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What has your experience been?

RVHRVH Posts: 523
edited November -1 in EggHead Forum
I saw a post (Flashback Bob?) where it was observed that new lump will bring the BGE up to the desired temperature faster than using old, previously used lump. This is directly contrary to my own experience.
In all of my eggs the old stuff will heat up so fast I barely have time to go grab a beer, I mean go help my wife prep the meal. Also, with the old lump there is almost a non-existent wait for the VOC's to clear. I assume this is because once consumed they do not regenerate in the lump.
So I am curious what others have observed: when you light your egg does new lump get to temp at a faster or a slower rate than used lump?
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Comments

  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 15,817
    might be the lump being used, new wicked good is slow to light, new cowboy almost lights instantly
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 4,194
    Yes, that's true, but my experience is that fresh Cowboy lights faster than used. The Whiz notes that it is VOCs causing flash-backs, so maybe the presence of VOCs at first creates a slightly hotter fire.

    I know that the hard to light charcoal, such as WG or stuff from Namibia is higher in carbon content, and so I would assume has less in the way of VOCs.
  • RVHRVH Posts: 523
    You make a good point. I am using Wicked Good and Ozark Oak and have had the same results with each.
  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
     
    Other than long or over the night cooks I light the lump from the previous cook, no stirring, no adding new lump, no cleaning under the fire grate. In these cases the light and getting up to temperature is faster than a new load of lump.

    Kent
  •  
    I have a medium egg that I light with a MAPP torch and most of the time am burning Royal Oak. Most of my cooks are steaks of one shape or another and cooked over used lump. Because my egg is a medium and if I light it in 3 places, 12, 4 & 8 o'clock, I might as well light it in the three other places 6, 10 & 2 o'clock and the whole egg is pretty well lit. Regardless if it is used lump or new it is up and running before I am ready so I don't notice any difference unless I use Mesquite charcoal that takes a little longer to get going. A fat boy tank of MAPP will last for a number of months.

     
  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
     
    I only have ready access to RO,Cowboy and Mexican mesquite.

    I think the Cowboy faster light and hotter quicker is due to the same of the lump. It forces more air pockets and I believe the air path up through the lump bet is an easier travel than when using RO or mesquite.

    The mesquite seems to be the hardest light and I wonder if it is due to that lump being larger more solid pieces of lump. Usually the pieces of mesquite I get are 3 inch and bigger limbs of wood.

    Kent
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 15,817
    could be the shape of the cowboy, maybe even the quality it was made to, the last few bags i have used had some unburnt wood in there along with the lump. it lit so fast that the time it took to make a beverage and go check on it it was up in the 600's, not used to that after burning pallets of wg
  • My experience is that new lump is usually accompanied by a better cleaning out of ash. Stirring doesn't really drop all the ash out through the grate so ventilation isn't necessarily as good. Therefore, its all a matter of air feeding the fire, as I learned on this forum years ago.

    Best is cleaning out the egg and keeping the larger used lump pieces, putting them back in and adding some more lump on top. Now that's fast.
  • RVHRVH Posts: 523
    Same here, except that I do stir the lump around a bit...just makes me feel good to do SOMETHING before hitting it with a Mapp torch.
  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
     
    For me relighting without stirring has worked extremely well. If I am cooking chicken, burgers and other relative short cooks I can sometimes get as many as 6 or 7 cooks before reloading the lump, just light and go.

    Kent
  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
     
    I think that is the reason, there is always a lot of air pockets throughout the lump bed. With RO the air pockets are much smaller.

    Kent
  • RVHRVH Posts: 523
    I rarely remove all the old lump, only when doing a long cook. I do stir the lump around a bit whether new lump is added or not. The fire always takes a lot longer to get going well when new lump is introduced than when just lighting the old. I now wonder if perhaps the new lump has absorbed and retained some degree of moisture that has been eliminated from the old.
  • RVHRVH Posts: 523
    But, but if I don't do anything, something, my wife will think I'm not pulling my weight during the whole cooking process.... :blush:
  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
     
    :laugh: You can always open the dome and look studious, rub your brow, go get a beer, than back and again studying the situation and light. That should be a little impressive.

    Kent
  • 2Fategghead2Fategghead Posts: 9,623
    I have been getting my lump going with a map torch and like Grandapas Grub I have been lighting with out stirring after the first cook has been put out. I have experienced faster start up possibly because the previous cook established the airway needed to burn. If I have any trouble I will stir and if I'm doing a butt cook I clean out the egg and use fresh lump. Tim
  • RVHRVH Posts: 523
    Man, some of you guys have this stuff down pat! I think I can pull this one off well. I've known how to at least "look" studious since about the second grade. :laugh:
  • I think it's interesting that I get the opposite results than others are getting. As someone said, it may have a lot to do with the lump (I use Cowboy and RO, but mostly RO)I typically find the used lump starts fine but takes a bit longer to get hot.

    With a fresh load of lump, if I walk away from it, it'll be going gangbusters when I get back- but I still have to wait for the smoke to clear.

