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Smoke Samurai 09-10-2009 04:06 PM

Need advice on Big Green Egg
This thing is awesome let me tell you. However, I am having a hard time controlling the temperature from the start. Any advice other than packing the lump tighter? I was thinking of starting some lump up in a starter and pouring it in rather than let the sucker breathe until I can't get the temp down like they suggest . I have heard once you can dial these bad boys in that you can run them 18+ hours holding temp. help...

Divemaster 09-10-2009 04:12 PM

I like to start mine by packing the Lump around an old 1# coffee can that has had both ends removed...

I start half a chimney of lump and once going I pour it into the can and then remove the can... Close the lid, open the top damper all the way and close down the bottom to about 3/8"...

Using this method I once did a 29 hour cook on a single load at 225*!

Norcoredneck 09-10-2009 04:19 PM

You have to learn to work both intake and top vent to control or "Dial 'temp. Once you learn this you can change temp up or down easily. First basic question have you made sure the gasket is sealing?

Smoke Samurai 09-10-2009 04:23 PM

When exactly do you start closing the top? Or do you? And if you open to check your meat, do you make any adjustments at that time?

ljh34465 09-10-2009 04:52 PM

I am a newbie with an egg and still learning myself. Here is what I have learned via the forum: big chunks in the middle of the grate and used or smaller chunks on the perimeter, light in at least three areas, leave top completely off and bottom vent and screen completely open. Let it get to 400-450 and then close the bottom screen completely and vent to about 1.5". Put the top on but swing it so it is at least half open. The majority of the temp control is with the lower vent and fine tuning done with the top.

You did not indicate what temp you wanted but one of the things according to RTD is that you want the entire ceramic mass well heated - this will help stabilize any temp you want (If I understood correctly)
RTD (Ricks Tropical Delight) has a thread - I will look but it was lighting my large BGE.

thillin 09-10-2009 04:55 PM

Make sure the screw on the daisy wheel is postioned to the front of the egg. You want to make sure it doesn't move when you open the lid. You want to close the lid as soon as you can anytime during the cook. My intake is usually open about the width of a quarter slot. And the daisy wheel about the same. Make sure the fire is established before starting a cook. I gic the egg 30 min - 1hour before cooking. I light with a weed burner or starter cubes. I leave the lid open until the fire is established. Then close the lid and run it wide open without the daisy wheel on until i hit about 20 degrees hotter than I want to cook and then put the daisy wheel on and start choking down the intake. 30-60 min later I start cooking. Just dumping in lump and mixing in wood chunks and chips, I can easily get 24 hour burns. But over night 10-12 hr burns are what I usually do. And temps don't stray more than +/-10 degrees.

ljh34465 09-10-2009 04:57 PM

thillin 09-10-2009 04:59 PM

And welcome. Go over to Cattle Call and introduce youself.

Smoke Samurai 09-10-2009 05:06 PM

thillin.... I wait until the fire is established with the lid up, then I close the lid and leave it wide open, however within minutes the temp is 350+. I try to choke it down to the 225 range, but it takes forever. First 2 times I only burned 8 hours , but I had a ton of unburnt charcoal still in the bottom.

thillin 09-10-2009 05:21 PM

What brand of lump are you using? Are you using starter cubes? If cubes, when the cubes burn up, I close the lid. Remember if there are flames, it'll throw off your temp reading. Were you using a plate setter? If so, thermo temp could be 50+ higher than grate temp.

Ross in Ventura 09-10-2009 05:33 PM

Try this site


vern1915 09-10-2009 06:26 PM

I use lump. I put big pieces on bottom, then small & used ones on top. I use an electric starter. Lid open, bottom vent full open. When burning good (usually about 15-20 minutes) I close lid, set bottom vent to about 3" & daisy wheel with holes fully exposed. When it gets to around 200 I close the bottom vent to 1/2-1", then fine tune the bottom vent to get desired temp. It's harder & takes longer to cool the egg down than it is to slowly ease up on the desired temp. With good charcoal I can do 18 hours easily, with charcoal left over. It took me several years & lots of cooking to figure out the egg, but I didn't know of this forum when I started.

Abelman 09-10-2009 07:56 PM

When I first started on the BGE, I had some problems as well. I use half a chimney of lump to get started. Once good, I dump it in the midlle and leave the lid up. I also leave the bottom vent fully open. When it looks like the lump is good, I close the lid and leave the top vent wide open and watch my thermo. After awhile, start to close things down. The biggest thing to remember with the BGE, very easy to increase temps but once the ceramic gets high temps, it takes much longer to bring it back down.

You'll get a feel and get it dialed in with trial and error. You just need to get a feel.

Also, I'm at altitude in Colorado. Plus, we get all kinds of weather. Based on our wind patterns and where my BGE sits, it can make things pretty tough sometimes. In short, I got a Guru last year and it is Awesome. Winter, summer, rain, heat, etc. it does the job and was worth every penny for me.

BGE came up with the Eggcelerator for altitude guys like me but it's not even close to a Guru which does much more and is programable.

Bones 09-10-2009 10:24 PM

I load the egg with lump, breaking any big pieces down to baseball size. I start a full chimney of lump and let burn down to half. Pour the hot lump in one spot, usually the back right corner. Do not spread it out or you will overfire. I let it get going for about 10 minutes and then close down the bottom vent to about 1/4" from totally closed. The daisey wheel is positioned just barley open about 1/8". I can run for many hours, 12 to 16, on a full load of lump.
I cook on 3 different LBGE and they all run slightly different so you will have to practice to find out what works for you.
If you continue to have issues buy a guru and that will solve your problem.
Grate temp will be between 50 and 75 degrees lower than dome temp from my experience.

Hope this helps.

Ron_L 09-10-2009 10:35 PM

One of the keys to temp control with an Egg is to be patient. One local veteran told me to "trust the Egg" and not chase the temperatures. Once you get it stabilized it will want to return to that temp after you open it or add meat, etc. Resist the temptation to change your vent settings after opening or adding meat. The temp wil drop because you let heat out or added a cold mass, but it will recover in 10 - 15 minutes. Trust the Egg.

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