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Temp control

I did a 10# butt today and set everything up to go all day I thought. This is the second time now that I have had to add more lump part of the way through the cook, the fire is not completely out but the temp starts dropping considerably and won't rise back up. There is still some lump left in the firebox but it isn't burning. I started the fire with one bge fire starter. Am I not starting enough at the beginning? Any advice would be appreciated and thanks in advance.
Middle Tennessee, large BGE. Go Big Orange!


  • CowdogsCowdogs Posts: 491
    What temp are you trying to cook at?
  • Cyclops42Cyclops42 Posts: 64
    Are you starting with a clean firebox? Are you arranging the box with large blocks of lump on the bottom and filling in the gaps with medium and small pieces. Add your smoke in when filling the box - layers - I can get 16+ hours doing that.

    Atlanta, Ga. LBGE and Mini BGE

    Wants:  More time and beer.....

  • TjcoleyTjcoley Posts: 3,528
    What lump are you using?  At 250 - 275 degrees, full firebox, 24 hours with lump left over is not uncommon.  I've had issues trying to cook below 250 with fire going out.  
    It's not a science, it's an art. And it's flawed.
    - Camp Hill, PA
  • vol_fanvol_fan Posts: 9
    I was keeping it around 250 at the grid. Yes took everything out and took the shop vac to it this morning before starting. I did not sort and layer the pieces though. Also it appears now that it will hopefully finish in the next couple of hours now finally. Will it hurt to put it in the oven at 170 or so to hold it after it's done til the morning? Just don't want to be up all night messing with it since I have work tomoro.
    Middle Tennessee, large BGE. Go Big Orange!
  • vol_fanvol_fan Posts: 9
    Royal oak lump.
    Middle Tennessee, large BGE. Go Big Orange!
  • WokOnMediumWokOnMedium Posts: 1,376
    As alluded to previously, your fire grate could be getting clogged up, no air flow no fire.  Some folks think it's a waste of time to arrange your lump with such care, but keeping the large chunks in the bottom, filling to the top of the fire ring and lighting 2 or even 3 spot always seemed to see me through.

    I switched my fire grate out and feel better about just dumping lump in.  The downside is larger chunks get through, but loading up for a 20+ hr cook is pretty low maintenance.  I also use Wicked Good for long cooks...seems to be more dense and burns with great efficiency.
  • HogHeavenHogHeaven Posts: 294
    Help is on the way... I can cure your problem with 2 words... Elder Ward! Here's the magic cure. Google And go to cooking butt's. Then read and study that article carefully. I gaurantee you will never, ever, have that problem again!
  • Plano_JJPlano_JJ Posts: 448
    I always use three starters arranged like a triangle. Burns big time
  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 8,347
    Did you fill the firebox to the ring or half way up the ring?
    You can load it right up so it almost hits the setter, start in one place at the front and let her go. Should last for hours as long as there is airflow. 
    Delta B.C. - Move over coffee, this is job for alcohol!
  • ChokeOnSmokeChokeOnSmoke Posts: 1,914

    The key is to gently stir the lump after you get it started.  I highly recommend a $8 electric starter. It's allow you to start a good amount of lump at the same time.  Then once you stir it, the lit lump slowly spreads in all directions.  I've never has a fire go out in literally hundreds of low and slows using this technique.
    Packerland, Wisconsin

  • vol_fanvol_fan Posts: 9
    Thanks for all the help guys. I think my problem was not having enough lump and not starting enough at first. I thought if I started more than just a small amount it would get too hot. It still turned out great tho. Finally finished about midnight and pulled from the egg at 203 and then held in the oven at 170 til 5:30. Did it for my employees since I got a promotion and this was my last day with them, they all loved it. This site has been such a great resource for me since I started egging, I really appreciate all of the help and am amazed at the wealth of knowledge and willingness to spread it! Thanks again everybody.
    Middle Tennessee, large BGE. Go Big Orange!
  • PhiliciousPhilicious Posts: 339
    Vol Fan - Where are you located? I am in Kville.
    Born and raised in NOLA. Now live in East TN.
  • vol_fanvol_fan Posts: 9
    Philicious - grew up in Powell and now live in Cookeville. Love East Tennessee. I'm thinking about coming up for the O&W game this weekend but can't make up my mind.
    Middle Tennessee, large BGE. Go Big Orange!
  • HogHeavenHogHeaven Posts: 294
    edited April 2013
    It's all about airflow... The only way to put burning coal out, is to starve it of oxygen. Like Elder Ward said... Having those big pieces at the bottom is to block the small pieces from falling through and blocking the air holes. Having the medium pieces next - are there for the same reason... To prevent anything from blocking airflow. It's really pretty basic and simple. If you got oxygen, you got fire. That's why our BGE have 2 vents... Dah!
  • henapplehenapple Posts: 15,986
    @vol_fan.... I'm in Murfreesboro. I need to get you a bag of Ozark Oak.
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • Charlie tunaCharlie tuna Posts: 2,191
    Save yourself a lot of headaches -- go turbo, the easy way to cook pulled pork!!
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