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Q on how charcoal burns?

Being pretty new to the Egg, one question has come up from my husband about the way the charcoal is burning.  Our last cook was ribs and today we are doing the same, they turned out awesome using Car Wash Mike's technique.  During clean up hubby noticed the white ash mostly on the back side of the Egg, with more of dark lump next to the front opening.  He is wondering how to get his charcoal to burn more evenly.  Is this normal?  He has been stacking lump large on bottom to small on top and trying to keep it on a level keel before starting it.  Before putting in plate setter, he moves the hot coals around to distribute evenly.  Any suggestions and thanks for any help you can offer.


  • cortguitarmancortguitarman Posts: 2,043
    This is normal. The back of the egg is hotter than the front. It is only a minor issue when trying to grill massive amounts of meat at high temps.
    Mark Annville, PA
  • TwoCooksTwoCooks Posts: 35
    This is normal. The back of the egg is hotter than the front. It is only a minor issue when trying to grill massive amounts of meat at high temps.
    TY, I appreciate your comment.  He thought he was doing something wrong to make it burn uneven.
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 8,157
    All good info above-thus if cooking indirect always place a leg of the platesetter at about the 12:30 position when facing the back.  Helps reduce the "hot spot". The air-flow stream is slightly off-set from dead-center and that is what contributes.  No worries-
    Louisville;  L & S BGEs 
    Pit Barrel Cooker
  • stlcharcoalstlcharcoal Posts: 1,685

    Yeah, for some reason the airflow tends to go to the back.  On the XL it's the same way, but can end up in a corner since the bottom of the firebox is 17" in diameter.  Low and slow can result in some odd ball burns if the fire grate gets clogged.  The air will snake it's way through somewhere and you'll have charcoal that looks like it's fresh out of the bag.


  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 7,359
    Excellent advice above, start your fire at the front on the top. Drop in the setter with a leg to the rear (lets you route your Mav probe over either front leg of the setter. 
    The rear is slightly hotter, which is why if cooking a parted chicken, put the legs/thighs to the rear, the breasts to the center. Also for a spatched bird, drop it on with legs to the rear. 
    I don't sort my lump, I'm a dumper. Many folks swear by large to the bottom, finer pieces on the top, especially with an BGE grate.
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • henapplehenapple Posts: 15,163

    The rear is slightly hotter

    I call this this the "kardashian factor". =))
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • travisstricktravisstrick Posts: 4,875
    Try just dumping your lump from the bag into the egg. Stacking and sorting has made no real difference in my eggs.
    Be careful, man! I've got a beverage here.
  • cookinfuncookinfun Posts: 129
    IMO, the back is always hotter, or more heat flow.  Since I don't use a placesetter, just stones and drip pans w/ spacers, I found that if i cover the stone or pan w/ alum foil, leaving an "ear" at the back (12:00) position, it limits the hot spot.
    (2) LBGEs,  WSM, Vidalia Grill (gasser), Tailgater Grill (gasser)
  • TwoCooksTwoCooks Posts: 35
    Sorry I did not get back to read these great suggestions until now.  Thanks so much and we will heed them today as this is our first cook since I posted the discussion.  Our holiday weekend meats stayed in the fridge due to in climate weather (storms, winds, rain, flooding).  Still trying to master fair weather cooks.
  • TMayTMay Posts: 87
    edited May 2013
    Im No Where As Expierienced As Most On Here, But I Just Light It In The Center And Let The Fire Spread By ItselfF.
    Rowlett, Texas
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