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Low and Slow Questions

TxAg93TxAg93 Posts: 124
edited March 2012 in EggHead Forum
I am starting my first brisket in a few hours and had a few questions. First, what would be the optimal vent positions? Secondly, where should the fire starters be placed for best burn results and how many should be used? Thanks in advance.
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Comments

  • ChubbsChubbs Posts: 6,925
    I usually shoot for dome 250 degrees. To achieve this I use two starter cubes-- left and right center. My vents are set with daisy wheel closed with holes completely open and bottom vent open around an inch. Sometimes I adjust the vents a hair, but this is a good start for me.
    Columbia, SC --- LBGE 2011 -- MINI BGE 2013
  • travisstricktravisstrick Posts: 5,001
    Those questions are very hard to answer. It depends on what size egg you have and the condition of your gasket and many other things. 

    When I do brisket, the top wheel thingy is closed with the wheel vents all the way open. The bottom vent is open the thickness of 3 quarters. 

    I like to start the fire so only about half the lump is burning and then shut the vents to the settings stated above. Once again, the fire starters depend on lots of things but, I dont think it will be a deal breaker. Just throw 2 or 3 in there.

    Here's a tip: Let your egg stabilize for about 45 min if you are not familiar with temp control. If the temp stays put for 45 min, you are most likely good. 
    Be careful, man! I've got a beverage here.
  • TxAg93TxAg93 Posts: 124
    Sorry I left out the details. I have a LGE which I thoroughly cleaned, loaded with large pieces of coal on the bottom. The gasket is in good shape. I'm putting a 12 pound packer on it. Waiting for the UPS delivery guy to bring my Maverick 732, which should be here any minute.
  • boatbumboatbum Posts: 1,273

    After I light - an inch or two below the top level of the charcoal - I then wait 4 or 5 minutes, till I am seeing 2 or 3 inch flames and an area the size of a baseball that is starting to glow.

    I close the lid, shut the bottom vent to 1/4 inch.   I stay close by, if the fire falters, give it a bit more air, then go back with the vent settings.    Typically the dome temp will get up around 270 to 290 - but never above.   Cap is on now, open daisy wheel hole only.

    Start squeezing the bottom vent down, closing a bit to bring the temp back down around 250.

    I may watch the temp for an hour before I ever load plate setter and meat.    I get to the point that I know the settings are correct for the temp I want, stable for a while.   Then load everything up - hook up the maverick - I do not open the dome until I am approaching the 190 range on internal temp in the meat.

    The temp will drop with the addition of the cold items - but when it comes back, it will come back to the level I had stabilized at.

    This approach has worked for slow cooks for me.   I think the stabilization time is a big factor.

    Cookin in Texas
  • TxAg93TxAg93 Posts: 124
    Thanks for the feedback. I plan on starting it up about 11 tonight and hopefully have the brisket on by midnight. I will admit that I've lost patience with this delivery guy bringing my Maverick. I may end up doing this off the dome and my probe thermometer.
  • TxAg93TxAg93 Posts: 124
    Well the delivery guy finally brought the Maverick. :D
  • TxAg93TxAg93 Posts: 124
    I see that the dome temp should be around 250, but what about the grate temp?
  • centex99centex99 Posts: 231
    the grate eventually stabilize to same temp as dome..
  • TxAg93TxAg93 Posts: 124
    Well all systems are a go. The temp is slowly climbing back up. Fingers crossed that it turns out as planned. :-SS
  • tazcrashtazcrash Posts: 1,852
    Morning TX.
    And?????????
    Bx - > NJ ->TX!!! 
    All to get cheaper brisket! 
  • TxAg93TxAg93 Posts: 124
    Currently at 154 with a grate temp of 226.
  • centex99centex99 Posts: 231
    Take pictures of finished product!
  • TxAg93TxAg93 Posts: 124
    160/226
  • balliardiballiardi Posts: 59
    FWIW I wouldn't use firelighters. There are plenty of other ways to get it going - do a search on here, which won't leave the lighter taste in your food
  • TxAg93TxAg93 Posts: 124
    I will probably try the oiled paper towel method in the future. These are just paraffin and wood shaving starters. I've never noticed any unusual smell or taste in using them before. Plus, I let the egg stabilize for an hour before putting the brisket on, which probably would've eliminated any off-putting smell/flavor. I agree with you though, that there are better AND cheaper methods for starting a fire, but I had these on hand.
  • TxAg93TxAg93 Posts: 124
    Is there a minimum resting time when it's finished? It's not finished but it'd be nice to eat sometime before midnight.
  • TxAg93TxAg93 Posts: 124
    The Maverick ET732 alarm woke me up at 6 this morning to let me know that the egg temp dropped below 215. I managed to get a few hours sleep using the aforementioned remote thermometer.

