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Lump versus time

Charcoal MikeCharcoal Mike Posts: 223
edited 5:38AM in EggHead Forum
Hi all -[p]I just got my brand spanking new large egg last night!! Could hardly wait to get it out of the box. For those who have posted before that are curious about pricing, I got the large egg, daisy wheel, auto-lock band, grid-lifter and ash scraper thingamajigs all for $520 (before tax), with me picking it up. What a deal! :) Now I just have to build my table...........[p]Anyway, as I first dive into the greatness that is egg, I am curious about the lump. All previous experiences were with briquettes in a weber kettle, and I have NO idea how much of this stuff to use. So, a few questions, if you may:[p]1. How do you tell what is "bad lump". Meaning, stuff that's in the bag that you don't want, as it may ruin the food quality?[p]2. How much do I use? I understand the egg uses very very little, but my old experiences with the weber meant a little was five pounds, which is obviously too much. If I am just grilling a steak for me and the missus, do I use less lump than if I am smoking a turkey? Or does the difference in temperature plus the ability of the egg to hold heat make it irrelevant? If not, how much do I use?[p]3. Does it matter which lump I buy? Or is the lump from BBQ's Galore/Big Green Egg the best stuff to get? I have one not far from my office, so I can steer clear of Walmart and others.[p]Thanks to all on this forum. You made my choice easy![p]- Mike


  • WessBWessB Posts: 6,937
    Charcoal Mike,
    Congrats..and you did get a hell of a good deal..
    bad lump would be things that are overly shiny or bubbly like burnt varnish from wood scraps or things that get in the bag that aren`t even wood to begin with..or it could also be called bad if it was a bag that was mostly real small pieces..still works but is not preffered....[p]I typically keep my firebox most of the way to all the way dont have to add every time you cook there will be some left from the last far as not using much, I was surprised at how much lump I burned at first..the hotter and/or longer your cooks are the more lump you`ll burn...high temp steak cooks go through some`s go through some lump..on the other hand I`ve cooked boston butts for 26 hours and still had plenty of lump left in the answer your question I would say just keep it full and keep the ash grate will only burn what the egg needs to maintain your desired temp, when you close it up afterwards everything that didnt burn will go out..[p]And I personally prefer BGE lump out of whats available in my area..have tried BBQ Galore brand and it was OK..but I get bigger and better pieces from the BGE bag...
    Hope this helps..[p]Wess

  • Tim MTim M Posts: 2,410
    Charcoal Mike,[p]My website has a lot of pictures and stuff that should help you. Check out the New User section for fire starting and control.[p][p]Tim
    [ul][li]Tim's BGE page[/ul]
  • SmokeySmokey Posts: 2,468
    Charcoal Mike,[p]Sounds like you got a good deal on your new egg ... welcome aboard![p]1. I try and buy good lump and just pour it in as needed (I don't inspect it any more ... no problems so far!).[p]2. I do just like WessB, and just fill up the fire box. Just stir up the old lump befora your next cook![p]3. I've found a good deal on Royal Oak Lump. I get 20# bags for $4.99 at a local store.[p]Smokey [p]3.
  • Citizen QCitizen Q Posts: 484
    Charcoal Mike,
    Another thing to look out for is a creosote or tar smell when you open the bag of lump, I once bought 4 bags of the same brand lump, 3 excellent, 1 had a foot long piece of a used railroad tie that ruined the whole bag. BGE, Natures Own and Maple Leaf are all good brands that I have used, but sometimes availability is an issue and it becomes a crapshoot with some of the other brands out there.
    I usually fill the firebox to about halfway up the fire ring and this works best for me. I do alot of 18 to 22 hour cooks and that amount of lump assures that I won't have to refuel during the cook, also, it brings the heat up closer to the grill making searing steaks and chops a breeze. Keep 3 firebricks and a Weber 18" grill close at hand to raise the grid for chicken and pork. I only fill the firebox to just below the firering for turkeys because the only thing between the bird and the coals is a foil drip pan so a little distance will keep the lower end of the bird from getting overdone.
    It can get pretty wet around here so keeping the lump high and dry is a priority, the best place to store lump is right there in the Egg so keeping the firebox full means more dry lump ready to go the next time You fire it up. Just let any drippings burn off for 15 to 20 minutes after a cook before you shut it down and remember to keep that ceramic rain cap on when not in use (on the Egg, not your head).
    Good Luck and Good Q

  • ShelbyShelby Posts: 803
    $5 for 20 lb. bag of good lump...I'm jealous!

