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Black_BadgerBlack_Badger Posts: 1,182
edited July 2012 in EggHead Forum
Hello all,
After a couple of mostly successful, but by no means perfect, overnight cooks on my XL w/ a homemade indirect rig (upside down cast iron skillet under drip pan, under elevated rack) I decided to buy a Woo2/Adjustable rig combo from the ceramic grill store. Needless to say I’m excited to get it in and try something more challenging (maybe brisket).
One enduring question, during both of my previous cooks I had a problem with the lump going out during the night. In both cases I had closed the top and bottom vents nearly all the way to get the temp down to 250ish after lighting. I’m using a chimney starter (that works great) and distributing the lit coals then adding lump on top of that. By the end of the cook I have a small ring of unlit lump around the perimeter of the fire ring and very little lit lump.
I’m wondering if I’m failing to get the lump lit evenly. How do you guys make sure all your lump gets lit during a long cook? How much of the egg is full of lump at the start of the cook? Does anyone know of a good video on YouTube or something that shows how to get lump up and running for a nice long cook?
My wife and I love the Egg and out fast hot cooks are going great, I just want to understand how my longer cooks can be better.

Cheers all –
B_B
Finally back in the Badger State!

Middleton, WI

Comments

  • DuganboyDuganboy Posts: 1,118
    I have a DigiQ guru temp controller and they suggest putting the lump in a pyramid form and lighting the top. You don't want a big fire, because you are seeking a low temp.  By starting the fire at the top of the pyramid it will burn downward and outward.

    Hope this helps.
  • BBQMavenBBQMaven Posts: 1,041
    Load it up with lump.... all the way up the fire ring.... 20+ hours
    Kent Madison MS
  • Black_BadgerBlack_Badger Posts: 1,182
    Thanks guys, one more question. I have not yet calibrated the thermometer that came with the egg and I'm not sure how to do that. I suppose it should read 100 in just boiling water, but if it's off how do I adjust it?

    Cheers -
    B_B
    Finally back in the Badger State!

    Middleton, WI
  • Stop using the chimney starter! Build the fire with big pieces on bottom, medium pieces in middle and small on top. Make sure to allow air flow but fill up to the top of the fire ring. :)>-
    2 Large Eggs and no chickens. How's that work? :)
  • SandBillySandBilly Posts: 227
    Thanks guys, one more question. I have not yet calibrated the thermometer that came with the egg and I'm not sure how to do that. I suppose it should read 100 in just boiling water, but if it's off how do I adjust it?

    Cheers -
    B_B



    Water will boil at around 212
  • Black_BadgerBlack_Badger Posts: 1,182
    @SandBilly C vs F
    Finally back in the Badger State!

    Middleton, WI
  • FxLynchFxLynch Posts: 433
    Thanks guys, one more question. I have not yet calibrated the thermometer that came with the egg and I'm not sure how to do that. I suppose it should read 100 in just boiling water, but if it's off how do I adjust it?

    Cheers -
    B_B
    It should read around 212 F  in boiling water, depending on your elevation.  To adjust you put a wrench on the nut on the posterior side and hold the gauge while you turn it.
  • SandBillySandBilly Posts: 227
    @SandBilly C vs F



    Lol, remind me not to use your cooking temps...
  • NewvilleNewville Posts: 84
    Perhaps the type/attributes of lump will make a difference. Have done numerous 24+ hour low/slows with my large - usually hand picked Royal Oak an about 230 grate temp. Rn out one time which I attribute to lump or load but all of the other times had a bunch of lump left. Ran 28 hours on a new XL last week with just under 1/2 of a full load of Whicked Good (put in all 22#) remaining.
  • TjcoleyTjcoley Posts: 3,523
    Thanks guys, one more question. I have not yet calibrated the thermometer that came with the egg and I'm not sure how to do that. I suppose it should read 100 in just boiling water, but if it's off how do I adjust it?

