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New Egg owner with question

First off, Hello!
I see that there are a lot of helpful folks here. After 19 years of smoking on my stick burner, I am retiring my Gator Pit offset smoker.
I wanted to continue to cook, but not as hard. Thought the Big Green Egg might be good enough for my wife and I, and a few grand-kids. So, I bought a large BGE, along with a blower for long cooks, like brisket, or pork butt...

I wont bore ya with any more history.

I just did my first burn in up to 350° F for 4 hours to get the feel of things. I did not fill my fire box full, just a small load. Lit the center of the lump charcoal, with both air inlet and outlets wide open. I waited for the charcoal to burn down to some coals before closing back the vent on top. At that point I attached the blower to see how the temperature control worked. All seemed to go pretty well, and after about 4 hours the blower software showed that the temperature was dropping and the blower at 100%.. I assumed that the charcoal burned out... so, I removed the blower and closed all vents to snuff the fire and go to bed...

Questions arose.
 
Will I be able to smoke a brisket, low (235° F) and slow (until brisket is done), or should i plan on higher temperatures? Will I be able to run EGG at that low of a temperature with a blower?? Anyone here use a blower, and have any advice?

Another long cook question. Will I need to remove ash during a long cook, or will the Egg handle the ashes until cook is complete? Also, it appears that I would have to check the fire grate for air restriction at one time or another. To do that, I am again assuming that I would have to remove everything inside the Egg to get to the charcoal and stir it to loosen ashes.

Long story shorter, am I over thinking this stuff?

Well, thanks for having me, and thanks for reading al this. Appreciate any and all advice.

Comments

  • saluki2007saluki2007 Posts: 6,337
    Short answer, yes you are over thinking it. 

    You can cook at 235 but it’s not necessary. Most people on here will cook brisket, pork butt ribs anywhere from 250-325. 

    You should not have have to clear any ash during your cook. Assuming you fill your egg up to the fire ring with charcoal.  
    Large and Small BGE
    Central, IL

  • JohnInCarolinaJohnInCarolina Posts: 27,109
    Don’t close the top vent completely with the controller in.  It is helpful to it to have *some* air flow to maintain the temp.  
    "I've made a note never to piss you two off." - Stike


  • jtcBoyntonjtcBoynton Posts: 2,807
    A large egg will cook for well over 20 hours at lower temps with a full load. More than enough time. Ash buildup is not an issue. Relax. Just fill the egg with fuel, don’t put in what you think you need but truly fill it up. 


    Southeast Florida - LBGE
    In cooking, often we implement steps for which we have no explanations other than ‘that’s what everybody else does’ or ‘that’s what I have been told.’  Dare to think for yourself.
     
  • JstrokeJstroke Posts: 2,367
    What they said. Plus. Think of this no different than a stick burner or a wood stove. You have air coming in at the bottom and it needs somewhere to go. If you close off the top vent you have just choked the system. If you keep the lid open but don’t open the vent at the bottom you starve it. The trick is the balance. My advice is to play with it. Get it going, then crack the top and bottom. Maybe 1/8 inch. Let it sit for a couple hours and check on it every 30 min. Make small adjustments. 1/8 inch. Let it stabilize for an hour. Check on it, let it sit for awhile. No rush. Eggs are like the Titanic, no sudden moves. You will learn to trust it and a little how it behaves. Take notes. Record how many 1/8’s for 250/350 etc. dial it back down to 1/8th. See how long it takes to lower temp. Try adjusting only the lid, or the bottom vent. You’ve just spent all day with your new rig. You now understand it somewhat, and it cost you roughly 15 bucks in charcoal. When you’re done playing put on some grub and eat. Keep your notebook handy for next time. Do all this without your blower for now. And another piece of advice. Don’t load enough charcoal for what you “think” you need. Load her up. When she gets down below the fire ring after a few cooks, refill. A full egg is a happy egg. 
    Columbus, Ohio--A Gasser filled with Matchlight and an Ugly Drum.
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 28,272
    What_The_Cluck welcome aboard and enjoy the journey. Above all, have fun.   Nothing to offer besides the fact that the stick burner is a whole lot more effort as you know.
    Louisville; "indeterminate Jim" here.  Rolling smoke in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer!
  • bluebird66bluebird66 Posts: 2,618
    Welcome aboard!
    Large Egg with adjustable rig, Kick Ash Basket and various Weber's
    Floyd Va

  • CTMikeCTMike Posts: 3,009
    Welcome, and most importantly - hold on to your wallet. This place will help you spend money on things you didn’t even know you needed. 
    MMBGE / Large BGE / XL BGE (Craigslist Find) / SF30x80 cabinet trailer - "Ol' Mortimer" / Outdoor kitchen in progress.  

