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How do you start your egg?

QBabeQBabe Posts: 2,275
edited 12:06PM in EggHead Forum
One of the posts below has me wondering...how does everyone start their egg? I use a starter cube, open the daisy and bottom vent fully and close the lid and have never had any problem with fires not starting...[p]What I wondered is do many of you leave the dome OPEN when lighting? I honestly have never thought of doing that since my understanding of the workings of the egg was that it drafts from the chimney and vent like a fireplace. Also, I would think that it would fry gaskets that way pretty easily.[p]Just curious,
QBabe
:~)

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Comments

  • WessBWessB Posts: 6,937
    QBabe,
    I use either weber cubes, or the sawdust kind, and occaisionally I use a torch. I always close the lid once the starter is burning, with no top on and bottom vent wide open. In the past I have lit from the bottom for high temp cooks and top for low temp, but lately it has all been just from the top of the lump.[p]Wess

  • QBabe,
    i use mapp torch. . .if i'm doing a lo and slo, i light one spot near the back wall of the firebox (the fire then moves itself around the egg over the course of many hours). .. if i want higher temps, i will light spots in 2 or 3 places. ..then i close the lid. .. i then close the dome with no daisy wheel. ..i put the daisy wheel on once i get to the temps i want. .. ..

  • Chef WilChef Wil Posts: 702
    Hi QBabe, if I am doing something slow, I use the Mapp for a good start in the center, If I am cooking in the 350 plus range, I use the green gel and start in about 6 or 8 different spots for an even start up.

  • Chef WilChef Wil Posts: 702
    sorry, forgot to mention, bottom and daisey open and dome closed, start tweaking within 30 degrees of target temp.
  • BordelloBordello Posts: 5,926
    QBabe,
    This works best for me. LOL
    Guess I'm the odd ball here, I use either a torch or weber cube in the center on top of the lump. Bottom vent fully open and I leave the dome up until the cube burns out, then close the lid.[p]I know some will put the cube in the bottom thru the vent but when I have tried that it takes about 30 min or more to get it going.[p]Have a great weekend,
    New Bob

  • QBabe,
    I will guess that I am in the minority, but I use an electric starter. I leave the lid open, bottom open also. Up here in the great snowcovered North, we always seem to have a breeze year-round. By the time I dump a bit more lump/chunk in, plug the electric in, put everything away, grab a beverage or two, carry out the necessities/tools, it's time to unplug already. It's always less than five minutes that it's ever plugged in. Then I proceed to close the lid & wait for the temp to come up. As for the starters themselves, the ones that are available at the BGE supply places, they're not worth it. They are bent/angled so they sit up the handl rests on the egg lip. However, they are twice as much as the ones that are sold at Home Depot & last the same amount of time for me--about a year. I did go through two this year. If I had to estimate, I would guess that I get about 100-150 starts out of one before the ceramimc cracks off of it & it opens up & is no longer functional.
    I'm sure this is more information than you really wanted. . . just thought I would chime in my experiences.

