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HELP With Stabilizing Temperature

I have an XL and I have trouble stabilizing anything over 250 degrees. I use the BGE fire starters and most of the time use two or three. I light them, and when the lump is fresh, it take about twenty minutes for the egg to get to about 400 degrees. I'll set it where I believe it should be  to maintain the temperature but has time goes on the temp gets harder to stabilize as it takes nearly shutting it down to  keep the temperature from going higher.  I figure it has to do with the fire spreading on the coals but I don't have an hour to wait for the coals to spread and when I purchased it, I was told it should take 10 minutes to heat up. Please help me!!! 

Comments

  • What temperatures are you wanting? 

    Kansas City, Missouri
    Large Egg
    Mini Egg

    "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us" - Gandalf


  • Stop chasing. You just need to practice and patience. If you're overshooting, you have it too open for your desired temp. 
    Jason NW GA- home of carpet and Mexican restaurants
    LBGE, MM, BS (Blackstone and the other kind)
    One sorry Labrador

    My chili did not suck. 
  • 350 to 450

  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 13,020
    I don't have an XL, but on my large, I get 400° with no top damper (just an open hole, no DFMT) and the bottom vent open about 1". Until you figure out the settings for your egg, just pay attention and try to sneak up on your target temp. Once you go too high, it will take a while to bring the temp down.

    Agreed with the "practice" comment.

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

                                                                …Unknown

    Michael 
    Central Connecticut 

  • GoldenQGoldenQ Posts: 232
    I have been using my XL for 2 years without any problems but the last cook I had to almost turn both the daisy and the vent to closed and could not hold 300 after about and hour it started climbing and after closing it to less than 1/8 inch on bottom vent and barely cracking  the daisy it went to 4oo and stayed there for 3 hours,  I guess each burn has its own characteristics.
    I XL  and 1 Weber Kettle  And 1 Weber Q220       Outside Alvin, TX-- South of Houston
  • SoCalTimSoCalTim Posts: 2,155
    You are not alone, EVERY first time owner of an egg was in your shoes at one time of another. Don't give up - you'll figure it out, lord knows I did.

    For me all I can say is, it'll all come together. Remember YOU control the temp it DOESN'T control you!
    I've slow smoked and eaten so much pork, I'm legally recognized as being part swine - Chatsworth Ca.
  • If your Egg is clean you can move 20 degrees in under 5 minutes so try to land your starting temp "right in front of the green" or target temp. If your Egg is clean and breathing well, your fire is going to start even with some choking down with the vents.  Pulling the temp down is very hard because of all the lovely mass that makes the BGEs so effective.  Stop starting with raging fires.
    Best - Jack
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,948
    Using advertising speak, 10 minutes to heat up is correct, but superficial. It would also be correct in the same manner to say that if using a gas torch to start, it only took 3 minutes. Sort of like a kitchen oven. Start it at temp "X" and it is heated up within seconds. After getting to temp, usually they need another 10 min to get heated enough that when food goes in, the temp doesn't drop 100 degrees. They Egg is better, but has a similar performance.

    I've never used an XL, which has a somewhat different shape from smaller models. Also, I stopped using fire starters because if the dome was left open the fire might get larger than I wanted, and if the dome was closed, the dome therm would show readings that were extremely hot from the starter flames. And then the temp would drop way down. So my advice may not be quite fitting for your situation.

    If the dome or daisy wheel and/or the bottom vent is open enough to get the dome therm to 400, every minute at that temp will mean 2 or 3 to decrease when the air flow is lessened. This is true for most temperatures. The ceramics gather heat, and even if the air flow is constricted, the dome temp will remain quite high for a long time. And finally, drop rapidly if the air flow has been choked.

    Starting in a few places is not a big hazard. My guess is that w. 3 whole starters, enough lump is kindled that 1st the temp ramps way up, and when you try to bring it down, it falls way off. Try using half or 1/3 starters.

    Cooking at the range you describe is usually hot enough that the "bad smoke," the nasty residues left from the making of the lump, don't mess the food taste. But it does take awhile, a few more minutes at 450 to get a good clean smoke flavor.

    For smaller Eggs, the temp range you want has the daisy closed, and somewhat shut. The bottom vent usually will not be opened all the way. My eggs give a dome of 350 w. the bottom around an inch open, and the daisy about half closed. My Eggs are old, and well gunked up, so the air flow is more constricted than when they were new and clean.

    As above, patience repays in good results.
  • Everyone is going to give different answers to how they get to their temps.  I have been doing this for a whole month now, and temps were very frustrating in the beginning.  My biggest recommendation for new Egger's, and it may be right, it may be wrong, is to Egg AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE, as my memory from a cook last week is not as strong as it was from last night.  Like it or not, it is about 30 minutes to get to a temp and feel comfortable it is good to stay there, as well as getting rid of the bad smoke.  I have used my Egg EVERY NIGHT NOW for the past 13 days, and since I bought it, probably every night except 3.  It has helped me so much by just doing everything a lot, and the second cook on everything I did, was so much better than the first, and now I am starting to nail stuff the first try.


    FWIW--I leave the bottom vent wide open with the screen shut and control all my temps from the Daisy Wheel.  400 for me on a large is Daisy wheel closed, Eyelets open full.  Lands at 400 almost every single time give or take 5-10, which is really not going to effect anything.

