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On average - whats your optimal cooking temp

StoaterStoater Posts: 292
edited July 2012 in EggHead Forum
Hi guys,

Being a newbie and having had a few burnt sacrifices in my learning process with my bge I have come to the realization that just because the temp on the dome thermo reads 500 it doesnt mean the grill level is te same its actually a whole lot hotter, would this be correct?

What do most people cook at on average would it be best to cook the majority of meals between 350-400 other than searing steaks and low and slow cooks not to mention pizza.

Thanks for your input!


  • 4Runner4Runner Posts: 2,948
    The extremes are easy...I think. For general grilling, I shoot for 400s and then change my grate elevation based on the meat I'm cooking. I struggle the most with getting an even fire but lucky for me, I don't tyoically have my grate full of meat so it's easier bunch mea to the hot or cool side as needed. Hope this helps.
    Joe - I'm a reformed gasser-holic aka 4Runner Columbia, SC Wonderful BGE Resource Site: and  and
    What am I drinking now?   Woodford....neat
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 16,779
    Okay- as you are aware, most likely with indirect ( heat deflector in place) cooks the dome thermo will run about 20-40*f higher than the grate when starting out.  Longer the dome is shut the less the temp difference.  On direct cooks, the grate will get the full measure of heat from the lump and the dome will be lower than the cooking surface.  Raised grid- gets you further from the lump and closer to the dome temp.  You have at least one thermometer to run this BGE with.  Make sure it is calibrated and get comfortable with what the number it gives you means relative to the method you are using to cook. Just an opinion and we all know what those are worth-enjoy the journey!
    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
  • MickeyMickey Posts: 18,745
    edited July 2012
    375/400 for most cooks for me.
    I control more by raising height than temp.
    Salado TX Egg Family: 3 Large and a very well used Mini, added a Mini Max (I'm good for now). 

  • Doc_EggertonDoc_Eggerton Posts: 5,162
    400-425 is my sweet spot for most things.  Veggies are around 350.

    XLBGE X 2, LBGE (gave this one to my daughter), MBGE and lots of toys

  • ncbbqncbbq Posts: 257
    For me as follows:

    Low and slow 250 - 275 indirect
    Bonless chicken breasts 350 - 400 direct
    Burgers 450 direct
    Steaks 600 - 650 direct
    Pizza 600 - 650 indirect

    When I got my gasket replaced with the high heat version from the mothership they sent me some information about loving my gasket. It said that 700 dome is easily 1000 at grid level in a direct cook.
  • StoaterStoater Posts: 292
    Thanks a lot guys great responses I will take your knowledge and climb up the big green egg ladder a notch.
  • JohnMcJohnMc Posts: 76
    I'm curious as to what you folks think is the difference (if any) between a grill on top of the place setter and another one elevated about 4 inches above with the homemade rack extender many post.  I cooked two pork butts like this and they were both great but I was worried since I only had one temp probe to use.  Any expected difference in temps when indirect with a 4-5 inch difference in elevation?
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    i cold smoke around 80-100, and sear around 1500

    so call the average about 750-800 :)
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • StoaterStoater Posts: 292
    i cold smoke around 80-100, and sear around 1500

    so call the average about 750-800 :)
    Smart Arse  :)
  • for just regular "grilling" I try to get the dome thermometer to read somewhere between 350-400. 

    One thing I've learned in my "egg-sperience" is that I don't have to be so anal about trying to hit EXACTLY 350, or EXACTLY 400, etc.  Sometimes the Egg, for a variety of reasons, seems to want to hover at a temp that is slightly higher or lower than my desired temp...

    and I've learned that I can get just as good results by letting the Egg hover where it wants to as opposed to fussing & fighting w/ it trying to chase the "exact" temp up & down.

    After all, when it's all said & done, it's just cooking food, it's not NASA conducting precise thermal tests.  ;)
    Don't get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup... Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend. - Bruce Lee
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 26,706
    Fahrenheit 451 when I want to put a nice bark on a book
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.  Love me or hate me, I am forum Marmite.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • bariccardibariccardi Posts: 53
    350-400 for most stuff
    250 for low and slow
  • GriffinGriffin Posts: 7,674

    Wait...are we talking dome temp or grate level? =))

    350-400 for most grilling (dome)

    275 for low and slow (dome), 250 (grate)

    Rowlett, Texas

    Griffin's Grub or you can find me on Facebook

    The Supreme Potentate, Sovereign Commander and Sultan of Wings


  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 23,020
    how can you answer this question, i dont even cook different chicken parts at the same temp
    :)) thighs direct at 275, wings direct at 300, breasts direct at 325, chicken spatchcock 375/400. that being said, i went over a year cooking in an egg with no dome gage, no gages whatsoever for pit temps and the food was still good
  • Agree Fishless...Every cook is a little different, so "optimal" isn't something that can apply across the board.

  • StoaterStoater Posts: 292
    Guess I should have been a bit more specific with that question, although I have learn't quite a lot from this post so thanks to you all, I guess a breakdown on cuts of meat would be good and suggested temp, internal temp, direct or indirect, something like this:

    Chicken Breast - Direct Dome Temp 400 - internal Temp 142 - Rough Time 35 mins
    Pork Butt - Indirect Dome Temp 265 - internal Temp 190 - Rough Time 1.5 hours per #

    I realise this is going to be different for each individual, but maybe somone with a few years of egg cooking behind their belt could post something, or is there something already out there that could be used as a guide for all us newbies, or am I mad, and looking for the impossible, if so I will shut up.
  • People will do different foods in different ways. For example, you can cook a beef rib roast at 200*F or at 500*F and get great results either way. Your best bet would be to follow a cookbook guide for oven temps and see what you like. If there is a specific thing you want to try then ask the question here and you will get different opinions with explaination and hopefully pictures. UK?
  • StoaterStoater Posts: 292
    Thanks Steven,

    from UK yes living in Canada, if thats what your asking, if it wasn't and your asking if I'm ok then Yes Lol.

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