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Starters

Hugh Does CueHugh Does Cue Posts: 47
edited 8:15AM in EggHead Forum
Have been lurking the forum for a few weeks hoping somebody else would begin this chat. Nada. Here goes...


Electric starters vs those little plastic packs of resin vs chimney vs vs the wax sawdust stuff vs some other method.


What does everybody use to get their eggs going?

Does it depend on the type of fire you need or if it is for a quick, hot grill, or a long slow smoke.

I've gone through at least 3 electric starters in the last year. sure they are easy, but if left in a moment too long, they tend to get wrecked quick. How long do you leave them in - till the first flames start to show?

Recently found a pack of 48 of those white wax/resin starters for $1.9 at Princess Auto. Smell like burning tires for the first 10 seconds, but seem to do the trick otherwise. Am concerned about the chemicles. Any other users of this style?

Didn't like the smell or expense of the BGEwaxy compressed sawdust stuff.

Have never used a chimney. They look easy enough, but am weighing yet another twenty dollar Egg toy vs a visit to the butcher's.

Any comments?

Comments

  • dhuffjrdhuffjr Posts: 3,182
    A chimney is an option. I've never used one but it seems to me for a low and slow cook that your starting with too much lump burning too hot.

    The key to all of those parafin starters is to let it burn up completely because they do put out a thick white smoke that will not enhance your food in a good way.

    Map or propane is the best option in my book.

    I've got some of that green alcohol gel/goo that I use sometimes and have taught the wife how to use because she doesn't like fooling around with the gas starter method.

    I think it was stike that posted about a twisted paper towel dipped in cooking oil. I've done that and it works too.

    Electric starters I'd pull as soon as you've got red hot lump. Maybe move it to another location for a few minutes if you like. Once you've got flames your on the path to ruin for that starter.
  • proudpapa56proudpapa56 Posts: 23
    Morning,
    I've gotten pretty fond of the Weber fire starting cubes. Not smokey or smelly.
  • bigarmsbigarms Posts: 136
    I have used them all....the best IMHO is a MAPP torch.

    Hit it for about 30 seconds in 2 spots and walk away.
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 21,872
    weed burner is my choice, if you have a bottle from an old propane grill your half way there, a bottle will last several years and the torch will last for years and years, mines maybe 6 or 7 years now on the origional 40 pound tank

    http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=91033
  • lowercasebilllowercasebill Posts: 5,218
    http://www.flameengineering.com/VT3-30C.html

    use this in the garden, to start the egg and to roast red peppers. 500,000 btu's sounds like a jet engine.
  • bigarmsbigarms Posts: 136
    Now that would work quickly
  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    I think I have use them all.

    For speed of lighting, the weed burner which I lovingly call the Flame Thrower. One can get their egg lit and up to temp in less than 20 seconds. When it is cold this is the only way I light the egg. See fishlessman's post for a great weed burner at a good price.

    When I don't use the weed burner I go between the MAPP or napkin & oil. Both will get the egg to temp about the same time. Both are easy.

    Chimney starter is good, but by the time you get the lump burning in the chimney starter and spread onto the egg it is just a quick to light the egg. One thing about the chimney starter is you have a nice even light over the entire surface of the egg, that is is you spread the lump rather than just dump in one spot. This works well for both low and slow and hot grilling.

    MAPP will cause a lot of sparks which have a tendency to burn small holes in shirts and put marks in tables or egg mates.

    Most of the time when it is warm I use oil & napkin.

    If I use starter cubes, which is almost never, once the lump is going I wll remove the remainder of the cube from the egg.

    GG
  • RhumAndJerkRhumAndJerk Posts: 1,506
    Add another vote for MAPP Gas.
    I think it is the most cost effective, since the tanks seems to last for a year or more.
    As stated below, hit the lump in a couple of places and walk away. It is just that easy.

