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Just got my BGE...any startup tips...

edited 12:03PM in EggHead Forum
The wife just called, my small BGE just arrived!!!! I hope to put it together tonight, read a little and use it tonight or tomorrow. Any startup/first use advice? [p]How do you guys usually start the fire? Paper, BGE starters, Electric?[p]Richard P.


  • RotorRotor Posts: 53
    Richard P.,[p]After trying paper for a couple of burns (Sales guy "just crumble three pieces of newspaper and it'll light!") and being frustrated I bought a generic electric lighter. I find it to be quick and easy. One warning though - I don't close the lid anymore when the ligher is in the lump. The BGE gets hot QUICK, with the lid closed I almost melted my lighter the first time I got distracted and left it in for a couple of extra minutes.[p]Dave
  • Richard P.,

  • Richard P.,[p] I usually just use a Weber firestarter on the bottom of the lump and light it through the bottom opening. They can be found at Home Depot. Put the starter directly on the bottom grate and pile the lump on top. Good Luck and have fun![p]Jon

  • GretlGretl Posts: 670
    Richard P.,
    The little white Weber starter cubes work great (grate?), but the Lowe's store near us quit stocking them. I don't recommend the parrafin-base firestarer log, as I found the cut-up pieces very hard to light and once lit, they sometimes burn out without starting the charcoal. No outlet nearby for an electric starter, so I bought one of those charcoal starter "chimneys" that works perfectly. Some newspaper on the bottom, lump on top, and ten minutes later it's a done deal. You can make one of these with a large coffee can; I was in a consumer state of mind when I bought it for $5.99. Have fun Egging! It's wonderful.

  • Gretl, I got the same response from a clerk at Lowes so I went to the front desk and ordered a case of them...that's 12 boxes. They carry them at the warehouse level and were happy to accomodate me, though they would not have stocked them until next spring. Of course the first clerk had looked at me like he was going to ask "Gosh! you grill other than between July 4th and Labor Day??? What are you?"

  • Tim MTim M Posts: 2,410
    <p />Richard P.,[p]Check out the link and site - it might help somewhat.[p]Tim
    [ul][li]Tim's new users page[/ul]
  • GretlGretl Posts: 670
    one feral kat,
    Thanks for the great suggestion. I'll do that! Those sugar-cube-type starters work wonderfully, both on top and below. You should have heard the language coming out of me during the holiday break when I was attempting to start Mr Big with one of those parrafin thingies. It was windy and the temperature was in the single digits, and I couldn't get the fire lit. I had to call my husband for help. Oh, the shame of it all!!!

  • Rotor, do you like that electric lighter?
    I was thinking about getting one.....
    My lump was pretty damp the other day and I comitted the Cardinal Sin and used lighter fluid.....
    I didn`t really want to but had no choice........
    Roger/Mop/Roger Ramjet...

  • Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
    But Gretl..there is a way...I use firestarter small chunks, chips..scrapings all'a time go burn baby burn. No problems. Cheap, inexpensive and easy do. On windy days..shave off some firestarter into a ordinary paper towel. Stick it either on the charcoal or dig a hole for it..Light the paper with a match, close dome, open bottom vent, top vent and going. The shaved material ignites and falls down spreading fire into the charcoal pile.
    No problems..been doin it for uncountable number of times.
    Big cooks..little cooks (high temp and low temp)...amen, :-)

  • SpinSpin Posts: 1,375
    Richard P.,[p]I am probably the longest user of newspaper as we get three a day. Paper does work and requires a learning curve to get good at it. It is still the hardest method of fire starting.[p]I did a serious upgrade about a year ago to my fire starting method and obtained a disposable propane cylinder with a regulator that has a button to fire the torch. Light weight, one handed operation with lots of temp. The coals are lit in 30-40 seconds. I'm still running on the original cylinder.[p]Spin

  • RotorRotor Posts: 53
    Roger,[p]Wouldn't dream of working without it. The one downside I see is that you get left holding a very hot electric lighter after 5 minutes. To battle that I hung a bolt and eye hook near my BGE that keeps the ligther well away from anything flammable.[p]Dave[p]PS - did you get my email about Commisso's?
  • RotorRotor Posts: 53
    Spin,[p]Heh Heh. Now I like the sound of that! Do you fire it from the top or through the ash door?[p]Dave
  • SpinSpin Posts: 1,375
    Rotor,[p]I start all of my fires from the top.[p]Spin

  • Gretl,[p]I only just cottoned on to the difference between lighting on top with firestarters and lighting from the bottom. When I light the top I've been using one of those soldering torches. Lighting with firestarters from the bottom really has helped me get a low/slow fire started and maintained. I found that I can just order firestarters from Weber's web site ( [p]Now I have a question for you. Is there a way to cook ribs without having to open the lid to turn them? I find that when I do that I start losing control over the low temp.
  • Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
    char buddy, yup, your learning fast :-)

  • JJJJ Posts: 951
    char buddy,
    Get a rib rack and place them bone side down. No need to turn them using that method.

  • Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
    Roger, Reninds me of the early beginnings of the BGE forum. We had a roundtable of suggestions regarding charcoal and humidity. Some of use were even reverting to plastic drums and bags to hold our charcoal. Its a myth.[p]One day I left a bucket of charcoal outside and it rained. Filled with water. I think it was wet. :-)[p]Started my BGE with a medium amount of dry from the bag, and when it was well started, I dumped in my wet stuff on top. Didn't take long and it was burning like the rest. [p]I will grant you, it may take a bit longer to get to your temp zone, but it will burn. The extra humidity doesn't hurt a thing. Takes the place of a drip pan with water. :-)[p]I have a electric starter that I have never used..sits on the shelf beside my round Weber charcoal starter. Too much muss and fuss and I have a fire going in 5 minutes with the firelog starters. Let em burn off good. 3 bucks worth lasts me 2 to 3 years.[p]Out of breath...C~W[p]
  • SpinSpin Posts: 1,375
    Char-Woody,[p]Nice post. Damp lump is only a matter of time (having some and using it).[p]Spin

  • Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
    Spin, I kinda miss the old days! Thanks for the upbeat support! Gotta get our "rib hero" JSlot to update us on his success stories. I betcha he has made a few mods himself.
    BTW..I got a newer e.mail now..both are good but you might want to add this one.
    Warm Regards...C~W[p]

  • SpinSpin Posts: 1,375
    Char-Woody,[p]I missed the very early days (jumped in when there were 42 people listed in the visitor profiles), but did have the opportunity to read (and re-read!) every post from the beginning. It is a true shame to have lost them.[p]Quite a trip we have been on. I look forward to more experimenting with you as we have always learned from each other and both wound up cooking better - even if we didn't agree (taste and texture are both a very personal thing). That is the essense of what this forum was all about. I say it still is, just more newbies that need help and less time to explore possibilities on the forum.[p]Should I use the recent email update or the email address you posted? [p]Spin
  • Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
    Spin, either one is is a secondary! But I recieve em in the same box. I have yet to send you some Iowa BBQ sauce from rich, deep black, nutritious Iowa soil..heeeyaa.
    Summer is coming!

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