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Keeping a low temp with out blowing out

I have had a little trouble kooking at 150 degrees.[p]I have a large BGE
After the ceramic shell heats up (and is no longer cold to the touch)
I have to keep my lower vent and upper wheel vent
almost completely closed to keep the temp down.
When I do this, I start to have probleems keeping the fire smoking.
It doesn't go completely out, because I can
revive it by opening everything up, but it stops
putting out the smoke.[p]Should I be lighting the coles differently?
Am I missing a step?[p]Thanks,[p]Brooke


  • Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
    Brooke, IMO, its imperative if your operating with a ceramic grate that you do as Elder Ward suggested and select the larger chunks for the floor of the firechamber next to the grate. Then the smaller chunks on top. Even older used charcoal will be fine over the new. The problem with used charcoal is the layer of moderately burned white ash on the exterior prevents a continuous ignition pattern thru the long cycle burn. Once the "core" fire is red hot the burn cycle is easier. Large chunks on the floor on the grate also allow a better oxygen fuel source to reach the burning coals and for the spent ash to fall to a accomodating hole in the ceramic grate.[p]How you start your fire, top, bottom, sides is up to you. I find little difference between them. Others swear by one or the other. I start all mine from either under the grate with a starter of choice, or on top and once ignited I work it down to the grate and cover with charcoal.[p]I am out of breath..maybe late too...If I stepped on another apology..

  • Tim MTim M Posts: 2,410
    Brooke,[p]What you are describing also happens to me - often. Holding 200-230 is pretty tough and that is why I always suggest to use a minimum of 225 for any cook in the large or med Eggs. The small may be a little different and I have never used mine for under 300 deg, so I just don't know for sure with it. The smoking stops normally at lower temps than the Egg can sustain - or so it seems. My low & slo fire can be holding 225 and the smoke stops unless I kick it up a little. I figure it due to the fact that so little fire is actually burning that its just not close enough to the (now non-smoking) wood chunk (chips burn almost too easily. [p]What can you do? More wood spread around, which is not a problem for me since I don't add much anyway, or smaller pieces, or a hotter fire, or stir the wood into what is burning (not often a good idea because of the ash that will fly up), or leave it alone and the fire will evenually hit the wood (maybe).[p]Tim
  • EarlEarl Posts: 468
    Brooke,[p] Not sure if you are looking to maintain a low temp of 150 on your egg or not. I have not read ( at least recently) of anyone else staying that low. Now MikeO, did use two eggs to cold smoke awhile back but that was all. What would you cook at the 150 level& for how long?
    Sorry I can't help.[p]Earl

  • Earl,[p] I agree with you that there isn't much practicality to cooking at 150F unless you have a special application. When I do pulled pork, I normally throw my wood chips on when the temp is 150, but I let it creep up to about 225 before stabilizing the temperature. When I did the cold-smoked salmon, I needed to stay below 90F dome temp. To clarify, I didn't use two BGEs that time (didn't have my small yet) but I will the next time (which should be pretty soon now that the cold weather is returning -- cold outdoor temperatures are also a necessity when cold-smoking). I used a pan of ice and lots of fire bricks in one BGE and that worked pretty well (pictures of the setup can be found by following the link in my post farther down the Forum Page. It is possible to kep a small fire going in the BGE but it does require a bit more maintenance. Perhaps Brooke will fill us in on exactly what's cookin' so we can help a bit more . . .[p]MikeO

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