Big Green Egg - EGGhead Forum - The Ultimate Cooking Experience...
Welcome to the EGGhead Forum - a great place to visit and packed with tips and EGGspert advice! You can also join the conversation and get more information and amazing kamado recipes by following Big Green Egg at:

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Pinterest  |  Youtube  |  Vimeo
Share your photos by tagging us and using the hashtag #EGGhead4Life.


In Atlanta? Come visit Big Green Egg headquarters, including our retail showroom, the History of the EGG Museum and Culinary Center!  3786 DeKalb Technology Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30340.

Lighting the Lump.

I plan to do a pork butt this Friday night. My plan is to start the egg and let it run all night. I will be sleeping closely with my temp pager with alarms set. If the temp falls to low I will be waken.
My question is how do y'all light your lump and how long do you let it burn at what temp? Before choking it down. To 240 degrees. I read earlier that lump needs to burn the bad smell off before the meat is put in the grate. Not sure how the lump can burn off if you plan for it to gradually burn through the fire box to get a 14 hour burn. I have always used a stick burner offset smoker. The required a lot if baby sitting but the pecan a Elle's the same from first light till end.

Comments

  • grege345grege345 Posts: 3,515
    Personally I use a chimney. I like it. However there are many ways to start your fire.All work. 2points. You want to catch your target cooking temp on the way up. It's harder to reduce your temp from 325 to 240. You don't need a hot fire for your voc to burn off. Lump plays a factor because different brands act differently. 90% of lump will burn off voc's in about 25-30 min. What brand do you use and how do you start fires now?
    LBGE& SBGE———————————————•———————– Pennsylvania / poconos

  • Ladeback69Ladeback69 Posts: 4,395
    I've only done a few long smokes, but you want to catch it on the way up. If it gets too high like 400 it could take awhile to come down. I like to let mine burn for at least 20 minutes before I put the plate setter on, then I give it time to warm up and come back up to temp. Maybe another 10 minutes or so. What temp are planning on cooking at and what are you using to light with? My grate temp and dome temps are about 100 degrees apart when it gets Hugh and I accidentally did turbo ribs and turkey breast this weekend, but they came out great. Dome was at 380 and grate was at 265 for about an hour tell I got the dome back down to 300 and the grate around 225 to 235.
    XL, WSM, Little Kahuna, Coleman RoadTrip Gas Grill

    Kansas City, Mo.
  • I have had great results by first completely cleaning the egg out of any ash or lump.
    Next I add the larger pieces of lump available with a couple small chunks of wood of choice for smoking.
    Add some more lump and then some wood for smoking.
    And then one more Time I repeat with some small chunks of smoking wood on top or chips.
    Then I start with starter cubes broke into 3 pieces and placed 10, 2, & 6 o clock. Leave the top up for 10 minutes close lid and let it go wide open vents for another 5. Then close bottom and top vents to about 1/8-1/4" wide.
    Stabilize between 250* - 275*. Once I'm confident the egg is stabilized i put the butts on. Wait until internal temp hits 200-205*
  • Last pic of the firebox all filled up didn't go through so I thought I would add it. Better late than never.
  • I use the small BGE wax fire starters and I have a bag of BGE lump. My planned cooking temp is 230ish that about what my grate temp on my stick burner so I will try that temp. I also was going to mix in some apple wood chunks.
  • DMWDMW Posts: 11,769

    I use the small BGE wax fire starters and I have a bag of BGE lump. My planned cooking temp is 230ish that about what my grate temp on my stick burner so I will try that temp. I also was going to mix in some apple wood chunks.

