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Blew a Gasket on the Last Lap!

BBQfan1BBQfan1 Posts: 562
edited 12:50AM in EggHead Forum
Was making a steak dinner tonight for the inlaws, and all was going along smoothly, baked spuds, marinated mushrooms, chicken breast for the non-steak loving niece etc. Time to jack the heat up for the steaks, and it works up to 700-750, no problem. Steaks go on, and we're into Flame City. Open the lid to put on my steak (everyone else is well-done), and get that big 'whoosh' of flame (even opening veeerrry slowly), lower, and let cook. Go for the turn, get another whoosh, and see gasket is aflame. Close the lid and dampen fire a bit to douse flames. Open minutes later and top and bottom gasket are fused together and dangling over grid. Damn! Flip steaks, close, and this time it's a backdraft whoosh out the lower vent which I barely sidestepped. The resulting steaks tasted great, but I'm out a gasket and out of commission until I get another set. I like the results of searing on the Egg, but definitely feel like I have little or no control over about 500 degrees. I've seen others post pix and relate similar tales of backdrafts and oxygen-influenced flare-ups, so I know I'm not alone. Any suggestions on controlling the Egg at these higher temps? Now I feel like I'm at its mercy when working at those high temps.
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Comments

  • McKevinMcKevin Posts: 47
    BBQfan1,[p]When cooking at high temps, the "backdraft" effect is pretty much always the result of starving the fire for oxygen, then letting it in all at once.
    At high temps, ALWAYS open the top vent completely, then open the bottom completely, then wait just a bit before opening the lid. The whoosh will still happen, but it will be safely contained within the egg instead of removing your arm hair.
    Some suggest fanning the lid briefly before fully opening. I don't, but it can't hurt.[p]If nothing else, use the scorched hair as a sympathy ploy ;)[p]Kevin

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  • SmokeySmokey Posts: 2,468
    BBQfan1,[p]Sounds like fun! I bet the in-laws were impressed ... and hope that no one go hurt! I just tried some seared steaks the other night and was luckey (no backdraft), but I was prepared (long sleve shirt, oven mit and ready to jump back).[p]BTW, the gaskets is easy to peplace, just call the BGE store (in Atlanta)![p]Smokey

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  • Smokin' ToddSmokin' Todd Posts: 1,104
    BBQfan1,
    after reading so many of these flare-up posts i have come to the conclusion that a statement should be implemented before the start of the post..and that is:
    Kids, do not try this at home.

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  • TeslamaniaTeslamania Posts: 144
    BBQfan1,[p]Follow this thread about "burping" the egg before opening after shutting the vents while cooking your steak. A well know, entertaining phenomenon!

    [ul][li]Burp That Egg![/ul]
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  • BBQfan1BBQfan1 Posts: 562
    Teslamania,[p]Thanks for the thread to follow up on. I thought I was following the process pretty closely, 'burping' the Egg, but I think one of the posters in that thread nailed the subject by saying that we're dealing with a live fire at extremely high temps, higher than our ovens even go, so act accordingly. I really don't feel confident at that temp level; not in control of the situation even with the precautions. Maybe I'll drop things back a bit for my next steak cook; that is when I get a new gasket installed. Hope my local distributor has one, or I may be down a while. Thanks for your input.
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  • TeslamaniaTeslamania Posts: 144
    BBQfan1,[p]You don't need an intact gasket to cook. Mine leaks at the back and smoke comes out a bit there. I bought some gasket material from the Atlanta store but have not put it on yet. Others, I think JJ in particular, say that you don't need a gasket and that it cooking without one is no big deal.[p]On the subject of high temps, I have not done a steak in a while. When I do, I am not so sure that I will fire them at really elevated temps. More moderate temps should also do the trick. Some have posted that lower temps work well to (500 - 750 range).

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  • SpinSpin Posts: 1,375
    BBQfan1,[p]Both of my EGGs have burnt seals. They simply slowly dried out and fell apart. They provide a cushion on closing the lid, but really are not required to cook with. The only gasket I actually burnt off (caught on fire even) was at EGGtoberfest '99. I opened the EGG to show someone the plate setter/pizza stone setup (before even starting the first pizza) and created a backdraft that everyone heard ignite. I scraped the remainder of the gasket off the dome and body (solidly glued together - required a very sharp knife and much work to even pry the EGG open) and cooked 13 pizzas using what was left.[p]Don't be afraid of your EGG. It will do the same thing each and very time. Its operation is very predictable. High temp cooks (especially after the vents are closed) create a potential backdraft situation.[p]A backdraft is easy to create. When you can understand how it occurs, you can become comfortable with controlling the situation that can create it. The flare (backdraft) is caused by the introduction of oxygen to the formula for combustion. Combustion (fire) can only occur when a burnable substance (fuel), sufficient heat, and oxygen are combined. Once the EGG is really making heat, the limit on the highest temp becomes how much oxygen can enter and be available to the fire. The situation inside the EGG then becomes a varying amount of combustable gas (superheated combustable particles) that only require oxygen to burn.[p]Opening the dome introduces oxygen to the mix. With a minor dome lift, the gas first pushes out (slight smoke escape) and then is drawn in quickly as it displaces the thinner, hotter air.[p]When oxygen is introduced to the internal environment, combustion will occur. A slow introduction of oxygen will produce a slow burn off (or no flare at all) of the combustable gases.[p]You just need to vent the hot gas before you open your EGG. This sounds a lot more intimidating than it actually is. Simply fully open the top and bottom vents and wait 30 seconds. Lift the dome just a crack (1/2") and wait to see if the smoke exits and then is sucked back (this happens quickly). If it is sucked back, set the dome down. Lift again and access your meal. No flare, no scare.[p]Spin[p]Spin [p]Spin
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  • Tim MTim M Posts: 2,410
    BBQfan1,[p]Sorry to see a gasket have to be replaced but every couple years they seem like they are going to be needing a replacement. I will be picking one up to have ready as mine it pretty brittle. You also want to keep as much grease, drips, sauce, etc off of the gaskets - they will heat up and act like glue sometimes and that may have been why they stuck together. I have freed mine once with a fish filet knife.[p]Tim[p]
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  • BBQfan1, I just replaced my old gasket with a brand new fuzzy one. My old one had taken a beating. It stuck once and I pulled it apart without pulling anything loose. The flare-ups are going to be a way of life for an egger. There are ways to prevent or lessen it,, but remembering it all the time is nearly impossible. Of course, now you can do the BGE salute with pride. OH, you don't know what the BGE salute is? When you greet people, raise your left arm with your palm facing the person you are greeting. The hairless underside of your arm is very distinctive amongst the Royal Order Of EGGERS. The underside of my left arm is as smooth as a baby's bottom. I'm gonna have to do a picture of it. :)

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  • Elder WardElder Ward Posts: 330
    BBQfan1,[p]You aint done no Quing until you've blown your first gasket.[p]Well on board[p]Elder Ward

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  • Elder WardElder Ward Posts: 330
    BBQfan1,[p]You aint done no Quing until you've blown your first gasket.[p]Well on board[p]Elder Ward

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