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All nighters

Ok my last post was bragging about temp control. I have been trying all night cooks twice now and both times my fire has gone out. Woke up this morning about 4 and it was out. What am I doing wrong? Any tips would be appreciated.


  • calikingcaliking Posts: 12,138
    Are you filling up the egg with enough charcoal?

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • Yes plenty of charcoal left and not burned. Just goes out it seems like.
  • KempyKempy Posts: 188

    Could it be an airflow problem?  Ash bin full?  Perhaps the holes in the fire box are clogged?

    Just a few thoughts.  Good luck with your next one.

  • R2Egg2QR2Egg2Q Posts: 2,124
    How many places do you light? In my XL, if I use fire starters I use 3 and place 1 at approximately the 12, 4, and 8 o'clock positions. A remote thermometer like a Maverick is a good idea to alert you if the temp drops too low.
    XL, Large, Small, Mini Eggs, Humphrey's Weekender, MAK 1-Star General, Hasty Bake Gourmet, Santa Maria Grill, Webers: 18.5" WSM, 22.5" OTG, 22.5" Kettle Premium, WGA Charcoal, Summit S-620 NG

    Bay Area, CA
  • What temperature are you trying to maintain? If it is below 235 F it maybe the cause, that low a temp is hard to maintain. Also the type and brand of lump you are using may cause a problem. But first thing is to start with a cleaned and aligned firebox. Also stack the lump with the largest at the bottom and work your way through the medium size to small.
    I light in multiple spots around the edge of the lump.  I use RO or BGE mostly.
    Wilson, NC
    Large BGE - WiFi Stoker - Thermapen - 250 Cookbooks

  • Thanks. I think I am rushing and not letting fire get going good. Dusting off and trying again.
  • You need to understand what "stabilized" means!  Just pick out the temperature you want to cook at -- for practice -- and try to get to that temperature and keep it there for two hours without adjusting the vents.  In other words, say 300 degrees, no meat in the egg --  you want to get your egg to that temperature and keep it there for two hours -- that will mean that your egg inside and outside(basically) is at 300 degrees.  When you can do that, then the only other thing that can effect your long cooking is running out of fuel, and that is easy to fix by just overfilling it!!!
  • I've not had this problem. For long cooks, I light my lump in 3 spots, 12, 4, and 8 as mentioned above and I let the fire establish itself for 15 minutes with the lid open. The I start backing down to my target temp. I also make certain I have a clean ash trap and that I have a semi-sorted lump pile. I also make sure that all my grate holes are all clear. Finally, as mentioned, I use a Maverick to alert me about temps. I've had 1 alarm in all the to dive used it! Hope this helps! Great cooks to you!
  • Jwright11 said:

    Thanks. I think I am rushing and not letting fire get going good. Dusting off and trying again.

    Biggest problem in a stable long cook. Takes a good while to get a fire going and "stable" at the temp you want. Also gotta light egg in more than one place.

    Keep at it!



  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 18,868
    As mentioned above, stable is the key parameter-over a 3 hour period if your temperature is changing by 0.25*/min then you will have a 45*F change over that time. 
    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
  • Remember, even though you have stabilized your egg at the cooking temperature, when you open the lid and place a chunk of cold meat on the grill, is creates another heat load for your egg to adjust to.  So again, you have to wait until that load settles out and it might need a tweak one way or the other.  But before you turn  your back and walk away, make sure the temperature is steady for at least an hour.  If the egg isn't balanced at that point it will either continue to increase temperature or decrease temperature.  At that point, having a controller will compensate a small amount of mis-adjustment and the egg will cook thru the night.  It's just getting to know your egg and how it reacts to vent adjustments.  This balance point you are looking for can easily be effected by opening your dome up, this creates a large lost of heat, but at the same time feeds a hugh amount of oxygen to the lump.  You just have to play with it, and study the different things that make holding at a given setpoint difficult... 
  • BadongBadong Posts: 126
    Before I bought my Stoker (still feels like cheating when I use it)  I found it impossible to pull an overnight without stacking the lump in three segments: large, medium, small.   Hit the link for more details
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 6,171
    When I do overnighters, I do bother to stack my lump a'la Elder Ward, as described above. I also assume I need to check every 4 hours, because I am not using a controller. I am watching for temperature creep. Most times, If I have the dome steady at 250F, for instance, for about 90 minutes after the food is in, the temp hangs in there for most of the cook. But I sometimes find that the temp will change enough in 4 hours that an adjustment is necessary. More often, the temp will have risen about 20F. Less often. it will drop the same amount. Being a light sleeper, I don't have much trouble waking once in the middle of the night to do a quick temp check.
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