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How to prepare the egg after a fire?

jldjld Posts: 58
edited 12:05PM in EggHead Forum
I've been pretty successful building great fires with new lump in a clean egg, starting at the bottom with big lumps and carefully constructing good airflow channels.

My question is how can I build good fires without cleaning the egg and restacking the lumping? I did steaks a couple nights ago with a clean egg and new lump which worked great, but today I mixed up the leftover charcoal and added some new lump and couldn't get it lit first with rubbing alcohol and then with fire starters.

So guys/gals... how do I build good fires using old lump without cleaning everything out and restacking?


  • Panhandle SmokerPanhandle Smoker Posts: 3,018
    Make sure the air holes in the grate is clear and the bottom of the Egg is clear of ash. A wire coat hanger will work if you don't have a wiggle stick. It should light right up. Try lighting in a few places with the smaller pieces of lump. I would burry my starter cubes in the lump a bit worked every time. Now I use a MAPP torch it's even faster. :laugh:
  • RGBHVRGBHV Posts: 1,318
    Something I got was one of those metal chinese wok tools. You know, the large spoon with all the wholes in it. I'm sure there's a name for it, but I don't know what it's called.

    Anyway, I use that tool to move the lump around or take it out so that I can 1) let the ash fall through the metal grate and 2) so that I can clean the air holes in the firebox.

    If I take the old lump out, I mix it with the new, if I don't take the old lump out, I stir it around a little so most of the ash falls through the grate, I clean it out and add new lump.

  • RGBHVRGBHV Posts: 1,318
    A skimmer.

  • bubba timbubba tim Posts: 3,216
    It is lack of air that is causing your lump not to light up. Clean out the old lump and clear ALL the air flow hoels. Remove the old lump. I use kitty litter buckets. One has holes in it that I drilled and the other is used to catch the ash. The "holey" one fits into the other one. Fill with old lump, put the top on, shake, let rest. Pour fresh lump in then dump the older lump om top. Now light that sucker! :woohoo: :woohoo: :woohoo: :woohoo:
    SEE YOU IN FLORIDA, March 14th and 15th 2014 You must master temp, smoke, and time to achive moisture, taste, and texture! Visit for BRISKET HELP
  • reelgemreelgem Posts: 4,256
    Get a turbo grate from the BBQ guru.

    He also has a video on youtube showing how it works.
  • ST1SSDVST1SSDV Posts: 30
    As Bubba Tim said, you need airflow. I stir the old charcoal around and make sure I clear the air holes, then make a clearing in the center. I make a small cofferdam in the center with largish pieces and place
    one starter square in the center of the cleared area, then place (carefully) a few other pieces over the top.
    The fire is 550-600F in 15 minutes. If I need a screaming hot fire, I'll pull most of the old stuff out and start fresh, but most of the time I find it's not necessary. For a long cook, I remove all of the ash and start with a clean load of charcoal.
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