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My Second Cookout on the Egg - Flames!

WoodsDogWoodsDog Posts: 41
edited September 2011 in EggHead Forum
I did my second cook on my new (to me) Egg tonight.  I had some issues, and just want some pointers from you guys.

On Monday, my first cookout, I did boneless skinless chicken breasts.  I cooked them at 350-400, it took about 45 minutes to cook. They turned out really well, not dried out at all.  I didn't taste any marinade, but they had a good flavor none the less.  I didn't put much charcoal in it at all.  Just enough to fill the bottom.  It got the job done.

Tonight, I decided to do burgers.  Plain ol' simple burgers.  I put in a lot of charcoal.  After reading around, I thought it was recommended to fill it up.  I put in so much it came above the firebox, and into the fire ring.  I lit it, and it got going.  When I had the lid closed, the temp was hovering around 450 degrees.  However, when I opened the lid, (my brother described it best), dragon fire breath shot out of it.  Once you opened it, flames just instantly ignited on the charcoals and there were really big flames going.   I put the burgers on, and they got over cooked tonight.  I wasn't happy with the results.

So, I guess I'm asking for pointers in cooking burgers (simple, I know).  Also, what was I doing wrong to have such viscious flames?

Thanks

Woody

Comments

  • Woody - from my experience not much lump is needed, I usually place half way up the fire box not the fire ring. As for the dragon fire you have to crack the egg top about 1 inch then slowly open up. Check out the following link for the way I cook burgers.

    http://www.biggreenegg.com/johnny.html

     

    LBGE - Swing Grate - Platesetter - Pimaster110 - Pizza Stones - Maverick E732
  • Adjust your air flow with burgers and you wont get the flare ups. Close the bottom vent almost all the way and the top vent and you should be fine. That is after you get the egg to the right grilling temp that you want. I also found that better quality ground beef like 80/20 has less flare ups. The bubba burgers are really good but a lot of fat and flare ups. buy some good ground beef and make your own. 
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 5,080
    What you experienced is the combustion of hot gases in the dome of the egg when you introduced oxygen (opened the lid); aka "flashover". Best to "burp" the egg as mentioned above (slowly open the lid about an inch and pause) when cooking above around 300*F to preclude another event.
    Louisville
  • I've been cooking on my BGE for about 3 weeks so I'm a newbie too.  I've noticed it has a bit of a learning curve.  I echo the comments on not using so much charcoal for direct heat, hot cooking.  More can be used for slow and low smoking but that is another post.

    For burgers, I use a similar approach as steaks: 1 inch burgers, very hot grill (500 - 600), 2 min sear on each side, then flip back to the original side, close down the dampers and cook with the remaining heat for 4 - 8 minutes (depending on thickness and fat content).  I highly recommend investing in an inexpensive food thermometer for the first few weeks until you get a feel for the cooking times.

    Finally, make notes on what you did (temp and time) so you can adjust next time.

    Keep practicing!
  • You guys are great.  Thanks for the replies and suggestions.

    There is no way I am giving up.  I think I learned this so far:
    • I had too much charcoal for direct heat.
    • I didn't "burp" it right
    • my burgers were 1/2 inch, tops.  Johnny burgers are recommended to be 1 inch thick
    • My grill was 400 or so during the cook.  sounds like i need to sear them on each side, then cook for just a few minutes more with the grill closed up
    This weekend I'm thinking of doing a slow smoke at 200-225 of a chuck.  How much charcoal do you use for that? Fill up the firebox? The firering?  I am on a Large BGE.

  • On a low-slo especially an overnighter you should fill up into the fire ring. Although you may be amazed at the end of the cook how much lump you have left, its a real bummer to have to unload everything in the middle of a cook to refuel. When I cook burgers I load to somewhere between the top of the fire box and the  holes in the sides of the fire box. I also usually cook burgers at about 400. Keep the dome closed and it should reduce your flare ups. Good luck.
  • I've had my Egg for about 5 years now and after all the roasts, ribs, pies, breads, steaks, fish-you name it- this summer I just learned how to cook burgers.

     

    now I've got some different ways to try.

    that's the thing with the egg that's difficult at first- there is no one, single correct way to cook anything!

  • 4Runner4Runner Posts: 1,278

    Something I like to do when cooking anything hot like a burger, I let me lump burn a good long time to get a nice even glow going.  Essentially, I'm burning most of my lump prior to throwing on the meat.  This also reduces the risk of  "dragon flames" as you put it.  The AR in Tweev's post is in reference to an Adjustable Rig and I use this all the time now.  I have a CI grate down low resting on a spider.  I will sear down there and because it is so low, it is how with very little lump.  Then, I will use the AR and put my meat up high to finish.  Works great.  Keep up the practice and enjoy experimenting as well as keep posting here with any questions. 

    Joe - I'm a reformed gasser-holic aka 4Runner Columbia, SC Wonderful BGE Resource Site: http://www.nakedwhiz.com/ceramicfaq.htm and http://www.nibblemethis.com/
  • SqueezySqueezy Posts: 1,101
    edited September 2011

    Here is an alternative to grilling burgers ... Before getting my Egg, I wondered what low-n-slow burgers would be like ... so, at 225º over a fairly long time, indirect, I made 1/3 lb topped with 2 slices of provolone. Had the texture of meatloaf, which to me was a very nice change. The upside to me was having extra time bending my elbow and getting extra smoke flavor on the meat ...

