel Cooker
    ABC- 
  • Thanks BakerMan, your info really helped to understand some of the goings on with the Egg. MDW and I are loving our large Egg. I wanted to do a rack of ribs today for a get together, but we decided against it due to work schedules. Disappointing, but in a few days we will have a bit of time to continue our adventures with the egg. I can remember going to the dealer that we bought the egg from and taking in a cooking demo. The smell of chicken wings smoking away was totally awesome, so some time in the near future it will have to happen on our patio.
    Thanks again.
    Large, small, and a mini
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