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New Mini - Startup times seem slow..(20+ min to >500)

Hi, everyone.

Just bought a Mini and am seeing slower than expected startup times (20+ min to get to 500).

This is with a full load of RO, freshly vacuumed and totally clean Mini, High Que upgrade, slot in fire box lined up with the draft door, draft door AND top wide open (DFMT totally off).  Lighting in 3 places with Rutland firestarter cubes buried in the lump.

I've tried both leaving the dome open for 5+ minutes after lighting the starters as well as closing it soon as I see some larger flames coming up from the starters (probably a minute or two in).  Not sure if it makes any real difference one way or the other..

Also not sure if the High Que made any real difference..thought the thing would have been a thermonuclear flamethrower with it, but...nodda.

Is 20+ minutes to 500 normal for a Mini?  Reading posts prior to buying, it seemed like the Mini started up much more quickly in general.
Mini BGE, KJ Classic - Black, Cookshack SM025, Weber Gasser (mostly for Kamado storage!)

Comments

  • GriffinGriffin Posts: 6,209

    And you have made sure the thermometer is calibrated? Weird...I use one paper towel soaked in oil and can get 600 easily in 5 minutes with no High Que.

    Richardson, Texas

    Griffin's Grub or you can find me on Facebook

    The Supreme Potentate, Sovereign Commander, Sultan of said Wing Contest until voting finalizes on 7/31 at 11:59PM

     

  • zosobao5150zosobao5150 Posts: 114
    If you want that type of quickness, may I suggest my goto product?
    http://www.harborfreight.com/propane-torch-91033.html
    XL BGE
  • SmokyBearSmokyBear Posts: 132
    Griffin said:

    And you have made sure the thermometer is calibrated? Weird...I use one paper towel soaked in oil and can get 600 easily in 5 minutes with no High Que.

    Well, that is the one thing I haven't tried..(calibrating the thermometer).

    I'm curious to try the paper towel approach..do you put it in the bottom through the draft door opening, or under the lump above the grate?  (Can't remember the official BGE term for that piece..urgh).

    Also - how long do you leave the dome open for after lighting?  And do you get any pieces of lit paper towel flying out of the Egg if you do?  My Mini is on a table on my wooden deck, and I'm still a bit freaked out about the fire risk..

    Thx..
    Mini BGE, KJ Classic - Black, Cookshack SM025, Weber Gasser (mostly for Kamado storage!)
  • SmokyBearSmokyBear Posts: 132
    If you want that type of quickness, may I suggest my goto product?
    http://www.harborfreight.com/propane-torch-91033.html
    Wow.  That's serious gear.  Is it 'safe' for a Mini sitting on a table that's on a wood deck? 
    Mini BGE, KJ Classic - Black, Cookshack SM025, Weber Gasser (mostly for Kamado storage!)
  • GriffinGriffin Posts: 6,209

    I always have a zip-lock bag full of paper towels soaked in canola oil. If they dry out, add a bit more.

    I put it on top of the charcoal and arrnage it in a circle. Put one piece of lump in the middle of the circle and then use long pieces of charcaol to build a "bridge" over the towel to the center piece. Light both ends and let it burn for 3 or four minutes till the paper towel has almost burned completely around the circle, then close the lid. Paper towel won't go flying as it burns.

    Richardson, Texas

    Griffin's Grub or you can find me on Facebook

    The Supreme Potentate, Sovereign Commander, Sultan of said Wing Contest until voting finalizes on 7/31 at 11:59PM

     

  • zosobao5150zosobao5150 Posts: 114
    I use it on my XL which is in a BGE nest on my wood desk.  Have not had issues, and the flame (or amount of terror that you can achieve) is adjustable.  You'd probably have to not have it on afterburner mode for the mini, especially if your table is wood as well.
    XL BGE
  • GriffinGriffin Posts: 6,209
    I've only used my propane torch once or twice on the mini. Not a big fan, make sure its turned down low and stand back.

