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Best way to start as Smoker

Greetings - I've had my BGE for a few years, and really love it. But I'd like to do some smoked meat, pulled pork and other. I'm having a hard time getting it slow, and getting smoke to last hours, like 6, 8 or more.

To start the BGE I load coals, use 2 starter blocks. And close the dome, open top and bottom vents. it gets to 750 degree in no time. And I just can't get it low enough. I'd like 200-220. I can get it to 350.

How much coal to put in?
Do I add soaked wood chunks, after heating? I've heard here it's good to mix them into the coals.
Start coals with dome open, or closed?

Any tips appreciated. Might make a good BGE Smoking FAQ.



  • JwgreDeuxJwgreDeux Posts: 139
    What have you been doing on it for the few years you've had it?

    Welcome to the forum, great place to find info.  Regarding your temp issue, you have to catch it on the way up!  Once you let it get to 700+ you have lost your opportunity to maintain a long low and slow cook. 

    For a low and slow, you need to clean out your ash well and load a full firebox of lump.  Light in your usual method, but make sure you are around as the coals catch and the temp in the dome starts to climb.  As it gets to your target temp adjust the bottom and top vents to approximately finger tip size openings, and let the egg stabilize for several minutes.  Come back see where the temp is and make adjustments to your vents as needed.

    Good luck
  • The more air you give to the fire, the hotter it will get.  For low-and-slow, have the top and bottom vents only open a little bit after the fire gets going.  Place a platesetter, adjustable rig, or other method of heat-shielding to give you indirect heating.  Mix dry chunks or chips into your coals at any point.  If it is mixed all-around, should last long enough. Once all of this is in, don't add meat until smoke coming out is blue and smells good.

    You don't need to soaks chips.  Put in the full amount of lump charcoal for a long cook and you don't have to add more.  Start coals with dome open, but close after it gets going good.  Hope this helps.
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 26,710
    What those guys said and when you start, light just the top center.  You don't need many actively burning coals to maintain 200s temps.  I make a pyramid and light the top in about a 3" radius.  Sounds like you've been lighting the whole pile and trying to bring it down.  That's a recipe for yucky smoke and a flame-out.
    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 

  • Read this: for one way to do it. I did this this morning and I guess my question is about putting the meat in with the "bad" smoke. I am in the stall right now.
    Born and raised in NOLA. Now live in East TN.
  • Rest assured I've been using the BGE. Just not for super low and slow. More moderate to high. We've done everything from shrimp to pineapple, pork loin, burgers, sausage, and chicken, whole and pieces. I always laugh at non BGE users saying "You can't grill chicken with skin, it burns". Really:)

    So yes, I've been letting ALL the coals light. 

    Thanks, gotta go try this weekend. 
  • henapplehenapple Posts: 15,986
    Don't sorry about keeping it at 215. 250 works fine especially on an over night smoke
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • SmokeyPittSmokeyPitt Posts: 9,862
    Lots of good advice already...I'll just add there is really no reason to let you egg run really hot like that unless you are doing a cleaning burn.  I think you'll save some $$ on lump if you try not to overshoot your target temp  :-bd

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

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