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High to Low temps XL

mimaulermimauler Posts: 136
edited 4:05PM in EggHead Forum
I've had a couple of problems lately with my XL starting at high temps trying to get it down low such as 225 etc. The fire box full of lit lump will get very high temps, then will take forever to get it back down. If I use a chimmney then dump it in the middle will I get bad smoke when the unlit starts to light?


  • BobinFlaBobinFla Posts: 363
    In MY opinion, getting from a high temperature to a lower temperature is the only real problem with a Big Green Egg. But it is only doing what it is supposed to do, retain the heat. That's one of the best properties. :P

    No, dumping a lit chimney into the center of unlit lump charcoal will NOT cause bad smoke despite what the manufacturer(s) of briquettes have been saying for years. ;)

    Be careful, and don't add too much burning coals with your chimney. If I am remembering correctly, most of the available wisdom says to fill the firebox with unlit charcoal, and then light in several places with a torch or starter cubes. That's how I do it. If you like using your chimney, you could carefully dump a few burning coals into a couple of different areas if adding it all to the center doesn't work.

    Good luck with it, and remember that to get the temperature back down, you not only need to decrease your fire size, but you also need for the ceramic to cool.

  • BobinFlaBobinFla Posts: 363
    Fumbly fingers double post! :woohoo: :blush: :blush: :woohoo:
  • mimaulermimauler Posts: 136
    Getting the ceramics to cool will be a problem then here in FL. My cook went out twice yesterday because I had to close the vents too much. That's why I was thinking about the chimmney, placed into the middle of unlit should not in my opinion cause such high temps as lighting a whole box in several different places and then having it go full blast all at once.
  • jeradjerad Posts: 1
    I am brand new to this, but an observation, using a smaller amount of lump coal when cooking low temps? I was cooking a whole chicken and had issue getting to 350 dome....wanted to go over 400 with most all vents closed....I have the XL also.
  • mimaulermimauler Posts: 136
    Yes but small amounts will not last long for a long smoke, and what is the defintion of a small amount of lump? that I do not know.
  • Frank from HoumaFrank from Houma Posts: 5,755
    I t doesn't matter how much lump on a low and slow. Fill it up to the top of the firering if you like. Light in a couple spots or use the chimney starter if you want to - just don't let it go over your target temp.

    BTW - 225 dome is difficult to hold. 250 is fine for low and slow cooks.

    Being in Florida has nothing to do with cooling the egg down (I'm in Corpus) - it's all about how high you let the large mass of ceramic get in the first place.
  • BobbareenoBobbareeno Posts: 40
    Have you ever considered getting a Guru or Stoker? Just another thought.
  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 13,005
    What Frank said. Except the one time I tried using a chimney, I put too much burning lump in and the temp got away from me. In any case, all the other ways there are to light it are better than a chimney, imo.

    Dump the lump into the egg and light it in a few places. Leave the dome and vents open for a few minutes, then close the dome and leave the vents wide open. Pay attention here. Don't go too far away and check on it every couple of minutes.

    As the temp gets close to your target, start closing the vents down so you sneak up on your target. For 250° for example, when the temp gets to 235° or so, close the bottom to maybe 1/16-1/8" and about the same for the daisy wheel on top. Continue to monitor and adjust as needed.

    If you do go past the target, close the vents more and you'll be fine - as long as it wasn't past the target for more than a few minutes. If it's been too hot for too long, it will take a long time to come back down.

    Once you get the hang of this, you will have a pretty good idea of the correct vent settings for whatever temp and can light the lump and adjust your vents for the desired temp all at once. When you come back, it'll be close to where you want it.

    It's not difficult, just takes a little practice. Good luck!

    I hate it when I go to the kitchen for food and all I find are ingredients!


    Central Connecticut 

  • jaymag_87jaymag_87 Posts: 111
    No. I have cooked in all temp ranges with a full load, on my XL, with very little problem. I don't have any add on controls. Just the top and bottom vents, as manufactured.
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