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Hop on down to your nearest EGG dealer this week to pick up some Easter EGGcessories! Here are a few that may be useful for Easter, the V-rack, electric charcoal lighter and flexible skewers! Now that Spring is in the air, it's time to think about getting out to one of the many #EGGfests around the country - see a list here

Getting Started - Best Way to Start Fire

hammerg26hammerg26 Posts: 8
edited July 2012 in Off Topic
I am trying to find the best way to get the fire going in my BGE.  I used to use the BGE Fire Starters (not sure if that is the correct name), now I use the Electric Starter.  Unfortunately, I am finding it is taking longer and longer to get the fire going and up to temperature.  
Is there a better way to get the fire going?  
Is there something that could be causing the Egg to take longer to heat up?  
I completely empty it once a year, should I do it more frequently?
Any other thoughts????

Thanks in advance for all your help.

Hammer

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Comments

  • burr_baby33burr_baby33 Posts: 501
    I have tried it all. The best is paper towel twisted and soaked in cooking oil. Quick to get a hot fire and very inexpensive.
  • Austin  EggheadAustin Egghead Posts: 2,967
    I use fire starters in combination with 90% alcohol.  If you use alcohol remember let it soak in for a minute, otherwise you won't have much hair on your knuckles.  I also use burr baby's method too.  Either works well for me.
    Eggin in SW "Keep it Weird" TX
  • AviatorAviator Posts: 1,402
    I still use BGE starters, although I have bought an electric one. Right now my focus is on improving my grillin.

    ______________________________________________ 

    Large and Small BGE, and a baby black Kub.

    And all the toys to make me look like a Gizmo Chef.

    >:)

    Chattanooga, TN.

     

  • FxLynchFxLynch Posts: 433
    Lately I've been using the wax type Weber brand starter cubes for lighting in multiple spots, and the Big Green Egg electric starter for lighting in a single spot.  Both are simple, effective, and clean. I've used other methods as well, but these are the two I keep coming back to.
  • EllerEller Posts: 56
    I use Kamado Joe fire starters. They come in perforated squares. I rip them in half and start wto fires in my large.  With regard to your fire quality,sometimes there can be small pieces of burned up lump that can get stuck in your grate. If the fire can't breath, the temperature can be sporadic are hard to control. My large gets to temperature within 15 minutes. I like to clean the ash out of the bottom of my egg after each cook. I have been cooking 5 days a week, so I take my shop vacuum and clean the the bottom of the egg once a month. I hope this is helpful. Good luck with your next cook.
  • ngmngm Posts: 19
    I don't see how the start method will affect the temp control. Any problems I've had get solved with more frequent removal of ash and little bits of lump that I suppose affect the airflow.
  • ShiffShiff Posts: 1,002
    I start my charcoal using 91% alcohol purchased at Walmart. I use a pencil to poke a tiny hole in the seal and then  squirt a little alcohol in 4 places in a circle about 4 inches in from the outside rim of the charcoal. Then a little squirt in the center.  Wait a few seconds then toss in a match.

    Alcohol burns clean and quickly starts the charcoal. It is very safe as long as you stand back a little when dropping in the match.  The warmer the day, the more  it evaporates before lighting and can cause a flash.  In the winter, it doesn't evaporate and I actually have to hold the match at the squirt points.
    Barry Lancaster, PA
  • I used to use those bge starters as well.
    Now I use the chimney starter. Ball up a page of newspaper, put a few inches of lump, light and in 5 mins it's roaring in the chimney. Dump then the rest is ready in no time.
  • xraypat23xraypat23 Posts: 421
    electric starter for low and slows, weed burner for everything else.
  • probe1957probe1957 Posts: 191
    MAPP torch.  Thinking of trying the cooking oil soaked paper towels tho as that sounds way cheap and effective.
  • GA_DawgsGA_Dawgs Posts: 268
    +1 on paper towels with some oil. Easy, cheap and always on hand!
  • ccpoulin1ccpoulin1 Posts: 386
    weed burner is what i find to be the absolute quickest

    "You are who you are when nobody is looking"

  • cortguitarmancortguitarman Posts: 1,794
    I like the rutland starter squares. The weber cubes are good too, by burn up faster than the rutland. Both get the fire going, but I feel I get a better fire with the rutland cubes. Heat gun works well, but it is a hassle to get out and run an extension cord.
    Mark Annville, PA
  • michigan_jasonmichigan_jason Posts: 1,289
    I either go with electric, or a mapp torch.



    "Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage."

  • WhataguyWhataguy Posts: 8
    LOOFTLIGHTER is what I've finally settled on. No way would I use any type of liquid fire starter, leaves too much off taste to food. Used the BGE fire starter fiber chips, they were OK, but took too long for my taste. I really wanted to use the gas fire wand from BBQ Guru but didn't have gas outlet nearby. I found the Looftlighter online for @ $80, a bit high but I can have three area of charcoal going and on their own in about 5 minutes. Check it out on YouTube or at Looftlighter.com.
  • twlangantwlangan Posts: 279
    My wife saves paper towels that she has used for bacon to soak up grease. She puts them in a ziplock in the fridge and keeps me supplied. I take a bacon grease soaked paper towel and tear it into three strips. I roll these strips up into a "candle" - and poke them down into my lump in three places. I use a butane grill lighter to ignite them. They really do burn a long time with the grease in them - just like candles. As they burn down, they ignite the lump down into the pile, closer to the air source. I have found this method to work extremely well - and it is cheap!

