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Totally Out of Control Temps-Help Please

jfm0830jfm0830 Posts: 899
edited December 2012 in EggHead Forum
My Christmas standing rib roast came out excellent, but in a way it was despite my best efforts. This was the first time I've done low and slow in the cold weather and perhaps that was it. But I was thoroughly confused since I'd never gotten results like these before. I hope one of you can straighten me out and point me in the right direction. Here is the link for: The Roast

I was shooting to cook my roast at 225 degrees. The roast was on a v-rack, in a cast iron drip pan on the s/s grate on the platesetter installed legs up. This put the roast slightly above the hinge line up in the dome. When I warmed up the BGE I was able to hit 225 grate temperature, but the dome was way low-around 140. So I decided to let the dome get up to 225 and see what that did to the grate temp. I added the meat when the dome was stabilized at 225. This put the grate temp (as measured by my ET-73 ) at 295 which was higher than I wanted to be. I decided to try to lower the grate temp a bit and see what it did to the dome temps. I figured the dome temp would climb once the cold air was out of the grill and the ceramics heated through and eventually the dome temp and the grate temp would get much closer. This is what I found happened in warm weather. It didn't happen this day. 

The dome got down to 180 but the grate temp was now about 100 degrees different at this point. Plus I was almost out of adjustment range, I didn't want to close the dampers more and put out the fire. So bottom line: I was thoroughly confused and totally out of my league. I decided to let this be a higher temperature cook, because I didn't have much of a choice. I decided as long as the grate temp didn't exceed 350. I leave things alone.

So while the results were excellent, I don't want to be out of control again. So hopefully some of you cold weather Egger's can help straighten me out. 

1) When shooting for a low and slow cook of 225, what temps are you guys looking for at grate level and dome level?
2) What does the cold do to this equation? Do you change anything to suit the fact the dome doesn't seem to heat up as fast in relation to the grate level temps?
3) Any other advice or suggestions would be appreciated as well.

I've included my cooking log to show what I was seeing for temps. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

Jim

image
BBQ Website: grillin' & smokin'

Middlesex County, MA
Three Large BGE's & Too Many Eggcessories to Count

Comments

  • You need to calibrate your dome Thermo. When in doubt, trust your digital

  • jfm0830jfm0830 Posts: 899
    edited December 2012
    I'm not sure I understand why. The temp in the dome would often be different than the temp at the grate level wouldn't it? I did check the thermo with boiling water when I first got my Egg and it was pretty close to accurate (+5 degrees). I just expected the dome temp to get closer quicker like it did in warmer weather. 
    BBQ Website: grillin' & smokin'

    Middlesex County, MA
    Three Large BGE's & Too Many Eggcessories to Count
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,692
    Almost looks like your grate probe was exposed directly to the coals rather than shielded by the plate setter or whatever you use for indirect.  I try putting it close to the meat on the left or right side to get a good average temp (back is hotter, front cooler).  What really matters is the temp right around what you're cooking. 
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • doubledouble Posts: 1,214
    I check the dome thermo every few cooks for calibration it can change.
    Lynnwood WA
  • jfm0830jfm0830 Posts: 899

    Almost looks like your grate probe was exposed directly to the coals rather than shielded by the plate setter or whatever you use for indirect.  I try putting it close to the meat on the left or right side to get a good average temp (back is hotter, front cooler).  What really matters is the temp right around what you're cooking. 
    Doooh. That certainly may have been part of it. It was probably straddling the edge.
    BBQ Website: grillin' & smokin'

    Middlesex County, MA
    Three Large BGE's & Too Many Eggcessories to Count
  • Ragtop99Ragtop99 Posts: 1,248
    I go by dome temp since that is the way most cooks are described.  In the cold weather it takes longer to stabilize because the ceramics need to warm up.  I'd let it warm up up more before fine tuning the temp.  When its 30* out I'd give the grill another 10 minutes or more to warm up without the meat for a low and slow compared to a 70* day.  Don't know if you added the platesetter cold, but will cause the temp in the dome to drop too.   

