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Lighting the BGE

OK, this is a very basic question for everyone here.... But I have a question about lighting my LX BGE. I would like to know how long to leave the lid up? Do I wait till all the coals a gray? Have hear that you leave the lid open for 15 or so minutes till the fire is established then close adjust the vents till the white smoke stops? Which is correct?
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Comments

  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 4,171
    Don't wait till the coals are grey. How long the dome is open depends on the starting method. If you are using something like starter cubes or oil soaked paper, wait a minute or so after the flames die down, and close the dome. You can set the vents right away, but that adds more time till the fire reaches temperature. I leave the bottom open wide, and have the daisy off till the dome reaches 200F. Then I set the vents.
  • dldawes1dldawes1 Posts: 405

    +1 on GDENBY....same here. 200F varies with desired target temp.

    Donnie

    Donnie Dawes - Carrollton, KY

    I Love My BGE !!  

    1-XLBGE, 1-Beautiful wife, 1 XS Yorkie

  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 6,760
    I light with a mapp torch and usually close the dome almost right away. Couple of minutes at most. Bottom vent wide open, top off. When it gets within 25°-ish of my target, I close the bottom vent to about where it needs to be. I never use the DFMT unless I'm doing a low n slow cook. Not even sure I need it then, but have never tried one without it. When you leave the DFMT off, you just have to close the bottom more.
    Michael 
    Central Connecticut 

    "Avoid at all costs that vile spew you see rotting in oil in screwtop jars. Too lazy to peel fresh? You don't deserve to eat garlic." Bourdain
  • Keeping in mind bottom vent wide open and daisy wheel off. When I used cubes I would wait until the flame went out then close lid until I was 50 degrees from my target temp then start closing it down. Now I use a torch and light in 3 places close the lid and do the same as mentioned above.
  • TillermanTillerman Posts: 38
    Seems I have been misinformed before.  Previously, I light the coal with starter cubes (2 or 3 of them) and let the fire establish itself.  After about 10 or so minutes, I close the lid and wait for the smoke to dissipate.  I will try gdenby advice.
  • dldawes1dldawes1 Posts: 405

    I've been cutting the starter squares in half and only light two to start fire. I also have practiced rolling up a full size paper towel, tie iit in a knot, soak with a little cooking oil, and put 2 of these in for starting.

    Just been experimenting.

    I have been lighting by whatever method, then closing egg after ~10 minutes with DW off and bottom vent wide open until within~ 30-50 degrees of target temp. Then I start choking back on the bottom vent.....and I usually put the DW back on at wide open. Just my proven method...

    Looks like everyone finds their sweet spot for starting and reaching desired temp and whatever is easiest for them.

    I owe all mine to the folks here on the forum....thanks again,

    Donnie.

    Donnie Dawes - Carrollton, KY

    I Love My BGE !!  

    1-XLBGE, 1-Beautiful wife, 1 XS Yorkie

  • tulocaytulocay Posts: 857
    I'm in the same camp you are Tillerman. I light in 3 places with looft lighter. Wait about 12-15 minutes until the flames are going strong, then close the top and adjust vent and DFMT. I should add that this is for cooks targeting temps of 350+. For low and slow cooks, I don't let the fire get going that much.
    LBGE, Marietta, GA
  • TillermanTillerman Posts: 38
    The reason I ask is due to some strange flavors I have had on steaks.  They tasted sort of like lighter fluid, but I don't use fluid!
  • tulocaytulocay Posts: 857
    I"m assuming you are cooking steaks direct? If you are getting that taste, it sounds like the VOC's haven't burned off yet. I used to let my RO burn for 45 min to 1 hour to ensure the VOCs were burned off. Now with Rockwood, none of that. Light and cook within 15 minutes. Virtually no VOCs with Rockwood.
    LBGE, Marietta, GA
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 15,713
    could be lots of things with the steak, voc's from lump not burning clean, drippings from a prior chicken cook. searing with pepper on it, did you coat it with oil. that sear and dwell method out of the bge handbook will do it
  • It sounds to me like the VOC's haven't burned off. I used to make that same mistake as well. I was using starter cubes, and then I switched over to a paper towel with cooking oil. 

