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LOW & SLOW WAS NO GO !!

DaveDave Posts: 163
edited 6:17PM in EggHead Forum
IT DID IT AGAIN :[p]I put a pork butt on yesterday at 4:00 PM & set the temp to 250%. Left to go to some friends house at 6:30 & the temp was maintaining a perfect 250%. Got home at 12:00 & temp had fallen to barely over 100%. I have had this happen before on my first try at ( LOW & SLOW ) & this time I even cleaned out the whole firebox & started with completely new lump & plenty of it. I guess the only thing I could have done wrong was to not let the temp get up slightly higher & have brought it down some. I had the vents open enough so it wouldn't starve for air, so I know it had enough ventilation.
WHO KNOWS !!!
Dave

Comments

  • Dave,
    couple of questions for trouble shooting. . [p]did you have a real full load of lump in the firebox?, and were there enough big chunks on the bottom to insure airflow (sometimes, if your load has lots of little chips in it that can block the air holes in the fire grate, all the venting in world won't allow for good airflow at low temps)[p]where do you light your fire?. . .i have had good success by lighting a single spot at the back of the firebox, then the fire slowly works its way around the load. .. [p]once you had your fire going how did you have the vents set. .. i follow the advise of others and basically open the bottom vent about a credit card width, and then adjust with the daisy wheel. . .[p]from the sounds of things though, i think your issue maybe the first one of clogging the air holes in the fire grate. . [p]keep trying though, this is what makes life interesting. .. [p]max

  • DaveDave Posts: 163
    mad max beyond eggdome,[p]MAX:[p]Thanks for the reply, I had lump up to the top of the fire ring. It is possible that I had some of the ventholes blocked with smaller pieces, It all looked to be pretty good size pieces when I poured it in though. Bottom vent was open about 1/2 " & daisy wheel open about 1/8th ". I went ahead & just shut it down & started it back up early this morning & will finish it today. This is the second time I have attemped to do this & last time I decided that I didn't have enough lump in it to keep the heat for whole cook time, but this time I had plenty & still had trouble with it. I will try again for the Low & Slow another time.
    Thanks
    Dave

  • Dave,
    i am by no means the expert on this. .. there will hopefully be others weighing in who have done it a lot more than me, but it sounds like one problem you have is that you actually have the bottom open more than the top. .. now i'm no physics guru, but it seems to me that is not a good combination for proper airflow. .. i think you need the top more open than the bottom so that it is 'pulling' the air up. .. [p]next time try having the bottom open only a credit card width (once the fire is going) and the top open enough to get the temps you want . . .as i said before, this is what other recommend and it certainly works good for me. . .i have been able to maintain 250 all night long with no problem. . .[p]also, make sure you have that fire box filled up. .. i regularly fill mine up to just about the base of the fire ring. . .what's left is always there for next time. .
    good luck[p]max

  • JKJK Posts: 93
    Dave,[p]Have you seen Elder Ward's tutorial for building a fire for boston butt? If not, it's in the BGE recipes under Pork. This method works great on low and slow cooks.
  • BoccieBoccie Posts: 186
    Dave,[p]Sort your lump into sizes and place the largest peices in first. This will allow the best airflow without plugging any ports with small stuff. If you just pour you lump in you run a serious risk of getting the small stuff in the vent holes and your low-and-slow won't be a success.[p]Every egg in it's own location requires different vent controls, so telling you where to set the vents would only be a ballpark suggestion. For my large egg I have found I am able to prevent the temperature dropping through the night if I leave the bottom vent wide open, and throttle with the daisy wheel (usually it is almost fully closed). This keeps me in the 230 - 250 degree area. I have also done low-and-slows leaving the bottom only slightly open, but have had the temp drop drstically when I was asleep. The daisy wheel is not airtight of course and allows enough flow even at closed to keep a burn going.[p]Getting your lump loaded with the large peices in the bottom will help you alot here.
  • GfwGfw Posts: 1,598
    IMG_0173.jpg
    <p />Dave, when I have done PP, I make sure of two things - I start with a cleaned out bge and I always use firebricks. [p]I don't sort the lump - I'm a real big believer of the pour/dump method - it's kind of the self-sorting method. [p]The firebricks (with their mass) help to retain and stabilize the BGE and the temperature. In all the times that I have done PP, I have had the fire go out only once and I do believe it was because I didn't clean the ash from the bottom of the BGE.

    [ul][li]Pulled Pork[/ul]
  • Gfw, I'm doing a picnic as we speak (so to speak.) I also sort the lump as you suggest. Something about my technique or my egg just "lands" on 250* and stays right there. I use the pizza stone for mass.

  • jwitheldjwitheld Posts: 284
    Dave,
    was the fire out? was it center burn out?
    i load mine using the dump method to the top of the fire box/bottom of the fire ring. start it in about 3 places around the top. then cover it compleatly using a drip pan (12" skillet handle removed) and aluminum foil. then let my bbq guru control the fire.
    hard to explain the center burnout but if you start from the bottom it happens sometimes. letting the temp go high and the over dampening to compensate will snuff the fire also.

  • SethSeth Posts: 79
    Dave,
    I did 8 butts last week 2 at a time for a big party, and it was dump and run for all of them. The key to my fires was MickyT's fire rings. Look him up in the profile section and email him. Just go ahead and get a set, you wont regret it. I have not had a single problem with low and slow since getting his rings.
    Seth

  • Dave,
    Another idea: calibrate your themometer. I found mine was reading 75 deg. high. What I though was 250 was 175....hard to keep the fire burning at that low of a temp.

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