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Help please! I can't keep the temp low enough

gooddogjudgegooddogjudge Posts: 100
edited January 2012 in EggHead Forum
started my fire and can't get the egg below 300.  Vents are open to a fraction of an inch.  trying to maintain 250 for a boston butt

what say you, eggsperts??

Comments

  • started my fire and can't get the egg below 300.  Vents are open to a fraction of an inch.  trying to maintain 250 for a boston butt

    what say you, eggsperts??


    I am no expert but had a similar issue earlier this week with ribs.
    Put the butt in if you are stable at 300 with clean smoke, the temp will drop when you do that.
    With the ribs I never did get down to 250, but it did stabile at 260.
    Then an expert can give additional advice.
  • Austin  EggheadAustin Egghead Posts: 3,867
    edited January 2012
    Lower vent barely open?  Are you using only the dome thermometer?  Have you calibrated your egg thermometer to verify reading correctly?  Is butt on the grill yet?
    Large, small and mini now Egging in Rowlett Tx
  • DMurfDMurf Posts: 481
    Have you calibrated your thermometer? 

    Remove the thermometer and place the tip in a pot of boiling water, it should read 212 degrees.
    David
    BBQ since 2010 - Oh my, what I was missing.
  • I used to have that problem also. Not anymore though. I spent the money on a DigiQ DX. Read about it on this forum and decided to go for. I am not sorry in the least either. It can maintain a 225 degree temp for as long as there is enough charcoal in the pit. If you get one, read the instructions thorughly. I build a pyramid with the charcoal and use one piece of lighting starter in the top portion. I crack the daisy wheel vent on top about 1/4" and let the DigiQ get it up to the target temp. It takes about 40 minutes to get to 225 degrees. Put on the meat close the lid and forget about it! I check on the progress every 30-45 minutes.
    No more blowing by the target temp for me!
  • Mighty_QuinnMighty_Quinn Posts: 1,878
    Have you calibrated your thermometer? 

    Remove the thermometer and place the tip in a pot of boiling water, it should read 212 degrees.


    At sea level. Subtract 1 degree for every 500' up in elevation you are.
  • It settled down while i typed the original question.

    steady at 245 now.

    Thanks for sensing the urgency of my post!


  • Next time take care not to overshoot the desired temp when heating up the grill...it can take some time to get it back down.  Get the fire stable at desired temp and put on meat.  Don't adjust dampers, the temp will come back to where you had it stable quickly enough.
  • AD18AD18 Posts: 209
    Another vote for building your fire and temp slowly.  I usually start a very small fire for lower temps, bigger for higher temps, and leave lid open until it's going good.  Once charcoal is going I close lid and watch dome temp like a hawk.  Once I hit about 25-30 degrees BELOW my temp I close the lower vent to about 1/2 inch.  Let it stabalize and work lower vent to desired temp.
    Large BGE, Weber 22.5 kettle, Weber Genesis
    Cobourg, Ontario
  • Mighty_QuinnMighty_Quinn Posts: 1,878
    Another vote for building your fire and temp slowly.  I usually start a very small fire for lower temps, bigger for higher temps, and leave lid open until it's going good.  Once charcoal is going I close lid and watch dome temp like a hawk.  Once I hit about 25-30 degrees BELOW my temp I close the lower vent to about 1/2 inch.  Let it stabalize and work lower vent to desired temp.


    +1
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    edited January 2012
    gonna sound stupid and snarky, but i mean this: if the egg is too hot, the vents are too open.  that's it.  shut them more.  if they are still open, although you shut them a good bit, then, the fire won't be choked out.  just don't shut them all the way

    your problem is complicated by the egg retaining heat.  even when the fire slows down, the ceramic will still be very warm.  you are going to have to wait a while for the thing to dial down to 300.

    never let it get above your target temp for any period of time.  don't let the fire get ripping along and then try to throttle back.  just sneak up on temps.

    when doing a low and slow cook, adjust the vents by a quarter or third.  too hot, close them a quarter of what they are open, and then wait.  see what happens.  don't try for quick adjustments by choking things.  and don't try to dump heat by opening th dome to try to 'cool' the fire from 300 to 250.  although the thermometer cools off, the fire does not.  in fact, opening the dome on a very low fire (225-250) will actually give it a gulp of air.  your thermometer cools, you shut the egg thinking you are now at a lower temp, but the fire actually grows because of the large influx of air, and the temp goes up.

    you'll be porpoising all day over and under shooting.  just let it ride.  there's virtually no difference between 225 and 275.  it's all 'low'
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • hogaholichogaholic Posts: 225
    Causes of temps that are "too high" on a slow cook:

    1.  Leaky gasket or misaligned dome allowing air to enter the fire from above

    2.  Overshooting the cooking temp

    3.  Miscalbrated or broken dome thermometer

    4.  Vents open too much

    5.  Lighting too big of a fire

    6.  Opening the vents after putting a big slab of cold meat on a stable fire.  You will be chasing temps forever


    Jackson, Tennessee. VFL (Vol for Life)
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