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Problems With Starting My Egg

edited 10:55PM in EggHead Forum
I cant seem to get my egg going unless i use like 6 broken up weber fire starters i start with 2 broken up and put all around the egg this never works add 2 more broken up yet no real fire so finally add TWO MORE this does the trick what am i doing wrong getting it going?


  • Seattle ToddSeattle Todd Posts: 227
    slim pickens,[p]I'm not 100% familiar with the Weber brand fire-starters as far as size but I think we can get ya goin'.[p]I use a brand called something like lightning bugs or some such and the fire-starters are a bit smaller than half a ping pong ball. If the Weber's are about the same size you should be fine.[p]For me the trick to getting the fire started is pretty simple. Just get the lump burning in one small area and the fire will spread out over all the coals fairly quickly.[p]I normally fill up the Egg with the amount of lump I'm going to be cooking with and make a bit of a depression in the center. I then light the starter (I don't crush it up at all as the heat it generates isn't enough) and place it in the depression. After that I carefully place a couple decent sized pieces of lump around and over the starter careful not to block off all airflow or stamp out the fire.[p]After that I just make sure there's enough airflow through the bottom and top vents for whatever cook I want and wait.[p]Hope this helps.[p]
  • CornfedCornfed Posts: 1,324
    slim pickens,[p]To grill, light 1 Weber fire cube and place beneath the grate. Light this cube whole - do not break it up.[p]To go low and slow, light 1 Weber fire cube and place on top of the lump. again, do not break it up.[p]Sorry if I'm not understanding.

  • Mr BeerMr Beer Posts: 121
    slim pickens,
    First, make sure that your fire box is inserted correctly. The opening in the fire box needs to face the draft door hole. Second, make sure that you don't have too much ash with the lump charcoal or down in the bottom. Some people like to keep 1/2" of ash in the bottom but I have better results if I clean it out each and every cook (which is about every day).[p]You need to make sure that air can flow through the egg. The holes in the fire grate need to be somewhat unobstructed. Powdered or very small pieces of lump can cause problem with the air flow so I recommend not adding the powder or small parts in the bottom of the bag into your BGE. [p]If you are going to cook something hot (like steak) I recommend that all lump be removed from the egg, then place 1 Webber starter cube directly next to one of the holes in the fire grate. Then place a few medium pieces of lump over the burning starter cube. Make sure that the bottom vent is open all the way and the lid to the egg is open. After the few pieces of lump start to burn then add more lump. Don't overfill. If you have too much lump then the air flow will be reduced and it will effect the fire. After the fire is going fairly well, close the lid with the rain cap or daisy/slider top off. [p]If you are going to cook low and slow you want to add a fair quantity of mid to large pieces of lump (about 1" above the holes in the fire box. Then place 1 Webber fire starter cube on top. Add a couple of small pieces of lump on top of the starter cube. Open the bottom door all the way and keep the lid open until the lump catches fire. Then close the lid with the rain cap or daisy/slider cap off until the temp reaches about 150F. Then adjust the bottom and top vents to reach the desired temp.[p]Hope this helps,[p]Mr Beer

  • PainterPainter Posts: 464
    slim pickens, I assume you know this but here it is anyway. Make sure lower firebox opening is aligned with lower vent. Grate holes clean or open and start in center of firebox as this is where the airflow is greatest. Check lump for possible dampness ( how do you tell unless you try and burn it)Seattle Todd has the rest covered for me. My 2cts.
    Good Luck ...........Painter

  • PainterPainter Posts: 464
    Painter, Have to get my typing skills up to snuff to keep up with ya all. I think we have it covered.