    For a 400 or less cook, the used lump may be faster fromm ignition to meat hitting the grill.
    for hotter cooks, the new lump seems to slingshot past where you'd be with used lump at some point and accelerates at an exponential rate.
  • With "WG' the second lighting seems faster...With "RO" I'm not sure, but it may too be a little faster if I have cleaned up the ash and have good air flow.
  • CrueznCruezn Posts: 317
    I too use the old lump unless I am doing a low and slow like last weekend. I do however, usually put some new lump on top of the used, as I'm always afraid of burning up all of the old before my cook is over. This is probably not necessary, but I'm afraid of it all burning up, and trying to add fresh lump back in during the middle of a spatchcock cook isn't easy. I also stir the old lump until I can see the holes in firebox are clear.
  • Wow, I could have sworn I responded to this first thing this morning, right after fishless. Maybe I forgot to hit Submit. I guess I have a problem with submission.

    Anyway, what I THOUGHT I said was that I'm with you, RVH. I use RO almost exclusively, and relighting used lump is always much faster for me. When I light new lump, not only do I have to wait for the stink to clear, but while it's still stinky, the temp stays down in the 200-250 range. It's usually not until the stink is almost gone that the egg gets up above 300. With used lump, there's no wait time for the stench to clear, and with wide open vents, it blows right through 200-250 in a flash.

    What I'd like to see explained, is why adding more lump into an already lit fire takes much longer to burn off the stink than when lighting a full firebox of fresh lump. I had to add more lump to a lit egg during our fest last month, and it took a very long time for the stench to clear.
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,159
    RVH,

    I'm kind of surprised by the responses. I use Maple Leaf lump pretty much exclusively and there is no doubt with that lump it is faster to get the new stuff going.

    Steve

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • Since I've changed to a MAPP, I have started lighting the left over used RO lump, especially since it doesn't spark as much. Once that gets going, I pour in whatever amount of fresh lump I need and let the hot coals light the new stuff. Doesn't take long before it is going great - in fact last night, I got to watching the miners come up in Chile and lost track of the time :whistle: . The temp probe was straight down ! Oops! :ohmy:
    For an overnighter, like others, I clean it out and start fresh. I have found that if I put some used lump on the top layer of WG for a long cook, I can light the used RO faster than the WG and then it burns down into the WG. FWIW
  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
     
    hehehehe that makes me laugh. In the army I was in the 328th General Hosptal, refrigeration mechanic. The only thing I ever had to fix was some ice cream freezers. Anyway they stuck me in the motor pool for a while and then in charge of the arms. The docs had to pass the handgun and rifle certifications which was kind of a joke. That's where I got my love for guns.

    Anyway, back to looking busy. When in the motor pool we were working under the duce and a half's I would hook my hands up over something and go to sleep. When anyone looked in there they would see my legs and my arms up vertically, but I would be asleep. That's my claim to fame for looking busy.

    In the unit being in the motor pool or arms consisted of only a few people as all the work and effort was with medical. I didn't want to be an orderly so I went over to those two jobs.

    Your comment made me think back and laugh.

     
  • RVHRVH Posts: 523
    ...he agrees with me! :laugh:
  • RVHRVH Posts: 523
    I would like to try Maple Leaf sometime. I see quite a few people in the far north use it. Does it give off much VOC's when first lit?
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,159
    No, it is very clean burning right from the start. I don't know why but it is sold as restaurant lump so it may go through a shaking or washing process before it is bagged. I light with a mapp torch and get very few sparks. I have no idea why they don't export anymore.

    Steve

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • RVHRVH Posts: 523
    I wonder if the presence of VOC's might absorb heat from the fire that would otherwise help the lump itself ignite more rapidly, converting the VOC's into billowing white smoke.
    I've never heard of "restaurant grade" lump before. Down here all the local stuff is only available as "with rocks", and "with more rocks".
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,159
    Just to be clear, I didn't say restaurant grade, it says restaurant/steakhouse use on the label. I don't know if it means anything but it smokes a lot less than any others I have tried. Just a theory as to the connection. TNW gave it rave reviews and then downgraded his assessment based on a second sampling. I see it occasionally in a different bag and wonder if that is not a grade two quality.

    Steve

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • Not sure I can "explain"....But I think it has to do with the ammount of new fuel that has been added and never seen the heat, thus no burning of the volitials.
  • Flash,
    If I want a real hot fire for pizza, will use new lump. I can always guarantee it will get hotter, faster. For most cooks, will use old and mix in a little new on top to help it get started quicker, though sometimes the older lump underneath gets going faster....I always stir or remove the smaller pieces after a couple of cooks because the smaller used clog thing up -- even with a wiggle rod. The medium is more prone to getting lump and ash caught in the side vents of the fire box. :blink:
    Of course, for low and slow, I clean thoroughly. Fresh lump on the bottom, maybe some larger not-so-used in the middle.
    Mainly use RO in the orange bag :)
    and parafin cubes :whistle:
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