  • QBabe,[p]
    Folks periodically ask me..."Stump..how do YOU start YOUR egg".. folks always seem to be interested in how the Stump does this or that..and they is sometimes asking for advice for all sorts of things..I have no idea why..I mean once my neighbor done asked me which chinese restaurant to eat at..like the Stump knows better than most about these things..so what did I tell him...I said "Man..you don't wanna go to the one in town here..cause last time..when we was all done eatin and we was reading our fortune cookies..mine done said "I pee'd in the wonton soup"..course I was kiddin..but I think maybe this guy believed me..and now he drives prolly fifteen, maybe twenty minutes longer than he needs to....just cause he's fraid of bad tastin soup..I mean..man..don't order the darned soup..know what I mean?[p]..anyway..I done wrote up.. a story bout what I use to light the egg..and since folks periodically ask this question..I just repost when necessary.[p]
    I couldn't find any fire starters in my neck of the woods either. What I ended up doing may not work for everybody.[p]One night we was all out on the front porch, momma with her 2 dollah cigar and shiny spitoon, poppa with his corn cob pipe, gramma with her giant knitting
    needles (gramma was knittin me a sweater, I had saved up about a years worth of belly button lint..most folks can get enough lint for a sweater in bout 6 months,
    but since we didn't wear shirts all that much..took us bout a year..that means we each got a new sweater every year..and if'n you timed it right, that sweater would
    be ready just in time for the cold months..momma said was a good thing gramma can knit, cause the mercantile don't sell sweaters with such big ol head holes like
    we'd need, gramma almost never complained, even with her severe arthritis..only time I hear her complain is when it was time to knit Beulahs sweater. I think
    there was 2 reasons she complained, one was the size of the sweater itself...Beulah is one big thing..when you go huntin with her, you always worried there'd be
    sasquatch sightins and you'd be running for your life..and the second reason is because that lint smelled somethin awful..gramma swears Beulah sleeps with her
    nasty ol smelly big toe tucked into her belly button. We was all afraid to go in and check on Beulah at night and see, so we took grammas word on that one).[p]So we were out there sitting on the porch listinen to some ol Woody Guthrie tunes..grammas knittin, and mommas spittin, keeping in tune..when I looked over to
    see that momma was slowly startin to nod off..tonight was greasy crusty cheeseburger night and momma was a washing that down with her shine like you read
    about...so was no wonder she was a bit tired. I must looked over just at the right moment, cause mommas giant cranium had nodded down and her cigar, at this
    point quite moist at one end, and flaming red at the other, had touched her whiskers and started a small fire rather quickly. I had to think fast and unfortunately for
    momma, only thing I could think to do was splash that spitoon water on her to put the flames out. It worked like you read about, but momma was not too happy,
    though grampa and poppa sure did some serious guffaw belly laughin at that.[p]Anyway, after seein how fast that there beard of mommas caught fire, I got to thinkin maybe I could use it to start the egg. The only way this would work is if I
    was to get some of that beard the same night we had the cheeseburgers again..poppa says all things happen for a reason, and I suppose I dun found the reason
    momma drooled so much when she ate. Next time we had them greasy cheeseburgers, I waited for momma to fall asleep and crept into mommas room (this is the
    night I came up with more names to call poppa..Sir SnoresAlot..and Cap'n ButtTrumpet..was all I could do to not laugh..but I suppose with the noise that was
    already in that room, a little laughin woulda gone unnoticed)I crept over to momma and snipped off as much of her beard as I dared take (not wantin momma to
    notice in the morning and get suspicious). I used that there beard trimmins to light the egg the next night, and it sure did work like a champ, best darn fire started
    I've ever used, It burns hot and fast, and gets that lump caught like you read about. I am a bit worried that mommas face could be such a fire hazard, but I figured
    since I'd be sneakin in there periodically to trim it, maybe I'm doing her a service. I asked grampa bout this, and he said I'm prolly doin poppa a service to, as
    mommas beard could prolly tickle at times...grampa sure did laugh at that.[p]Now I keep this ol wooden box of mommas beard trimmins under my bed, it seems to work and it's a free endless supply. I know not everybody is as lucky as I
    am, and some folks gotta go buy their firestarter..but if'n you can do what I do, you surely won't be sorry.[p]StumpBaby[p]

  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 20,485
    QBabe,
    if i am cooking low and slow i light on the rear of the egg, close the dome with bottom vent half open and daisy slide fully open. will start to close bottom vent as i reach temp. for searing temp i open the bottom vent fully and take the daisy off with dome closed. for this i light in the center. summers i light with mapp torch, the rest of the year with nut coal from my heating system.