    When I get home from work now, the FIRST THING I DO if I am going to Egg is walk out and light the coals.  Then I go in and change clothes, grab second beer (I finished my first one between the garage Fridge and lighting the coals of course), kiss wife and kids, etc, and by the time I come back down, I am able to close up some vents, the dome, and start to dial in the temp.  Does not matter if I plan to eat in an hour, or in three hours, the Egg just does not burn enough coal to worry about it burning while you prep the food.  This was the single biggest change I made that solved a lot of grief.... and then PATIENTLY climbing in temp.  I still get thrown off with the initial spike in temp while everything is catching on fire, and in the beginning, started shutting things down thinking I was going to over shoot the temp.  Now I have learned to let it go, trust my Daisy Wheel Settings, and once I go about 20 or so over my target temp, I put in the PS, Grid etc, which drops the temp again, then it comes back to temp at a more reasonable rate of speed.  Meat lowers it again, then I watch it closely until I am confident it is stable.

    I also bought "Smoke it like a pro" in the iBooks store..this is where I learned to control from the Daisy Wheel and not the bottom vent, and the book has a ton of great pointers.  Best $9.99 I have spent!  I also just bought a temp control..should be delivered on Monday or Tuesday...will let you know if that makes temp control any easier or faster.......my guess is it will...it just won't be as  much "fun".  I really got it for the long low and slo cooks so I don't worry about getting distracted and missing a temp flux.

    Hope that helps.  Really is a big difference between charcoal and lump, however, if you give up on the Egg, I have a Pellet Grill I am getting ready to sell since I Got my Egg!  Only used about 7 times!

    Just bought an Egg?  Here is what you get to look forward to now:

    Plate Setter, FlameBoss 200, Spider, PSWOO-CI, Additional Rig Shelf for dome cooking, Thermapen, iGrill2, Cast Iron, Blackstone, Cooking Accessories for the Blackstone, Cover for the Egg and the Blackstone, shopping for Rub like a fine wine or IPA, and a new fascination with lump and what brand is the best-all to be debated every Friday Night.  Next desires-Joetisceriie, Adjustable Rig, Grillmates, table and more eggs

    Livermore, California
  • pgprescottpgprescott Posts: 10,555
    Use one starter for L&S cooks and shut the lid sooner. Actually takes longer to stabilize @ 250 than it does to get high temps. Imo 
  • @tikigriller I bought the same book but I use the bottom vent ☺️
    Weber Spirit E-210; Weber OTG 22.5" w/ Slow n' Sear and Rotisserie; LG BGE w/ AR R&B -- Alexandria, VA

  • dstearndstearn Posts: 1,142
    tharvell said:
    I have an XL and I have trouble stabilizing anything over 250 degrees. I use the BGE fire starters and most of the time use two or three. I light them, and when the lump is fresh, it take about twenty minutes for the egg to get to about 400 degrees. I'll set it where I believe it should be  to maintain the temperature but has time goes on the temp gets harder to stabilize as it takes nearly shutting it down to  keep the temperature from going higher.  I figure it has to do with the fire spreading on the coals but I don't have an hour to wait for the coals to spread and when I purchased it, I was told it should take 10 minutes to heat up. Please help me!!! 
    Just use one starter and let it sit for 15 minutes. Then adjust the vents, about an inch on the button and petals open on the top.
  • rmr62rmr62 Posts: 233
    You have already been given plenty of advice, but let me just add that there is definitely a learning curve on temp control, so just egg on and learn from each cook.  That is basically what we all had to do, and now, after several years of egging, I can basically nail it without much thought, just from the experience of repeated cooks.  Also, every egg may behave slightly differently, so just pay attention to yours.
    Lagrange, GA   LBGE
  • rifrenchrifrench Posts: 220
    rmr62 said:
      Also, every egg may behave slightly differently, so just pay attention to yours.
    And every cook will be a little different, as well!
     1 LBGE, 1 SBGE, and 1 KBQ near Blackstone, Virginia
  • BotchBotch Posts: 6,360

    When I get home from work now, the FIRST THING I DO if I am going to Egg is walk out and light the coals.  Then I go in and change clothes, grab second beer (I finished my first one between the garage Fridge and lighting the coals of course), kiss wife and kids, etc, and by the time I come back down, I am able to close up some vents, the dome, and start to dial in the temp.  

    Your priorities are in perfect alignment!   =)

    _____________________________________________
     
    Live fast, die young, and leave a well-marbled corpse.  
     
    Ogden, Utard.  
  • Thanks everyone, I'm starting to get the hang of it, I watched a Youtube video from the Modern Pitmaster which gave me some tips. My firebox and fire ring were a little off center, and fire ring needed a little turning which has helped me keep it stable.
  • rmr62rmr62 Posts: 233
    rifrench said:
    rmr62 said:
      Also, every egg may behave slightly differently, so just pay attention to yours.
    And every cook will be a little different, as well!
    This is correct as well----and that is why I got a Thermopen---best money I've ever spent----in my early egging days, I tried to use temp and time, but it was inconsistent.  With my Thermopen, I can nail the finish temp exactly---whether it took 60 mins for a cook before, or 45 this time.  The main thing is the experience you will gain to apply to each successive cook.  Egg on brother 
    Lagrange, GA   LBGE
  • tikigrillertikigriller Posts: 1,377
    As much as some around here don't like toys and are purists, I have learned so much more from using the toys. In the future, I will probably use some of them less, but a thermapen will always be used. 

    The only way toys will damage ones growth, is if they don't pay attention to the info they are providing and how it got there. 
    Just bought an Egg?  Here is what you get to look forward to now:

    Plate Setter, FlameBoss 200, Spider, PSWOO-CI, Additional Rig Shelf for dome cooking, Thermapen, iGrill2, Cast Iron, Blackstone, Cooking Accessories for the Blackstone, Cover for the Egg and the Blackstone, shopping for Rub like a fine wine or IPA, and a new fascination with lump and what brand is the best-all to be debated every Friday Night.  Next desires-Joetisceriie, Adjustable Rig, Grillmates, table and more eggs

    Livermore, California
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