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

Still having roller coaster ride with temperature control

LarrymacLarrymac Posts: 93
edited January 2013 in EggHead Forum
Long story "short only my third time cooking on the egg. I cooked a meatloaf believe it or not with a Dr Pepper barbecue sauce. Meatloaf turned out fine and the meal was a success.
The plan was to cook at 235 for 45 minutes while the meatloaf was in the pan and then you take the meatloaf out of the pan and cook it on the grill until it reached an internal temperature of 155 which should take about an hour and a half.
The problem was in that 2.5 half hour I was seldom at 235.
It would creep up to 245 or 250 I made miniscule adjustments to the lower vent. I'd wait a couple minutes nothing would happen and we kept going up so that I would make a miniscule adjustment to the chimney exhaust. Temperature kept going up and then I make a little more adjustment to the lower vent and then it was slowly start coming down and I'm thinking good I finally got it solved but then it kept going down lower than 235 ---and it kept going and going down to 205 before I could stop it. And to stop it from going out ,the vent by now was nearly wide open.This went on the entire time- roller coaster up and down. I had heard about this happening but it has me baffled.
Just don't think I can do a long cook. Was hoping to do a turbo butt Sunday for some pulled pork but don't want to do 5-6 hour roller coaster ride.
Advice or suggestions on how to stop the freight train.

Comments

  • Just curious why 235? That's a hard temp to keep.


    _______________________________________________

    LBGE & SBGE (big momma and pat)
  • There were times everything was closed and the temperature was still going up
  • Just curious why 235? That's a hard temp to keep.

    That's what the recipe said in the slow fire cookbook I was using. And yes I found it a very hard temperature to keep.
  • KoskoKosko Posts: 528
    Another thing to remember your dome temp. Is usually higher than your grate temp.
    Peachtree City, Ga Large BGE
  • BYS1981BYS1981 Posts: 1,485
    Check page 2 for grandpa grubs temp guide.
  • td66snrftd66snrf Posts: 670

    It sounds to me that your making way too many adjustments and not letting it settle to where it needs to be. To quote " It would creep up to 245 or 250 I made miniscule adjustments to the To the lower vent. I'd wait a couple minutes nothing would happen " Nothing happens in a couple of minutes on these things. That's kinda the beauty of them. they retain heat. If you target was 235 and it went up to 245 I wouldn't sweat it. I find that you get better control from the bottom vent since that's the one that allows the oxygen in. If your within 15 deg of your target and its creeping up or down I would't move the vent more than the width of a dime and give it a minimum 20 minutes to see a reaction. If you do see a change in a couple of minutes you've made too big of a change. Generally it takes longer for it to come down than go up because of the heat retention so when your temp started dropping quickley you probably nearly killed you fire that's why you had to open it up to wide open to keep it from dying. So small adustments, see where the temperature is going to settle at, and give it time to change. And remember everytime you open the lid you change the dynamics of whats going on inside. Hang in there you'll get it.

    Tim in SoCal

      

     

    XLBGE, LBGE, MBGE, MINI, 2 Kubs, Fire Magic Gasser
  • ChokeOnSmokeChokeOnSmoke Posts: 1,674
    edited January 2013

    I have two thoughts on your original post above.
    1.) Don't chase temps.  After you adjust a vent, it will take some time for the egg temp to move up or down.  After a while, you will get a pretty good idea what vent settings will get you to what temp.
    2.) Even more important, the temp of the egg is a lot less important than the temperature of when you pull the meat off.  In other words, don't sweat the egg temp, it doesn't matter that much, just make sure you pull the meat off at the proper finish temp.

    For example, it makes no difference whether you cook a meatloaf at 235 or 400.  I actually cook mine at approx. 375 for 45 minutes until the meat reaches 255.  As long as you pull it at 255, it will be great, regardless of how long it takes to get there.  Same with most meats...

