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Tips for Maintaining lower temps

Pig PickerPig Picker Posts: 28
edited 6:37AM in EggHead Forum
Hi Guys, I've had my EGG for almost 3 weeks now and have cooked the best food of my life. [p]I am having a bit of a problem keeping lower temps, 210 - 240, stable. I can't seem to keep them from rising. I have the slide/turn daisy wheel top almost closed as well as the bottom vent nearly shut. The temp seems to always get over 250+. I have a medium egg and stack my lump up to the air holes. Am I putting too lump much in? Should I shut one of the vents completely?[p]Any tips would be great![p]thanx


  • CatCat Posts: 556
    Pig Picker,[p]
    Welcome to the family! You might be letting your fire get too hot at the start. Try narrowing the vents once the dome temp is about 50 degrees below your target. [p]What are you using to ignite the coals?[p]Cathy

  • Pig Picker,[p] Ditto what Cat says. You've got to stop the temperature rise before the shell of the BGE is heated up too much. Once the ceramics are preheated, they take a while to cool back down. You're better off closing it down a little early and letting the temperature rise slowly. You might also check your dome/body joint to make sure it is sealing fully all the way around. I remember reading about a couple cases where the lid didn't seal properly causing the temperature to stay up (though normally it would go well above 250F).[p]MikeO[p]PS If you're smoking, you can start the meat at lower temperatures (e.g., 150F) and put the wood chip/chunks onto the hot coals then. Lots of smoke penetration while you bring up the temp . . .
  • Pig Picker,
    Make sure you check your thermometer calibration. My father-in-law swore to that he couldn't get his egg over 500 but lo and behold a few twists on the thermometer and he was in business.[p]Big Cat

  • Pig Picker,
    The first part of this gem describes how to build a fire for low and slow cooking and it always works for me. Most people do not bother with the sorting of the lump, however it is a good way to pack in as much lump as you can into the firebox.[p]Hope this helps,

    [ul][li]North Carolina Pulled Pork By Elder Ward[/ul]
  • Cat and Everyone who responded,[p]Thanks for the advise guys.[p]I use the electric starter for 8 - 10 minutes. Normally I see nice red coals around the starter when I take it out.[p]I'm going to try to bring up the heat slowly with the vents barely open. I think I've left them open too much to get it up to 200 and when close them to a small opening the fire has already built up momentum, so to speak.[p]I'm doing ribs this weekend and will get some more practice on any account.[p]thanx again

  • Tim MTim M Posts: 2,410
    <p />Pig Picker,[p]Back when I got my Egg and I was told to open the bottom vent a "crack" to hold 220-225 deg I wasn't sure how much that was. This is all that's needed to hold 220 deg. Set the bottom vent to about 3x this size when the fire gets started, maybe 5 min after you remove the electric starter. Then close the vent to this setting or a little more open and watch the thermometer when its 50 deg or so from the cooking temp you want. Start closing the daisy if the temps go up. It will be 1/2 closed or less depending on how much the bottom vent is open. [p]Good luck on the next one.[p]Tim
  • GfwGfw Posts: 1,598
    <p />Pig Picker, great advice so far, I'll just add my 2 cents - last weekend I maintained a 180 degree temp for almost 10 hours on my medium BGE - I find that the BGE is a lot more stable at lower temps when I use my Firebricks (picture) to add mass - any time that I'm doing a low/slow indirect cook I use the Firebricks with great success... just my thoughts.

    [ul][li]Gfw's BBQ [/ul]
  • SpinSpin Posts: 1,375
    Pig Picker,[p]Your Egg will gradually settle on the temp allowed by the fire. What is working against you is the Egg slowly heats at low cooking temps. Adding the cool meat will drop the cooking temp (it slowly heats also). The result is a vent setting for a hotter fire, happening later in the cook, than intended.[p]Starting a small compact fire aides in temp control and preventing killing the fire when adjusting closed from an overtemp. The amount of lump available to burn has no effect on the temp. It is all vent control to feed the fire with oxygen.[p]It is always best to avoid an overtemp. One method to help gain control of an overtemp situation is to close the vents down without killing the fire. Close the daisey completely (it will leak enough to keep the fire going) and close the bottom to just a small crack (air needs to enter to keep the fire from being snuffed. Now add a firebrick or two, a heat worthy container of ice, etc. to help cool the internal air and allow the Egg to cool down.[p]Spin

  • MACMAC Posts: 442
    Tim M,
    Come on Tim, you're just showing off that fancy stainless steel vent.GRRR...ATE Pic. Wish my Kodac 230 did as well

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