    @Catmandiesel‌ Keep in mind that 230* dome won't be 230* grid temp necessarily. Not sure if you have a pit temp monitor or not. On average dome temp is about 25* higher. Just a heads up if you want to stay similar to your prior cooks.
    My Facebook Page where I document my cooking
    Morgantown, PA

    XL BGE - S BGE - KJ Jr - HB Legacy - BS Pizza Oven - 30" Firepit - King Kooker Fryer -  PR72T - 18.5" WSM - Gasser - WSJ - BS 17" Griddle - XXL BGE - Akron Jr
  • Ladeback69Ladeback69 Posts: 4,395

    I've only done a few long smokes, but you want to catch it on the way up. If it gets too high like 400 it could take awhile to come down. I like to let mine burn for at least 20 minutes before I put the plate setter on, then I give it time to warm up and come back up to temp. Maybe another 10 minutes or so. What temp are planning on cooking at and what are you using to light with? My grate temp and dome temps are about 100 degrees apart when it gets Hugh and I accidentally did turbo ribs and turkey breast this weekend, but they came out great. Dome was at 380 and grate was at 265 for about an hour tell I got the dome back down to 300 and the grate around 225 to 235.

    I use an electric element to start my lump now and won't go back to the sticks. Its going good in about 8 minutes. I too clean it completely out first and start with fresh lump and add wood before I light it. Remember the plate setter will take the temp down tell it warms up.
    XL, WSM, Little Kahuna, Coleman RoadTrip Gas Grill

    Kansas City, Mo.
  • RRPRRP Posts: 21,684
    edited April 2014
    I don't mean to mess with your plans but why do you not want to go turbo? I will never go back to 240 overnight! Some here think it is a rite of passage to stay awake or at least sleep light hoping they will wake up. I did that for years and years but once I tried turbo - well - here I am messing with your mind, but the BGE isn't a crude home made off set cooker needing attention all night...just sayin...
    L, M, S, &  Mini
    And oh yes...also a 17" BlackStone gas fired griddle! 
    Ron
    Dunlap, IL
    Re- gasketing AMERICA one yard at a time!
  • I agree with DMW. That is one reason I shoot for a dome temp of at least 250* but I prefer 275*. At 275 * if I do have any issues with the temp dropping overnight (while I'm asleep) I will wake up to a egg that us still 200*+ in the morning. At which I can adjust temps accordingly.
  • Great pics Deviledegger and thanks to everyone for all the replies.
    I do have a temp probe that clips on the grate and food probe as well and my target temp for meat has always been 205. Man it's so good I can't wait. Lol I may look into different lighting methods the cubes seem to work really well though. Any one ever use a looft lighter? Seen them at the local egg dealer.

    As for as turbo cooks? Part of cooking to me is the time weather it's at night or all day. I have sat by my offset stick burner for 12 hours and never felt like I loss one min of life. If I wanted to do it fast I would just preheat the oven. But I think good quality food takes a little longer. I respect the green egg and it's cooking ability, but don't think old stick burners are crude. Offsets reverse flow smokers win many many competitions and are also well respected.
    My offset makes a beautiful smoke ring and great taste but it does require some attention so I will see how the BGE performs...just sayin
  • Last pic of the firebox all filled up didn't go through so I thought I would add it. Better late than never.

    I have had great results by first completely cleaning the egg out of any ash or lump.
    Next I add the larger pieces of lump available with a couple small chunks of wood of choice for smoking.
    Add some more lump and then some wood for smoking.
    And then one more Time I repeat with some small chunks of smoking wood on top or chips.
    Then I start with starter cubes broke into 3 pieces and placed 10, 2, & 6 o clock. Leave the top up for 10 minutes close lid and let it go wide open vents for another 5. Then close bottom and top vents to about 1/8-1/4" wide.
    Stabilize between 250* - 275*. Once I'm confident the egg is stabilized i put the butts on. Wait until internal temp hits 200-205*

    Great looking color on those butts by the way. I'm wishing now I didn't skip supper.

  • RRPRRP Posts: 21,684
    edited April 2014
    Catmandiesel... Sorry my man, I meant no offense.
    L, M, S, &  Mini
    And oh yes...also a 17" BlackStone gas fired griddle! 
    Ron
    Dunlap, IL
    Re- gasketing AMERICA one yard at a time!
  • gerhardkgerhardk Posts: 938
    I too came from an offset smoker and I agree that they make a better smoke ring and maybe even a better smoke flavour but I believe that I consistently make better food on the egg.  Part of what appeals to me about the egg is the ease with which you can do a low and slow cook, turbo may work but I like the slow cooks.

