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Trouble Getting Up to Temp

David1010David1010 Posts: 15
edited September 2011 in EggHead Forum

We are new to our egg. I have now used our egg twice and am having the same trouble...I can't seem to get the temp over 450. While I have not calibrated the thermometer, I know it is not that far off, based on the cooking times and amount of sear I have been able (or unable) to get on meat. I called BGE after the first attempt and it was suggested that I open the screen so that the bottom door is full open. I did that and no success. Don't get me wrong, the results were still really good, and we were pleased with how both attempts turned out. However, one of the main reasons I went with a BGE was as an alternative to a wood fired oven and I really want to be able to get it up to 650 or 700 to convect italian style pizza.

Any suggestions?

Comments

  • 4Runner4Runner Posts: 1,239
    edited September 2011

    Screen shouldn't matter....I get 700 + with screen.   How much lump are you using?  What kind?  Are you cleaning out your Egg to make sure air holes are free of lump?  Do you have the top wide open?  Is the DFMT on or off?  

     

    Yes, please calibrate as that is easy.  Waiting on your reply and we will all chime in to help. 

    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/
  • ChokeOnSmokeChokeOnSmoke Posts: 1,674
    edited September 2011
    My first guess would be that your charcoal grate is clogged during cooks.  It's all about air flow (through the bottom vent and out the top).  Is your charcoal grate full of ash and/or small pieces of charcoal?

    And like 4Runner said, absolute must to calibrate the thermometer.  Just boil water, stick it in and look for 212, that easy.
    Packerland, Wisconsin

  • It's all about air flow (through the bottom vent and out the top). 


    I agree.
  • Thanks for responses. I will calibrate this weekend. I am using BGE charcoal. For the first cook I filled to 1" over the firebox holes per the manual. For the second cook I added some more. I would not think that the grate holes would have gotten clogged enough on the first cook, but is there a logical way to check without emptying out the charcoal that remains in the egg?

    As to 4Runner's other questions, I started off with the lid open, using BGE firestarters, then closed the lid and adjusted the top and bottom vents to wide open. I am wondering if for some other reason the fire is not getting hot enough or spreading well. I am thinking about a Looftlighter, and maybe that would help make certain the entire surface is lit?

  • 4Runner4Runner Posts: 1,239

    Pull off the DFMT, completely open bottom and leave lid open until you get yoru fire going.  Then close lid and see how temp rises over the next 20 mins. 

     

    Yes, holes can get clogged.   I jsut use my hands and stir my old lump around until I'm clear.  Also, once going, you can use a coathanger to poke through the holes from the bottom up.  Need to bend the end at 90 degree angle.   Still, feel like you should hit 600 +very easily.  Keep us posted.  

    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/
  • ChokeOnSmokeChokeOnSmoke Posts: 1,674
    edited September 2011
    For a comparison and so you can get an idea, here's a rundown on how I
    start mine.  I use a electric starter.  I bury it in the lump and start
    it, 8 minutes later I pull it out. At this point there's a good glow on
    the lump about the size of you hand.  Then I give the coals a light
    stirring just to even the lit and unlit lump out. I then close the lid
    (but top and bottom vent completely open).  I leave it like that for 5 -
    10 minutes depending if I'm grilling or doing a low and slow.  After 5
    minutes I'm climbing past 250 degrees, after 10 minutes I'm up to 400
    degrees. I adjust the bottom vent after 5 or 10 minutes depend on the
    cook I'm doing and get it stable.  As soon as it's fairly stable and I
    see "clear" smoke, I put the food on.  If I'm using a plate setter, drip
    pan, etc., getting it stable takes a little longer.  If I'm grilling,
    I'm ready to go in about a total of 20 minutes.


    It really makes no difference "with what tool" you light the lump with.  It's "how" you do it.
    Packerland, Wisconsin

  • ChokeOnSmokeChokeOnSmoke Posts: 1,674
    edited September 2011
  • ChokeOnSmokeChokeOnSmoke Posts: 1,674
    edited September 2011
  • ChokeOnSmokeChokeOnSmoke Posts: 1,674
    edited September 2011
  • ChokeOnSmokeChokeOnSmoke Posts: 1,674
    edited September 2011
  • ChokeOnSmokeChokeOnSmoke Posts: 1,674
    edited September 2011
    ~ some kind of  web site error/bug going on here ~
    Packerland, Wisconsin

