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The Royal Oak challenge

GreygooseGreygoose Posts: 103
edited November 2011 in EggHead Forum

Been cooking on the egg now for a couple of months. started with big green egg lump and recently switched to royal oak. the big difference that i can tell is the big green egg lump was much bigger piences. the royal oak lump is just about all small pieces. ever since the switch, im having trouble getting my egg up to temp. once i get it there, keeping it there is easy, but getting it really hot is a real challenge. i find that i just have to leave everything wide open and slowly but  surely the tempurature will rise to the appropriate cooking temps (but this could take over an hour). i believe this has something to do with the amount of air flow that the smaller pieces of lump are letting through.  to correct  the issue i've had to run the follwing setup (see picture) that blows air through the botttom vent and feeds the fire with o2 to really get it going.  I've cleaned out my fire box an still have the same issue. i think i would have to to leave the fan on indefintly during a sear session to get a good sear. didnt have this issue when i was able to use the bigger size lumps of lump.

I use the bge type of fire startters which have alwayd worked well in the past , but i m thinking i may have to switch to a torch to really get all these little pieces going. i was surprised to see how many eggers actuall use a torch  vs. all the other metheods to start. , so ther must be something to it. how long does it take to really get things going with a torch. does anyone have a specifice torch recommendations that have worked out well?

 

thanx

 

Greygoose.

Comments

  • SqueezySqueezy Posts: 1,102

    I use a small plumbers torch on a LP cylinder, others use MAPP but it is more expensive.

    Only takes a minute to get it going.

    Never eat anything passed through a window unless you're a seagull ... BGE Lg.
  • billyraybillyray Posts: 1,171
    Bigger pieces on the bottom are better, because it allows more air flow. If you want to save some money, buy the BGE lump and use the bigger pieces for the bottom layer and the royal oak to finish the fill. MAPP gas is more expensive, but it burns hotter. It is used basically for soldering copper pipe and fittings.
    Felton, Ca. 2-LBGE, 1-Small and waiting on a mini
  • ShiffShiff Posts: 1,699
    BGE lump is made by Royal Oak.  Sizes of pieces varies from bag to bag.  I use Royal Oak for my standard charcoal and it has always worked very well even with small pieces.

    The most common cause for a slow starting fire is poor air circulation and I solve that by using a wiggle rod to open up the holes in the firegrate.  You can make your own or buy one from:

    http://thirdeyebbq.com/WiggleRods.aspx

    I think  starting with a torch is overkill. I start my charcoal using 91% alcohol purchased at Walmart. I use a pencil to poke a tiny hole in the seal and then  squirt a little alcohol in 4 places in a circle about 4 inches in from the outside rim of the charcoal. Then a little squirt in the center.  Wait a few seconds then toss in a match.

    Alcohol burns clean and quickly starts the charcoal. It is very safe as long as you stand back a little when dropping in the match.  The warmer the day, the more  it evaporates before lighting and can cause a flash.  In the winter, it doesn't evaporate and I actually have to hold the match at the squirt points.
    Large BGE
    Barry, Lancaster, PA
  • I love the small white Weber starter cubes, some where ar
    ound 3.00 for 24 of them and they work well. 
  • ChokeOnSmokeChokeOnSmoke Posts: 1,906
    edited November 2011
    It makes no difference how you light the lump, it's all about air flow (in the lower vent and out the top).  If the holes in your charcoal grate are clogged, you'll have trouble getting temps up.
    Packerland, Wisconsin

  • Size does matter and can vary from bag to bag with any brand.

    Make your own lump and  you can control the size much better Just throw away the small stuff.

     

    I grill therefore I am.....not hungy.
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,838
    I dump bags of lump into a plastic bin. The really small stuff falls to the bottom, and every 50 pounds or so, I have a bunch of charcoal that I can toss into my garden. Its not worth much in the Egg unless its mixed with enough big pieces to allow a strong air flow.  My limit is anything small enough to jam the bottom grate.

