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Temperature control

KenfromMIKenfromMI Posts: 674
I recently acquired a Large BGE. So far I have only used it for a few cooks (grilling) and have been following the manufacturers recommendations of keeping the heat under 350 degrees to let the seals break in. Up to this point I've owned a WSM18 and during the cooks it had always been recommended to leave the top vent open during the cooks. WSM has a daisy wheel only and does not have the option of sliding it over to fully open it like the egg. I was playing around yesterday and couldn't get the egg anywhere near low and slow temperatures with the daisy wheel open and the bottom vent almost 100% closed. When I closed the wheel the temperature actually began to rise over the 350 degree mark so I opened it back up for the seal recommendation. How do you guys use the vents and the wheel to get your temps in the 225 degree range? I was thinking maybe the increase by closing the wheel was maybe a temporary spike and maybe it would have dropped. Any help would be greatly appreciated as most of my cooking is low and slow BBQ.  
Dearborn MI

Comments

  • MickeyMickey Posts: 14,535
    I find it much easier to toss all my a Daisy Wheels in the garage and only use the bottom vent to control air.
    Salado TX Egg Family: 2 Large and a very well used Mini.... 5th Salado EggFest is March 14, 2015

  • johnmitchelljohnmitchell Posts: 1,033
    I am off to work but IMO catch  the temp on the way up works for me. I am sure you will get expert advice coming good luck and welcome
    Greensboro North Carolina
  • Chris_WangChris_Wang Posts: 1,253
    edited May 1
    To achieve 225°, I have to have the bottom vent open to 1/8" and only the petals of the daisy wheel open at about 1/4". But to me, 225° is just for bragging rights.

    I cook brisket at around 260°, ribs at 275°, and butts at 325°.

    You can do turbo ribs at 325° for a couple hours, but I still haven't tried them.

    Ball Ground, GA

    ATL Sports Homer

     

  • KenfromMIKenfromMI Posts: 674
    I guess I'm just used to those temps. Been using my Weber for 9 years or so. When I first got it it locked in at 225 like a dream with blue bag. Once the Comp came out it locked in at 250 both with top wheel open and bottom three 1/4 open. I could walk away and come back for most cooks up to 12 hours later without re adjusting wheels. This is my first experience with BGE and lim charcoal so I know it will be a learning curve.
    Dearborn MI
  • buzd504buzd504 Posts: 906
    Once the ceramics get hot, it can take a while for new temperatures to adjust, especially going down.  If you overshoot your temp, close the vents (top and bottom) to just a sliver (1/2 inch or less) and let it sit 45 minutes or so, then see where you end up.

    Like @johnmitchell said, the more your overshoot, the hotter the ceramics will get, and the harder it will be to recover.  Make sure your lump is well lit, and once you are within 50 degrees on the way up, close your vents and make slight adjustments.
    NOLA
  • KenfromMIKenfromMI Posts: 674
    Yeah, probably was a bad idea to try after grilling at 350 degrees. I know better, its always easier to bring it up to temp then to cool it down BBQ lol  LOL
    Dearborn MI
  • jhl192jhl192 Posts: 626
    350 is probably about the lowest you can go easily without using the daisy wheel.  At that temp your lower vent is only open a 1/8th inch.  Patience is the key here.  At some point you will know where your vents need to be when the temp has stabilized.  When the target temp gets close, Set the vents to those settings and wait for it to get there.  After that only minor adjustments should be needed.   
    XL BGE; Medium BGE 
  • NPHuskerFLNPHuskerFL Posts: 5,630
    edited May 1
    @KenfromMI‌...welcome aboard.
    +1 on catch/adjust temp on rise (if the egg gets crazy hot it could take literally an hour or hours to get back down to low and slow temp).
    Low & Slow>>>Load your lump and wood chunks, get the fire burning. Crack open adult or beverage of your choice. Once the fire looks somewhat stable go ahead and load the p.s. and the rest of your setup, shut dome, the bottom vent should still be wide open and DFMT off (you should notice the creosote beginning to clear a bit). Dispose of your now empty beverage and crack open new beverage. Once the temp rises to say 200℉ put DFMT back on and wide open, adjust bottom vent with screen shut to about 1/4" open, fine tune both vents to desired temp, load meat once the temp is stable and creosote (bad smoke) has dissipated. Once you load meat expect temp to drop, resist urge to immediately adjust. Wait 30-45 minutes and adjust to stabilize if needed. DO NOT OPEN DOME unless absolutely necessary as it is counterproductive. Enjoy.
    LBGE, SS Table and Stoker
    Die Hard HUSKER and BRONCO FAN
    Middleburg, FL
  • KenfromMIKenfromMI Posts: 674
    Thanks, I think I just need to learn the cooker. I'm sure if my memory was better I'm sure 9 years ago there was a learning curve with my WSM.....DFMT?  The cast iron daisy wheel top piece?
    Dearborn MI
  • FockerFocker Posts: 1,512
    edited May 1
    KenfromMI said:
    I guess I'm just used to those temps. Been using my Weber for 9 years or so. When I first got it it locked in at 225 like a dream with blue bag. Once the Comp came out it locked in at 250 both with top wheel open and bottom three 1/4 open. I could walk away and come back for most cooks up to 12 hours later without re adjusting wheels. This is my first experience with BGE and lim charcoal so I know it will be a learning curve.


