Big Green Egg - EGGhead Forum - The Ultimate Cooking Experience...
Welcome to the EGGhead Forum - a great place to visit and packed with tips and EGGspert advice! You can also join the conversation and get more information and amazing kamado recipes by following Big Green Egg at:

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Pinterest  |  Youtube  |  Vimeo
Share your photos by tagging us and using the hashtag #EGGhead4Life.

In Atlanta? Come visit Big Green Egg headquarters, including our retail showroom, the History of the EGG Museum and Culinary Center!  3786 DeKalb Technology Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30340.

Vents and Temps (stupid question)

thirdcookiethirdcookie Posts: 84
edited 9:44PM in EggHead Forum
I have read several posts regarding vents and temps. I am having to keep my lower vent open about 2-2.5 inches to maintain a 350 cooking temp. I have heard from several that you have closed your vents to the width of a credit card. Am I incorrect in thinking that is like almost closed? or are you talking the the length of the card. If it just like a crack of an opening, how is oxygen getting in? when i tried this, it dropped the temp way,way down.


  • vidalia1vidalia1 Posts: 7,092
    350 can usually be maintained by keeping the bottom vent opened all the way (or close to it) and the daisy wheel only open slightly

    usually 250 is credit card (razor thin) width with the daisy wheel only open a fraction...
  • I read a post a while back about (350 and above) leaving the bottom vent open all the way , or just about all the way open and control the dome temp with the daisy wheel. It works for me. On low and slow cooks ie overnight butts, I leave the bottom vent open 1/4 inch or less and just crack the daisey slightly.Almost ditto as Kims reply.
    Alex City, Al

    Alexander City,Al
  • jeffinsgfjeffinsgf Posts: 1,259
    The previous two replies have dealt with low and slows pretty well (draft door just cracked and the daisy wheel just barely open) but I have a different opinion on higher temperatures and controlling them with the daisy wheel.

    I primarily control my temperature with the draft door and try to make sure that the daisy wheel is always open more than the draft door. If you open the draft door and close the daisy wheel, the exhaust has no where to go and sets in the dome getting a sort of funky odor going on. I think you get a cleaner burn on your fuel and a better taste if you're always pulling air in, up and out. So, if my draft door is open about an inch, the daisy wheel openings are about half open. If I need more heat, I start by increasing the daisy wheel opening. If I need less heat I start by closing down the draft door.
  • As you can see there are a lot of different ways folks control their temps.

    I control the course temperature with the bottom vent door. Fine temperature changes with the DFMT.

    The DFMT can change when opening the dome or can easily get bumped accidentally. If the bottom vent is opened wide the temp can potentially soar.

    I will restrict the DFMT a little if I want more flavor smoke into the meat.

    Some examples on my large.
    Temp. = Dome temp.
    LV = lower vent.
    SL = Slider on the DFMT.
    PT = petals on DFMT

    Temp. LV SL PT

    250° 1/16" closed 1/3 open
    350° 1/8" to 1/4" 1/8" open full open
    450° 1/4" to 3/4" 1/2 open full open

    450° 1" to 3" 3/4 to full open full open

    Searing Full Open No DFMT on the egg

  • this is my lower vent at 250
    this is the top-DFMT-at 250.

    For 350 I will typically have the top off and the bottom vent open about 1/4"
  • NilsNils Posts: 82
    Not a stupid question at all!

    From reading the other posts in this thread, my large egg is an anomaly that I need to poke at. I have to leave the bottom vent open much more than others seem to, which is something I have suspected for the last month or so.

    1) I know all the vent holes are thoroughly cleaned out.
    2) The Firebox and lower vent are well aligned

    I get pretty thorough prepping my BGE, I pull all the old lump out, vacuum it out good, lay the coals newer on bottom, older lump on top and also put in the larget chunks first, then medium sized next, with smallest pieces last.

