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having trouble with my low temp cook

KitarkusKitarkus Posts: 131
edited 4:46AM in EggHead Forum
I am embarrassed to tell you that I am not a newbie. This is my second egg....and I had hoped that the trouble with low temp cooking was with my VERY old medium egg. I now have a new large.

I am cooking a 6lb pork butt right now...Dizzy Pig Red Eye Express. I put big chunks of charcoal on the bottom iron grate...then placed charcoal atop up to the fire ring. I put ONE firestarter in the center and allowed the center to catch fire..smolder...then closed her up. The egg held steady at 150'ish...crept up to 200....then I started the cook. It has been on for 1.5 hours now...and I have crept up to almost 300 degrees. I shut it all down for about 5 minutes....opened the lid quickly to let heat escape....closed the petals to slightly more than 1/2 shut...and I have the vent open JUST A HAIR. I am getting ready to go out on a job for the next couple hours.....so I can't do much about it....but I am indeed frustrated with my inability to keep this thing at 250 degrees or less. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Kitarkus
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Comments

  • Your petals are open too far. For 250, I run my bottom vent just a hair open, and my petals nearly closed. It needs very very little air to maintain 250 dome. Search the forum for Grandpa's Grub's photo guide to temp control. Those photos should be for a large.
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  • BigTBigT Posts: 385
    Opening the dome to let heat escape is counterproductive- you are only giving the charcoal an unlimited source of oxygen by doing that.

    hth

    Big T
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  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 4,466
    The cook will probably end up O.K. if you close the vents down far enough, as already mentioned.

    For future reference, don't put the meat on until you have held a 250 dome for at least 15 minutes. 1/2 hour is better. You will have a stable fire with just the air flow needed. You will see the temp drop some after the meat goes in. Don't touch the vents unless it stays low for 30 - 45 minutes. Only then tap them open a bit more. Expect to eventually knock them back to where they were to start.
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  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 27,285
    Kitarkus,

    Your meat has just heated up. With a clean large and decent lump the bottom vent should be open about the width of a credit card. I always close up the daisy until barely open as well.

    Steve

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

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  • KitarkusKitarkus Posts: 131
    Well...I checked it again and it is now down to 250 degrees. Vent open 2mm or so...and petals open just a bit...not close to 1/2 open now. I am taking off for a couple hours and hoping for the best. Perhaps I am just not being patient enough. How long do you let your temps stabilize for prior to putting the meat on the grate? I had 30-40 min or so and thought I was good to go...but crept up. Perhaps I had the vent and petals too open and allowed the creep....only to have to be patient to see it fall back. I do not plan to mop with anything...just doing a simple low and slow butt for sandwhiches...and I might do some ABT's this weekend with the pork if I can remember how to do it (anybody have direction to ABT instructions/recipe?)

    Thanks for your invaluable help folks. This forum is the most productive, responsive forum of any kind that I have ever been a part of. It is wonderful to be able to get fast responses to put me at ease during my cooks. I am surely enjoying my new larger egg.

    Kitarkus (or as my wife calls me...Jason)
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  • 2Fategghead2Fategghead Posts: 9,623
    Kitarkus,

    If I had any suggestions I would say start your fire in more than one spot and let the bad smoke burn off for a while before putting any food on. Now thats my two cents worth. Tim

    I hope you find this useful ;)


    I am a nubie and I find the link by Grandpas Grub worthy of my attention. I have looked over it in my own time and put some of the links in my favorites.

    No disrespect but, there is a lot of good info here.

    http://www.eggheadforum.com/index.php?option=com_simpleboard&func=view&id=746787&catid=1

    Here is another link to Grandpas Grub vent settings.

    http://www.eggheadforum.com/index.php?option=com_simpleboard&func=view&id=718915&catid=1
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  • 1-Light it in 3 places.
    2- After starters are burned up, close the dome and watch temp rise.
    3-at about 200-220 set your vents to where you want them for 250.
    my vents at 250 look like this:
    IMG_2713.jpg
    IMG_1136.jpg
    I typically have the petals only open a crack at 250.
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  • I concur with waht everyone has said...."just say yes to crack" ....when I do a lo & slo, my bottom vent is open maybe an 1/8th of an inch, and the top vents are just barely cracked open, with this my eggh will hold 250 for hours without me checking on it
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  • BacchusBacchus Posts: 6,019
    Chasing the temps.......
    Always stabilize the egg before adding meat, and it will treat you right.
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  • KitarkusKitarkus Posts: 131
    Thanks VERY much to all of you. I just got back after 3 hours away from the egg. I left at 250 degrees and egg was at 210 when I got back (fine by me....better than 300 degrees). I made a very slight adjustment to the damper and to the petals...hope to creep back up to 250'ish. I s'pose when I get more familiar with the low and slow I'll quit worrying that the fire is completely extinguished when I see 210 degrees. I'll try to post my first pic of the butt when I remove. :)
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  • KitarkusKitarkus Posts: 131
    Nice...thanks for grandpas grub links.
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  • KitarkusKitarkus Posts: 131
    Well...mixed results on this first low and slow with the new large. I stated the cook at 9:30am Thursday morning. After a few hours of getting the temps super stable...I was sailing at 210-240 degrees until I went to bed at 11pm. My wife had the brilliant idea to put the baby monitor out by the egg...wich had a probe set for 190 stuck in the pork. Tossing and turning through the early morning...I awoke to NO ALARM at 3:30am. When I checked on the egg...it had gotten downright cold outside...and windy. The egg read 175 and the pork read...can you guess....175. I removed the pork and placesetter...stirred things up a bit...and waited. It took a bit of time to creep back up (PLENTY of coal left...and I mean PLENTY)...and I decided to finish the cook in the oven to be "safe". I also left the egg at 240'ish just to see how it would keep till I re-awoke. At 6am the alarm went off and I went to the oven...wrapped in foil and old Tshirts...stuck the pork in a cooler. When I checked on the egg it has at 175 again.

    I just pulled the pork....it was perfect succulent juicy etc. This was a 21.5 hour cook with a hiccup or two. I am tending to believe that the big drop in temperature outside dropped the egg temp...as my petal and vent were adjusted for the higher day temps. Is this normal?

    I'll tell you one thing...I'll never put a pork on at 9:30 am again! This getting up in the middle of the night is for the birds! Oh well...some ABT's might help me feel better.

    Kitarkus
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