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Frustrated newbie

JoeltownJoeltown Posts: 10
edited May 2012 in EggHead Forum
Im having trouble with my egg. I get the coals lit but it takes like 20 min to get to 300. Everything is open and it's slow. In fact if I look down the chimney they coals look blazing hot. Also I've tried the eggcellorator but that doesn't speed up the process one bit. What am I doing wrong? I hear people say they are ready to cook at 450-700 in 10 minutes.

The other day I got excited because I cleaned out my coal reloaded and lit. Got to 350 in just 2 minutes. Since that's what I was cooking at I slightly closed the dampers and went to get the food. Came back and it was at 170 or so. Please help. I'd love a video of someone lighting and watching it warm up to temp. Anything would help
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Comments

  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,080
    They lied. You can get the egg ready in 10 minutes but you need to use a weedburner and some air. Change your pattern. Light the egg first, go do your prep and you will be rewarded

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • BYS1981BYS1981 Posts: 1,485
    First thing make sure the fire grate holes are unblocked. Do a search, there is a video here abt getting to temp; I would have posted it, but I am on my phone.

    Also are you using charcoal briquettes instead of lump charcoal? I think lump gets hotter?
  • Doc_EggertonDoc_Eggerton Posts: 3,755
    Do not look down the hole unless you have a plate setter in.  That's a good way to burn your pretty face.
    No kidding.  Especially if he is stuck due to small pieces/air flow.  I was nursing my way through that one time when the blockage apparently cleared.  I had a blow back through the chimney that was like a jet afterburner.
    Pasquali Luciano
    Buon appetito to all the BGE family
    XLBGE, LBGE, MBGE and lots of toys

  • Little steven is right. Light it leave the dome open and go away for 15-20 minutes. It will be an inferno if you don't have clogged airflow.

  • AdamdAdamd Posts: 159
    I do find it odd that even I can get what looks like a raging hot fire with the coals orange and even some fire and yet the dome temp is around 350-400. After a while it will get hotter, but you have to think where is that heat going?? Fire burns over 1000 F. 

    The grill itself must be sucking the heat into the sides and by the time it gets up to the top it is already cooled off until the grill heats up.
  • ShadowNickShadowNick Posts: 475
    also, you only closed the damper slighty, i'd make sure the thing didn't go nuclear and that the temp needle didnt wrap all the way back around.
    Chicago, Illinois
  • ShadowNickShadowNick Posts: 475
    edited May 2012
    also, make sure the opening at the bottom of the firebox is lined up with the bottom vent.  And remember as well, while you are first lighting, if you are using starters or paper towels wrapped in oil, the large flame from that will artificially inflate the temp on the thermo, as soon as the flame goes out it looks like the temp drops because it goes back to ambient temps.   In my experience, my grill is at good temp about 10 minutes after the starter goes out.
    Chicago, Illinois
  • twlangantwlangan Posts: 285
    I had slow warm-ups for my first couple of cooks too. I was lighting the lump, watched it for a minute or two to make sure it would stay lit, and closed the dome. Even with the vents wide open, it seemed to take awhile to come up in temp. I soon learned to leave the dome open longer and really let the lump get going better before closing the dome. You won't get any better air to the newly lit fire than with the dome open. Letting the lump get going better also results in more heat available to warm that dome up once you do close it. You will find the Egg will stabilize quicker. I have also began digging a deeper hole in the lump to place my fire starter - getting it down closer to the grate where it can get more air. Lately have been lighting in three spots around the fire box too - where I only lit one in the center when I started out with the Egg. Stirring the coals up can help get it going quicker too - but I limit this to prevent breaking my larger chunks up. Lots of little tricks you will learn over time.

