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Newbie with Heat Management Issues

Grub BloggerGrub Blogger Posts: 48
edited 3:13AM in EggHead Forum
Finally got my Egg after years of wanting one, but never having a back yard. Following advise from the dealer, I have been grilling on higher heats to sort of season the ceramic and allow for expansion and contraction in the joints before I tackle some spare ribs this weekend.

Made simple chicken fajitas and grilled some up some pre-smoked sausages (from Woody's in Centerville, TX - which rocks). Had no problem getting up to 550 degrees quickly, and easily brought it back down with the vents.

Last night, I made cedar-plank fish. I couldn't get the Egg up past 200 degrees, even though I did the same thing as previously. I think that although I left the charcoal in a dry place with the bag closed well, the wood still picked up moisture, because, although covered, the bag was outside during some rain.

I threw in another lighter brick (BGE brand), and the temperature quickly came up to 500 degree, which I tamped back down to 450. Problem is that even thought I burped the Egg, I got massive flair up after about 7 minutes. Singed hair off my arm; singed the fabric on the seal. Durn near scared me to death, actually. There was a lot of juice dripping from some super-fresh, large patty pan squash I had in there, and the plank actually caught on fire (I soaked it for one-hour, brushed a touch of olive oil on top and on fish - per BGE cook book).

The food turned out fine, although with a slight ashy flavor, which I guess is from the blow back up the dome when I had the flare up.

Any thoughts on what I did wrong; how I can prevent this, etc. would be much appreciated.

My thoughts are to use up the rest of the charcoal I have on low and slow cooking, and then be sure to keep my lump really dry by storing in my climate-controlled home. Also, I will need to make sure the air holes are not blocked. Doesn't seem to be an ash problem, because I took out the small amount of ash that was in the bottom of the unit before using it for the fish.

Comments

  • 2Fategghead2Fategghead Posts: 9,623
    Grub Blogger, Welcome to the forum, Like you said you may have some moisture in your lump. You also mentioned you would try to keep the small lump from blocking the air holes and that is a good idea. I use a wiggle stick to stir and poke up from the bottom. You can get one from here simply scroll down till you see wiggle rod or stick.
    http://playingwithfireandsmoke.blogspot.com/2006/10/thirdhand-grate-lifting-hanging-tool.html

    Try to follow this forum you will get a lot of good advice. Tim ;)
  • Big'unBig'un Posts: 5,909
    First welcome! Second, I hate typing! Contact me offline with a contact number and I'll answer any questions you have. Todd
  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 8,669
    LOL! Great first post! Welcome to the madness!!

    Re temps, dealer has it backwards. Most recommend the first several cooks at lower temps, not higher. Supposedly it helps keep the gasket from frying, though it didn't with mine. No need to season the ceramic (whatever that means).

    Make sure you have enough lump in the egg. What you don't use up on a cook will still be there for the next one. Just close the bottom vent and place the ceramic cap on top when you're done with your cook. The fire will go out and the lump can be reused.

    When you add a fire starter and see the temp go up quickly, that's from the flame of the cube. As for low temps, make sure you are getting enough air to the fire. As lump burns, smaller pieces can clog the holes in the fire grate. Take a bent coat hanger and poke it up through the grate holes from the bottom.

    Takes a little practice, but before long, you'll get the hang of it.

    Everybody knows there’s three acceptable condiments for a hot dog; there’s mustard, onions and stagnant cart water! That’s IT!   ... Jon Stewart


    Michael 
    Central Connecticut 

  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 8,669
    Hahaha! I like your answer better than mine!! :)

    Everybody knows there’s three acceptable condiments for a hot dog; there’s mustard, onions and stagnant cart water! That’s IT!   ... Jon Stewart


    Michael 
    Central Connecticut 

  • Thanks to all. Much appreciated.
  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 8,669
    Grub Blogger, one more thing. Check this link for info on flashback. Good stuff. While you're there, poke around the site - tons of info there!!

    http://www.nakedwhiz.com/flash.htm

    Everybody knows there’s three acceptable condiments for a hot dog; there’s mustard, onions and stagnant cart water! That’s IT!   ... Jon Stewart


    Michael 
    Central Connecticut 

  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 27,360
    Grub Blogger,

    Before you add fresh lump to left over you need to stir the lump so the ash falls through the ash grate. Ash is clogging your airflow. Flashbacks happen when an established fire is starved of oxygen and then given a bunch, like when you open the dome. Welcome and the hairless arm is a badge of honour here.

    Steve

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • That makes a lot of sense. And yes, I was showing off the signed arm to my (horrified) wife.

    Jon
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 27,360
    Grub Blogger,

    You have the makings of a true Egghead! :laugh:

    BTW: I use a spider to sift my lump.

    Steve

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

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