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Overnight cooks

Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,523
edited 8:37AM in EggHead Forum
Mornin all. Beautiful cold morning in the DC area, and I thought it might be time for an unsolicited opinion.[p]I see a lot of posts from folks whose fire went out overnight and wondering if the meat is good. The responsible thing to do when giving advice is take a conservative approach and consider the 140/4 hour rule that is discussed regularly. But ultimately it is up to you. Usually the thing is fine to eat, in many cases even if it has dropped back below 140 internal for too long. Especially for fresh meat that has been handled properly, and if healthy people with strong immune systems are consuming. [p]Still, consuming meat that has been on a cold pit for too long is a concern, and a risk most folks should not be willing to take. What I am wondering is why so many folks are trying to cook all night long without checking on their cooker?? Sure, the egg is capable of chugging along at 250 all night long without intervention, but it is just a fire, and so many things can happen. Waking up at least once at...say...3am would save a lot of folks the agony of trying to decide whether to chuck a big piece of meat in the garbage, or to risk serving it to yourself and your guests.[p]Just thinkin' here this mornin' and figgered I'd throw out a few words.[p]Now, hoping my ugly Redskins can get things turned in the right direction against Seattle today.
Enjoy your Sunday, and eat safe!
Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
Instagram: @DizzyPigBBQ


  • Nature Boy,[p]Yep, I'm with you on this one. My first overnights were spent on the couch next to my ET-73 wireless thermometer (it would not work in the bedroom) and sure enough, the fire would begin to go out in the moring, but the alarm would go off and warn me so I could make adjustments in time.[p]If you want to sleep through, a wireless thermometer with threshhold alarms is a must. I've found cooks for about 12 hours can go very well without any intervention, but 20 hour cooks for pulled pork will require some adjustment.[p]The BBQ Guru lets me get a good nights sleep without any alarms going off at 3 AM, and that's the main reason I went with it for overnight cooks.[p]Beers,[p]Ed
  • CornfedCornfed Posts: 1,324
    Nature Boy,[p]If everyone would just pony up the cash for a guru, we wouldn't have to have this conversation!!![p]Just kidding. I'm in a strange mood this morning...[p]I've only done a handful of overnight cooks, but each time I do, I try to wake up at least once. I've never had a fire go out, but I consider it kind of like being a kid again waking up on Christmas. I get out of bed all groggy (and typically somewhere between drunk and hungover) at 3 or 4 am to see how things are going. Just as I did as a kid, I go out to get a peak at my grill just as I used to go to the stairs to get a quick peak at the tree. Like you say, I do overnights infrequently enough to justify the one extra time getting up. Since I do so few butts/briskets, I don't want to wake up and have to throw out all of that meat.[p]Redskins/Seattle will be interesting. Both of those teams have shown both some really good stuff and some really bad stuff. Jets at Oakland for the 5th time in the last 2 calendar years. I think they've lost 5 of their last 6 at Oakland. Then again, Oakland is sucking it up this year at 2-6, and they've lost to some very terrible teams, too. Also, not only are they playing their 3rd string qb, but that 3rd string qb is rick frickin' mirer!!! I think I read this morning that his last start was in 1999 as a Jet. How is he still in the league?!?!?[p]Anyway, happy sunday. Off for a pre beer and food jog. Gotta unclog the arteries before I start reclogging this afternoon.

  • QBabeQBabe Posts: 2,275
    Howdy Chris...[p]You just said what I've been wondering for some time now. I'd never just "set it and forget it", even though I know that the BGE is capable of that. I'm one who always checks once or twice through the night just to give myself the piece of mind. Also, since I do mine mostly at 225° - 250°, I can often get up early in the morning and finish out a 6-7 lb butt all during the day rather than hassling with overnight.[p]Good advice...[p]Mornin' irish coffees to ya!

  • GrillMeister,
    The Guru certainly makes sense for those that need their sleep! Might end up with one some day.[p]I enjoy grabbing a glass of milk and checking out the stars, the moonlight, and the quiet of the early morning. Making sure things are hummin along, and returning to a sound sleep without worrying about cold meat.[p]Beers back to you.

