Big Green Egg - EGGhead Forum - The Ultimate Cooking Experience...
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Am I doing this right or wrong?

I just got my big green egg two weeks ago.  I read all that I could about how to start it up and watched the youtube videos.  I believe I am doing it right, but I am continuing to get flames when I open the lid.  Here is what I do.  I stoke the existing coals to get the ash to fall down then I top it off with new lump charcoal. (I clean the bottom of ash every third use.) I am using the Big Green Egg brand of lump charcoal.  I spit a fire starter into thirds and place them in a circle snuggle into the coals and light them.  I have the bottom grate open and the daisy wheel off the top.  I watch the dial until it turns about 50 degrees more than what I want the cooking temp to be.  Lately that has been about 350 to 400 degrees.  I like to add smoking chips and I use either the cast iron box for the chips or the small box for the BBQrs wood pellets.  But every time I open the lid to start cooking, I have an egg full of flames and can't get the chips in without risking setting myself on fire.  What am I doing wrong?  Any ideas are eagerly welcome.

Comments

  • Are you cooking direct? Temp sounds a little high for smoking. It sounds to me like you are over shooting the temp, but hard to say. What is the gap at bottom and what does the daisy wheel look like? If you have a vigorous fire that you then starve, when you open the lid it will flash due to the oxygen.
  • RLeeperRLeeper Posts: 476
    Is the lid open or closed while getting to temp?
    Extra Large, Large, and Mini. Tucker, GA
  • KempyKempy Posts: 185
    I've noticed that if I have the daisy wheel off I get flames as you described.  To cure this, I put the daisy wheel on when I'm getting close to my temp.  I leave the DW totally open, as in pushed all the way to the side.  The small amount of air flow control this provides is enough to control the flaming issue.  Give it a shot and let us know how it works out.
  • Thank you for your help.  I will continue to try using your suggestions and see if I get it right.
  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 5,289
    edited February 2013
    Mix your chips in with the lump, mostly to the outside. Light your fire in the center, front center on the top, once the starters are out, close the dome, bottom vent open and daisy on, petal wheel pushed to the side (so it is just a round hole. Once the temp clears 250, it is going and there is no chance of it going out, shut the bottom vent to at least 1/2 and close DFMT to just the petals open. In 20 minutes or so, you should be starting to stabilize at 325 - 375. Now do fine adjustments depending on your egg and lump. 
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • I think you are starting it correctly, just not giving it time to stabilize. . Once it goes 50 degrees past target temp, close bottom vent and leave it open a couple of inches. Add daisy wheel with holes open and wheel only slightly opened. Give it some time to stabilize to target temp.

    GEAUX TIGERS!!!!!!!!!

  • Ragtop99Ragtop99 Posts: 1,082
    If it is flaring up that much at 350*, I'd check your thermometer to make sure it is not reading low.  Test it in boiling water. 
    Cooking on an XL and Medium in Bethesda, MD.
  • I agree with jaydub...hit your target on the way up. I leave dome open bottm vent fully open, no daisy wheel for about 5 minutes. Close dome... watch temp at 250, I add daisy fully open, and close down bottom vent. I find I can control the temp easier... and go higher or lower without any problems.

    Just my two cents...

     

    BOOMER!
  • Plano_JJPlano_JJ Posts: 448
    Leave the lid open until the fire starters burn out and the coals are red, then close the lid. When you are getting close to the target temp adjust your bottom vent and the daisy wheel. What size do you have? I have an XL and I put three starters in there to start the fire. There is no need to cut them. Also, like the others have said, if you are smoking something 350-400 is way to high. It is easier to jack the temp up in and Egg than bring it down. Put your wood on when you put your meat on. That has worked the best for me.
  • Sounds to me like you don't have good airflow. I agree with the comments about checking the dome thermo but since BGE switched to the Tel-Tru that is an uncommon problem. Are you sure you are getting all the ash to fall through the grate? I use a wok style spider and rake all the lump to the sides so I can see part of the grate before adding new lump. You don't have to clean every third use, maybe twenty or thirty.

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • If... You depending on your cooking temp based on what your Dome thermometer says... You are going to be disappointed. The Dome will show that your dome temp is 300 but if you had a temp thermometer probe at the cooking level it will show a temp of 250/260 degrees for the first couple of hours. I always cook with 2 temp thermometer's. 1 for the meat and one for the temp at the cooking level inside the dome. The one that use to tell what temp I'm actually cooking at is always lower than what the dome thermometer says, usually by 30 or 40 degrees. If the dome has been hot for many hours the dome thermometer and the cooking level thermometer come closer together.
  • HogHeaven said:
    If... You depending on your cooking temp based on what your Dome thermometer says... You are going to be disappointed. The Dome will show that your dome temp is 300 but if you had a temp thermometer probe at the cooking level it will show a temp of 250/260 degrees for the first couple of hours. I always cook with 2 temp thermometer's. 1 for the meat and one for the temp at the cooking level inside the dome. The one that use to tell what temp I'm actually cooking at is always lower than what the dome thermometer says, usually by 30 or 40 degrees. If the dome has been hot for many hours the dome thermometer and the cooking level thermometer come closer together.
    This is only true if you are cooking indirect, the opposite can be true if cooking direct.
    Ova B.
    Fulton MO
  • MayberryMayberry Posts: 421
    Off topic, but helpful: Go to Home Depot and buy a $15 pair of welder's gloves. They not only save your arm hair while you're enjoying the learning curve of burping your new Egg, but they are also awesome for pulling it hot grids, pulling out hot platesetters to convert from indirect to direct, dropping wood chips directly on the coals, etc. I bought a pair shortly after buying my egg and they are a necessary Eggcessory for me now.
    Athens, GA
  • My guess is you are experiencing flash back.  Basically, this happens when you have a decent amount of coals burning and have dialed back the airflow.  The coals are burning but starved of oxygen at the same time.  When you open the dome, Oxygen rushes in and causes a flash back. Some can be pretty intense (I have burned my eye brows) and others are mild, just flames popping up from the lump.

    Since you are overshooting by 50 degrees, then dialing back, this could be whats happening.  The intensity of the FB depends on how long and how severe the choking of the fire is before reaching final temp.
    Simi Valley, California
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