    Good luck and enjoy the journey.
    Packerland, Wisconsin

  • get a Digi Q......you will sleep like a baby :)
  • get a Digi Q......you will sleep like a baby :)

    I honestly feel I need to know how to monitor the temp by learning to control the vents first.
  • gerhardkgerhardk Posts: 764

    . 375 for 45 minutes until the meat reaches 255.  As long as you pull it at 255, it will be great, regardless of how long it takes to get there.  Same with most meats...

    Good luck and enjoy the journey.

    What do you do make bricks;) Gerhard
  • ChokeOnSmokeChokeOnSmoke Posts: 1,674
    edited January 2013
    What do you do make bricks;) Gerhard 

    Whoa, didn't know what you were talking about.  Then it hit me, 155 vs 255!  I gotta lay off the Rum!
    Packerland, Wisconsin

  • ScottborasjrScottborasjr Posts: 1,924
    gerhardk said:

    . 375 for 45 minutes until the meat reaches 255.  As long as you pull it at 255, it will be great, regardless of how long it takes to get there.  Same with most meats...

    Good luck and enjoy the journey.

    What do you do make bricks;) Gerhard

    Last time I pulled something at 255 I had forgotten about it at a football party and had a few too many libations. They were brick solid wings that I used as lump in my next cook.
    I raise my kids, cook and golf.  When work gets in the way I'm pissed, I'm pissed off 48 weeks a year.
    Inbetween Iowa and Colorado, not close to anything remotely entertaining outside of football season. 
  • Larry - go buy a bag of cheap lump and a cold sixes of your favorite beer. Load up your BGE and light her up. You're not going to cook a thing. Pop the top on the first tall cool one. Get the fire going nice and good. Start shutting down the vents at about 200. Your first temp to hit is 225. Once you get there, note them positions of the vents. Next temp to hit is 250. Grab another beer. Open the vents a bit and watch the temp climb. Do this again for 300, 350, 375, and 400. Take
    the time to get to know the temperature response of your BGE. Remember, you're not cooking anything so relax and don't obsess! Remember too that controlling your BGE is like stopping a
    semi ... you have to begin stopping earlier than you'd stop a Porsche! Enjoy the process of this whole exercise, watch your BGE respond to changes in vent settings, and you'll never chase temps again! All the best to you in future cooks! :)>-

    Good advice! Nothing like an excuse to buy a six pack .
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 10,867
    The time weighted average temp is what matters.  If you cook 1 hr at 200, then 1 hr at 300, it's the same as cooking 2 hour at 250.   Don't sweat the exact temp - you're your own worst enemy if you try to chase the temp.  Plus, you don't get an immediate response, and you don't give it enough time to stabilize, so you end up over compensating and getting wild swings.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    No City.

  • LarrymacLarrymac Posts: 93
    edited January 2013

    The time weighted average temp is what matters.  If you cook 1 hr at 200, then 1 hr at 300, it's the same as cooking 2 hour at 250.   Don't sweat the exact temp - you're your own worst enemy if you try to chase the temp.  Plus, you don't get an immediate response, and you don't give it enough time to stabilize, so you end up over compensating and getting wild swings.

    I was thinking of a similar post you had made regarding this while I was on my "ride" today. I knew exactly what I was doing wrong but once it started I couldn't stop.
    2 things had me befuddled. Today when the temp started to drop below 235 it just seemed like nothing worked. Opening a little bit both vents didn't seem to stop the fall-- it wasn't until I had the bottom vent fully opened that I stop the slide at 205. Of course then it went too high.
    Same thing in reverse. When it got above 235, I couldn't put the brakes on. Kept closing vents until everything was shut tight and it still went up to 272. Btw these are grate temps with the Maverick and I did have my dome thermometer calibrated today. ( it was off about 50 degrees). Should
    I pay more attention to the dome or grate temp?