    Recently I started using rubbing alcohol to light the lump. Talk about fast!!! This is by far the best lighting method I have come up with. 
    image
    Louisville, GA - 2 Large BGE's
  • SekkyoSekkyo Posts: 2
    Torch it in a few areas, the coals get instantly hot and you're going in a few minutes. The nozzles for torches cost a bit, but the propane canisters are very cheap, just a few bucks.
  • SekkyoSekkyo Posts: 2
    Another benefit of this approach is that there is absolutely no residue in your food.
  • dldawes1dldawes1 Posts: 405

    Lighting Partial Lump vs lighting several places.......

    All...

    I need help understanding about VOCs. If I light only a couple places near the back of the egg, and wait ~10 minutes to close and set temp for ~30 minutes....then there will still be unburned VOCs in the unlit lump.

    If I light several places and wait until flames die out to close and set vents for temp, there will still be unburnt VOCs in the lump that has not burnt.

    Does the heat from the burning/smoldering lump burn the VOCs from the unlit lump ???

    I'm a little confused. I have no problem with the way I do it....but I am always open tpo a better way !

    Thanks,

    Donnie

    Donnie Dawes - Carrollton, KY

    I Love My BGE !!  

    1-XLBGE, 1-Beautiful wife, 1 XS Yorkie

  • ShiffShiff Posts: 1,056
    I light with alcohol then wait about a minute to make sure the fire spreads to everywhere I squirted it then close the lid and leave the vents wide open.  I personally think the airflow is better with the lid closed since it sets up a better draft through the charcoal. Alcohol burns clean and hot and leaves no residue.
    Barry Lancaster, PA
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 4,753
    There are VOC's (Volatile Organic Compounds) present in the lump charcoal (quantity varies by brand).  Once the BGE temperature gets above boiling the VOC's will begin to off-gas (thus the bad smoke).  When the smoke smells good (good smoke) you are good to go VOC-wise with the cook.  You only need temperature and not all the lump burning to drive off the VOC's.  I'm sure there is a scientific eggsplanation but this works for me.  FWIW-
    Louisville
  • Using a chimney, the VOCs in the chimney have burned off during the fifteen minutes it burns in the open. Leftover charcoal in the firebox, does not seem to smoke very much either. Add a little wood and when the back yard smells like burning apple, the fire is ready. Initially the wood chunks used for smoke seem to give off a bad smoke smell.
    Lid open only a few minutes. Got to go, time to light a fire for tonight's steak.
    Bob in the freezing 40* southland
  • KennyLeeKennyLee Posts: 513
    Light with a torch in four spots for 30 seconds each and close the lid immediately with vents open. 

    LBGE

    Cedar table w/granite top

    Ceramic Grillworks two-tier swing rack

    Perpetual cooler of ice-cold beer

  • TillermanTillerman Posts: 38
    tulocay said:
    I"m assuming you are cooking steaks direct? If you are getting that taste, it sounds like the VOC's haven't burned off yet. I used to let my RO burn for 45 min to 1 hour to ensure the VOCs were burned off. Now with Rockwood, none of that. Light and cook within 15 minutes. Virtually no VOCs with Rockwood.
    Tell me of this Rockwood charcoal!!!
  • Hey everyone, I'm new to the forum and relatively new to BGE life. My wife bought me a MBGE as a wedding present (best wife ever), back in June of 2013. I have been cooking on my dads for the past year or so and I've always used the compressed wood fire starter logs, just break a couple pieces off light and put in the coals. Seems to be working pretty well so far but I'm always open to some new and faster/more efficient ways to light up so that I can get to cooking quicker. Let me know if you have any info on any possible drawbacks to this method. thanks!
    Demorest, Ga.    1MBGE
  • CookinbobCookinbob Posts: 1,032
    I light with Mapp torch and close the lid immediately, but leave the vents wide open.  Most of my cooks are indirect, so I also have the plate setter, drip pan, and grate in place from the beginning.  Depending how much lump I light, I can be up to 350 in 10-15 minutes which is fast enough for me.

