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Can You Use Too Much Lump Charcoal?


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It seems all of my slow cooks are overdone.  I will admit I use a log of FOGO in my Big Joe.  Could my problem be I am using too much charcoal???

 

I sometimes have 100 degrees difference between grate temp and dome temp.

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I would say the problem is not using too much charcoal - but having too much of it alight!

 

I normally fill my charcoal basket up, light a fire in the middle and then control the airflow. I'll typically use that same load of charcoal for multiple cooks.

 

Seems like you are letting too much air get to the fire. Softly, softly catchee monkey....

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I don't understand why I often have a temp difference of around 100 degrees between the grate and the dome.

And this is after 3 hours.  

 

Maybe you are right. Well, I'm thinking you are right.

 

I'm just irritated I got a $100 brisket that is at 210 degrees in 4 hours after going by my dome temp being between 240 and 260.  And my grate thermometer going between 325 and 375.

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Everything you have posted makes it clear your dome thermometer is way off.  Besides, who cooks in the dome?  Grate temp is the only temp that matters, it's where the food is.  This time of year, my indoor-outdoor thermometer may read 105 outdoors, but that doesn't matter, because indoors, where I am, it reads 71.

 

Not sure where you're buying brisket, but at Costco, you'll have trouble paying much over $50, and that's PRIME grade.

 

 

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there will be a difference the deflector plates get heated by the charcoal and radiates it in to the grill so it will run hotter, it's purpose is to block the direct   heat from the fire to  the meat. The dome thermometer reads the air in the dome plus what comes around the deflector plates. If your grate reads that high and the dome thermometer is accurate check the position of the grate probe. Make sure its not overhanging the deflector plates and getting direct heat from the fire also make sure if you have 2 plates they are together with no gap and the probe isnt over the gap if you have one.

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On 7/11/2020 at 12:24 PM, scdaf said:

Everything you have posted makes it clear your dome thermometer is way off.  Besides, who cooks in the dome?  Grate temp is the only temp that matters, it's where the food is.  This time of year, my indoor-outdoor thermometer may read 105 outdoors, but that doesn't matter, because indoors, where I am, it reads 71.

 

Not sure where you're buying brisket, but at Costco, you'll have trouble paying much over $50, and that's PRIME grade.

 

 

Costco was out.  Sam's was out.  Butcher can't get any.  Found some at a meat market in Greensboro, NC.

 

I normally only buy Prime at Costco.  I paid $8.99 a lb.

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Well, confession time.  scdaf  got me a thinking.  I calibrated my dome thermometer about 8 cooks ago when new.  It was off

so I adjusted it to 210F in boiling water based on my 1500 ft altitude.

 

scdaf's comments finally registered in my pea brain or coconut shelled brain so I decided to recheck the dome thermometer.

It read 140 in boiling water.  I have been cooking about 70 degrees higher than I thought.  This would explain why almost every cook is overdone.

 

What an idiot!!!!!  Thank you all....:bravo:

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On 7/11/2020 at 1:15 PM, John Setzler said:

@Gebo see the post that is pinned at the top of this forum section regarding grate temp vs dome temp.

 

Thank  you!  Sometimes when I get frustrated I don't think/react clearly/logically.

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On 7/11/2020 at 2:51 PM, len440 said:

there will be a difference the deflector plates get heated by the charcoal and radiates it in to the grill so it will run hotter, it's purpose is to block the direct   heat from the fire to  the meat. The dome thermometer reads the air in the dome plus what comes around the deflector plates. If your grate reads that high and the dome thermometer is accurate check the position of the grate probe. Make sure its not overhanging the deflector plates and getting direct heat from the fire also make sure if you have 2 plates they are together with no gap and the probe isnt over the gap if you have one.

I had the probe about 2 inches from the meat but it may have been right over the crack.  I knew not to get it near the edge but I may have not gotten it away from the split area between the deflectors.

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10 minutes ago, Gebo said:

Well, confession time.  scdaf  got me a thinking.  I calibrated my dome thermometer about 8 cooks ago when new.  It was off

so I adjusted it to 210F in boiling water based on my 1500 ft altitude.

 

scdaf's comments finally registered in my pea brain or coconut shelled brain so I decided to recheck the dome thermometer.

It read 140 in boiling water.  I have been cooking about 70 degrees higher than I thought.  This would explain why almost every cook is overdone.

 

What an idiot!!!!!  Thank you all....:bravo:

 

Good reminder to periodically check it!

 

-Andrew

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