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High-Que Charcoal Grate question

BotchBotch Posts: 2,744
edited August 2011 in Forum List
I've not had any luck getting my Large past 650 F, and I'm anxious to try Neapolitan-style pizzas (which should have 800-900 F).  I just installed my new charcoal grate from High-Que ( www.high-que.com ) and am seeing what happens (just using a $5 Papa Murphy's Large pepperoni for now) and I noticed that quite a bit of the smaller pieces fell thru the grate into the bottom of the Egg.
While its heating up, I now see that I have quite a fire going underneath the firebox, and smoke is pouring out the intake vent (?).  I'm not too concerned about the Egg ceramics in the bottom, but has anyone had any problems with the hot coals bouncing against the screen, and burning thru?  I'll report later on how hot I got the Egg, but wanted to post the above question quickly...  
_____________________________________________
 
Live fast, die young, and leave a well-marbled corpse.  
 
Ogden, Utard.  

Comments

  • BotchBotch Posts: 2,744
    Correction:  The smoke is not coming out of the intake, its coming from off the bottom surface of the Egg itself.  Its probably molding compounds, and what looks suspiciously like some kind of label that was there.  
     
    Also, am attaching a pic of the High-Que grate:

    51KYeZUc+QL._SX120_.jpg
    120 x 120 - 6K
    _____________________________________________
     
    Live fast, die young, and leave a well-marbled corpse.  
     
    Ogden, Utard.  
  • LongrifleLongrifle Posts: 130
    So how hot did it get? When I want my Egg to get really hot I clean the used lump out and put big new lump in the bottom and the mix the old the lump and I am disco. When I forget to do that I move the lump around with an ash tool and kinda pile the lump to one side so the air holes are open and she gets hell hot :)" alt=">:)" height="20" /> quickly. Got's to have O2 to be hot. Let me know how you like the High-Que grate.
  • BotchBotch Posts: 2,744
    Well, that was a disaster, and a disappointment.

    First, the disappointment.  The Egg got up to 650.  And stopped.  Again.  I'm wondering if the design has been changed (mine's only a few months old) because I've tried everything suggested here.  The thing isn't that complicated, and I should be able to at least approach the temps that some of you are posting.  I'm still glad I have it as a smoker, and a grill, but I'm giving up on making neapolitan pizzas on it; its not worth the frustration.
     
    Secondly, the disaster.  I'd been buying Papa Murphy's deLITE (thin crust) pizzas when I was lazy, and didn't notice that the $5 special they're running this week are only for the regular crust.  They recommend 450 F, I had my egg at 650, and by the time the top was cooked, I noticed a bad burning smell, and the crust was totally burned (my fault).  While trying to remove it from the stone with my metal peel (it was burned on good) I knocked the stone off the Egg-feet/placesetter combo, and almost completely off the Egg (not a good thing on a wooden porch).  I got it back inside the egg and closed it up, noting that I'll have to take a belt sander to my stone to get it cleaned off, once it cools.  The pizza?  Well, I choked down a couple slices (I was hungry) telling myself I'd invented Cajun Blackened pizza, but the rest went into the trash; guess I ate about $2 worth.  Charcoal is supposed to cleanse impurities in your body, right?  The $5 sale goes thru tomorrow, I may pick up one more and cook it at 450 like I was supposed to.
     
    Or, I may just eat cold sliced tomatoes for the rest of the summer ....   :-\"
    _____________________________________________
     
    Live fast, die young, and leave a well-marbled corpse.  
     
    Ogden, Utard.  
  • BotchBotch Posts: 2,744
    Oh, Longrifile: are you AF?  I was Active Duty for 12 years and Reservist for 13; I may be submitting my retirement papers this next FY... 
    _____________________________________________
     
    Live fast, die young, and leave a well-marbled corpse.  
     
