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The State of My Egg

Jim BenensonJim Benenson Posts: 29
edited 1:01PM in EggHead Forum
My fellow Eggers,[p]Here is where I'm at...[p]A big thanks to all of you who convinced me to start using MAPP gas to light the lump. What a difference between the interval between "let's start dinner" and "the Egg is ready" compared to the time I (and others) had to wait using other methods! Now, it's only a matter of minutes from the torch to when the food hits the grate.[p]Since I replaced the second(!) ceramic charcoal grate with an iron one, I have had no problems with either the grate or the firebox. This may be because I am gentler stirring the dead ashes than before, or maybe I got a better firebox the second time around, or maybe it's the iron grate. It's a lot better than have evrything -- ceramic, lump, etc. in a heap on the bottom.[p]I said in a previous message than I do virtually nothing to my Egg except clean out the ashes every few sessions, breaking everything down occasionally to remove small pieces of lump and food that escaped between the firebox and the eggshell. [p]I have used the Egg several times a week for more than a year, and the gasket is still in fine shape. Is there a gasket life expectancy?[p]I have learned not to pay too much attention to the thermometer unless I'm cooking for a long time at a low temperature. When the coals are ready, I can estimate the rate of cooking and degree of doneness quite well without worrying about what the thermometer might read. If the coals are glowing bright red with some mini-flames coming up and the thermometer reads 350, which do you go by?[p]What I have learned to pay attention to more than before is sound! If you listen to the rate of flaring, you can get a very good idea what's going on without looking at the food or reading a gauge. (I wear hearing aids and can read the flare factor, so what's your excuse?)[p]Also, I pay attention to the smoke: the intensity, the color, the amount, the smell. It's amazing how much you can tell by what the Egg is "saying" with smoke and sound. BTW, I have found that the old saying "where there's smoke, there's fire" isn't true. When there's smoke, the food is cooking. When there's little or no smoke, it's burning.[p]So, those are some of my thoughts after a year (and more) of Eggin' I hope that newbies reading this gained some knowledge, and that oldies have plenty to "chew on" and maybe add to or criticize.[p]Zen Cooker #1
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