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Where to light chrcoal for long cooks?

FrancoFranco Posts: 88
edited 11:19AM in EggHead Forum
It must be just me but last night I had the temp steady for hours at 250 degrees. I placed the fire sticks close to the top when I started the fire as I know many people do. When I got up this morning the dome temp was at 130. It's now back up to 250 and going fine.[p]I seem to be having trouble keeping the fire going unless I get the fire going near the bottom of the lump. Should I just start lighting it that way or do any of you have any suggestions?[p]Thanks, Frank


  • Tim MTim M Posts: 2,410
    Franco,[p]You are doing it correctly. Actually there is little difference, I do prefer under the grate for grilling temp fires, either way will work for lo and slo but on top of the lump is the best way. It sounds like you had a long cook - if so it is very normal for the fire to go out over night. Often it is because the fire does not "fall into itself". At 250 deg there is a small area on fire and it progresses all around the firebox as time goes by. The lump needs to move down or "fall into itself" so the fire can progress to it. If it stays stuck to the wall of the firebox it can't drop down and the fire often goes out. I don't know of a sure cure but always use fresh lump in long cooks, avoid lots of dust, fill the firebox full and pack it down. The use of a drip pan is needed since a few drops of grease on that small fire will put it out too. [p]Tim
  • davidmdavidm Posts: 64
    Tim M,[p]I had been lighting the fire under the grate for grilling-temp fires, but I cracked two grates that way, even though I always make sure there's plenty of coal on top.[p]Have you had that problem? The dealer is always wonderful about replacing the grates, but I hate to impose on him and it's also a pain to pull out the cracked grate and clean the Egg out.[p]So now I'm back to top-lighting for all fires.[p]Any thoughts?[p]David
  • Tim MTim M Posts: 2,410
    Davidm,[p]I used the ceramic grate for about a year and only figured out the under the grate works when I switched to the Webber fire cubes. Now I use a cast iron trivet and it doesn't crack. I really doubt the liting from under the grate did any damage.[p]Tim
  • davidmdavidm Posts: 64
    Tim M,[p]I use the Weber cubes. So I don't need to feel guilty?[p]I saw the Gray & Holt site and looked at the trivet. The holes aren't too big for the coal, and the eight-incher is a good fit? An no damage or untoward results on any of the other parts?[p]Does the trivet rust?[p]Thanks for the help,[p]David

  • Davidm, I've had my BGE for about four years, and use it about once a week...I've ALWAYS started it by lighting it from under the grate, and I've never had a cracked grate. Don't know why your experience would be so different...

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