  • RhumAndJerkRhumAndJerk Posts: 1,506
    QBabe,
    Chalk me up on the MAPP Torch. It is the simplest and quickest method to get new and old lump burning.
    After owning his egg for one month, my father purchased a MAPP Torch.[p]Also, I leave the dome closed. I feel that it is almost impossible to cool an egg down. Therefore, it easier to slowly walk the temperature into your cooking temp by adjusting the openings as needed. I leave the bottom vent open and the top off until I am with in 50 degrees, then I start to adjust to cooking temp.[p]Hope This Helps,
    RhumAndJerk[p]

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    QBabe,
    doctor cheap, here.[p]i've tried those starter match-stick deals (break it in fours, use three to light the egg in a triangle). they work GREAT.[p]used newspaper in a pinch, either throught the LOWER vent under the grate or within the firebox). works well, actually, but too much ash. i suppose i could use a chimney.[p]i spied a cheap 6 pound firelog (like a duraflame) for 1.99 at a grocery store and figured they are the same thing as starter blocks only VASTLY more economical. so i chopped that up and am going to use it til it runs out. there's a lot of fuel in those, so it gives a great flame and catches the lump purty quickly.[p]haven't tried the green space goo, or a mapp.[p]basically trying to keep it simple with no extra equipment.

    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • QBabe,
    Anyone that has not tried the often suggested method here on the forum of lighting a full load of lump for a long cook on the top of the lump and if your doing a short (hot) cook dig down into the the lump to light it and put some lump back on the starter, needs to try it because it absolutely works. Either way the top / bottom vents need to be open fully (take Mrs Daisy off) till you have a fire you know is going good, then start working it toward your desired temp , but for sure don't make the mistake I use to make all the time which was thinking that you should always bring it up to 750 or so then back it down to the temp, which was a stupid waste of lump and killed all chances of long cooks. I use the green gel now and it works so good I plan to buy the big bottle instead of the individual packages next time.

  • JSlotJSlot Posts: 1,218
    GreenHeat Gel in 3 spots. Leave top open 5 minutes and then close top with both dampers wide open. Close dampers as Egg approaches desired cooking temp.[p]Frosty Ones!
    Jim

  • SmokeySmokey Posts: 2,468
    QBabe,[p]Been usint the green gel lately as a starter. I remove the daisy after lighting the gel, replacing it after the egg reaches about 150 (I have forgottedn a time or two and the egg has gone nuclear)!

  • BlueSmokeBlueSmoke Posts: 1,678
    QBabe,
    I use MAPP. Lower vent wide open, old lump stirred to get rid of ashes, new lump poured right on top. Start at rear center and close the dome. I don't close the vent or put on Ms. Daisy till I'm 25 to 30 degrees below target for low temps. For high temps I don't bother with the vent or top till it's time to shut down.[p]Ken

  • QBabe,[p]i use the MAPP torch, but I am also a closet pyromaniac.
  • wdanwdan Posts: 261
    RhumAndJerk,
    Ditto here...both with the MAPP as well as the venting scheme. The only exception for me is I still use a starter cube or the green stuff to light off my low and slow's.

  • QBabe,
    I blast three spots (10 seconds each) from above with my MAPP gas torch. Then I close the dome leaving the cap off and the bottom vent fully open. I start to regulate the draft when the temperature gets to within about 50° of target.[p]For low and slow cooks I blast only a single spot (in the center) and ramp it up to target more slowly by restricting the vents a little.[p]Fireworks are banned in Georgia (stupid law - universally ignored) - so we get a kick out of the showers of sparks when using the torch.

