Big Green Egg - EGGhead Forum - The Ultimate Cooking Experience...
It doesn’t get much hotter than the EGG cookin’ in July! Make sure to keep yourself hydrated with a bit of whatever you’re using for the Beer Can Chicken. Ice Cream Sandwiches are also a great way to stay cool. Looking for some great ideas for a summer cook out? Try out a Pimento Cheeseburger or Dr. BBQ’s Spare Rib Surprise. Just don’t be surprised if your neighbors stop by for a quick bite when they smell what you’re cooking!

Big Green Egg headquarters has moved - come visit our new showroom and check out the museum and culinary center too! 3786 DeKalb Technology Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30340

Newbie Question: Tell Me About White Smoke

mb99zzmb99zz Posts: 182
edited October 2012 in EggHead Forum
Hello Eggheads,

I fired-up my LBGE tonight for the very first time with no food...just a test to get my feet wet with operating the egg and controlling temps.  I plan to cook a low-n-slow butt this weekend.  So, this was just a dry run.  My goal was to keep a temp of of roughly 280 for a couple of hours.  Not sure why I picked that number...

I filled the egg with BGE Natural Lump Charcoal and used a single BGE starter brick/square placed of the lump.  The bottom vent was wide open.  I kept the dome lid up until the starter brick was well on fire and some of the surrounding lump pieces were clearly getting hot.  At that point, I closed the lid but kept the DW wide open.  At this point, I was getting quite a bit of white smoke which I was expecting.  The smoke had a bitter sort of smell...kind of reminded me of smoke coming from a grill where somebody used lighter fluid.  That's the best way to describe it.  

As the dome temp gauge got to about 300, I took a peak at the lump and there was an area about the size of a softball that had a nice glow.  I closed the bottom vent such that it had maybe 1/2 or 3/4 " open and pulled the DW over the top.  I closed the adjusters on the DW such that each opening was a bit less than half way open.  And with all this I was keeping the temp about where I wanted it.  If I had to guess, this was maybe 25 minutes or so after lighting the fire.  

It was dark out by the time I started hovering around 300 -- so, I really couldn't see if I was getting white smoke or clear smoke out of the egg. I felt like I could smell that bitter smoke still for quite a while longer (maybe another 30 minutes).   My simple question would be how long does it take to burn-out the white smoke?   I'm giving all the back-story because I wanted to give the details of what I was doing in the event the answer depends on certain conditions.  

Thanks!




·

Comments

  • White smoke is usually not smoke at all.  It's steam from a water source in the Egg.  This is common for those that soak their wood chips.  I'm in Michigan and it's been cold at night here.  Maybe there was dew or some kind of condensation?  Just a guess.

    I've never used starter blocks so I have no idea what they smell like when they burn.  Did you buy your Egg used?  I did, but the previous owner never used lighter fluid.  If your's was purchased used, perhaps the previous owner was a lighter fluid using knucklehead?

    Everything's all just speculation without more info.

    ........................................................................................

    Flint, Michigan.  Named the most dangerous city in America by the F.B.I. three years running.

    We invented the U.A.W. and carjacking!

    ·
  • TjcoleyTjcoley Posts: 3,422
    The white smoke may have been caused from closing the lid on the already burning starter cube. Closing the lid causes the flame to go out on the burning cube and can cause a lot of acrid white smoke. When I used these (I now used oiled paper towels) I noticed if I closed the lid before the completely burned out they put out a lot of bad smoke.
    __________________________________________
    It's not a science, it's an art. And it's flawed.
    - Camp Hill, PA
    ·
  • mb99zzmb99zz Posts: 182
    Hi, the egg is brand new.
    ·
  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 7,144
    edited October 2012
    How long does it take to burn out the "acrid" white smoke after the starter is done? In my MBGE about 15 minutes with 2nd use lump, maybe 20 minutes with the new stuff. Target temp of 400-450. If the target temp is 250-300, add maybe 5-10 minutes to the time noted above. 
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
    ·
  • SmokeyPittSmokeyPitt Posts: 6,882
    Welcome! Like TJ said...when using starter cubes i think it is best to let them burn completely before closing the dome (around 7 minutes or so). It sounds like you have the right idea...just trust your nose;). Sometimes it takes a good 30 minutes for the fire to stabilize and get good clean smoke.


    Which came first the chicken or the egg?  I egged the chicken and then I ate his leg. 

    ·
  • jlsmjlsm Posts: 851
    +1 with skiddy. I usually count on cooking 30 minutes after I light. I'm also in the oiled paper towel camp even after buying a MAP torch. It's such an elegant low-tech method.
    *******
    Owner of a large and a beloved mini in Philadelphia
    ·
  • mb99zzmb99zz Posts: 182
    Any advice on the oil and paper towel method? Are you using vegetable oil, canola, olive oil? How many? Thanks!!!!!
    ·
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 14,897
    Any kind of oil - they all burn.  Use the cheapest you have.

    I just threw away all my wax starters last weekend when I was cleaning up my BBQ area.

    ______________________________________________
    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.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

    ·
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 14,897
    Oh, that is, any kind of edible oils.  You don't want to use 10W40.
    ______________________________________________
    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.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

    ·
  • What about WD-40?

    :-&

    ........................................................................................

    Flint, Michigan.  Named the most dangerous city in America by the F.B.I. three years running.

    We invented the U.A.W. and carjacking!

    ·
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 14,897
    WD-40 has many of the same components of charcoal starter.  Absolutely not!
    ______________________________________________
    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.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

    ·
  • DonWWDonWW Posts: 261

    I, too, had noticed a slight "bitter" smell from the egg when using the BGE starter cubes.   Which is why I use a Looftlighter now.  Fire up the egg, virtually no waiting except the time needed to get up to temp. 

    XL BGE.  Dallas, Texas.
    ·
  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 7,144
    Oh, that is, any kind of edible oils.  You don't want to use 10W40.
    The few times I've used oil (no power for my trusty electric starter) it was canola, seemed better than the corn oil the guy in the next camp site was using. We had a serious discussion over the campfire with a beer or two. 
    For us cold weather folks, that would be don't use 5W-30......
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
    ·
  • TjcoleyTjcoley Posts: 3,422
    Here's a great tip on pre-oiling the paper towels.  Works great and less messy.

    __________________________________________
    It's not a science, it's an art. And it's flawed.
    - Camp Hill, PA
    ·
  • mb99zzmb99zz Posts: 182
    Great.  Thanks for all the info and the link.
    ·
Sign In or Register to comment.