    <img src=http://i168.photobucket.com/albums/u179/PCCSqueezy/BBQ/DSCF3676.jpg>

    <img src= http://i168.photobucket.com/albums/u179/PCCSqueezy/BBQ/DSCF3678.jpg>

    <img src=http://i168.photobucket.com/albums/u179/PCCSqueezy/BBQ/DSCF3680.jpg>

     

    Never eat anything passed through a window unless you're a seagull ...
    BGE Lg.
  • LitLit Posts: 2,648
    Try getting a woo from the ceramic grill store so you can cook raised. Cooking raised is much more forgiving at high heat. If you want to slow cook a chuck roast google Clay Q's pulled beef. Basically put the roast in a v rack, cover in bacon, smoke at 250 until internal is 165, line dutch oven or any covered baking pan with the bacon and poor in about a cup of beef broth and meat with some maple syrup, and then cook covered at 250 till internal is 210. The meat just falls apart.
  • 4Runner4Runner Posts: 1,278
    Joe - I'm a reformed gasser-holic aka 4Runner Columbia, SC Wonderful BGE Resource Site: http://www.nakedwhiz.com/ceramicfaq.htm and http://www.nibblemethis.com/
  • SpoonSpoon Posts: 328
    edited September 2011

    Here is an alternative to grilling burgers ... Before getting my Egg, I wondered what low-n-slow burgers would be like ... so, at 225º over a fairly long time, indirect, I made 1/3 lb topped with 2 slices of provolone. Had the texture of meatloaf, which to me was a very nice change. The upside to me was having extra time bending my elbow and getting extra smoke flavor on the meat ...

    <img src=http://i168.photobucket.com/albums/u179/PCCSqueezy/BBQ/DSCF3676.jpg>

     <img src=http://i168.photobucket.com/albums/u179/PCCSqueezy/BBQ/DSCF3678.jpg>

    <img src=http://i168.photobucket.com/albums/u179/PCCSqueezy/BBQ/DSCF3680.jpg>

     

    add <img src= at the front and another > at the end of each link, but it's got to be the "direct link" version from photobucket.
    "Pork so tender you can pull it with a spoon."
    ~Spoon
  • Squeezy:  Your burgers look good, espcially covered in cheese!  I will have to try a low and slow burger, but I am skeptical I would like a "meatloaf" burger.   I would bet you can make some mean meatloaf on the egg though!

    Lit:  I think the woo set and spider is something I'm going to request for my birthday.  Looks like great accessories to have.

    4Runner: That reverse sear burger looks amazing.   I really want to try the reverse sear.  I've been reading about it on the forums, people seem to love the results.   

    Anyone know how long reverse searing takes on things like burgers, steaks, chicken?
  • 4Runner4Runner Posts: 1,278
    searing is pretty simple but typically 90sec per side.   You just have to judge how hot your surface is.   I will sear down low so even though my dome temp might only be 550 or, since I'm close to the fire I can get away with it.  
    Joe - I'm a reformed gasser-holic aka 4Runner Columbia, SC Wonderful BGE Resource Site: http://www.nakedwhiz.com/ceramicfaq.htm and http://www.nibblemethis.com/
  • WoodsDogWoodsDog Posts: 41
    edited September 2011
    Tonight I decided to redeem myself for making burgers.  I would say I redeemed myself.

    I followed the article up above posted by 4Runner, the steakhouse burgers using the reverse sear method. This is the most work I've ever had done for a burger, but they did turn out good!  

    For the curious, this is how I did it:
    1. started the grill and got it to 250.  I couldn't get it much lower.
    2. Then put the 1 inch burgers on the grill. 
    3. I used an external thermometer so I was able to monitor the internal temp.
    4. They stayed on the grill for about 20 minutes till the internal temp hit 120.
    5. i took them off the egg, opened the top and the bottom and got the grill going.
    6. it took about 10 minutes to get to about 600 degrees.
    7. I put the burgers back on for 4 minutes
    8. flipped the burger, waited 4 more minutes
    Here they are at the end of the cooking time:
    image

    Here are some more shots:

    image


    image


    image
  • SpoonSpoon Posts: 328
    The burgers look like they came out great. I would say you redeemed yourself for sure!
    "Pork so tender you can pull it with a spoon."
    ~Spoon
  • 4Runner4Runner Posts: 1,278
    edited September 2011

     ...This is the most work I've ever had done for a burger...

    I thought the same exact thing when I read the article.   I was thinking, what the heck...these are jsut burgers.   I still will give it a try as I really like the temp control (internal meat temp) when using reverse sear method.

    The other part of the article that caught my attention was how they seasoned a pound of meat first and then formed the patties.  Seasoning is through the meat instead of just on the outside.   I might try that to see if there is a difference. 

     

    Glad you had good results.

     

     

     

     

    Joe - I'm a reformed gasser-holic aka 4Runner Columbia, SC Wonderful BGE Resource Site: http://www.nakedwhiz.com/ceramicfaq.htm and http://www.nibblemethis.com/
  • SqueezySqueezy Posts: 1,101
    edited September 2011

    Could you tell me how you get pictures from Photobucket on here ... all my attempts just end up as hyperlinks ... frustrating!

    Thanks in advance.

    Never eat anything passed through a window unless you're a seagull ...
    BGE Lg.
  • SpoonSpoon Posts: 328
    edited September 2011
    <img src=http://i806.photobucket.com/albums/yy342/medeiros75/3cbd9df8-1.jpg>;

    Apparently when they added the photo button to the tool bar, they took away the ability to post a photo from a hosting site like photobucket without using it.

    Sorry I steered you wrong Squeezy. 

    Do you see the toolbar and can you click on the buttons or are they grayed out? It seems that what options you have depend on what browser and version you are running. 

    "Pork so tender you can pull it with a spoon."
    ~Spoon
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