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Charcoal went out

So I wake up at 5am Sunday morning and head outside in the negative degree temp to get the grill ready to make my first brisket. Get it started and go back to bed, wake up at 7 and see it's at 250 and ready to go. So I put my brisket on my L BGE and head inside. Checking the temps throughout the morning and it's staying right around 250, brisket is cooking nicely and everything is fine. I had to leave my house for a bit but the grill was at 250 when I did, when I got back it was down to 200 and dropping, no matter what I did I could not get it to go up. Finally took the brisket off and finished it in the grill. Took everything off the grill about 3 hours later (6pm) to check the charcoal and there was all sorts of ash on top, stirred the charcoal around and the flames started going again and it easily got back up to 300. My question is why did this happen in the first place? Lack of airflow? Too much charcoal (it was completely full of old and new charcoal)? I had a ceramic grill store Woo and plate setter on. Any help would be much appreciated so I can avoid this problem for my next long and slow cook.


  • BattlebornBattleborn Posts: 1,618
    It's not too much charcoal, my guess is that the airflow got restricted and started to choke out.
    Las Vegas, NV
    LG BGE, off-set smoker & various Weber's 
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 26,037
    we used to make wiggle rods to reach thru the lower vent to wiggle the bottom grate to remove the ash buildup. can be as simple as a heavy coat hanger fashioned to grab a hole in the firegrate.
  • sumoconnellsumoconnell Posts: 1,663
    Could be the dreaded vertical burn? We've seen it here before where there is enough lump, but with a very small coal ember needed for 250 and a need for that lit coal to touch an unlit coal, it can happen.  Some folks run a little hotter but 250 should be OK.  I've had it happen at night when a fire is almost snuffed, and I poke the coals with a piece of rebar from the top with and move them a bit to get it going again. (as @Battleborn says).  Doesn't take much poking.
    Austin, Texas.  I'm the guy holding a beer.
  • littlerascal56littlerascal56 Posts: 1,259
    Not enough airflow, which using some “used” lump could have contributed to.  Having all new chunks of lump provides better airflow thru the fire grate, especially at the 250 range.
    I had that happen until I bought a controller.  No issues with used lump when using a fan.

    BGE XL++Flameboss 300 WiFi++Blackstone 36"++Weber 26" kettle

  • I recently bought a stainless steel grate to help improve airflow, I will be cleaning out all of the ash/charcoal and installing that before the next cook which I think will help too.
  • kl8tonkl8ton Posts: 2,946
    Anytime you want to cook at 275 or below for many hours,  it's a great idea to clean out the egg. 
    LBGE, MiniMax - 17, 22, and 36"Blackstone
    Grand Rapids MI
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