Big Green Egg - EGGhead Forum - The Ultimate Cooking Experience...
Welcome to the EGGhead Forum - a great place to visit and packed with tips and EGGspert advice! You can also join the conversation and get more information and amazing kamado recipes by following Big Green Egg at:

Want to see how the EGG is made? Click to Watch

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Pinterest  |  Youtube  |  Vimeo
Share your photos by tagging us and using the hashtag #BigGreenEgg.

Need Help with Temp Fluctations

Hi all, I'm not new to BGE but am new to the forum.  I've had my smoker for over a year and have smoked chicken, ribs, and brisket.  I love the smoker and have had great flavor results.

I've heard from folks before that you should be able to set BGE at a temperature and have it stay consistent throughout the cook (or at least for a few hours).  I have however had pretty consistent temperature fluctuation issues and was wondering if anyone had recommendations on how to troubleshoot it.  I'd love to be able to not have to babysit the smoker or at least be able to set it for a few hours without having to get up and adjust it.

I've attached a temp graph below where I dropped below 280 during a rib smoke.  I opened the bottom and top vents very slightly to increase airflow and the following occurred around 16:14.  My temp jump up about 80 degrees in a few minutes and then about 10-15 minutes later, it dropped back down below 280 even though I hadn't made more adjustments.  This is pretty common and leaves me chasing temperatures during my smokes - which gets really frustrating when smoking a brisket.

I usually fill the fire box up to or a little above the fire ring.  I always have fuel left over and when I do my next cook a few days or weeks later I mix up the existing charcoal.  I usually am able to push a good amount of the ashes out of the bottom air holes and keep them clear.  I don't have a buildup in the bottom of the smoker.  Anyone have an idea of what I should do?

Comments

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 39,268
    Playing around with both vents chasing the temp will drive you mad.  My suggestion is to open the top up maybe 1/4" and just adjust the bottom. 

    Never make an adjustment after you just opened the lid, always let it sit for an hour or so, then incrementally adjust and don't even look at it for another hour.

    The amount of energy you put in your food cooks it, and it's (I don't know if you had calculus in school or not) but it's the area in your graph over a time period.  That's an average, generally speaking, of the heat energy you're putting in the food/meat.

    I don't even care about my temp...I look at the vents and the food.  I try to throttle it back where the fire won't go out if I need to sleep.  My other tactic is to get a good fire going for a few hours before I throw the food/meat on in a low and slow.   I know if I have the egg at some temp like 260, stable as hell, I throw that meat on it will drop the temp down, but my vent settings will keep it stable and it will slowly come up, maybe never to the original temp because of the heat load.

    But I like to cook very low and slow at the get-go and when I hit the stall I incrementally raise the temp to power through the stall, and then you can hit a moving target of when you want to eat by controlling the vents.  Temp at any given time is meaningless.  It's like "weather" vs "climate".  You shoot for "climate".
    ______________________________________________
    Just a regular guy that likes to do regular things.
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 25,061
    Independent of the above, welcome aboard and continue to enjoy the journey.  Above all, have fun.  
    Louisville; "indeterminate Jim" here.  Rolling smoke in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer!
  • Sounds to me like you aren't stabilizing the temp before you start your cook. You need to get it to target temp so that it stays there for an hour or so without making any adjustments. When you put the meat on, the temp will drop. Don't make any adjustments for that. If it was stabilized, It'll come back up. Good luck.
    100% this. I get asked this a lot from friends so I made a video snowing how to do it. 

    Last night I did two pork shoulders. Went to bed and got up this am and the grill was within 5 degrees were I left it. 

    Done right I think the egg / Kamado joe can hold temps more stable naturally than a fan powered pellet

    https://youtu.be/9aFoEkEFX6w 


    Two Kamado Joe Classic III & a Kamado Joe Jr.  Large BGE, Mini BGE 
    YouTube: @smokingdadbbq 
    Instagram: @smokingdadbbq  

  • Wisv1kWisv1k Posts: 30
    I got to the point where I was able to set a temp for a few hours but it was still annoying to make the tiny tweaks along the way to get there. I bit the bullet on a controller and have not looked back. I enjoy the egg so much more now. It's a blast to use and a much more relaxing experience.  As an added bonus I can attend my daughter's tournaments and sleep through the night while the egg is chugging away on its own. Worth every penny in my eyes. 
  • LegumeLegume Posts: 12,056
    Using a temp probe that graphs over time leads to temp fluctuations.
  • Thanks everyone for the feedback.  All helpful recommendations!
  • Wisv1k said:
    I got to the point where I was able to set a temp for a few hours but it was still annoying to make the tiny tweaks along the way to get there. I bit the bullet on a controller and have not looked back. I enjoy the egg so much more now. It's a blast to use and a much more relaxing experience.  As an added bonus I can attend my daughter's tournaments and sleep through the night while the egg is chugging away on its own. Worth every penny in my eyes. 
    Which controller are you using?  The BGE branded one or a different one?
  • CornholioCornholio Posts: 1,037
    I’m approaching ten years using the egg and am still amazed at how it holds temps for so long. I still obsessively check the temp when I am hanging out (read drinking) during the cook and only use a probe setup for cooks where I am either going to be sleeping or busy. 

    Sorry to repeat what has already been said but getting the egg stabilized is key, have patience. I had my fire going for well over an hour on Christmas Eve before I put a rib roast on. When doing lower cooks with more smoke I’ll get it all stabilized, add the wood then wait until the smoke clears before moving ahead. 
  • Wisv1kWisv1k Posts: 30
    Wisv1k said:
    I got to the point where I was able to set a temp for a few hours but it was still annoying to make the tiny tweaks along the way to get there. I bit the bullet on a controller and have not looked back. I enjoy the egg so much more now. It's a blast to use and a much more relaxing experience.  As an added bonus I can attend my daughter's tournaments and sleep through the night while the egg is chugging away on its own. Worth every penny in my eyes. 
    Which controller are you using?  The BGE branded one or a different one?

    I use a Smobot and couldn't be happier with it. 
  • Welcome to the forum.  The good thing is that you are only new to the forum one time.  Things should be repeatable.  Keep in mind that fire requires oxygen, heat and fuel.  The oxygen part requires good air flow....make sure the firebox is properly aligned, etc.  If all of that is consistent, the upper and lower vent settings, when set in a consistent manner, should result in the same general temps.  How you build your lump pile is also key.  Find what works and repeat it.  Light your lump in the same place(s) each time.....consistency will get you there.  Smobot without a doubt.  I could probably sell you my DigiQ but wouldn't do that to a friend.  Good luck!
    The problem with a problem is that you don't know it's a problem until it's a problem.
    Holding the company together with three spreadsheets and two cans connected by a long piece of string.
  • wardowardo Posts: 398
    Under 300 I've had a hard time keeping temps steady as any changes in the vents seem to have an impact.  Once the temperature goes up, its hard to bring it back down.  I however rarely cook anything below 300.  Other than some chili or pasta sauces, everything is 300+ and stability is not an issue.  I agree with the folks above about making sure you have a stable fire going first.
    NC - LBGE
Sign In or Register to comment.
Click here for Forum Use Guidelines.