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Keeping a 225 temp on the BGE.

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    Keeping a 225 temp on the BGE.

    I have no problem smoking or grilling on my BGE at high temps. My problem is that I want to do a brisket at a constant 225 temp and have hard time keeping the temp that low. I bought the Guru attachment but that will bring the temp up, not down. I would appreciate any ideas on keeping the temp down (225) for low and slow. I always end up going to my WSM and I'd like to be more versatile on the BGE. Appreciate any input.

    #2
    Without a controller I set it at 1/4” inch open on the bottom vent and the same on the daisy wheel on the top. I have used a PartyQ with the top 1/4” open with great success. Currently I use a Smobot because of gusting winds in Dallas. My suspension is that your problem is the amount of charcoal and the size of the fire.

    I usually fill up the firebox by putting down a layer of large charcoal followed by medium, and then small until the entire fire is filled. Next I bury a starter square on edge running from left to right in the center. I then light the two exposed corners of the starter cube, shut the dome and open both top and bottom vents wide open. Once it is up to temp I put a fist size piece of wood, the platesetter and the meat in the egg.

    On a side note if you are using a Kick Ash Basket there is a tendency for the fire to grow too large. I’ll use it of ribs, but not Butts or brisket.

    Comment


    • BBQPaddy
      BBQPaddy commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you. I do use a kick ash basket. Good advice.

    #3
    Smaller hotter fire. Manage airflow from there. How are you lighting your fire?

    Comment


    • BBQPaddy
      BBQPaddy commented
      Editing a comment
      I use a started cube.

    #4
    When keeping 225-250 in my Egg without a controller, both the bottom and top vents are almost closed with just a few pieces of lump on fire. Using a Flame Boss I close the top vent completely and the fan keeps it burning just enough. I wonder if your gasket is damaged, though I remember Spinaker saying he doesn't even have a gasket. Otherwise, it it possible the hinge alignment is way off and letting too much air flow through?

    Comment


      #5
      That is because it is not a pellet grill,

      Comment


      • HawkerXP
        HawkerXP commented
        Editing a comment
        Ouch!

      #6
      Well, if there was any mistake to be made with a BGE, I’ve made it. It’s hard to answer your question without knowing what it is you’re doing now. But I’ll try.

      First, light it in only one spot. Use one paraffin cube, or one fiber square, or if you’re using a torch, torch one spot. (If you’re filling a chimney with charcoal, and lighting the whole thing, that’s your problem right there.)

      Let that one spot get going, about 10-15 minutes, then shut the bottom vent to about one finger, and the upper vent to about one finger.

      As the temp gets close to 200*, narrow both vents to about 1/4”. As it gets near 225*, narrow them to 1/8”. If it goes over 225*, narrow them to 1/16”, or to the tiniest crack.

      Two things are happening. First, your fire is getting hotter. But also, your BGE, and the hardware inside, is also getting hotter. Heat soaking is what I call it. What should be happening now is, your BGE should be maintaining somewhere between 200* and 250*, and white smoke is coming out of the top. When the fire AND the hardware is all the same temperature, that smoke will clear, and you’re all set. It takes about 45 minutes, so be patient. Once you get it there, it will stay rock solid until it runs out of fuel, Guru or not. With the right settings it could go 24 hours.

      Don’t sweat the difference between 225* and 250*. On a brisket that’s the difference of maybe half an hour or an hour, and no difference in the result. But going from 250* to 225* in a heat soaked BGE isn’t that hard, it takes maybe 15-20 minutes. It’s going from heat-soaked 350* to 225* that takes an hour or two. The problem with going down is that you might get yoyoing. So, small changes. You don’t want to go down to 200*, then up to 260, then down, then up... just tap the vents. Lightly.

      That’s how I do it. See how it works for you.

      Comment


      • Mosca
        Mosca commented
        Editing a comment
        Leave the bottom vent wide open and the lid (the whole lid, not the top vent) open until the cube is done. I will leave the lid open for another 5-10 minutes or so, then close it and start the vent work mentioned above.

      • BradNorthGA
        BradNorthGA commented
        Editing a comment
        This was a great post, super helpful. Thank you for this

      • Brad1
        Brad1 commented
        Editing a comment
        This actually works. Thanks you!

      #7
      I have a Vision Grill - not as good as a BGE. I really cannot keep it below 235 even in the winter with temps below 32 outside. I just have adapted. One of the things I do which is a big "no-no" for the Kamado experts, is to put a water pan in it with just a small amount of water on the deflector plate. It does cause a lot of build up on the dome but it keeps me at 235 through the night. I found that if I close vents to get below that temp, the fire goes out. I love my Vision grill, I just learned to adapt.

      Comment


        #8
        I don't have the egg, but I do have experience to agree with Mosca that the temp is absolutely okay as a fluctuating range rather than a narrow +/- a few degrees.

        My first handful of briskets I babysat my cookers and fiddled with vents for 10 hours to hold temps to a narrow range. Now I set it and forget it... much more fun and same results with a +/- as much as 30F for a 60F range.

        Comment


        • Mosca
          Mosca commented
          Editing a comment
          Yeah, even if your BGE is 225* where the probe is, it might be 245* 8” to the left, and 210* 8” to the right, or 260 over by the edge of the plate setter (or whatever they call it now) where the heat is coming up from underneath. Just get it close is fine. And, it shouldn’t fluctuate at all once it settles. If it starts going down, either you’re out of fuel or your fire is cratering. But there won’t be enough air for it to go up. If it starts going up, tap the upper vent just a nick.
          Last edited by Mosca; September 14, 2020, 05:50 AM.