    Of course, these methods assume you are aiming for a 300-400 deg cook or more. If you are looking for a low and slow 250 deg cook, you want to light in one spot, on top of the lump, and close the dome sooner so your fire don't get too hot resulting in having to take the time to let it come back down.
  • JoeltownJoeltown Posts: 10
    Thanks fellas. Glad to know that it isn't natural for the 10 min mark. Attempting a brisket this weekend. First time ever. Wish me luck
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 4,757
    Thanks fellas. Glad to know that it isn't natural for the 10 min mark. Attempting a brisket this weekend. First time ever. Wish me luck
    No need to worry about time to get to the low&slow cook temp-a few minutes delay on the many hour cook is not a deal-breaker.  Key is to not grossly overshoot your target temp-if you leave the dome open to initially get a good fire going-set the lower vent and DMFT to about where you expect them to be when steady-state at the time you shut the dome. Then adjust as necessary-and don't sweat "dead-on" temps for the low&slow cooks. 270*F+/- 30* is close enough.  Just get the BGE stable and then let it do the work.  You can spend the cook chasing temperature (remember the fire is responding to air flow changes so the feedback loop has quite a delay time).  Relax and enjoy the journey-
    Louisville
  • Thanks fellas. Glad to know that it isn't natural for the 10 min mark. Attempting a brisket this weekend. First time ever. Wish me luck

    No need to worry about time to get to the low&slow cook temp-a few minutes delay on the many hour cook is not a deal-breaker.  Key is to not grossly overshoot your target temp-if you leave the dome open to initially get a good fire going-set the lower vent and DMFT to about where you expect them to be when steady-state at the time you shut the dome. Then adjust as necessary-and don't sweat "dead-on" temps for the low&slow cooks. 270*F+/- 30* is close enough.  Just get the BGE stable and then let it do the work.  You can spend the cook chasing temperature (remember the fire is responding to air flow changes so the feedback loop has quite a delay time).  Relax and enjoy the journey-
    and there you go. 

  • tazcrashtazcrash Posts: 1,747
    I do find it odd that even I can get what looks like a raging hot fire with the coals orange and even some fire and yet the dome temp is around 350-400. After a while it will get hotter, but you have to think where is that heat going?? Fire burns over 1000 F. 

    The grill itself must be sucking the heat into the sides and by the time it gets up to the top it is already cooled off until the grill heats up.
    that's exactly what is happening. Everything in there absorbs the heat. the walls, plate setter, even hunks of meat. 
    Just remember that you will see a temp drop when you first put food\plate setter\pizza stone in, but it will come back.
    Bx - > NJ ->TX!!! 
    All to get cheaper brisket! 
  • JoeltownJoeltown Posts: 10
    Thanks taz and Adam. That is very helpful. My biggest frustration is getting it to temp for pizza or searing. If I want a quick main dish I am having trouble seeing the egg as the quick one.
  • brentseebrentsee Posts: 99

    What I've learnt from the experienced eggers is if you want a high temp cook don't fill the firebox full.  Use larger peices that will allow lots of air flow.  If you do that you willbe up to 700 in no time.  And if it's a high temp cook you don't need a lot of lump.  it worked for me.

     

  • tjvtjv Posts: 3,231
    old lump is harder to light and takes longer to get going than new lump.  light the new, let it light the old.....
    to kill time, do your food prep work as the egg is coming up to temp.  


    t  
    www.ceramicgrillstore.com
    ACGP, Inc.
  • You can use a full box, just don't dump the shake and small
    Pieces in there.

  • KingRoverKingRover Posts: 115
    Also might want to calibrate your dome thermo if you haven't already. Mine was off by 50 degrees.
    Pork butt is good meat to practice low and slow/ temp control, more forgiving than brisket.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    if your dome is open the whole time, it will read low. the ceramic isn't heated, so even if you have a decent blaze going, the cold dome will hold the thermo down until it heats up.




    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • cortguitarmancortguitarman Posts: 1,947
    Yuou'll get premature dome readings in 10 minutes. Dome might read high temps but the ceramic takes time to heat up for maintaining temps.