    Gerhard
  • @Catmandiesel‌ I like what you said about not feeling like you've wasted a minute of your life sitting by your grill. What I have enjoyed with the egg is the flexibility to do about any cook I want, but I can't stress how great it is to set up for a low and slow and walk away, sit down, etc. for 15 hrs. And come back to an egg that is the same temp. Last year I set up to cook 32# of butt. After stabilizing the egg I drove 20 miles back to my house and slept peacefully. Returned in the am. to an egg that was still holding temps in the range I like to cook. It's like a compass once you learn to use it you just have to trust it.
  • @RRP aka Ron Pratt, Dunlap, IL‌ no offense takin my friend.

    http://eggheadforum.com/profile/61237/Deviledegger those are all part of the reason I purchased the BGE. I've only had it a short while but look forward to using it for many years to come. Some times it's hard to trust those compasses lol funny way to say it but very true.

    http://eggheadforum.com/profile/50354/gerhardk I will surly enjoy it. I also like the ease of low and slow to cooking steaks in 6 mins and use it as a wood fired oven. Can't wait to try pizza! I'm gonna get fat just cooking all this food.
  • mimaulermimauler Posts: 136
    I've always used the BGE starter cubes I cut one into threes and then place them in my lump.  I'm also in the Lo and Slo camp my butts usually have a grid temp of 230. 
  • buzd504buzd504 Posts: 2,405
    Great pics Deviledegger and thanks to everyone for all the replies. I do have a temp probe that clips on the grate and food probe as well and my target temp for meat has always been 205. Man it's so good I can't wait. Lol I may look into different lighting methods the cubes seem to work really well though. Any one ever use a looft lighter? Seen them at the local egg dealer.

    I own and have used both.  I find them equally effective, although they start the coals differently.  The wax cubes start the file more or less on top of the coals (or above wherever you set the cube.  The looft lighter tends to start the cubes lower in the bowl and brings them directly to a smolder.

    I haven't decided which I like better, but the looflighter may be a little preferred for the low and slow cooks.  I'm still deciding.
    NOLA
  • For a hot fire, I use three starter cube pieces (I break them in half, so, that is one and a half starter cubes).

    For low and slow I will use only one (half) typically.   The paraffin can foul the flavor quite a bit if it is not allowed to become fully involved.  I leave the lid open until the smoke from the starters is non-existent and the fire is burning, and the shut the dome.

    If the smoke soon turns to billowing white, that means the starter cube has stopped burning well, and not getting enough air. That will linger and create the sooty smoke flavor many complain about. Don't let that happen.

    250 is my ideal low temperature.



    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Copia ciborum subtilitas impeditur

    Seneca Falls, NY

  • For a hot fire, I use three starter cube pieces (I break them in half, so, that is one and a half starter cubes).

    For low and slow I will use only one (half) typically.   The paraffin can foul the flavor quite a bit if it is not allowed to become fully involved.  I leave the lid open until the smoke from the starters is non-existent and the fire is burning, and the shut the dome.

    If the smoke soon turns to billowing white, that means the starter cube has stopped burning well, and not getting enough air. That will linger and create the sooty smoke flavor many complain about. Don't let that happen.

    250 is my ideal low temperature.



    This. Except that I use wadded paper towel (the smaller tear-off sheets) with a little cooking or evoo poured on them.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Well, "spa-Peggy" is kind of like spaghetti. I'm not sure what Peggy does different, if anything. But it's the one dish she's kind of made her own.
    ____________________
    Aurora, Ontario, Canada
  • I have attempted to light with oil and paper towel, and find it otherwise acceptable when I lack the starters.  But my habit remains to purchase the starter cubes, simply because they can be somewhat less messy in my case.  I am a bit of an absent minded professor type, and leave a mess behind me that is often twice the scale of damage that it should otherwise be under normal execution by more reasonable individuals.


