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How to get LOW?

edited 7:33PM in EggHead Forum
Ok, I'm using the Large and have been loving it at around 300-325 for whole poultry, but the few times I've tried to go lower I've had ZERO success. I can get to 275 degrees if the stars are aligned, but attempts to go any lower lead to the fire completely going out. What am I doing wrong?

My three suspects are...

I'm using too much charcoal.
My vent/intake ratio is out of wack.
God hates me.

Oh, and YES my temp gauge is calibrated properly.

Comments

  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,172
    You are not using too much charcoal - maybe too many small pieces and chips/dust, but too much in general.

    How are you lighting it and how are your vents open?

    To achieve 250 on my large the bottom and top vents are both open just a crack.

    Some eggs just settle in at their "happy place". If yours is 270 or so, then go with the flow. You will produce good barbecue at 270.

    I personally am a "dumper" but people that have issues with maintaining low fires usually have better luck if they stack their lump using larger pieces on the bottom and progressively larger pieces on top. The promotes better airflow.

    Finally, have you removed the ash from behind the firebox? Sometimes ash buildup behind there inhibits proper airflow.
  • You need to make sure you don't overshoot the temps from the beginning. It takes a long time to cool the ceramic shell.

    Build your lump, larger pieces on bottom, and smaller as you go up. Light in 3 places: 9,12,3 o'clock positions. Leave draft door and top open until temps begin to rise. Around 175 to 200 degrees start closing the airflow up. Bottom vent about the thickness of a credit card (1/8") with daisy wheel shut with just a sliver of opening in it's petals. It will take awhile to stabilize but you should be able to maintain 250 dome temps easy enough. Remember changes in the draft door or daisy wheel take a long time to occur. Sit with some cold beers and relax!
  • mattmmattm Posts: 56
    are you adjusting the upper/lower vents when the temp is rising up to the temp you are wanting? If it gets too hot and you try to bring the temp back down, it can take a while as the ceramic heats up and holds the heat.

    I am assuming the fire box is cleared of any ash and that the fire grate is not plugged with small lumps of coal. Also am assuming that you are leaving the top and bottom vents open at least a bit while trying to reach a sub 275 temp.
  • Clay QClay Q Posts: 4,435
    Try this;
    Clean your egg of ash.
    Start building your fire buy setting in large lump chunks on the bottom grate so the holes are not blocked, tepe style. Next, arrange medium lump chunks so that voids are filled around the large chunks. This is a good time to place in some smokin wood. Then scatter smaller lump to fill the firebox. Ratio is 1/3 large chunks to 1/3 medium chunks to 1/3 small chunks to fill the firebox.
    Then light from the top, whatever method you like for lighting, it doesn't matter.
    Vent settings are 1/2 open at the bottom, slider open at the top. In a few minutes the burning lump is starting to heat up and is spreading-dome temp my be 200 degrees and thats the time to start closing down the draft door and top vent. Target temp could be 250 dome...so start closing down and slowly creep up to target temp. Eventually the lower draft door will be open around an eighth of an inch and the top vent have just the daisy wheel cracked open an eighth of an inch also. Focus on the top vent to fine tune the temp and the egg will stabilize with minum adjustments. Remember, when the meat goes in the dome will cool down but gradually creep up again as everything warms, so don't over adjust. Tip; Stay with the egg and be there when adjustment is needed. (have the food pre-prepared and a cooler with drinks nearby!)
    Well, that's my advice. Soon, you will be a pro.
  • Mike in AbitaMike in Abita Posts: 3,302
    Success is just a few clicks away.

    http://www.nakedwhiz.com/ceramicfaq.htm#loslobuild
  • Seems that I've been making a methodological error when starting up my BGE. I typically let the charcoal get going such that the temp is up to 350 before I start manipulating the vents. I'll try this today with my Sat afternoon smoke.

    Thanks, kids!
  • gwopy wrote:
    Ok, I'm using the Large and have been loving it at around 300-325 for whole poultry, but the few times I've tried to go lower I've had ZERO success. I can get to 275 degrees if the stars are aligned, but attempts to go any lower lead to the fire completely going out. What am I doing wrong?

    My three suspects are...

    I'm using too much charcoal.
    My vent/intake ratio is out of wack.
    [God hates me].

    Oh, and YES my temp gauge is calibrated properly.
    I"f God hated you Jesus Christ would not have died for you...
  • Wasn't around back then myself. I'm only 1900 years old. :)
  • Say I use 2 starter wafers. When should I close the dome? I've been waiting 5-7 minutes to make sure the fire's going good. Last time I did this within a few minutes the dome temp was in the 300's with the bottom vent fully open and the daisy off--lots of smoke coming out. Obviously, the ceramic didn't accumulate a lot of heat and I quickly moved to close the bottom vent and put the daisy on.
  • gwopygwopy Posts: 29
    Great advice all around. Thanks alot, guys! I'm going to try 225 or possibly lower tomorrow on a standing rib roast (after being inspired by another post).

    Won't try the 180 degree flip on the firebox for now, but it was nice to get some advice on that as well. Thanks again!
  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,773
    Trust us you want to keep your egg at 240-250 dome. Any lower and you will be chasing the temp. Furthermore there is a 20-30 degree difference between the dome and grate.

    Tough to get your food to 190 if the grate is at 180..

    Now if you insist I suggest you get a BBQ Guru or a Stoker.
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