    Repeatability: for 250 deg F cooks, I have consistantly had to leave the bottom vent open 1.5-2" with the top daisy wheel fully closed, petals barely open.

    For 350 deg F cooks, bottom vent open 2-3", top daisy wheel fully closed, petals open half way.

    I'm looking at one of the various techniques to lift my cast-iron coal grate about a quarter inch to increase the overall air flow as one possibility to get to these settings others use.

    Other possibility I had considered was that each egg has its own personality... but I think the personality of my egg is a bit off-kilter!
  • Lab RatLab Rat Posts: 147
    I think it depends on the individual grill and maybe the amount of charcoal.

    I can typically maintain 350 with an opening of about 3/4 inch on the bottom and a half inch on the top vents.

    I have the vents almost closed (1/8 to 1/16 inch open to maintain 250 degrees). This may be because of my fried gasket that may be allowing some air into the grill and causing additional air to be educted (sucked) through the bottom.

    After a while you get a feel for the right sized opening required.
  • ewillieewillie Posts: 155
    I still have trouble bringing my Egg up to a low temperature. I'm doing ribs this weekend, so I only need 250 or so, but I've had problems getting the fire going enough with the vents closed this much. If I let it get going, the temp rises too much and I can't get it back down.

    Any advice on the start of the fire when you only want to get to 250? I use the BGE Fire Starters by the way, usually one or two.

    Thanks, Erik
  • Try letting it burn for awhile with the dome open and the lower vent wide open.
    Since I started doing that (leave the dome open till the starters burn out) I seem to have an easier time hitting temps high or low.
  • ewillieewillie Posts: 155
    Thanks kindly. Interestingly, the first few times I used my Egg last summer that's how I did it. Like many other things, it worked so well I quit doing it :laugh:

    I was just reading your post on difficulty with membrane removal. I work for the state vocational rehabiliation program in Ohio, and the amount of assistive technology available is improving steadily. I have no idea what your situation is, nor is it any of my business, but if you ever want to explore it more, feel free to e-mail me at [email protected]

    Thanks for the advice, I'll let you know how the ribs come out Saturday. Erik
  • B & CB & C Posts: 217
    Have you calibrated your thermometer lately?
  • NilsNils Posts: 82
    yes, it was off no more than 5 deg
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    you can't really take in that much air and push it out those nearly closed daisy petals. your daisy is in control on this one. i'd bet you could crank the bottom full open and the temp wouldn't change
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • I see a screen on the bottom vent - did you make that?
    Because of the hot ash I covered my table wood with aluminum but I like your screen.
  • NilsNils Posts: 82
    I'll post pics next time.

    Looking at Flashback Bob's pics for 250 deg F, I have the top petals open a little more than shown in his pics, but the bottom vent is open 1.5-2.0" - which is a pretty large difference.

    From what I see others describing, I "should" not have to have the bottom vent open so far...

    No complaints about how it cooks - just seeing how I get there seems to differ from others.

    I keep a pretty good gasket seal. I have gotten very good at gasket replacement (had several gaskets where adhesive failed) so now have a 3M-77'd non-pre-adhesived nomex on it.

    Anyway - I'll keep experimenting!

    I fully realize its an air-flow thing. So the two "knobs I see to fiddle with are the top daisy wheel, and also raising the coal plate up a quarter inch.
  • thanks to all of you!! what a wealth of information! I am going to play with it this weekend and see just what it is I am doing. I think I am burning thru lump too fast to... but if i am using it like a grill that would stand to reason. :S I am also final going to give that wild turkey a go. :woohoo: Wish me luck!! :woohoo:
  • thanks to all of you!! what a wealth of information! I am going to play with it this weekend and see just what it is I am doing. I think I am burning thru lump too fast to... but if i am using it like a grill that would stand to reason. :S I am also final going to give that wild turkey a go. :woohoo: Wish me luck!! :woohoo:
Sign In or Register to comment.
Click here for Forum Use Guidelines.