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Temperature control....... not good so far

chiroumpchiroump Posts: 0
edited May 2012 in EGG Table Forum
I'm a rookie.   Just got my Egg last week.  I'm having a heck of a time determining how to regulate the temp.  Seems it gets really hot quickly, but then it takes what seems a long time to bring temp down.   Then, I had the temp steady at 280, to do a prime rib overnight.   Put rib in oven, closed lid.  5 hours later I went out to check and see how the temp was going, it had shut down, temp was 135.  Frustrating.
I'm using both the screen vent door at the bottom and the vents at the top to try to control the temp, but I'm not having much luck.  
How long did it take you to get fairly good at temp control, and what tips do you have for a flustered rookie?
Thanks

Comments

  • HuskAusHuskAus Posts: 3

    I feel your pain.  Less than a week as well.  Good ribs, great pork butt, and absolutely horrible brisket.  I killed the flat portion.  So much so that I don't think my dogs could chew it to eat it.  :((

    I too am struggling with this.  Will anxiously await others replies.

  • tazcrashtazcrash Posts: 1,747
    ok, for temp control, patience. 
    As you saw, it's tough to bring all that ceramic mass temp down once it gets hot. Also, personally for anything over 300 or so, I don'/t even use the MFDWT
    Here is what I try to do: 
    1) open bottom vent, stir old coals, make sure holes are not clogged, and light the lump in a couple places. 
    2) leave the dome open and let the fire catch.
    3) once you have a decent fire going, (stir if you want, I don't) close the lid, and when you are within 50 degrees or so of your target temp start closing the bottom vent down.
    4) make sure that your temp is stable (and smoke is "good") before adding food.
    5) temp will drop when you add plate setter, or big hunk of meat... Don't chase. If you have a good fire, the temp should come back. 


    Bx - > NJ ->TX!!! 
    All to get cheaper brisket! 
  • FuzzyKFuzzyK Posts: 31
    Like anything, it just takes patience and practice.  I'm not going to claim to be an expert, but here is my method:

    I typically err on the side of too much charcoal...and let it run super hot until all of the coals are on fire...before bringing the temperature down.  You'll hear a lot of people claim that you shouldn't let your egg get hotter than you intend on cooking it at, but that simply isn't true.  The ceramic will slowly fall to your target temperature and remain there so long as you have adjusted your dampers enough.  The only way to ensure a low/slow for a long period of time is to have an evenly lit fire...and this method will get you there.

    If you still can't master that... try any of the products that BBQ Guru has to offer.  They are expensive...but regulate your temperature for you: 


    Hope that helps!
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    edited May 2012
    First: prime rib overnight?

    Second: ignore early temps. If you see high numbers during lighting, determine if it's just flames from the starter cubes, or if the egg realliy is at 500-600. Likely not

    Do NOT try to establish a 'good fire' by letting it get hot and then trying to dial back

    Try using the lower vent for macro adjustments and the daisy for dialing in.

    Ignore swings in temp from opening and closing, or from adding meat. These reflect a cooler thermometer, but not a cooling fire. The overall temp will return to where it was, maybe in an hour.

    Sneak up on temps like you are stopping at a stop sign. Dont slam on the brakes. Likewise, dont raise temps by stomping on the gas and trying to go as fast as possible to get there.

    If too hot, close the dampers by a third. Wait an hour. See where it settles.

    Third: again, overnight with prime rib? What internal temp were you shooting for?
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • ShiffShiff Posts: 1,044
    Try not to overshoot your target temperature.  As you have found, it takes a long time to cool down.  Start the fire and as it starts to approach your target, close down the vents to where you think they should be (this comes with experience) and let the temp rise to your target temp.  For a low and slow 250 degrees, top and bottom vents will be barely open.

    The usual reason to cook something overnight is to make it more tender.  A rib roast is already tender and most people prefer it to be on the rare side. Cooking overnight will make it well done.  Save the overnights for tough meats like brisket.
    Barry Lancaster, PA
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,030
    I'm a rookie.   Just got my Egg last week.  I'm having a heck of a time determining how to regulate the temp.  Seems it gets really hot quickly, but then it takes what seems a long time to bring temp down.   Then, I had the temp steady at 280, to do a prime rib overnight.   Put rib in oven, closed lid.  5 hours later I went out to check and see how the temp was going, it had shut down, temp was 135.  Frustrating.
    I'm using both the screen vent door at the bottom and the vents at the top to try to control the temp, but I'm not having much luck.  
    How long did it take you to get fairly good at temp control, and what tips do you have for a flustered rookie?
    Thanks

    It's important to get an establised burn going but if you overshoot you will have a long wait for it to come down. When your lump is lit cut back to 1/4" on the lower vent and make small adjustments (closing) as you get close to temp. That is for 250* cooks. I always light an hour or more early and make sure I'm holding the temp I want. After a while you can eyeball it but I always wait the hour

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • GeauxEgginGeauxEggin Posts: 29
    edited May 2012
     Stike has it right on the money here, this was my biggest mistake when I first started using my Egg.  In fact I will still catch myself doing it when I am in a hurry.  This will cause you to have to micromanage your egg more than you want to, that's fine on a 45 minute cook for a quick dinner, but on an overnighter it will lead to big trouble.  The key to good temp control is patience more than anything.
    Sneak up on temps like you are stopping at a stop sign. Dont slam on the brakes. Likewise, dont raise temps by stomping on the gas and trying to go as fast as possible to get there.

