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Another Newbie Question

So I just re-heated up some leftover chicken legs that I egg'd last night. I filled it up with about half capacity with lump coal, put the plate setter in feet up and let it burn off for 15-20 minutes. I couldn't for the life if me get the temp down below 400 with top and bottom vents barely open at all. It worked out great for a quick reheat, however it concerns me that my skill level of manipulating my temp for long cooks may not be good enough yet. I know the amount of coal plays a role, but what else is it that I need to do? I'm scared that if I don't get enough in there it may burn out too fast for a slow cook. On my Weber, adding coal is painful. Any suggestions here for using the appropriate amount of coal for different cooks? Thank you in advance.
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Comments

  • DMWDMW Posts: 7,086
    Amount of charcoal is not a problem. Load it up from the start. As it approaches your target temp, close your bottom vent down 1/2 way when it is within 100* of target. Close another 1/2 when within of 50* for 1/4 open. Add DFMT. Tweak after 15 min.
    My Facebook Place where I document my cooking
    Morgantown, PA

    XL BGE - S BGE - KJ Jr - Hasty Bake Legacy - Black Stone Pizza Oven - Gasser - 30" Firepit w/SS Cooking Grid
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  • NPHuskerFLNPHuskerFL Posts: 11,183
    DMW said:

    Amount of charcoal is not a problem. Load it up from the start. As it approaches your target temp, close your bottom vent down 1/2 way when it is within 100* of target. Close another 1/2 when within of 50* for 1/4 open. Add DFMT. Tweak after 15 min.

    +1...get creosote burned off and work up to target temp. Don't ever over shoot temp and expect to drop it down>>>hot ceramic egg will win that battle every time :-)

    LBGE 2012, Mini MAX 2014, SS Table and Stoker
    Die Hard HUSKER & BRONCO FAN
    Middleburg, FL
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  • KyleEggKyleEgg Posts: 37
    Thank you. It jumped to 600 fast. I've been battling it back for roughly an hour now. I read when lighting it, open it wide open. I did this and it got to extremely high temps. Right now it is at 400 with it almost shut completely down. How much time should I give it to come down?
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  • KyleEggKyleEgg Posts: 37
    Is there a thread for lighting to keep at low temps? Thanks.
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  • DMWDMW Posts: 7,086
    Don't close bottom and top all the way, that will snuff it out. Leave a small bit open on both bottoms and top til it drops.
    My Facebook Place where I document my cooking
    Morgantown, PA

    XL BGE - S BGE - KJ Jr - Hasty Bake Legacy - Black Stone Pizza Oven - Gasser - 30" Firepit w/SS Cooking Grid
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  • NPHuskerFLNPHuskerFL Posts: 11,183
    It could take well over an hour to come down even with vents completely closed. This is one of the beautiful things the egg offers (efficiency and ability to hold temp for a long time with minimal fuel usage).
    LBGE 2012, Mini MAX 2014, SS Table and Stoker
    Die Hard HUSKER & BRONCO FAN
    Middleburg, FL
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  • I find it easier to stand there and watch the temp increase. Once I reach my desired temp, I start closing vents. 

    Plate setter tip: I feel like my egg takes a while to get up to temp when I am using the plate setter. I heat my Egg to the desired temp, then add my plate setter. 

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  • KyleEggKyleEgg Posts: 37
    So do you shut the lid immediately after lighting the coals and begin adjusting vents? Mine had a fairly decent flame after lighting the coals. Or should I use a chimney and dump the hot coals over the fresh coals? Thanks guys.

    I find it easier to stand there and watch the temp increase. Once I reach my desired temp, I start closing vents. 


    Plate setter tip: I feel like my egg takes a while to get up to temp when I am using the plate setter. I heat my Egg to the desired temp, then add my plate setter. 
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  • Hey guys. Just got a cast iron grate for the BGE. I know some folks like them and some don't. I'm just curious if anyone has any tips on seasoning them or breaking them in. Should I just start cooking on it or break it in? If so, how? Thanks
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  • cortguitarmancortguitarman Posts: 2,024
    Catch temps on the way up. Start shutting down vents when you get to within 50 degrees of your target. He egg is not something you can light and walk away from when it is coming to temp. I leave my dome open for 5 minutes or so before closing the dome. I'm not saying that you have to stand outside when it is 2 degrees. Just don't go inside for 20 minutes. Within 20 minutes you can be cooking.
    Mark Annville, PA
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  • cortguitarmancortguitarman Posts: 2,024
    Oh, for a low and slow, fill that bad boy up to the bottom of the fire ring and light one place in the center. It will last for 20+ hours at 250*
    Mark Annville, PA
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  • I use an electric lighter. Once the coals have a flame, I close the lid and start increasing the temp. The temp increases so quickly that I just stand there until the temp gets where I want it. For my Egg, It is easier to catch the temp going up than trying to cool it down. 