    In your case, a few questions. Is your DFMT on when you are trying to get to temp? If so, remove it. Your temps will sore quickly. How many places are you lighting? For high temp cooks I light in 3 places at 12, 4, and 8 o'clock.
    Mark Annville, PA
  • aemaem Posts: 108
    I has very frustrated when I first got my BGE too.  Replacing the grate fixed it for me.  A Turbo-Grate or Hi Que grate will improve your airflow and make starting a fire much easier. 
  • ShedFarmShedFarm Posts: 499
    You've received a lot of good advice, so far. The only other thing I can add, is to ask if you've calibrated your dome thermometer, yet? It's possible you're thermo is reading lower than it actually is.
    BJ
    (Powhatan, VA)
  • JoeltownJoeltown Posts: 10
    Thank you guys for all the advice.  I found that my first bag of charcoal had very few to none big pieces.  So I definitely had blockage.  I cleaned out the box and put in big pieces at the bottom and worked like a charm.  I seared some steaks last night at 750.  They turned out great.
  • Thank you guys for all the advice.  I found that my first bag of charcoal had very few to none big pieces.  So I definitely had blockage.  I cleaned out the box and put in big pieces at the bottom and worked like a charm.  I seared some steaks last night at 750.  They turned out great.
    Now you are off and running.

  • AdamdAdamd Posts: 159
    Thanks taz and Adam. That is very helpful. My biggest frustration is getting it to temp for pizza or searing. If I want a quick main dish I am having trouble seeing the egg as the quick one.
    I have been using a charcoal starter. You can buy a good one for easily under $20.

    I put all my hand picked lump I want to use for the cook that day in there. I then light it with a fire cube, or electric starter. It really gets the fire going quicker. I do have to note that the big draw back is that when it comes time to put the lump into the Egg you have to just dump it in. You can't really hand stack it like you can if you start out lighting it in the egg. So just don't use small pieces in the charcoal starter.

    I like doing it this way because it does light and get ready a lot faster!
  • Sgt93Sgt93 Posts: 704
    She will get hot real quick. Leave the dome open longer so the fire is wide open to air. Once you see her going real good, close dome (all vents open) and watch the thermometer rise. Start shutting down about 50 degrees off of target temp.
    XL BGE - Small BGE - A bunch of Webers - A bunch of accessories - Ceramic Grill Works 2-Tier 
    Follow me on Twitter & Instagram: @SSgt93
  • I've found that getting to the proper temperature is dependant on the outside temperature. The hotter it is out, the longer it seems to take. On a cold day I can only finish one beer in the time it takes. On a hot day like this past weekend I may finish 3 or 4 beers before my Egg is ready :-D
  • twlangantwlangan Posts: 285
    I've found that getting to the proper temperature is dependant on the outside temperature. The hotter it is out, the longer it seems to take. On a cold day I can only finish one beer in the time it takes. On a hot day like this past weekend I may finish 3 or 4 beers before my Egg is ready :-D
    Ah, the wonders of draft! The bigger the difference there is between the internal temp and the outside temp, the better the draft. I could always get a fire started much easier in my wood furnace on bitter cold days than the cool days in the Fall and Spring. Makes sense that the same thing would apply to an Egg.
  • FanOfFanboysFanOfFanboys Posts: 1,589
    Kinda off topic but how hot can you expect egg to get? I was searing some steaks other day and my egg seems like it was slightly sweating on outside, the inside roof had black liquid, and the needle on some was all the way buried. So I a guessing was 1,000-1,200 if not more but no way to be sure with that temp gauge that comes with the egg.
    Boom
  • Kinda off topic but how hot can you expect egg to get? I was searing some steaks other day and my egg seems like it was slightly sweating on outside, the inside roof had black liquid, and the needle on some was all the way buried. So I a guessing was 1,000-1,200 if not more but no way to be sure with that temp gauge that comes with the egg.



    1200 is not out of the question if conditions are right. It gets hotter than you will ever need it to.


  • I use a torch to light my egg... Done with using electric starters and fire starters. Up and running with hot coals in 4 minutes.. 
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