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Heat control for newbie?

CookinupnorthCookinupnorth Posts: 95
edited 3:01PM in EggHead Forum
OK ..just got my egg....pls excuse my question if it is silly...last night started the coals for 10 minutes...Egg hit 400 so I lowered top vent to 1/4 and bottom vent to about the same...put on sausages...temp dropped to 100ish

I opened the egg it was full of smoke and just a few coals were glowing..

I restarted the coals...opened both vents to full but temp never got past 350?

ANy thoughts...wanting to try ribs this wkend...terrified that when I close the vents for low n slow it will just go out?

Thanks!! :S


  • ron4fishron4fish Posts: 144
    I am a newbie myself about a month now. I light the coals with Green Egg starter. As you said 10 minutes with bottom vent open and lid open. I then close the lid and the let the temp rise. As others have said on this blog, and it works, better for a Newbie to set temp on the way up. When I get to the temp I am looking for I close the bottom vent to about 1/4-1/2" and open the top cover about the same. That usually leaves the temp stable. If when I put my meat on the temp goes down I open the botton vent a little until the temp gets to where I need it. I've cooked, hamburger, boneless chicken breasts, boneless pork chops and a fattie so far all with great results. Have fun and enjoy the EGG I have!!!
  • bcrawfo2bcrawfo2 Posts: 85
    If you used a starter cube, that's what got your egg up to temp. Then when you shut the vents it never had a chance to light he lump. I bet all the smoke was the cube smoldering
    You should stabilize your temps for a while before adding food
    And lastly, wait for clearish (non chemically) smoke
    Sure others will reply
  • ron4fishron4fish Posts: 144
    I do let the EGG stabilize before I put the food on. I did leave that out. When I look in the top vent the lump is hot.
  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 12,872
    Welcome! Here's the way I do it for a lo n slo cook like butts or ribs...

    First, make sure your dome temp gauge is calibrated. Stick the probe in boiling water to see if it reads 212° (adjusted for altitude if you like). If it does not, turn the nut on the back until it does.

    Fill with lump and whatever smoking wood you are using. Light the lump in 2-3 places, don't put the DFMT (the cast iron top vent) on yet. Open the bottom all the way. Add whatever accessories you're going to use (Platesetter, drip pan, grid, etc.). Close the dome after five minutes or so.

    Pay attention. Don't take any phone calls or stop to chat with a neighbor. Temp can get away from you and it can take forever to bring it back down.

    When it gets to about 230° or so, put the DFMT on so that the pivot screw is facing the dome handle and the petals are open about 1/16-1/8" and close the bottom to about 1/8". Let it come up to 250°, the most often recommended temp for these types of cooks.

    That should get you close and with some minor tweaking once you're in the neighborhood, you'll be good to go.

    Let it sit there at 250° for 45 minutes or so before you add the food. Don't let it get away from you. This does two things; it assures that your temp is stable and it also gets you a clean burning fire with none of that acrid smelling smoke.

    Add the meat. The temp will drop, but don't touch anything as it will come back up by itself.

    Hope this helps. It works for me.

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


    Central Connecticut 

  • Thanks guys...I bet the cube was what caused the initial temp reading...I guess I was taking the "ready in 10 mins" too literally!

    Thanks also for the rib cooking tips...I think I was too concerned with wasting charcoal and rushed a bit...will chill tonite when I try "the burger experiment"

    This is an art form! I guess it will take more than 1 attempt to be a master haha :pinch:
  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 12,872
    Don't worry about wasting lump. When doing a lo n slo cook, you do not want to run out. Fill the firebox to the top (some do that for every cook). For a 250° cook, that should last you for 30+ hours, though that can vary by brand. My longest has been about 20 hrs and I had about half of the lump left over. When you're finished with the cook, close the bottom vent and replace the DFMT with the ceramic cap. That will snuff out the fire and you will be able to use the remaining lump for your next cook.

    WARNING... When you close it up like that, DO NOT reopen after a couple of minutes because you forgot something. If you need to reopen, first, remove the top cap and open the lower vent. If you don't, you will not like the fireball that can come out of the egg. Your eyebrows will be a fond memory. :)

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


    Central Connecticut 

  • eggsrgreateggsrgreat Posts: 86
    Oh yeah, been there and done that. Always remember, stop drop, and roll :woohoo:
  • eggsrgreateggsrgreat Posts: 86
    I agree. That's exactly right. Just how I do it. One suggestion to Newbie, I use an electric starter that works fantastic. I'm just not wild about those fire sticks. I think they have to have chemicals in them. I know it burns off, but.....
  • Ok to close the loop..this is definitely the friendliest forum ever!! Yay Eggheads haha
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