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Uneven heat (a beginner's mistake?)

Good morning all, just got my large BGE. Used it 3 times wings, steaks and butterflied chicken. Last night is the first time I added an extender, indirect, soaked wood chips (just a hand full for added smoke flavor), plate setter legs down and chicken wings (drums and wings separated). Rub with salt, pepper and garlic powder only. I put the wings in the middle and the drums at the edge (grid full). Consistent 400F and 40 mins cook time. I never opened it and just checked to make sure it stayed 400F (built in temp gauge).

Opened after 40 minutes. The ones in front (immediate front of me) are perfect crisp however, as it gets further its gets dryer and the ones at the very end were burnt. I am experimenting on slow cook/indirect heat, however what concerns me is the uneven heat. I remember spreading the charcoals. What could have went wrong?

Thank you



  • MickeyMickey Posts: 18,746
    edited October 2012

    I can't say what you did wrong. But I can say that is why I cook chicken direct and raised at 375/400.

    (just me, but I never soak wood chips or chunks. they are fine dry)

    Salado TX Egg Family: 3 Large and a very well used Mini, added a Mini Max (I'm good for now). 

  • (Thanks Mikey. Just learning through this site that soaking is not necessary. )
    The only thing I can think of is that the coals burnt to one side first since I notice there are a lot of smaller coal chips.

    PS: great site and lots of info for newbie like me. One down side is addiction :-)
  • It's a little hotter in the back. They could have used a flip or two during the cook. I've smoked wings indirect. Done it around 250 for a few hours. But like @mickey said, I usually do a raised direct 375-400. While it is the worlds best cooker, it's not gonna do it all for us. I wouldn't call it "uneven heat", the ones in the back were obviously in the draft or hotter spot. Just a little more attention next time and you'll hit a home run.

    One thing the egg manual says is the back tends to be hotter and make sure one of your plate setter legs is back there. Also try legs up for things like this.

    Hope this helps.


  • MickeyMickey Posts: 18,746
    edited October 2012
    Just a thought: do you light in 3 places? How do you light (as to oil, torch, ele, etc....) And do you give it a chance to catch? Just asking
    Salado TX Egg Family: 3 Large and a very well used Mini, added a Mini Max (I'm good for now). 

  • Very good question. I lit it in the middle only with a starter, put the plate, grid and extender, closed the dome (all vents fully opened) and wait till it hits 500F. Add the wings and set it to 400F for 40 mins.

  • gte1gte1 Posts: 376
    Light in multiple places, I agree, but there are hotter spots and after many cooks you will find them. If you are going to do chicken prices, you can obviously rotate and flip hem. If you plan on never flipping then what I would do is divide your cooking time by 4 and rotate the grid a quarter turn at each of these time time increments.
  • MickeyMickey Posts: 18,746

    From what you just said my guess (and much smarter people than me on here, hell VI is but don't tell him I said so) is the fire just burned strait down and was not burnig across the lump.

    If you have this happen (so much harder with platesitter) you need to stir after getting it going.

    I light in 3 places with a torch but you can do the same no matter how you light. It just works for me.

    Salado TX Egg Family: 3 Large and a very well used Mini, added a Mini Max (I'm good for now). 

  • +1 three places with torch, raised direct 350-400 just cooked 2 spatch's last night like this, perfection.

    "Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity, and are able to turn both to their advantage."

  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 8,347
    If you are using an electric starter for a quick cook, <an hour or two, put the starter a little deeper in the lump and give it a twist about 4 minutes after its hot. Gives a larger fire. I give it another few minutes until temp hits 500 or so, then drop in the setter and grid, once stable at 425 or so, on go the wings. I cook wings indirect all the time, setter legs up (you mentioned legs down), drip pan (with spacers) on the setter, grid on the setter legs. No extender. The rear is naturally hotter, but not to the extent that it burns. No water need on the chips or in the drip pan, dome temp of 425-450 for a crispy finish. 
    Delta B.C. - Move over coffee, this is job for alcohol!
  • SmokeyPittSmokeyPitt Posts: 9,864
    edited October 2012
    I think @MrCookingNurse nailed must have had some of the wings hanging over the plate setter.  With the setter in place, all the heat is forced around it so there is a "jet stream" that slips around the outside.  If you have food directly in the jet stream it will get done much faster. 

    I usually just light in one place for indirect cooks and I haven't really noticed any problems with uneven heat above the plate setter.  I do always put one leg to the back though.  

    Did you really have it legs down or was that a typo?  If so, that would also explain it.  With the legs up, you are going to get a big air gap between the setter and the I think any hot spots hitting the setter will even out before they reach the grid.  Legs up...keep the food over the will be golden :)

    Which came first the chicken or the egg?  I egged the chicken and then I ate his leg. 

  • LOL sorry, my manual is still in pristine condition. Can't help but watch the video and fired up the grill.

    Yes, I did leg down, rookie mistake. And that makes sense, putting one leg to the end. I will also have to watch the coals before setting the plate.

    Thank you all !
  • MickeyMickey Posts: 18,746
    judebaclig what is the kayak you have?
    Salado TX Egg Family: 3 Large and a very well used Mini, added a Mini Max (I'm good for now). 

  • ratcheerratcheer Posts: 189
    Mine always heats pretty unevenly, too. It is hottest toward the back and very hottest at the right "corner" of the back, i.e., around one it it was a clock face. That seems to me to be exactly opposite of the bottom vent of the grill.

    I just compensate by rotating my food a couple of times during cooking.

  • Its a Cobra Explorer (sit on top) I bought used in 2006 (got 2 for wify too). have not used it for months due to back issues. I feel better now so I will be dusting it and start hunting for reds. So please bear with me if I opened a new thread asking on the best way to cook a red fish on a BGE :-)
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