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Flames out the top of the egg- too much?

rprice54rprice54 Posts: 25
edited November -1 in EggHead Forum
Okay, I'm breaking in my new egg, and feel like a total noob even though I've gotten pretty proficient on my gas grill.

Tonight was steaks for the first time. Filled the firebox, lit it up, opened the vents and let the baby heat up. 10 min later I notice flames out the top. Temp at 700. I 'burp' the egg, open it up, and I've got a raging fire in there. Is that what I want or should it be smoldering coals?

I threw my test steak on there, 2 min per side, and pulled it off. I was expecting charcoal steak but instead had a good sear and internal temp around 80-90. Shut down the vents, 4 min later I have a great steak, but a little smoky. My other steaks were cooked too much because 4 min just didn't seem right and I gave them a few more minutes before the dwell. My bad...

But my question is about the flames. I don't want to go crazy and melt the gasket or anything. Are flames out the top vent desirable or too much? I don't want to cook the coating off my grid, I figure the ceramic of the egg can take it.

Comments

  • Flames out the top is common for me as I sear the steaks as hot as I can get it. Not an issue.
  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 6,864
    You got what you're supposed to get. You WILL melt your OEM gasket... BGE gaskets suck. :laugh:
    Michael 
    Central Connecticut 

    "Avoid at all costs that vile spew you see rotting in oil in screwtop jars. Too lazy to peel fresh? You don't deserve to eat garlic." Bourdain
  • Yep, that's why installed a Rutland gasket only on the bottom. I've had it near 1000 degrees w/o any issues.
  • DeckhandDeckhand Posts: 318
    Fun to watch the egg play blast furnace... Air roaring in...Flames roaring out... My excuse is that I'm just cleaning the grate. Gotta be careful if you close it up completely after a high temp burn... It's full of hot gas and just waiting for a rush of oxygen so it can flash and burn your eyebrows off.
  • Blue flame shooting from the dome (like a jet engine) is a good thing for a hot sear / cook.
  • Another method is using an accessory to lower a grate (like a large CI grate in the case of an XL, or smaller one for a smaller egg) closer to the coals. I have some great sears from getting closer to the coals as opposed to increasing the temp.
  • CobraCobra Posts: 110
    Flames out the top isnt out of the norm. I posted a pic on this entry to the forum recently. http://www.eggheadforum.com/index.php?option=com_simpleboard&func=view&id=1016596&catid=1

    Also I guess i have been lucky with gaskets. I have my dads large egg which i would guess is roughly 15 years old, and it still has the original gasket intact. Maybe gasket material has changed over the years, but the gasket should be the least of your worries. Food first.

    Sounds like your on the right track to me for steaks, I sear 1:45 per side, and then dwell @4:00 per side with the egg all closed up.

    Keep on egging.
  • Ahh, the flashback....see my earlier post "No Eyebrows" :whistle:
  • I found your pics after I posted. Thanks for all the replies. I'm just used to watching my beef, poking it with my finger, until it's where I want it. It was hard to shut the dome with all the flames. I'm still amazed that it didn't char more. I used a sirloin for my test piece and it came out better than any I've done before.

    I had a decent first attempt at ribs too, but still getting a feel for this thing.

    I'll be browsing around here for a bit. I've always found forums like these to be more helpful than any manual or cust. service rep.
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 15,851
    what you did is sear and dwell the steak, its a technique that bge always seems to give out and during that dwell while the egg is shutting down is where you have gotten that smokey taste. a better method would be to sear the steak like you did at 700 plus, remove the steak and shut the vents til its down to 400 degrees or less and put the steaks back in to finish up, takes 20 to 30 min to get the temps back down while the steaks rest and while they rest its a good time to put your pepper on or rub of choice on (if you put a pepper on after the sear you dont have the problem of the pepper turning bitter as it burns). you will see this methed posted as the TREX method
  • tjl5709tjl5709 Posts: 76
    rprice54 wrote:
    I found your pics after I posted. Thanks for all the replies. I'm just used to watching my beef, poking it with my finger, until it's where I want it. It was hard to shut the dome with all the flames. I'm still amazed that it didn't char more. I used a sirloin for my test piece and it came out better than any I've done before.