    Cooking on an XL and Medium in Bethesda, MD.
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 5,338
    I was about to suggest as nola mentioned about where you were measuring the temperature.  Your log is eggcellent and if everything was in calibration then it has to be direct vs indirect measuring of the radiant heat from the lump.  I only run with calibrated dome temp as a BGE reference.  I know how the BGE behaves based on that parameter FWIW.  Just an opinion and we all know what those are worth...
    Louisville
  • The direct radiant heat makes perfect sense. Even though temps can vary a little from grate to dome, they should never be that far apart

  • BTW- NOLA nailed it. I just looked at your rib roast post and there is a pic of your grid thermo right over the lump. Keep that shielded by the platesetter and you'll be in good shape

  • jfm0830jfm0830 Posts: 899
    Yes. As I said earlier DOOH! 

    Somebody hit me with the stupid stick.

    Jim
    BBQ Website: grillin' & smokin'

    Middlesex County, MA
    Three Large BGE's & Too Many Eggcessories to Count
  • jfm0830 said:
    Yes. As I said earlier DOOH! 

    Somebody hit me with the stupid stick.

    Jim

    nah, you would never really think of it unless you experience it. Now you know. Nailed the cook anyway so success!

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,692
    I learn something new every day.  For example, when I did my standing rib roast the other day, I learned not to use a v-rack in a roasting pan.  The bottom of the roast cooked slower than the top - I made a mental note.  Afterwards, I was reading a link from Skiddy and the guy said not to use that configuration - doh! 
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • I learn something new every day.  For example, when I did my standing rib roast the other day, I learned not to use a v-rack in a roasting pan.  The bottom of the roast cooked slower than the top - I made a mental note.  Afterwards, I was reading a link from Skiddy and the guy said not to use that configuration - doh! 

    I do it that way and have never noticed that. I'll have to keep my eyes open for that next time.

  • jfm0830jfm0830 Posts: 899
    I've been using that same heavy CI pan and V-Rack that is in the pictures of my rib roast since 2003 with no issues. I always assumed the CI heats up to the temperature of the grill & simply re-radiates the heat.
    BBQ Website: grillin' & smokin'

    Middlesex County, MA
    Three Large BGE's & Too Many Eggcessories to Count
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,692
    jfm0830 said:
    I've been using that same heavy CI pan and V-Rack that is in the pictures of my rib roast since 2003 with no issues. I always assumed the CI heats up to the temperature of the grill & simply re-radiates the heat.
    Probably because I had the plate setter under the roasting pan, it was a cool area compared to the top of the roast, which was subjected to the moving dome currents and heat.  It was noticeable.  I didn't see that problem with yours (looking at the cut meat), maybe because it was cast iron and mine was thick aluminum with teflon on the inside....
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • jfm0830 said:
    I've been using that same heavy CI pan and V-Rack that is in the pictures of my rib roast since 2003 with no issues. I always assumed the CI heats up to the temperature of the grill & simply re-radiates the heat.
    Probably because I had the plate setter under the roasting pan, it was a cool area compared to the top of the roast, which was subjected to the moving dome currents and heat.  It was noticeable.  I didn't see that problem with yours (looking at the cut meat), maybe because it was cast iron and mine was thick aluminum with teflon on the inside....

    I use foil pans so maybe that has something to do with it. Never would have crossed my mind.

  • jfm0830jfm0830 Posts: 899
    Also my platesetter was installed legs up with the stainless steel grid on top of it. So my cast-iron pan was sitting on the open grill grate not directly on the platesetter. I could see the platesetter acting as a shield.
    BBQ Website: grillin' & smokin'

    Middlesex County, MA
    Three Large BGE's & Too Many Eggcessories to Count
  • jfm0830 said:
    Also my platesetter was installed legs up with the stainless steel grid on top of it. So my cast-iron pan was sitting on the open grill grate not directly on the platesetter. I could see the platesetter acting as a shield.

    that's my setup too

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