    FWIW, the bag of Cowboy I opened yesterday had chunks the size of a melon in it.  I was happy.

    I use a weedburner to start my lump. The one I have is a Bernzomatic that looks sort of like a walking cane. It can use either propane or MAPP. The MAPP is noticeably faster getting the lump going. While its always fun to light the thing, and enjoy the fireworks, the main reason I use it is get a fire going even in a thunderstorm. My back up is cooking oil on a paper towel.
  • JLNCJLNC Posts: 73
    High-que fire grate.  You can light with newspaper-- no starters, torches or alcohol.  And it will get hot quick and never clogs.  I also don't have to use the wiggle rod for anything but clean out.   

    The only down side is that some of the small stuff will fall through, especially when filling it up or if you feel you must stir.  So, when I clean out the ashes I just shake my ash receptacle and retrieve any of the usable lump that falls through-- which really isn't much-- just a handfull or two of small stuff, which I sprinkle on top (I'm kind of cheap).   

    Inevitably someone will ask about using this for low/slow------ I did a butt cook at 225 for 18 hours and had half the lump left.  
  • SqueezySqueezy Posts: 1,102
    BGE lump is made by Royal Oak.  Sizes of pieces varies from bag to bag.  I use Royal Oak for my standard charcoal and it has always worked very well even with small pieces.

    The most common cause for a slow starting fire is poor air circulation and I solve that by using a wiggle rod to open up the holes in the firegrate.  You can make your own or buy one from:

    http://thirdeyebbq.com/WiggleRods.aspx

    I think  starting with a torch is overkill. I start my charcoal using 91% alcohol purchased at Walmart. I use a pencil to poke a tiny hole in the seal and then  squirt a little alcohol in 4 places in a circle about 4 inches in from the outside rim of the charcoal. Then a little squirt in the center.  Wait a few seconds then toss in a match.

    Alcohol burns clean and quickly starts the charcoal. It is very safe as long as you stand back a little when dropping in the match.  The warmer the day, the more  it evaporates before lighting and can cause a flash.  In the winter, it doesn't evaporate and I actually have to hold the match at the squirt points.

    I disagree ... the torch is simple, fast and safer than playing with alcohol and matches, especially on a breezy day!
    Never eat anything passed through a window unless you're a seagull ... BGE Lg.
  • ShiffShiff Posts: 1,699
    I dump bags of lump into a plastic bin. The really small stuff falls to the bottom, and every 50 pounds or so, I have a bunch of charcoal that I can toss into my garden. Its not worth much in the Egg unless its mixed with enough big pieces to allow a strong air flow.  My limit is anything small enough to jam the bottom grate.
    I use all the charcoal - small and large pieces.  Here is a post from Grandpa Grub that shows what he did with small pieces:

    http://www.greeneggers.com/index.php?option=com_simpleboard&Itemid=112&func=view&catid=1&id=1173701#1173701

    Large BGE
    Barry, Lancaster, PA
  • I tried Royal Oak for the first time over the weekend.  I completely cleaned out my Egg, and dumped in the RO straight out of the bag.  I stirred it up a bit, dug a little hole, tossed in a burning fire starter, and away it went.  I had 800 degrees in no time flat (in fact, I'd never seen the thermometer race up to 800 that fast before), and I was able to bring it back down to 400 pretty easily.

    I like the Royal Oak, and will likely carry it in my store.
    Egg Head in Klamath Falls, Oregon
  • onedbguruonedbguru Posts: 1,501
    If you don't want to use a fan, I use a hair dryer, get it hot and away it goes... I accidently close my petal too much this evening and almost put it out.. (it had not yet reached temp), so I grabbed the HD and got it back up pretty quickly.. 

    Alton Brown made a tuna cooker with a Weber Chimney and a hair dryer.  Seared it in < 2 minutes. Dont recall the temps... "http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/chimney-tuna-loin-recipe/index.html"
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