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Slow and low. How to reach and maintain temperature?

EggxEggx Posts: 1
edited May 2012 in EggHead Forum
I am new to Egg style cooking. Long experience with charcol cooking but not with Egg style grills.

I am trying to smoke salmon and where I am a bit stuck is how to reach the right temperature and how to keep it. If I lit too much charcol I expect I will be stuck at about 300/350 F. If I lit just a little, do not allow the egg to heat up above 200 and then keep the lower vent at about 1/4" open, the temp drops and the "fire" is out. I actually had to re-lit the charcole once today. Also, how do I make sure there is enough smoke there? Wood chips dry out rapidly even they were soaked overnight. Then it is just heat, no smoke in the egg...


  • Bear 007Bear 007 Posts: 343
    Let it get up to 250°,  start closing it down, leave your 1/4 inch at the bottom and your top off, when it starts to rise again put on the top adjusting the top vent till it stabilizes at 250°. 250° is about as low as you can go and still keep it lit, theres  usually a sweet spot the egg likes to stabilize out at depending on your egg, maybe a little higher or lower than 250°. You'll get it give it some time.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    all these questions are answered by the peculiar way the egg cooks.

    charcoal burns at a relatively fixed rate.  which means that when a piece of lump burns, it's pretty much flirting with 1000 degrees.  a 250-degree dome temp mean a little 1000-degree charcoal is burning.  a 750-degree dome temp means a lot more 1000-degree lump is burning.

    that's a generalization.  but what it means is it isn't a wood fire.  more fuel in the egg does not equate to higher temps.  as long as the vents are set at a certain size, they will limit how big the fire gets (or doesn't get).

    and there's the trick.  just catch it before it overshoots your desired temp.  ignore the first few minutes as the starter stuff burns off.  flames on your dome thermometer from lit fire starters, etc. mean NOTHING.  after the charcoal is lit, and the flames from starting die, you'll see the real dome temp.  catch it as it creeps up.

    no need to soak chips or chunks.

    chips don't 'burn' any faster than chunks, because neither of them burn at all, as far as flames go anyway.  there are no flames.  they'll burn from being in contact with the lump, and thy won't burst into flame and be used up like they do in a gasser. so no need to soak like with other cookers

    if you are comparing one small chip to one big chunk, sure, it will not last as long as the chunk.  but the same volume of wood in chip form vs chunk makes little or no difference.

    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • The Naked WhizThe Naked Whiz Posts: 7,780
    make that 2000 degrees, stike, and you got a winner!
    The Naked Whiz
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    i know full open, or stoked) the lump can hit 2000.  i think though it burns under normal conditions (like, maintains itself) at 1000 or so, right?  jam the airflow in there and you can get it much hotter.  but i think cruising speed is around 800-1200, no?

    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
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