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Temp differential driving me nuts

O.k. I think I can say I'm EGGsperienced enough to knownow not to chase an exact temp on the egg, but this cook today is driving me crazy. I was planning a range of 225-235 and I'm good, but based on what I'm experiencing today I've GOT to be doing something wrong. I'm either under 225 or over 260 and when I think it has leveled out 30-45 min at fairly constant range, an hour later it will have spiked again or dropped. I'm sitting at 272 right now and slightly closed bottom vent 15 minutes ago at 260! I'm using a thermoworks thermocoupler for grate &meat temp, so I think the temp is accurate, but what in the heck is going on? To add insult to injury, I must be in the stall b/c the meat temp has dropped to 161. Butts have been on a little over 10 hrs now!

Comments

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 10,748
    Set a range, say 240 to 310.  Try to keep it in that range.  If it's in, don't worry about it.  If it's out, make a miniscule adjustment and check back 30 minutes later.  Repeat.  Getting near the end of your cook, if you're cutting it close, raise the temp.  If you're cooking too fast, lower it or FTC.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    No City.

  • henapplehenapple Posts: 10,170
    is it windy?
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 10,748
    And try using the top to fine tune.  Leave the bottom cracked.  You don't have to bend down as much.  Don't open the grill - if you do, don't try to adjust the temp for 30 minutes because it spikes and jumps all over.  You're looking for a stasis on airflow and temp.  If it's windy, it can be jumpy, but don't worry about it...the average temp over a cook sets the cook time.  (and the meat type, weight, etc.)
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    No City.

  • Charlie tunaCharlie tuna Posts: 2,191
    Once the egg is REALLY stabilized, no meat in it, but stabilized at the setpoint temperature -- you put the meat in -- the meat, plus the heat load caused by opening the dome is going to drop the temperature fast --  as soon as you close the dome the egg is going to try to come back to the original setpoint =- stabilized temperature --- except it has a NEW LOAD!!  The meat!! So if you do nothing, temperature will continue to drop off slowly.  To compensate for this you need to open the vent slightly -- and keep an eye on the temperture and see what it does.  It's going to take some time to react.  How long (?) this depends on a few things -- like how clean is your fire grate, or how much lump is in the fire box??  But thgis amount of time is something you must adjust ypurself to.  If you overshoot the opening -- the temperature will overshoot the setpoint and then you will have a long wait for it to come down.  This is something the operator must just get used to!! 
  • MadDAWGMadDAWG Posts: 15
    There is only a slight breeze probably < than 2 mph. The egg was stable when(I thought) when the meat went on. The lid has not been opened but once that I am aware of (had the wife babysit)while I ran into town. I've tried to as I said earlier not chase the temp, b/c I know that is a losing battle. IDK, have any of you experienced this before?
  • I have had this once or twice. Mainly just cooked to temp and pork was great! Maybe how lump is close or far apart and when a new piece catches fire?
    Lovin' my Large Egg since May 2012 (Richmond, VA) ... and makin' cookbooks at http://familycookbookproject.com
  • MadDAWGMadDAWG Posts: 15
    Well, I've discovered part of the problem, I finally opened the dome and felt the meat which was warm, not hot. Stuck my hand to the grid and it was the same thing. Only thing I can think of is probe has gone out. Rapping in foil now and fixing to crank the temps up to hope and save these butts
  • Charlie tunaCharlie tuna Posts: 2,191
    What is the internal temperature of the butt?
  • MadDAWGMadDAWG Posts: 15
    Dome temp was reading 237 on thermoworks thermocell but obviously if I can stick my hand on grid and leave it momentarily that isn't the case. Butt temps were at 162 and dropped 14 degrees back up to 157 now. These things are gonna be like footballs instead of meat. Should I be concerned about eating them once and if they get done?
  • MadDAWG said:
    Dome temp was reading 237 on thermoworks thermocell but obviously if I can stick my hand on grid and leave it momentarily that isn't the case. Butt temps were at 162 and dropped 14 degrees back up to 157 now. These things are gonna be like footballs instead of meat. Should I be concerned about eating them once and if they get done?
    nah, they will be fine. Some of the best ive ever made have had the fire go out etc. totally safe and won't affect the quality of the butts at all.

     I don't know what a thermocell is. are you using it in place of the BGE dome thermo or in conjunction with?



  • MadDAWGMadDAWG Posts: 15
    Its a thermoworks product. I'm using in conjunction with, but I need to calibrate the egg thermoworks. Its off a considerable amount
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 10,748
    There are thermocouples (expensive and durable) and thermistors (cheap and succumb to steam).  The Maverick comes with the latter, the DigiQ comes with the former. 

    If you ever suspect they're getting squirrely, boil some water and look for around 212F.  
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    No City.

  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 4,621
    I'm a big believer in "believe your indications" as long as you believe in their accuracy.  Calibrate any thermos you use (boiling water regardless of altitude is close enough) and go from there.  Everything you do with the BGE drives off temperature so that's the one thing you have to feel good about.  Just an opinion and we all know what those are worth-
    Louisville
  • ChubbsChubbs Posts: 3,588
    If you are opening and closing the egg a lot it will affect it
    Columbia, SC --- LBGE 2011 -- MINI BGE 2013
  • MadDAWGMadDAWG Posts: 15
    Thank you all for the responses, I've not verified my suspicion of a bad probe on the Thermoworks Tw 8060 by doing the boil test as nolaegghead suggested as of yet, but did want to report the result. I took the butts off once I realized I was getting a bad reading, wrapped them in foil with about a tablespoon or so of water and cranked the temp up to approximately 350-375. The internal temp went from 157-190 in about a 1 1/2 hrs. Worried about how they were going to turn out, but after letting them rest for only about 30 min (because it was LATE and I was exhausted) the wife and I pulled the meat. It pulled easily and I would venture to guess even though this cook was a disaster in terms of the actual cook, this is one of the better tasting butts I've done. The meat is super moist and has just the right amount of smoke! A great big Thank you to all of you that worked me through yesterday and preceding days! I didn't take any pictures of the outcome yet, but will try to post some later today. . .
  • henapplehenapple Posts: 10,170
    I would venture to guess even though this cook was a disaster in terms of the actual cook, this is one of the better tasting butts I've done. The meat is super moist and has just the right amount of smoke!


    I couldn't disagree more. if it turns out tasty who cares about how you did it or how hard it was. I'd say you had an epic win.... congrats.

    @MadDawg
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
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