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Small BGE cooks (butts, ribs, brisket)

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Comments

  • JekJek Posts: 37
    The flaw IMO was the grate has fewer holes (and fewer in the fire box) so it is more prone to being effected by blocking.  At least that was my thought and experience.

    As far as the concept of scale up, I agree that some things will scale, but one key things does not.  I don't have the fuel or ash space to do a true low & slow at 225F for 18-24 hrs.  I have had to add lump on my last 3 7.5-10 hr cooks (although this was at a higher temperature [275-300F]).

    Heating up is from 40-60 minutes for me, but I only light in one place.  10-15 minutes lid open to start, 5-10 minutes lid closed vents full open, add the conveggtor/drip pan/grate, when I hit 250F adjust the vents and let it stable out.
    Small BGE // Wisconsin
  • @Jek That’s why you need to another Egg…or two.
    XL BGE, Large BGE, Small BGE, Weber Summit NG                                                                                               
    Memphis  
  • BarBar Posts: 166
    @Jek That’s why you need to another Egg…or two.
    I started with a used medium with a cracked firebox on the cheap.  After cooking on it for a year I got an XL.  Still use both today for different cooks.
  • JekJek Posts: 37
    @4TheGrillOfIt Donations accepted.
    Small BGE // Wisconsin
  • Photo EggPhoto Egg Posts: 11,156
    Jek said:
    The flaw IMO was the grate has fewer holes (and fewer in the fire box) so it is more prone to being effected by blocking.  At least that was my thought and experience.

    As far as the concept of scale up, I agree that some things will scale, but one key things does not.  I don't have the fuel or ash space to do a true low & slow at 225F for 18-24 hrs.  I have had to add lump on my last 3 7.5-10 hr cooks (although this was at a higher temperature [275-300F]).

    Heating up is from 40-60 minutes for me, but I only light in one place.  10-15 minutes lid open to start, 5-10 minutes lid closed vents full open, add the conveggtor/drip pan/grate, when I hit 250F adjust the vents and let it stable out.
    Having realistic expectations is a good start. If you expect 18-24 hours from a small grill, you are living in a fantasy world. 
    If it’s taking you 40-60 minutes to get to your target temp…light it in more than 1 spot. In all of my Egg, I light my grill in more spots depending on the target temp I want to reach. Once you get the hot spots lit well, close the dome so it properly drafts the fire. A little torch shot between the pieces of lump starts your fire lower into the lump and not just the top surface. 
    So the flaw, IMO, is your fire starting. I agree. 40-60 minutes is crazy. Light your grill with an end temp in mind.
    Understand your cooker and adapt. Be willing to try suggestions and make changes if needed.
    With my XL, I lite in 4-5-6 spots, if I’m shooting for an even raised direct 400 degree cook. How many spots also depends on the lump size pieces and how well the fire is taking in each spot as I’m torching the spot.
    If I’m using fire cubes I bury them a little and use more or less depending on target temp. In this case, I keep some open long enough for cube started to burn out.
    Thank you,
    Darian

    Galveston Texas
  • JekJek Posts: 37
    Thanks @Photo Egg

    I will try to accelerate the start next time.  Probably start small and light 2 spots with fire cubes.  But I think I still want the temp stabilized before I put on the meat.  At best I think I could reduce it 10-15 min.  My thinking on stabilizing is then I have an idea at the temperature it will land on and I won't need to watch it as closely at the beginning.  It often takes 40 min to get back to what I am shooting for when I add a big, cold mass of meat to that small space.
    Small BGE // Wisconsin
  • JekJek Posts: 37
    Maybe "flaw" is too strong of a word, but if the Small BGE can't effectively do longer cooks then why purchase a kamado style grill?  Way cheaper to just get a kettle...

    I don't think my expectations were too high.  I'm adjusting how I do things as I learn more.
    Small BGE // Wisconsin
  • Photo EggPhoto Egg Posts: 11,156
    Jek said:
    Maybe "flaw" is too strong of a word, but if the Small BGE can't effectively do longer cooks then why purchase a kamado style grill?  Way cheaper to just get a kettle...

