Big Green Egg - EGGhead Forum - The Ultimate Cooking Experience...
We hope everyone enjoyed their Fourth of July weekend and is excited for more warm weather grilling! This week, we’ll be making these two burgers: Stuffed Portobello Mushroom and Caribbean Chicken, and also eating lots of these Ice Cream Sandwiches in honor of National Ice Cream Month! It's time to think about getting out to one of the many #EGGfests around the country - see a list here

Greenhorn here with tempature issues

First time this egg has been lit.... Filled egg with BGE brand lump pretty much to top of firebox. Lit egg with two BGE brand fire starters on top of lump. Let burn for 15 minutes and closed lid. This baby got to 400 in like 5 minutes. That was three hours ago and I can't get it to drop below 400. Daisy wheel is closed and bottom vent is only about 1/4" open. I have opened dome a couple times to let heat out but it didn't help. What did I do wrong and how can I fix it? It is a large by the way.

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 LBGE,SBGE Sweet home Alabama........ Stay thirsty my friends .

Comments

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 10,740
    What do you want the temp to be?   If you're doing a low and slow, you only need a little lump burning.  If you have the entire pile burning, and it's been that hot for that long, if you're in a hurry, get some tongs and pull out all the burning lump except for a few pieces in the middle, damper down the damper to 1/8" or so, just take the daisy wheel off for now so some heat can escape and start cooking when you have good smoke.  No big deal if it starts out a little hot, it'll go down.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    No City.

  • shtgunal3shtgunal3 Posts: 1,723
    So if your doing a low and slow, say at 250 to 275 to smoke a butt, how much lump do you start with? Half of the firebox full and light with only one starter?

    ___________________________________

     

     LBGE,SBGE Sweet home Alabama........ Stay thirsty my friends .

  • KoskoKosko Posts: 524
    You want to fill lump to the top of the firebox. On a low and slow watch the temp. Close as it climbs then start closing it down when it gets to desired temp. If I want a temp of 250 I will start closing it down at 200 . Don't let it get above desired temp.
    Peachtree City, Ga Large BGE
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 10,740
    I fill it up to the top of the firebox.  About 10-11 pounds (half a 22 pound bag).  I light the top in the center towards the front (because the fire tends to burn down and out and back).  You're sitting on a huge amount of fuel - it's like a candle - you just light a little bit of it, doesn't take much heat to maintain 200s.  One starter is plenty.  You want a nice little hot fire, not a giant smoldering fire.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    No City.

  • shtgunal3shtgunal3 Posts: 1,723
    Thanks guys, so how open or closed is the bottom vent and daisy wheel for a 250 to 275 smoke?

    ___________________________________

     

     LBGE,SBGE Sweet home Alabama........ Stay thirsty my friends .

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 10,740
    bottom vent an 1/8" to 1/4", DW about 1/4 open or so.  I'd just put the vent to 1/4" and open and adjust the DW to get a stable temp.  Don't chase the temps - adjust, wait.  Put your food on as soon as you have good smoke.  If it's 75F off where you want to cook, it's not going to make any difference in the long haul.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    No City.

  • I had this problem the first couple times I used my egg. I read somewhere on this forum to start a small fire at the top center of coals, and then close the lid with daisy wheel holes open and bottom vent cracked a half inch (I have an XL). Let the fire spread slowly to desired temperature. This should take about 25-30 minutes. This method works great for me.
    I've found that it doesn't matter how much lump I put in the egg, it's the amount of lump that you let catch on fire that matters.
    Start a small fire, close the egg and use the amount of air you let in determine the temp.
    It sounds like you've been starting a large fire, and using the amount of air you can keep out to set the temp. Once you get a bunch of lump on fire it's hard to cool it down.
    Also, I would highly recommend using an electric coil starter. That way it's easier to control how much lump is being lit.
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 10,740
    If you over shoot your temp quickly after lighting - it's just the dome temp - that ceramic takes a long time to heat up (and unfortunately, cool down).  But you don't want it to get away from ya.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    No City.

  • FYI, I used my above stated method the other day for a 11 hour brisket smoke. I held 225 degrees the whole time. I started with lump coal filled to top of fire box and was able to regulate the slow spread of the fire from the center out. When I was done, I closed the vents and walked away. I still had lump left over in the egg the next day. (Again, I'm on an XL)
  • FanOfFanboysFanOfFanboys Posts: 1,567
    What kosko said. Stop it before gets to hot. At this point you have to much lump lit to get that temp. Can do what Nola said or shut whole thing down for 10-15 and start from almost scratch.
    Boom
  • shtgunal3shtgunal3 Posts: 1,723
    Thanks to everyone. Not planning on cooking on it tonight. Just trying to burn the new off and get a little practice with temp settings.

    ___________________________________

     

     LBGE,SBGE Sweet home Alabama........ Stay thirsty my friends .

  • shtgunal3 said:
    Thanks to everyone. Not planning on cooking on it tonight. Just trying to burn the new off and get a little practice with temp settings.
    This is actually a smart thing to do. Learn to control your egg. Don't jump right into a low and slow. Start with a spatchcocked chicken. Cook it direct at 350-375.
    Mark Annville, PA
  • This is what I set mine at to get 275.

    Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
    Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
  • shtgunal3shtgunal3 Posts: 1,723
    @cortguitarman... Give me another idea, I really dont like chicken unless it is boneless.... @onegrecook... Thanks for the pics.

    ___________________________________

     

     LBGE,SBGE Sweet home Alabama........ Stay thirsty my friends .

  • twlangantwlangan Posts: 285
    I agree with Onegrecook's pics - that is about where my vents usually end up set at for that temp too.

    Keep in mind that what works for us may vary for you. I have had two similar cooks require different vent settings to achieve the same temp. Lots of factors will figure into it - lump brand, outside temps, humidity, wind, recent rain or not, etc. Believe it or not, these Eggs seem to soak up rain if not covered (mine isn't). I've found it takes more airflow for awhile after lighting if we have had a rain recently to get to temp. Wind - calm requires vents to be more open, windy - less open.

    It can seem overwhelming at first - thinking about all this. After a few cooks, you will calm down and learn to just roll with it and really start to enjoy the process. About the only people I can see not liking cooking on an Egg are the engineer-minded types that like everything repeatable and structured. 
  • Bake bread. Seriously, try the spatched chicken. It is heavenly.
    Mark Annville, PA
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 4,156
    As far as I can tell, the rate of temperature increase is exponential. There have been lots of people, myself included, who have left the Egg at 400F with the vents full open, and returned a few minutes later to find a blue jet of flaming roaring out the top. That, after waiting 1/2 and hour for the temp to reach 400.

    Do a search on "Naked Whiz." Not a scandalous site at all, but a treasure trove of info about ceramic cookers and charcoal lump. There is a page showing how temperature drops back down depending on how much the ceramic has heated. As you've experienced, once the Egg heats up, it can stay that way for a long time. And, as already mentioned, lighting too much lump will make the temp very hard to control. I did a test where I lit 6 spots, and could not get a dome temp under 300F no matter how closed I had the vents.

    It takes awhile to get the hang of temp control. Don't fuss too much w. exact dome temperatures or particular vent settings. I spent months chasing temperatures up and down before realizing that 10 +/- wasn't worth bothering about.
  • Not sure if I missed it from anyone else- don't open the lid to let the heat out. You will feed the fire oxygen and increase the temp. If you really need to get some heat out, try wiping the dome down with a wet rag.
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