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Did my first Low and Slow this weekend -- got a few questions

Q-rious TomQ-rious Tom Posts: 116
edited 3:09PM in EggHead Forum
I ran a butt through my medium BGE this weekend - - -[p]I wrapped my pizza stone in foil and stuck it under the grill extender for thermal mass and to force indirect heat (no plate setter :-). I filled the fire ring with lump, and a double-handfull of hickory chips in the center, with about 2 inches of lump above the hickory, and started the shebang with a propane torch.[p]When the dome was at about 200 I added the butt, with the probe from my (new and unused) dual-reading Polder stuck in the top. Everything looked fine for the first couple of hours. Then the temp started to climb on the Polder and I went nutz trying to get it back down. At hour 5 the Polder was reading above 370 in the egg and 275 in the butt -- and that's when I realized the egg thermometer was at 200 and a fraction.[p]I shoved my instant-read thermometer in the butt and got 148; replaced the Polder with another probe thermometer and saw 148 on it as well. So I tweaked the settings again, checked in an hour, and all looked well -- just over 200 on the dome, about 175 on the oven thermometer I put on the grid by the meat, and 150 on the probe. I went to bed.[p]What with one thing and another, it was 9:00 AM when I checked things out. The dome was down to 170, the probe was showing 159, and the lump was about out. I pulled the butt, wrapped it in foil, and stuck it in the oven to hold for an hour while I cleaned things up.[p]I still had a fair bit of lump in the egg, but it was all along the sides -- the center was gone to the grate, and what was left wasn't dense enough to transfer fire from one chunk to another.[p]Anyhow -- this is the best pork I've ever done! The smoke ring is between an eigth and a quarter inch deep all around the butt, and the crust is fantastic. It practically fell apart when I started to pull it.[p]Questions --[p]What do I do about the Polder? I've seen other mention of erratic readings here.[p]Next time, should I concentrate on lighting the lump around the edges? I worked over the center section on this burn.[p]The foil over the pizza stone worked, but next time I use a drip pan on top.[p]Tom


  • BordersBorders Posts: 665
    Q-rious Tom, Use more lump. Fill it at least half way up the fire ring. This is for low temp cooks only.

  • PakakPakak Posts: 523
    Q-rious Tom,[p]So far as the lump goes - try using something as a lever, going in through the lower vent, and giving the ash grate a jiggle maybe a couple or three time through the cook. Don't wait until it's nearly out! The remaining lump (you DID put enough in there in the first place, didn't you?) should redistribute itself, somewhat. I did this on my last overnight and had a lot better success than any cook in the past.[p]And for the Polder - I don't put the thing in the meat until what I'd guestimate as being probably 3/4 of the way through the cook. I cook by the dome temp until then. Works for me.
  • Q-rious Tom, be sure to wrap the cable portion of your polder that is inside the egg with aluminum foil. The cable can easily overheat and destroy your probe.

  • katmankatman Posts: 331
    Q-rious Tom,
    Sounds like you needed more lump. I usually have plenty left after an overnight cook. In fact, last time I did a 15 hour shoulder I still had enough to do two chickens. couldn't resist. They went on sale that morning for 49 cents/lb.[p]I usually start my fire at about the 8 o'clock spot using propane and the guru club. I get an area going, put a few pieces of lump on top, and let the egg come up to cook temp slowly (with platesette inside). When I'm at stable cook temp I throw in some smokin chunks, put my meat in
    and go do something else.

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    Q-rious Tom,
    more lump.
    there is no such thing as too much, and if you find yourself wondering "hmmm. i think that's enough" it isn't.[p]also, don't light the egg and then put the butt on "when it hits 200"... put it on after it has held 200 for maybe as much as an hour. at least a half hour, minimum. that will remove any panic you might get when thermometers go loopy. you'll know right off that somethings wrong, cuz afire can't cruise for an hour or more at 200 and then spike to 370. you'll immediately see that it's the thermometer.[p]all in all, what you just found out was that butt is a forgiving chunk of meat.[p]don't forget, bbq wasn't supposed to be hard. this meat hung over a fire or in the smoke for a day while everyone was off working. hahahaha[p]rollercoaster temps aren't the end of the world.

    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,982
    Q-rious Tom, i had the center lump burn out leaving the remaining lump on the side walls before. i think that the ash had built up around the firebox and not allowing air thru the holes in the fire box. i dont clean there often and would say not even in the last year, probably due. this has happened to me only once inthe past few years.

  • Mark BackerMark Backer Posts: 1,018
    fishlessman,[p]I'm quite anal about this stuff, but I always take out the fire box and upper ring and completely clean out humpty before a low and slow. The extra five minutes is totally worth knowing that THAT'S not the reason your fire went out. LOL
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,982
    Mark Backer, thing is, my fire box is cracked in about10-12 pieces and the ash around the perimeter is actually holding it together now. if i take it out it wont go back together. i have a new box waiting to go in, but being a frugal yankee(not a fan) i just cant replace it until it doesnt perform anymore. also a little ash in the bottom is a good thing, it acts as an insulator for the heat and doesnt hurt anything until it becomes excessive. holding my breath for 9 more innings

  • Mark BackerMark Backer Posts: 1,018
    fishlessman,[p]I am turning blue from holding my breath for the last two weeks.[p]
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