    Ogden, Utard.  
  • BBQMavenBBQMaven Posts: 1,041
    Botch
    How much charcoal are you starting your Egg with? Fuel + air = heat.... add more of both and get more heat. 
    And to be sure - you have calibrated your dome thermometer? right?
    Kent
    Madison MS
  • LongrifleLongrifle Posts: 130
    I was Active duty 10 years Indiana Air Guard Retired as an E-7 First Sgt. Worked HC-130s and F-16s as a crewchief until I put the diamond on the sleeve.   When cooking unless I am low and slow I leave the smoke snout naked and control the temp from the bottom alone. BBQMaven also has a great point. Keep us posted onyour temp adventures! Fire triangle!!
  • LitLit Posts: 3,140
    You have to be doing something not quite right. I can light the left over lump from a previous cook and have my larges at 800 plus in 15 minutes easy. Are you doing plate setter feet up or down? Feet down allows better air flow. Also stacking the lump like a pyramid will make it burn hotter. I visit the tucker retail store often and haven't noticed any design changes.
  • I got a High-Que grate and, though I never had any problem reaching 800° + (with fresh lump), I did notice that the temperature rise was much quicker. I see more fire glow from the lower vent but haven't looked closely to see if it is coming from the firebox or below.  Keeping the screen closed just in case.  I also noticed much more pea sized unburned lump in the ash. Slightly closer spacing of the bars in the grate would minimize this problem without blocking airflow.  Do like the fact that there is almost no ash buildup in the firebox, though.
  • srq2625srq2625 Posts: 262
    edited September 2011
    Temperature is a function of air flow and adequate fuel and they are both important. You need enough fuel to get enough surface area to burn all at the same time but you also need to have good air flow. I have noticed that if I put too much fuel into the Egg, I don't get the air flow needed to sustain the higher temperatures.

    Some thoughts:

    1. Have only enough charcoal in the egg to get it up to temp and to maintain the temp for the duration of your cook. It'll take a while to figure out what is enough without being too much. Too much charcoal will restrict air flow and, thus, lower the maximum temperature attainable.

    2. Open your bottom draft completely - even moving the screen aside. Just remember to protect anything under the Egg from any charcoal that may fall out the draft vent. I've noticed that moving the screen into place will drop my large from 700°F to 650°F in about 60 seconds - the mesh of the screen does slow down the air flow.

    3. If the above doesn't get it, you can increase the chimney effect and, thus, increasing the air flow through the egg by installing a section of chimney stove pipe to the top of the Egg. Not pretty, but it will increase the air flow :) Just kidding, don't think this should be required.
  • 4Runner4Runner Posts: 1,343
    Just seems strange. No need for a different fire grate to reach temps greater than 650. Assumed you have calibrated your thermometer as well as tried different brands of lump?
    Joe - I'm a reformed gasser-holic aka 4Runner Columbia, SC Wonderful BGE Resource Site: http://www.nakedwhiz.com/ceramicfaq.htm and http://www.nibblemethis.com/
  • All I can say is that  a few weeks ago I was pre-heating for a direct cook and got busy looking at something on the phone.  I looked at the egg and the Tel-Tru which was about 300 was now at the bottom.  I thought "what happened to the heat?"  Then I realized I had spun it around.  #:-S  everything was fine, just a short "clean burn!"  ;)

    I would think if it wont go above 650 then there is something blocking the airflow.  I know... that isn't a new suggestion.

    Juju

    Large and Small BGE * www.quelfood.com
  • BOWHUNRBOWHUNR Posts: 1,392
    I have two larges with the High-Que grate and have no problem knocking the dial off my 1000* Tel-Tru.  All I do is clean out the ash, add fresh RO and let the big dog eat!  What are you using for lump??  I actually like the way the High-Que weeds out all the small pieces.

    Mike
    Omaha, NE

    I'm ashamed what I did for a Klondike Bar!!

    Omaha, NE
  • Monju123Monju123 Posts: 6
    Take the firebox out and clean out behind it throughly. I had a buildup of ash behind mine that was making it impossible to reach hi temp.
  • ChubbsChubbs Posts: 3,664
    I bet they figured it out in the 2 years since this post started
    Columbia, SC --- LBGE 2011 -- MINI BGE 2013
  • FoghornFoghorn Posts: 1,864
    @Fred19Flintstone is not going to be happy.  The sleeping giant has awakened. 

    XL BGE, Klose BYC, ProQ Excel, Weber Kettle, Firepit, Grand Turbo gasser, and a portable Outdoor Gourmet gasser for tailgating

    San Antonio, TX

  • mikeb9550mikeb9550 Posts: 95
    Do u have pics of your top and bottom vent? With the factory grill it should blaze past 600.
  • jaydub58jaydub58 Posts: 1,320
    High-Cue in both my large and mini.  Excellent performance.
    John in the Willamette Valley of Oregon
  • BotchBotch Posts: 2,744
    Chubbs said:
    I bet he figured it out in the 2 years since this post started
    Yeah, the OP was sure a damn whiner!   :D
     
    IIRC, I did have to clean some ash from around the outside of the firebowl.  I have no trouble getting 900 degrees anytime.  
    What's weird is I completely burned myself out on pizza!  I don't think I've made one in a year or so; although its starting to sound good now.  Moderation, Botch, moderation!  
    =P~
    _____________________________________________
     
    Live fast, die young, and leave a well-marbled corpse.  
     
    Ogden, Utard.  
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