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Struggling to keep XL BGE in the low 200s

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    Struggling to keep XL BGE in the low 200s

    This has been an ongoing problem for me, especially for briskets. I can't seem to get my XL BGE to hold 225-230 to cook a brisket. It really likes to sit north of 250. If I close the vents down any further, the temp will continue to drop into the high 100s. Just to get it to hold around 250 the bottom vent is open just a hair and the top vent just a hair as well. Not sure if its me or the egg. Any tips or suggestions? I do load up a lot of charcoal to handle the 16+ hour cook briskets usually require. Using the platesetter as well. Not sure what I can do. I really don't want to spend $300-$400 on one of those electronic temp things. I've already spent enough on the egg, table, platesetter, pizza stone, etc. Thanks in advance!

    Mods: Nomex gasket. Stainless steel daisy wheel replacement thing.

    #2
    250-260 even 275 is not gonna kill a brisket.
    If your egg is happy there than I would let it be happy.

    A lot of people here cook their briskets in PBC’s and those puppies tend to run 275-300.

    Comment


      #3
      Check your gasket for leaks. put a dollar bill on the edge, close it, and see if you can pull it out. Do this all around the perimeter.

      If you have a leak, don’t worry; run your top vent completely closed and the bottom vent open just a hair and see if that does it. If it doesn’t, replace your gasket.

      I do my briskets at 250-275.

      Comment


      • LA Pork Butt
        LA Pork Butt commented
        Editing a comment
        Good idea. Also, be sure you start with a small fire. Once the fire gets too large it will be hard to get to low temperatures.

      #4
      Leave it at 250 F. That is a fine temp for a brisket in the BGE. I usually cook mine at 275 F.

      Also, you might just be starting with to much charcoal lit. try damping it down earlier as you come up to your set temp. Also, check out this thread for some amazing tips and tricks.

      Comment


        #5
        Just curious as to what coal you are using and how you are starting the fire.

        Comment


          #6
          Agree. 250-275 is just fine. Don’t want to starve your fire.

          Comment


            #7
            If its any consolation our Keg is the same.
            Its wheelhouse seems to be in the 280 range depending on how cold it is around here.
            It is an older unit, Mosca hit the mark on mine, it leaks like a sieve.

            Comment


              #8
              Originally posted by HouseHomey View Post
              Just curious as to what coal you are using and how you are starting the fire.
              For this cook I used sone generic store brand lump which was all I could find with all the panic buying and hoarding. I usually use Royal Oak. I used a chimney starter to light the coal. I spread it out, throw on the plate setter and leave vents to half open before closing them off mostly to keep sound 260 or so.

              The real reason for my post was this is my second brisket that has come out dry. It was a CAB full packer brisket and I pulled it off at 204 degrees and rested in faux cambro for 4 hours. I used to have a Traeger and made some killer briskets at 225 so I thought maybe my temp was to blame.

              Comment


              • HouseHomey
                HouseHomey commented
                Editing a comment
                Thank you. Try wet aging a prime packer when they are back in the store.

              #9
              See there's my #1 problem. I keep hearing around the country about people being able to find prime packer briskets. HEB apparently gives them out every time you walk in the store. NOBODY carries prime packer briskets in SE Pennsylvania that I know of, and if I order it from a butcher it's $11 or $12/lb. Apparently in the midwest down to Texas you can get prime brisket for around $3.50lb. Hell it's hard enough finding packer briskets here. Everyone is happy to sell flats all day long. But only one amish market and walmart seem to have packer. Walmart is always select and I avoid it. The Amish place is choice or CAB. But never prime. Just not available to me.

              Comment


                #10
                Originally posted by a-baum View Post
                For this cook I used sone generic store brand lump which was all I could find with all the panic buying and hoarding. I usually use Royal Oak. I used a chimney starter to light the coal. I spread it out, throw on the plate setter and leave vents to half open before closing them off mostly to keep sound 260 or so.

                The real reason for my post was this is my second brisket that has come out dry. It was a CAB full packer brisket and I pulled it off at 204 degrees and rested in faux cambro for 4 hours. I used to have a Traeger and made some killer briskets at 225 so I thought maybe my temp was to blame.

