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Why did the charcoal burn up so quickly?

I poured Royal Oak lump into my LBGE up to the line and cooked two 4 lb pork butts at 250 degrees. I took the butts off after the charcoal had been burning for 8 hours and thought I would increase the temp to 400 and grill some side dishes. When the temp wouldn't go up I moved the sides to the oven and checked the coals. They were almost gone! I thought the Egg could burn for 20 hours on one load of charcoal. What did I do wrong? The good thing was that the pork was wonderful. The company that we had for dinner was amazed. Thanks for all of your help.

Comments

  • dlk7dlk7 Posts: 974
    What size BGE?  Did you fill to the top of the fire ring?  How many places did you start the charcoal?

    Two XL BGEs - So Happy!!!!

    Rudderville, TN

  • Large BGE. Up to the top of the fire ring. Lit in two places.
  • BYS1981BYS1981 Posts: 1,479
    Need more info as suggested. When I want a long fire I fill up almost to platesetter.
  • Used Adjustable Rig combo with pizza stone sitting on the spider instead of platesetter. Charcoal was full.
  • henapplehenapple Posts: 10,423
    I've had the same problem...use it the same way as others but it doesn't last....I quit using it.
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • That is hard to understand....I have done your same scenario many times and have cooked 20 hours....don't have a clue why that happened to you. 
  • jfm0830jfm0830 Posts: 873
    I've never used RO, but I can definitely say Wicked Good Weekend Warrior blend has always lasted a real long time.
    BBQ Website: grillin' & smokin'

    Middlesex County, MA
    Two Large BGE's & Too Many Eggcessories to Count
  • BYS1981BYS1981 Posts: 1,479
    I am not sure, maybe the jump from 250-400 burned charcoal much faster. All I can say us next time just add more. Sorry, not much help.
  • dlk7dlk7 Posts: 974
    How long did you hold 250 before starting the butts?  What internal temp were the butts when you pulled them?  When was the last time you calibrated the dome thermometer?  Did you have one of the platesetter legs directly to the back of the egg?  Sorry for all the questions but usually the cause for fast lump burn is higher temp than the thermometer displayed, more airflow than you thought but that causes higher temps, lump that wasn't done yet (I have found some where half the bag was more wood than charcoal - hadn't completed the charcoal making process),

    Two XL BGEs - So Happy!!!!

    Rudderville, TN

  • I only held the temp for 30 min before putting the butts on. The butts were 200 when I pulled them. I have never calibrated the thermometer but I have used the BGE 5 times and food is getting to temp at the time you would expect. I use the adj rig with the pizza stone instead of the platesetter. I did sprinkle dry apple chips over the top of the lump. Could that have done it? Also, the bag of Royal Oak felt very light. Thanks for looking at this.
  • jfm0830jfm0830 Posts: 873
    edited November 2012
    Have you done the dollar bill test on your gasket yet? I was thinking you had some sort of air leak when I first read your post. Take a dollar bill, put it on the gasket half-in, half out of the egg and pull. You should get some resistance all around the perimeter of the Egg. You'll probably find you have less resistance around the hinge area, but you should still have some resistance. If the dollar bill pulls out with no resistance, you definitely have an air leak in that area.
    BBQ Website: grillin' & smokin'

    Middlesex County, MA
    Two Large BGE's & Too Many Eggcessories to Count
  • Did you use all sizes of charcoal?  If you only used large pieces and didn't fill in the gaps with the medium pieces, small pieces and even the really small pieces you may burn through the charcoal fast.  

    The second thing, did you light the charcoal from the top or bottom?

    Just trying to reason it through. 

    Cheers
  • MillsyMillsy Posts: 104
    I dont know what to say either .I would check the thermo ,mine was out 25 deg and i thought it was right on.Try a different brand of charcoal,I found the better quality stuff was worth the extra money.It burnt longer and had better flavor than the RO.
  • lwrehmlwrehm Posts: 157

    I picked up about 20 bags of RO lump at Menards last spring when it was on sale and it does seem to burn up faster than the Grove that I usually use.  That being said I have done a couple long cooks, 10-12 hours, with the same RO and have not run out when starting with a full firebox.  It just seems that there isn't as much left for the next cook as I'm used to.

  • You did two four pound butts in 10 hours to 200*. That is correct or very close. Any air leaks would cause higher temps which you didn't have. Royal Oak is a faster burning lump than many but I have used it as have many others for long cooks. If it was filled halfway up the firering minimum you should have had a longer range. The only thing I can think of is the volume of lump that went in. I mean the way it displaced itself in the egg. Maybe a lot of air where there should have been lump.

