If you are new to cooking on a Kamado-style grill and wonder how to use the vents on Big Green egg, read this post on all the Big Green Egg vent settings that help control temperature inside the grill.
Understanding how the vents on the big green egg work acts like a Big Green Egg temperature control guide so it is important to understand how to set the vents on Big Green Egg.
If you are breaking into your new big green egg then this post is crucial.
Challenging grilling recipes like cold smoked cheese come with proper preparation and of course, cooking. It is really important to know how to set and control the temp if you are not using anything digital.
Most BBQ grills nowadays use digital displays and even remote controls to easily control the temperature. I still love using the traditional way of controlling the heat – vents.
That is what you have to study or learn when you use a Big Green Egg Kamado-style grill so that you can regulate the temperature on Big Green Egg.
Using the vents, you need to know how to control the air inside as a temperature controller.
Aside from the preparation of the food, temperature control is the most important part of cooking, especially with meat like steaks, burgers, and other recipes like vegetables.
So if you are new to Kamado-style grills like Kamado Joe, and you own a Big Green Egg, then you should know how to set control the temperature using the vents on the grill to cook any of your recipes perfectly.
The Big Green Egg Vent Settings
If you want to control the temperature on a Big Green egg, you must understand the Big Green Egg vent settings.
The Big Green Egg vent settings are crucial in understanding how you can manipulate the temperature inside the grill. It is one of the most versatile grill temp controls as it can do the direct and indirect grilling.
There are two vents on the Big Green Egg – the top vent and the bottom vent. There is also a top vent replacement so you can choose your best top vent for your grill.
They give you full control for greater airflow or air circulation inside the grill so you can regulate the temperature on Big Green Egg by increasing and decreasing the temperature.
The perfect airflow inside the Big Green Egg grills is important for controlling the temperature.
As larger amounts of air enter the grill, more heat will be released, allowing you to control the heat source easily.
Essentially, what you do is you either lock the heat inside with the vents so it decreases over time, or you open the vents and allow hot air to freely enter and exit the BGE for more intense heat.
This way you can change the Big Green Egg vent settings and maintain the desired temperature inside the Egg.
Big Green Egg Top vs Bottom Vent
If you have been wondering the difference between the Big Green egg bottom vent and the Big Green Egg top vent, you must read this difference below.
Both the vents are important hence more info on the Big Green top vs Bottom vent below-
How To Use The Big Green Egg Bottom Vent
The bottom of the egg has a large vent that is the main vent to increase or decrease the temperature to regulate the temperature even on the large Big Green Egg.
The main vent of the Big Green Egg is the bottom vent. You can easily see this in the temperature control chart.
This is if you talk about the main temperature of the BGE and if you want to raise the temperature by large increments.
The lower vent or bottom vent is known as the draft door. This can get the BGE too hot so be careful as the grill can be unsafe especially if the door is too hot and you touch it accidentally.
It is the quickest way to get up to high temperatures when you do dry runs for the first time to see how much internal temperature the grill can achieve.
It is a large sliding door under the firebox that you can slide and create them however small or large opening you want to control the temperature.
It also functions as a cleaning vent where you can get the ashes out pretty easily even from the ceramic walls.
Make sure to clean the ashes out and the other debris every once in a while to improve the airflow in the grill.
You can check out a detailed post on how I clean my Big green egg to make sure you have a clean vent.
Usually, the sliding door on the bottom vent comes with a steel handle so it is not that hard to control it.
Adjusting how big the opening is will easily get you to the set temperature. Adjusting it is also easy as the door has an ergonomic handle for adjusting the opening.
Most Big Green Egg grills also have a screen behind the sliding door so the ashes do not get blown out of the firebox and get all over your cooking space. The screen door is also removable.
So when you need to clean out the firebox, you can open the entire sliding door and remove the screen door.
From there, just scoop the ashes out with an ash tool and discard them in a garbage can.
You can also prevent ashes by using a small amount of charcoal on your charcoal grill.
Less charcoal means there will not be too much ashes so avoid using too much charcoal.
I also recommend using natural lump charcoal instead as they burn hot but also slowly which gives you another batch from the remaining charcoal for the next time you have your next cookout.
Big Green Egg Bottom vent is probably the best way to control the air entering inside the Kamado grill so make sure you understand how the bottom vent on the Big Green egg works.
Big Green Egg has also provided a great temperature control chart that you can follow. The temperature control guide or temperature control chart uses images for a visual temperature controller.
That means that you can compare the opening on the pictures from the temperature control guide or temperature control chart and see if your grill has the same amount of opening.
How To Use The Big Green Egg Top Vent
The Big Green Egg top vent is the vent you use if you plan to control the temperature by lower increments. This allows you to get a more precise temperature control with little effort.
The Big Green Egg vent screen or top vents can decrease or increase the temperature by 10 degrees Fahrenheit and regulate the temperature on Big Green Egg.
There are two types of top vents on the Big Green Egg that you can use so you can use the best top vent for your grill by choosing the rEGGulator or the top vent replacement.
If you are thinking of smaller increments in temperature, you should use the top daisy wheel on the Big Green Egg top vents. This top vent replacement is my favorite and best top vent for slow cooking.
The daisy wheel is simply a Big Green Egg top vent replacement that covers the top opening vent of the Big Green Egg and it has small holes in it so it is the best top vent for slow and low cooking like with smokers.
