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Newbie - Struggling with temp

Fish166Fish166 Posts: 3
edited May 2012 in Pork

I am trying to do my first pork butt and it is not starting well.  I am doing a 5# butt and have put my rub on it and let it sit in fridge overnight.  Got my fire started, let the BGE ceramic warm up for about 30 mi at approx 300'.  Placed my soaked woodchips on the hot charcoal and added the plate setter with a drip pan.  Placed the butt on the grate.  All good so far.

It has been an hour and I am struggling to get my thermo temp above 250'.  I was going to try to do this thing at 275' for dinner tonight.  I have opened up the bottom damper a bit without much increase.  Even tried closing the top vent a bit thinking that might even hold the heat to raise my dome temp.  Even a half hour later I am still just holding a dome temp of 250' and my bottom damper is open about 2 1/2 to 3".


  • BYS1981BYS1981 Posts: 2,530
    Usually it takes me about an hour to notice temperature increases at a low and slow. 

    Also a side note when I am about to put the platesetter, food, and wood chips I set it about 150ish hotter than I need.  If it is too hot after that I will walk it down.
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 28,817
    Did you put the cold platesetter, drip pan and meat all on at the same time? If so, just wait it out a little longer or get a heat gun or hair dryer going in the lower vent.


    Caledon, ON


  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    closing the top vent restricts airflow.  restricted airflow means lower temps.

    if your temp is low, your vents are simply not open enough
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Fish166Fish166 Posts: 3

    Yes, I did put on all about the same time.  Temp is starting to creep up around 300' and I did open up my top vent a bit more.  So I am feeling a bit better.  Thanks Little Steven and stike.

  • Fish166Fish166 Posts: 3
    And thank you BYS
  • tazcrashtazcrash Posts: 1,852
    I try to preheat my place setter. That and your 5lb hunk of meat are both heat sponges going in cold (room temp)
    Bx - > NJ ->TX!!! 
    All to get cheaper brisket! 
  • MattlockMattlock Posts: 64
    This was good for me to read, don't feel alone!

    How do y'all preheat tbe plate setter? In the oven?
    Newbie Egghead - Just got a LBGE at the Georgia Eggfest! Life is Good!
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    why preheat the platesetter?
    either put it in shortly after starting, and allow it come to temp, or completely ignore the temp drop when you add it with the meat.  the egg will eventually return to temp if it all goes in cold.

    i like putting it in cold, with cold meat (there's no real reason to allow barbecue meats [taken to 200 or so] to 'warm up' to room temp), because i like to think that the cooler environment helps a smoke ring form for longer (not to 'absorb' smoke, just a smoke ring)
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 354
    Just to be clear I didn't say that there was anything wrong with putting the platesetter in with the meat, just looking for reasons.
  • gfavorgfavor Posts: 72
    So Fish166, Did everything turn out ok? Gave us an update.
  • Fish166Fish166 Posts: 3
    It is still cooking away.  I just took my first check and it looks good with a temp of 188'.  The BGE is doing its thing and has held a doem temp of about 300'.   So just a bit more.  I appreciate all the advice and input.
  • N.B. DeFoeN.B. DeFoe Posts: 4
    something that helped me was to get away from the chips and go to some competition wood...and don't soak either.  soaking wood is a myth and can make the smoke more acrid.

    try the vaughn brothers for wood - cherry and apple.  very reasonable price and a box of each will last two seasons.

    hang in there...

  • tvest43tvest43 Posts: 20

    A newbie myself, I have found that once your temp starts to rise, it's time to start closing the botton vent.  Big adustments with the bottom, small ones with the top.  Hope that helps.

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