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JDBOULDER
09-18-2011, 10:38 AM
I decided to cook a 7lb brisket last night on my BGE and put it on at 2030hrs.


I tried to get the dome temp to 250 but it was not wanting to come down past 300.


I shut the dampers way down but not fully closed and it was like 285.


So I went to bed and at around 0420hrs the fire was out!


I am now having to cook it and I am having the same problems with the dome temp not coming below 300.


Any suggestions on what I should be or not be doing?





Thanks

HeSmellsLikeSmoke
09-18-2011, 10:42 AM
Maybe your dome gasket is leaking? have you checked it with the dollar bill test?

JDBOULDER
09-18-2011, 10:45 AM
I have not but I have only cooked about 10 times.
What is the dollar bill test?

Oldyote
09-18-2011, 10:51 AM
Might need to have a bit more info.

How are you starting it?

Once the eggs get over 300 they are hard to bring back down. This is especially true if they are started fast and the fire is allowed to spread throughout the coal bed.

I've had luck taking a spray bottle filled with water and spraying all of the outside coals.

If you are starting it up slow and it is still climbing up to 300 I would guess your vents are either open to far or your gasket is bad.

If none of the above you can check to see if your bands need adjusting. your top might not be setting flush with your base.

JDBOULDER
09-18-2011, 11:05 AM
After reading your thread, I think what happened is I stirred the coals after they were lit.
I recently read something that said to stir the coals but I think that may be the problem.
I usually start it with about 3/4 full of BGE charcoal and use one parafan starter split in half anf put in the middle and front of the coal bed..

BBQSamYesIam
09-18-2011, 11:55 AM
fill egg with lump. take about 2oz of rubbing alcohol and pour slowly onto lump, only allowing it to cover an area of about 4"-6" circle in the center of the lump. let rest for about 5minutes and light with both vents completely open.....careful, as it will flash quickly! close bottom vent after about 10minutes so only open about 1/2" (maybe slightly less), same on top vent as well. This should get you a steady temp of around 250. As stated by others, it's tough to bring the temps down once they rise. Good luck!!

HeSmellsLikeSmoke
09-18-2011, 02:26 PM
Here is a good link which explains how to do the dollar bill test.

http://www.eggheadforum.com/discussion/487530/dollar-bill-test-a-how-to/p1

HeSmellsLikeSmoke
09-18-2011, 02:29 PM
fill egg with lump. take about 2oz of rubbing alcohol and pour slowly onto lump, only allowing it to cover an area of about 4"-6" circle in the center of the lump. let rest for about 5minutes and light with both vents completely open.....careful, as it will flash quickly! close bottom vent after about 10minutes so only open about 1/2" (maybe slightly less), same on top vent as well. This should get you a steady temp of around 250. As stated by others, it's tough to bring the temps down once they rise. Good luck!!

What is the advantage of using rubbing alcohol over, say, an oiled paper towel or a weed burner?

Bob Wiley
09-18-2011, 02:34 PM
BBQ Guru

El Ropo
09-18-2011, 04:30 PM
BBQ Guru

Sure, that'd work, but learning how to start a small clean fire is cheaper.

Sounds to me like way too much lit charcoal to start. Try lighting 10-12 briquets and dumping them on top of a pile of unlit briquets with several small chunks of smoking wood buried in the unlit pile. 3/4 chimney full of lit is far too many.

I'm unfamiliar with a BGE though, is it not possible to cook using minion method? Seems like it would be the same procedure as any other upright smoker/cooker.

Edit: After re-reading your post, it appears you don't have a chimney starter? Invest in the $15 weber starter, it's well worth it :)

Oldyote
09-18-2011, 05:05 PM
Some good info in this thread.

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=115846

Gore
09-18-2011, 08:33 PM
It sounds to me that you're just letting the fire get too hot. It's really hard to bring the temps down once they are up. You need to start closing them well before they get to your target temp. To bring temps down, I do one of two things (after cutting my vent openings way back). The easiest is to get a big pot of cool water and put it on the grates. This absorbs a lot of the excess heat. The other thing I sometimes resort to is to remove the heat shield. I take it out and let it cool off for about 15 minutes, then put it back in. Again, this is to remove excess heat. I don't like doing this as these things are farkin' hot and you risk some serious burns, but if I'm desperate, I'll do it and it does work. Of course, you have to do this quickly because while you're taking it out, the fire is getting more oxygen, which is what you don't want. What I would like is a heat-proof barrier to cover the grate, so I could open the dome and cover the grate at the same time, so I could cool off the dome and not feed the fire excess oxygen. Luckily, these things don't happen too often.

BBQSamYesIam
09-18-2011, 08:40 PM
What is the advantage of using rubbing alcohol over, say, an oiled paper towel or a weed burner?

The alcohol burns very cleanly - no residue except for your arm hair and eyebrows if you're not careful :doh:!! But, the other two methods work as well! This way, however, no paper towel remnants to worry about. With the weed burner, you have to stand there I suppose! I've just settled on this method and it works quite nicely.

