I'm both new to the forum and to the BGE. Researched this for a while before diving in. Reading this forum, the BGE site, reviews etc. I was rally looking forward to getting an egg but now I just getting frustrated. We bought a XL egg after hearing other people say their only regret with buying a Large was not buying an XL. Picked up the platesetter, ash tool etc. Just the basics to get started. First few cooks went well, kept the temp at 350-375 no issues (vent open 2", daisy wheel about 1/4 open). Since then I've noted and had trouble with a few things...
Did a break it in cook for about 5 hours at 350. Then first few cooks, temp at 350-375, probably had it going for about 11 hours total and I had used a large 17lbs bag of lump already. Seem like a lot, is it?
After about the 5th cook started to have problems keeping temp. I would light it the same way, stir the old lump, clean out ash, new lump up to the top of the fire box, 1 block of the BGE fire starter in the middle, wait until several of the lumps were burning then plate setter / grill and walk away. Come back in 10-15 minutes, start adjusting the vent and daisy wheel to get temp. Daisy wheel would be 1/4 open at best with the vent open ~2-2 1/2". Throw the food on and go away. Last few time I did the same routine but found that as soon as I opened the lid I lost temp and couldn't get it back. Temp would drop to 300 or less with the vent more than 1/2 open (3-4") and the daisy wheel fully opened. Aaaugh. Had to go back to the propane BBQ or the oven to cook the food. What am I doing wrong?
Last night I cleaned the egg out with a shop vac, checked the holes in the fire box, added lump (this time only 1/2 of the plate) and lit it. Took over 1 hour to get to 250, barely got to 300, put the pate setter in and cooked on the propane BBQ as I was getting no where with the Egg . It stayed at 250-300 with the bottom vent / daisy wheel fully open for 2+ hours. How often do I need to clean out the Egg with a vacuum?
I just went to the BBQ place I bought the Egg from, they went through the lighting procedure with me and that's about it. Lots of head scratching. I'm at home now, refilled the fire box fully, used 2 fire starters, vent and daisy fully open as they recommended and got up to 400 in about 15 minutes, plateaued, dropped to 300 for about 5 minutes then slowly back up to 400. I put the setter back in to cook off drippings, closed the vent to 3" and the daisy wheel open and it holding at 450. Still doesn't seem right. I had better temps with less air for the first few cooks. Thoughts?
I want to be an Egghead, really I do but right now I'm just frustrated. Any help would be appreciated. I've trolled the forum for similar threads and read most of them but I am still having issues.