    Cheers -
    B_B
    It should read 100 C or 212 F in boiling water.  If it is off, use a wrench or pliers on the nut on the back and turn it until it is accurate.  Remember, it will not read zero when Egg is unlit (except on a cold day in the winter) - it will read air temp.  


    Water will boil at around 212

    __________________________________________
    It's not a science, it's an art. And it's flawed.
    - Camp Hill, PA
  • joe@bgejoe@bge Posts: 394
    Load it up with lump.... all the way up the fire ring.... 20+ hours
    x2!  Never really bothered with stacking lump...fires never go out.

  • xraypat23xraypat23 Posts: 421
    load it up with lump and dump a chimney of lit on top, you should have no problems. Even better, get an electric starter or a propane torch, either weed burner or handheld and just light it in a couple spots. I've never been a lump stacker, but if i see a couple nice meaty pieces they go on the bottom to keep the vents wide open.
  • 3MBBQ3MBBQ Posts: 26
    I've used all the suggestions above plus I have a BBQ GURU that I use for overnight cooks. In addition to the suggestions about piling lump, being sure vents are cleared, etc  I think one of the 'keys' to getting a steady fire going is starting it enough ahead of time to 'stablize' the temp. For longer cooks (i.e. 5 hour ribs, etc) I try to light the egg an hour ahead of time. I only light several pieces in the 'center' of the pile and adjust settings as the temp climbs. I used to let the egg get ABOVE temp and then try and bring it down by closing vents, but i've found everything is more stable when I don't go a lot above my target temp. in other words, it's harder to LOWER the temperature than it is to RAISE it. Planning ahead in this way gives me time to be sure that the fire is 'good', that the vent settings are correct and that the egg is maintaining a stable temp. The temp almost always drops when you add the meat but if the egg has been 'stable' ahead of time, it usually climbs back to the 'right' temp with only minor adjustments. If there are extreme changes in weather (i.e. wind!) you may need to adjust vent settings.
    Hope this helps- good luck!!
  • dlk7dlk7 Posts: 1,049
    The digiq DX2 keeps me from worrying about how I stack the lump.  For low and slows I light one spot in the center with my looft lighter, set my pit temp control on the digiq, put the fan in the adaptor, put the pit probe at the level I'm cooking at, close the dome, come back 45 minutes later and put on the meat.  I have never had more than a 2 degree deviation of temp and that is only when the hot coals reach one of the wood chunks.

    Two XL BGEs - So Happy!!!!

    Waunakee, WI

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 22,331
    The digiq DX2 keeps me from worrying about how I stack the lump.  For low and slows I light one spot in the center with my looft lighter, set my pit temp control on the digiq, put the fan in the adaptor, put the pit probe at the level I'm cooking at, close the dome, come back 45 minutes later and put on the meat.  I have never had more than a 2 degree deviation of temp and that is only when the hot coals reach one of the wood chunks.
    +1
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr., smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • Black_BadgerBlack_Badger Posts: 1,182
    Thanks all,
    Sounds like I might need a little more lump and a little more patience. I usually run the temp way up in the beginning then try to chase it back down, and that might not be the best plan. I've often thought an hour or so to stabilize should do the trick, but I'm usually to excited to let things settle down the way I should. @xraypat23, thanks for the tip I think dumping fresh lump on top of the chimney lit batch may have been leading to worse air flow, good to know I can reverse that order.

    Cheers all -

    B_B
    Finally back in the Badger State!

    Middleton, WI
  • Black_BadgerBlack_Badger Posts: 1,182
    Thanks all,
    Sounds like I might need a little more lump and a little more patience. I usually run the temp way up in the beginning then try to chase it back down, and that might not be the best plan. I've often thought an hour or so to stabilize should do the trick, but I'm usually to excited to let things settle down the way I should. @xraypat23, thanks for the tip I think dumping fresh lump on top of the chimney lit batch may have been leading to worse air flow, good to know I can reverse that order.

    Cheers all -

    B_B
    Finally back in the Badger State!

    Middleton, WI
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