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 10,867
    I only break out my grate probe when I'm using my stoker.   If I'm manually setting the temp, which is most of the time (I only use the stoker during overnighters), I use the dome.   There's a lot of thermal mass and it takes a while before the temp moves after an adjustment.  Make a very small adjustment, then don't even look at it for 30 minutes.  Don't open the lid and watch the temp - it's gonna change temporarily when you open the lid.  Leave the lid closed if you don't need to attend to the food.  If it takes you a few hours to eventually get to the temp you want and it was running on the low side, compensate by running a little hot for the last half of the cook. 

    Temp at any given time is unimportant to a long cook. 


    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    No City.

  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 5,399
    As my dear old Dad always said " You are chasing a fart in a wind storm"! Meatloaf does not need to be in a pan, start on the grid. set the temp, 1/2 open on the bottom, then use the daisy, 1/2 open. Fine tune from there
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 10,867
    What is it with dads and fart jokes?   Apropos.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    No City.

  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 5,399
    edited January 2013
    What is it with dads and fart jokes?   Apropos.
    Not sure, but they are linked somehow....
    His other common observation when I looked a little under the weather or just did not have my hair combed was "You look like you've been chasing farts through a keg of nails". Always made me smile...

    On the temp issue - close is close enough. the egg is not a digital temperature accurate to 1 degree range, it is a BBQ. 

    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 10,867
    Haha...colorful father...or as you guys would say, colourful.   :D

    Put a grid probe in your oven and watch the temp - you'll be shocked how it jumps up and down - especially if it's gas.  The egg can be more stable with a controller, it's a constant flow process of burning fuel, large thermal mass...  To put in scientific terms - cooking rate is an integral of time over temp for the entire process.  You can tweak that to your advantage - power through a stall, sear, break down collagen, etc.

    That said, for baking (and hot smoking) and roasting, there are some important temps - the boiling point of water 212F.  The temp of the mailard reaction (but it's pH dependent), etc.  These temps are important to note, but really temperature controls the rate of heating.  Learn the characteristics of heating fast (high temp) versus slow (low temp).  Most of those temp/time "recipes" out there are just pulled out of someone's ass.  Give a man a fish, feed him for a day, teach a man to fish....you know the parable.
    ______________________________________________
    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 leave my top and bottom vent wide open until 50-100 degrees over my target temp.  I think put the daisy wheel on and dial both the top and bottom vent to where I know will get me my temp everytime.  As @ceramicchef said, it takes experience to learn the settings.  Just keep grillin' and smokin' and you will have it down pat.

    GEAUX TIGERS!!!!!!!!!

  • bud812bud812 Posts: 1,000
    What is it with dads and fart jokes?   Apropos.

    Pull my finger nola.   :D

    Large & Small BGE

    Stockton Ca.

  • I agree with the post that Tim (td66snrf) posted above. 

    I have had my large BGE for a month now. I have cooked on it 8 times. I have not had any problems with controlling the temp. I do exactly as Tim above said. 

    Every time I cook I learn a little bit more about how the grill responds to small changes. I have never looked forward to grilling in the past. Now I can't wait for the weekend so I can fire that baby up!
    image
    Louisville, GA - 2 Large BGE's
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 10,867
    bud812 said:
    What is it with dads and fart jokes?   Apropos.

    Pull my finger nola.   :D
    bbbbBBBRrraraaaattttttppphhhHHHTTTHHHhhh!
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    No City.

  • gerhardk said:

    . 375 for 45 minutes until the meat reaches 255.  As long as you pull it at 255, it will be great, regardless of how long it takes to get there.  Same with most meats...

    Good luck and enjoy the journey.

    What do you do make bricks;) Gerhard

    Last time I pulled something at 255 I had forgotten about it at a football party and had a few too many libations. They were brick solid wings that I used as lump in my next cook.
    I'll bet they provided an excellent smoke flavour :D
    Be who you are and say what you feel... Because those that matter... don't mind ... and those that mind... don't matter !
Sign In or Register to comment.