I spent many years on my Weber Smokey Mountain with visions of the day I would upgrade to the Big Green Egg.
So on my 40th birthday my wife offered to get me one and I spent two weeks trying to decide to "go big" or buy the large. After reading many forums I decided the accounts from others of the difficulties maintaining temperature on the XL were probably exaggerated.
The XL is beautiful.
But... after cooking burgers and steaks on it for a couple of weeks, I decided to give it a whirl as a smoker.
I should begin by saying that I decided to move up from the Weber Smokey Mountain because I dreaded waking at 3:00 am to feed it charcoal on a slow cook.
I was under the impression that the egg could cook for much longer periods without being messed with.
I really want to love this thing and bond with my egg, but I'm getting very frustrated trying to get it to hold 225. Unlike others I'm able to keep it from racing up to 600 degrees. But I usually spend a great deal of time trying to bring her back from 300/350. Just the extra 50 degrees can make a huge difference in the cook.
Further, when I finally get the egg to 225, it won't stay there. Correction, it might hold that temperature for an hour, but then seems to drop off of climb again.
To add insult to injury I went to a different Green Egg store from where I purchase my egg and they all told me the strongly discourage against the XL for the reasons I outlined.
Here are some things I've tried to keep the temperature:
* I use a charcoal ring to reduce the amount of charcoal used.
* I only light the charcoal in one spot
* Once the temp hits 200, I close the lower vent to about an inch... then a slit... and turn the wheel to about half closed (more than that and I've put the fire out)
I'm stubborn and given the stories of folks here in LOVE with their XLs... I'm thinking that perhaps there's just a bit of a learning curve. Maybe the happy XL owners know something others don't.
Does anyone out there have tips for me on the XL? Especially related to low and slow cooking and holding temperature?
I really want to give this a fair shot given the Egg is new, has a stand, place setter etc. and I'd hate to sell it on Craigslist for a large. I'd lose a lot of money and it may not be necessary.
Any tips on working with the XL as a smoker would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you in advance. I'm really committed to mastering this bad boy. I just feel like I need some guidance from other XL masters.