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Newbie--Charcoal Question

Hi everyone. Had a gas grill but never used it so I took the egg plunge. Just got a new LBGE on Sat and cooked beer can chicken with veggies followed by a homemade apple pie. The pie was amazing but the chicken while juicy had an 'off' taste. Is there a certain amount of time that you leave the BGE lump charcoal to burn before adding your food??? I'm thinking I was just so excited that I rushed it a bit. Thank ahead for any advice.


  • Welcome and way to jump right in there.  To answer your question, there is no set time, just wait until the stinky smoke clears (it has an acrid smell) and the smoke smells good.  The time can vary depending on the type of lump you're burning.

    Damascus, VA.  Friendliest town on the Appalachian Trail.

    LBGE Aug 2012, SBGE Feb 2014

  • AcnAcn Posts: 971
    edited August 2013
    You do need to wait until the smoke is clear, not the billowing white smoke you get when first lighting it. There isn't really a set time, it will be longer with 'fresh' charcoal, shorter with lump that has been in the egg. I usually try to start the fire about 30 or so minutes before I want the food to go on.



    Pikesville, MD

  • onedbguruonedbguru Posts: 651
    Depends on how long you let stabilize before starting the cook. Make sure the smoke is almost clear.  I also cooked 2 bc chickens on Saturday.  Once I got it to temp, I then added a couple of chunks of Hickory right before I put them on.   got some really good hickory flavor going.

    Just curious, but how did you start the fire? 
  • Thanks everyone for the warm welcome and fast replies. Next time I'll take your advice and wait longer. To answer your question -Onedbguru, I used a BGE firestarter cube.
  • bicktravbicktrav Posts: 467
    Had this problem on my first cook too.  It doesn't have anything to do with the BGE starter cube. Like everyone has said, you just didn't let the charcoal burn long enough before putting the food on.  That completely took care of the problem for me.  
    Southern California
  • allsidallsid Posts: 410
    Thanks everyone for the warm welcome and fast replies. Next time I'll take your advice and wait longer. To answer your question -Onedbguru, I used a BGE firestarter cube.
    Personally, I prefer to stay away from fire starting cubes.  I feel that it takes a long time to get it completely combusted and has the potential to taint your grub.  Whether that is true or not, I do not know, but after I learned different lighting methods, I have stayed away from the fire starters. 

    Being that it is a new egg, I bet you have BGE charcoal.  I have had issues with Cowboy Charcoal being synthetically stinky & conveying its odor to the food-  Also- consider trying the chicken without the can.  Chances are that waiting longer may solve most, but I had enough coffee in me to chirp in-  P
  • henapplehenapple Posts: 14,438
    Just wait a while longer. I abide by two rules. I never egg when I'm in a hurry. I never hurry the egg.... But, that's just me.
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
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