    I don't think my expectations were too high.  I'm adjusting how I do things as I learn more.
    The size of the smoker directly corresponds to the amount of lump it will hold. That correlates to how long you can cook on one filling of lump. That’s just common sense. Have you ever seen any small Kamado cook for 20+ hours? What ever gave you this wild idea? So yes, expectations are normally based on some tangible information that ends up being false, not just wishing it so.
    But the small will easily go 8-12 hours of nearly touch free slow cooking with the same great qualities of any Kamado. This is still low and slow enough for a great pork butt. Have cooked several on my Small Egg. Expecting about 3 pounds of lump to go 20+ hours is so unrealistic.
    This is why they make different sized Kamados. Not only to increase the food capacity but also the cook time.
    A little research probably would have guided you towards a Large Egg and saved you some trouble because you really seem unhappy with the Small.
    Thank you,
    Darian

    Galveston Texas
  • JekJek Posts: 37
    edited September 10
    @Photo Egg Remember I was a complete noob.  I didn't research because I got it from my folks on a whim because they were not using it (my choice was do I want it or not, not what size to get).  There wasn't a lot of comparing/contrasting sizes of BGEs that I saw on this site.  Most people show cooks on the L or XL.  You are allowed to cut a noob some slack, right?
    Small BGE // Wisconsin
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 28,076
    edited September 10
    your cooks look to be too long, first, get rid of the platesetter, why use lump heating it up in the first place. aim for 240/250 dome, this is not a low and slow in a metal cooker where theres lots more airflow transferring heat at a lower temp. use smaller cuts or splay open a boneless butt, it cooks quicker splayed open. are you putting liquid in the drip pan, that will burn alot of lump in itself.  this was a small brisket point cooked in a mini egg, the smallest of the eggs, i just used tin foil laying on the lump as an indirect setup no drip pan, it was 185 internal in under 8 hours at 235/245 dome


    i should mention, i eventually got rid of my small, it took to long to come up to temps, but for a low and slow you can put the meat in sooner once you know where the settings are. just set the vents to low and slow, when the smoke is smelling good, in goes the meat

    fukahwee maine

    you can lead a fish to water but you can not make him drink it
  • JekJek Posts: 37
    No water in the drip pan.  7.5-10 hrs for a 10# butt is not out of range, is it?  The energy associated with heating up the plate setter is small.  Let's say its 3# with a specific heat of 0.26 Btu/lb-F and the temperature is raised from 70 to 300F, that is only about 200 Btu.  If you were using wood as a fuel (and lump is more energy dense than wood), that has about 8000 Btu/lb...less than an ounce of wood energy and less lump.  Unless I have slipped a digit somewhere, the plate setter is not a big issue.
    Small BGE // Wisconsin
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 28,076
    Jek said:
    No water in the drip pan.  7.5-10 hrs for a 10# butt is not out of range, is it?  The energy associated with heating up the plate setter is small.  Let's say its 3# with a specific heat of 0.26 Btu/lb-F and the temperature is raised from 70 to 300F, that is only about 200 Btu.  If you were using wood as a fuel (and lump is more energy dense than wood), that has about 8000 Btu/lb...less than an ounce of wood energy and less lump.  Unless I have slipped a digit somewhere, the plate setter is not a big issue.

    10 pounds of butt in a small is a large piece to get up to temp. as a comparison i did 34 pounds of brisket and butt in a large, 4 hours in it was still reading under 200 dome. the kicker was i opened things up just to get 200 dome temps and there was a fire down below  roaring, easily 1000 degree dome temp fire wasting all that lump maintaining a 200 degree reading with all that cold mass in there.  theres no way to get a good temp reading in an over packed egg, the meat is too cold and you cant get the probes far enough away to get an accurate reading. in a mini, theres no room for an indirect setup other than foil when working with larger piece anyways. one other thing with the small, more so with my mini, you can pack more lump in there with small pieces, the coveted large pieces is a wives-tale, you want small dense lump in there
    fukahwee maine

    you can lead a fish to water but you can not make him drink it
  • Photo EggPhoto Egg Posts: 11,156
    Jek said:
    @Photo Egg Remember I was a complete noob.  I didn't research because I got it from my folks on a whim because they were not using it (my choice was do I want it or not, not what size to get).  There wasn't a lot of comparing/contrasting sizes of BGEs that I saw on this site.  Most people show cooks on the L or XL.  You are allowed to cut a noob some slack, right?
    “You are allowed to cut a noob some slack, right?”

