This is my first post here. Just got a Big Green Egg last week and couldn't be happier! I do have some questions, and having lurked here for a while, I figured this was the best place to ask them.
1) Is it necessary to keep your egg covered when it's not in use? I don't have a cover right now. I'm going to be building a table for my egg in the next couple weeks, so I've been holding off getting one until that's done. My question is whether the purpose of the cover is to preserve the aesthetics of the exterior of the egg (from bird-droppings etc) or whether it's necessary functionally. Am I foolish for leaving my egg uncovered for a couple weeks until I get the table made and buy an appropriately sized cover?
2) Like most newbies, I'm having some trouble regulating the temperature. Yesterday, I cooked a steak, and I had to have the vents pretty darn open to get it up to 400 degrees. Then, later in the cook, leaving the vents that wide open caused the temp to shoot way up. I'm starting the fire with one BGE Charcoal Starter placed in the center of the coal. Could it be that only the center of the coal is lit initially and that's why in the early stages of the cook, it's harder to get the temp up, but then in the later stages, once the rest of the charcoal has caught fire too, those same vent setting shoot the temperature up?
3) As a sort of piggyback on the last question, how do you guys start your fires? Like I said, mine is done with a single BGE starter in the middle of the coal, but I'm concerned, that's causing the heat to be isolated only to the few coals in close proximity to the starter. Should I use more than one starter and place them all around the coals? Should I light with a different method altogether? For what it's worth, I'm using the BGE charcoal.
Any help you guys can give would be thoroughly appreciated. Thanks so much!