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Controlling Temp

I'm a new BGE owner and having some problems controlling the temp while slow smoking. Here's what I do: Light the fire with all dampers open, the temp gets up to 750 and the fire starts. Then I close the bottom damper about 3/4, keeping the dual function metal top inner wheel open all the way. The lowest I can get the temp down to is about 300, then after 3 hours the fire goes out leaving me with lots of unburned coals. I'm using fire starters and not newspaper so I don't think I'm clogging airflow.
thanks for all your help!!![p]Bob


  • robert musilli,[p]Once you get the temperature that high, it's difficult to bring it down, plus you consume a lot of fuel.[p]When I start my fires, I leave the dome and the bottom vent opened until the fire starter goes out. Then I close the dome, leave the daisy wheel open, and close the bottom vent to about an inch. Dome temperature is usually 200-225 at this point. I continue to watch it, adjusting the vents as necessary until the correct temperature is reached.[p]When doing steaks or any other fast cook, you want the 700+ temperature.[p]
  • sdbeltsdbelt Posts: 267
    robert musilli,[p]Interesting situtation. My first advice would be to be sure to fill up your fire box to the bottom of the fire ring with lump. The fire ring is the donut shaped ceramic piece that the grill grate sits on. That means you've got something like a 6" deep load of lump to start with.[p]Next thing, as a general approach at first, is to try and creep up on a target temp. If you plan a cook at 250, then you really don't want the dome temp to ever go over 250. The BGE ceramic takes a long, long time to give up the heat it has stored.[p]Assuming you want a sub-300 degree temp, and you want it to last a long time (like overnight), I start out as you describe with all open vents, and some type of firestarter (cubes or electric). Within 10 minutes, I configure my cooking grid the way I need (indirect or direct, etc.), close the dome of the BGE, and then start adjusting the vents per my target temp. If I'm going for 250, I'll close the bottom vent to 1/2 way, and put the daisy wheel on top (eyelets fully open, but slid closed). Once the temp hits 225, I close the bottom to at least 3/4. And then for every 5 degrees it moves up, keep closing that bottom and top vents by 50%. The bottom vent is the primary air source, so it really serves to control the temp. The daisy wheel is sort of a fine adjusting tool.[p]By the time you've snuck up on 250, it's probably taken about 30 minutes, but the fire should be stabilized and ready for a long burn. If you go over your target temp, then you darn near need to put the fire out, to reduce the temp inside your Egg, which sounds like what you've been doing.[p]Give this a try, and I think you'll have more success. Eventually you'll get where you've memorized certain vent settings for certain target temps, and you won't need to take 30 minutes to sneak up on a 250 dome, and you'll get there in 15 minutes or less.[p]Good luck![p]--sdb
  • WessBWessB Posts: 6,937
    robert musilli,
    Make sure your dome themometer is calibrated and that you are not mistakenly reading the temp of the firestarter burning...however I have never seen mine go that high just from the firestarter...once the starter burns out your temps will drop..and after it begins to rise again then you can start to make your adjustments..HTH[p]Wess

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