SmokinGuitarPlayer
09-19-2011, 08:01 AM
You need to remember that with the ceramic cookers, it's' very easy to raise the temp but takes a lot of time to lower the temp... you should try to "catch" the temp ... on the way up after you light it ...around maybe 300, then load the cooker , Platesetter/deflector, water pan maybe, grate, cold meat etc. , close lid temp will be down then don't let it overshoot and you'll have the perfect temp every time.
I'm not really a fan of the alcohol or oil lighting method, and you don't need a chimney , the cooker IS a chimney, just use one of those little starter squares and it will work perfectly every time.
FB/SGP

BBQBot
09-19-2011, 08:46 AM
This may give you some info to consider.

http://www.nakedwhiz.com/tempcontrol.htm

SmokerKing
09-19-2011, 09:06 AM
start with a small fire, just a few pieces of lump

ezoliver
09-19-2011, 12:17 PM
Like Fred says... catch it on the way up.

With my BGE I start a chimney full and dump it in, close the vents almost all the way and it will rise to about 250 and stay there.

Once you overshoot by more than about 40-50 degrees its hard to get it back down with out making it go out...

Anything over about 4-5 hours I use my stoker though.... :becky:

SmokinGuitarPlayer
09-19-2011, 01:08 PM
Here's a video I did a couple of years ago, showing how I do it just using the starter cube firestarters.
http://www.fredsmusicandbbq.com/category_s/513.htm

eggzlot
09-19-2011, 01:15 PM
hit the temp on the way up.

if you going low and slow, take 2 of those starter cubes and break them in half. use the 4 pieces in a circle in the middle of the lump pile. light each one, have the top vent open with no cap and the bottom vent wide open too. light the 4 pieces of starter cubes and leave the dome open for about 10 minutes. The starters will burn out and you'll see 4 small pockets of glowing lump.

At this point, if you are going to use a plate setter, grates, adjustable rig, etc, throw it all into the egg, let it all heat up together. place whatever you need in the egg, and shut the dome, but keep the top and bottom vent wide open.

depending on how clean the egg is (no clogged air passage holes) and how much stuff you put in (plate setter, baking stone, etc) it will take a various amount of time to get up to temp.

If you are aiming for 250, when you get to about 200/210 put on the daisy wheel top and close the bottom vent down to about 1'' open. as you get up to 230 or 240, tighten the holes on the daisy wheel and close the bottom vent to make 1/4'' - 1/2''

It should nicely settle in around 250-ish and keep that temp for a long time. After it settles and stays on a temp in that 250-ish range for 30-45 minutes, you can consider that temp stable. If you open the dome then to add your food and stuff, yes the temp may drop but it will quickly come back up to your stabilized temps - so don't go adjusting the vents, just leave them. That is the key, some people hit their temp then dont let it stabilize, so when they open to put in the meat the temps go down and then you are chasing your desired temp during the cook. Get to your temp, let it settle at that temp before you start to open the lid to put on food, its very important.

I know I over do it, but if I am not in a rush, I'll allow myself close to 90-120+ minutes to load, light, bring up to temp and stabilize and let a nice clean smoke start to burn before I put on my food.

I've had my egg for a year and knock on wood, haven't lost a fire yet. If you build a solid fire in an egg (or any ceramic cooker), there is not much of a need for a Stoker/Guru, etc.

JDBOULDER
09-19-2011, 11:43 PM
Thanks everyone for all the great tips.
I think a few things happened, I stirred the coals after they were lit and was busy doing other stuff and let the temp raise up to 300 before settling it in.

shirknwrk
09-20-2011, 03:25 AM
Once all that ceramic gets hot, it takes a LONG time to cool. Closing the vents in an attempt to bring down temps AFTER they've gone too high often results in a flame out because the heat from the ceramic makes it seem that the fire is still too hot when, in reality, it's barely going.

RedPig
09-20-2011, 05:47 AM
A lot of good information here. I can chime in on this as I have owned my BGE for over 10 years and have considerable experience using it. If your gasket is leaking, it's usually at the pinch point where the hinge is in the back. Sometimes if the lid is not seated properly in the band it will cause the lid to scrape the bottom gasket and push it out of position. It does not take much of a leak to lose the ability to control a low-temp burn. If that was not the problem, then I would look next at how you build your fire. If you are going low n slo you do not want to overbuild your fire. Once it overshoots temp it could be awhile before you are able to rein it back in. I usually start adjusting my dampers when the dome temp is approaching within 50 degrees of my desired temp. I also alway starts with the bottom damper wide open, lid open fully and daisy wheel off. If you want 275 then start adjusting at 250. Close lid, put daisy wheel on, cracked 3/8 inch or so, with eye shaped slits fully open too. Close bottom damper to 3/8 open. Let it creep up to your temp. As it settles in it will climb a little more until egg is fully preheated. So, don't overbuild fire, check gasket and dial her in as she comes up. You should be fine. Hope this helps

PORQY
09-20-2011, 09:53 AM
I've had my Kamado.com #7 for 6 years now, and I've had that problem a few times. You're lighting too many coals or you're letting the cooker get too hot before bringing it back down.

Forget alcohol. Use a weedburner. So much easier.