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There are two very delicious food holidays coming up that we wanted to share with you all because cheese and guac deserve to be celebrated! Guacamole Day is on September 16th and Cheeseburger Day is on September 18th. Happy cooking EGGheads! It's time to think about getting out to one of the many #EGGfests around the country - see a list here

Fire starting question

I'lll be cooking pork butt; low and slow, my first time. From what u all recommend I should fill the coals close to the top of the ring. I use an electric starter. Does it matter where I put the Starter. Some say start the fire at the bottom of the coals. Some say the top. What do u recommend. Or does it really matter?

Comments

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,178
    Fill a clean egg up to the top of the fire ring and light the TOP in the center, more to the front than the back.  Just light a nice area maybe 3-5" in diameter.  Close the top and leave the DW off with the bottom damper wide open. If it's going well, put the plate setter/grate in. When you get to your set temp, close the bottom damper to about 1/2 - 1 inch open.  Adjust to get the temp you want stable.  Let it run until the smoke smells good - you want dark grey/black/invisible smoke - not white.  Once it's stable and smells good, put your butt on.  The temp will fluctuate with the change.  Don't worry about chasing the temp.  Make small changes and wait.  The temp is fine between 200 and 300, you can fine tune it over the next hour.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,178
    You can put the DW on when you're fine tuning the temp.  Some people don't use them.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 5,735
    edited December 2012
    You can put the DW on when you're fine tuning the temp.  Some people don't use them.
    I'm one who uses the daisy wheel for low and slows, just find it easier to adjust - I find the bottom vent is a PITA to slide and I hate to bend over, I spill my drink. 
    I also use an electric starter, just like Nola says, bury under an inch or two of lump, pile some against it, give it 6-10 minutes, depending on your starter, remove it and let her rip for 5 minutes or so, dome closed both vents wide open. Drop in the setter etc....
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,178
    Yep, you can use the DW or the bottom damper by them selves or use both.  I usually use both under 300.   Just use the bottom damper above that with no DW.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • gfavorgfavor Posts: 57
    Great responses. So what is White Smoke vs the black/greay smoke.
  • White smoke or black grey is the crud burning off the lump as it gets going, it is not good to cook on as it adds a bad taste to the food. I wait for clear smoke - just a heat wave. Smell it as well, if it smells good it is OK, if it smells like your sofa is on fire, it is not good yet...
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,178
    The color of the smoke.  The white smoke has more steam in it - it's from cold lump burning.  You want your lump pile to heat up.  When the moisture cooks out of it, it starts burning cleaner with less of a creosote/chemical taste that can transfer to your food.  Smell the smoke after you light it. Smell it again an hour later.  It should smell pleasant. It takes a while to learn to tell the difference, so smell it often and ask yourself if you notice a creosote smell - took me a while to figure it out.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • gfavorgfavor Posts: 57
    So if my pork butt finishes waaaay ahead of time is it ok to close the bge vents and keep the pork there till its closer to feedn time? Or will that approach dry it out? It might be 4-6 hrs till we eat. What do u all suggest?
  • TjcoleyTjcoley Posts: 2,965
    Take it off, wrap in heavy foil, wrap in towels and stick it in a cooler.  It will stay hot and you'll be good to go.
    __________________________________________
    It's not a science, it's an art. And it's flawed.
    - Camp Hill, PA
  • @Skiddymarker - Either you're using some kind of funky lump that smells like a burning sofa when you first light it, or your sofa is actually a wooden bench.  Haven't figured it out yet.  :-/

    ........................................................................................

    Flint, Michigan.  Named the most dangerous city in America by the F.B.I. three years running.

  • gfavorgfavor Posts: 57
    Thanks. Will do. This forum is great !!!
  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 5,735
    @Skiddymarker - Either you're using some kind of funky lump that smells like a burning sofa when you first light it, or your sofa is actually a wooden bench.  Haven't figured it out yet.  :-/
    That comment comes from the good wife, SWMBO, says the just started egg smells like a very old house is on fire. It is not that nice campfire smell, it is a nasty smell, like a burning sofa....

    I almost always snuff out the egg. Any "spooge" (that's Nola's word for excess fat drippings)  or fat chunks are still there when I light it the next time, that might be why it stinks.....
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • bud812bud812 Posts: 1,072
    NOLA shoud know because he is the Sofa King around here.  :D

    Not to get technical, but according to chemistry alcohol is a solution...

    Large & Small BGE

    Stockton Ca.

  • Talkin' about "spooge" and sofas reminds me of my college days.  Sorry, I couldn't resist.

    ........................................................................................

    Flint, Michigan.  Named the most dangerous city in America by the F.B.I. three years running.

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