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Grate Gripes (Attn BGE)

pezking7ppezking7p Posts: 121
edited May 2012 in EggHead Forum
I love my egg.  But if there's one thing that ruins my experience, it's having all this wonderful charcoal left over in my egg that I can't use because my grate is plugged from the last cook.  This is about the 4th time that I've started my BGE only to find that no matter what I do I can't get the temp over 200-250. 

This is a common occurrence on this forum, there are several threads each week with a title along the lines of "Can't get temp over 300".  Why wouldn't you add more holes to your grate/firebox?  Or include a grate similar to the hique?  Seems like a problem that could be solved relatively easily, and would really increase customer satisfaction, especially for those who are less inclined to internet use or fidgeting with their smoker. 

While you're at it, could you do something about your gaskets? 


Sincerely,
PezKing. 
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Comments

  • MikeP624MikeP624 Posts: 292

    Gasket is a huge problem.  Mine burnt off after my first Pizza cook at 700.

    I have yet to have air flow issues due to clogged holes, but i always rearrange my lump each time so i make sure the holes not not clogged.

  • misumisu Posts: 213
    use thirdeye's wiggle rod before you start the fire, takes 5 seconds
  • RezeggerRezegger Posts: 29
    I don't have that issue. Do you ever stir the existing lump?
  • pezking7ppezking7p Posts: 121
    Mike: I've cooked about 20-25 times on the egg, and had airflow issues 4 times.  A few times it cleared up after 10-15 minutes.  Last night, however, it never cleared up, after an hour of waiting I finally cooked my chicken direct at 250. 

    misu, I'll look up the wiggle rod.  But why should I need aftermarket parts to make my $800 grill work satisfactorily? 

    Rezegger, I used to stir, but I stopped because I thought this may be settling coals and not helping my airflow.  ie when I stir, all the small coals settle to the bottom, pack tightly together, and fill my grate holes.  Is this not the case? 

    Also now I read that getting an aftermarket grate voids warranty.  Sad :(
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 15,918
    lump turns to ash, eventually it builds up, eventually you need to clean it out, happens in my egg, my weber kettle, my hibachi, my coal stove, my wood stove, even happens in my fire pit. its just the nature of things.
  • Austex_EggerAustex_Egger Posts: 153
    Never had the problem myself.  I just put new lump over the old.  Before I do I stir up the old lump to get most of the ash down and make sure I see the holes before flattening it out and adding the new.
  • Never had the problem myself.  I just put new lump over the old.  Before I do I stir up the old lump to get most of the ash down and make sure I see the holes before flattening it out and adding the new.
    same. I know it's an issue but has not been for me. never used a wiggle rod (or heard of one before I joined this group). I guess the only thing I could add is I never use small lump. I know it all gets small eventually but I clean it out even if there is some lump left in the box.



  • MrCookingNurseMrCookingNurse Posts: 3,739
    I agree that an 800$+ grill should perform... But if you wanna push a button and stand back you need to get a gasser. Not knocking gas, I still have one. But you might have to clean up, stir, add too, blah, etc the lump or actually do some work to grill with charcoal wether it be an egg or a char-broil.

    Most of the "common problems" on the forum you speak of are easy fix noob questions that I myself have asked.

    You can't expect to dump light grill, dump light grill....


    _______________________________________________

    LBGE & SBGE (big momma and pat)
  • ShadowNickShadowNick Posts: 478
    Before I add new lump, I stir the old and use a bamboo skewer to poke in the holes and push any jammed ash or lump through.
    Chicago, Illinois
  • MickeyMickey Posts: 14,101
    Just get a High Que. I got them for all my eggs and no wiggle rods now.
    Salado TX Egg Family: 2 Large and a very well used Mini.... 5th Salado EggFest is March 14, 2015

  • njlnjl Posts: 768
    You can bend a wire hanger into a "wiggle rod" suitable for insertion through the bottom vent, and poking the ash out of the grate holes.  The grate thing is a compromise.  The OEM grate tends to clog.  The hi-que grate lets so much fall though, you'll end up with a mountain of mixed ash / small unburned lump bits clogging the bottom of the egg (below the grate).
  • pezking7ppezking7p Posts: 121
    I appreciate the helpful comments, but I'm looking for people to support the idea that, perhaps, BGE should IMPROVE their current design so future purchasers don't need to go to the hassles of wiggling their rods or cleaning out a grill after every cook (who ever heard of such a thing?). 

