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Lump Strategy...

Austex_EggerAustex_Egger Posts: 153
edited 6:04AM in EggHead Forum
Whats the best method for adding lump? Only had my BGE since Fathers Day. Will be doing my first low and slow this weekend and plan on cleaning it out and doing the layered method (big chunks on the bottom, then smaller as I work up). In general though what do y'all do for regular use? I've just been adding some lump as needed, but I'm thinking this will lead to clogged holes and temperature difficulties. Do I clean it out on a regular basis (after X amount of uses). Or just forge ahead and clean it when it gets difficult?


  • chrisnjennchrisnjenn Posts: 534
    I have never had to add additional lump during a cook and some of my long cooks have gone over 25 hours. On those long cooks I fill it about halfway up (a little less) the fire ring.

    As far as cleaning, I usually clean it after each long cook (most of the lump is gone anyways--making it easy to do) or after every 5 short cooks. I also clean it before any real long cook. I know many who go a lot longer before cleaning their Egg out. It takes 5 minutes at most to do it. Not a big deal.
  • cookingdude555cookingdude555 Posts: 1,504
    I just stir the old stuff (with my hand, wearing a glove) to get the dust off and down through the charcoal grate. Then I dump new stuff on top and light. While it is heating up, I check the lower vent and scrape scraps and dust into a pan that I throw into the grass for fertilizer. It looks bad in the winter with gray and black snow everywhere ...

    John - SLC, UT

    2 XLs, Medium, MM, and Mini

  • DeckhandDeckhand Posts: 318
    I scoop out any unburned lump and put it in a metal popcorn tin while I clean out the egg. After refilling with new lump, I dump the partially burned lump on top. This greatly reduces sparking when lighting.
  • NibbleMeThisNibbleMeThis Posts: 2,293
    For a regular weeknight cook where I need more lump than what's left, I stir the coal to get any extra ash to drop down.

    Then I pile the used lump up against one side of the Egg and add the new lump in the empty spot that I created.

    Then I give one or two "lift and stir" trying to pull the old stuff on top of the new and level it out.

    Finally, I do a quick poke of the grate with a wiggle rod to clear out any clogged holes like you mentioned.

    Oh yeah, always stir coals counter clockwise. [Okay, I made that last part up :evil: :silly: , but the rest is what I do.]
    Knoxville, TN
    Nibble Me This
  • DMurfDMurf Posts: 481
    Like many here I stir my used lump so that the really small hole clogging bits fall down the grate, move the used lump to one side then add new lump and ready to go. If I am going to bake or a low and slow I will clean out the ash area with a shop vac.

    After a low and slow where nearly all the lump has burned I will take the fire box out and really get those hidden areas with a shop vac.
    BBQ since 2010 - Oh my, what I was missing.
  • ShiffShiff Posts: 1,707
    I used to layer my charcoal but stopped since it didn't seem to make any difference.

    I also used to clean out the BGE before each cook and then dump the ashes and refill with new lump on the bottom and the old lump on the top. I stopped doing this every time since it took too long.

    So, now I just give it a stir and clean out the ashes. I give it a more thorough cleaning every 5 or so cooks. I use a wiggle rod after filling each time which takes care of any small pieces that get stuck in the fire grate. This has worked great for months now and only takes a few minutes before I can light the BGE.

    I think the wiggle rod is the best strategy. You can make one or buy one here:
    Large BGE
    Barry, Lancaster, PA
  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    There are a lot of methods folks use to reload/load their egg. The nice part is most all of those methods work just fine.

    It never hurts to work with a cleaned out egg on each cook. Eventually you will find that is a waste of time.

    For overnight cooks or long cooks I do clean out the lump and ash under the fire grate then refill the egg. I put some larger pieces over the fire grate making sure there are air gaps between the pieces. After that I dump in some new lump and fill up with whatever I have left new or lump from a previous cook.

    Daily cooks depending on what the last cook left sometimes I do nothing and just relight the lump.

    Lump is lump, new lump consists of carbonized wood and dust. Used lump consists of carbonized wood and ash.

    Heat = fuel and oxygen. As long as you have a supply of fuel (lump) and that lump is lit your only variable is the air flow into the lower vent, up through the fire grate and through the lump bed. If the egg won't get to temperature or won't stabilize check the air flow, use a wiggle rod and get the holes in the fire grate cleared. The lump needs oxygen to do it's work.

    BTW old used, small pieces of lump will burn about as hot as fresh lump out of the bag - so don't waste your previously burned lump pieces.

  • BacchusBacchus Posts: 6,019
    Stir the old lump, rake out the ash, dump in some fresh, and light it. No strategery needed.
  • PhilsGrillPhilsGrill Posts: 2,256
  • Serial GrillerSerial Griller Posts: 1,186
    All the above..and I make sure the holes in the fire ring are not plugged with small pieces of lump or ash and when loading I put a large piece of lump in front of the holes and that seems to help keep the little pieces from clogging the laeast for a while.
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