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Starting the Egg

edited 5:54AM in EggHead Forum
I just got a large BGE last weekend. So far, I have tried grill-roasting a 7 lb. beef rib roast and a medium chicken.[p]I have used a couple of fire starter squares each time to start the grill. When it gets to roasting temp., I cut back the draft to stabilize the temp.[p]Both times, the food seems to have tasted of unburned charcoal (I'm using "Real Flavor" lump). I notice that, even after roasing for a couple of hours, there is still a lot of unburned, i.e., black, charcoal in the bottom of the grill. On the other hand, if I were to let all the charcoal get covered with gray ash before cooking, as I would do in a Weber, then the BGE would probably be 800 deg.[p]What, if anything, am I doing wrong?

Comments

  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,394
    John Holcomb,
    Even a small fire in the pile of lump can burn cleanly. But it helps to give it some time, though, until the smoke thins. I like to start my fire at least 30 minutes prior to cooking, if possible. [p]Also, I have found it helpful to control the temps with the bottom vent, and leave the top chimney open as much as possible...often with no daisy. Seems to burn much cleaner for me that way.[p]Just some possible idears. Could your lump be damp?
    Enjoy!
    Chris

    DizzyPigBBQ.com
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
  • Nature Boy,
    Yes, it could be a little damp.[p]When you let the BGE burn for 30 min. prior to cooking, is that with full draft? Or do you reduce draft when temp. is reached?[p]Thanks for reply.

  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,394
    John Holcomb,
    I reduce the draft as soon as I have a healthy group of coals going. [p]Or if grilling direct, I like to get most of the coals burning (with a smaller load), then cut it back and let it hum back down. Often I will get it up to 350 or 400, then close the bottom vent to a slit, and let in cruise down to 300, where I begin grilling. If you do that, you will get a real clean burn.[p]Again, this is just how I do it! YMMV.
    Rauchbiers to you.
    NB

    DizzyPigBBQ.com
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
  • Wise OneWise One Posts: 2,645
    John Holcomb, also, check how much lump you are putting in. The ideal amount is just enough to reach the temperature you want to maintain that temp during the entire cook. (Of course if you are going to err, make sure it does not give out too soon) Most of the time you really don't need to fill the box full - especially on the large. try cutting back a bit, getting it up to full temp (as NB suggested) and see if that helps out.

  • CajunCajun Posts: 147
    Nature Boy,[p]
    Just got my ring thingys and am anxious to try these out. I think that with the rings, when temp comes up, ring goes on top and door stays wide open[p]Anyone agree?? Disagree??[p]Cajun

  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,394
    Cajun,
    Do what you are comfortable with. Personally, I prefer to let the top to breathe as much as it wants. Unless I am doing steaks, chops or squidlies, my bottom vent is never more than 1/4 inch open. [p]Have fun with the thingys.
    And brown ales to you.
    Chris

    DizzyPigBBQ.com
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
  • sdbeltsdbelt Posts: 267
    John Holcomb,[p]FYI, you really can't let the BGE get hotter than your desired cooking temp. The ceramics trap the heat, and getting it to cool off, while still having a fire, is a tough task, beyond a few degrees.[p]--sdb
  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,394
    sdbelt,
    I have found it pretty easy to go from 400 down to 300. Not a long solid 400, but an initial 400...mostly from the direct heat of the hot coals. If I get to 400, then slit the bottom vent, I am back toward 300 in very little time. Give it a try![p]Beers!
    NB

    DizzyPigBBQ.com
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
  • sdbeltsdbelt Posts: 267
    Nature Boy,[p]Right. When it's basically just the air inside that's cooling off, that can be done pretty quickly. In these cases, I often open and close the lid to cool things off right quick. [p]But here, he was talking about an extended time (say a 30 minute burn) at a high temp, to get his coals ready, which would probably not lead to an easy trip down to a lower temp.[p]Enjoy! [p]--sdb[p]PS- I may have to make something on the Egg for lunch today...I'm getting hungry.
  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,394
    sdbelt,
    I think that was me. 30 minute total til cooking. Slit bottom vent at the initial 400 after maybe 15-20 minutes. [p]I am ready to cook again also. Been since Mom's day.
    Barley Wine Ales.
    NB

    DizzyPigBBQ.com
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
  • AZGatorAZGator Posts: 24
    Nature Boy,[p]Does that mean you only keep the bottom vent 1/4" open when starting your fire?[p]Paul
  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,394
    AZGator,
    I guess the way I typed it would imply that! I leave it wide open until I get a healthy fire going.[p]Pale Ales!
    NB

    DizzyPigBBQ.com
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
  • SundownSundown Posts: 2,955
    Cajun,
    Been playing with my rings and For my test I kept the bottom vent 100% open...let the lump "get up a little" then plopped the #1 ring on. Give it 30 minutes to stablize to temp. After it stablized I put on #2 etc., etc. leaving the bottom vent at 100%
    Then I played from there. The whole thing appears to change when you put the pizza stone in for an indirect cook. I think I'm getting it...i got it....I got it. S*** I ain't got it! ;>)

  • BordelloBordello Posts: 5,926
    Sundown,
    Yes, don't you just love it??????? That is why we love our cookers. ÖÖÖ
    Happy Egg-n,
    New Bob

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