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Just had my first cook and had some issues, help out a BGE noobie!!!


Hey all, so just came across this awesome forum since getting the egg two nights ago. Had my first cook and had some trouble.

Started the lump with two firestarter from weber and this worked well, I checked the lump about 20 minutes later and temp was still very low. I read a bit online and realized that my lump was much too small so I added charcoal and things got going nicely after that and was able to get a big the hang ouf using the two vents to control temp.

Main problem I had was it was terribly smoky and even after 45 minutes at around 300-400 degrees the smoke was still there. A white-ish smoke that would not go away and every time you opened the egg a big rush came out. Needless to say we cooked our flank steak but it came out very smokey and my clothes and everything stunk after and I basically had to take a shower lol. Im assuming this is not the way it should be and after starting the egg and letting it heat up this smoke should go away rather than stay like it did for us.

Any help on how to approach this and fix the smoke issue would be great!! As I said it was our first cook and we were using dragon's breath charcoal that was recommended at the store where we bought the egg.

Thanks!

Greg

Comments

  • Obviously a charcoal issue I would think. I get a bit of white smoke at first but that eventually diminishes. I've been using Royal Oak lump.
    Cherry Hill, NJ
  • MagnoliaBBQMagnoliaBBQ Posts: 13
    edited October 2013
    It takes a while for the ceramic on the egg to heat up.  For a fire around 300 F, start a very small fire at the top of the lump, open up the bottom vent about an inch, and open up the daisy wheel (but not pivoting lid) all of the way.  Then be patient.  The white smoke was because the flow of air into your egg was still catching the lump on fire--neither the egg nor fire had stablized.  Your vents appear to be too open if white smoke was pouring out and your dome temp was 300-400.  If you use no smoking wood, when everything stabilizes (perhaps an hour), there will be no noticeable smoke.
  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 5,395
    As a NEO, I suggest, open the bottom vent all the way, take the DFMT off, no smoke wood, dump the lump in until just over the firebox, bottom of the fire ring, light it up on the top near the front. 
    Let her go. when the temp clears through about 350º, put the DFMT on with the petals open fully. Watch and see how it reacts. Most eggs should stay under 450º with the petals wide open. 
    You may wish to change and use the bottom vent only, me I don't like to bend over and play with the bottom vent. 
    Acrid smoke should be gone in 20 minutes or so. 
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • henapplehenapple Posts: 10,455
    Possibly from adding lump on the already burning lump?
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,078
    edited October 2013
    henapple said:
    Possibly from adding lump on the already burning lump?
    Bingo! I don't like firestarters at all either. They only light small areas and don't burn off the bad guys quick enough. Use a map torch and light in three areas. Total of about 40 seconds. I usually leave the dome up for the first while to allow more VOCs to burn off without heating the egg too much.

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • White smoke should go away fairly quickly after fire gets going depending on the type of lump you are using.  I'm assuming you used the BGE lump?  That's a decent lump and should have cleared fairly quickly.  I have had a few cooks where it took a long time to clear the white smoke, and had to delay the serving time, but its better to eat late than eat meat smoked in chemicals. Maybe Henapple is right, throwing new lump on top of burning lump might have caused the issue.  In any case give it a try again and let us know if the problem persists...
    Simi Valley, California
  • ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Welcome to the Swamp.....GO GATORS!!!!
  • I have never heard of Dragon's Breath, but I would imagine a dragon would have smokey breath. I live in the boonies and the only thing I can get locally is the BGE lump. 

    I add the lump, open the bottom vent all the way and use two fire starters from BGE. (I plan on getting a map torch soon). 

    I light the lump and leave the lid open for around 30 minutes. I then close the lid, adjust my bottom vent and my daisy wheel and get the egg to my temp (takes only a very few minutes). 

    Then I cook. On my first couple of cooks I had way too much smoke as well. I discovered that I was closing the lid too soon and trying to cook too soon. I wait a lot longer now. 

    You will get this sorted out. Keep trying!
    image
    Louisville, GA - 2 Large BGE's
  • gregvgregv Posts: 8

    Yes Dave, it looked exactly like that!! Any pointers.

    Everyone else, thanks a lot for the tips ill try using the advice on my next cook and let u know how it goes. 