    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Copia ciborum subtilitas impeditur

    Seneca Falls, NY

  • I have attempted to light with oil and paper towel, and find it otherwise acceptable when I lack the starters.  But my habit remains to purchase the starter cubes, simply because they can be somewhat less messy in my case.  I am a bit of an absent minded professor type, and leave a mess behind me that is often twice the scale of damage that it should otherwise be under normal execution by more reasonable individuals.


    I used to use starters too; until the time that I had run out and needed to light the egg. The paper towel/oil worked well for me, and we always have both on hand, so that's what I've stayed with. I usually use a disposable latex glove to handle the oily paper towel so that I don't have to wash the oil off my hand. It also helps to keep soot off my hand when I place the paper towel into the lump.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Well, "spa-Peggy" is kind of like spaghetti. I'm not sure what Peggy does different, if anything. But it's the one dish she's kind of made her own.
    ____________________
    Aurora, Ontario, Canada
  • The electric starter seems really easy also. But does it start really hot?
  • ElCapitanElCapitan Posts: 154
    edited April 2014
    I started with BGE cubes in three places like mentioned above (10, 2 and 6) most of the time.  I encountered the problem that SenecaTY describes before where the cubes hadn't finished burning but I was at the low temp that I wanted.  I had to fight it to stabilize low.

    I also tried using cubes and my fan on my BBQ guru to stabilize low, lighting and putting the fan on within 5-10 minutes.  That was hit or miss as the fan is really for after the fire is going, in my opinion.

    I just recently bought a BGE electric starter and it is the best.  It does not start too hot and is much easier to stabilize after lighting than the cubes in my humble opinion. I open the top and bottom vents up wide, put the BGE electric starter in the middle of the lump, put just a few on top of it and 7 minutes later I'm started.  I'll close the lid and give it about 5 - 10 minutes to clear the smoke and adjust for the temp that I want.  

    I've found that inserting the grid and placesetter drop the temp about 60+ degrees when I'm trying to cook low and slow so I aim for about 30-40 above my target before I insert those.  Putting the meat on usually doesn't drop the temp more than 20ish so it's easy to stabilize after that.
    XL Owner
  • ELCapitan Great info thanks!
  • Has anyone tried using a Mapp propane blowtorch with a little kindling?
    Southern by birth, Italian by marriage. Ciao and Roll Tide!
  • KtimKtim Posts: 364
    I use the paper towel and oil every time. I like it as much as starter cubes which sometimes I run out of.
    sumpter township Mi.
  • CharlesmaneriCharlesmaneri Posts: 1,295
    I use the Mapp gas torch all the time and it works great if doing a low and slow I just lite in the center one spot if doing a hi temp cook like steaks I lite it in 4 spots one at 12 o'clock one at 3 o'clock one at 6o'clock and one at 9o'clock  and no KINDLING just lite the lump
    2 Large Eggs and a Mini 2 Pit Bulls and a Pork shoulder or butt nearby and 100% SICILIAN
    Long Island N.Y.
  • MO_EgginMO_Eggin Posts: 184
    I started out using the BGE starters, then moved on to the electric starter, and then discovered the joys of fire with a propane torch.  The electric starter works well, especially with some of the slower to light lumps like Wicked Good and Rockwood; the element gets hot, but the plastic handle stays reasonably cool, I'd try to hang the handle on the outer edge of the egg.  You do need to keep an eye on the electric starter to make sure to pull it out the fire really gets going, and you need a safe (fireproof) place to set it down because the element will be glowing red hot.  Propane torch is fun, just need to watch out for the sparky lump. I generally get 3 spots (10, 6 and 2 o'clock) started for all cooks.  
    LBGE, St. Louis, MO
  • SearatSearat Posts: 80
    My approach is with the looflighter. Once there are flames, I run the BGE up to about 350. At this time I drop in the plat setter in and the drip pan with whatever liquid I've added for flavor (apple cider, wine, etc.). This usually drops the BGE back down to 220 - 240. Close the bottom vent to about 1/4 in and the daisy wheel to the hole pattern. Check your smoke (Mine is usually cleared up at this point) and load the goodness.

    Keep playing. I learn something every time I cook.
Sign In or Register to comment.
Click here for Forum Use Guidelines.