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Bad first cook

Well guys--I thought this would be "so easy" Santa delivered my LBGE on Friday--I got the turkey and was going to smoke the bugger. I listened to everybodys advice...<nope, didn't burn the book yet>[p]Long story short...I couldn't regulate the temp. I thought I had it right the noticed it going down...come to find out I didn't have enough black stuff <lump I'm assuming> in it...added more, temp went way up and was just unable to get it back down. I kept sliding the bottom opening more in the closed direction as hubby said if you stop the air from getting in it will make the temp go down..but keep the top open full. I don't think he was on the money...I was scared to serve a bird to my kids when the temp had been up and I tossed on some dogs and that's what we had.
Here's the question--how the heck to I regulate the temp?!?!?! There has got to be a trick...if you want it to go down you do this..up you do this...
Thanks for all and any help!
Merry Christmas!


  • edbroedbro Posts: 297
    Once you get all that ceramic heated up, it is very difficult to cool it down again. It is a lot easier to control the temp on the way up than the way down. [p]The source of a lot of good info can be found here:

  • eggoreggor Posts: 777
    Arlene,[p]to bad about the turkey, it prolly would have turned out fine if you got it to 160 in the breast. The first few cooks will not go as planned, since its not an oven. you must become one with the egg and vice versa, it'll start to learn your quirky little habits and adjust. You gotta remember this is the first time that BGE ever attempted to cook a turkey, give it a chance I'm sure it'll be better next time. A turkey first time out was a pretty big step, or maybe just a blind leap.[p]ps. I warned you about the black stuff.[p]Scott

  • Arlene,[p]I have had a number of bad cooks (and I continue to this day) but everytime something does not work out, I post a message here and I learn what I did wrong. Then, the next time I do it - wow![p]For me, Egg Cooking has taken me some time to learn, but now that I know - I can't beleive how good meat can actually taste nowadays![p]Keep trying - it is worth the learning curve.
  • JimEJimE Posts: 158
    Getting the temperature set right is what I think everyone struggles with initially with the BGE. It's pretty simple once you get the hang of it. Make sure you start with enough wood chunks to last the entire time of you cooking. I open the top and bottom fully when lighting. As soon as the egg starts climbing in temperature (~250) I'll start setting top and bottom to where I think it will settle.
    For about 300 degrees - bottom open about an inch and top air vents open. For higher temps, you have to move top slide open. For lower temps close down the top air vents. With them just a sliver open you'll get about 200-225. This is all with bottom at about 1 inch open. Trick is set bottom and work only with top. [p]Hope this helps.[p]Jim

  • Jim,
    For 200-225, I actually have the bottom open only the width of a credit card, and top airvents opent about one third to one half of the way this is after I get the temp up initially).[p]Brett

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    you can't put the fire out, no matter how 'closed' the bottom vent is, as long as it's not truly closed.[p]the top vent, in general, should be adjusted when the bottom is, at least that's how many of us do it. top way open or half-closed will have no real difference in effect when you have the lower vent pretty near closed, so hubby steered you a bit wrong. but as you start closing the top nearly all the way (when the low vent is also near-closed) you will see a change in the draft.[p]think of it as a hose. the lower vent is the tap. the top vent is the end of the hose. if the tap (low vent) is trickling, opening the other end wide can't make any difference. but it WILL make a difference just as you get close to closing it fully.[p]anyway...[p]the honest to god best advice i can give about controlling temps is to stop trying so hard to control temps. were you off by 5 or degrees? who cares.[p]if you are way high by 50 degrees, i would ask why? some folks try to "make sure the fire is going" then back down to their desired temp. "i'll get it going to 400, then i'll know the fire is nurning, and then dial down to 325".[p]that won't work.[p]as for tossing the bird... too bad.
    you can't really have had a problem. some cook turkeys at 500.... and un less your fire was out for a few hours and you didn't realize it, your bird wasn't going to be a salmonella risk.[p]the egg is going to slow you down, and force you to go with the flow![p]i hope you tried my advice about controlling temps. you cannot tweak the thing and dial in your temps like your oven. it (the temp) is seriously like driving a car. you can't stomp on the gas (crank open vents) and then slam on the brakes (choke it back down) to go from 310 to 350.[p]to go up 10 degrees, just tweak the vents (top AND bottom) open just a BIT more than they are. i'm talking the barest tap...[p]don't give up.
    but please, my best advice. aim for 350 degrees, be happy with 350"ish". 335 to 355... there's really no difference, when you consider that the temp in your electric oven goes up and down as well as the heating element cyles on and off.[p]you will learn to control temps, it's not as hard as you experienced.[p]

    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
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