    I had a decent first attempt at ribs too, but still getting a feel for this thing.

    I'll be browsing around here for a bit. I've always found forums like these to be more helpful than any manual or cust. service rep.

    Here, I'll save you some time. This post should be a sticky. It's has some very useful links. The forum/resources are priceless. Don't buy anything (eggcessory wise) until you've searched around and posted some questions. Good community, lots of sharing. Good luck, have fun.

    http://www.eggheadforum.com/index.php?option=com_simpleboard&func=view&id=761883&catid=1#
  • HaggisHaggis Posts: 63
    That certainly works, or maybe he should try the reverse sear - I've found that much easier and more reliable. I take the egg to maybe 350 or 400, throw the steak on a raised grid until its internal temp is about 90 (almost like hot-tubbing it,) remove it, lower the grid and open the vents to get about 700. Then the steak goes on for maybe two minutes a side.

    If you want it beyond rare to medium rare, just pull it from the "roast" a bit higher -- maybe 100. And this is easy to adjust for different thicknesses as well.

    Additional advantage is that it takes a lot less time to get the Egg from 350 to 700 than it does from 700 back down to 350 as in the sear/dwell method.
  • the reverse sear sounds interesting. I'll have to try it.

    When you guys talk about the grid position with respect to the coals, are you putting the grid right on the firebox? I have mine on the fire ring, and at 700 degrees, despite the bonfire in my egg, I was able to sear at 2 min per side without any significant charring (it was that extra 2 min I tried that pushed it over the edge). Plus there's just something cool about cooking over a raging fire and not burning the meat.

    I think I inadvertently tried my own version of the TREX (is it T-rex?) steak by resting my "test" sirloin while I seared the T-bones. Then I threw it back on for the dwell without giving the T-bones a rest (and after I gave them an extra 2 min of sear). Hands down the best medium/ medium rare sirloin I've ever produced or eaten. T-bones were just barely pink in the middle and way too done.

    Looks like I need to thaw out some more beef and give it a shot. I'm also gonna ask our butcher for thicker steaks, but right now, we're buying a 1/4 of a cow at a time, and I don't think we can deviate from the 'standard' processing which is 1" thick steaks. Maybe I need a bigger freezer ;)
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 15,851
    when the dome is shut its mostly heat for a nice sear, open the dome and the fire rises for those that like a heavier char verse sear
  • HaggisHaggis Posts: 63
    There are some who will put the grid on the firebox or, even, put the meat directly on the coals. But the normal grid position is on the top of the fire ring.

    I think you said you were relatively new at the Egg so you might want to review the terminology - the fire box is the low section resting on the bottom of the Egg, the ring is the ring-shaped piece on top of that.

    When someone mentions "raised grid" it usually means a grid that has been raised another three inches or so - about the level of the gasket. That can be accomplished by a number of means, including using products produced and sold by members of this forum, or by making your own (search the archives for more details.)

    There are a number of methods to get the temp of the meat to near-done prior to searing. The reverse sear I described is akin to roasting. You can also hot tub - putting it in a bag and immersing it into hot water until it reaches about 100 internally. Or use the faddish sou vide employed by many restaurants. I've not tried the last but all work - you'll have to try a few to see what you like best. As I said, I prefer the reverse sear because I find it most forgiving, flexible, and generally easiest.
  • Just thought I'd close the thread. I tried steaks again last night and got much better results. I did the 2 min per side sear, and then pulled them off. I didn't go a full 20 min rest (not that patient) but I did let the flames die down. Then a 4 min rest with the vents just barely open to try and reduce the smoky flavor. Still a tad overdone, but much much better steaks this time. They were 1 1/2 strips from SAMs club. I can't wait to get some of our regular local beef on there. Thanks for the tips. Starting to get the hang of this thing. We did two spatch cocked chickens last night- easily the best chicken I've ever grilled up. This weekend, my first butt and a pork tenderloin...
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