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First timer, needs help :(

Hi Folks,

I got my BGE (Medium) as a birthday present. My first cook was good, but not without difficulty.

Smoking a pork shoulder, I filled the bottom section (fire ring?) nearly to its top. We burned at 275F for 4 hours, when the temperature began to drop quickly - the fuel was spent.

Am I supposed to fill this higher? Perhaps fuel to the top of the top 'ring'?

Also, the fuel I used was BGE coal/wood. Should I get some coal brickette's instead?


  • Basically guys, I'm looking for tips to get a longer burn.
  • mokadirmokadir Posts: 109
    It may be apples and oranges, but with a large, I can make it 24 hours easily with some left over at ` 250.  I wonder about your setup and technique, or maybe the medium is so much different that I really don't know what I am talking about.  Others will chime in soon, I suspect
    Delaware Valley, PA Large BGE, CGS adjustable rig, iQue110, High-Que grate
  • shtgunal3shtgunal3 Posts: 1,969
    Never ever ever use briquettes in an egg. You should never even mention that word around an egg again. Whew that was close!

    Can't speak for a medium. I have large and small.



     LBGE,SBGE Sweet home Alabama........ Stay thirsty my friends .

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,145
    I ran out of lump once and used briquettes.  It worked fine, lots of ash compared to lump.  But then god killed a kitten, and I swore I would never do it again. ;)

    On a low n slow, I fill my large up to the top of the fire ring.  I've had to squash my plate setter down to get it to seat. 

    Check the calibration of your dome thermometer might be burning hotter than you think.  Put it in some boiling water, should read 100C.
    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: 11,145
    Listen to cat lady nola.
    Sir, I am NO lady.  You got the cat part right.
    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 

  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 5,038
    +1 with checking calibration-if that's good then something is up as there is no way to consume that much lump in four hours although you did not state whether direct or indirect.  Most are assuming (hate that word) it was indirect and depending on your set-up could have severely restricted the heat rise to the thermo thus contributing to the fuel burn.  YMMV-
  • Listen to cat lady nola.
    Sir, I am NO lady.  You got the cat part right.
    oh, we just figured cuz you're such a b--th and all.......ooops. Vodka is working. carry on.

  • RGBHVRGBHV Posts: 1,317
    If your dome thermometer is accurate - check your vent settings (top and bottom).

  • grEGGorysgrEGGorys Posts: 156
    I also have a medium BGE and if you are doing a low/slow you need to pile up charcoal to the top of the fire ring. If you just fill the fire pit you will run out. +1 on checking your dome thermometer. As mentioned above if it is way off you could run out of charcoal quickly.
    Gulf Coast FL
  • mdoziermdozier Posts: 86
    All good advice above. There are several things that can contribute to loss of fuel. How are you starting? How long do you keep the dome open while attaining temp? How much fuel is in the fire bowl? For a low and slow you don't need to get the whole lump burning like in a regular grill. All you need is 1-3 spots started and smoldering. Remember it's the smoke and heat that cook. You're not grilling. Put a starter in one or two spots and as the flame for the starter goes out close the dome and leave your vents open letting her gradually get up to temp. Within 10-20 deg of your goal start trimming by closing the bottom and then the top vents. Depending on what your cooking let her get regulated 15min up to 1hr if necessary. When your filling the fire bowl if you only use the biggest pieces and your not quite to the top of the ring you may not actually have much fuel. I'll use all pieces that don't fall through my fairly open fingers. Fill the bowl all the way to the top of the fire ring and work it around so the smaller pieces will fall through the fire grate then top off. The link gives good guidelines on controlling the air flow. Once you get regulated at a low and slow temp you'll be amazed how closed the vents will be to maintain. At this point you're smokin in an oven and all you need is enough air to maintain. Remember, this is a learning process anyway so don't get discouraged.. Your egg will reward you as you learn her mysteries. You can get a great low and slow with a bit of practice. My experience and opinions fwiw. All the best. M
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