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BGE = Grill; BGE + Platesetter = Smoker?

Aledo Green DreggonAledo Green Dreggon Posts: 134
edited 10:27AM in EggHead Forum
I have been looking forward all week to a low and slow cook today of 2 turkey breasts and a whole chicken.

I lit the egg with an electric starter for about 15 minutes. Then gave another 20 for everything to quit smoking and level off. Then I closed the top and started adjusting my vents. I have done the $$ test and the felt is tight too btw. I had the bottom vent down to 1/8" and had the top open about 1" - 350* so I opened the top daisy wheel completely thinking maybe I was holding in too much heat - 400*, opened, closed, trying to get the temperature to go down, but it stays over 350. This went on for about another hour.

Is the only way to do a low and slow smoke by using a plate setter? I finally threw the birds on at about 360* I am really trying hard to find ways to cook turkey. I have a 21 month old daughter that has been allergic to almost every protein we have had her tested for so far except turkey and some fish in Iowa City @ the College of Medicine. Pork, beef, chicken, and soy(plus an even longer list of veggies, nuts, and animals etc). We live darn near dead center of the country so fresh sources of mercury free salmon are hard to come by and so this leaves her eating turkey for literally every meal. Brined and roasted, ground and made into patties then browned in olive oil, sliced, shredded on and on. So we now have this grill and I am trying to get this down to an assembly line type process so we can mix it up some for her, but I am just not getting it yet. I understand there is a pretty big chance she might not even like the flavor yet anyway.

Am I going to have to get a plate setter to get this to work?


  • First of all you DON'T need a plate setter for low temps.

    The plate setter will help you extend the height of of the grid AND help with indirect cooking. I now very seldom use the plate setter. I use the Adjustable Rig & Spider combo from tjv (eggaccessories).

    For you temp. With the setting you stated above I would expect you would be at 350° - your egg is working just fine.

    For my large:
    250° bottom vent 1/8" open DFMT slider closed, petals 1/3 open.

    350° bottom vent 1/8" open DFMT slider closed, petals full open.

    450° & up - bottom vent 1/4", maybe 1/2" DFMT slider open about an inch and petals full open.

    You heat is dependent on how much air you let in and that is restricted by how far the top vent is open.

    I control the course temp with the lower vent fine adjustments with the upper vent.

    ALWAYS start limiting the vents when working UP to temp.

    Once the ceramics are hot it is going to take a while to get the egg to cool down. A lot of times people trying to cool down to the 275° and lower ranges will end up putting out the lump.

  • Close the lid right after you light the lump and start constricting both vent openings before you get to your target temperature.

    Turkey has little fat so to me low and slow will only dry out the meat. I cooked a 12 pound-er a few weeks back at 375 dome temp and it was done in 2 hours. It was very moist and tender. Keep trying and don't be afraid to shout out for help.
  • And let's not forget the famous Mad Max Turkey recipe, so good it's probably illegal in Utah :P .

    If you do use this recipe, don't worry about your high will drop a lot when you put a big bird into the dome. Max does cook it indirectly, with a plate setter, BTW.
  • Thank you Grandpas Grub and Civil eggineer. I work well with very specific direction and you are speaking my language. I uploaded some pics.

    My daughters last reaction
    My egg set up


    The birds already. They are cooking very fast. This may be good though cuz I don't want them dry or to taste like an ash tray.
  • Man, you are in trouble in about 14 years or so.

    Those rashes are terrible, I feel for your daughter.

    Altitude has some affect on settings. I am cooking at 4,500'

    I don't think your settings are too far off (for me) and 250° - 275° and with those settings I wouldn't expect 325° or higher.

    I am sort of wondering if your temp is still coming down from a higher heat with wider openings???

    No matter how fast or slow you cook those meats you should never get a 'ash try' taste. Heavier or lighter smoke infusion but all that should be a pleasant taste.

    My grand kids that age love the smoked turkey & chicken. My chicken is mostly cooked at 400°, raised grid, direct or indirect (doesn't matter much) for about an hour. They love it right off the egg or left overs the second or third day.

    Make sure you keep us updated on your daughter, it will be interesting to know how the poultry works out for her.

    Also, if you have questions about the 'ash tray' taste make sure you ask, as that shouldn't be.

    How are you lighting your egg and are you waiting for the initial white smoke to burn off. If using oil and paper towel there will be initial black sooty smoke, then white and finally clear or clear/blue. When white or clear/blue smoke and the egg is stabilized you then put the food on the egg.

  • LMAO!!!

    :whistle: :whistle: I'm bootleggin it to all the family and friends.