    As for taking longer to get your lump lit... I'm betting it is from moisture collecting inside your Egg between cooks. After your fires are snuffed out and the temp drops to zero, open the bottom vent all the way, but leave the screen in place to keep bugs out. This will help air circulate in the Egg between cooks. I have started doing this since about May and have found the interior has stayed much drier, the lump lights and temps rise much quicker without the excess moisture in it.
  • gatorBGEgatorBGE Posts: 70
    I used the fire starters, was headed to a MAPP, but bought the HighQue grate and decided to try the paper towels.  It really does work well.  Lights quick and it's cheap.
  • ShiffShiff Posts: 1,002
     No way would I use any type of liquid fire starter, leaves too much off taste to food.
    Alcohol does not leave any taste on the food.
    Barry Lancaster, PA
  • hammerg26hammerg26 Posts: 8
    That is a good idea... i usually end up covering my BGE before the temp reaches a total zero - so I imagine here in Georgia, that adds the to the increases moisture... thanks for all of the tips!!!
  • michigan_jasonmichigan_jason Posts: 1,289
    edited July 2012
    You can always use a weed burner, and then when you are done, you can light the lump.



    "Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage."

  • cortguitarmancortguitarman Posts: 1,794
    Weed burners look fun, but too much to store and dig out for lighting the egg. I own one propane cylinder for our camping stove. It has been empty since I bought my egg.
    Mark Annville, PA
  • michigan_jasonmichigan_jason Posts: 1,289
    It was more of a joke lol, I don't use a weed burner.... well not to start my egg at least. ;)



    "Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage."

  • AleBrewerAleBrewer Posts: 555
    Yeah, I have a weed burner, and never use it for lighting the egg. I also have an acetylene turbo torch, but unless it's hook up to the tank for some reason, I always just use a small propane torch.

    I walked into the dealer this weekend to inquire about buying a small egg from him, and he seemed way more interested in selling me a Looftlighter. I don't need an $80 heat gun to start my egg....thanks though. Oh yeah, didn't end up buying a small from him, or any charcoal, or any Dizzy Pig rubs....didn't like his attitude at all. I guess I'll find a new dealer.
  • meat73meat73 Posts: 88
    I use a heat gun bought it at harbor freight for 13 works great has 6 ft cord plug in right there on the side of the house this is the best way I have found.
  • michigan_jasonmichigan_jason Posts: 1,289
    The dealer local to me was telling me about the profit margin in the looflighters and the fact that the manufacturer gives kickbacks for them pushing them. I agree, you can go to harbor freight and get a heat gun for that matter.



    "Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage."

  • AleBrewerAleBrewer Posts: 555
    Good to know.....The dealer I was in was really pushing them, even had a small video player from Looflighter to demonstrate it....he looked mad cause I wasn't watching it. I was too busy looking at the small egg I wanted to buy! I was going to buy a woodstove from him as well....not now.
  • michigan_jasonmichigan_jason Posts: 1,289
    No kidding, I came here to buy a grill, not watch a movie.



    "Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage."

  • KingtUTKingtUT Posts: 98
    My wife saves paper towels that she has used for bacon to soak up grease. She puts them in a ziplock in the fridge and keeps me supplied. I take a bacon grease soaked paper towel and tear it into three strips. I roll these strips up into a "candle" - and poke them down into my lump in three places. I use a butane grill lighter to ignite them. They really do burn a long time with the grease in them - just like candles. As they burn down, they ignite the lump down into the pile, closer to the air source. I have found this method to work extremely well - and it is cheap!


    As for taking longer to get your lump lit... I'm betting it is from moisture collecting inside your Egg between cooks. After your fires are snuffed out and the temp drops to zero, open the bottom vent all the way, but leave the screen in place to keep bugs out. This will help air circulate in the Egg between cooks. I have started doing this since about May and have found the interior has stayed much drier, the lump lights and temps rise much quicker without the excess moisture in it.
    I think your onto something about keeping it drier, thanks.
  • burr_baby33burr_baby33 Posts: 501
    First, light the grill, then go get the food ready.  All the lighters work, just find the one you are most comfortable with.  I keep a supply of oil soaked paper towels in a zip lock, Mapp torch is on stand by and a box of cubes on the shelf in the garage and alcohol is on BGE table. All work great...but start the fire 1st, then pour a nice glass of red vino while food is being prepared for cooking. Life with the BGE is goood.
  • I clean out the ash before every cook.  I use Rutland Starter from Ace Hardware.  144 squares for $14.00.  Never had a problem.
    Rutlland Starter.jpg
    435 x 435 - 146K
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Welcome to the Swamp.....GO GATORS!!!!
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