    I certainly gave you more slack than you gave your Small Egg. 
    You could have easily made a post asking about your 2 key concerns.
    Hey Eggheads, I’m using a Small BGE and I can’t get 18-24 hours of cook time on 1 filling of lump. And it’s taking me 40-60 minutes to get up to cooking temps. Is this normal? What is normal? Can I do anything to improve these issues?
    Instead you just posted your opinions on what it should do and how it should cook as long as the larger sizes and if it can’t there is no reason to buy one because it’s to expensive and we should all just buy Weber Kettle grills.



    Thank you,
    Darian

    Galveston Texas
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 24,349
    Let the games begin!  And a bonus-It's Friday night!
    Louisville; "indeterminate Jim" here.  Rolling smoke in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer!
  • JekJek Posts: 37
    edited September 11
    @Photo Egg  I'm not going to argue with you.  You are wrong.  But that's your prerogative.  I love the egg I fell into.  Just observations on limitations, you don't have to agree, but you don't need to take them personally.  It's grilling...

    For the record, I never said any of those things you attribute to me.  And given what I have tried to do with the small (to be fair, due to necessity not unresearched, arbitrary choice or assumption), I don't think I sell it short.  I have tried everything (see original post) and just trying to get better at doing the things I want to do on it.
    Small BGE // Wisconsin
  • JekJek Posts: 37
    @lousubcap I was having fun...that was the rule, right?
    Small BGE // Wisconsin
  • Photo EggPhoto Egg Posts: 11,156
    Jek said:
    @Photo Egg  I'm not going to argue with you.  You are wrong.  But that's your prerogative.  I love the egg I fell into.  Just observations on limitations, you don't have to agree, but you don't need to take them personally.  It's grilling...

    For the record, I never said any of those things you attribute to me.  And given what I have tried to do with the small (to be fair, due to necessity not unresearched, arbitrary choice or assumption), I don't think I sell it short.  I have tried everything (see original post) and just trying to get better at doing the things I want to do on it.
    Yes, you said all of those those things. And now trying to play it off as having fun.
    Yep, you spill out BTU rating of heat it takes to heat up a plate setter to @fishlessman but you can’t figure out that lighting your grill in more more than one spot will bring you up to temp faster.
    You Da Man!
    Thank you,
    Darian

    Galveston Texas
  • JekJek Posts: 37
    I light in one spot based on reading and research telling me not to rush the start.  Whatever, it's the internet.  I did the calculation to prove to myself that it wasn't a big effect.  That's actually what I do I do for a living.  Thought it would be interesting.  You clearly aren't.  And, no, I never said those things, but I will look back.  If I did, I didn't mean to.
    Small BGE // Wisconsin
  • JekJek Posts: 37
    I thought that posting some small cooks and discussion would add something.  Most of what I have read has been with bigger eggs.  I appear to have been wrong.  Good to know.  Not the first or last time.
    Small BGE // Wisconsin
  • Photo EggPhoto Egg Posts: 11,156
    Jek said:
    I thought that posting some small cooks and discussion would add something.  Most of what I have read has been with bigger eggs.  I appear to have been wrong.  Good to know.  Not the first or last time.
    There’s no hard feelings I’m holding. And I hope the same on your side.
    Posting the cooks on your Small did add to the forum. They were great looking cooks. But I didn’t think the way you approached/worded your dismay with the Small added anything positive.
    I would still recommend sparking up your small in at least 2 spots, left and right of center. If I’m shooting for temps of 400 or higher, I light in 3 spots. One towards the back and another left and right of center more toward the front.
    Yes, you can still watch your temps at start and dialing down your vents so they don’t overshoot. Your  2 vent openings become 2nd nature based on the cooking temp you want, only  needing small tweaking.
    Cheers
    Thank you,
    Darian

    Galveston Texas
  • JekJek Posts: 37
    Lit in two places with 1/4 of starter brick in each spot.  Wide open (lower vent & lid) for 8 minutes, put in platesetter in legs down and the drip pan and did 8 minutes with same vent settings, closed the lower vent to setting (~1 finger width) and closed lid with no top vent (8 minute), flipped platesetter and set up drip pan and grate with vent settings that have worked for 275-300F in the past.  I was up to 250F with clear smoke and could have put the ribs on in ~30 minutes total.  Thanks for the tips.
    Small BGE // Wisconsin
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