  • drbbqdrbbq Posts: 1,152
    This is a common problem with new Eggs/Eggers and the solution is almost always more charcoal. Load that baby up to the top of the firebox if you want to get it hot and open the vents.
    Ray Lampe
    Dr. BBQ
  • I find this complaint odd. If I leave mine open the temp will go past 700 and back around to 200.
    I grill therefore I am.....not hungy.
  • I had the same issue and tried every suggestion I was given. Nothing seemed to work. Then all of a sudden it happened. The only thing I do is stick an electric fire starter in the middle with the lid up, wait till I see some flames, then I stir the lump to spread it around. I'll leave the lid open longer till I see more flames starting to form them I'll close the lid and off she goes. I'd been doing this method back when I was having the same issues you are and all of a sudden the temps starting going up. I can't explain what I did different. Some weird BGE anomaly.
  • 4Runner4Runner Posts: 1,239
    It will work. Just need to find the magic touch.
    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/
  • BBQMavenBBQMaven Posts: 1,041
    David1010
    When you have your Egg burning but not getting temp high enough there are a couple of things to look for:
    1- with bottom vent wide open and looking through the bottom at the fire grate - can you see bright red coals in each of the holes? if not, wiggle rod time
    2- if you see red in all holes... you don't have enough lump in the Egg

    If you can't see the grate - firebox is not in correct
    Kent
    Madison MS
  • Success! (sort of)
    OK so making homemade pizza last night and followed all of the good advice here. Poked my fingers through the grate holes, used extra starters, but the biggest difference was completely removing the top daisy wheel vent. Got it going to where I could bury the needle (my goal). So then I decided to start playing with adjusting vents to see about raising/lowering temperatures for when I get ready to attempt a longer term smoke or bake. I found that even with the bottom vent wide open and the daisy vent wide open, if that top vent was on I would drop to 530 at best and could not get it to go higher. So here is the new question....I found the pizzas took longer than they should have at these temps. Does the daisy vent perform a cooking function by trapping the heat in the egg and convecting it around? I found that taking the vent off and going up to 700 then putting it on and letting it fall to 530 let the pizza cook better than if I had the egg at 650 or 700 with the top vent completely removed....maybe if the top vent were not directly center it would matter less?
    So are others able to maintain high tems (600 or higher) with the top vent on?
    Thanks again for all of the great advice.

    David
  • BBQMavenBBQMaven Posts: 1,041
    David,
    Glad to hear you had success. 
    If I'm cooking anything above 300 degrees, I seldom use the top vent. The best advice I can give you for pizza is to get the plate setter and stone in the Egg and let them "hot soak" for at least 30 minutes at your desired temp. Measuring the stone temp after 20 minutes in a 500 degree Egg, I recorded only 300 degrees. After 40 minutes it had risen to 425. It took a full hour for it to reach 500 degrees.
    Kent
    Madison MS
  • Swing the daisy wheel off to the side.  You may not have enough flow out the top.  I can usually cook at 500 with about 1.25 inch open at the bottom and about half of the daisy wheel pushed off to the side.  With the wheel off to the side completely and the bottom open about 1.75 in it will get up past 600 easy.

    I bought some lump that looked like it was run over by a truck.  Those small lumps were a bear to get hot.  They just would not let a lot of air through.  I finally let the grill run until all the small lump was burned up.  

  • I like pizza best as takeout. Tried it on the egg a few times and just burned the crap out of them. I've stuck to meats, vegetables and seafood since then. No problems.
  • I like pizza best as takeout. Tried it on the egg a few times and just burned the crap out of them. I've stuck to meats, vegetables and seafood since then. No problems.
  • 4Runner4Runner Posts: 1,239
    If I'm cooking at temps greater than 400 I just leave the DFMT completely off and simply adjust the lower vent accordingly.   Sounds like you are making progress.
    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/
  • 4Runner (and others),

    Have you found that leaving it off completely (the only way I could get over 600) causes you to lose what I will call "top heat" (the effect of the hot air convecting over the top of the food for browning, etc.)? It seemed that when I removed the top vent, the hot air was able to escape before it wrapped over the food. That was why I was wondering if BGE ever considered an offset chimney. It seems it would enhance the wood oven type properties (which was the main reason I bought my egg....).

    Thanks to all for their helpful comments and encouragement.

     

  • 4Runner4Runner Posts: 1,239
    Not sure about that.  Maybe it does.  I still think the food is getting plenty of heat from the ceramics though.   Might be overthinking a bit here.  Let's see what TNW thinks.  
    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/
  • BBQMavenBBQMaven Posts: 1,041
    David1010
    I've cooked pizza and bread now for over 5 years on the Egg. I see no advantage with the DFMT on. In fact, with it on it reduces high temp ability, adds more smoke flavor, and keeps you from taking those great top shots with a camera. The radiant heat from the dome is what gives the "browning" affect (IMHO). Getting the stone and dome both to temp allows an even cook on top and bottom. 
    Kent
    Madison MS
  • 4Runner4Runner Posts: 1,239
    Nice to know BBQMaven.   I figured it didn't or I would have read somewhere over the last 2 years stating the issue.   
    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/
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