  • Citizen QCitizen Q Posts: 484
    I gotta move, 10# bags go for $6.99 - 8.99 and 20# goes for $16.99 if you can find it.

  • CitizenQ,[p]You say that you fill your Egg half way up the fire ring (the ring that sits on top of the fire box) for your long cooks. How do you deal with the ash build up blocking the holes and smoldering your fire? How many times do you have to stir the coals during a long cook with that much lump?[p]Thanks,[p]CC
  • Citizen QCitizen Q Posts: 484
    The Egg doesn't generate much ash to begin with but at 200 deg, there's hardly any ash at all. I never stir my lump during a cook and I don't believe that coals ever actually interfere with a cook by blocking the holes in the grate (that officially makes me a heretic aroung here). The coals would have to block each and every hole which doesn't happen and they are too irregular in shape to efficiently block airflow through the holes that they do rest in. The method of low and slow is achieved by severely limiting the airflow through the positioning of the vents, the coals themselves don't need much air at all to keep a glow. [p]The greatest amount of ash is going to be generated during high temp cooks, therefore, keeping the lump level high will keep the ash and smaller pieces of lump suspended well above the grate and the much needed air flowing freely up through the lower vent.

  • Citizen Q,[p]"therefore, keeping the lump level high will keep the ash and smaller pieces of lump suspended well above the grate and the much needed air flowing freely up through the lower vent."[p]Now that makes the most amount of sense I've heard yet. Does this still work with a 250* temperature? I'm with Nature Boy that anything under 250* just doesn't get you anywhere.[p]CC
  • Citizen QCitizen Q Posts: 484
    In theory it should work at any temp, but it seems that Eggs are like snowflakes, no two cook eggsactly alike, but that could be due to the individual operator. The first couple of briskets I cooked were at 250 and they just didn't seem right, then I saw a thread here with a post by one of the old timers, Char Woody or Elder Ward, that recommended down low in the 200 range, and the debate that ensued. I tried it that way and have never looked back. There's nothing like the feeling you get putting on the safety goggles to protect your eyes from that first splash of molten fat when you stab it with your carving fork, besides, it's easier to set the Egg up for a 20 hour cook at 9:00pm than it is to set it up for a 12 hour at 5:00am.[p]I use four basic cooking temps on the Egg, 200 for low and slow, 350 for roasting poultry and grilling fish, 500 for pizza and 750 for searing steaks. The best advice I can give anyone is to get to know your Egg, use it as often as you can until you can light the fire, set the vent and damper and walk away for hours and come back to the temp you set it at.

  • SpinSpin Posts: 1,375
    Smokey,[p]I have used Royal Oak Lump since 1998 and love it ($4.99!). If you bought it at a Agway store, wait about another month and order 10-20 bags for the winter. It takes about 10 days to come in, but will be kept in the back wrapped on the pallet for you to pick up. I have done this every year and the size of the lump pieces are impressive, with little chips or dust.[p]Spin
  • SpinSpin Posts: 1,375
    Citizen Q,[p]I agree with you totally. Ash cannot block a grate opening unless it is allowed to accumulate in the bottom of the Egg up to the grate openings. Stirring the lump tends to bring the larger pieces to the top, and the smaller pieces to the bottom - where these pieces can block the openings.[p]I still use the stock ceramic grate on all of my Eggs with no problems.[p]Spin
  • WardsterWardster Posts: 972
    Where are you getting your lump? I wonder if it's possible to make the trip from Tampa and stock up...

    Apollo Beach, FL
  • SpinSpin Posts: 1,375
    Wardster,[p]Agway stores. I believe they are located from Virinia north, and Pennsylvania east.[p]Spin
  • SundownSundown Posts: 2,962
    I just got 12 - 18 lb bags from my local dealer. I used to get 2 or 3 bags at a time and from now on I'll get at least a dozen bags at a time. And you are right, when you get that many the size of the lump is impressive. Mine stay on a pallet in his warehouse with my name on the bags in a corner. Happy, dry lump for Carey all at a nice savings too.
    A hug and a kiss for you and The Little Woman hope all is well.[p]Carey

  • SpinSpin Posts: 1,375
    Sundown,[p]The secret to good lump is to first find a provider of predictable quality lump, and then to obtain it with the least amount of handling.[p]Our very best to you and yours,

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