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1st Timer = Too Hot

shuckershucker Posts: 86
edited September 2012 in EggHead Forum
Lit my brand new lbge for the first time today. Filled w/bge charcoal and lit w/ bge starter. Let the chunks burn until the smoke cleared up and closed the bottom vent to the width of a dime and barely cracked the top vent. I've been reading this forum and so far have only gotten to page 45 but have learned that heat control takes some getting used to. With that in mind, I thought I was starting off with my vents set for relatively low heat. To my surprise within seconds of closing the lid, my dome temp shot above 500.  I opened the lid to get rid of some heat and then I completely closed the top vent and all but closed the Bottom. Same result. I left the lid closed and waited several minutes but the temp never fell below 500 and actually was slowly rising. So, we cooked some burgers over the open flame for the first meal. So, what did I do wrong?  I was hoping to work UP to temp by that was not the case. 

Shucker

Eastern North Carolina

Go Pirates!

Large Big Green Egg

Medium Big Green Egg

Comments

  • BrownieBrownie Posts: 1,022
    Page 45.. LOL   The egg will hold heat for quite a while so if you over shoot your temp it will take some time to lower your temp. Also have you done a calibration on your dome thermometer? There is a possibility that your temp could be different than what you think. 500* is fine for burgers.

    As far as open flames go, if you adjusted your daisy wheel like you stated the flames would distinguish shortly after you closed it. Remember to burp your egg at high temps when opening.

    Welcome to the club! and most importantly... How were your burgers?
  • sounds a little strange to me. shouldn't be that hot with those settings. You may want to calibrate your thermo just to make sure (boiling water). Outside of that, you should be able to dial them temps back with a little more practice.

  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 4,009
    A little more information, please. Did you let the smoke clear w. the dome open? Did you let the smoke clear while the bottom vent was wide open, the dome closed, and the daisy open?

    I ask this because, as far as I know, there are 2 ways to get the "bad" smoke to clear. The bad smoke has lots of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and some water vapor. These can be driven off slower at low temperatures, or very quickly when the above about 450. If you closed the dome, and/or closed the vent just when the white smoke cleared, I'd guess you had a very hot fire, and the closed vents would have needed 10 minutes or more to choke the fire down.

    There is a solution, as suggested by He Who Is Banished. Start w. the vents all but closed. The temp won't go way up. But it will take quite awhile, 35 - 60 min to get to a dome of 250.
  • Thanks for the responses. I had both the dome and the bottom vent wide open while the coals were heating up until the smoke cleared. Then I closed the dome and adjusted the Vents. 

    Shucker

    Eastern North Carolina

    Go Pirates!

    Large Big Green Egg

    Medium Big Green Egg

  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 4,009
    shucker said:
    Thanks for the responses. I had both the dome and the bottom vent wide open while the coals were heating up until the smoke cleared. Then I closed the dome and adjusted the Vents. 
    Ahh, yeah. Maximum air flow that way, and max temp.

    Careful. With the dome down, but the bottom vent all open and the daisy off, the Egg will jump from really hot to having a blue jet coming out the top. Awesome and scary to see carbon monoxide burning at over 2000F.
  • gdenby said:
    shucker said:
    Thanks for the responses. I had both the dome and the bottom vent wide open while the coals were heating up until the smoke cleared. Then I closed the dome and adjusted the Vents. 
    Ahh, yeah. Maximum air flow that way, and max temp.