    RECOVERING BUBBLEHEAD
    Southeastern CT. 
  • Thank you all for the "welcome's" and all of your input... and going easy on me. lol

    I definitely will be taking notes as I cook. Cooked for years and still take notes of each cook. I'm thinking that the blower (EGGgenius) will be helpful. But, I don't plan on using it other than for long cooks. I prefer learning the touch... playing with the vents. Also will probably place an oven thermometer onto the grill to compare temperature differences with the EGG thermometer.

    As far as holding onto my wallet... It is too late! But, I have slowed down. Did purchase a rain cover for the "regulator", a cover for the EGG, a plate remover, and round drip pans to cut down on grease in the bottom of the firebox. I figure grease is good for a steel pit, but ceramic is more porous... and I will figure that out

    Now, I will work at learning the forum in order to gain more knowledge and information




  • TechsasJimTechsasJim Posts: 1,176
    First off sorry to hear about the Gator Pit, they are right down the road from my house and make some great pits!    My neighbor customized one to the tune of $4500 with an 18mth lead time and it's not a huge pit but works great.

    Seems like the rest has been answered but on my Large egg I can do almost everything except a whole hog.   Hitting temp and maintaining temp (I do not use a fan, just adjust bottom/top vents to maintain) has never been an issue using B&B lump.
    LBGE, HCI 9.4, SE Texas
  • Thank you sir.
    I live around the Spring area.

    I got to old to do all the big cooks by myself. Had and backyard "Entertainer"... could cook a lot of briskets and butts on her. I "willed" her to my good friends that I spent many years cooking with. They are much younger than I am. It will be in good hands.

    Yeah, the steel prices took off... but worth the money (QUALITY) and will last a lifetime, if well kept! I always lined my firebox with foil for easy clean out. Thought about doing that under the firebox with my EGG... we'll see.

    I'm getting the idea that I may have bought the fan too soon. Just thought about the time when I could not get air flow through my firebox (still, damn days), and had to use a fan to get it going.



  • TechsasJimTechsasJim Posts: 1,176
    @What_The_Cluck

    Good looking pit there and super nice of you to pass it on to those that can keep her going.

    Be patient with the egg.   I grew up on stick burners.   Learning the egg isn't a huge curve but it's a step change from offsets.   Once you get the hang of it you'll have no issues, sounds like you're well seasoned in the space.

    And nice about Spring, I grew up in/near the area (but boy has it grown).
    LBGE, HCI 9.4, SE Texas
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 28,272
    @What_The_Cluck - Great setup you have right there.  I cut my teeth on Budweiser long before microbrews or light/lite beer was around. Life is too short for light/lite beer.
    Louisville; "indeterminate Jim" here.  Rolling smoke in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer!
  • abpgwolfabpgwolf Posts: 546
    Jstroke said:
    What they said. Plus. Think of this no different than a stick burner or a wood stove. You have air coming in at the bottom and it needs somewhere to go. If you close off the top vent you have just choked the system. If you keep the lid open but don’t open the vent at the bottom you starve it. The trick is the balance. My advice is to play with it. Get it going, then crack the top and bottom. Maybe 1/8 inch. Let it sit for a couple hours and check on it every 30 min. Make small adjustments. 1/8 inch. Let it stabilize for an hour. Check on it, let it sit for awhile. No rush. Eggs are like the Titanic, no sudden moves. You will learn to trust it and a little how it behaves. Take notes. Record how many 1/8’s for 250/350 etc. dial it back down to 1/8th. See how long it takes to lower temp. Try adjusting only the lid, or the bottom vent. You’ve just spent all day with your new rig. You now understand it somewhat, and it cost you roughly 15 bucks in charcoal. When you’re done playing put on some grub and eat. Keep your notebook handy for next time. Do all this without your blower for now. And another piece of advice. Don’t load enough charcoal for what you “think” you need. Load her up. When she gets down below the fire ring after a few cooks, refill. A full egg is a happy egg. 
    100% agree with the above. While you're at it, put in a tube of pre made biscuits (Pillsbury). This will show you where the hot and cool spots are in your egg. 

    Lititz, PA – XL BGE

  • Wolf... "While you're at it, put in a tube of pre made biscuits (Pillsbury). This will show you where the hot and cool spots are in your egg"... THAT smells like a set-up... Im too old to go for that. lol
  • abpgwolfabpgwolf Posts: 546
    Wolf... "While you're at it, put in a tube of pre made biscuits (Pillsbury). This will show you where the hot and cool spots are in your egg"... THAT smells like a set-up... Im too old to go for that. lol
    I should have included the directions "remove the biscuits from the tube and distribute them evenly across the grid" I didn't mean they should put the tube and all in the egg.  =)

    Lititz, PA – XL BGE

  • Now, THAT is funny. Whether ya meant it to be or not. lol
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