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Slow and Low question for a newb

ForniaFornia Posts: 451
edited 6:17AM in EggHead Forum
Still assembling my new LBGE... Can't wait to give it a first run!

I'm reading the posts about briskets and butts cooked 'slow and low through the night'. Love it and can't wait to try it!

However, most of what I've read talks about the BBQ Guru being used in this application.

Can I ask if it's even possible (and safe) to do a slow and low cook without having the BBQ Guru?

Not at all that I'm trying to bypass buying one, but rather not looking to grab the Guru right away.

If I need problem! Thanks!


  • WessBWessB Posts: 6,937
    It's absolutely possible..overnight cooks were being done long before these controllers came to fact I try to tell people to learn to use the egg without a controller and once you comfortable with it, then buy a controller later on if you stil feel the need...
  • very safe. the BGE is rock-solid at 250.

    check before you hit tht e sack, set the alarm for about four hours later and check again, and then check when you get up in the a.m.

    should be fine.

    if it is 250 when you check it, even if you got up four hours later to find a cold egg, there's no way the egg died instantly after you checked it last. food would be safe and you'd have time to recoup. chances are though that the egg will plug along just fine.
  • BashBash Posts: 1,011
    I've only done overnighters a handful of times, but I don't have a controller. Just get the temps stable for a few hours before bed, and check on it every 4 hours or so.

    Like Wess said, it is good to it the manual way before getting the controller. Kind of like doing long division by hand before using a calculator.
  • I do not have a Guru, just do it the old fashioned way. I prefer to put the meat on early in the morning (6 or 7 AM) and let it cook 15 hours or so throughout the day, checking the egg temp every 2 hours or so. I recommend you try doing it that way for your first time - you will read many, many posts about the fire going out for the people that try to cook it overnight, just do a forum search for "fire went out" to read all about that.

    Good luck and enjoy your egg.

  • boston_stokerboston_stoker Posts: 794
    I have done both, and I agree with Wess. Learn the non-technical way first. Learning the non-tech way also helps you learn about fire/temp control in general.

    Also, I prefer the stoker over the guru. I like these devices because you can get more sleep with them, but it is good to work your way up to buying one. Plus, you already spent a ton on buying the egg.
  • NC-CDNNC-CDN Posts: 703
    All great advice. The EGG maintains it's temps fantastically. You will need your daisy wheel vent and bottom vent open slightly, but not too much. During your first few cooks you'll tinker with it until you figure it out. Just determine the temp you want (often around 250) and remember your dome temp (reading on egg thermometer) will be a bit higher than what is at your grate (where meat is). So 250 is a good dome temp for me. Sometimes I go higher, sometimes lower. Cooks perfect. Just use a meat thermometer and pull your meat at the appropriate time. When getting your lump going you'll want them wide open at first. Don't keep them near closed while getting it going.

    Remember your meat will not always cook at the exact time and temps as others say theirs did, or how it did the first time you cooked with it. Many variables from type of charcoal, outside temp and so on can change things. Some butts I've done have been ready in 12 hours and others around 20. LOL. Whatever. They all taste good.

    I have a BBQ guru and love it. Set it and leave it. I had lots of success for years without it.

    As a last thing. Make sure once you set your egg up and seem to have a constant temp of say 250, give it a bit more time and check again. Just to make sure. You don't want that thing getting to hot during a low and slow cook.

    Enjoy your egg.
  • WessBWessB Posts: 6,937
    Totally agree...
  • You can absolutely do it without the Guru. I bought a Guru about 6 months after my egg. Before that I did low and slow through the night without too many problems. The Guru is great peace of mind, but not a must. As a matter of fact, I was at my lake home a couple of weeks ago and the wife wanted pulled pork for her birthday. The bad news is the Guru was at the other home.

    I couldn't disappoint her so I drank a bunch of water before I went to bed and was up a 3:00 to check it, held right at 250. The above advice is great - one other thing I would add is to build your lump like the naked whiz suggests - big peices on bottom, the medium peices, then small. Also make sure it is cleaned out and you are good.

    Good luck.
  • probe1957probe1957 Posts: 218
    I too have done many overnight cooks and I don't have a controller. I have never had a fire go out either.

    I make sure the temp is stable before I go to bed then check it every time I wake up to go potty. If you're young, that may not work out very well for you. :)
  • eenie meenieeenie meenie Posts: 4,392
    Fornia, you can absolutely do a lo and slo without a guru or stoker. My very first egg cook was a pork butt. I followed the Elder Ward directions on The Naked Whiz' web site: It came out perfect and the directions were easy to follow.
  • BacchusBacchus Posts: 6,019
    I too have done many, many overnighters without a Guru. The Egg itself is sort of an Automatic Barbecue Machine. A guru only makes it silly. Furthermore, there are many stories of people struggling with overnigt cooks WITH a guru. That being said, I do know a few respected Eggers that use them, but I don't hold it against them. ;)
  • NC-CDNNC-CDN Posts: 703
    One thing I found with the Guru is that my charcoal lasts much longer. Obviously because the vents are more open to the outside air (as minimal is it is) when doing a slow cook without the Guru, compared to when I use it. 8 hours or more, even without a pit minder unit is pretty easy.
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