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High Temp (600+) Burger Cooking

mcneguymcneguy Posts: 28
edited 7:37AM in EggHead Forum
I have never been able to get my egg over 450 degrees and want to sear some burgers (at least I think I do) tonight at 600 or more. I went in to the BGE dealer to buy the electric starter and told him my problem and he said that I am putting too much lump in the firebox, that it shouldn't cover the holes in the firebox. I had always read that people fill the darned thing up right to the top of the firebox, who is right?

If the folks who fill up the firebox are right, how do you get enough air flow to get high up in the temp stratosphere?


  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 21,372
    he doesnt know what he is talking about, half way up the ring mine goes to 900, as it burns down a little, it jumps to 1200 dome temps. most common reason its not going past 450 is leaving the daisy on the egg, take it off and put it on the table
  • mcneguymcneguy Posts: 28
    Yes, I had thought of that. So you only fill your lump to halfway up the ring, not all the way?
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 21,372
    firebox full, half way up ring is good for most cooks. if your searing you want the burning lump near the grill, either you fill it up, or drop a smaller grill down lower. i dont usually go that hot with burgers, they char up pretty good at those temps
  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    half way up the fire ring as you know is above the top of the fire box. That's a pretty full load - about 1" below the top of the fire ring.

  • Make sure the hole in the front of the firebox is correctly lined up with the hole in the front of the egg itself so you get proper airflow to be able to get the egg up to the temps you want.
  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    If you run into slow starting, temperature stalling and not being able to reach high temperatures keep in mind physics.

    Heat = fuel + oxygen.

    You can reach above 600° dome with the lump only loaded to just above the holes in the fire box or if the egg is loaded completely full.

    Your problem most likely was/is you do not have a good air path up through the lump bed. A wiggle rod will help you with those type issues. I wouldn't use a hanger, but buy a wiggle rod or make one our of round stock.

    For a quicker high temperature cook load the egg making sure the holes in the fire grate and fire box are not blocked or plugged. I usually put some larger pieces over the fire grate making sure to leave some gaps over the grate. After that first level I just dump the lump in the egg.

    When you light he lump light down into the lump about 1 to 1.5 inches and light in 4 or 5 places. 3, 6, 9, 10 o'clock and center.

    You will get more heat than you may want in pretty fast order.

    With that said, there is no reason to take an egg that high for searing or hot temperature cooking.

    If you see a red blow in the lump bed the heat at lump level is somewhere around 1,000°. If you see an orange lava looking lump you will be something above 1200°, and a white look you will be close or above 2,000°.

    You can get high temperature cooking by moving the food down close to lump level without taking the egg thermometer nuclear. You will also save a bunch of lump. High temperature dome cooks use a lot of lump to reach and maintain those temperatures. The egg is capable holding 800° and higher temperature cooks for a good while but other than cleaning out the egg I don't seem much sense.

  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    The 'perfect alignment' is a myth. One can reach high temperatures even if the fire box opening is fully mis-aligned to a point where one cant get an ash tool under the fire grate.

    High temperature can be reached even if ash is 3/4 full under the fire grate.

    As long as there is a good air path up through the lump bed the egg will be stable and able to reach very high temperatures.

    my 2¢

  • mcneguymcneguy Posts: 28
    Thanks for all the assistance, my wiggle stick is a 9 iron.
  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    Soounds like my golfing skills. :laugh:

    A good day was when my clubs got stolen.

  • BacchusBacchus Posts: 6,019
    fishlessman wrote:
    he doesnt know what he is talking about

    LOL, It amazes me the bad advice coming from some of the dealers.
  • what dealer do you go to?

    I have had a little trouble getting higher temps when I get to the bottom of my bag of charcoal, and it is kind of all crumbs. Pieces must fall in tighter together and not let the air through as well. For me bigger chunks = hotter fire.

    Always fill my egg at least to the crack between the firebox and fire ring. If I am doing a much longer cook I fill it up a bit higher than that.
  • eggtopiaeggtopia Posts: 81
    Any time I have a hard time getting it hot it has always been a lack of airflow due to the bottom grate and fire box holes being clogged by both small pieces of lump and ash. Clean out these holes and you egg will heat up with little problems.
  • brisket30brisket30 Posts: 122
    I have had my egg for about four years now and have never pegged the thermometer. My brothers has a old version egg and he caught the table under the egg on fire. I have tried everything and doesn't seem to matter.
  • ChargerGuyChargerGuy Posts: 357
    I too have never pegged my Thermometer and usually could not reach 600 degrees. That is until I purchased the HiQue stainless fire grate. They are available on Amazon for around 30 bucks and let me tell you they work great. I can now reach higher temps and I am able to control my temps better as well. It allows more air flow and you don't have the problem with the ash clogging the hole.
  • Austex_EggerAustex_Egger Posts: 153
    I pegged mine just the other night doing pizzas. Thought I had the temp stabilized at 550. Put the first pizza on and went inside to prepare the next pizza. Came out about 8 minutes later and the thermo was pegged! Thought I screwed up a pizza for the first time (only 3rd pizza overall). Looked pretty burnt. Still cut it up and it was good! :)

    I'm beginning to think it is very hard to screw-up a cook on the Egg... :laugh:
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