Big Green Egg - EGGhead Forum - The Ultimate Cooking Experience...
Welcome to the EGGhead Forum - a great place to visit and packed with tips and EGGspert advice! You can also join the conversation and get more information and amazing kamado recipes by following Big Green Egg at:

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Pinterest  |  Youtube  |  Vimeo
Share your photos by tagging us and using the hashtag #EGGhead4Life.

In Atlanta? Come visit Big Green Egg headquarters, including our retail showroom, the History of the EGG Museum and Culinary Center!  3786 DeKalb Technology Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30340.

Plesae explain this to me like I'm a 4 year old........

edited 4:13PM in EggHead Forum
Hey......what movie is that from and who said it? I'll tell ya after my question.[p]I am accustomed to the WSM where I would control temps simply by opening or closing the 3 bottom vents. Always leaving the top vent open. It was very easy to stablize the temp I wanted to reach.[p]Now, after about 4 weeks of owning the BGE I am still having my problems. Actually there are two distnctly different problems.[p]First, I was cooking two Spatchcoak chickens last night. Dome temp read 300 degrees, so I opened the bottom vent to get the temp up to 350. The top was 1/2 opened. The thermometer barely moved but smoke was billowing out so I had to open the dome to see what was happening. There was a raging fire!! But the thermometer didn't register it?? I tested the thermometer afterwards and was slightly off but not 100 degrees or so. The birds covered a large portion of the grid, did they stop the heat from circling inside the dome? Was the 1/2 opened top letting out too much heat to give a false reading?[p]Second, I mentioned earlier that for the WSM the top remained opened 10% of the time but it seems many Eggers are opening/closing the bottom and top vents to cook. Does the top vent do anything other than letting dome heat and smoke out? Is it suppose to be used in conjunction with the bottom vent all the time? Let's say you have a dome temp at 275, and you want it to go up to 350 what would you move, how much and why? [p]BTW - I did (as always before wrting here) look at the Whiz site, but I didn't see an explanation how the top and bottom vents were used together to control temps. [p]Thanks for any help you can offer,
Howard [p]The line "tell me like I'm a 4 yr old" was said by Denzel Washington who played Tom Hanks lawyer in Philadelphia. Great movie!


  • BordersBorders Posts: 665
    Howard, the most important thing I can offer, that has resolved almost all of my temperature and unfavorable smoke problems is:
    Stabilize the fire for a long time before starting your cook.[p]The second most important thing to remember is:
    Stabilize the fire for a long time before starting your cook.[p]If you fail to Stabilize the fire for a long time before starting your cook I will put you in time out, and take your game boy SP, and you cannot watch SpongeBoB until you promise to always Stabilize the fire for a long time before starting your cook. Don't dissappoint us and forget to Stabilize the fire for a long time before starting your cook.

  • tach18ktach18k Posts: 1,607
    Howard, first Plesae is spelled p-l-e-a-s-e, no milk and cookies.[p]For a 350 temp that stays there. My bottom vent is wide open, my top wheel has only the butterly open.
    For a slow cook, stable temp, my bottom vent is open about 1/32 of an inch, about the thickness of a credit card.
    the top wheel butterly is open the same.
    This is only after all the cooking parts have been in the Egg from startup. Let the Egg come up to 10 degrees before set temp before closing the vents

  • BigfootBigfoot Posts: 154
    Howard,[p]If I am understanding your problem correctly - you are having a tough time getting the temp to crank up. I think you are still thinking steel cooker - The daisy wheel on top the egg needs to be open to get the higher temps - along with the bottom vents - The open top creates a convection - and allows air to rush through the coals and get them hot - the daisy wheel is not for letting heat out - it is to allow the fire temp to rise.[p]Then when you get to where you want close the top and bottom vents to maintain the temp (not closed all the way - leave a little opening)
  • Clay QClay Q Posts: 4,435
    About the fire, I think that the fire started as soon as you opened the dome to see what the all the smoke was about. Usually, when there is smoke from cooking chicken direct, it's grease smoke and not fire smoke. Lot's of grease smoke is normal with direct grilled chicken -skin on. [p]Your main air control is the bottom draft door and it's position determines how much air will fuel the fire. Your top daisy wheel is used to retain heat and smoke and is very useful for low-n-slow temps. I adjust the top in proportion to the bottom draft door.
    Hope this helps,

  • JethroJethro Posts: 495
    Howard,[p]The daisy wheel (DW) and the lower vent (LV) work together.[p]The LV is where the air enters fuels the fire and becomes heated and eventually exits out the DW. The air can enter the Egg (via the LV) only as fast as it can exit (via the DW).[p]They work together or in a sense help to control each other. You might want to try cooking without the DW for a while. One thing I remember reading when I was getting started was when the temp is 50 below your desired temp start closing down the dampers. If you stand by the Egg and do this while continuing to monitor the temp you should be okay.[p]Regars,

  • tach18k,[p]I'm just curious--you mention that you keep the bottom open a very small amount and also keep the top open a very small amount. What would be the difference between this setup and if you had the bottom open a very small amount and the top wide open?? I would think the inside temps would be the same... do you get less smokey flavor w/the top wide open??[p]J-bo
  • FlatEricFlatEric Posts: 56
    Was the Thermo touching the Bird?