  • QBabe,
    Well, lighting the egg for me is always a little different, each and every time. Usually it involves me day dreaming at work about what I will be cooking for dinner. When I get home I will inevitably find out that I or the Missus South O forgot to pull whatever it was that I was gonna cook out of the freezer. [p]This of course will force an impromptu run to the store where I will manage to pick up whatever we had planned on as well as several other items that we hadn’t even considered (we refer to this as Plan B). If the meal was to be a whole chicken, we will end up with burgers, brats, mushrooms, steaks, hotdogs and, if I remember, the chicken.[p]Once back home the foods will be trimmed, marinated, rubbed and otherwise prepped by myself and my daughters. This is always done under the ever watchful eyes of our mutt, who endeavors to help as well, whether we want him to or not.[p]Next, the girls, mutt and I will head out to the deck to light the egg. The lower vent is open to it’s widest position and the rain cap removed. About this time, the neighbor will come out and sit in his chair and watch. The coals from the previous cook will be stirred and some of the ashes removed from the bottom. It’s about this time that I realize that I need to add some more charcoal.[p]The eldest offspring will be sent out to the garage to fetch some. The mutt and neighbor will watch her prance off and quickly return dreadful news... No more lump left. This will prompt a search of epic proportions, because I just know that we have some somewhere. Each and every room of the house will be scanned. About the time that I am checking my bedroom, my wife will make some comment about how there had better not be any charcoal in there. Not wanting to admit defeat, I will feign ignorance of her comment and simply state that we must be out.[p]20 minutes later when I have returned from the store with a new bag (Plan C), we re-adjourn to the deck. Rain cap is still off, lower vent wide open, ashes removed and new lump added. We’re almost ready to cook. First we get the torch and hope that the tank isn’t empty. It is and I can hear the neighbor giggling. For some reason I am some sort of entertainment for him.[p]Anyways, we move on to plan D before my wife realizes just how unprepared I really am, because a third trip to the store is outta the question. I send the girls in to find some of the green gel stuff. Naturally, were out. This will be broadcast to me outside where I am trying not to make eye contact with the neighbor by throwing a ball around with the mutt.[p]Upon hearing this news however, the wife will poke her purdy little head out the back door and ask why I am looking for the green gel and not using the torch. I will calmly state that using the torch every time is boring and that I needed a little change. This will normally get a little chuckle out of the neighbor and a worried look from the wife. For some reason, every time the neighbor laughs, my wife gets that worried look. Kind of like the time that I invented idiot detector that kept going off every time I got near it. The neighbor had a real hoot about that but I digress. [p]Now we are on to plan E. Starter cubes. They are kept in the “junk drawer” in the kitchen. Now, my wife already had that worried look on her face, so I decide not to announce what I am looking for. No sense in causing her any undo stress dontcha know. I will casually wonder into the kitchen for a drink and check for them on my way out. In case you didn’t see it coming, we’re out. Now on to plan F.[p]Plan F never fails. Well almost never. It’s simply a charcoal chimney filled with lump. Newspaper will go underneath it while it sits atop the firebox full of lump. By the time that the chimney is going good, the lump underneath it is burning as well. I dump it out and am just about ready to cook. The only time this doesn’t work is on Mondays when the recycle goes out and I don’t have any newspapers. I try not to cook on the egg on Mondays anymore because one time I ran out of letters for the next plan.[p]Usually by the time that I am down to plan F (or further), both the mutt and the neighbor have left. It’s about this time that success strikes and no one is there to see it. The top will be left off and the vent wide open until I start to get near my target temp. At that point I use a kind of Zen approach to adjusting the lower vent and the daisy wheel.[p]There is some good that comes from these minor set backs though. Both of my girls were able to recite the alphabet before any of their peers... And the food is always awesome. Seeing my family chow down like there is no tomorrow is always a good thing. My wife says it’s because dinner was three hours late but I know better.[p]Matt.

  • TRexTRex Posts: 2,709
    QBabe,[p]I fill my firebox with lump to the bottom of the fire ring, using bigger pieces first then smaller ones to fill in the gaps, then I light with a MAPP torch in several spots, for about 45 seconds per spot. I leave the bottom door wide open AND the dome open, until I see that a good fire is going (some glowing coals) - then I know that there's enough heat being produced to give me a nice draft, so I close the dome, and leave the daisy wheel off or on, adjusting as necessary, and adjust the bottom vent as necessary, depending on what cooking temp I'm shooting for.[p]For a low 'n slow, I decrease the time I leave the dome open at first so that I can creep up to a lower set point dome temp.[p]That's it in a nutshell - I was going to go into more elaborate detail, but then I would have gotten carried away.[p]TRex
  • South O,
    I don't know how anyone could ever come as close to exactly duplicating what goes on with me at my house on just about everything and not just the BGE.