        #9
        I have PrimoXL and I think it works pretty much the same way, I fill it charcoal, light it in one place using a heat gun and watch the temperature come up, I started throttling back at about 175F if I want to cook at 225F. Meathead says it like driving a big truck you have to start braking early. If you overshoot you are done for until things cool off. I have never had any trouble operating this way, the trick is not to overshoot your desired cooking temperature.

        Comment


          #10
          I'm at the bottom of the kamado pecking order with an Akorn and I'm using a Tappecue with Cruise Control instead of a BBQ Guru kit but one thing you have to remember with any of the fan controllers is the fan itself is an opening. I could be wrong, and I'm sure someone with more knowledge than me will let me know if I am, but I'm pretty sure the Guru kit fans have an adjustable blast gate on the outlet of the fan. That gate has to be closed to just a sliver too. If you don't it's basically the same as leaving the vent open to 3/4", way too much for 225. If your fan doesn't have a blast gate use duct tape to block off most of the fan inlet. The Tappecue Cruise Control fan doesn't have a blast gate and that's how I limit it with my temps fluctuating between 215 and 250.

          Comment


          • BBQPaddy
            BBQPaddy commented
            Editing a comment
            Great Idea! I usually keep the fan outlet at about half. I'll try closing it more. Thanks.

          #11
          Both LA Pork Butt and Mosca is right on the money. Light the fire in ONE place, keep it small and close the vents early. The first 30 minutes are crucial. But in my opinion a brisket turns out better at 250. The BGE has a moist environment so I always cook at higher temps on it.

          Comment


            #12
            I'm with at Argoboy I own a Primo but same difference. Light small near the air intake, keep things wide open till you get a good burn going. Then close the air intake at the bottom to about a pencil width and keep the top wide open. When u start creeping up on 200 start throttling back the top. When I have mine running well the top is open maybe 1/4 inch or so.

            All of that said, I bought a Smobot a year ago and now it is almost too easy to maintain low and slow and I keep the bottom vent wide open.

            Comment


            • Oak Smoke
              Oak Smoke commented
              Editing a comment
              That's my experience. I bought the Smobot and couldn't be happier. Before I went with the temp controller, I agree with the others, start with a small fire and control it early. The other thing that caused me trouble on my KJ was opening the lid to check on the meat. If I left it open very long at all the fresh air was going to give me a temperature spike.

            • pjlstrat
              pjlstrat commented
              Editing a comment
              Yes @old smoke , I recognize that one as well. If I leave the lid open too long she (yes it's a she) get's rippn' and then it is hard to slow down.

            #13
            In addition to all the useful advice that has been posted so far, there's a thing I learned from James at the Smoking Dad BBQ which is to do a post-cook analysis of your fire. The day after a cook (or whenever things have cooled down) before cleaning up the ashes, etc. take a close look at your firebox. How much of your charcoal was consumed? If you cooked for 18 hours and there's still a lot of unused charcoal left, you are obviously overfilling your firebox. If you added wood, was all the wood consumed? Remembering where you started your fire, what direction did it burn in? Learning how fire behaves in your particular grill can only help build fires that do what you want.
            Last edited by gilbertpilz; September 14, 2020, 06:41 AM.

            Comment


            • BBQPaddy
              BBQPaddy commented
              Editing a comment
              Good advice. Thank you.

            #14
            -All good advice above on lighting fires, lower damper opening, and daisy wheel position. Some even better points about variation of temps at different points on the cooking grates in relation to the pit probe.
            - I have a couple BGE’’s and a Primo XL. I have a few controllers laying around all due to my kids trying to out do the other one at Xmas, Fathers Day and Birthdays. Yes the Smobot is so easy, it should be criminal to use it, and its my fave with regard to temperature control.
            - The only thing that has not been touched on is the OP’s point on “Guru Attachment”. I agree yes it brings up the fire to set temp. Yes it is suppose to maintain set temp within 5-10 deg which is acceptable. Providing you do not have a large enough air leak it will lower your temp by keeping the fan cycled off to get you back to near set point before the fan starts huffing again.
            tbob4 and aladdin4d Both mentioned the fan damper which is an important point. Now I am only talking for the Digiq DX2 according to the instructions on pg 18 they want the fan damper 1/3 to 1/2 open on my LBGE. I have usually had mine in that area and have had no issues. Usually closer to 1/3 open. I actually use the same setting when cooking on the Primo XL also.
            - If the OP has the Ultra Q or such posting a graph would let us know what your fan is doing, or checking position of fan damper may help you.
            - Lastly as mentioned I think you will be happy with the results your Brisket cooking at 250 degrees.

            Comment


            • BBQPaddy
              BBQPaddy commented
              Editing a comment
              Thanks for the info. My Guru is an older model before the Digi Q. I will definitely close the gap a little more, I have it set at half. Now I'm hungry for some brisket!!

            • tiewunon
              tiewunon commented
              Editing a comment
              I'm all in!!!

            #15
            Thank all of you for the great advice on keeping my temps down on my BGE. I will be making some changes.

            Comment

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