    Greg
  • txav8rtxav8r Posts: 153
    I still consider myself a noob too.  I have about 5 cooks under my belt.  The temp thing just takes some time.  I have a heck of a time stopping the temp climb at 400 and stabilizing there but I am getting better.  I nailed it tonight, doing corn on the cob and grilled buffalo shrimp.  The shrimp were incredible and the corn is always good.  I start by no daisy wheel on top, and the bottom damper wide open.  I light bge 2 fire starters near the top but opposite sides of the lump.  I fill the fire box with lump on top of what was leftover from the previous cook.  I leave the grill dome open for about 10-15 minutes until the flames seem to subside, and then close it, leaving the vents as above.  As the dome temp approaches 400, I put on the daisy wheel and leave it wide open.  I shut down the bottom damper to about 2".  I watch the temp...watch...and if it slows, I close the daisy vent to just the petals open.  If it continues to climb, I close the bottom vent a little more.  If it starts to fall, I open the daisy back up a little.  It is a game...have a beer or glass of wine handy during this phase...and don't be prepping in the kitchen, or you pass up your target!  Like said above, keep it up, good food to come!  Try the direct sear and cook to temp on your favorite steak...it will water your eyes!
    Just far enough north of DFW to be "rural"...and close enough to be urban, depending on my mood.
  • From what I have learned it can be caused by damp lump or improper air flow to the lump. I know without a doubt my lump wasn't damp. Mine was by air flow. My temp wasn't going pass 250 and I was set for 400. I took my ash tool and shook the bottom grate several times and the temp shot up and smoke cleared in just a couple of minutes. So I believe I just wasn't getting proper air flow.  Once I got that clear I had no other issues with my temp or smoke.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Welcome to the Swamp.....GO GATORS!!!!
  • GramblerGrambler Posts: 137
    Open all your vents and leave the dome open until you have a nice smoldering fire in the coals. Shut the dome and watch the temp go up...the smoke should clear pretty quickly.
  • gregvgregv Posts: 8
    So just had my second cook. WE were making steaks. Started with full lump, two fire starters, one on each side of lump. Started it up with low vent open and top lid open for about 10 minutes until fire settled. Then closed lid and put daisy wheel open and lower vent open and got the temp in about 400 degrees ( i read should do first few cook no more than 400). Let that settle for about 10 minutes. After about 25 minutes things were settled and looking good.
    Smoke coming out was almost "Clear" not white like before. This worked quite well. At times there was still some white smoke but very little and the "smell" of the smoke was much different. Steaks came out great and again didn't have the "smokey taste" like last time.
    Seemed to work well at least a big improvement from before. 
    Should there be no smoke coming from it or will there always be smoke from big green egg and as long as its not all white then good to go?
    THanks for help so far!!
    Greg
  • As a NEO, I suggest, open the bottom vent all the way, take the DFMT off, no smoke wood, dump the lump in until just over the firebox, bottom of the fire ring, light it up on the top near the front. 
    Let her go. when the temp clears through about 350º, put the DFMT on with the petals open fully. Watch and see how it reacts. Most eggs should stay under 450º with the petals wide open. 
    You may wish to change and use the bottom vent only, me I don't like to bend over and play with the bottom vent. 
    Acrid smoke should be gone in 20 minutes or so. 
    Could not say it better.
    Pasquali Luciano
    Buon appetito to all the BGE family
    XLBGE, LBGE, MBGE and lots of toys

  • bicktravbicktrav Posts: 447
    gregv said: So just had my second cook. WE were making steaks. Started with full lump, two fire starters, one on each side of lump. Started it up with low vent open and top lid open for about 10 minutes until fire settled. Then closed lid and put daisy wheel open and lower vent open and got the temp in about 400 degrees ( i read should do first few cook no more than 400). Let that settle for about 10 minutes. After about 25 minutes things were settled and looking good.Smoke coming out was almost "Clear" not white like before. This worked quite well. At times there was still some white smoke but very little and the "smell" of the smoke was much different. Steaks came out great and again didn't have the "smokey taste" like last time.Seemed to work well at least a big improvement from before. Should there be no smoke coming from it or will there always be smoke from big green egg and as long as its not all white then good to go?THanks for help so far!!Greg Unless you're using wood, there should be no white smoke after a while.  There will always be burn off, but it ends up being pretty darn close to clear and it stays that way through the remainder of the cook.
    Southern California
  • I am very impatient so I fill it with BGE only lump I have tried a bunch of them and for 4 dollars more a bag it is so worth it .Use propane torch get the center good and red , no daisy wheel and the vent wide open for 5-10 it gets to 350-400 every time
  • I'm a rookie also bud. Been cooking for a few months now, but two things that I have caught on to since I started is leaving the dome open so it starts better and using royal oak lump from Walmart. Cheap and works great. i use the fire starters also, but I break them into smaller pieces and fire up 4 different spots of the lump.
  • Dragon's Breath is decent lump.

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • gregvgregv Posts: 8
    So far getting a lot better guys!! Nice clean smoke and I'm getting better at controlling the temperature. We have made some pizza and last night some awesome turkey burgers!!

    So far I light the lump with 2 fire starters cut in half so I light it at 4 spots. Then leave bottom vent open and lid open about 10 minutes to get it going, close the lid and leave open for another 10 or so and then get the daisy wheel on top and dial in the temp. So far so good!!

    Greg
  • I am pretty new too...but I am also a cheapskate... I didn't want to keep buying starters or map gas.  I have been using one of the starter chimneys with a few newspaper pages in the bottom...5-6 minutes and dump it out in the center of the egg...white smoke goes away in a short period of time...toyed with an electric starter too, but decided to try low tech first..so far so good

    Making the neighbors jealous in Pleasant Hill, Ia one cook at a time...
  • HoovHoov Posts: 234
    Weed burner...get one! White smoke is gone in no time and the Egg is up to temp in 10 minutes or less...and you get to play with fire. It seems to be pretty economical too. I'm going on 5 months on the same tank of propane and other forum members indicate up to a year. Gloves and safety glasses recommended!
    - Proud owner of a Large BGE
    - Norman, OK
  • Before every cook I scoop out all the old lump from the previous cook and make sure all the holes are open.  I also really take time to clean the old ash from the bottom.  That seems to help me as I had a similar experience as you.  Found out that a couple of the side holes in the box were filled with ash. 
    Thanks,

    Matthew
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    Thomasville, NC - Large BGE (w/Nest) - Plate Setter - Maverick ET-733 - BBQ Guru Party-Q (new design ) Pizza Stone - BGE V-Rack - Weed Torch (to light egg)

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  • QDudeQDude Posts: 478
    FYI - The BGE lump is not really made by the mothership.  I think it is just rebranded Royal Oak if I remember correctly from previous posts. 

    A northern Colorado Egghead since 2012!

    XL and a Small BGE.

  • PinkfacemarkPinkfacemark Posts: 41
    edited November 2013
    I can't take credit for this but @rrp told me to buy one of these.  Best $6 bucks I have ever spent.


    As soon as I get my fire cubes lit, I spread the fire around with this.  I use 2 cubes on different sides of the egg. Haven't had any issues. 

    PS. These are cheap "Made in China" fans.  I had to superglue the silver part on because it kept falling off. 
    Large BGE from Normal, IL 
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