I've had some issues recently with my fire going out and I figured it was due to too much ash building up, or else I hadn't let my fire get established before closing down the vents. (The last time my fire went out I found a half burned firestarter in the lump.) After yesterday I'm pretty sure my problem was the latter.
I fired up my Egg at about 8:00 am yesterday for an all day brisket cook. Unfortunately, I only had enough lump to fill the fire box. Found an old bag of half burned lump that I had set aside after a cleaning so I poured that in. (Along with about a cup of ash. Oops.) Now I was about halfway up the fire ring so I searched some more and I found a half full bag of Lazaro Mesquite. (Don't like this stuff as the pieces are all different sizes and it hisses and spits a lot.) That went in, too.
This time I let my fire burn for awhile before closing down the vents. It settled in at 300 but eventually came down to 250 and that's when I put on my brisket. Checked the temperature every hour or so and here's what I saw on the thermometer:
9:00am - 256 degrees
9:45am - 252 degrees
10:30am - 251 degrees
11:50am - 250 degrees
1: 30pm - 248 degrees
3:15pm - 252 degrees
4:50pm - 251 degrees
6:30pm - 247 degrees
7:15pm - 250 degree (PULLED THE BRISKET)
NOTE: I did not adjust the vents or DFMT at all. Not one time.
After I pulled the brisket I wanted to separate the point from the flat but it was too hot and I couldn't find the seam. So I just foiled the whole thing and left the Egg going. After an hour or so I cut into the brisket, found the point and pulled it off. Then I cubed it and added some BBQ sauce for burnt ends. Back on the grill.
8:30pm - 250 degrees
9:30pm - 245 degrees
10:30pm - 243 degrees
11:00pm -245 degrees (PULLED THE BURNT ENDS)
Again, I didn't make a single adjustment to the vents once I got my temps stabilized. That's pretty amazing, especially considering that my lump had a layer of fresh Cowboy (Whole Foods brand), then a layer of pure ash and half-burned lump, then a layer of Lazaro Mesquite. And I still had some left when I checked this morning!