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Building the fire.

Howdy,   new to the forum, but I generally know how forums go and I dont wanna get flamed.   Let me say I made an honest attempt to find an answer to my question before posting it here.    Now for the question.    If I desire to do a long cook at a low temperature ( for example 225-250 for a brisket) what is the BEST way to get my fire going?     Do I want to get all the lump on fire then try to come down to the right temp or do I want to just get a small portion going.   In the past ive had my fires go out completely  when i started small  but I have also overshot the temperature terribly when I went big.   i am curious what works best for you.      Please be as specific as possible and dont assume i know much more than the color of my egg.   Thank you very much.  DP 


  • ScottborasjrScottborasjr Posts: 3,494
    edited March 2013
    If you over shoot with the Egg it will be an incredibly long time before the ceramics cool down enough to put a low and slow cook on. Typically I try to put some really large pieces of lump at the bottom of the chamber to hopefully help avoid little pieces clogging up the fire grate then light the center of the charcoal at the top of the firebox. I wouldn't overshoot by more then 25 or so degrees with your indirect piece in place. Then when you put your hunk of meat in it will bring the temperature down then adjust from there.
    I raise my kids, cook and golf.  When work gets in the way I'm pissed, I'm pissed off 48 weeks a year.
    Inbetween Iowa and Colorado, not close to anything remotely entertaining outside of football season. 
  • shtgunal3shtgunal3 Posts: 3,998
    Yeah, what Scott said



     LBGE,SBGE, and a Mini makes three......Sweet home Alabama........ Stay thirsty my friends .

  • CincyTikiCincyTiki Posts: 303
    Hi DP, welcome to the forum. I am new as well. Check out these two links, I think the first on general fire building has helpful info on letting the fire settle down and the smoke becoming clear. This link is specific to building a fire for a low and slow cook like you asked. Lots of knowledgable people on here from what I have read and almost all are willing to help, so ask away.
    Enjoying life in Cincinnati, Ohio - Large BGE & MiniMax BGE
  • Like others said, catch it on the up swing before you over shoot your temp.  One thing that I will add, my egg does best at 270-290 dome temp on a low & slow.  That gives me a grid temp around 250.  Lower dome temps seem to give me troubles sometimes with the egg going up and down on temp.  If my egg is at 290 I sleep like a baby and have no worries. 

  • Charlie tunaCharlie tuna Posts: 2,191
    I have never "built" or sorted lump in any way.  I have cooked up to 26 hours without a hitch.
  • dnpinadnpina Posts: 8
    Thanks for the quick and insightful responses. They are much appreciated.
  • FoghornFoghorn Posts: 6,302
    I don't know if what I do is good or bad - but after reading about some folks having issues with their fire going out in the middle of the night - and how High-Q grates give better airflow, etc.  I decided that for essentially any fire I build in my XL BGE I am going to make sure that at least one of holes in the grate has totally unobstructed airflow, especially on the "low and slow" cooks.  I just clear a little space at the very front of the grill after I dump in the lump.  I don't sort lump.  I don't have a High-Q grate.  I don't have a temperature controller.  And I have done many long cooks - including some overnights - without ever having a problem.  I did a brisket cook for 16 hours at 230 without the temperature budging.  So, stick to basic principles and you will be OK.

    XL BGE, Klose BYC, ProQ Excel, Weber Kettle, Firepit, Grand Turbo gasser, and a portable Outdoor Gourmet gasser for tailgating

    San Antonio, TX

  • GA_DawgsGA_Dawgs Posts: 273
    I do a hybrid. I place some bigger lumps for low and slow along with the first few chunks. Then I dump lump on top on that, add more chunks and dump more lump to top it off
  • ChokeOnSmokeChokeOnSmoke Posts: 1,905
    edited March 2013

    I place my lump reducer in my XL, dump the lump in, shove my electric started in, wait 8 minutes, pull the electric started out, stir the lump gently, put the (plate setter, grid, drip pan) in, close the lid, wait until it gets up to temp, adjust vent(s) if necessary, wait maybe 15 min to let it settle and see and smell "good smoke", cook at about 275 dome (250 grid).
    Packerland, Wisconsin

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