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Lighting Charcoal in the BGE

edited 1:53AM in EggHead Forum
Hi all,
I have had my BGE for a little over a year. Last year I lighted it by using the wax starters. I used 1 strip cut into the 5 pieces. This year I tried the same methode and sometimes the charcoal would not light until I added more of the wax starters and lite them. This year I bought a electric starter. I poke it under the charcoal and make sure that the top of the heating element is covered. This of course lights the charcoal lower down in the egg. Once you pull out the starter the charcoal under is glowing and you have to wait until the charcoal on top catches. This seems to consume much more charcoal than necessary. Is there a better way to light the charcoal.[p]Cheers ....Dave

[ul][li]http://I [/ul]


  • MasterMasonMasterMason Posts: 243
    Dave Dunstan,[p]
    MAPP torch.... it is the only way to go. Low and slows I start one spot in the middle. Grilling temps, start it at the 4 corners.... Been using the same cylinder for over a year now.

  • jwirlwindjwirlwind Posts: 319
    Dave Dunstan,
    You will NOT find a better way to light the Egg than this torch. You can find them at most hardware stores. Using propane, the small tank will last over a year. [p][p]Chef Jerry

  • NCEggerNCEgger Posts: 67
    Dave Dunstan,[p]I agree MAPP torch is the way to go. I used to use an electric starter, but I love the torch. Home Depot carries them with a hose, torch and replacement cylinders. I think around $25.
  • tach18ktach18k Posts: 1,607
    Dave Dunstan, yupp a mapp gas torch, one $7 tank can last 2 years

  • chucklschuckls Posts: 399
    Dave Dunstan,[p]Well everyone seems to be saying MAPP torch, here's a link on how to use it...[p]Chuck
    [ul][li]lighting your lump with MAPP gas[/ul]
  • wobinwobin Posts: 211
    Dave Dunstan,
    It takes at least 2 beers [sometimes 3] to get the fire hot enough to cook. 50 cents worth of lump isn't worth worrying about.

  • gmangman Posts: 106
    I'll be the renegade. I use a chimney. After you cook, there's a modest amount of charcoal consumed. I replenish that loss with what I dump into the chimney to get the fire started.[p]I've modified my chimney by putting in a mesh on the bottom that keeps the smaller pieces from falling out. Just be careful if you use it. Apparently I had a small piece that didn't make it into my egg and landed on my wooden cart. I've got a disfiguring scar where it landed. ...I just call it character when someone asks.
  • Clay QClay Q Posts: 4,435
    I'll make that two renegades, been using the chimney for 20 years. I've tried out other methods and I keep going back to the chimney, it's a comfortable and reliable routeen for me. Personally I believe this method is the best way to get a nice spread of hot lump going. I fill the chimney with old lump from the previous fire and there is little or no sparking when starting up.

  • chuckls,
    When you guys say MAPP torch, are you talking the big Benz-O-Matic? I use the little version that uses cigarette lighter gas - Works great. Only costs $10 at Home Depot.

  • Kelly KeefeKelly Keefe Posts: 471
    I don't doubt that it's GOOD, it just smacks of shooting flies with a .45 is all. ;-)[p]Kelly

  • MeinbmwMeinbmw Posts: 157
    Dublin Dawg,
    MAAP is a gas similar to propane but burns much, much hotter. You buy it in a little cylinder at the hardware store the same way you buy propane.[p]So ... when someone says MAAP torch, they are talking about the gas, not the actual torch/head.

  • Dos HuevosDos Huevos Posts: 368
    Kelly Keefe,[p]fishlessman uses a big honkin' weedburner and swears by it. [p]I say any humongous fire generator in a storm, ya know?

  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 21,866
    <p />Kelly Keefe,
    beer bbq, and mapp gas dont go well together. ive melted the top of 2 mapp bottles so far, grabbed them out of the egg and threw them as quickly and as far as possble. someday someone will blow their arm off with one of those torches. yes i know that you shouldnt leave a mapp torch inverted in an egg for long, but sometimes people get distracted and things happen. the weed burner has a trigger that needs to be engaged for there to be 500,000 btus of egg lighting fire, and can take a swarm of mosquitoes down at 10 paces, lights a fire pit almost as fast as a can of start and go. most dangerous thing ive ever seen though was an innocent citronella candle, had one camping one rainy weekend and used it to start a fire with the wet sticks laying around. the candle got pretty hot and a friend of mine decided to dunk it into the lake to put it out. thing exploded 30 feet straight up and ignited a huge pine tree, part of the lake, and some of the equipment we brought camping with us. middle of the woods, 2 am, PANIC[p]they do burn gaskets though i dont really think they are necessary. they will cushion the dome if your in the habit of dropping it, but i can maintain dome temps below 150 without them so i think the gaskets are over rated

  • fishlessman,
    I'm a new egg owner and tried lighting my lump with a propane torch, got the torch lit and adjusted, pointed it down at the lump, got a big flame and then a flameout. Tried it again, same thing. Resorted to a sheet of the local rag. What am I doing wrong?