    Richardson, Texas

    Griffin's Grub or you can find me on Facebook

    The Supreme Potentate, Sovereign Commander, Sultan of said Wing Contest until voting finalizes on 7/31 at 11:59PM

     

  • SmokyBearSmokyBear Posts: 132
    Griffin said:

    I always have a zip-lock bag full of paper towels soaked in canola oil. If they dry out, add a bit more.

    I put it on top of the charcoal and arrnage it in a circle. Put one piece of lump in the middle of the circle and then use long pieces of charcaol to build a "bridge" over the towel to the center piece. Light both ends and let it burn for 3 or four minutes till the paper towel has almost burned completely around the circle, then close the lid. Paper towel won't go flying as it burns.

    Sounds like a good approach and will give it a shot.

    Do you twist the paper towel or just scrunch it up to get it to lay in a circle?  And is the paper towel dripping with oil when you take it out of the bag, or just saturated?
    Mini BGE, KJ Classic - Black, Cookshack SM025, Weber Gasser (mostly for Kamado storage!)
  • I too have had similar problems but wondered if it was from the damp, humid air we are having in South Carolina. I also wondered if my lump had gotten damp. I could not get the mini above 400 on my last attempt and had not had all of these issues prior to all the rain. I keep the mini on a porch and thought that perhaps it needs a drier location?
    1large BGE and 1 well used mini BGE living in coastal South and North Carolina!
  • SmokyBearSmokyBear Posts: 132
    It's been raining like mad here as well, but I've had the ceramic cap on and the mini covered "most" of the time (albeit, with my fancy cover - a garbage bag - as I don't yet have a good cover for it [anyone know of one?]).

    I do start with a fresh load of lump every time, though.  And vacuum the mini prior to loading it.

    So, I do wonder if maybe the mini has somehow been affected by all of the rain - but wouldn't think so with the ceramic top on at all times when I'm not cooking..
    Mini BGE, KJ Classic - Black, Cookshack SM025, Weber Gasser (mostly for Kamado storage!)
  • GriffinGriffin Posts: 6,209
    Twisted up and just saturated.

    Richardson, Texas

    Griffin's Grub or you can find me on Facebook

    The Supreme Potentate, Sovereign Commander, Sultan of said Wing Contest until voting finalizes on 7/31 at 11:59PM

     

  • MickeyMickey Posts: 13,685
    Under 5 min with Mapp
    image
    Salado TX Egg Family: 2 Large and a very well used Mini.... 5th Salado EggFest is March 14, 2015

  • ChubbsChubbs Posts: 3,588

    Mickey, why would he want to lose his arm hair like you? Can't believe you are trying to persuade my man to risk his arm.

    @SmokyBear, that is strange for sure. Especially if you did all that you said you did. Which dome thermometer is it? I  have a brand new mini with all the latest. My dome thermometer is longer than the one on my large and has a bend in it. This has been my only complaint about the mini. When I first got it, I would light it and leave it for 5 minutes or so before closing the lid. The flame would get high and hit the bottom of the thermometer and damaged it. Now when the egg heats up, it pauses and then jumps like 50 degrees at a time. So, if I am trying to hold a low temp, I dont know what temp I am cooking at. Maybe your got damaged in some way to. If the lump is glowing red and the dome thermometer says a low temp, it could be off.    

    Columbia, SC --- LBGE 2011 -- MINI BGE 2013
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 15,720
    soak the towells like griffin said, i have a coffee can filled to the top with most of a roll folded up in there with veggie oil. with my large it only takes about 5 minutes to hit 500 with a full load of lump, should be about the same in the mini, i light the towels and push them into the lower vent now, just easier than lighting from the top. a roll of papertowells last me most of a year and it only takes a few minutes to fold them all up and add the oil to the can
  • SmokyBearSmokyBear Posts: 132
    edited July 2013
    BTW, I was going to try a MAPP torch but went to HD this weekend to buy one and read all the nice warnings on the package about the chemicals "known to cause Cancer" that it puts out.  Didn't want those transferred to my lump, which would then transfer to my food, so I think the MAPP torch is out and I'm gonna have to find another, healthier way to light this thing quickly.  (I know a bunch of you guys use them and assume no-one has grown a third arm yet, but still..)

