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maintaining low temp for long smoke

thurwichthurwich Posts: 2
edited August 2012 in EggHead Forum

I am smoking brisket tomorrow. For shorter smokes, ribs, etc I have not had trouble maintaining low temp but for brisket and pork I have. I was told this is due to me putting too much charcoal in as hard to keep tempature when that much charcoal.  It starts out fine and and am at about 225 to 250 for first hour or so then creeps up to 275 or 300. I don't have this issue when have only abou half amount of charcoal in.

Any tips for this? One person told me not too light so much and then add charcoal later but that defeats one of reasons why i bought big green egg?


  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 6,204
    Too much charcoal is absolutely not the issue. It is just a little too much air flow. Try to stabilize the dome thermometer temperature close to 250F. Let it sit at that temperature for at least half an hour. If the temperature is under 225, there is a tendency for the fires to go out over a long period.After the meat is placed in the Egg, expect the temperature to fall, and stay there 15 - 30 minutes. Do not change the vent settings. It should return to the same dome temperature.

    Expect the upward creep after a few hours. That is fairly common. The Egg ceramic absorbs quite a bit of heat from the burning lump, and that raises the internal temperatures some. Just tap the bottom vent a little more closed. The temperature should stabilize pretty well around 250 dome with both vent just barely open. For most cooks, any temperature between 250 and 300 dome is O.K. the higher temperature just makes the cook a little faster. The surface of the meat may dry out a little, and need some mopping to keep it from becoming desiccated.

    Don't fuss too much about the temperature. Any temperature within 15F of your terget is fine.
  • BadongBadong Posts: 126
    edited August 2012
    I use a Stoker now but before that I found it really important to build your lump pyre.  Separate your chunks in to three categories: leg, med, small.  Remove all other lump from the egg and then deliberately place three layers of lump into the egg.  Large on bottom, then medium, then small.  Make sure you put some of your wood chunks on each level.  That should keep your temp pretty stable but you will still have to watch it.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    listen to gdeny. it's not too much fuel.  a car doesn't go faster when you fill the tank.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Thanks all. I bult lump pile as suggested and that worked I need to add more woods did not get enough smoke ring
  • Below 250 F is a really tough temp to maintain.  In fact, you'll find that the majority of people prefer a dome between 250-300 for their cooks, I prefer to do 300 for pork shoulder & have never had any problems.  I wouldn't worry so much about it.
  • FxLynchFxLynch Posts: 433
    I think too much emphasis is put on the old school "stay at 225 for the cook".  Most people with an egg cook at 225-275 with the same or better results.  Just learn your eggs, learn what temp to ride at with the small vent settings and be done with it.  Seriously, I can shut my lid and set my bottom vent for my desired temp and be within 25 degrees or so.  And I've only been egging for less than a year.
  • I'm one of the slow and low guys. I fill the firebox (XL) to the top, light the coals only in one spot, at about 180 dome start closing things down, and I can run 17 hours at 220F with only minor adjustments. I usually get things going late at night and at 6am I'm usually within 10F. I think it's all about knowing your egg, charcoal, and other factors regardless of what temp you cook at.
  • DuganboyDuganboy Posts: 1,118
    250 degrees is pretty low and slow and that is probably going to read 275 on your dome thermo. I have been eggin for 15 years and I didn't realize until I joined this forum that dome and grid temps can vary.

    I have a Cookshack smoker and I would do ribs in it at 225 and they would be done in 4 hours or a little more.  I would put the BGE on 225 and they wouldn't be nearly done at that time.  I was actually cooking at about 200!!
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    not much of a smoke ring... are you leaving the meat out to warm up to room temp by any chance?
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Is the meat suppose to warm to room temp or not?  The shoulder I did last week I let warm up to room temp.
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 19,885
    Smoke ring (appearance only) forms when surface meat temp is below around 140*F.  So, colder the starting temp the more the ring formation time.  No bearing on smoke adherence to the meat...
    Louisville;  "indeterminate Jim" here; L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    edited August 2012
    we warm up a roast or steak so that we don't overcook it on the exterior while trying to raise a cold core to our desired temp.  it makes for a very even cross section of meat at your 'preferred' temp (medium-rare, for example).

    a butt is something we are going to cook to death. we don't cook to an internal doneness temp like 'medium rare'.  we overcook it til it falls apart.

    you can warm a butt before putting it on (ribs, too of course) but it doesn't have a benefit, and if you like a smoke ring ( i do, even though it has nothing to do with smoke flavor), you will have much less of one if it goes on warm. the longer the meat surface is cold, the longer the smoke ring will form

    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Thanks @lousubcap and @stike.   I thinks its great that you give the theory behind what is going on.  It is very helpful.  Now I will need to try another shoulder soon.
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