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  • Ladeback69Ladeback69 Posts: 2,674
    With the lid off, bottom open all the way and the it full of charcoal I light it in two places. After about 30 seconds I move some bigger charcoal pieces around the fire then close the lid to let it get up to temp. When doing a low and slow I close the bottom vent to about an 1" and put on the damper, but leave the daisy wheel off. When it gets to 175 I close the bottom to about a 1/4 and push the daisy wheel over and leave it all the way open. At 200 I close the bottom just a little more and set the daisy wheel to about a 1/4". It should hold at 225 to 245. If you let it get above 300 its hard to get back down fast. Let it go for about 20 to 30 minutes before putting any wood or meat on. It may be better to do a test run one day on a smaller piece of meat like pork tenderloins. Thats what I have done for a 2 hour cook. Good luck.
    XL, WSM, Little Kahuna
    Kansas City, Mo.
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  • KyleEgg said:
    So do you shut the lid immediately after lighting the coals and begin adjusting vents? Mine had a fairly decent flame after lighting the coals. Or should I use a chimney and dump the hot coals over the fresh coals? Thanks guys.
    What are you using to light right now?  If you are using the wax squares, close the lid as soon as the flame from the wax dies down.  If you are using an electric lighter or a MAPP torch (my personal recommendation), then as soon as the coals are lit, I would close the lid, leave the vents wide open while letting the temp come up.  As others have said, close down on the vents when you get within about 50 degrees of the desired temp and let it slowly come up.  Practice makes perfect.  Over time, you will get a feel for how wide open the vents need to be for desired temps.  Sounds like your problems was you left the lid open too long.  Once you have a raging bed of coals it is really hard to cool that thing off.  Not just because of retained heat, but because that hungry bed of coals will draw more air through the vent at the same position.
    Justin in Denton, TX
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  • Judy MayberryJudy Mayberry Posts: 1,616
    I've been doing this for 12 years and only a couple of years ago did I read a post that I wish I'd seen 12 years ago.

    It said that after lighting the coals, close your vents to about where they'd be at your target temperature. THEN you can walk away and not stand there hovering for 15-20 minutes. It will never get out of control. 

    Never too old to learn.
    Judy in San Diego
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  • OrthobearOrthobear Posts: 84
    I cheat and use the digiQ. Just get a few coals lit with the lid open (5min), close lid and set up the digiQ, then come back later to put my meat on.
    Houston, TX
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  • I've had the best luck going 75-100 over target temp and then shut the bottom vent to about 1/4 - 1/2 open with dw on top...temp seems to settle in right around target temp each time...over shooting much more than that and you can start waiting a fair bit for the temps to drop back down.
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  • KyleEggKyleEgg Posts: 37
    Mine went over 700 in no time yesterday. I had the bottom poem and daisy wheel off. It startled me that it got that high, so I opened the lid back up. I used a starter stick broke into thirds and placed them in a triangle. I watched a video on YouTube before doing it this way. I'm off today will try again.
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  • GriffinGriffin Posts: 6,970

    @Grandpas_Grub did a great visual for settings for the top and bottom vent HERE . Your egg may vary, but it will get you in the ballpark.

    As others have said, its easier to catch your temp on the way up than it is to bring it back down.

    Richardson, Texas

    Griffin's Grub or you can find me on Facebook

    The Supreme Potentate, Sovereign Commander and Sultan of Wings

     

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  • DMWDMW Posts: 7,086
    KyleEgg said:
    Mine went over 700 in no time yesterday. I had the bottom poem and daisy wheel off. It startled me that it got that high, so I opened the lid back up. I used a starter stick broke into thirds and placed them in a triangle. I watched a video on YouTube before doing it this way. I'm off today will try again.
    Opening the lid will provide more oxygen to the fire and get things roaring even more. If you need to cool things down, do not open the lid thinking you will let some hot air escape. This only allows for an uncontrolled fire. The key is not overshooting. As soon as your fire is established (fire starters extinguished, etc) close the lid. 
    My Facebook Place where I document my cooking
    Morgantown, PA

    XL BGE - S BGE - KJ Jr - Hasty Bake Legacy - Black Stone Pizza Oven - Gasser - 30" Firepit w/SS Cooking Grid
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