    Gonna try the paper towel method tonight..and double check the thermo calibration..hope something works, cuz 20 minutes to get to 500 is definitely NOT good, and I'd only be using the Egg on weekends if that's the case.


    Mini BGE, KJ Classic - Black, Cookshack SM025, Weber Gasser (mostly for Kamado storage!)
  • jaydub58jaydub58 Posts: 1,165
    There's also nothing wrong with the rubbing alcohol method. Use a 60 cc catheter syringe (cheap, from any pharmacy) full of 91% alcohol, inject into the lump pile.  Give it about 20-30 seconds to soak into the charcoal, and toss in a wooden match.  Step back, it gets going very quickly.  This I a very cost effective system.
    John in the Willamette Valley of Oregon
  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 8,286
    jaydub58 said:
    There's also nothing wrong with the rubbing alcohol method. Use a 60 cc catheter syringe (cheap, from any pharmacy) full of 91% alcohol, inject into the lump pile.  Give it about 20-30 seconds to soak into the charcoal, and toss in a wooden match.  Step back, it gets going very quickly.  This I a very cost effective system.
    I might try this next. I'm almost out of starter cubes.
  • SmokyBearSmokyBear Posts: 132
    I've wondered if the starter cubes (I use the Rutland "All Natural" ones that are apparently the exact same thing as the BGE ones) are the cause of my problem..maybe they just don't get enough lump going quickly enough, even tho I'm lighting in 3 places like 3 corners of a triangle spread throughout my lump..
    Mini BGE, KJ Classic - Black, Cookshack SM025, Weber Gasser (mostly for Kamado storage!)
  • Crispix49Crispix49 Posts: 178
    SmokyBear said:
    BTW, I was going to try a MAPP torch but went to HD this weekend to buy one and read all the nice warnings on the package about the chemicals "known to cause Cancer" that it puts out.  Didn't want those transferred to my lump, which would then transfer to my food, so I think the MAPP torch is out and I'm gonna have to find another, healthier way to light this thing quickly.  (I know a bunch of you guys use them and assume no-one has grown a third arm yet, but still..)

    Gonna try the paper towel method tonight..and double check the thermo calibration..hope something works, cuz 20 minutes to get to 500 is definitely NOT good, and I'd only be using the Egg on weekends if that's the case.



    I use mapp torch...just curious, but how is it is any different than using a weed burner? Both burn propane gas??
    Atlanta suburbs
    Large & Mini owner
    UGA Alum - Go Dawgs!
  • LitLit Posts: 2,455
    Go get a Wagner heat gun from home depot for $20. Its an 1100 degree hair dryer basically. Any way you light the egg really fast though you are gonna have charcoal popping if you are on a wooden deck stick with the starter cubes. My suggestion is do what you have been doing but go refill your drink after you light the cubes and relax. If you really are in a hurry the heat gun or map torch or any of the methods above are faster than the cubes but I have tried them all and the charcoal will spark.
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 10,889
    If I'm in a hurry, I use my goto product:

    image
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    No City.

  • GriffinGriffin Posts: 6,209
    ...i light the towels and push them into the lower vent now, just easier than lighting from the top.
    I'm going to try that next time I fire up the MINI.

    Richardson, Texas

    Griffin's Grub or you can find me on Facebook

    The Supreme Potentate, Sovereign Commander, Sultan of said Wing Contest until voting finalizes on 7/31 at 11:59PM

     

  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 15,720
    Griffin said:
    ...i light the towels and push them into the lower vent now, just easier than lighting from the top.
    I'm going to try that next time I fire up the MINI.
    i had seen a few posts about putting the wood chunks/chips thru the bottom vent and kept scratching my head to how that would work, well once you light from underneath then put the chips in the hot coals land on them as they drop thru during the cook, you can add to them all day if you want to and still have clean,smokingwood free lump ready for the next cook. i think the pre soak method way outdoes soaking towells and lighting immediatly
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