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Temperature Help

Happy Thanksgiving all!

   I have truly enjoyed reading  the forums.  I am going to try and smoke my first turkey tomorrow. I have experimented with the temperature but still don't have it down pat.  I can put out a fire with no problem, but maintaining one is a different story.  Do you all let the charcoal fully start to burn, get it roaring and then and bring the temperature down to cook or do you ignite the charcoal and let it climb to the temp you want and then make your daisy wheel and bottom trap door adjustments to keep it at that temp?  I am having a hard time with letting the temp climb to about 300 degrees and keeping it there without the fire going out.  Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated,


  • BYS1981BYS1981 Posts: 2,524
    edited November 2012

    Hi Mike,

    When I am cooking I do not bring it to rip roaring fire temps and bring back down.  What I do is the following:

    1.  Light fire (I always light in 1 place only, sometimes others light in more than 1 place if they want extra hot, etc)

    2.  Let fire burn with lid open and vent fully open for 10-15 minutes

    3.  Close lid and see where I am at after about 1 minute.
    3a.   Allow fire to get about 50 degrees hotter than I need and add platesetter (or any indirect fire tool)

    4.  Adjust vent, and daisy wheel if I am doing lower than 300, to where I know the temp should be. 

    5.  I then allow the fire to stabilize until the smoke is clear or good smelling.  I found that white smelling smoke imparted an acrid taste in my food.

    There is a previous thread that is really detailed on temp control, let me see if I can dig it up, in all honesty it should be made sticky, but there are no mods so... haha.

    Hope that gives you a general idea of what the steps others use.

    Edit:  found the link.  Best Temperature Control Thread on this site!

  • SWEET!!! Thank you for such a fast response.  I am off and smokin'!

  • I usually light in a couple of places , lid open , bottom vent wide open. After approx. 10 minutes, add platesetter and close lid , watch temp when within about 50 degrees of desired temp, close bottom vent to where you think it will need to be.If it is a low and slow your vent will barely be open, add daisy wheel for fine control. After you get it set and stable and burning clean add food.You will be suprised how steady the temp will stay about the only thing that affects it is a change in wind.
    Ova B.
    Fulton MO
  • Thank you for your help.   I tried the perfect steak from the big green egg cookbook.  Had the fire going great with high temp.  Did the two minutes and went to flip.  That side of the steak was burnt so bad it looked like the lump charcoal.  I am learning.     Happy Thanksgivng!!!
  • I have found it easier to cook steaks at about 400 taking them off 10 to 15 degrees below target temp, resting them while i let the grill heat up, then sear them (Reverse Sear), it only takes 30 to 45 seconds to sear it. Experiment with the time, I have just found it easier to raise the temp versus lowering. The egg is so efficient it doesn't lower in temp very quickly.
    Ova B.
    Fulton MO
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