  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 4,640
    edited May 2012

    The size of the fire in the BGE is determined by the air flow.  Assuming you have adequate fuel and no clogged arteries:) then once you get the lump burning, the vents (aka air flow) will determine the internal temperature. And there is no need to worry about time to get to the low&slow cook temp-a few minutes delay on the many hour cook is not a deal-breaker.  Key is to not grossly overshoot your target temp-if you leave the dome open to initially get a good fire going-set the lower vent and DMFT to about where you expect them to be when steady-state at the time you shut the dome. Then adjust as necessary-and don't sweat "dead-on" temps for the low&slow cooks. 270*F+/- 30* is close enough.  Just get the BGE stable and then let it do the work.  You can spend the cook chasing temperature (remember the fire is responding to air flow changes so the feedback loop has quite a delay time).  Relax and enjoy the journey-

    Louisville
  • stevesailsstevesails Posts: 932

    When I first got my egg, I loaded it up and started it per all the instructions. Played iwtht he vents to get a 250 dome,  then opened the vents a bit to got o35  then to 400,  then closed thins down to get to 350 again. play with it and figure it out . do it on a saturday morning and take your time. bring it to 350 and put a spatchcock on.  After the cook. open p the bottom vent, and take off the top and se how hot youcan get it.

    for a treat, put a couple marshmellows on a wooden skewer and roast them over the top vent when the egg is as 500 internal. They come out perfect!

     

     

    XL   Walled Lake, MI

  • For long unattended cooks get a Maverick remote thermometer with 2 sensors (1 meat, 1 grill) and an alarm.  At lower temperatures, you only need fine adjustments - I use my ash tool to tap the lower vent door to adjust.  Adjustments can take 5+ minutes to show any effect and 20-30 minutes to stabilize - so a remote thermometer is handy here.
  • Phoenix824Phoenix824 Posts: 240

    Agree with stike.   Start low build up to temp.    One thing I did not see you address or anyone else.   Make sure you use lump charcoal only briquettes will clog air flow and have a ton of ash.      If you need a visual guide I found this helpful for my first couple of cooks.

    http://eggheadforum.com/discussion/746823/x/p1   

    A good visual guild of what certain temps look like to give you a starting place.   I have had my egg three weeks.   I purchased about two weeks before I got it and picked it up during an Eggfest in Fort Wayne, Indiana.    It gave me a chance that day to talk to a ton of great cooks so my learning curve was pretty short since they were cooking high temp and low and slow on many different eggs.    I could ask a ton of questions and see it. 

    I have done three low and slows.   Ribs twice and a boston butt this weekend.    I built up to 250 each time and it took me an hour to get it dialed in but once I did the boston butt sat at 250 for 14 hours without me touching a thing.   In fact I went to bed 3 hours into the cook and said it will either hold like it is supposed to or it will be screwed.     This is what my egg gave me in the morning.

     

    DSCN1848.JPG
    2048 x 1536 - 725K
    Steve
    Van Wert, Ohio
    XL BGE
  • hopmonsterhopmonster Posts: 8
    The Royal Oak I have gotten lately has been really small (<0.25 inch chunks) and has been clogging the flow holes. Annoying as all get out. Because of the small size it also compacts easily. All that adds up to a difficulty in getting temps too far over 200 without doing some fairly sketchy things. My alternative is to essentially unload the egg every time and make sure it is all clear.I will be avoiding Royal Oak for a bit as well. 
  • henapplehenapple Posts: 10,188
    @hopmonster‌ fwiw, this thread is 2 years old. Not that it matters but @Fred19Flintstone‌ will probably come unglued. Ignore him.
    Welcome.
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • eggLaTecheggLaTech Posts: 27
    I agree. Catch temp on way up. After a few cooks, I got pretty close to where vents needed to be for a temp. Then when I had stabalized at 275, I got a permanent marker and made a dot on the top rail of the bottom vent to mark the position of the door edge for future reference and made a mental note of the daisy wheel opening. Still have to tweek occasionally, but gets it pretty close most of the time.
    Baton Rouge, La - I'm going to quit procrastinating.......starting tomorrow.
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