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New EGG owner....Temperature??????????

RibaholicRibaholic Posts: 2
edited November -1 in EggHead Forum
Hello fellow Eggheads,
I am new to the egg world but am growing very fond of it! i recently purchased the "large" egg, and have only cooked a couple times on it. i have noticed that i can never get the temp. to settle very well. It varies twenty degrees on either side of my desired cooking temp constantly! it never will find a constant temp. Second.. is that i cant seem to get it to stay under 300. no matter what i do its 300+. I am a huge fan of slow smoking ribs and briskets so this spike in temp. is killing me! i even closed the air inlet door completely shut for over an hour, and wouldn't budge below 300. PLEASE.... lend me some experienced egg advice! Thanks Guys!!!!

Comments

  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,167
    Dude,

    There is a lot of mass in the egg. Things don't happen quickly. If you overshoot your temp you will wait a while before it comes down. Trick is not to overshoot. You will find if you are maybe 50* high and put the food in it will usually drop some. When you light it, leave the vents open for a few minutes to establish the fire and then go to your setting. Grandpas Grub will chime in with some examples.

    Steve

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • When the egg is cold take a dollar bill and close the lid on it in several places, it should pull out with resistance. It may be that too much air is escaping around the edges. Also definitely calibrate your thermometer using the Naked Whiz instructions

    Lots of good information on his site about temperature control.

    Doug
  • BacchusBacchus Posts: 6,019
    Also, a variance of 30deg +/- doesnt really affect much. Just slightly adjust your cooking time. It is much easier to let the Egg settle where it wants, within reason, than to fight it. You will get better at it with experience, but making small incremental adjustments and giving it time to react will help alot.
  • That is what I have learned to do as well Ron. But please let me ask you a question. When I first set up my lump, I clean everything out then put fresh lump on the grate. Then the old lump on top. I set it on fire with a MAPP torch and then go inside and prep the meat. Tonight it is chicken quarters. I let it get to a full burn because I don't want to repeat the experience of bad tasting food because i didn't let the lump catch on fire. How can i get a low temp like 250 without getting that foul lump taste? I need to let the fire burn well before i close the dome, right?
  • BacchusBacchus Posts: 6,019
    You are cooking chicken at 250?

    It will be very hard to let a fire(unless a very small one)to fully engulf then get the temp back down to 250.

    There are several here on the forum with more knowledge than I on avoiding smoke taste, but generally speaking, higher temps will cut down on that, and lo/slo cooks usually involve "smoking" instead of grilling anyway.
  • Sorry, I didn't make that clear. No, I cook chicken at 350 to 400. I am cooking a smoked picnic ham this weekend and I want to do it lo and slo but I don't want any petroleum taste or foul lump taste. Thanks!
  • Here is what I have learned the hard way. When you light the fire with a MAPP torch, you are injecting a lot of heat very quickly. The fire starts quickly and will get hot FAST. On a high temp cook I will light in 4 or 5 places. If I let it go with the dome up even 10 minutes, I will have gotten up to 400 - 500.

    Therefore, on a low / slow, the trick is to catch the temp on the way up or you will have to wait a long time for a cool down.

    Here is what I do now. I open everything up all the way to get plenty of O2 in the egg. On a low / slow, I light with the MAPP in one spot, usually about 3 inches from the front wall.

    I do not leave the fire to prep the meat. I stay there for about 5 minutes to make sure the fire is started. Then, I close the vents down to about 1 - 1.5 inches on the bottom and the daisy wheel holes all the way open.

    Now, my fire is active and it is heating the egg. The VOCs will burn off as the egg heats even though the fire is not active in much of the egg. I watch as the dome temp comes up. When it reaches 175 - 200, I close the vents some more to slow down the heat.

    At this point, you should put in the indirect piece and grates to let them heat. You can also put in smoke wood now. I place a few pieces around the fire box so the fire will encounter fresh smoke wood as it burns. The temp will likely come down when you put in your indirct piece, especially if you are using a platesetter or stone. Let the heat come back up. This may take some time, so plan ahead.

    Once the heat is back up, you have probably burned off the VOCs. Your smoke wood is probably doing its thing by this time too. Make sure your temps are steady and put on your meat. Total time elapsed so far may be close to an hour.

    The process to start a low / slow cook is a bit more involved than a hot & fast cook since you will have to monitor temps more closely, but the extra time on the front end will mean you do not have to put out the fire and start over. That will take a lot more time. I started the fire this way over the week end and was able to maintain a 200 dome for 2.5 hours while I smoked bacon. I also had ribs on. After the bacon was done, I opened the vents a bit to get up to 250 for the ribs to finish. Ribs went about 5 hours. They were beautiful, and my temps never went above 260.
  • Some good advice has been posted. 225 for me is quarter inch on the bottom, sometimes less, about an 1/8 inch on top! Some people can leave the bottom open on full and use just the top to control temp, not me!

    It is key not to overshoot. It takes about 30 min for my egg to reach temp. I also let it reach temp with the grate and plate setter in place.

    All the advice posted is useful so I will not repost.

    You could always invest in a BBQ Guru and just set it and forget it!
  • Very helpful to get the visual on this.

    What a lot of folks don's understand is that the top vent is doing the lion's share of the work. The fire heats the air and pushes out through the top. If there is no place for the hot air to go, the fire will just sit there and smolder.

    On the other hand, if there is enough of a vacuum created by the hot air pushing up, the fire will get its fresh air from someplace. Therefore, you can have a fairly cool fire with the bottom vent open an inch or so as long as the top vent is almost all the way closed.

    Of course, I am not a fire scientist, so this is just my observation and experience.
  • MA eggerMA egger Posts: 51
    Now I don't feel so bad - I have also been finding the offputting petroleum taste in a few of my cooks (I've done about 10 so far). Is this due to these VOCs not burning off? I usually leave it a good half an hour to settle the temp but I still seem to get the bad taste. I'm using Wicked Good, which I hear is denser than most, so maybe I'm just not letting it burn off enough?
  • thanks alot Dave! Thats right inline with what my next attempt was going to be. I was thinking about restricting my air flow early to never get too hot. I think that was my largest problem, was being worried about getting a large amount of my coal going before i restricted the air. The damage had already been done, and the temp. was way higher than i wanted. i really appreciate the advice bud! Corey
  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
     
    There should be two different pictures within 15° of one another with different vent settings. I would 'guess' the first has the DFMT regulating controlling the temperature and the second is more the lower vent controlling the temperature. There is another picture with no DFMT and only the lower vent is controlling the max temperature.

    You are correct, temperature can be regulated by either the dome or lower vent. The amount of oxygen getting to the burning lump regulates the heat. For the most part the air path will take the path of least resistance.

    Kent
  • op2kop2k Posts: 62
    Thanks Grandpas Grub for that pictoral, I hadn't seen that yet. It was very informative.
  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
     
    No problem, remember it is a starting place. You will learn your settings soon enough.

    GG
  • Thanks Dave,

    I'm a new egghead and your messages have been very helpful as I make attempts at cooking low and slow. I hope you had a great Holiday weekend and also have a great day!
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