    Careful. With the dome down, but the bottom vent all open and the daisy off, the Egg will jump from really hot to having a blue jet coming out the top. Awesome and scary to see carbon monoxide burning at over 2000F.
    Welcome @shucker, how were the burgers? You have learned the mystery of the egg, first time out, congratulations. The dome that gets hot stays hot, only time will cool it. Opening the lid creates heat. 
    As @gdenby noted watching the egg in full after burn is awesome, be careful, and have a spare gasket handy. 
    Once lit, close the lid and when the dome temp on a calibrated thermo says 400, put the daisy on with just the daisy vents open and close the bottom vent maybe 1/2 way. Watch the temp climb a bit and then continue to rise slowly or level off. Close down the daisy a bit at a time give it a minute or two and the temp should stabilize. Can be frustrating to get it right, keep at it. 
    Delta B.C., Canuckistan - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • You got a real raging fire going in there with the dome open (or closed) and the bottom vent wide open. If you let the smoke clear that way the fire will be allowed to really get going. What you want to do is get the fire lit (however you want to do it) and then let it start to get going with the dome open and the bottom vent open. I'd say 10-15 minutes is fine at this stage. you don't want all of the lump to be burning, thats generally too much fire. If you get a spot or three on fire and the lump going, you can close it. Set the daisy and bottom vent to your liking and then let it come up to temp and clear the smoke. That way the temps will rise slowly and in a controlled manner.
    If you let it really get going so there is a real blaze in there with it open (or closed and no daisy),  the temps are going to shoot up to 700+ and it will take a long time (45 minutes to sometimes over an hour) to damp the lump down to 300, 400, 500, or even 600 degrees.

    I personally use a chimney starter filled with lump and get it going really good. I dump that on whatever lump is left over in the egg after i've stirred it, add any more fresh lump i need on top, and close the dome and set the vent(s) immediately. It is usually stable within about 30 minutes using this method. For me (XL) i find if my cook is over 400 I don't use the daisy and just leave the top open. Under 400 use the daisy in concert with the bottom vent. When I get my fire going and close the dome, I look for the temp to rise quickly to 200-250 and then start to slowly climb past there. It's always easier to catch it on the rise than to bring it down from an unintended high temp.

    Rochester, NY  - XL BGE
  • bud812bud812 Posts: 897
    gdenby said:
    A little more information, please. Did you let the smoke clear w. the dome open? Did you let the smoke clear while the bottom vent was wide open, the dome closed, and the daisy open?

    I ask this because, as far as I know, there are 2 ways to get the "bad" smoke to clear. The bad smoke has lots of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and some water vapor. These can be driven off slower at low temperatures, or very quickly when the above about 450. If you closed the dome, and/or closed the vent just when the white smoke cleared, I'd guess you had a very hot fire, and the closed vents would have needed 10 minutes or more to choke the fire down.

    There is a solution, as suggested by He Who Is Banished. Start w. the vents all but closed. The temp won't go way up. But it will take quite awhile, 35 - 60 min to get to a dome of 250.

    I'm glad you didn't say the "S" word or all hell would have broke loose. X_X

    Large & Small BGE

    Stockton Ca.

  • ............and he's not banished.

  • 4Runner4Runner Posts: 1,112
    Another piece of advice is use less lump. I find it much more efficient and easier to hit that 350 - 450 temp while still have heat across the entire grid. Good luck.
    Joe - I'm a reformed gasser-holic aka 4Runner Wonderful BGE Resource Site: http://www.nakedwhiz.com/ceramicfaq.htm and http://www.nibblemethis.com/
  • Thanks for the advice folks - you've definitely helped me with a different way to approach it next time. BTW the burgers were good, just not as good as the chicken we had planned on having. 

    Shucker

    Eastern North Carolina

    Go Pirates!

    Large Big Green Egg

    Medium Big Green Egg

  • @shucker here is a post I wrote a while back that tries to explain what is going on inside the Egg.

    http://eggheadforum.com/discussion/comment/1145428#Comment_1145428

    HTH,

    BakerMan - Purcellville, VA
    "When its smokin' its cookin', when its black its done"
  • @BakerMan , thanks for sharing that link.  Awesome information that will be very helpful!

    Shucker

    Eastern North Carolina

    Go Pirates!

    Large Big Green Egg

    Medium Big Green Egg

  • bodskibodski Posts: 207
    That link is awesome, BakerMan. I've already printed it out to keep with my egg stuff.

    Cincinnati

    LBGE, Weber Gasser, Weber Kettle

  • shucker said:
    @BakerMan , thanks for sharing that link.  Awesome information that will be very helpful!
    +1

    Alexander City,Al
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