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Temp problems

I've had my egg for several months now, but I'm still running into some temp control problems. Tonight, I cooked a ribeye using a reverse sear. I lit the lump from the bottom and let the flame climb all the way to the top so that the fire was visible from the surface before I closed the lid and attempted to dial in a temp. I closed the bottom vent to about 1/4 inch and had the daisy wheel shutters opened about 1/2 way. The temp was climbing pretty rapidly toward 225, which was my target. When it was around 215 I closed the bottom vent just a touch more to slow the climb in anticipation of landing at 225. It was a very minor adjustment, but about 5-10 minutes later the temp was down below 200. Once it dropped that low it was ridiculously difficult to bring it up. I had to open the bottom vent nearly an inch to reach 225, which seemed crazy. Anyway I finally got it there, and put my steak on, then came back about 5-10 minutes later and the temp was nearing 300. Basically, my temp control was totally erratic all night. Dinner ended up very good, but I want to avoid this kind of temp madness down the road. I realize I probably made a several mistakes; still, what do you think is the best course of action to prevent this kind of thing from happening again? Did I not wait long enough for the vent adjustments to take effect and the temp to stabilize? How many minutes do you all wait after each vent adjustment before you declare the egg stable? Would love any feedback. Thanks!
Southern California

Comments

  • FoghornFoghorn Posts: 1,468

    "How many minutes do you all wait after each vent adjustment before you declare the egg stable?"

    For some folks here, the answer to that question is "60".  I'm not that patient but you should know that some are.

    I think the only mistake you made was trying to be too specific on your temp.  With a little time you will learn APPROXIMATELY what settings will get you APPROXIMATELY what temps and you will get comfortable with it.  For example, I know that if my bottom vent is open about 1/4 inch and the daisy wheel is set so that each of the 5 openings is barely open, my XL will settle in at a temp somewhere between 220 and 250. 

    The difference between cooking at 225 and as high as 275 isn't really worth discussing as long as you have a way to monitor the temp of what you are cooking.  When it reaches the desired temperature, take it off. 

    You will probably still find yourself chasing temps from time to time.  When that happens just stay close to the egg until you are happy with it.  In that setting, the only excuse for leaving the egg is if you run out of beer.  A fridge or cooler near the egg can solve that problem.

    XL BGE, Klose BYC, ProQ Excel, Weber Kettle, Firepit, Grand Turbo gasser, and a portable Outdoor Gourmet gasser for tailgating

    San Antonio, TX

  • MaC122MaC122 Posts: 42
    Man im new to this whole egg thing too. The T-rex is the way to go.  I put my cast iron grate on the fire box ( which expanded during heating and i could not move it ). Seared the steaks 60 seconds a side. Rested for 20 minutes. Put the steaks back in a raised grate for 10 minutes at 400.  too rare for the wife so it went on another 10 minutes
  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 5,365
    Fill the firebox to the bottom of the fire ring, no daisy wheel, bottom vent fully open - light the lump from the top, towards the front. I use an electric starter, but a torch or cubes or paper towels soaked in veggie oil works too. Once the lump starts to burn, maybe 10 minutes or so, close the dome, put on the DFMT and open the daisy petals completely, close the bottom vent to about 1/2. Go away for at least 10 minutes. Come back, drop in your set-up and adjust the vents as required. I think the biggest issue you are having is starting from the bottom. If you light from the bottom there is a very good chance you will consume all your smoke wood before you even start to cook. The egg is meant to be lit from the top of the lump pile.  
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • bo_mullbo_mull Posts: 225
    MaC122 said:
     I put my cast iron grate on the fire box ( which expanded during heating and i could not move it )

    I would be careful about doing that, If it expands enough it could possibly crack your egg

    Cleveland, TN.

    LG BGE, PSWOO2, Stoker WIFI.

  • SMITTYtheSMOKERSMITTYtheSMOKER Posts: 1,930
    edited August 2013
    MaC122 said:
     I put my cast iron grate on the fire box ( which expanded during heating and i could not move it ).
    That is a good way to crack your Egg base, be careful cowboy.