    Right now it's been on for 14 1/4 hrs. The temp is at 171 internal and 246 in the egg. I bumped the temp a few hours ago because I'm afraid it won't be ready by the time I'm ready.
  • TxAg93TxAg93 Posts: 124
    Yeah if I had one of those experiences I'd be nervous too. I don't know if you have a Maverick. I just got mine yesterday and it definitely has helped out with this cook.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    you don't need to rest something that's been cooked to 200.  only reason i let it rest is to give it time to cool a bit to the touch.

    at mountaindewbass... if your fire went out at three, the meat still wouldn't be useless.  but that's another discussion.

    light the thing, get it stable. toss the food on at 11 or 12.  if you are really paranoid, get up at 4.  even if it went out the instant you'd turned your back, the meat would still be fine.  check on it at 4.  back to bed.  up at 7 or 8.  check again.

    never more than four hours unattended. 
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • That's the main reason that I love my BBQ Guru.....build a good fire, set the desired temp and go to bed not worried about a thing.
  • forty_crkforty_crk Posts: 52

    I got shocked for my birthday this past Monday.  The wife surprised me w/ BBQ Guru digiq dx2.  I cannot wait till tomorrow after work to get a brisket and butt going on the L-BGE.  Six year BGE owner/cooker.  I have always loved to grill and smoke.  I still like to do cook on a big pit for large cooks but nothing beats the product from a BGE!

     

    I know I didn't add anything to this discussion.  I am just PUMPED to use the bbq guru.  Some just don't understand our excitement.

    I just wanted to share my excitement

    Reed- Springhill, Louisiana
  • TxAg93TxAg93 Posts: 124
    Very cool forty. Hope you have great success with your latest addition! I was happy to get my Maverick as I didn't have to run in and out of the house every couple of hours. I still did, but the point is I didn't have to.
  • TxAg93TxAg93 Posts: 124
    16 hours and now up to 176. Geez my stomach is growling.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    the reason i wanted to get my BGE was so that i wouldn't have to tend to the fire...

    the thing controls temps fine.  it's usually the fire builder who has the issue.  fires go out with the powered draft units too.  just saying.

    they are great, but you still need to build a stable fire
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,938

    for low and slow..anybody afraid that the lump will go out in the middle of the night? Thus far i have done all my low and slows starting early morning(4am) and i stay awake till its done..usually 12 hours later. So im curious on how you make sure the lump wont go out at 3 am..thus making the meat useless.

    I'm concerned, but not too much. (I've had food poisoning, too, so it scares me ____less.)  I'm a light enough sleeper that it is not hard for me to get up once in the middle of the night to go check. I've had a dead fire once, that I caught when the dome was still 150F. That was caused by a fire that burnt straight down. I had another that was fading, and had dropped to 180. I recovered both.

    There have been many discussions about all of this. One of the things no one has any information about is how a piece of solid meat that has surely been in 250F temperature for several hours could become contaminated while sitting in an Egg. For safety's sake, everyone admits to the old saying "When in doubt, pitch it out." But I wish someone knew how to do a bacterial culture of something that baked in the Egg, and then just sat there for 6 - 8 hours.

    Based on those 2 times, I go and check. At least 50% of the time, the dome is sitting at 250, right where I left it. Often enough, the temperature has slid a little either way. I caught one at 300, but it just meant the food was done a few hours earlier.

