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temp control 101

hi, a neophyte here. just got a med bge and doing a boston butt.
have the top(pinwheel)barely cracked and the bottom closed and still
around 300. if both are totally closed wont the fire go out?
any advice or input would be greatly appreciated, thanks in advance,


  • ravnhausravnhaus Posts: 311
    Better not close the bottom all the way. Leave it open just a crack. It will take time for the egg to go down as it is such an efficient device. It is best to start closing down the vents before you reach target temp.

  • ShelbyShelby Posts: 803
    Yes, if you close both, the fire will go out. If the egg heated up more than you noticed, it takes a while to bring the temp down. Also, you were starting with a clean ash built up. And if you loaded up on coal and all of it lit, then yes, it will take a while to cool off.
    Worse that happens...cooks to fast and you have to cook another to improve.

  • homey,
    The real question is how you started your fire and what you did as the temperature rose. If you are trying for a low temperature, you don't want a big fire. A good way to achieve this is to use a Weber starter cube, placing it on top of the charcoal so that you only get a small fire going on top. Then, as the temperature rises (ignore the initial burst of heat caused by the starter cube burning), close down the vents when the temperature is 25-50 degrees below your target. Once the egg gets above the target temp, it can take a while for it to get back down. It is best to catch it on the way up and let it slowly creep up to your target temp.[p]TNW

    The Naked Whiz
  • homey,
    Actually, on your bottom damper you can close it completely over the opening but don't snap it all the way against the flange. If you close your daisy wheel all the way then just nudge it open, but not too far, in fact it may still look closed, I've been able to have the temp stabelize around 200 degrees.

  • homey,[p]If you shoot me an email I'll send you some instructions and tips Spin gave me when I first got my Large. It's very good at explaining not only the whys but the hows.[p]Kelly Keefe
    Jefferson City, MO

  • Kevin DKevin D Posts: 60
    homey,[p]I have found that the easiest way to lower a stubborn temp is to add more lump. I use this method when I am doing dinner at 350°, and then want to get the temp back down so that I can throw on a butt for the following night.[p]Kevin
  • sdbeltsdbelt Posts: 267
    homey,[p]I would guess that as the temp passed 225 or 250 or 275 or whatever you were shooting for, your vents were too far open, thus enabling the temp to get up to 300. Either that, or you opened your dome a bunch.[p]The approach I use is to really clamp those vents down, but not fully closed, when I'm 25-50 degrees lower than my target temp. The ceramics of the BGE hold heat for a long, long time, so if the temp gets too high, bringing it down more than a few degrees is quite difficult, (especially on a hot summer Arizona day).[p]A fire will burn in my BGE with the bottom vent completely closed and only the top vent open, but it won't be much of a fire, as the air flow isn't that great. Ideally you'd want the bottom vent opened a tad (may be only visible from the side, and not even straight on) and the top vent also opened just a tad, but more than the bottom vent. This allows a bottom-up air flow, but no top-bottom-top air flow.[p]Good luck...on one of my first attempts at jerky, I used a tray of ice to cool things down...might try that.[p]--sdb
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