                I think your charcoal lighting method is the heat control problem. Instead of using a chimney starter use a starter square like those sold by Big Green Egg. Fill your firebox with charcoal up to the fire ring. Then bury the starter square on edge crossways and light it on both corners. Close the dome and open the top and bottom vents wide open. Expect it to take at least 20 minutes to get to a dome temp of to 300. When you reach that temp put a fist size chunk of your wood of choice directly on the fire, your diffuser and drip pan in and adjust the bottom vent to about 1/4” and the top daisy wheel pebbles to half. After you stabilize at 225 put the brisket on. That entire process will take about an hour, so put that into your planning.

                i cook with Royal Oak on my large BGE and have only cooked Choice Brisket with good results. If you are still learning to control heat practice with Boson Butt, since it is more forgiving and cheaper. I can get it on sale for $.99 a pound.

                Comment


                • Hulagn1971
                  Hulagn1971 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Dome temp of 300?

                • LA Pork Butt
                  LA Pork Butt commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Hulagn1971 you can do it a 225, but it takes longer to get stabilized at 225 while 300 speeds things up by heating the diffuser and drip pan more rapidly. Remember you are stopping the vents way down after you put the diffuser in, and setting the vents for 225. The excessive heat is absorbed by the diffuser.

                • Hulagn1971
                  Hulagn1971 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  LA Pork Butt thank you for the explanation. That definitely makes sense!

                #11
                Originally posted by LA Pork Butt View Post
                ... Boson Butt, since it is more forgiving and cheaper. I can get it on sale for $.99 a pound.
                Wow, it's been years since I've seen that price.

                Comment


                • Huskee
                  Huskee commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Same. I got super excited to see $1.38/lb a couple weeks ago here.

                • Hulagn1971
                  Hulagn1971 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  .99/lb on sale pretty regularly down here in NC, Smithfield brand as well.

                #12
                Originally posted by a-baum View Post
                See there's my #1 problem. I keep hearing around the country about people being able to find prime packer briskets. HEB apparently gives them out every time you walk in the store. NOBODY carries prime packer briskets in SE Pennsylvania that I know of, and if I order it from a butcher it's $11 or $12/lb. Apparently in the midwest down to Texas you can get prime brisket for around $3.50lb. Hell it's hard enough finding packer briskets here. Everyone is happy to sell flats all day long. But only one amish market and walmart seem to have packer. Walmart is always select and I avoid it. The Amish place is choice or CAB. But never prime. Just not available to me.
                Sam’s Club in Wilkes-Barre has had prime full packers every time I’ve been there. They are right around $4/lb. sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less.

                Comment


                  #13
                  Originally posted by Mosca View Post

                  Sam’s Club in Wilkes-Barre has had prime full packers every time I’ve been there. They are right around $4/lb. sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less.
                  Prime? WB is about 2.5hrs from me. I can find packer briskets, just never seen prime. About ready to order a snake river farms prime brisket just to see all the hoopla.

                  Comment


                  • Mosca
                    Mosca commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Yes, prime. I mean call ahead, obviously. But I go there maybe 3-4 times a year and they have always had them.

                  • Mosca
                    Mosca commented
                    Editing a comment
                    The RR Ranch briskets are pretty good, btw. If you order, you will like.

                  #14
                  Originally posted by LA Pork Butt View Post


                  I think your charcoal lighting method is the heat control problem. Instead of using a chimney starter use a starter square like those sold by Big Green Egg. Fill your firebox with charcoal up to the fire ring. Then bury the starter square on edge crossways and light it on both corners. Close the dome and open the top and bottom vents wide open. Expect it to take at least 20 minutes to get to a dome temp of to 300. When you reach that temp put a fist size chunk of your wood of choice directly on the fire, your diffuser and drip pan in and adjust the bottom vent to about 1/4” and the top daisy wheel pebbles to half. After you stabilize at 225 put the brisket on. That entire process will take about an hour, so put that into your planning.
                  Circling back, wanted to thank you for the advice. I partially followed it . I just put a little charcoal in the chimney and used that to get the fire going. It was much easier to work my way up to the temp I want vs closing it off and trying to decrease. Sounds like I was indeed lighting too much coal. I am smoking a big chuck roast right now and it’s hanging perfect at 235 without any thick white smoke. Good stuff! Thanks again!

                  Comment

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