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VOC burn off

I know we always talk about letting the lump burn for 45 minutes before adding meat. My question is when doing a long cook, only about a fist full of charcoal is lit at that time. Wouldn't the Vocs come into play when ever new charcoal ignites throughout the cook. I have never had a problem, just curious about the science behind it.
Bluffton, SC LBGE, SBGE, Thermapen


  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 13,693
    VOC's start burning off around 300 degrees, so you get a huge(relative) mass of them burning off at the very beginning. Even though your dome temp is 250, the air around the coals is much, much hotter. Since all the coals are in such close proximity to each other, the VOC's evaporate without them all being "lit".
  • mimaulermimauler Posts: 136
    I am not in the group that lets the lump burn for 45 minutes to an hour never have and never had an issue with bitter tasting meat mostly it's around 15 minutes. 
  • Mattman3969Mattman3969 Posts: 7,417
    Burn off is different which each lump from what I have found. I can have clean smoke within 15-20mins with RW or OO


    2008 -Large BGE. 2013- Small BGE and 2015 - Mini. Henderson, Ky.
  • jaydub58jaydub58 Posts: 2,103
    RO has never taken longer than 20-25 minutes for me.
    John in the Willamette Valley of Oregon
  • BYS1981BYS1981 Posts: 2,497
    jaydub58 said:

    RO has never taken longer than 20-25 minutes for me.

    I have had similar results with RO, but kamado joe jump takes 45-60 minutes. It varies with lump.
  • dihtndihtn Posts: 225

    RO is about the only choice we have here in Indiana.  20-30 minutes is the average for me.

    C'mon Rockwood!!

  • henapplehenapple Posts: 15,825
    I tell my wife that burn off takes around 2 hours....more beer time.
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • rholtrholt Posts: 380
    With rockwood, the burn off is about 5 minutes max. I lit my egg today and had a pork but on and smoking 20 minutes later. It was delicious in case you were curious.
  • dlk7dlk7 Posts: 1,049

    I use Rockwood and never have to wait more than the time it takes to get to temp.  I light just the lump under the grid area I'm going to use.  5 minutes later, I'm ready to cook.

    Two XL BGEs - So Happy!!!!

    Waunakee, WI

  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 8,167
    Varies from brand to brand and bag to bag. After the smoke clears, wave your hand over the top, if it smells good, it is time to cook. 
    Lump, much like meat is ready based on temp and smell, not time. 
    Delta B.C. - Move over coffee, this is job for alcohol!
  • Ragtop99Ragtop99 Posts: 1,528
    If you lite your new charcoal using a chimney, it is fully burned off in about 5 - 10 minutes. It should not be an issue for your left over charcoal.
    Cooking on an XL and Medium in Bethesda, MD.
  • JohnMcJohnMc Posts: 76
    Interesting, I wonder why the pellet guys don't have a problem with VOCs.  Aren't they dumping in and directly burning all the time?
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