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"Where the weak grow strong and the strong grow great, Here's to "Down Home," the Old North State!"
Med & XL
don't put chunks and chips on top, in spiral patterns, or other fanciful arrays.just put plenty of wood up and down in a center column of the charcoal above the fire grate. you'll get near-continuous smoke if you want it. i understand that a single chunk might burn longer than a single chip. but if i want lots of smoke, i'd rather have a handful of chips equal in weight to just two or three chunks. because i can mingle the chips in among a lot of lump, vertically, where the fire travels. fire has a way of not finding the two or three strategically placed chunks i've spaced around on topthe fire in a 250-dome-temp BGE is small. it can skirt right by your hidden chunks.if you like a lot of smoke, just use a lot of wood, and make sure it is where the fire will travel.
At our house, we really like a strong smoky flavor. That said, I have "over smoked" with our Egg - generated more smoke that I wound up wanting.
Can you post some pics of how your setting up the firebox? Maybe it will trigger a thought.
What this BBQ needs is more Cowbell!
All right... all right... but apart from better sanitation and medicine and education and irrigation and public health and roads and a freshwater system and baths and public order... what have the Romans done for us?
Burn direction might be impacted by "where" its started at. I have a friend that always starts at the very bottom - I am sure his doesn't burn down.
I try to start 1 or 2 inches down from the top ( moving a couple of chunks to make a little indentation ), after I drop the firestarter in, then place a couple of charcoal chunks on top of the firestarter.
Not sure that helps - but makes me feel better. I would agree that most of my fires burn down, then towards the vent opening the front. Only expanding out as fuel is exhausted. Granted, that is casual observation - not intense analysis.
When I go low and slow, I make sure to let the entire load of lump get a little white before choking down the fire to 225-250. Then i add several chunks and start my smoke. This also ensures that your fire will burn evenly throughout the night. For the first few years I had my egg, I lit the center and choked it down quickly. I had uneven cooks and my fires went out in cold weather. If you let it really burn the whole load of lump for 20-30 min and then set up for your cook, you'll have plenty of smoke and you fire will be consistent throughout the cook.
But then....... us newbies try to balance this out with the fact that if you ignite a bunch of the fuel it's difficult to keep the temps down in the sub 250 deg range.
What am I missing?