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Help! Smoked out pizza & neighbors...

TorontoBradTorontoBrad Posts: 7
edited November -1 in EggHead Forum
Hey guys...

I've had my L egg for a few months now... been loving it (possibly too much)... but last night was a bit of a disaster! Hopefully I can learn from this. Here's the situation:

-Cooked some corn and roasted veg on at 350 indirect (Platesetter legs down) for ~40 mins - no issues. Stayed right on temp the whole time. Corn was amazing.

-Took the corn & veg off, added a 15" pizza stone (non BGE), and opened the lower vent almost max to heat the egg up.... then headed inside to prep the pizza.

-5 mins later and the egg was pouring think blue / white smoke, and the wind was pushing it all around my yard and both neighbours yards- the smoke was just piling out of the thing - a crazy amount... never seen anything like it.

-I took the daisy wheel right off and cranked it wide open (usually when I do this the egg goes to normal heat vapor very quickly). Not this time - just SMOKE and more smoke.

I put the pizza on and it cooked nice, but came out with a nasty acrid taste (wife made sure to comment). The neighbours were not impressed... both sets were having outdoor dinners and I totally smoked them out. I had even planned to do two pies and shut the whole thing down after the first. My worst cook so far.

Anybody know what happened? Is the pizza stone too large? Maybe I cut off too much air my adding the stone then cranking the lower vent open? Should I have closed the lower vent instead of trying to get the fire even hotter? How can I avoid this next time - I'm pizza shy now!

Thanks!

Comments

  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,168
    You got it hot enough to enter "self cleaning oven" mode.....it was burning off all the gunk built up inside. Had you recently done chicken or pork or something else without a drip pan?

    I do this with mine every month or so to get rid of the nasty goop.

    The nasty taste was from the bad stuff burning off the inside of the egg. In that situation you really have no choice but to wait for the smoke to clear.
  • civil eggineercivil eggineer Posts: 1,547
    I apologize for this question ...your not missing a cat are you? :unsure:

    I think the previous poster is correct and you may have gone into self clean mode. Were you using used lump that may have gotten saturated with fat?
  • BacchusBacchus Posts: 6,019
    Lump saturated with fat.......interesting.
    I built a hot fire saturday for pizza's and for the first 45 minutes I could smell the burger drippings burning off from the night before. I had dumped a few inches of new lump on top. So I waited until it cleared.
  • MaineggMainegg Posts: 7,787
    I think you ended up doing a good clean out too LOL I have my plate setter legs up with the grate on it then the pizza stone. If it is a non BGE stone watch for it breaking though. But then if it made it through those temps you might just be fine LOL
  • Thanks everyone... Yes - the cat is fine. He knows to stay away from the egg!

    The thing that surprised me was that it was running perfectly smoke free for a good hour before I turned it up (and added the pizza stone). So you guys think that increase in temp somehow stared burning off the gunk (whereas it wouldn't have burned off at 350?). Do you think the same thing would have happened without the platesetter/pizza stone?
  • KnaufKnauf Posts: 337
    Probably not smoked as much. The gunk on the interior walls of the egg would have burned off. I have had this happen before so now when I'm almost out of lump in the fire box after a cook I throw everything inside the dome and let it burn wide open. Clean as a whistle when finished.
  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    Rod,

    How high do you get the dome and how long for your clean outs?

    Kent
  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    Got to remember he just got through cooking corn...

    Not too likely any food/grease residule in the firebox area.

    GG
  • PhilsGrillPhilsGrill Posts: 2,256
    From his previous 50 cooks...
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    just a general tip re: smoke (whether you figure out the source of last night's problem), if it doesn't smell good coming out of the egg, it won't taste good.

    i like smoke on my pizza, often adding chips during the cook (just a few). but it sounds like you had a ton of smoke coming out. i t think that much smoke (even if it were good smelling) would have been too much.

    a little goes a long way with pizza.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • HaggisHaggis Posts: 998
    In addition to the "self cleaning oven" mode that the other responses mention, its possible that you had some poorly carbonized lump in your mix which, at the lower temps, hadn't caught fire yet. I saw something similar a couple days ago where I'd been cooking at 300 for a while and then cranked it up and got similar smoke, though not as bad as you describe. I pulled the grate off and was able to pick out several lumps that were burning and smoking freely just like wood in a fireplace - with them gone, the smoke disappeared.
  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,168
    I typically get mine around 600. I have the pizza stone on the spider, plate setter, regular grid, ci grid, and dfmt inside.

    sometimes i add the medium grids and dfmt from the medium and mini as well.

    I just did one Saturday night after enchiladas and apple plies and I let it go wide open until the lump was gone - probably 2-3 hours.

    Yesterday afternoon i took the shop vac to it and reloaded and made some steaks and scallops. Inside the egg was very clean.
  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,168
    In my opinion 350 won't burn off much of the grease. It takes 450 or higher to get it really burning off - just like the self-cleaning feature of you indoor oven. All it really does is go to 500* or so and sit there for an hour, burning everything inside.
  • Thanks everyone for the help! Tonight I'm doing a quick steak so after it comes off I think I'll put all the gear inside and just let it run hot till all the lump burns off... then clean it all out and start again. It's probably been about 40 cooks without a sustained high temp burn off.... probably overdue!

    I won't damage that Daisy wheel in there at 600, right?

    Cheers. Brad
  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    Thanks Rod,

    I need to do a clean burn, its been a year now and never cleaned it out other than a couple of Trex moments at normal grid height.

    Kent
  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    You won't damage it but take it off. You can control the high end with the bottom vent.

    DON'T leave the egg with the DTMF off and a wide opening on the bottom vent. The egg can jump to 1100° - 1200° pretty darn quick. No fun at all.

    GG
  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    It usually takes smoking wood to get that much of a long sustaned smoke output. Filling up 3 peoples yards with heavy enough smoke to make them be uncomfortable is one heck of a lot of smoke.

    375° cooking corn is not all that hot but the burning lump I would think is between 800° & a 1000°. Orange glow can easily be at 1180° & dome at 400°... been there, done it and checked it.

    But yup, it could be grease.

    GG
  • JudyFoodieJudyFoodie Posts: 124
    I think you may be on to something. I had a smoking disaster as decribed by TorontoBrad when I tried my first bag of Royal Oak (from our Canadian Tire store). It was burning this horrible white smoke all over the place for about an hour. I'm chalking that up to bad lump.
  • A tire in the bag.. Funny!

    Actually I think I might have figured it out... I remembered I had left the cover off the Egg the previous night b/c it started pouring... I'm thinking a bit of rain might have got in through the thermometer hole. So, once I cranked up the heat wet lump at the front edge probably started smoldering and smoking! I bet that was the problem, not so much grease buildup. Last night I lit it up again - same lump (with some new added) and it didn't smoke at all - not more than normal anyway. So I think it might have just been a bit of water. Hope so anyway!
    Cheers,
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