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Hellish Flames

PorkemonPorkemon Posts: 4
edited 7:43PM in EggHead Forum
Almost every time I've used the BGE lately I light it with one of the electrical starters, close the lid and wait for the temp to get about where I want it. Problem is when I open it back up these Hellish flames rise up from the charcoal and out around the dome singeing the hair off my arms and usually scaring the poop out of me. I can understand that these are probably flamable gases collecting in the egg and then pretty much exploding upward when I open the dome and introduce more oxygen to the mix. Seems like it has just started doing this recently and I'm a little baffled. I've been using Royal Oak lump. Any ideas why this is happening or how to stop it?


  • Tim MTim M Posts: 2,410
    Porkemon,[p]I don't use the electric starter so maybe those that do can also jump in here. I find questions with your statement that you leave the starter in until you get to your desired temp. That's OK if you're going to 225 deg but scary if you're going to 450 or 600 deg. I think you should get a few coals going and pull it out and let it rise to the cooking temp.[p]Now at 550+ deg the flames do shoot up as more O2 is allowed to reach the fuel and at 700+ deg it looks like Satin's playground.[p]Tim

  • Tim MTim M Posts: 2,410
    Tim M,[p]Forgot something - it's early - Don't forget to "burp" the Egg when you are up in the 500+ deg range as the backdraft is always possible when the fire is being limited by air reduction and if there is smoke. The inrushing air will fire the fire up and that then ignites the air/smoke mixture and you get the Whoosh that keeps your knuckles hairless. [p]To "burp", open bottom vent, open chimney or the slide/daisy and them crack the dome open a 1/4". Hold it there for 2-3 seconds then close and open again. [p]Tim
  • KennyGKennyG Posts: 949
    Porkemon,[p]I only use an electric starter when I need quick high temps for grilling. With the starter buried in the middle of the pile of lump, I only plug it in for 10 minutes or so and leave the dome open during the process. You have all the symptoms of a classic oxygen starved fire (dwell after a high temp sear) and I suspect that your lower coal grate is clogged with small pieces of lump and/or it's time to remove the ash. What do you think??[p]K~G

  • JimWJimW Posts: 450
    I'm assuming you light the coals and then pull the starter out before you start bringing the Egg up to temp. If not, leave the electric starter in the coals only until you get a fair number lit, usually about 10 minutes. Then close the dome and start regulating the vents for the desired temp. Using this method, I have rarely if ever been surprised by coals that were hotter than I wanted.

  • Porkemon,
    I would pull the electric starter before closing the dome. Then let it get up to searing temp.(500-700 deg. F) for preroasting. The only time you are going to start at some relatively low temp.(250-400 deg. F)is for baking. I've found that if you just open the dome an inch or so for a few seconds, it lets the oxygen in slowly and eliminates this problem.

  • Porkemon,
    I usually let the electric starter go until I see a few red coals, and then pull it out. I am wondering how you keep the plastic handle from melting, if you leave it in as you say until you get those high temps. One of the earlier posts is a good thing to do. Crack the lid about an inch and hold until the smoke quits rolling out of the chimney. What I want to know is how help yourself remember to do it the first time? We should be able to recognize each other in a crowd by looking at the "hairless knuckles"[p]

  • No,No,No, I dont leave the starter in with the lid closed, I start the coals, remove the starter, close the lid, wait for the temp to rise, I didn't know about burping the thing, and it may be a little clogged as I haven't taken it apart and cleaned it all up since the last big Boston butt.
    I always scrape the bulk of the ash out into a bucket I keep under the egg before I start. Oxygen starvation is somehow the culprit but it has taken on nightmare proportions with knuckles, arms, and eyebrows singed. I'll take it apart and clean it and try to remember to burp it.

  • Porkemon,
    I thought that was what you meant. I didn't follow the advice from the forum real well, and tried some regular charcoal, and had so much ash that mine slowed way down. I didn't want to waste what I already had, but learned real quick that the "lump" is the only way to go. I think that cleaning it out is probably wise, because that is what I did and restored it to its old good self.

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