  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,523
    Imagining the site and smell of a wonderful chunk of meat sitting on the top of the kitchen trash can is too much trauma for me. As far as the guru, I wonder if I would be able to sleep through the night and feel comfortable that the thing is still working. Problem the way it is now is that the top vent has to be closed, so if the guru wigs out, then the fire goes out.[p]Happy unclogging and clogging of arteries to you. I'll be rooting for the Jets as well as my Skins...and the Vikings.
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
    Instagram: @DizzyPigBBQ
  • FireballFireball Posts: 354
    Nature Boy,
    I haven't had a fire go out since I started using a method I got from Char Woody. [p]Start some lump in a charcoal chimney and dump the hot coals over a layer of lump in the bottom of the fire box. Fill the rest of the box with lump and your smoking wood. Add your meat, bring it up to temp. and you are set. Go to bed and wake up to a great lunch.[p]Thanks to cw.

  • Nature Boy, The top vent is supposed to be closed? I leave mine open a touch depending on the temp desired. If I close it, I hear the fan strain. I have noticed on low temps, if I have the vent open too much, the egg will "run away" and go over the set temp. But with experience, that rarely happens anymore. But still, when the egg "ran away" it was only by 10-15 degrees, so not really a major problem.

  • WardsterWardster Posts: 1,006
    Nature Boy,
    I agree... that the skins need to turn this train around!![p]Now, this is the first time that I have had a fire go out and I blame 2 things....[p]1) Not sorting the lump, at a minimum, I use large pieces over the air holes
    2) Beer. Drinking until 2am, I just forgot to wake up and check the darn thing.[p]All in all, it's my fault.

    Apollo Beach, FL
  • jwitheldjwitheld Posts: 284
    Nature Boy,
    the upper vent dosent have to be closed, i set mine so that smoke isnt forced thru the gasket.

  • BBQfan1BBQfan1 Posts: 562
    Nature Boy,
    This comment from the guy who makes up 12 hour MP3 discs because 'getting up to change a CD every hour is a pain in the a**!'
    There's hope for making a purist out of you yet, buddy!
    Yeah, Vikes need a turn-round week!

  • drbbqdrbbq Posts: 1,152
    Nawture Boy,[p]I'm with you Chris. Guru or not I can't imagine leaving a live fire near my house all night without taking a peek. I trust my oven in the kitchen but I wouldn't even do it in there. Things happen.
    Ray Lampe Dr. BBQ
  • Nawture Boy,[p]Yep, I'm with you on that too. Got up last night to get rid of some beer, and had to check on egg. Still chugging away at 210. Pork is up to 178 this morning.[p]I may set it, but I don't forget it.[p]Lunch is going to be good.[p]Cheers,[p]Ed
  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,523
    Mornin Gary!
    CW has shared some great wisdom, and his method is a good one. I use a similar method, and while I don't have a big problem with fires going out, I almost always need to make some 3 am adjustments, and a few times the fire has been working on going out. Then sometimes the fire has reached an area of lump that burns hotter, and the temp is going up. Sometimes the humidity will rise so much overnight that the fire needs more air. If you have never had a problem with leaving your cooker all night, you are probably pretty good at it, and maybe just a little lucky. [p]Sure seems like a lot of folks are wondering if they should throw their meat out.
    Cheers to you!
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
    Instagram: @DizzyPigBBQ
  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,523
    The Skins played with heart. Could it be a turnaround?[p]Sorry to hear about your ultra low slow cook. Hope things turned out and that everybody is healthy today! Try cooking your butts at 250-260 dome and see what you think. [p]Just think, you got to drink beer til 2am![p]Chris
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
    Instagram: @DizzyPigBBQ
  • Nature Boy,
    I don't see a problem with starting a long term cook after morning round of golf or something (about 3:00) and cooking about 4 to 5 hrs while your gettin that buzz goin on the old scotch-or-runie and then eating supper. So in other words after eating super and before watching tv with your eyes closed get out that old turkey roaster or just put some big tin foil together and put the stupid thing in da oven real slow. It's already been made good by the egg after that long anyhow.

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