    @BckPorchGriln, I use the fire starters in the fireplace, never on the grill.  I would think it would take a good while for the paraffin to burn off, and it might add an off taste.  However, if you notice no off taste, you can buy a lot of starter sticks for the $50 I spent on the Mapp torch:D
    XLBGE, Small BGE, Homebrew and Guitars
    Rochester, NY
  • Cookinbob said:
    I light with Mapp torch and close the lid immediately, but leave the vents wide open.  Most of my cooks are indirect, so I also have the plate setter, drip pan, and grate in place from the beginning.  Depending how much lump I light, I can be up to 350 in 10-15 minutes which is fast enough for me.

    @BckPorchGriln, I use the fire starters in the fireplace, never on the grill.  I would think it would take a good while for the paraffin to burn off, and it might add an off taste.  However, if you notice no off taste, you can buy a lot of starter sticks for the $50 I spent on the Mapp torch:D
    I've never had any type of off taste with the fire starters but as i've noticed it does take a little bit for the paraffin to burn off but not too awfully long. I'm usually running around 400 to 450 withing 15mins on most days as long as its not too windy to blow my initial burn out. But might be time to look into a torch of some sort!
    Demorest, Ga.    1MBGE
  • GQuizGQuiz Posts: 608
    Sounds like I'm one of the few using an electric starter. I just pile the lump on and pull it when flames start to shoot out of the lump. Cook once the smoke clears.

    XL BGE; Schertz TX by way of Stow OH. #egghead4life
  • KingtUTKingtUT Posts: 102
    edited February 14
    I use an electric starter (basically like a coil from an oven) and I prop the lid open a couple inches, DW off and bottom vent open. I mostly use RO and it only takes 5-7 minutes to light. I can basically be at any temp I want within 15 minutes. I've tried several different starting methods and I haven't found anything close to being this easy.
  • SkinnyVSkinnyV Posts: 1,502
    I've been doing electric starter for past year but decided to pick up a mapp pro bottle.
    My propane torch works just fine on it and
    Start times were great tonight. My last mapp was ace brand and I don't think that performance was near the name brand bottle.
    Seattle, WA
  • dajogejrdajogejr Posts: 12
    Weed burner on a propane tank is my preferred.  Careful of stray sparks or popping, depending on what kind of lump you use.
    I start in the center and then work my way around, I take about 3 minutes or so to light it.
    I leave the screen open wide and the top about half until I get within 20 degrees of my desired temp.
    Then I close off the top and bottom accordingly.  My Egg likes to burn at 225 to 230 dome temp with the bottom open maybe 1/8 to 1/4 inch and the daisy wheel closed with the smaller vents open to half open.  When I settle in at my temp for about 15 minutes, I put my smoking wood in...wait 5 then put the meat on.
  • chashanschashans Posts: 377
    I used the BGE fire-starters for the first month and then, thanks to this forum, switched over to the weed burner and some very old camping propane bottles (1970's) that I still had on hand. It works great! I think that the mapp bottle set-up might be much more expensive and not necessary for the BGE. I have a mapp setup also...but that is used strictly for plumbing work around the house.
    LARGE, MINI BGE    SAN DIEGO, CA            An alcoholic with a barbecuing problem.

  • dldawes1dldawes1 Posts: 405

    I have been lighting my lump at 10-oclock and 2-oclock. No real reason....just how I got started doing it and it works for me.

    If someone has a valid argument against this, please let me know.

     

    Donnie Dawes - Carrollton, KY

    I Love My BGE !!  

    1-XLBGE, 1-Beautiful wife, 1 XS Yorkie

  • I must be the only guy here using rubbing alcohol to start my fire. 
    image
    Louisville, GA - 2 Large BGE's
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