    Perhaps no BGE representatives even look at this site?  I don't know.  Just trying to give some feedback. 
  • pezking7ppezking7p Posts: 121
    Perhaps I should clarify.  My grate isn't clogging with ash, it is clogging with small pieces of charcoal.  The only thing that seems to clear them out is letting them burn out, or letting the whole thing cool off and cleaning them out manually. 
  • Hillbilly-HightechHillbilly-Hightech Posts: 966
    edited May 2012
    come on guys - it's a grill, which uses a natural substance (ie, charcoal) in an open fire environment.  charcoal is basically charred wood.  Theoretically, you could use regular wood (though, I think that temp, sap, smoke, ash, etc would be drastically different than just using charcoal). 

    Anyway, my point is - it's fire from wood.  We humans have been doing that for quite some time now.  And each time, the end results are ash, and each time you may have to "stoke" the fire (ie, stir), or fan the fire to get more air (ie, open vents), or even clean the ash from the areas that are used for airflow (the holes in the firebox and/or grate). 

    Sometimes you might have to do this stuff, sometimes not.  Sometimes more than others. 

    Type, size, brand of charcoal, along w/ humidity, ambient air temp,
    windspeed, barometric pressure, along w/ what you are cooking, how long you are cooking, etc, etc, etc can all play part as variables in
    this. 

    Don't overthink it guys (egads, am I sounding like Stike now, or what)???? hehehe
    Don't get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup... Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend. - Bruce Lee
  • ShaneFShaneF Posts: 26
    You have the dome open while waiting for your egg to come to temp.....arent you?  Cause I bet I could light my charcoal on the side walk and get higher temps than 200-250.
  • DuganboyDuganboy Posts: 1,118
    Have never in 15 years had a problem getting to temp.  I clean out the ashes before every cook, and I take a big spoon and stir the old charcoal and clear the lumps out of the holes in the same manner.
  • pezking7ppezking7p Posts: 121
    I'M NOT LOOKING FOR A SOLUTION TO ANY PROBLEM, SIMPLY TRYING TO POINT OUT THAT THE FIRE GRATE IS POORLY DESIGNED (hence at least 1 aftermarket grate and 3-4 home-grown techniques to solve this problem). 
  • BOWHUNRBOWHUNR Posts: 1,381
    Just get a High Que. I got them for all my eggs and no wiggle rods now.
    Careful Mickey, the warranty cops might get you!!   ;)

    Mike

    I'm ashamed what I did for a Klondike Bar!!

    Omaha, NE
  • ChubbsChubbs Posts: 3,590
    I think a lot of the problem is ash buildup on the outside of the firebox. Have you ever removed the guts and gotten this ash out? Not just the ash through the bottom vent. I usually give my egg a good cleaning once a month. My last few cooks I have had to do the whole hanger to poke the holes thing but what can you do? I agree that a fire grate upgrade would be nice, but I don't count on it to happen.
    Columbia, SC --- LBGE 2011 -- MINI BGE 2013
  • Dan4BBQDan4BBQ Posts: 258

    Hey PEZ ---get a life

    It's not like the TV and you just hit the remore for satisfaction---

  • misumisu Posts: 213
    I appreciate the helpful comments, but I'm looking for people to support the idea that, perhaps, BGE should IMPROVE their current design so future purchasers don't need to go to the hassles of wiggling their rods or cleaning out a grill after every cook (who ever heard of such a thing?). 

    Perhaps no BGE representatives even look at this site?  I don't know.  Just trying to give some feedback. 



