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Fact or Myth ?

Eternal StudentEternal Student Posts: 36
edited 12:22PM in EggHead Forum
One of the benefits of the egg is supposed to be the even cooking temp that one gets. While I have owned my eggs for a bit and can claim some success, it appears that my cooks always have certain hot spots.

Is it really true that a ceramic cooker should give us an consistent cook? If so, I would love some thoughts as to what I might be doing wrong.

fyi - I use a generous amount of fire starters to start my fire.

Comments

  • FlaPoolmanFlaPoolman Posts: 11,675
    hot spots are normal, the advantage is maintaining even dome temps unlike an oven which has wide swings before the element kicks on or off.
  • CrimsongatorCrimsongator Posts: 5,795
    For me, it does seem on indirect cooks, the back of the egg seems to have a "hotter" spot. I counteract this by placing one of the legs of the platesetter in that area. Maybe I am dreaming!

    If you let the egg get good and established at a temperature and the ceramic gets warm, the heat should be more consistent that most cookers out there.
  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,773
    It is true..

    Two or three fire starters are all that is needed. When I like my eggs I light them in 4 spots at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o'clock about 2 inches from the egg of the fire box.

    Even with that you can end up with a hot spot near the hinge.
    '
  • Car Wash MikeCar Wash Mike Posts: 11,244
    I lite my egg in the middle for every cook. ONE PLACE!
    If cooking indirect, you are going to have hot spots or meat burning if not directly under the plate setter. Aluminum foil is not a heat barrier.

    Mike
  • If you feel the outside of the dome a couple of hours after an indirect cook the hot spot at the back is very obvious. I light the lump at 3, 6 and 9 o'clock and it's still there. I rotate the food 180º halfway through the cook to compensate. Tongs for pizza or bread on the stone, a Third Hand tool for the grid for anything else.
  • thirdeyethirdeye Posts: 7,428
    Don't know if even is the right word. "Predictable" might be a better choice. All cookers have hotspots, and like the other folks mentioned, my large Egg has one hotspot by the hings too. In bigger steel pits, an old trick when learning how to cook on them, involves getting the cooker up to temp then setting biscuits on squares of foil in various locating in order to map out all the hotspots.

    An advantage with ceramic cookers is that over time the material absorbs and holds heat. Once you locate any hotspots, realize that there is a difference in temperature between the grate and the dome, understand the limits of a heat barrier like a plate setter or pizza stone, your Egg will be a very predictable cooker, because you can use all of these things to your advantage during different cooks.

    A lot of things can be cooked with minimal turning (some no turning at all), but rotating to balance out the doneness and color is common.
    Happy Trails
    ~thirdeye~

    Barbecue is not rocket surgery
  • GrumpsGrumps Posts: 182
    The advantage of the BGE is that it is easy to maintain a stable grid temp and dome temp. I don't see any way to eliminate hot spots, but it does seems like starting your fire in several places and letting the coals burn as close to evenly as possible would reduce hot spots. I have not found hot spots to be a problem. I always start my fire in the middle, then the hottest part of the fire will be under the plate setter if I am cooking indirect. If I am grilling (direct) there will be areas hotter than other areas, that is where the art of grilling comes in!
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    indirect, yes, you should be able to have a "consistent" cook. if you are cooking direct, , it's much harder to do, because if you ever had the whole bed going all the way across, you would be at ridiculous dome temps (800+).

    when i do paella, dome open, the entire bed will be orange across the whole top. that's a ridiculous fire. on a raised grid, it will bring the paella pan to a good high heat.

    remember that when grilling (direct), the dome temp is only a rough indicator of how raging the fire is. if it says "600", it's WAY hotter than 600 in there if direct.

    when you are cooking direct at 300, your charcoal (direct ) temp is 1200. when you are direct at 600dome, the charcoal is at, well, 1200. if you are cooking at 800 direct (dome temp, again) your charcoal is at, well., beating-the-dead-horse, 1200. the dome temp is really measuring how hot the environment is (the air and ceramics) while being heated by either a little or a lot of 1200-degree lump. a 250 indirect dome temp means there's just a little 1200 degree lump in there. you get the point. i mashed it home enough anyway that i hope it makes sense. hahaha

    this is rough, of course. point being that you are talking two different things. hotspots and consistent temps are (sort of) different things

    there are hot spots while grilling, but when set up indirect, your dome temps are stable. any hot spots are below the indirect barrier

    set up as an indirect oven, when your egg says 350, it's at 350. and it doesn';t cycle up and done like an electric oven does as the element cycles on and off. electric elements are either ON or OFF. so for low temp, they come on for a bit and stay off longer. when broiling, they are on fully.

    so, yeah, the egg is much more stable, because the fire doesn't fluctuate.

    hot spots are a different thing and, for me, only occur during direct grilling.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Thanks everyone. The replies have been very helpful!
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