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How long does it take a large to get over 600?

banjomarkbanjomark Posts: 6
edited 11:57AM in EggHead Forum
Hello all,

I must be doing something wrong. While I am completely amazed by the flavor and juiciness of cooking on the egg, I am apparently unable to get it up to temperature. Earlier this week I attempted a pizza on the egg, and after an hour of waiting, it was still only around 450. Last night I did burgers, and I wanted it up around 475-500, which I really couldn't get it to until after the food was one (I'm assuming the drippings caused the heat to flare up the last 30 degrees).

Since every one says these things get up past 700 (which, I can't wait to get to for some Neapolitan pizza), I'm seeking help :-).

In terms of fuel/air/etc. - I'm using wicked good weekend stuff, and I do indeed have it filled up to the bottom of the ring. I have gone in every time before lighting and knocked the ash off the already burnt charcoal, and then I light it up with this propane dooeywhacker the dealer sold me; that gets it lit and going in about 3-4m, at which point I close the lid (no daisy wheel, just open top and wide open bottom vent), and it gets up to say 300 pretty quick (like < 10m), but from there it just kind of stagnates and takes forever to get up above 400.

What the heck am I doing wrong?

Thanks!

Comments

  • LakerLaker Posts: 110
    All sounds good, so that only leaves a gasket problem. Take off the daisy wheel and look down and see if you can see any light coming in from around the gasket. Open the lid and place a $1.00 bill on the gasket with it hanging outside. Close lid. If the $1 bill slides out easily or it falls out, your lid is not sealing tight enough.

    Last but not least, is the spring assembly correctly installed? Flat bar on spring assembly should be on the top.

    Good luck.
  • is the hole in your firebox aligned with the bottom vent? . ..you should be able to look straight into your bottom vent and directly through the hole in your firebox... ..
  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 12,859
    Did you use a wiggle rod or similar tool to dislodge any small bits that were stuck in the fire grate? Less air flow, less heat.

    I hate it when I go to the kitchen for food and all I find are ingredients!

                                                                …Unknown

    Michael 
    Central Connecticut 

  • Little ChefLittle Chef Posts: 4,725
    Banjo...

    When was the last time you cleaned all the ash from beneath the cast iron grate beneath the lump?
    Also, are you sure the opening of the fire box is aligned with the lower draft door?

    Many times, while knocking ash off the old lump, we actually manage to clog the holes of the grid with small pieces of leftover lump. Suggestion....before lighting today, put on a pair of rubber gloves, remove all the old lump, and shop vac the inside of the fire box, especially under the grate. While the grate is off, make sure the opening of the fire box is aligned with the lower draft door of the egg. Replace the grate, and put your new, larger lump on the bottom, ensuring good airflow. Put the used lump back on top, and fire it up. If you don't see 600* or better within about 35 minutes, I will be stunned. (we go through this procedure every time we are planning for high temp cooks...especially pizza. Once you do it once or twice, its really very easy and quick to do.)

    As a note, there are a few people in here I know are operating without a gasket. It is not the gasket....this is an airflow issue.

    Good luck...and let us know how you make out.
  • banjomark wrote:
    What the heck am I doing wrong?

    B, Sounds like an air flow problem. I had the same problem.

    Clean in and below the firebox well, including along the outsides, and use fresh charwood so you don't have ashes blocking the air holes.
  • Banjomark,

    I respectfully disagree with Laker's diagnosis. While a gasket issue has the potential to cause problems when trying to stabilize at a LOW temperature, the method to getting to a high temperature is to introduce more air. A leaky gasket would help, not hurt this.

    A couple of questions:

    1) What does the fire look like when it's reading 450? Do you have smoldering red coals, or flames shooting out the top of your Egg? I ask because it is possible that your dome thermometer may not be properly calibrated, though it is unlikely it would be that far off. To test, boil some water, put the thermometer tip in the water, and see what it reads. If it isn't 212 (or the boiling point of water at your altitude), use a wrench to adjust the nut on the back until it does read 212.

    2) Have you tried doing this with fresh charcoal? You mention that you knock the ash off before each cook. However, if you have a bunch of small pieces of charcoal left over after your cooks, they will eventually settle to the bottom and start to block your vent holes, which will prevent air from getting in. Try the following...
    a) Remove all the charcoal from your Egg.
    b) Take out the guts, and clean out all the ash. Even if you've been using the ash tool, do this, as ash can accumulate behind the firebox and block the vent holes.
    c) Put the guts back in, and ensure the large vent hole on the firebox is lined up with your bottom draft door
    d) Using fresh charcoal, refill your firebox until it is over the fire box, and partway up the fire ring. Start with the largest pieces you have, and then put smaller ones on top. You can reuse your old charcoal toward the top. Doing it this way allows air up through the lump, and keeps ash and the small bits from blocking up the fire. BTW, this is also the method for building a fire that isn't likely to go out when you do a long low and slow cook.
    e) Now light the fire in a couple of spots (I usually light in three places), open your vents wide, and wait. You should have a nice hot fire pretty soon.

    Hope this helps.

    -John
  • Sounds like you are going about it right.

    You have to have an airflow problem. That Always causes this sort of problem.

    I Light it in at least 3 spots when using starters, not sure how it works when you use propane.

    Re:Ash- I stir it up and make sure the ash is falling through the grate. I put some effort into this because otherwise it interferes with the fire.

    Used lump is more difficult to get hot than new lump (at least for me it is)
    I have heard that Wicked Good starts slow, you might try Royal Oak or Cowboy. Cowboy burns pretty fast and gets hot fairly quickly,
  • Thanks all!

    In answer to questions - I went out there now and the firebox hole is perfectly aligned with the vent hole. I looked up in there with a maglite, and I think what Little Chef described is the problem - there are some little bits of burnt up coal/ash in the grate. I'm going to try that trick of cleaning it out and replacing all the coals on top of newer/bigger stuff.

    My gasket is sealed (with the $1 trick, although I only had a 5-spot, so I guess that would make me a high roller) and the spring mechanism is on correct.

    Is this the purpose to that turbograte? Having only had the egg for a week or so I thought it was a gimmick, but if it solves this then I can see the point.

    Thanks guys!
  • fieroguyfieroguy Posts: 777
    The TurboGrate WILL solve your problem.
  • Little ChefLittle Chef Posts: 4,725
    Banjo....Been Egging for 15 years....never had or have needed a turbo grate. As long as you do routine maintenance as I described above you won't have issues. All you need is an extra bucket to hold the old lump while you do a quick vacuum job. (I suggest a shop vac though.... :blink: lol) We do this at least every third cook...and every time we need high temps for cooks like pizza.
  • PhilsGrillPhilsGrill Posts: 2,256
    With a totally cleaned out egg and fresh lump, I can get 750 degrees in about 14 minutes. 600 at the 11 min mark.
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