  • FatDogFatDog Posts: 164
    South O,
    Ditto ... except for the part about the mutt!

  • FatDogFatDog Posts: 164
    QBabe,
    I guess that being an old hippie type and the fact that I teach high schoolers all day have made me take a more introspective path to lump lighting. My needs are simple and, therefore, my methods are simple. After I fluf the left over lump to get rid of the ash and dust, I refill with fresh lump squeeze on a bit of green goo in one spot for low/slow, three spots for hot and fast. After the match,the lid comes down with the bottom vent open and the rain cap off. With my remote thermo set for about 50 degrees shy of my target, I retire to the kitchen for some last minute prep work and a CAB (cold adult beverage). When the temp hits the getting-near-ready mark, I make the necessary adjustments (I agree with the zen comment posted earlier) and let the cooking begin. May not be quick but is always enjoyable.

  • QBabe,
    I use an electric starter. I wired my table with a GFI receptacle. My table is on the back patio with electric hookup nearby. I first stir the old lump then put in the starter and pour new lump on top. I open the bottom vent all the way and leave the top open until I get some flames going. Generally I might shift the starter around a little about half way through to get a more even fire. The time I leave the starter going depends on the type of temps I want. For lower cooking temps I will pull the starter out sooner. After I pull the starter out, I generally give the charcoal a little stir to even the fire out. Put in the grate, close the top, and adjust the top and bottom vents. After the grate has been in the heat for a while, I give the grate a few swipes with a wire brush. Then do some final vent adjustments and wait for my desired temp.[p]I get my starters generally at Home Depot for about $9. I try to keep a spare on hand because they break down after a while. Sometimes they last 6 months and this last one lasted almost 2 years. I also keep some BGE fire starters on hand for back-up.

  • SethSeth Posts: 79
    QBabe,
    Just like you, but with the green goop or starter cubes.
    Seth

  • JulieJulie Posts: 133
    QBabe,
    I use 2-3 fire starters cubes with the bottom vent wide open and nothing on the top, wait 10-15 minutes, and grill or smoke. I have also used the electric lighter with great success, but the thought of having to drag the extention from downstairs to the upstairs deck and then reversing the process along with where to put the hot electric light so the kids don't brand themselves after I take it out of the BGE has made me put that away until my youngest (now 5) gets a little bigger.
    Julie

  • TRex,[p]Amen Brother, I think I'm the one that started this debate by accident in a prior post. I don't leave the lid open forever, just long enough for the starter flames to die out and for me to know for sure that all 3 or 4 spots I attempted to light lit. I have been known to see an area that didn't take off the first time and hit it again with some more GreenHeat. As I said below, once I'm confident this dog will hunt I close the lid and start watch'n the thermostat.[p]Marty

  • QBabeQBabe Posts: 2,275
    LAD,[p]I hope you didn't take offense at my asking...I wasn't criticizing at all...just curious, since I'd never done it that way. It was interesting to see all the different starter fuels, methods and locations...[p]Thanks for sparking my interest and providing the incentive for a thread that generated so many responses!
    Tonia
    :~)

  • QBabe, I used a starter funnel for the first year, then tried mapp gas after seeing so many good comments about it here. I am all mapp gas now, hit the coals with it two or three spots for 15 seconds, wide open bottom vent, remove daisy top , then start reducing airflow as I get closer to temp by replacing daisy and cutting back bottom vent. For a turbo fire,I start one layer of lump, then add more lump on top and start the second layer.Mapp gas is great, one more thing I learned in the Green Room"FORUM" Thanks Everyone!!

  • QBabe,[p]No offense taken at all. I'm actually surpised at how many people don't do it the righ way :)[p]Marty

  • BordelloBordello Posts: 5,926
    Julie,
    To conserve, try cutting the cube (I'm thinking weber cube here) in half or thirds. I have done this at times and it has worked well for me. No, I'm not frugal, just have trouble finding them at times. I always have my Mapp torch as a back up.[p]Have a good weekend,
    New Bob

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