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • gte1gte1 Posts: 374
    edited November 2012
    Here are a couple of my takes. RO does burn a little faster than some others. For a 250 cook I only light in one place, the center. I have found that when using my AR vs the egg PS the coals burn up faster especially at 400. Maintaining 400 indirect eats up fuel like a V12.
    George
  • I got crucified the last time I said this, but...

    In my experience - Royal Oak was a substandard charcoal. Many swear it is the same as the BGE lump. Side by side they were dramatically different to me.

    For low and slow I always recommend you seek out and use quality lump. I use a brand from my grocery store.

    Large BGE -- Greensboro!


  • jaydub58jaydub58 Posts: 1,162

    I have had consistent good luck on long cooks using either RO or Cowboy.

    Is Cowboy available in your area?   You might try using it next time.

    Good luck.

    John in the Willamette Valley of Oregon
  • You did two four pound butts in 10 hours to 200*. That is correct or very close. Any air leaks would cause higher temps which you didn't have. Royal Oak is a faster burning lump than many but I have used it as have many others for long cooks. If it was filled halfway up the firering minimum you should have had a longer range. The only thing I can think of is the volume of lump that went in. I mean the way it displaced itself in the egg. Maybe a lot of air where there should have been lump.
    Thinking the same... were there a lot of small or large pieces or a good mix? I have found some bags that feel fuller than others, because they are sold by weight I assume there are more lighter pieces. Could be a factor, but could also be a one time thing. 
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • Looking back, I do think when I poured in the lump, there were a lot of big pieces. It looks like I may need to start sorting the lump and get some of all sizes. I will go ahead and calibrate the thermometer to make sure it is right. The only other brand of lump that I have seen here in Sylva, NC, is called Original and I have read mixes reviews on that one, too. I will also try lighting in one place. Thanks for all of the suggestions. Even with the hassle of finishing the sides in the oven, my husband said it was the best meal that I had ever made. I am loving my BGE!
  • I've been a long time RO user and many overnight cooks. My last batch of RO has not given me the burn time I'm used to. I use a Stoker so I don't have any high/ low swings in temp. I cook my shoulders at 250° and I never needed to fill up my large BGE before. Now I'm filling it to the top of the top ring (spacer ring on top of the fire box) and still I don't have enough for a 21+ hour cook. I'm going to try another brand when I run out of RO.

    I thought it was my gasket so I put in a new gasket without and difference.

    Big Lake, Minnesota

    Large BGE, Stokers, Adjustable Rig

  • SundownSundown Posts: 2,851
    I poured Royal Oak lump into my LBGE up to the line and cooked two 4 lb pork butts at 250 degrees. I took the butts off after the charcoal had been burning for 8 hours and thought I would increase the temp to 400 and grill some side dishes. When the temp wouldn't go up I moved the sides to the oven and checked the coals. They were almost gone! I thought the Egg could burn for 20 hours on one load of charcoal. What did I do wrong? The good thing was that the pork was wonderful. The company that we had for dinner was amazed. Thanks for all of your help.
    Read most of the pieces of this thread and don't really have any response concerning the RO but, you might want to think about finding your nearest Ace hardware Store and, if they don't stock it, have them order some for you. There's no freight charge to you getting it to the store. Give it a try and see what you think.

    Years ago I was a great fan of Maple Leaf but when the owner cut off the supply to the US I started searching. It didn't take too long for the former distributors of Maple Leaf to come up with Wicked Good Charcoal.

    Been using it ever since. Might have about 30 or 40 bags in the shed at any given time.

    Had to use Cowboy once at a friends place and when I got home I kissed y WG Weekend Warrior bag! Love the stuff.

    Go ahead, try it you;ll like it.
  • Damn Canucks, They give you a taste of something and then cut off the supply. It's like Bomba

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • SundownSundown Posts: 2,851
    speaking of Bomba my little friend, WTF happened? I know all about Maple Leaf and it's your fault. Everyone says so including your friends Fidel and Zip. And, that's not all they say . . .
  • Looking back, I do think when I poured in the lump, there were a lot of big pieces. It looks like I may need to start sorting the lump and get some of all sizes. I will go ahead and calibrate the thermometer to make sure it is right. The only other brand of lump that I have seen here in Sylva, NC, is called Original and I have read mixes reviews on that one, too. I will also try lighting in one place. Thanks for all of the suggestions. Even with the hassle of finishing the sides in the oven, my husband said it was the best meal that I had ever made. I am loving my BGE!
    Was thinking this some more, and although I'm a just dump it in kinda guy, when I do a long low and slow I do "sort" my lump. It is unintentional, but I do sort it because I spread the smoke wood throughout the entire fire box. Usually larger chunks of lump over the grate and then jigsaw puzzle the rest. Light in one place and from the top. Sounds like the result was great regardless as you obtained the "spousal seal of approval".
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
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