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Probably a dumb question

martinhd28martinhd28 Posts: 37
edited April 2014 in EggHead Forum
Hi there - total noob question here.   When lighting, I'm using the starter cubes lit in a couple of places under a pile of lump.  This produces a lot of flame. My question is - do I wait until the flames die down completely (and the coals are just red) before I close the dome?

Hope everyone has some good Easter cooking plans this weekend - I'm trying steaks tonight for the first time. 
Toronto, ON


  • buzd504buzd504 Posts: 1,701
    edited April 2014
    You just need to make sure the coals themselves are lit and the fire isn't coming from the cube that is still burning.

    The goal is to heat the inside of the grill enough to start convection, which will make the fire spread.  The better the coals are lit before you close the dome, the quicker this will happen.
  • Not a dumb question at all. I usually give it 5-10 minutes and then close the dome. If it's a really windy day I will close the dome as soon as I light. I use a couple of pieces of paper towel with a little cooking oil.

    Oh, welcome to the lifestyle!
    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
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 8,266
    Make sure the cubes are fully consumed.  If low&slow I will shut the dome after around a grapefruit sized amount of lump is burning.  Then when I get to around 50*F of desired temp adjust the lower vent and DFMT to dial it in.
    And welcome aboard.  Enjoy the journey!
    Louisville;  L & S BGEs 
    Pit Barrel Cooker
  • jrf316jrf316 Posts: 55
    i just switched over to paper towel method.  I like it.  I close 5 to 10 mins after.
    Visca Barca
    Mes Que Un Club

  • JRWhiteeJRWhitee Posts: 2,852
    I use the paper towel method as well, and close after about 10 minutes as well.

    Large BGE 2006, Mini Max 2014
    Green Man Group cooking team.
    Johns Creek, Georgia
  • corey24corey24 Posts: 331
    MAPP will wonder then while you ever used any of that other stuff.  But yes, you need to wait until the cube has completely burned out.

    XL Egg Owner Since Dec 2013 - Louisiana

  • horsefleshhorseflesh Posts: 204
    One advantage to the torch or electric starters is that you can more easily control how big the fire will be. When using cubes or paper towels, I often found it difficult to keep the fire small. 

    If I am smoking salmon, I want the temperature as low as I can get... I will start about a palm-full of fuel and fiddle with the vents to keep it under control. If I am doing a high-temperature sear, I start several larger spots and open 'er up.

  • johnmitchelljohnmitchell Posts: 2,994
    Welcome Aboard...You are in for a great time and esp. all the wisdom from the members of the forum...No question is stupid here..Unless you are looking for a "T shirt" to buy !!!
    Greensboro North Carolina
    When in doubt Accelerate....
  • SmokeyPittSmokeyPitt Posts: 7,888
    edited April 2014
    When using the paraffin starters I like to make sure they are out completely.  Sometimes if you close the dome they will smoke and smolder and smell funky.  

    Which came first the chicken or the egg?  I egged the chicken and then I ate his leg. 

  • ShiffShiff Posts: 1,436
    I close the lid after about a minute of starting the fire so that the draft will start and spread the fire properly.  I don't use the paraffin starters due to their smell.

    I start my charcoal using 91% alcohol purchased at Walmart. I use a pencil to poke a tiny hole in the seal and then  squirt a little alcohol in 3 places in a circle about 4 inches in from the outside rim of the charcoal. Then a little squirt in the center.  Wait a few seconds then toss in a match.

    Alcohol burns clean and quickly starts the charcoal. It is very safe as long as you stand back a little when dropping in the match.  The warmer the day, the more  it evaporates before lighting and can cause a flash.  In the winter, it doesn't evaporate and I actually have to hold the match at the squirt points.
    Barry Lancaster, PA
  • Philly35Philly35 Posts: 657
    Paper towel method here too. If you haven't tried it yet, you should. It FREAKIN ROCKS!
  • OrthobearOrthobear Posts: 84
    I use lighter cubes too. Don't worry about the flames. Like the other guys are saying, just make sure the cubes light up some of the lump, then close the lid. At that point I still have both vents wide open and start adjusting when the dome temp reads close to 100 degrees from my target temp. If I'm doing a low and slow I wait until some of the lump is lit, then close the lid and hook up my digi Q.
    Houston, TX
  • Dulax43Dulax43 Posts: 18
    I use lighter sticks and wait until the flame is gone and I see the soft glow of electric lump...then I close the lid and keep both vents wide open.  I haven't had a problem yet with reaching any temp and allows me to suck down a tanqueray and tonic before I need close the lid.

    Champlin, MN

    LBGE - August, 2013

  • MickeyMickey Posts: 16,898
    Close it as soon as I light it. Let it draw.
    Salado TX Egg Family: 2 Large and a very well used Mini, just added a Mini Max (I'm good for now). 

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