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Vent Settings, a Visual Guide

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Comments

  • cortguitarmancortguitarman Posts: 2,008
    Hi All,
    I know this is an old thread (originally) but I was stoked to find it. I always seem to need my lower vent MUCH wider on my XL egg. I'm really confused. I just cleaned all the ash out of the bottom, so I don't think that should be impeding airflow. I seem to be going through a ton of lump and my fire keeps going out on overnights even with a much more open setup than this. Any other ideas?

    My Egg is on an outside patio and the bottom is enclosed, will still air require a much wider vent (2-3") to pull air and hold temp?

    Calibrating the thermo today but it can't be off by THAT much! I really appreciate getting great feedback from the folks here, I love cooking on the Egg, but I must admit to feeling some frustration and unrealized expectations.

    Cheers all -
    B_B
    A few variables need to be taken into consideration. I'm an XL owner and just did a brisket at 250 for 17 hours. Lower vent was about 1/8-1/4" open and DFMT holes were half open.

    I think the main variable is how you are lighting your egg. When you light it, how long are you leaving the lid open before closing the dome? I use starter squares and wait until they born out before closing the dome. 1 square in the middle for low temps, 2 squares at 3 & 9 for midrange (300-400) 3 squared at 11, 4, & 8 for high temps. Then I close the lid with DFMT off and bottom vent wide open. When I get to 50 degrees from my temp, I start closing things down. Bottom vent to half closed and DFMT on but wide open. Temp will drop, but then restabilize. Adjust until you get there.

    The key is also to be patient. Allow the egg to remain stable at your desired temp for at least 10 minutes before cooking. Also, if using an indirect setup, heat the stone or platesetter up with the egg. If you forget, put in the indirect piece and let the egg come to temp. Don't mess with the vents. It takes a lot of energy to heat the ceramic to equal the dome temp. It will get there. The indirect piece will drop your dome temp by 50 degrees or more depending on the temp of the piece when it goes into the egg.

    Hope this helped.
    Mark Annville, PA
  • Black_BadgerBlack_Badger Posts: 840



    A few variables need to be taken into consideration. I'm an XL owner and just did a brisket at 250 for 17 hours. Lower vent was about 1/8-1/4" open and DFMT holes were half open.

    I think the main variable is how you are lighting your egg. When you light it, how long are you leaving the lid open before closing the dome? I use starter squares and wait until they born out before closing the dome. 1 square in the middle for low temps, 2 squares at 3 & 9 for midrange (300-400) 3 squared at 11, 4, & 8 for high temps. Then I close the lid with DFMT off and bottom vent wide open. When I get to 50 degrees from my temp, I start closing things down. Bottom vent to half closed and DFMT on but wide open. Temp will drop, but then restabilize. Adjust until you get there.

    The key is also to be patient. Allow the egg to remain stable at your desired temp for at least 10 minutes before cooking. Also, if using an indirect setup, heat the stone or platesetter up with the egg. If you forget, put in the indirect piece and let the egg come to temp. Don't mess with the vents. It takes a lot of energy to heat the ceramic to equal the dome temp. It will get there. The indirect piece will drop your dome temp by 50 degrees or more depending on the temp of the piece when it goes into the egg.

    Hope this helped.
    Thanks Cort, 

    I do think it's been a problem of not letting things equilibrate enough, then chasing temp, possibly also coupled to not enough lump. My mantra for the next overnighter is more fuel, more patience. Thinking about doing a brisket this afternoon...

    Cheers -
    B_B
    Finally back in the Badger State!

    Middleton, WI
  • This is a great thread and a lot of work went into it obviously. That being said, it's not an exact science and you cannot use the above as more than a reference. Climates differ, lump differs, conditions differ, what you have in the egg makes a difference. It's a nice place to start but don't set it and run out to the store or go to bed thinking you have it locked in.The set up would not be the same in winter in Calgary and summer in Orlando (or even summer and winter in Calgary, for that matter). 

    great reference point and a great place to start but you are going to have to make minor adjustments that fit your circumstances



  • cortguitarmancortguitarman Posts: 2,008
    Cen-tex makes a good point. On low and slows, I monitor temp for an hour or more after the meat goes on before going to bed.There is no exact science to any of it. Trial and error to find your method is part of the learning curve.