  • TurkeyTurkey Posts: 38
    slim pickens,[p]I have been having problems getting my Egg going the past week as well and think I know why, maybe this is your problem.[p]I am only cooking for two adults and a 2yr old so I don't use much lump and I was in the habit of just throwing a weber starter cube on top and letting it rip. The recycled lump was working fine. Until this last week. I live in NC and the past week has been very humid. Any leftover lump is coated in a layer of ash when you are done. This ash has a lot of surface area and is hygroscopic. This essentially leaves you with "wet" lump that is hard to start. Once I got a decent fire going(very difficult) things were alright.[p]I have started making a well in my used lump and putting in a small amount of fresh lump to get things started and it has solved the problem. The fresh gets hot enough to "dry" the old stuff so it will burn well. I have been using about 2 cups of fresh each time.[p]Hope this helps. If it doesn't just store it in the old memory bank for possible future use.[p]Mark
  • SlimSlim Posts: 44
    slim pickens, thank you all i appreciate it! i know the firebox is alligned correctly i dont hink it can be wet lump as the humidity here is usually 8% or less so i guess i will try the firestarter in the middle of a depression in my lump ONE more question??? i usually get a fairly stron wind in the back of the house shoul i have the bottom vent pointen into the wind or turn it so it is shielded from the wind?[p]
  • Mr BeerMr Beer Posts: 121
    The more air flow through the egg the higher the temps will be. If you want a high temp cook let the wind blow into the bottom vent. If you want a low and slow cook then keep then keep the wind from blowing directly into the bottom vent.[p]Mr Beer

  • char buddychar buddy Posts: 562
    slim pickens,[p]do you stir your old lump and know off the ashes before you pour in new lump and start a fire.[p]Also, I like to use my grill tool and pull out the ashes from beneath the firebox each time I start up a new fire. [p]Just a thought. [p]
  • Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
    slim pickens, here is something that will most certainly change your fire starting.."ROCK'S" May I repeat. "ROCK's".
    I yelled it twice, and hope the rest of the group hears it. I cleaned out my diamond mesh the other day and sorted my burned charcoal for a fresh start up..and I threw out at least a dozen round quarter sized rocks form the grate. Now if anything will plug up a grate, ceramic or metal, its rocks..I think its more like fire clay as you can break it up with your fingers..Rocks is easier to say.. but they don't burn. I suspect they are chunks from the sides of the pits that they charcoal is made in and come out with the coals.
    Hope is solves some firestart problem.
    Cheers to all...

  • RotorRotor Posts: 53
    slim pickens,[p]At risk of being flamed ... er, I guess that't the point here ... have you considered using an electric starter? I love that I can get the egg going with no fuss every time. Here's a guestion for the "starter brigade". Are there any concerns about what the starter's are made out of?[p]Cheers,[p]Rotor
  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,415
    No flames here! Paraphin and sawdust is all that is used in most firestarters. Pretty harmless stuff. I always leave my dome wide open until the firestarter goes out (5 minutes or so), just because it doesn't smell like food.[p]Cheers!
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
  • RhumAndJerkRhumAndJerk Posts: 1,506
    You have sparked an idea in my mind. Part of the problem could be the size of the lump. When I get a lot of small pieces of lump, the temp is hard to get high. You can get better results from larger pieces of lump. I think that if you took the same weight of lump in both small and large chunks, you will find that the large chunks will actually burn hotter and start easier.[p]Someone else has touched on the idea already, but I will state it again. After I stir the ash out of the old lump, I push it too the side. Then I put the lit fire starter near the grate and place new lump around the burning fire starter.[p]Waddayatink,

    slim pickens, Once again i'll give the secret to get your fire started everytime in 2-3 minutes ready to cook. Get a chimney starter at walmart. A metal container that you put your charcoal in and place this on a propane burner. Gets your charcoal going in seconds. Some say there are sparks doing this, but I have only minimal problems with sparks and the only concern would be if you have a wooden deck and I doubt that it would do much to your deck. Just the way I do it and I love it, cooking away in less than 5 minutes.

  • Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
    RhumAndJerk, that too is a.o.k. Fresh charcoal will ignite and burn to a higher heat initially than used. The reason is the light coating of unburned charcoal that has turned into semi ash. This acts as a thermal shield preventing quick ignition untill surrounding heat is high enough to overcome it and fire it up to red hot again.
    Perhaps its best for newbies to just remove old...replace with fresh start and place the old on top. I had even used wet charcoal this way and got ignition, and a lot of steam.
    Good luck..

  • I always start the residual fuel, as it starts faster (for me) than new lump. I use a one-inch piece of fire-stick. I'm in a low-humidity region, so i get a good fire in about 15 minutes.

  • JethroJethro Posts: 495
    Rotor,[p]I am with you. No fuss, I can light probably 10 times the fires for about twice the price of a pack of fire starters.[p]Doesn't work too well if your out in the woods though.[p]Jethro
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