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Stack or Dump lump?

EggucatedEggucated Posts: 212
edited May 2012 in EggHead Forum
Ill admit that I've only done a handful of Briskets and never attempted pulled pork. In the past I've kinda sorted the lump, meaning I didn't just dump the bag so I could prevent dumping the dust. Does stacking the largest, then filling in with medium and small chunks make a difference? Does it impact temperature control or just allow a longer burn?

I will apologize now if this starts a war of words, I'm going to do two 8 pound butts tonight on my large and I'm getting nervous since its for my sons end of season baseball party.

Mike
Thanks, Mike "Live in such a way that if anyone should speak badly of you, no one will believe it."
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Comments

  • Mike8itMike8it Posts: 468
    In my opinion stacking does make a difference. It has helped me achieve long slow continuous cooks
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  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 27,321
    It's worth it on your first few long cooks. Just another variable eliminated

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

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  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 6,473

    +1 with the above-I believe it does significanly reduce the chances for loss of air flow which, if you load enough lump is the only way you will end up with issues in sustaining the cook to the finish line.  And since you have done briskets, pork is much more forgiving. 

    If you want to do some fire-building and pulled pork reading-check out this link...

    http://www.nakedwhiz.com/elder.htm Enjoy-it willl all work out just fine.

     

    Louisville
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  • Not sure if it makes a difference w/ the stock grate, but w/ the High-Que grate, I can verify, at least for my setup, that it makes no difference. 

    I did an 11-hr pork shoulder a couple weekends ago, and I *started* to stack, but after realizing my pieces weren't all that big, and it would take me longer than I wanted to spend sorting through lump - I just ended up dumping it all in there. 

    11 hours later, the Egg was still holding the temp I wanted (250-275-ish). 
    Don't get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup... Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend. - Bruce Lee
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  • travisstricktravisstrick Posts: 4,821
    I don't have any data on stacking but I dump and have no issues
    Be careful, man! I've got a beverage here.
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  • EggucatedEggucated Posts: 212
    I just found out about the High-que grate, I now have that and a PartyQ on my list. I have a 4 y/o that won't let me sleep so sleeping at night is a requirement! :)

    I'll try stacking tonight and see how it goes. I have had a rough time keeping a stable low temp, so if nothing else it'll be an interesting experiment.

    Thanks! I'll post the results tomorrow.
    Thanks, Mike "Live in such a way that if anyone should speak badly of you, no one will believe it."
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  • GriffinGriffin Posts: 6,926
    I'm a dumper. Too lazy to stack charcoal.

    Richardson, Texas

    Griffin's Grub or you can find me on Facebook

    The Supreme Potentate, Sovereign Commander and Sultan of Wings

     

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  • Mighty_QuinnMighty_Quinn Posts: 1,878
    My lump is stored in a big rubbermaid container so I don't dump, I don't really stack either....I take large scoops out with an old colander with a handle and shake off some of the dust and then dump those right in the egg.
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  • I just dump, never had an issue.  One of the best things about the egg.  I have had issue getting real high temps with the small stuff but never had a low and slow issue.
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  • NibbleMeThisNibbleMeThis Posts: 2,254
    Kind of stack for long burns (Toss a couple of the biggest pieces on the stock grate and then dump on top of that, mixing in wood chunks as I go).

    For every night grilling, I just dump and stir the new with the old lump a little. 
    Knoxville, TN
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  • burr_baby33burr_baby33 Posts: 503

    I usually just dump what I need, no issues.

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  • BoilereggerBoileregger Posts: 326
    I bought two Rubbermaid bathroom-sized trash cans from Walmart that I store my lump in - biggish pieces in one, smallest pieces in the other. Then when I set up, I dump the large pieces in first, then the small on top of it. I kind of think of it as a hybrid approach, trying to be somewhat organized about it without being anal.
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  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 27,321
    I just found out about the High-que grate, I now have that and a PartyQ on my list. I have a 4 y/o that won't let me sleep so sleeping at night is a requirement! :) I'll try stacking tonight and see how it goes. I have had a rough time keeping a stable low temp, so if nothing else it'll be an interesting experiment. Thanks! I'll post the results tomorrow.