    If the wind picks up, you may have to change settings. Especially if the wind is blowing right at the draft door. My egg definitely reaches temp faster in warm weather.

    However, for the most part, if you stabilize your temp, it will stay within 20 degrees of the desired temp.
    Mark Annville, PA
  • Bump to the top.



    Hey hey I know this thread is ancient. First time I've seen it. Bumping to the top cause I feel that it's good knowledge and something people ask about a lot. Like others said this is a guide. Lump, lighting, elevation, egg size, and what day it is on the lunar calendar all play into you egg settings but this is an amazing place to start.


    _______________________________________________

    LBGE & SBGE (big momma and pat)
  • BYS1981BYS1981 Posts: 1,654
    It is ok @mrcookingnurse it makes it easier to find latet. Really, if there was only 1 sticky thread this should be it.
  • nemonemo Posts: 102
    Thanks for sharing this info again.  I always use you descriptions to initially set my BGE for the temp I'm aiming for...then I fine tune it to my liking.  Thanks again...you've been a big help to me and others, I'm sure.
    Fairview, Texas
  • gerhardkgerhardk Posts: 786
    My settings for 250º are pretty close to his but starting to shut down the vents within 30 or 45 seconds of lighting would be lights out for my fire maybe using alcohol is the difference still I would imagine the available oxygen would be used up real fast.  I don't even try to regulate the events until at least 10 minutes have passed but there many roads to most destinations.

    Gerhard
  • jccbone62jccbone62 Posts: 194
    Very nice thread and much appreciated.

    XL owner in Wichita, KS
  • gerhardk said:
    My settings for 250º are pretty close to his but starting to shut down the vents within 30 or 45 seconds of lighting would be lights out for my fire maybe using alcohol is the difference still I would imagine the available oxygen would be used up real fast.  I don't even try to regulate the events until at least 10 minutes have passed but there many roads to most destinations.

    Gerhard
    I'm setting up for my first low and slow tonight (pulled pork) I walked away for 10 minutes. When I returned, the egg was 800°!
    I finally took the plunge and bought my large Big Green Easter Egg from Roswell Hardware in Roswell, GA 03/31/2012
  • 186.3K views must be some kind of record here.

  • Please, Calibrate your dome thermometer, if you don't know how, ask.

    There are many ways to reach any given temperature and any method is fine. I tend to use the lower vent for course temperature control and the DFMT to fine tune the final temperature.

    Hopefully the following will give new users a head start in learning to control and stabilize their egg.

    The following are settings on my Large. The setting for my medium, small and mini settings will vary somewhat.

    A stable clean burn can be seen by looking at the dome pictures below. You want a clear or light blue smoke coming out of the egg.

    265° Using 1/16” open lower vent
    eggsettings265_1-16.jpg

    315° Using 1/16” open lower vent
    eggsettings315notop.jpg

    The following have a larger lower vent opening

    250°
    eggsettings255.jpg

    300°
    eggsettings300.jpg

    370°
    eggsettings370.jpg

    390°
    eggsettings390.jpg

    I need to open the lower vent to go higher. 450°

    eggsettings455.jpg

    GG
    Well I am somewhat surprised you get these temps with these settings and they seem very varied and almost identical results.  My bottom setting is always open more than that.  Probably about the width of a quarter is the minimum. the daisy wheel is usually open about the width of a dime and that will settle about 350 degrees which is an average cooking temp I use alot for chicken, pork loin etc.  My question is is there a difference to fuel efficiency by controlling with the top vs bottom vent?  It seems the top vent is going to keep the heat in by being open minimally vs the bottom since heat rises and this would result in slower charcoal consumption? Any thoughts anyone?  Bobmugge@roadrunner.com
  • BotchBotch Posts: 2,744
    It's good to BUMP this thread once a year or so for the noobs, this is one of my few bookmarks.
     

    :-bd
    _____________________________________________
     
    Live fast, die young, and leave a well-marbled corpse.  
     
    Ogden, Utard.  
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