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Help for a new guy

edited November -1 in EggHead Forum
I am getting my first egg in a couple weeks and have a couple questions. After looking over this board for the past couple weeks I'm excited but a little intimidated. The only thing I've ever used in the past is a gas grill so all of the different attachments and techniques are a little overwhelming at this point but the pictures and info everyone posts are great motivation.

1. What type of fire starter should I use?
2. I've seen where people recommend not cooking at high heat at first to avoid burning up the gasket. How will I know when it's ok to fire up the heat to 600 or more? Thanks.

Comments

  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,168
    NUMAN,[p]Firestarters are easy. I used to be a oil and napkin guy, and it worked great, and was super cheap. I have since moved up to the weed burner - only because I love toys.[p]I am not convinced that the gasket issue has anything to do with "curing time". As long as your seal is tight and you don't have any overlap between the dome and the base, you shouldn't have problems. To play it safe, 4-5 cooks under 400* should suffice.[p]BurnerONSmall.jpg
  • Beanie-BeanBeanie-Bean Posts: 3,092
    NUMAN,[p]I did chicken parts and some TRex steaks for my first cook, and my gasket is still OK, no leaking either.[p]I think that one of the main points I took away from all the pre-purchase homework reading I did was to "burp" the egg when doing high-temp cooks, else the possible backdraft could roast the gasket.[p]Congratulations on your decision to pick up the BGE.[p]-Mike[p]
  • NUMAN,
    Most things you cook on the Egg will never require 600 degree heat. Even if you sear a piece of meat, you won't need 600 degrees. 500 maybe 550 tops with the dome closed. I have used my Egg for almost 6 years and still have the original gasket and NO Leaks. Taking your Egg to 800 degrees and it is easy to do is a no brainer. [p]MC Jerry

  • Jwirlwind,
    By the way, Fidel in the next picture is showing you the best and safest way to start the Egg, bar none including mapp gas which puts you in the Egg to light it. [p]http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=91037[p]This is one site to see the weed burner. Harbor freight. [p]MC Jerry

  • NUMAN, I have tried fire starter cubes , electric starter, charcoal chimney, but the master is the Mapp torch. Some like the weed burner which is even faster, but that is a little too Tim Taylor for me (although there is nothing wrong with that).
  • Zee,
    The biggest advantage of the weedburner is keeping your arms away from the sparking lump and the longer lasting propane. To each his own. Go with the pro's, weedburner. [p]MC Jerry

  • Fidel,[p]I NEED a weed burner![p]Ed
  • NUMAN,
    I've used started cubes, mapp gas, electric starter, and lately I've been using the paper towel with cooking oil. I think this is a really easy and relaxing way to start a fire. I'll kind of make a hole in the charcoal and put a wad of oily paper towel in the hole. I'll stack a chimney of charcoal around it like a crayfish hole and light the paper towel with the mapp gas. Works great. [p]Ed

  • NUMAN,[p]Relax. The Egg is a chimney with charcoal inside and vents at the top and the bottom. It's easy to use: and as this board proves, can be as complicated as you want it to be. Start easy and have fun.[p]You can light it any way you want. I started by using my old chimney and dumping lit coals in the Egg: worked fine. These days I'm in the paper towel-and-oil camp: easy, cheap, and I like how homegrown it is. See link below.
    [ul][li]Paper towel starters[/ul]
  • Thanks, I think I'll start with the oil & paper towel trick. It sounds easy enough for a beginner.

  • Egginator, now THAT was funny. The best part was a long setup, and then WHAM!!!
  • dhuffjrdhuffjr Posts: 3,182
    NUMAN,
    Never tried it but I know it works. I'm not fond of the starter cub method because of the yucky smoke they can produce at first. I used to use an electric starter but the weenie in me didn't like using it in the rain so I graduated to propane.[p]A propane torch is about as good as it gets. I don't have a weed burner just a small propane tank and pushbutton starting torch.

  • NUMAN,
    Switching from gas to lump was not easy for me. I enjoyed the challenge, but was sure I was a moron because according to everything I read, any idiot could cook the best food they ever had with their eyes closed. Now don't get me wrong, everyone on this board was (and is) extremely helpful toward me and helped me "get the training wheels off". It just wasn't a no-brainer which is what I was expecting. My fault.[p]a couple things to note:[p]Plan to allow your fire to burn for 20 - 30 minutes before you cook on it.(allows the VOCs to burn off) The smoke will burn clear when the fire's burning clean.[p]Do not leave your Egg unattended with the chimney and draft door wide open. Good way to get your fire too hot and melt the gasket.[p]I don't use the daisy wheel for cooks over 350. You can leave the top wide open and control temp using only the draft door.[p]Buy or make a raised grid. You'll need it for spatchcock chicken and/or cooking thighs, wings, drumsticks.[p]When my Egg was new, I used to fire it up to see how hot I could get it. The time I melted my gasket is when I left it unattended for a long time with the vents wide open for probably close to 20 - 30 minutes. Up until then I was ok with high heat for short periods of time-like to sear a steak.[p]There are lots of things you can do on the egg and lot's of different ways to do it. Get used to cooking on lump before you start experimenting with smoke. Limit your variables.[p]I used to think I knew how to use a grill before I got the Egg - WRONG. You haven't grilled UNTIL you've cooked on an Egg. I cook all sorts of stuff I either couldn't or wouldn't try on the gasser. I even started cooking with a wok on it with the great advice I've got from this forum![p]Have fun and don't worry if you make any mistakes.[p]BTW- I've had the Egg over a year and have cooked Bread, Pies, Pizza, chicken, roasts, veggies, fish, you name it - but I still can't grill sliced potatoes without ruining them.

  • Flashback Bob, Thanks!! Great Tips!---J

  • Flashback Bob,
    Thanks for the great information.

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