    I have a floor fan that I use sometimes for overnighters. Just put it on low and stand it about three feet from the egg. I have the digi q but it is cumbersome to use. The fan seems to prevent the ash clogging

     

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

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  • Ragtop99Ragtop99 Posts: 1,351
    I dump.  The exception is at the end of the bag.  I dump that into a colander and sift what remains so I cut down on the end of bag dust all landing in the egg.  I do a little hand touch up in the center sometimes to ensure the air holes are clear where I am starting the fire.
    Cooking on an XL and Medium in Bethesda, MD.
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  • Hi54puttyHi54putty Posts: 1,576
    I dump lump.
    XL,L,S 
    Winston-Salem, NC 
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  • MickeyMickey Posts: 16,422
    edited May 2012
    Have a High-Que grate in Large and Mini's: dump.
    Salado TX Egg Family: 2 Large and a very well used Mini, just added a Mini Max (I'm good for now). 

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  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    my method: stir. dump lump. stir.

    clean out whenever it needs it, but certainly no more than every 6-8 or so cooks
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
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  • Rich_ieRich_ie Posts: 268
    I'm a dumper never had any issues low and slow or hot and fast cooks. 
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  • Chris88Chris88 Posts: 41
    Dump and have had no problems.
    Egg head in Louisiana.
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  • I recommend stacking when people are having problems. I do both but when I do low and slow, I always stack. As soon as I started to stack, I never had a fire go out again and I sleep like a baby- no thermo alarms, partyQ's, Digi-Wifi's or stokers. Solid as a rock. Now I can dump and get those same results but I couldn't at first so I learned to stack and it made a huge difference......for me.

    It just made me think about it and now I know what a good bed of lump looks like so I don't have issues anymore.





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  • stevesailsstevesails Posts: 977
    With my XL. Dump and light with weed burner
    XL   Walled Lake, MI

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  • cortguitarmancortguitarman Posts: 2,024
    I think it depends on the lump. I've been using Humphrey and there are no small pieces in the bag. I dump it right in. My last low and slow was with Royal Oak. I had no problems with the fire, but I stacked it because I was paranoid after reading other threads about fire going out. Honestly, I think on an XL there aren't too many problems with fires going out because of the larger quantity of holes in the steel grate.
    Mark Annville, PA
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  • ChokeOnSmokeChokeOnSmoke Posts: 1,758
    Never stacked, always dump.
    Packerland, Wisconsin

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  • DuganboyDuganboy Posts: 1,118
    I'm a dumper.  The key to a good fire on the low and slow is light the fire from the top and let it burn down throughout the cook.
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  • EggucatedEggucated Posts: 212
    Ok, well I started to stack, have a ton of really big pieces in the bottom. Then i just started putting pieces in without really stacking it. Wasnt really a dump, but honeslty cant say its stacked. I think im just too lazy, to stack neatly.
    Thanks, Mike "Live in such a way that if anyone should speak badly of you, no one will believe it."
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  • I don't stack neatly either. I only stack to control the size of the pieces that go in.

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  • Jonathan1970Jonathan1970 Posts: 103
    Place starter cube on High Que Grate and light. Stack big pieces on bottom. Wait 2 or 3 min. And hand scoop smaller pieces into the Egg. Drink one more beer and put the meat on.
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  • EggucatedEggucated Posts: 212
    I cursed myself, having temp spikes and lulls tonight....  I knew I should have posted this after the cook!
    Thanks, Mike "Live in such a way that if anyone should speak badly of you, no one will believe it."
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  • SteveWPBFLSteveWPBFL Posts: 1,272
    Pretty simple. You need lump (fuel) and air (oxygen) to burn. Go from there depending on what you have in terms of lump.Airs always the same.

    As long as the lump can breathe you're fine and you can dump it in so long as it's not too small or a lot of dust. At some point the small pieces and dust tend to reduce or eliminate airflow and your fire will burn slow or die out.

    You have to consider how it all will burn and turn into ash, too. There needs to be enough room to breathe and for the ash to fall down and eventually through the grate while at the same time supporting stable combustion.

    You learn to sift out the dust, distribute the small pieces intelligently or toss that all aside, or you post about having temperature problems.

    She blinded me . . . .with science!
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  • Smoker_GuruSmoker_Guru Posts: 372
    Kind of stack for long burns (Toss a couple of the biggest pieces on the stock grate and then dump on top of that, mixing in wood chunks as I go).

    For every night grilling, I just dump and stir the new with the old lump a little. 
    +1 I do the same.
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