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What does VOC mean?

bigearlbigearl Posts: 25
edited January 2012 in EggHead Forum
New egg head and I've read about letting the "VOC's" burn off when lighting the egg.  What is that?
huh?

Comments

  • Volatile Organic Compound
    The Naked Whiz
  • bigearlbigearl Posts: 25
    WTF?
    huh?
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,616
    Volatile Organic Compounds

    In this case, the remnants of chemicals left from turning the wood to charcoal.  In wood fires, they are seen as the flames. When lump is made, most, but not all are separated and driven off from the carbon. They come off when the lump is still quite cool, under 400F I believe.
  • ChokeOnSmokeChokeOnSmoke Posts: 1,893
    In real simple terms, it's the stuff that makes your smoke stink.  After they are burnt off, your smoke smells good and you're ready to cook.
    Packerland, Wisconsin

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    the VOCs aren't remnants of the fire we are cooking with, but actually from the process of making charcoal in the first place.  it's a minor difference, but it explains why there are VOCs in the charcoal even if you fire isn't lit.  and it explains why your fire (which is heat, plus a draft) can help drive out the VOCs early in a cook, so that your unburnt charcoal isn't still laden with VOCs later  at the end of a cook, or as the fire ignites new charcoal

    to be ultra picky, "volatile" doesn't necessarily mean "flammable", just that they readily evaporate. 
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • the VOCs aren't remnants of the fire we are cooking with, but actually from the process of making charcoal in the first place.  it's a minor difference, but it explains why there are VOCs in the charcoal even if you fire isn't lit.  and it explains why your fire (which is heat, plus a draft) can help drive out the VOCs early in a cook, so that your unburnt charcoal isn't still laden with VOCs later  at the end of a cook, or as the fire ignites new charcoal

    to be ultra picky, "volatile" doesn't necessarily mean "flammable", just that they readily evaporate. 
    Is there a certain temp when VOCs are gone or do you just read the smoke?
  • So does that mean during a low temp cook at 250 vocs are present for entire cook?
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 28,743
    No they are driven off at relatively low temps. As stike said it does not necessarily mean flammable

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    perfume is perfume because it has volatile compiounds.  they are volatile precisely because they become airborne at essntially room temp.

    the stink in a painted room is from VOCs.  opening a door and a window creates the same draft that your lowr and upper vent do.  the air washes the VOCs from the lump (or paint).  heat up that room, or the egg, and you almost literally boil off the VOCs even faster.

    this is why unburnt lump loses its VOCs in an egg.  the VOCs aren't something burnt away, the fire just helps it happen quicker.

    yes, there are VOCs 'locked' down in the lump, but the vast majority of the VOCs are blown off and so we don't get that 'bad smoke' smell three hours into a cook.  it's long gone.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • bigearlbigearl Posts: 25
    I light my egg and the smoke never really "clears.". I thought when the smoke stopped being white it was good to go?
    huh?
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    smell it.  smells good, tastes good.


    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • LitLit Posts: 6,687
    The smoke will clear it just takes time to totally clear. When you do a low and slow usually after an hour or so at 250 the smoke will go clear. It will also clear at higher temps over 400 or so fairly quick once the lump is in flames.
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