Controling the temperature of the Egg is very simple. It is based on the following priniclpe:
More oxygen = more heat
Basically the further open you have the bottom draft door and top daisy-wheel/slider, the hotter the coals will burn. You should be able to achieve temperatures anywhere from 100° to 1000°F with little effort. Once you’ve used the Egg a couple of times, temperature control will come naturally. Also, keep in mind that many variables affect the exact performance of your Egg: charcoal type, outdoor temperature, wind, amount of coals lit, etc.
Stabilizing the Temperature
Once your Egg is lit, the internal temperature will begin to rise. Monitor the internal temperature by watching the gauge mounted on the lid. Depending on the temperature you wish to cook at, you’ll want to close both the top and bottom vents most of the way to stabilize the temperature. The Egg will heat up very hot if you let it, often times very quickly, so keep your eye on the temperature as it warms up. When you get within 25-50°F of your desired temperature, close down the vents to begin stabilization as follows:
Grilling and high-temperature baking
I usually don’t even put the daisy wheel/slide control on top for high temperatures. The bottom draft door provides plenty of control if you’re cooking on the upper end of your thermometer.
Smoking or Indirect barbecue (a.k.a. “slow and low”)
I generally close the draft door down so it’s only about ¼"-½" open. After a couple of minutes you can make minor adjustment to fine-tune your temperature. Then, I put the daisy wheel top on the Egg. For slow-and-low temperatures, you may need to open only the daisy wheel, but not the sliding top. If you need a little more heat start by opening the slide top about ¼".
At this point, the temperature should stabilize within a few minutes. You may now make minor adjustments to the vents to modify the temperature. Be aware that it only takes miniscule movement of the draft controls to affect the temperature of the Egg. Also note that the changes are not instantaneous, but happen gradually over several minutes.
Err on the cooler side
An important concept to keep in mind is that the Egg will heat up very rapidly at any point you open either of the vents, allowing more oxygen to flow through the firebox. The heat retaining properties of the ceramic make cooling-down the Egg’s temperature much slower, so it’s always best to err on the side of cooler, as you can always bump up the heat by opening the vents ever so slightly.
Don’t open your Egg Unnecessarily
When cooking on your Egg, avoid the temptation to open the lid unnecessarily. Opening the Egg results in dramatic heat loss which takes many minutes to re-establish. It can have a negative impact on your food – particularly when cooking at high temperatures.
Putting Cold Stuff in a Hot Egg
Putting cold ceramics like a plate setter or pizza stone into the Egg will drop the internal temperature significantly. Even a cold hunk of meat will reduce the Egg’s internal temperature. It is recommended that you pre-heat ceramic items like the plate setter and pizza stone before cooking. If introducing something cold to the Egg’s interior, wait a few minutes to heat up the cold items; you shouldn’t really need to adjust the vents if you’d stabilized the temperature earlier.