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Lighting the EGG and the smoke

edited 12:10PM in EggHead Forum
I have had my EGG for just about two years and I keep on learning something new all the time. I understand that after lighting the EGG you want to get rid of the bad smoke. How long do you let the EGG go until you start cooking, lets say steaks or chicken, and you are not going to smoke them ? Is there a "clean" smell after clearing the bad smoke ? Or does it depend on what kind of Lump charcoal one is using, like oak ? I do know that mesquite charcoal has a distinctive smell.




  • RU EggsperiencedRU Eggsperienced Posts: 1,527
    To me, I can smell a chemical like smoke on almost all new lump...When I relight old lump it tends to burn clean w/little of the same... I wait till the smell is gone before I cook.
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,837
    As I understand the matter, all lump has some residue of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These have a harsh odor, but vaporize fairly quickly, or combust once there is a good fire going. So, if you are cooking hot, there's little need to worry. The gases will be driven off.

    If using wood, lo-n-slo, there are other issues. Again, as I understand it, even cured wood has a lot of water in it, and as that cooks out, the steam may mix with smoke compounds and produce creosote. So one needs to wait long enough that the wood has been well heated. The wood must be between 400 and 700 to produce "good" smoke. Being heated by lump that is burning around 2000, the trick is to keep the airflow to a minimum so the wood cannot burst into flame. Not hard on the Egg. So, after awhile, you may continue to get harsh smoke from burning wood unless the vents are shut enough to limit air flow.
  • civil eggineercivil eggineer Posts: 1,547
    Usually 1/2 to 3/4 of an hour. Use the time to prep your food for grilling. Your nose will be able to tell when all the VOCs have been cleared. As another poster said, the hotter the egg, the faster the VOCs will be driven off.
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