    Hope this helps,
    RhumAndJerk
  • lowercasebilllowercasebill Posts: 5,218
    it does and i also found a use for the 'pigtail meat flipper' i put it in a red pepper and hold it in the torch flame. roasted red pepper in 30 seconds :ohmy:
  • EmandM'sDadEmandM'sDad Posts: 648
    I use MAPP only. Bought a inexpensive (about19.99) torch from the hardware store 2 years ago. I'm still on my first bottle of gas. Only takes 15 seconds in each of 3 placers... close the dome and let it go. ready to cook in 10 minutes.
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 28,743
    I liked the gel but it is hard to find and expensive. I use mapp and a shop vac with the hose in the exhaust if I'm in a hurry.

    Steve

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • FearlessGrillFearlessGrill Posts: 695
    Hugh,

    I went through the same thoughts when I first bought my egg. I tried a number of methods, and while I have to admit that there is something satisfying about starting the fire with a blowtorch, flamethrower, C4, or whatever other methods various folks advocate, I've found a simple, economic solution, which I'm sure someone will say is blasphemous, but I cook on my Egg at least a few times a week and have never had an issue ...

    1) Put lump charcoal in the Egg
    2) Using the convenient paper that was holding the lump, (the bag) rip a decent size piece off. Make sure the paper is dry, though if the bag is wet, the lump likely is too. On a really humid day, you might want to grab an old paper supermarket bag or a piece of newspaper that has been in the air conditioning instead.
    3) Dig a hole in the center of the lump, wad the paper up a bit, put it in the hole, and partially cover it with some of the lump you just moved aside.
    4) Using a wooden kitchen match, light the paper in a few spots. Drop the match in.
    5) As soon as the paper catches well, close the lid, with the top and bottom vents fully open.
    6) The fire should be up within a few minutes. Let it burn until the smoke clears, and then set the Egg to your desired temperature.

    This method works great, 'recycles' those pesky bags, doesn't cost anything, leave behind any chemicals, or cause your neighbors to call the fire department. The burning paper does generate a bit of ash, but not enough to cause any issues, at least for me.

    Hope this is helpful,

    -John
  • BuckdodgerBuckdodger Posts: 948
    I use Thermos Sure 2 Burn starters got 'em at Lowes or HomeDepot. 24 in a pack around 5 bucks. (Those 2 stores are next door to each other ... the reason I can't remember.)
    I use 3 at a time in a triangle...the are odorless and get things going in the egg pretty fast.
    Bob
    Alex City, Al

    Alexander City,Al
  • Ross in VenturaRoss in Ventura Posts: 7,220
    Hugh,
    I use MAPPS I like it the best.
    Ross
  • eatbbqeatbbq Posts: 81
    I like the weed burner that I got, about $15.00 I think, I just buy the small propane tank for $4.00 and it lasts quite awhile. It is about 1/3rd the cost of MAPP, but since MAPP is hotter it may last longer as you may not have to let it burn as long. I haven't tried MAPP so I don't know. The weed burner is pleanty hot and has a huge flame, I only take about 30-45 seconds of burning to get a great start to the lump. I did not like the starter cubes or other slow starting ways as it made too much smoke which ofter blew over to my neighbour's.
  • "Sparky""Sparky" Posts: 6,024
    I havn't tried mapp yet,but the little propane torch I have works well.I also always keep starter cubes handy just in case I run out of propane ;)

    006-1.jpg

    007-1.jpg
  • Big Easy EggBig Easy Egg Posts: 191
    WileCoyote posted a method using 91% rubbing alchohol on 5/19/2008 that is interesting
  • EgginDawgEgginDawg Posts: 747
    weeks back and bought a MAPP. I have used the cubes and the BGE sawdust deals and MAPP is by far better and quicker for me. Plus it's kinda fun playing with the torch :laugh:
    I've never had any issues with the MAPP sparking too bad, just have to be a little patient and observant.
  • Hungry JoeHungry Joe Posts: 1,422
    It does look quick for starting your egg, but I would rather use the egg to roast peppers.
  • Hungry JoeHungry Joe Posts: 1,422
    The mapp torch is impressive. I recommend it.
  • Hungry JoeHungry Joe Posts: 1,422
    The mapp torch is impressive. I recommend it.
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