View Full Version : Whoa... That was close...

11-14-2010, 09:38 AM
Went to bed last night, BGE was humming along at 270ish F and I had two 10 # boneless butts on there (butcher didn't have nay bone-in left and I'm craving pp). Meat was 176 F...

Got up this morning, checked my remote thermo, one butt was 160 and the other 147 F :tsk: First time my BGE dropped so much - was at 180 F when I got up. Finally got the egg back up to temp and the butts are back up 15 degrees but would have sucked to lose 20 # of meat because it sat in the danger zone all night. I assume 147 is ok given its above the 140 F threshold......

Outside temp dropped from 50 F to 35 F overnight but usually a swing like that isn't a problem.

As I don't have a guru or stoker, should I get the temp up higher than normal before I go to bed to ensure the temp doesn't drop overnight :confused:

11-14-2010, 09:45 AM
They should be fine. The internal temp stayed above the danger zone and the Egg temp was still high enough.

You shouldn't have to ramp up the temp before going to bed. Was there still fuel left when you checked it this morning? As long as there is fuel the Egg should have held temp. How much ash is in the bottom? It could be airflow related.

11-14-2010, 09:51 AM
You're good as long as the temp in the BGE did not drop below 140 for more than 4 hours.I have a L BGE and never use gadgets to cook.I always disassemble and clean/vaccum out before an overnite cook.Fill to the top of the Fire ring with lump when starting the cook,never had a problem.

11-14-2010, 09:52 AM
Thanks Ron. Yeah - maybe airflow. Lots of fuel, no prob getting it back up this morning with a bit of coal stoking. I'd say firebox is still half full....

I was a bit lazy last night, cleaned out the ash under the grate and put big pieces of lump in there but also used the left over charcoal that was sitting in there a while. I tried to make sure there was airflow by making sure the holes were clear and using big pieces near the holes to allow airflow and not to get plugged by small pieces. Noticed there was a fair bit of moisture around the daisy wheel at the top this morning too. When I took off the top to improve airflow this morning it dripped black water all over the deck. But none got on the butts and there wasn't much moisture inside. Wonder if the old leftover lump was full of moisture.

Usually I empty the firebox completely and even throw out the left over lump inside but there was so much lump left over form the last cook I didn't want to waste it....

Could it be the old lump had become too moist and for some reason affected the fire overnight? I would think after 6-7 hours the lump would have dried out....

11-14-2010, 10:57 AM
If your meat was at 176 when you went to bed you could've pulled it from the Egg and finished it in the oven.

<ducking for cover> :-D

I know the purist thing to do is go all the way in the smoke but after the meat hits 165 or so it has taken all the smoke it will take. All you're doing at that point is finishing in heat. I have finished in the oven several times with no ill effects to taste.

11-14-2010, 11:00 AM
glad you got up when you did, nice save!

11-14-2010, 11:44 AM
I always completely clean out the egg and vacuum it before an overnight cook also. I also never use "old" lump when doing an overnite cook, I know charcoal in general aborbs a tremendous amount of moisture sitting around here in the south so my thought was lump would also. I save the "old' stuff for grilling on the egg. Just my thoughts. I really am glad you saved your butt!

11-14-2010, 12:01 PM
All's well that ends well. I am pretty sure charcoal sits around planning it's revenge for those overnight cooks. I find that old charcoal that has burned even a little seems to burn faster, with lower heat generation and unreliably.

11-14-2010, 12:12 PM
I was kinda wondering about the time and temps too. If the butts were at 176* when you went to bed, how long were you planning to sleep/did you sleep? Cooking at 270, you could have easily finished them off with some foil in an hour or two. Then let them rest for several hours. You didn't mention how long the butts had been on but usually once you crest 175* it doesn't take long for them to finish.

11-15-2010, 04:37 PM
Wasn't sure if they'd stalled yet when at 175. At that point they'd only been on 7 hours and usually I leave em for minimum 12 hrs.... Last time did whole shoulder instead of butts and it took 19 hrs....

Ate some last night - really good - so ended up being fine. May have started the cook too early too.

Never finished in the oven before and usually pull em off close to 200 and rest em on the counter for 45 mins or so then pull em, weigh out potions and freeze.... While leaving a little to eats over the next few days of course ; )