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Peeking

Chef in the MakingChef in the Making Posts: 902
edited 7:19AM in EggHead Forum
When should you open the cover to peek at what you are grilling?

Thanks

John
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Comments

  • You can always take the top off and look down without opening the egg. I often do this with a LED light to check ribs, butts or briskets. If you are "grilling" I would use time and open the egg up only to flip or check doneness of meats.

    Gene
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  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,768
    That is a very dangerous practice, especially at high heat.
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  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,768
    If you are lookin' you ain't cookin'

    You really don't need to look during low and slow cooks until the temp reaches what you want. Course this means you have a means to keep an eye on the meat temp (BBQ Guru, Stoker, Mavericks)

    The same applies to roasts where you want a specific temp.

    Other things you just get a feel for how long,,
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  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 17,109
    depends whats on the grill, i check a whole chicken at about 45 minutes then descide how long before i check again based on the internal temps. big roasts i get flipped only once and i watch the remote for internal temps. for searing i just leave the dome open. for just basic grilling you can open it to check temps, but for low and slows you really want to keep that down to a minimum.
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  • BeliBeli Posts: 10,751
    As a rule of thumb, the less I open it the better.......this is specially true in low & slow cooking. Also bear in mind to "burp" the egg at high temps....say over 400°
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  • I try my darndest not to peek even once during a low and slow. I copied this strategy from the Whiz's description of his first butt cook. But it really adds to the drama of the cook, especially if there are guests waiting for the result.

    Paul
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  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    number one "issue" for a newbie (for me anyway) was learning not to peek. it's impossible on your first, say, month of cooks. go ahead and peek. but get over it soon.

    as a first time user, i fretted over time and temp, and part of that is fed by the "how's it coming" voice in the back of your head. if you open the dome during a lo-and-slo cook, you spill dome heat, and basically allow way more oxygen into the egg than you want. tou shut the lid, and might even see a brief rise in temps. so you shut the vents to slow the rise. then the spare oxygen gets used up, and then you notice temps drop. you end up chasing something that isn't really running away.

    as for grilling, well, you peek when you are gonna flip, maybe 90 seconds, two minutes into a sear. opening the lid will cause a flare up, and flames don't do anything for your steak other than look pretty. that said, there is a school of thought that you sear dome open, so that you are cooking ONLY with the sear from the lump and not additionally from the roasting/radiant heat of the dome.

    blah blah blah. i talk to much.

    as wolf said (occasionally he is actually right), if you are looking, you aren't cooking.
    and essexco makes a great point... it is quite a thing (not among owners of a BGE though) to put a butt on, and 24 hours later look at yer remote thermometer and say "well, she should be done, let's just take a look", and open it for the first time. especially in frunna guests.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
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  • SpinSpin Posts: 1,375
    The goal is too not open the lid until the meal is ready to be removed. Opening the lid vents the heat, and vents the moisture that the meal has lost. Air only holds so much moisture and the egg has a relatively low airflow rate, so venting makes the meal less moist. Using a temperature gauge that can be read from the outside of the egg is very useful.

    Peek as necessary with the goal to not peek.

    Spin
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  • WooDoggiesWooDoggies Posts: 2,390
    Feb32009186.jpg


    Unless you're doing a high temp sear with flames licking out of the top, looking through the top vent is no more dangerous than opening the egg and looking in. In fact, I can determine a lot about a cook by looking down the vent and seeing how the meat is coloring up...... without having to open the egg and losing the moisture that Spin was referring to.

    Besides all that, if you want to open the egg occasionally, what the harm? When you're well into the cook and the egg is saturated with heat, the egg will recover the target temp very quickly after the lid is closed.
    For me, checking how the meat looks and smells during a cook is as important as maintaining a constant temp.

    john
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  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,768
    Still dangerous if you aren't aware of potential flames shooting out of there...
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  • WooDoggiesWooDoggies Posts: 2,390
    If your fire is stable then you won't have flames "shooting out of there".
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  • dhuffjrdhuffjr Posts: 3,182
    Especially at 250 degrees.
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  • I’m with WooDoggies… I like to watch. :blink:


    I peek through the top and probably open up completely too often.

    From a temp standpoint I don’t think it hurts you all that much… I can see the moisture argument though.
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  • BlueSmokeBlueSmoke Posts: 1,678
    Or -- when peeking, duck. ;)

    Ken
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  • My thanks to all of ou for the great advice. As always I learn alot from the group.

    Thanks again
    John
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  • BrocBroc Posts: 1,398
    Peeking is allowed only when

    > You are cooking duck

    and

    > when you are in China...

    But, you could write to a few Eggers and ask, "What did Tenna see?"

    And they'll answer, "Same thing Arkan saw!"

    ;)
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  • That is why I only do it while lower temp cooks under 250. Trust me, I don't hang out over the opening long.

    Gene
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