  • BigfootBigfoot Posts: 154
    jaybo,[p]Keep in mind - if you have the bottom open a tiny amount and the top open a large amount you may have trouble maintaining the temp - if you want less smoke flavor add less wood chunks or chips. Good Lump Charcoal that has been allowed to burn for a few minutes before adding food - gives very little if any smoke flavor - also can depend on the brand - I am using BGE Lump and Wicked Good so far - they both impart little if any smoke flavor.[p]This is why you can bake breads and stuff with no smoke flavor[p]The idea is to let as much air out of the egg (top) as gets drawn in the egg (bottom)
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 21,548
    i seem to recall that someone on this forum used to leave the daisy off the egg and adjust with the bottom only. i think you could try that and see the would probably (im guessing) only work for cooks over a certain temp like over 275-300. with both top and bottom almost closed i can maintain temps between 140-150. had to try it this past week to see if i could maintain real low temps in the summer for jerkey.
    one thing to note is that every time you open the dome your changing the fire by adding oxygen. keep the dome down and only make small adjustments (less than 1/8 inch) with the bottom draft when your close to the temp you want

  • BIgfoot,[p]ok. Although I'm still not understanding how you can let more air out of the top than you are taking in on the bottom... I do understand how the openings (better word would be apertures(sp?)) can be different, but it's a tad unclear of what the results of larger aperture on top than on bottom. I'm sure you don't want a larger aperture on bottom b/c that would lead to over smoked, creosote flavored food.

  • FlatEric,[p]That was what I was going to ask. I did a lo-n-slo pork butt last winter and almost destroyed the cook before I realized that the dome probe had punctured the butt and I was not getting a good dome temp reading.[p]I did get a nice sear on the pork, though. Not that I wanted one, of course![p]:)

  • tach18ktach18k Posts: 1,607
    jaybo, Having a larger open bottom and a small open at the top does not have an affect on smoking. This setup is set for 350, thus a higher temp would casue more fuel to burn and then more chips or chunks to burn at a faster rate. 350 temp is not a smoking temp, its mostly used for baking like a 2" porterhouse steak ala T-Rex. A small and small opening allows for a long low and slow cook when the first hour is generally smoke. You would not want food smoked heavyly for 5 hours, yucc! When we talk smoking most of us are using the Egg for 4-20 hours but most of the smoking is done during the first hour or so, unless you have some chips scattered around your lump, then they would be burned off every so often as the fire burned that way. But certainly not any large amounts that would ruin food. If your food is coming out overly smoked then back off the chips or chunks.

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    air in=combustion=exhaust out[p]open the top vent, and a greater volume can be exhausted, enabling more charcoal to become involved, increasing the draft. temp goes up.[p]open the bottom vent, more air comes in, enables more charcoal to be involved, more exhaust goes out (but only because more air came in). at a certain point, this setting tops-out, when it can't be exhausted past a certain volume because the daisy is restricting the flow. [p]open the bottom AND the top, and you have increased air in AND exhaust out.[p]you can hit 350 by opening the bottom vent just a bit, and the top wide open. you can hit 350 by opening the bottom wide and nudging the daisy only open just a bit.[p]anything around 350-400 can be handled top only, bottom only, or top/bottom.[p]anything like 250 or 800 needs certain settings at the the bottom vent AND the daisy/top.[p]250? bottom nearly closed, top nearly closed.
    600 to 800?
    bottom cranked open, daisy wide open (say 600 or so). bottom wide open, top OFF, say 800 (unless you wander off, and then it'll be 1100-1200).[p]'medium' fires can be dialed in any number of ways, neither of which is right, but ALL off which generate the exact same amount of air in-and-out.[p]anything special (lo-and-slo or nuclear-sear) requires something special.[p]

    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • GrilliciousGrillicious Posts: 347
    fishlessman,[p]If I remember right, that was Nature Boy, and he only left it off when searing/TRexing steaks.
Sign In or Register to comment.
Click here for Forum Use Guidelines.