  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 21,866
    some propane torches will not work inverted, dont know why, but your probably not doing anything wrong. mine came from harbor frieght and cost less than 20 dollars, i opted not to have the spark ignitor and light with a lighter.

  • BabyBoomBBQBabyBoomBBQ Posts: 703
    fishlessman,[p]"someday someone will blow their arm off with one of those torches." [p]I was afraid of that or worse when I was picking one out. So, I opted for a unit with a hose so I can keep the bottle out of the egg and hang off the shelf. I use the good old chimey starter unless windy and dry.
  • fishlessman,
    Oh good, thought it was just me, will take your advice and puchase a new one with the igniter. I do have a chimney lighter that I used in my old Weber, seems like it would be kind of messy with lump charcoal.[p]Thanks

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    they go out upside down. propane also isn't as hot, and you'll be hanging around getting bored as you try to light with the propane. multiple spots, 45 seconds to a minute easy, each.[p]
    MAAP won't go out, and it's hotter/quicker. still
    i light with waxa chunks of a fireplace log. cheap, and i can be mixing a drink while even the MAAP guys are still out there.

    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Dos HuevosDos Huevos Posts: 368
    I've had a mapp for a couple of years and never melted the top, but I don't leave it either. I hold it to light it and turn it off after that. [p]And as for gaskets, I've found them to be more or less optional anyway.

  • stike,
    I use a small propane torch, a small wax log piece and it generally takes 20 seconds or so. 10 minutes later I shut the top and start raising the temp!

  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 21,866
    Dos Huevos,
    you married folks have it made, while getting the egg ready to light, your lovely wife is getting your drink ready for you : ). by the time i get the egg cleaned and ready to light, my beverage is gone, i think i can light the mapp, balance it in the egg, run inside and get my beverage, only to have the phone ring, or someone spark a conversation, then after a while i realize wht i just did and frantically run outside and grab and throw the handgranade. last year i look up on the roof and there is a baby up there balancing on the edge, completely forgot about my handgreanade, got up there got the baby off the roof, and tore into the parents and then remembered to throw that thing, like i said, sometimes things happen

  • ClayQ,[p]I just tried the chimney methods over the weekend. I made a couple of mistakes though:[p]* put too much paper in the chimney. Endded up with lots of ashes/sparks flying around[p]* I walked away while the chimney is going for a long while, by the time I came back, the flame was shooting out of the chimney and some of the lumps in the egg caught on fire too. Made it a bit difficult to spread out the burning lumps. Gotta get some of those Orka gloves...[p]I think it was the hottest fire I've ever build. So, I will stick with it from now on.[p]waruwaru
  • gmangman Posts: 106
    I'm not sure I follow what happened with the citronella candle. Did the wax spill over into the fire?
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 21,866
    there is a little sticker on the bottom of those citronella candles that says not to immerse lit candle in water. this candle litterally exploded sending lit wax into the heavens. wouldnt have believed it if i hadnt seen it. keep them away from the pool. the one we had used to light the fire with was a bucket of hot wax when it was immersed, more than what you would normally have, but it exploded

  • gmangman Posts: 106
    Wow, I didn't know water could do that to them! ...I'm intrigued, but I'll resist the temptation.

  • I have the Bernzomatic Trigger Start Torch Kit, shown at this link:

    On the gas cylinder, it says to disconnect the torch head from the cylinder when not using. This seems to be kind of a pain, and every time I disconnect, I smell a bit of gas, so I am losing some of the contents.

    Does anyone else have this particular model, and if so, do you keep it assembled?
  • MasterMasonMasterMason Posts: 243
    G-man,[p]See what a beer bottle will do in an open firepit with a couple of ounces of beer left in it sometime... Quite impressive
  • Clay QClay Q Posts: 4,435
    Don't use newspaper, use starter cubes or waxed wood chips to start and stay with the chimney because before you know it the lump is going strong and your good to dump it out. In a short time you will find it easy. Just fired up the egg for some smoked beef rump roast, using the chimney it took all of 5 minutes for a perfect start.
    Have fun,

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