That would be me, the newbie!
My wifey is a keeper, and she bought me a large BGE for Christmas. So far I have smoked four slabs of baby backs and cooked two nine pound chickens. I am getting the hang of lighting the coals and maintaining temps. The ribs were my first attempt and I had a difficult time keeping the temps low. They also didn't have as much "smoke" flavor as my previous ribs (I used to just smoke using the little smoker box on my weber summit gas grill). The chickens were just incredible. I used to rotisserie on the summit and they were great but after using the beer can set up, some oil, garlic and a lot of herbs de provence I have found another world of chicken flavor.
Now for the stupid questions ( i have searched the forum but can't find the answers for these issues)
1. I am embarrassed to admit, but I can't figure out the best technique for lighting the egg. Do you leave the bottom wide open, close the lid and leave the daisy completely off the grill? The first time I left the lid open but that definitely is not a good idea in my opinion.
2. How much wood chips should I use if I want to smoke? I am currently using the BGE brand lump coal, and I used 3/4 of a bag of hickory wood chips with the ribs but they really didn't have that much of a smoke flavor.
3. How do I know if I have a "nomex" high temp gasket? I want to do a pizza next but I read that it almost always burns the gasket. Should I wait to do a pizza since the temps are really high and I have only been up to about 550 (while attempting to maintain 375 for chicken, see I told you I was a newbie!)
4. I have always grilled year round, and now that I have this wonderful magic egg I plan on grilling almost everyday. Last night I did the chicken and it was 13F outside. Am I potentially going to damage the egg by grilling in this god awful winter weather?
5. Last one for today, I have the large table and read about potential fire/burn damage at the bottom of the egg. I currently have the BGE feet but I have read/scene folks use fire bricks at the bottom. What is the conventional wisdom about protecting the table?
Thanks very much in advance. I am basically addicted to the BGE at this point and look forward to contributing to this forum as I learn the ins and outs.
My wife told me to "take out the garbage" and this is what I found waiting in the back yard. Nice!