  • I'm callin' the Donny and Marie Assault Squadron!! :woohoo:

    Seriously, that's a great-looking bird and if it tasted half as good as the one I made last Thanksgiving, it was a real treat. Max has one fine recipe there.
  • That bird was a 23#'er and one of the best two birds we have had. The other was mad max with chicken stove top stuffing in the bird, about the same size.

    The stuffing was a bit strong into the bird about 1.5" but further in the stuffing was fantastic. Then put some of the gravy over the stuffing and that is some good eating.

  • I did wait for the smoke to clear, then added my soaked apple chips. Once I put the birds on the temperature started to go down and did settle in the 300-325 range. The boneless breast was the first done and once I took it off the temperature started going back up on me, but not too bad.

    I have been lighting with an electric started deep in the center with the bottom vent wide open and the lid open. I do that for 10-15 minutes then take out the coil, and have the bottom vent and top vent completely open until the smoke clears. THEN I close down the vents and wait a half hour or so for the temperature to settle. Now I put my soaked chips in, my cooking grate, and my meat.

    I am really interested to see what she thinks of the meat. Her older sister didn't care for my smoked pork last weekend(first cook)
  • I haven't used the electric starter but a lot of folks do.

    In general when you are lighting lump with everyting open full you are going to get a very good, hot, light.

    Closing the dome and everything still open is going to get the egg hot fast.

    When the lump gets lit and you will see a white somewhat heavy smoke. If the lump is full air fed the lump will ignite and flame. This happens at about 350° to 450° and you will see a fast increase in dome.

    The fast climb is due to the flame from the lump burning and can easily climb to well over 800°.

    Once the vents are closed down the lump flame will go out and you will again see heavy white smoke. Be careful during this stage should you be there because opening the dome will almost a surely cause flashback.

    When starting and heating up the egg, as long as you don't leave the egg in the hot burning cycle, closing the vents will allow the temp to come down fairly quickly.

    When lighting if you go through this stage or partially go through this you will probably only settle down into the 300°-350° range and it will take a longer time to get from there to the 250° range.

    There are many ways & opinions on how to light the egg. Here is how I do it.

    Use whatever method you like to get the egg lit. Bottom vent full open, dome open. After 3 to 5 minutes close the dome no top vent yet. I don't leave the egg but I monitor the dome thermometer. With a starter cube, oil/paper towel or using alcohol, I know I will get an inital heat burst from using any of those starters. You may not with electric or MAPP.

    I let that initial heat burst happen, usually the dome will climb to 400° to 500° and then as those starters burn out the dome temp will drop to about 200° to 275°. I watch the drop and at the time the temp begins to increase again is when I close down the bottom vent to about 1/8", put the DFMT on but wide open.

    The temp will continue to increase and when I am about 30° under my desired temp I will adjust the DFMT. I know about where my settings have to be to get any given general temp so I set my slider and petals accordingly.

    I watch the smoke and fine tune the vents. When the smoke clears this time the lump is ready to cook on.

    You now should be at temp... Before opening the dome make sure you glance at the settings of the DFMT. If you open the dome or put anything in the egg, plate setter and or food just know the temp is going to drop and sometimes drop pretty far. DO NOT play with the vents. The egg will eventually return to the previously stabilized temp, if you didn't play with the vents. The only time this won't work is if the egg hasn't stabilized.

    This is longer than I wanted it to be...

    Smoke chips... some use wet some use dry, I don't think it really matters. The wet will have to dry out before they begin to smoke.

    I try to use chunks if I can get them. Otherwise chips. I scatter dry chips around the lump and at times will put a small hand full in a pile just away from the ignited lump.

    You will again get heavy smoke but this heavy smoke is good smoke.

    If you use green wood that may give you a bitter taste.

    This is getting way too long.

    Hope this helps some...

  • Awesome, thank you.

    BTW - I used lawry's on all of my bird's tonight and my wife read the label before dinner... it had corn starch in it so my little one didn't get to try to. Everyone else really liked it. Tmw I will have to figure something different to sprinkle on.
  • BBQMavenBBQMaven Posts: 1,041
    You probably have done this, but make sure you calibrate your dome thermometer.
    Kent Madison MS
  • kernskerns Posts: 22
    Have you guys tried ostrich yet? It's a tasty meat and viable for quite a few recipies. I've enjoyed it brined, pattied w/seasoning and in a pot pie so far.
    Here's one source - - haven't used them personally however.

    Best of luck with your daughters' allergy!

  • We haven't, but that is a good idea. Thank you. I have heard good things about it, but it never crossed our minds.
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