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Hi Folks! Finally Getting to Low and Slow


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I'm new to the forum, not new to grilling and (attempts at) smoking.  Years ago I had barrel type grill with a rotisserie, don't miss that leaky mother but do miss the rotisserie.  Took my 10 year old Weber knock-off to the 2nd chance mercantile at the dump and bought a Char-Griller Akorn a few months ago and I'm finally getting to low and slow BBQ.  I broke down and bought a Digiq to go with it and, boy, is that thermometer in the dome next to worthless.  Anyway, I spent the last 2 days researching and doing experimental cooks to be able to achieve 155 degrees at grill level.  So this morning I'm doing my first ever attempt at beef jerky.  Got the grill building up to 155 while I laid out the marinated bottom round strips on the grill grate;  the Akorn was about 120 when I put the loaded grate in.  It took another 30 minutes to get up to temp and is holding nicely.  In 2 days of experimenting the workable solution I arrived at was the "Ring of Fire" for controlling the burn and the "2 cotton ball with alcohol" method of starting the charcoal gently so you don't overshoot your temp target (I tried a Weber starter cube in one experiment and achieved 210 degrees rather rapidly- try bringing that back to 155).  Anyway, I'm glad to discover y'all!  Will let you know how the jerky turns out.  

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Well,it was a heck of a cook.  After the "gentle'" alcohol start the temp shot up to 174 and I shut top and bottom dampers down to bring things down 10 degrees and then planned to open things up a little.  Gentle turned into dead.  Rearranged the charcoal in the "Ring of Fire" and got out my propane torch to get things going again.  That worked fine and after spiking again at 164 and a bit of fiddling with dampers the Digiq managed to hold things at 155 for 6 hours and made some nice tasting jerky.  That's a tough smoke, folks.  I think I'll stick to 220 from now on. 


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