    Recently, I have tried cooking hotter and faster for PP. The results were good. I had a 9 pound picnic that would have finished in about 6 hours. If the next one turns out as well, I'm likely to say good bye to over-nighters for pork.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    edited March 2012
    "One of the things no one has any information about is how a piece of
    solid meat that has surely been in 250F temperature for several hours
    could become contaminated while sitting in an Egg."

    i have asked this a million times, and all the experts shy away. have been asking it for a while now.

    there is a massive difference (huge) between that PP sitting in your egg four hours after the fire died, and the same exact same hunk of PP sitting in a buffet line for four hours.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • TxAg93TxAg93 Posts: 124
    I used to live in a third world country for awhile where things aren't prepared at remotely near the same levels of concern for sanitation and food safety. One bout of amoebic dysentery is one bout too many. Regardless I lived to tell the tale. I think most of the time your safe unless you are feeding children, the elderly or those with compromised immune systems. Otherwise as long as the temps didn't fall off too much for too long you'd be fine.
  • for low and slow..anybody afraid that the lump will go out in the middle of the night? Thus far i have done all my low and slows starting early morning(4am) and i stay awake till its done..usually 12 hours later. So im curious on how you make sure the lump wont go out at 3 am..thus making the meat useless.

     

     

    I may be suffering from PTSD a little. A while back i had made home made beef jerkey and put it in the dehydrator for 4 hours, when i came home the dehydrator was unplugged(wife unplugged it) the meat looked done, i took a bite..and it was NASTy...followed by food poisoning..so i may be a little over cautious :)

    I like to rest mine for an hour in foil in a cooler. I have done them with as little as 15-20 min rest but they are better with al ittle more time at rest. If you wrap them in foil and then in a few towels and place in a cooler, Brisket and pulled pork will hold for many hours (4-5) at safe temp inso you are  safe from any food-bourne illness. I held a pork shoulder for 5 hours on Saturday and it was still 140 when I pulled it.
    1- LGBE
    1- KBQ C-60 (The Dishwasher)
    I- Blackstone 36" Griddle
    1- Sweet-A$$ Roccbox Pizza Oven
    1-Very Understanding and Forgiving Wife
  • boatbumboatbum Posts: 1,273
    the reason i wanted to get my BGE was so that i wouldn't have to tend to the fire...

    the thing controls temps fine.  it's usually the fire builder who has the issue.  fires go out with the powered draft units too.  just saying.

    they are great, but you still need to build a stable fire

    Though I wouldnt pretend to have the knowledge base that Stike has - the little bit of knowledge I do have says this so on target and correct.   There is alot said in that succinct statement.

    Well stated Stike.  

    Cookin in Texas
  • for low and slow..anybody afraid that the lump will go out in the middle of the night? Thus far i have done all my low and slows starting early morning(4am) and i stay awake till its done..usually 12 hours later. So im curious on how you make sure the lump wont go out at 3 am..thus making the meat useless.

     

     

    I may be suffering from PTSD a little. A while back i had made home made beef jerkey and put it in the dehydrator for 4 hours, when i came home the dehydrator was unplugged(wife unplugged it) the meat looked done, i took a bite..and it was NASTy...followed by food poisoning..so i may be a little over cautious :)

    I like to rest mine for an hour in foil in a cooler. I have done them with as little as 15-20 min rest but they are better with al ittle more time at rest. If you wrap them in foil and then in a few towels and place in a cooler, Brisket and pulled pork will hold for many hours (4-5) at safe temp inso you are  safe from any food-bourne illness. I held a pork shoulder for 5 hours on Saturday and it was still 140 when I pulled it.
    Also, as far as your fire goes- there are many ways to build a fire to ensure it won't go out. I clean my egg totally out before long cooks. I then find the largest chunks of lump in the bag find and place them in by hand to ensure the best airflow.If it's smaller than a deck of cards, i don't put it in (again, I'm looking for airflow here)  I place them up to the top of the firebox/bottom of the fire ring and light. Here's where many of us differ but I let the fire burn until the entire load is getting white then choke it down. I had some issues when I first started of starting my cook with a small area of the fire lit and having the fire go out during the night. I was a noob then but I've never had one go out when allowing the whole load to get going before choking it down. My fires are rock solid for 24-36 hours doing it this way so I sleep like a baby. I dont' even use a remote thermo to watch it anymore. I just go to bed and wake up to the same temp I went to bed with. Lot of ways to skin a cat here but that's the way I do it.
    1- LGBE
    1- KBQ C-60 (The Dishwasher)
    I- Blackstone 36" Griddle
    1- Sweet-A$$ Roccbox Pizza Oven
    1-Very Understanding and Forgiving Wife
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