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We hope everyone enjoyed their Fourth of July weekend and is excited for more warm weather grilling! This week, we’ll be making these two burgers: Stuffed Portobello Mushroom and Caribbean Chicken, and also eating lots of these Ice Cream Sandwiches in honor of National Ice Cream Month! It's time to think about getting out to one of the many #EGGfests around the country - see a list here

BakerMan ·

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  • Temperature Control

    As a new Egg owner I 'll share what I have learned in the past few weeks with my Large Egg. The following is what I have observed as far as temperature control and has worked for me cooking wings, tenderloins, beer can chickens and pizzas.

    The trick is to be consistent each time you build a fire and cook so you are not trying to control what "appears" to be random events.

     

    Temperature Control

    There are three factors that control how much heat your Egg produces and your ability to control it.


    • The amount of charcoal you light initially and total amount of charcoal in the grill.

    • The amount of intake air from the lower vent

    • The amount of air that can exit the upper vent

     

    For the purpose of my discussion I classify heat into three ranges


    • Low - 200-300

    • Medium - 300-500

    • High - > 600

     

    Charcoal Lighting

    The more charcoal that lights initially the hotter your fire will be. If you light the fire and leave the the lid up until most/all the charcoal lights you will have a tremendous amount of heat that will be hard to regulate. Closing the grill at this point and trying to lower the temp to cook at low/medium will be tricky because so much charcoal is burning and producing heat. On the other hand, if you light the fire, wait until an amount of charcoal that will fit in your hand is lit and then close the top it will be easier to adjust the vents for low/medium cooking and maintain a constant temperature.

     

    Air Flow (upper/Lower)

    With the combination of lower and upper vents you can limit air flow to the point the coals go out or open the vents and get the grill going like a blacksmith's forge and every range in between. The trick is to not let the grill heat run away but instead plan ahead for the type of heat and duration you want. Also limit the number of variables each time you cook.

     

    Preparation

    Before lighting a fire I always stir the remaining charcoal in the firebox and knock all the ashes into the the lower reservoir. I also make sure all the vent holes are clear. Performing this step will insure consistent, predictable air flow each time you build a fire. Once the ash and air holes are clean I fill up the firebox with charcoal. I like to start with the same amount of charcoal (combination of new/used) each time I light the grill. Now you are ready to light the charcoal.

    I have found that using the guidelines below I can set a desired temp and maintain it for severals hours.

     

    Low Heat

    Light the charcoal and leave the top up until you have several pieces of charcoal lit that is about the size of your palm.

    Lower Vent - Open about 1/2 inch

    Multi-function Top - Slide top closed and open rotating vent so holes are unobstructed.

    Stay with grill and close lower vent as you approach tour desired low temp. You can fine tune with rotating vent.

     

    Medium Heat

    Light the charcoal and leave the top up until you have several pieces of charcoal lit that is about the size of your palm.

    Lower Vent - Open about 1/2 to 1 inch

    Multi-function Top - Slide top halfway open and close rotating vent so holes are closed.

    Stay with grill and close lower vent as you approach tour desired low temp. You can fine tune by sliding the top open/closed.

     

    High Heat

    Light the charcoal and leave the top up until you have approximately 1/2 the charcoal lit.

    Lower Vent - Open about 1 inch to start

    Multi-function Top - Remove and set aside

     

    Stay with grill until temperature is stabilized. If you walk away before temps are stabilized the grill can easily hit 1000 degrees and "freak you out" as the gasket catches fire (been there, done that) Use lower vent to regulate temperature.

    Keep in mind these are guidelines. By insuring ash/ air vents are clear and using the same amount of charcoal each time you cook you have removed two potential areas that can cause inconsistent results. After you try this a few times you will start to get a feel for how the grill reacts and you will feel comfortable controlling the temps.

     

    Temperature Probe

    A wireless temperature probe is a must have. Once you get the hang of regulating your grill temp the wireless thermometer will allow you to relax and monitor the meat without having to constantly open grill (lose heat/smoke) to check the temperature. A lot of people on the forum like the Maverick ET 732 (see below). I already own the Oregon Scientific and it works great.

     

    Maverick ET732

     

    Oregon Scientific

     

    Hope this helps,

  • Forum issues?

    @SkiddyMarker, I found that when this message comes up I need to copy the text I'm trying to post and then delete it. Then click the "Show Source" button (looks like this <>) and paste text into there and click Post Comment.
  • Thermometer Probe Wire Holder

    I was giving my new CyberQ pit controller a workout this weekend and realized I needed a way to keep all the thermometer probe wires centered over the legs of my plate setter to protect them from the heat.  I usually just hold them while closing the lid but I figured there had to be a better way...

    I realized I could attach a magnet to the lower lid band on the grill to help me hold "something"  I took some #12 electrical wire, JB Weld and a round magnet and created the probe wire holder shown below.  Works like a charm.

    BTW - 8 lb Pork Shoulder towards the end of an the cook is what is setting on the grill.  It was nice sleeping through the night while the pit controller worked...

     

     

     z

    imageimage
  • Heat control

    @RICHIED777 As you can see from the various posts there are a bunch of theories and techniques that all have one thing in common - go slow (except for nolaegghead and his hurricane machine). 

    If the temp gets away from you and you overshoot your desired temp it is a pain to bring temp down.  IMHO its better to let Egg heat up about 10-15 minutes with vents set at a conservative setting (once you get a feel for this setting) as the lump starts to light and then start opening the vents to get to desired temp.  After the lump has been burring for 15 minutes you can see temp move as you adjust vents and "dial it in".

    Here is a post I did a while back to help new people (like me) try to get consistent results when lighting the EGG until you develop the second nature we all acquire after a while.  After 10 months of Eggin' I can light the lump, eyeball the vents and walk away and the temps will be within 50 degrees of where I want to be.

    http://eggheadforum.com/discussion/comment/1145428#Comment_1145428

    Good Luck!

  • What's Cookin' This Weekend?

    Herb encrusted lamb chops and burgers on Saturday.