If you turn the wheel, the holes open up to allow the air to pass through. You do have to be careful and use gloves as it can sometimes be too hot to touch.
This is a metal top that can make small adjustments or changes in the temperature and protect the grill from moisture.
The lower part of the daisy wheel can also be turned, opening up the entire hole on top of the Big Green Egg grill. This is recommended if you are to cook at much higher temperatures.
The Big Green Egg vent hood or top vent is made from cast iron, which can withstand high temperatures better than stainless steel.
It can be used for searing steaks and burgers without needing to do too much.
I love using the daisy wheel when smoking as I can control the temperature at lower increments. If, however, I wanted to go up to 1000 degrees Fahrenheit, then I just open the vent entirely.
If your grill is placed outdoors and you do not have anything over it, I recommend using the rEGGulator vent as it has a Big Green Egg vent cover that can protect the interior from moisture and rain.
This plays an important role in the Big Green egg Temperature control guide since it helps you make smaller temperature increments as you like.
If you really compare the top vent vs bottom vent, you can clearly see the difference. It is all about the amount of heat you want to get.
So to put it simply, the top vent vs bottom vent difference is all about the cooking style that you are going to use. Keeping the bottom vent closed and the top vent slightly open is good for vegetarian grilling, for example.
Always remember to use safety gloves as the vents can be too hot.
Storing The Big Green egg top vent
Since the Big Green Egg top vent or the daisy wheel is removable, I advise storing it properly to not deteriorate too quickly. Storing the Big Green egg Top vent properly will reduce its deterioration.
So before the Big Green Egg cools down completely, get a pair of heat-resistant gloves and then remove the vent.
Place the vent on the grill grates and then close the lid of the grill but practice extreme caution.
Cover the top vent with the rEGGulator or the full Big Green Egg vent cap to kill the good fire inside slowly.
You can also use the SmokeWare Chimney cover or vent cap, a Big Green Egg vent cover with a little roof to protect the grill from moisture.
How To Use The Big Green Egg Vents With ConvEGGtor
An insertable smoke deflector functions as a roller to get the smoke rolling onto your food for a long time when cooking.
This completely changes the functions of the air vents since the convEGGtor redirects or intervenes with the airflow.
It deflects the heat and turns the grill into an oven.
The convEGGtor prevents direct heat from the heat source from hitting the food inside the grill while also helping the top vent roll the smoke properly on the food and give it a smoky flavor.
So all you need to do with the vents is keep the opening small both on the Big Green Egg vent screen/ top vents and bottom vent.
You need to make sure that the smoke stays inside the grill for as long as possible.
However, this also depends on the type of wood chips that you use for smoking.
If you are using hardwood or wood that emits a strong flavor through its smoke, open up the vents more.
If you are using types of wood that are not that strong or do not emit too much smoke and just the right fragrant smoke, you can keep the opening on the vents small to keep the smoke inside the Big Green Egg.
Temperature Control For Different Types Of Cooking Styles
There are many different things that you can cook on the Big Green Egg. Any recipe you cook on the grill will have to be cooked differently, hence the different temperature control.
Here are the most common cooking processes that you can do on your Big Green Egg and how to set and control the vents of the Big Green Egg to get the ultimate cooking experience.
Longer Cooks or Smoking Meat
Since you will cook the food for hours, the main thing when smoking is to maintain the temperature for as long as possible. This can be challenging with outdoor cooking.
Slow cooking means it is going to take a lot of cooking time.
The majority of my 15-hour cooking time have an average smoking temperature for BGE of 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
When you cook with this method, you need to combine both the top and bottom vents to fine-tune the airflow inside the Big Green Egg. This might seem tricky but it is pretty simple.
You should open the bottom vent for more than 1/4 of an inch.
This is to limit the air coming from the bottom and prevent flare-ups that might spike the temperature during the long smokes.
Use the top vent or the rEGGulator for adjusting the temperature into smaller increments.
The Big Green Egg vent control will be tricky but you can get the best results if you practice this method more.
Here, you can take advantage of the Big Green Egg vent cover and control the increments to as little as you want.
Grilling Or Searing
If you are going to try to go with higher temperatures, then do the opposite of what we did with the smoking method. Get your bbq sauce and ingredients and get ready to cook.
You need to open the vents to get as much heat as you need for the food.
Grilling or searing meat, does not, however, mean that you need to keep the vents open all the time.
All you need to do is open the Big Green Egg vent controls enough to maintain the set cooking temperature.
For example, if I was searing steaks and glazing them with bbq sauce, I need the temperature to be around 450 degrees Fahrenheit for my cooking temperature.
Allow the Big Green Egg to fire up when preheating and control the temperature as you go on.
Again, if you want to get to low cooking temperatures, just close or reduce the opening of the Big Green Egg vent hood.
Baking Or Making Pizzas In The Big Green Egg
When you bake pizzas or other baked goods in the Big Green Eggs, you need to make sure that you get as much heat as you need.
Pizza needs to be cooked at very high cooking temperatures.
So when you are about to finish preparing your pizza, preheat the Big Green Egg with all the vents open to get as much air inside it as possible.
Use the convEGGtor to get the best Big Green Egg vent control so that the flames do not burn the pizza crust but leave the top vent open.
This will get the Big Green Egg to temperatures of over 800 degrees Fahrenheit and cook your pizza in minutes.
Make sure to also get a pizza stone to improve the crust of the pizza.
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