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Continued Fire Problem

WaterscapesWaterscapes Posts: 97
edited 12:41PM in EggHead Forum
I have tryed everything I know of to keep my fire going for 14 hrs. I stacked all large chunks in the bottom and built up to smaller chunks. lit the fire in three places. One problem that i am finding is the after i get the egg up to 250 i close the bottom damper to 1/4 open and close the upper vent so half the holes are open. After about an hour (no food in yet) I open the egg and the fire is only on one side. So i relight the other side and try again no luck.
I have cooked 8 boston butts and everytime i try to do this over night my fire goes out sometime during the night. Is this a air flow problem? Lighting problem? Or just my luck. Can anyone please help me with a suggesiton on long cooks.



  • my low and slows i always light only in the middle
  • BordelloBordello Posts: 5,926
    First, how long is it burning before the fire goes out. More info will help the forum to help you.

    I see you have an XL, I have all but the XL but my small will do 14 hrs and maybe more depending on lump and temp.

    I would me tempted to take all parts out and completely clean all old ash out and maybe try new lump. Has to be an airflow problem so long as you have lump left when it goes out. Others will chime in I'm sure.

    Good Luck,
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 28,817
    How are you lighting it?



    Caledon, ON


  • RipnemRipnem Posts: 5,511
    Careful with that, you can end up with a donut of lump and a dead fire in the middle of the night. I have gone to 2 spots for a slow cook, towards the front (cause the fire typically burns more from front to back) in two places and let it spread toward the back.
  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 12,867
    Not sure what to tell you. I usually light the lump in 2-3 places. Make sure there's plenty of it. DFMT off, bottom vent wide open. Add all of my parts (platesetter, drip pan, grid) and let the egg get to about 200° dome temp. Then I add the DFMT, completely closed, except the daisy wheel, maybe 1/16" open. Close the bottom vent to a 16th inch or so. Temp gradually goes to 250° and stays there.

    I leave it like that for an hour or so to make sure it's stable at 250°. Once I'm confident that it's where I want it, I put the meat in. Temp drops - a lot! Don't touch the vents, it'll come back up. Walk away. I have never even looked to see WHERE the lump is lit. Don't care. I just know that the dome temp is at 250° and has been there for a while.

    I check it from time to time and may make a very small adjustment here and there, but mostly, it just stays where I set it. I had never done an all nighter until I recently got a Guru, but with the all-DAY cooks, it pretty much stayed where I wanted it. My longest non-Guru cook was probably 16 hours or so. Did one with the Guru last week that lasted almost 19:20. I had at least HALF of my lump left.

    I hate it when I go to the kitchen for food and all I find are ingredients!


    Central Connecticut 

  • icemncmthicemncmth Posts: 1,160
    When you say the the bottom vent is 1/4 open are you saying 1/4 open or 1/4" open.

    When I am at 250 my bottom is about 1/4" open and my top is almost completely closed.

    Now a lot has to do with your lump. I use mainly Ozark Oak or Wicked Good.

    I have tried other lump that burns fast and I wasn't able to cook 2 pizzas on a full fire box.

    How much lump are you putting in? I have gotten 32 hours out of Ozark Oak but I had the egg full so that the lump was almost touching the bottom of the plat setter with legs up.

    I alway light in 3 places and I use a torch..had too many times over the years where the lump burned straight down and went out.

    Now one problem is that you say you light in more than one place and when you open the egg it is only lit on one side. Sounds like you have some kind of blockage that isn't allowing the air to flow evenly. for the long cooks.

    This is what I do.
    First I take everything out of the egg and clean it. Then put everything in making sure that the bottom vent of the firebox aligns with the bottom vent. After I have all parts in I put lump in firebox that will come up and almost touch the bottom of the plate setter legs up. I only put a couple of big hunks of lump in the bottom of the egg and then I pretty much dump the rest in. Now Ozark Oak is easy to do this with because there isn't a whole lot of small bits in the bag. Others I have tried I would have to dump the bag in a container and dig through it to separate the small bits out.

    Now I am different on this one part. I have access to a lot of different woods so I put large chunks in while I am dumping the lump in so that I have a few chunks of wood throughout the lump.

    When I light the lump I use a MAPP gas torch and light it in 3 places. Once I light it I have everything open wide, no daisy wheel, bottom wide open. I watch the egg pretty closely at that point because the temp will raise quickly.
    What I do is look in the top of the egg and make sure I have lump burning in more than one spot. When I see the temp climbing and it gets close to 225 I put in the plate setter and anything else I am using and that will drop the temp of the egg. I then pretty much know where to set my bottom vent and top vent. I do this right after I put the other parts of the egg in.

    I can average over 20 with this setup and still have plent of lump left. If you do this and you can't get a burn over 17 hours then either your lump isn't dense enough and burns quickly. (aka Cowboy lump) You temp gauge is wrong and you are running a higher temp than you think. Or you really aren't putting enough lump in. The last thing would be airflow. If you can't burn very long and everything else is OK then you don't have good air flow.

    Eggs are simple. Fuel,air,fire. That is what your egg is about. You either don't have enough fuel, or enough air or fire. Figure out what is wrong with the first two and that will fix the last one.
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