    Good luck with that. It's on the list right after fixing the forum :)

  • hogsfanhogsfan Posts: 128

    Hey PEZ ---get a life

    It's not like the TV and you just hit the remore for satisfaction---

    Get a life? really? Why? He has a valid point...otherwise high-Q grates and wiggle rods would not exist.
  • You have to stir mix the previously burned lump to get the ash out, as well as the very small pieces of lump.  Big Green Egg sells an Ash Tool for that very reason.  Then add more lump to fill.  That is what I do, and have never had an issue heating up.  If they added too many holes in the grate, or firebox you wouldn't be able to do low and slow as well.
    I have heard of people that only do higher heat cooks replacing the LFGC, charcoal grid, with the 10ss, mini cooking grid for tons of airflow.
  • gtk10583gtk10583 Posts: 77
    A gasser is maintenance free when it comes to firing the thing up. Any grill that requires charcoal, wood, or lump requires a clean out of the ash before the next cook. The BGE (our any other charcoal grill) is not for lazy people.
  • hogsfanhogsfan Posts: 128
    You have to stir mix the previously burned lump to get the ash out, as well as the very small pieces of lump.  Big Green Egg sells an Ash Tool for that very reason.  Then add more lump to fill.  That is what I do, and have never had an issue heating up.  If they added too many holes in the grate, or firebox you wouldn't be able to do low and slow as well.
    I have heard of people that only do higher heat cooks replacing the LFGC, charcoal grid, with the 10ss, mini cooking grid for tons of airflow.
    I don't doubt your experience. I just find the ash build up to be more of an issue on long, overnight cooks where you don't have a chance to stir the coals between cooks.
  • DIXIEDOGDIXIEDOG Posts: 109
    The simple fact that everyone knows the work arounds tells you that everyone has suffered the problem.  I would like to have a big more air flow at times myself.   I stir the lump and remove as much ash as I can get after each cook but I've still had air flow problems that forced me to mess around a bit to get my temps up.  I think BGE could easily improve on their current design grate by enlarging the holes just a bit.  I think the hi-que  grate is a bit overkill and I'd rather not have all the small pieces dropping through my grate but 1/8" or so larger diameter holes would be nice.
  • Just get a High Que. I got them for all my eggs and no wiggle rods now.


    Careful Mickey, the warranty cops might get you!!   ;)

    Mike
    What Mickey meant to say is that he has High Que grates for all but 1 of his eggs. He never put a High Que grate in that one that is going to need a new firebox down the road. That one he kept 100% stock. He only burns BGE lump in it and only uses a BGE ash tool to stir it.
    I finally took the plunge and bought my large Big Green Easter Egg from Roswell Hardware in Roswell, GA 03/31/2012
  • twlangantwlangan Posts: 285
    I've been reading with interest these discussions about grates - both modified stock grates, Hi Que, etc. I am hesitant to go away from stock, especially due to the new info today regarding warranty issues. However, the other night I went searching for a compromise between stock, which tends to plug too easily for some - and the Hi Que that seems to waste lump by letting too much fall through or may cause heat issues on the bottom of the Egg. 

    I found this grate on Ebay. It comes out of the UK though. I spent considerable time looking for a U.S. supplier of a similar grate and could not find one. I believe this might be a perfect compromise. The slots, as opposed to holes, would not plug with small chunks of lump as easily, yet I believe it would not let too many smaller chunks fall through either. I do not plan to order one since I have not had airflow issues yet - but thought I would post this here in case someone wanted to try it. If you do, I would be interested in a review of it...

  • twlangantwlangan Posts: 285
    I should have mentioned that this particular one would fit the large Egg.
  • GezrGezr Posts: 153
    The simple fact that everyone knows the work arounds tells you that everyone has suffered the problem.  I would like to have a big more air flow at times myself.   I stir the lump and remove as much ash as I can get after each cook but I've still had air flow problems that forced me to mess around a bit to get my temps up.  I think BGE could easily improve on their current design grate by enlarging the holes just a bit.  I think the hi-que  grate is a bit overkill and I'd rather not have all the small pieces dropping through my grate but 1/8" or so larger diameter holes would be nice.
    Seems to me that slightly larger holes would trap slightly larger pieces of lump causing the same air flow problems. The work arounds may be the best answer if one wants to avoid the hi-que grate.
    If you don't think too good, don't think too much.

    Afton, VA
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