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Frustrated grillin' with BGE

edited 1:13PM in EggHead Forum
So I am a BGE newbie, but have smoked a few boston butts with great success. However, it is hit or miss grilling. Specifically, I am having trouble getting my BGE up to temp (500-600 degrees) for burgers or steaks. Sometimes it works, but usually not. I'm trying to cook burgers now and the darn thing won't get over 300 degrees. I did not clear out the charcoal, but did add some fresh. The old charcoal wasn't only used once. Also, I made sure the air holes weren't clogged and there is very little ash in the bottom. I use an electric starter and leave it in for about 15 mins. It has been at least 30 mins since I took the starter out and the temp is stuck around 275. Oh, the bottom vent is wide open and the top vent is uncovered. Ideas?

- Jason

Comments

  • cookn bikercookn biker Posts: 13,407
    Do you have an ash tool? If not that's ok. Make one out of a hanger. Poke through the bottom vent up into the holes of that. That should help clear any smallpieces/ash and get the air flowing for you.
    Molly
    Colorado Springs
    "Loney Queen"
    "Respect your fellow human being, treat them fairly, disagree with them honestly, enjoy their friendship, explore your thoughts about one another candidly, work together for a common goal and help one another achieve it."
    Bill Bradley; American hall of fame basketball player, Rhodes scholar, former U.S. Senator from New Jersey
    LBGE, MBGE, SBGE , MiniBGE and a Mini Mini BGE
  • Little ChefLittle Chef Posts: 4,725
    Jason: Are you sure the opening to the firebox is lined up with the bottom vent? Everything else sounds pretty good.
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 27,980
    Jason

    Is your grate plugged? Or inverted. Bevel down? If you aren't sure, cut a coathanger and bend up a 3" tip. Stick it into the holes on the grate through the lower vent to clear any ash clogging.


    Steve

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 27,980
    Molly,

    That's a wiggle rod but you are right :laugh:

    Steve

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 10,045
    she wiggles her ash.

    sorry.........


    I will not eat oysters. I want my food dead. Not sick, not wounded... dead.

                                                      Woody Allen

    Michael 
    Central Connecticut 

  • cookn bikercookn biker Posts: 13,407
    oh...hahaha and I couldn't think of the round thing with holes name....hahaha
    Long ass day!!! :laugh: :laugh:
    Molly
    Colorado Springs
    "Loney Queen"
    "Respect your fellow human being, treat them fairly, disagree with them honestly, enjoy their friendship, explore your thoughts about one another candidly, work together for a common goal and help one another achieve it."
    Bill Bradley; American hall of fame basketball player, Rhodes scholar, former U.S. Senator from New Jersey
    LBGE, MBGE, SBGE , MiniBGE and a Mini Mini BGE
  • Jason,

    You are not getting enough lump lit and/or not getting the fire enough oxygen. So you need to think why?

    One thing that I do if I want to get the egg going fast is I have the grill off and I have a 8 inch square piece of card board and fan it vigorously for a minute or two Then I give the lump a bit of a stir, then repeat.

    That should get a lot of lump lit and going strong. This method should work, hell, a million Indonesian street vendors can't be wrong.
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 27,980
    Yer disgusting. ;)

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • PattyOPattyO Posts: 883
    Scrape the ash out of the bottom vent. That area should be clear so air can get in. I shove a plastic bag under the egg and use the ash tool to clean out the bottom. Then easily pull out the bag and roll it up to discard.
    PattyO
  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 10,045
    But you laughed, didn't you? Hey, I said I was sorry! B)


    I will not eat oysters. I want my food dead. Not sick, not wounded... dead.

                                                      Woody Allen

    Michael 
    Central Connecticut 

  • tnelstnels Posts: 75
    How hot are you letting the egg get before you close the lid? You could leave the lid open for a while longer to ensure that you have a big enough fire. I use a chimney starter then leave the lid open for several minutes (haven't fried the gasket yet!)
  • Thanks guys for the advice. I must not have the ash completely cleared out from the grate. I like the idea of fanning it with a piece of cardboard.