     

    -SMITTY     

    from SANTA CLARA, CA

  • bicktravbicktrav Posts: 444
    Thanks for all the help, everyone.  I had been lighting from the top, but had some temp problems that way too.  Maybe I'll give that a try again though and see what happens.  Also, I have used the T. Rex method, which I think is incredible.  Just figured I'd try the reverse sear too.  Between the two, I think T. Rex might be the winner (at least for me).
    Southern California
  • I use an electric starter, too. Let it go 7 or 8 minutes. Then close the dome with daisy off and bottom vent wide open. I let it hit my target temp and then start adjusting.
  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 5,365
    MaC122 said:
     I put my cast iron grate on the fire box ( which expanded during heating and i could not move it ).
    That is a good way to crack your Egg base, be careful cowboy.
    I agree. Am I too understand that in order to get close to the fire, the fire ring is being removed? 
    It is so much easier to just fill the egg with lump up to the top of the fire ring, more fuel, more heat, grid on top of the fire ring, easier to reach into and it will not put pressure on the base. 
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 4,702

    Just to change things up-when it comes to lighting the BGE, I light at the bottom (use about 1/4 starter cube (low&slow) or two for hot&fast).  I light slightly forward of dead center, then build up the lump where lit to the remainder of the lump load.  Run with bottom vent open and dome open around 6-10 mins, til I see about a grapefruit sized amount of lump burning (low&slow), then load up platesetter, cooking grate, drip pan, shut dome and set bottom vent to around 1/2" open.  As temp passes 200*f, set DFMT and throttle lower vent to ease into the target cook dome temp. 

    For hot&fast-besides lighting in a couple of spots I wait til a good amoubnt of lump is burning before shutting dome and setting lower vent and DFMT. 

    As you can see from all the posts-as long as you have adequate fuel and air supply you can get where you want to go.  Eggsperiment and have fun.

    Louisville
  • bicktravbicktrav Posts: 444
    lousubcap said:

    Just to change things up-when it comes to lighting the BGE, I light at the bottom (use about 1/4 starter cube (low&slow) or two for hot&fast).  I light slightly forward of dead center, then build up the lump where lit to the remainder of the lump load.  Run with bottom vent open and dome open around 6-10 mins, til I see about a grapefruit sized amount of lump burning (low&slow), then load up platesetter, cooking grate, drip pan, shut dome and set bottom vent to around 1/2" open.  As temp passes 200*f, set DFMT and throttle lower vent to ease into the target cook dome temp. 

    For hot&fast-besides lighting in a couple of spots I wait til a good amoubnt of lump is burning before shutting dome and setting lower vent and DFMT. 

    As you can see from all the posts-as long as you have adequate fuel and air supply you can get where you want to go.  Eggsperiment and have fun.

    Your lighting method sounds really similar to mine.  The only difference is that I wait until the entire lump is burning up top rather than a small grapefruit sized chunk.  Maybe I ought to try it that way.  Couple questionsfor you though.  You mentioned that you shut the vent to 1/2 inch open; then, when the temp passes 200, you place the daisy wheel on and throttle down the lower vent to reach your target temp.  How is your DMFT set when you put it on?  Shutters closed?  1/2 open?  Hinge swiveled open at all?  Also, do you ever find that throwing the DMFT on and reducing the opening on the lower vent to below 1/2 inch causes a drop in temperature rather than a slowed rate of temperature increase?  That seems to be my big problem.  When I reduce the opening of the lower vent and throw the daisy wheel on, it doesn't just slow the rate of temp increase; it causes the temp to decrease.  How do you combat that?
    Southern California
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 4,702
    @bicktrav-the small quantity is when I'm cooking low&slow (240-280*F range).  When I put on the DFMT I start with the petals open and the shutter open around 1/4" or so, then adjust to get where the BGE steadies out.    I initally see a temperature drop when loading all the interior pieces but as the ceramics warm up it will all warm back up.  As you change air-flow thru the BGE it will have an impact on the fire volume and the dome temperature.  I would just work with your vents and try not to be in a hurry when lighting-at least for the long duration cooks.  FWIW-
    Louisville
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