    Ken,

    The lack of airflow and smaller fire through the big green egg makes it more difficult to maintain 225.  When I used to cook at this temp, the draft door would be slightly open, not even an 1/8".  Experienced a few overnight snuffed fires, and decided to bump up it to 250.  Since then, not one fire has gone out. 

    The WSM allows much more airflow by design and construction.

    210, 225 temps are much easier to stabilize.  Never had an overnight fire go out on the WSM.

    I cannot find any difference in taste and texture 210 vs 250.  If you're recipe calls for lower temp hot smoking, you would be better suited and safer using the WSM for this.  Many have had success in the WSM at even lower jerky temps using a "Snake" method, forming a small snake pattern with briquettes, mixing in wood chips, lighting one end.  Personally, I would never even try to maintain those temps on an egg.  

    Brandon
    Quad Cities


  • FoghornFoghorn Posts: 1,737
    KenfromMI said:
    Thanks, I think I just need to learn the cooker. I'm sure if my memory was better I'm sure 9 years ago there was a learning curve with my WSM.....DFMT?  The cast iron daisy wheel top piece?

    Yes.

    http://www.biggreenegg.com/eggcessories/components/dual-function-metal-tops/

    Also, you are correct that closing the DFMT can result in a temporary rise in temperature.  I've always figured that less heat was escaping so the temp will rise until the ceramic has time to cool - which can be a while.

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

    San Antonio, TX

  • FockerFocker Posts: 1,512
    edited May 1
    KenfromMI said:
    Thanks, I think I just need to learn the cooker. I'm sure if my memory was better I'm sure 9 years ago there was a learning curve with my WSM.....DFMT?  The cast iron daisy wheel top piece?

    You will have no problems going from the WSM to BGE. 

    Just remember when using the DFMT, to keep the screw that holds the sliding petal disc at the six-o-clock position, with the dome closed.  This will keep gravity from opening the DFMT when you open the dome.   

    Brandon
    Quad Cities


  • NPHuskerFLNPHuskerFL Posts: 5,630
    @KenfromMI‌... Yes. DFMT> dual function metal top (daisy wheel).
    LBGE, SS Table and Stoker
    Die Hard HUSKER and BRONCO FAN
    Middleburg, FL
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 4,259
    KenfromMI said:
    Thanks, I think I just need to learn the cooker. I'm sure if my memory was better I'm sure 9 years ago there was a learning curve with my WSM.....DFMT?  The cast iron daisy wheel top piece?

    Took me about 6 months to get rid of habits I'd acquired using other cookers.

    It takes some practice to get a feel for the rates of temperature changes. As said above, its much easier to get a low dome temperature by stopping the temperature increase before going over the target. It is possible to bring an Egg w. a dome temp up to 450F back down to 250 if it is only at 450 momentarily. The ceramic will have only absorbed enough heat that the temp should begin to drop in about 20 minutes.

    Typically, I leave the bottom vent wide open and the daisy completely off till the dome temp reaches 200. Then I shut way down, and check in another 15 minutes. Can now home in on the temp I want w. just a few subsequent taps thereafter.

    One thing that often fools new users is that when the food is put in, first the tempo drops, then rises. Most times, the dome temp will return to where it was within half an hour. What has happened is that the ceramics haven't stored a lot of heat, and the cooler ambient air floods the chamber. But shortly thereafter, the large mass of cool air that came in thru the open dome briefly allows a larger fire.

    Sometimes the temp will then drop lower than it was at first. This can be because the addition of a large food mass has diminished the airflow. At that point, the vents need to be opened a tad more. Once the food shrinks with cooking, the temp will rise again, and the vents need to be damped accordingly.

    With practice, vent adjustment become intuitive. The big thing to remember is to not fuss to much. Once one starts chasing temperature, the more it is likely to swing and sway out of control. Getting to an approximate temp is good enough. A bit to hi or lo just means the cook goes a little shorter or longer.

    Of course, be sure that the gasket seal is tight. Both slight dome shifts and gasket wear will make temp control much m,ore difficult, even impossible.
  • StidrvrStidrvr Posts: 43
    As a new Egg owner, this page has help me a lot with vent settings. Although not 100% because of ambient temp and wind, it gets me in the ball park.

  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,225
    Stidrvr said:
    As a new Egg owner, this page has help me a lot with vent settings. Although not 100% because of ambient temp and wind, it gets me in the ball park.

    Bear in mind that the guy who did that was in Utah at a high elevation. They are open too much for 1000 ft or less.

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • KenfromMIKenfromMI Posts: 674
    Thanks, don't mind cooking at a higher temperature, just have 9 years of approximate time of cooks at those lower temperatures. When I switched from BB Kingsford to Kingsford Comp that extra 25 degrees at the same vent setting in my WSM made my first pork butt get done much earlier than expected. You guys don't notice on the higher heat cooks more fat not melted away in your pork butts etc when you pull? I've read posts about this but haven't tried anything at HH.
      
    Dearborn MI
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