    Keep on grillin'

    - Jason
  • tnelstnels Posts: 75
    How hot are you letting the egg get before you close the lid? You could leave the lid open for a while longer to ensure that you have a big enough fire. I use a chimney starter then leave the lid open for several minutes (haven't fried the gasket yet!)
  • You shouldn't have to do that but it does get the egg going in a hurry. I like positive feedback (it's so few and far between here) so let me know if it works out. :)

    If it doesn't, let's just keep it under wraps OK? ;) :)

    PS It will.
  • RVHRVH Posts: 523
    Stir the leftover lump around with a rod so that the ash will filter down through the holes in the fire grate. Make sure that small pieces of lump ( and ash) are not blocking the fire grate. Are you closing the dome after removing the electric coil?
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 27,980
    Jason,

    I keep a floor fan with the eggs,mostly for overnight cooks but it works on grilling temps as well. When I am in a real hurry I use a shop vac with the hose in the exhaust. Get to temps real quick like that. My eggs are in a fireproof area though.

    Steve

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • LovenbrauLovenbrau Posts: 307
    can use a hair dryer or leaf blower in the bottom vent if you don't have a fancy air blowin gizmo, did that a few times while learning.
  • I leave it open for a while - let's see, usually I do the following:

    electric starter for 10-15 mins (until I get some red coals)
    leave it open for another 5 mins
    Then close the lid with the top vent completely open (and the bottom vent fully open)


    When I close the lid I get white smoke then eventually it goes clear and really heats up. It just takes a long time. Maybe another 30 - 45 mins after I close the top.

    Is this normal?

    - Jason
  • 61chev61chev Posts: 539
    Where do u store your lump it's not getting damp is it? with all the humidity we have been having got to have a good sealed plac to store Damp lump will lite but not get hot
  • jeffinsgfjeffinsgf Posts: 1,259
    Jason,

    Did you stir up the leftover lump? Give it a good stir, working all the ash down through the fire grate. If you just leave it alone and dump new lump on top, you won't have the necessary air circulation.

    That you're getting there eventually tells me that you're doing everything else right. I think if you get in the habit of a vigorous stir before you start, you'll get there a lot faster.
  • I don't have much experience and I am not the best at keeping the temp stable but I today I wanted to preheat a pizza stone for tomorrows cook and also check out getting my temp up around 500.

    I had left over lump from a slow butt cook and just used my chimney with a handful of lump to get the fire going. I came up slowly due to the pizza stone but am now at 500 very easily. All old lump, no stirring from the last cook, no removal of ash. BTW I used Elder Ward's advice on the slow cook fire, a couple of large pieces didn't even looked like they even fired up much and this was after 10 hours or so with warm up and shutdown.

    So.....long story short and my 2 cents is that your lump is probaly not the best. Try some new lump and see what happens.

    Mike
  • No TrashNo Trash Posts: 73
    I use a small coleman fan like this one. I purchased it at the coleman outlet store. Here is a link to show you what it look like. http://www.ronshomeandhardware.com/Cool-Zepher-Mini-Fan-p/752095.htm?click=1014

    Don't give up.... you need more air to the lump / fire box.
  • PhilsGrillPhilsGrill Posts: 2,256
    Like everybody has said, every time you need to cook over 350 just clean out the egg completely. Hey, that rhymes! :whistle:
  • Perhaps a simple answer, how much charcoal are you loading in the Egg?

    Take the Egg completely apart. Make sure the side holes are clear.

    Reassemble and fill the fire box (not the ring) to the top.


    I bet you'll get plenty of heat.
  • My egg takes a total of 15-20 min to get to 750 w/ electric start. 7min w/ starter in then i pull it out and open draft doorm and daisy all the way. Check you thermometer. Might need calibration. Ive never had a problem getting it hot.
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