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Another Newbie With A Question

BBQ_GregBBQ_Greg Posts: 9
edited January 2013 in EggHead Forum
On Sunday, Dec. 30, my wife and I went to the BGE dealer "just to look".  I've been an avid griller/smoker for years.  It started with my father who actually had a piece of 5' concrete conduit cemented vertically in the back yard covered with the dome lid of an old Weber grill as a homemade smoker.  I've spent more money on grills and smokers over the years than I care to admit, but; could never achieve the results I wanted.

Then my daughter bought her boyfriend a Medium BGE for Christmas and I was hooked.  I told my wife that would be my next grill and she just kind of smiled and said okay. So, I was kind of surprised when she went with me "just to look".  When we got to the dealer they had a Medium and an XL. As I stood and looked at the grills she looked at me and simply said, "go ahead and buy the thing".  I explained that they didn't have a large (which is what I had my heart set on) and that the Medium might be too small for a family of 5.  She said "no, I didn't mean buy a medium or large.  I mean buy the XL.  You won't be happy with anything else and we'll just be back here in a few months to get another."

So, I am now the proud owner of an XL-BGE.  Since Sunday I have done 3 Boston Butts (wish I had read more about stall before I tried that one) that turned on fairly well (would have been excellent had I pushed through the stall and made it to 190+).  I have done baked beans and even baked biscuits.  All in the snow and wind of South Western PA. Even with the stall on the BGE the results were better than before on my gas smoker.  Always finished in the oven.  I'm hooked on the BGE!!

Since chicagomike asked so many good questions, the forum has already answered many of my other questions (thanks chicagomike and forum).  So, it was the stall at 170 that leads me to my question.  I realize that dad never dealt with a stall since he pre-cooked his butts by boiling before smoking (as good as dad's were it is not a technique I care to embrace).  After reading many posts on this forum it is my understanding that time is the only thing that will break through a stall.  If I have loaded and fired the BGE properly with quality lump charcoal I should not have to worry about running out of fuel. All I need is time, patience, and good temperature control followed by a proper FTC at the end.  I'm a bit of a "purist" and HATE finishing in the oven (even though I understand that there a lot of great cooks who do).

All leads me to the conclusion that since low and slow (and patient)  is likely to be a large part of my future BGE cooking, I need to place a temperature controller on my wish list.  That way I can cook overnight or start in the early morning and cook all day without much worry or fuss.  The question is, which controller?

Of course BGE has their own controller, but; I notice a lot of forum contributors use other brands.  There are CyberQ and Nano-Q and PartyQ just to name a few!  All of which forum contributors have referenced positively.  So, I'm sure that there isn't a "wrong" purchase.  They all work as advertised.

However, following my wife's lead in the original purchase, when I buy I don't want to turn around and need to buy again in a few months due to the fact that I didn't do enough homework or ask enough questions.  I would rather wait, save, and buy a more expensive one than to buy and replace a less expensive one.

So, any suggestions for this new BGE newbie?


  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 26,654
    edited January 2013
    BBQ Guru's DigiQ DX2 is the one BGE sells, I have that and it's a good unit.  If you want to network your stoker, get the wifi version.  The Stoker is good at controlling multiple pits.  They have a wifi version also.  Either of those two brands, wifi or plain, are good choices.
    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 

  • michigan_jasonmichigan_jason Posts: 1,346
    edited January 2013
    I also have the dx2 that nola has, I love it. If I had it to do all over again, I would have got the wifi version so I can see my temps when in the office or on the road. However, I just use a network camera to view from my phone and I can actually see the whole grill and controller lol. A lot of people on here will tell you that you don't NEED a controller. This is absolutely true, HOWEVER, if you are a techie like us, and can afford one.... GET IT AND DON'T LOOK BACK!

    It is next to impossible to keep a fire below 200 degrees at the grate for any length of time without a controller. I am doing jerky right now and my egg has been sitting at 160 for 4 hours and hasn't budged.

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

  • EggRacerEggRacer Posts: 400
    I have the DigiQ II which is a precursor to the DigiQ DX2. It has been easy to setup and use for my low and slow cooks. You can do low and slow without one but they sure are nice and take a lot of my worry away especially on overnighters.
    North Richland Hills, TX
  • dlk7dlk7 Posts: 1,053
    I also have the DX2 and love it.  The wifi version wasn't available when I bought mine or I would have bought that one.  My eggs are on the back deck and I can see the controller from my window and I normally leave it on the "food" probe view. I usually use my maverik 732 in tandem so I can monitor from inside the house.

    Two XL BGEs - So Happy!!!!

    Waunakee, WI

  • @dlk7

    Press the food and pit buttons at the same time and the controller screen will alternate between food and pit temps :)

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

  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 16,763
    Regarding the stall-as you note depending on your available time you can just let nature take its course (you will get through it) or you can up the dome temp to around 300*F to power through it or you can "Texas crutch" (use foil) through it.  And don't be surprised if you see a second stall in the mid-hi 180's that will take 3-4 hours to get into the 190's.  Each hunk is different.  Welcome and 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.  
  • dlk7dlk7 Posts: 1,053

    Press the food and pit buttons at the same time and the controller screen will alternate between food and pit temps :)
    I guess it would help if I read the directions!!!!  Thanks!!!

    Two XL BGEs - So Happy!!!!

    Waunakee, WI

  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,935
    Hi, BBQ Greg, and congrats on your purchase, and even more on your wife's support.

    Lots of people have been working on "turbo" cooking methods over the last few months. In the last year or so there have been good demonstrations that the stall is a period of evaporative cooling. The meat is "sweating," and won't get any warmer till the water is out. The turbo methods typically do 2 things. The temperature is higher, perhaps even 350, and the cut of meat is often wrapped in foil for a period, preventing it from "sweating." The temperature at which the stall begins depends on the ambient temp.Meats being cooked at 250F stall around 165. Higher temps raise the stall temperature to close where the collagen will collapse rapidly. Between the two methods, the stall ceases to exist.

    So far, I've not had as good a smoke flavor, or as nice a bark w. turbo methods.  I still go w. lo-n-slo, assuming I have the time.
  • Thanks for the guidance folks!  It is needed at this point.  I have read a little about turbo cooking and know others have spoken well of it.  My concern is precisely that of gdenby, the lack of smoke flavor.  I really like the smoke.

    So I guess the next step is to save my money and get the controller.  WiFi sounds good since I do love technology.

    I also appreciate the heads up on the second stall.  That's one I hadn't run across yet in the reading I've done..

    I look forward to the day when I am not only on the receiving end of the advice but can offer some advice of my own.  In the meantime I am as green as my egg!

    Thanks again.
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 16,763
    @BBQ_Greg- an opinion regarding the controller (and we all know what those are worth:)); I would get comfortable with running "commando" without the controller primarily to appreciate how the fuel load and air-flow impact the BGE.  Once you are there then your choice about the controller-I run without one as I enjoy the challenge of dialing it in and letting the BGE do its thing w/o help.  Others swear by them and they do take the worry out of the long low& slows.  FWIW-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.  
  • I have the CyberQ WiFi and lover it. I can watch the game and the pit at the same time.
  • bigguy136bigguy136 Posts: 1,161
    I have a Stoker and love it. Knowing I will add another egg or two, I went with the Stoker. I can have it control several grills and can view/ change temps from my phone or any computer with internet.
    Welcome to the forum.

    Big Lake, Minnesota

    2X Large BGE, 1 Mini Max, Stokers, Adjustable Rig

  • Try the Texas Crutch to get through the stall. I've never personally done it, but I've read about it. Google will tell you what you need to know.
    Mark Annville, PA
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