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Doing something wrong!

MIM eggerMIM egger Posts: 2
edited 10:46PM in EggHead Forum
I know there's likely a post covering this, but I must be doing something wrong. I've used my BGE three times. I haven't be able to control the temp well and appear to be using a lot of lump. I use an electric starter with about a 3 to 4 inch high pile of lump covering the entire bottom of the firebox, and both the vents fully open. After reaching a temp of 250-300, I close the bottom vent to about 1 to 2 inches. The temp fluctuates wildly, and unless I use about twice the amount of lump, I cannot reach temps of 500+. Also, I have used all of the lump in the BGE, and I've refilled it for each use (I do close off both vents when I remove the food). Please Help!


  • Mike OelrichMike Oelrich Posts: 544
    MIM egger,[p] A few questions so we can help you better. What size BGE do you have? What kind of top are you using? What do you mean by "fluctuates wildly"? If you're looking for temperatures above 500F, start with a full load of lump (up to the fire ring) and leave both vents completely open until you get up to where you want. If you want something lower, try closing the BGE down more than you are. Do you close the bottom vent such that it is 1-2" open, or are you moving the slide 1-2 inches? Normally, for low temp cooking (<300F), my bottom vent is open less than 1/2".[p]MikeO
  • GfwGfw Posts: 1,598
    MIM egger, check all the normal things first. Is the hole in the firebox lined up with the bottom door? I normally put lump from the grate to the top of the firebox - the holes in the side are covered. The link is to a post from the past. What size Egg?

  • sprintersprinter Posts: 1,188
    MIM egger,[p]I fill the firebox completely up each time, all the way to the bottom of the fire ring. Then, I use a starter cube placed in the middle of the pile of lump, start it, and leave both vents wide open. Then it depends on what I'm cooking as to how I adjust my vents. For low and slow I let the dome thermometer read about 125 to 150 then shut the bottom damper to about a sixteenth of an inch or less, literally just a sliver, and I put a firebrick over the chimney leaving just a sliver there also. For medium cooks I start shutting things down about 50-75 degrees below the desired temp. For 350 my bottom vent is open about a quarter of an inch, maybe less, with about 1/4 of the top chimney open. You'll learn your settings with a little practice. Its important to fill the firebox full up to the bottom of the fire rim, or thereabouts. Hot fires take a LOT of lump and 4 inches in the firebox will just not get you that hot of a fire.[p]Hope this helps. By the way, its easier to adjust a fire temp on the way up than to try and cool it down once its blazing. Good luck.[p]Troy
  • MIM egger,
    Try Tim M's site. There are step by step illustrated instructions taht are foolproof. Hang in there the results are well worth it.
    Big Cat

  • GfwGfw Posts: 1,598
    In case you need the link, once you arrive click on new user help.[p]Tim M is out there someplace learning FrontPage and working on his site.
    [ul][li]Tim M's Site [/ul]
  • Tim MTim M Posts: 2,410
    MIM egger,[p]I hear bells ringing (atually I hear a high pitched whine all the time) but your post makes me hear bells too. First you mentioned cover the firebox floor with lump. The bottom of the fire box is the grate - are you covering the grate with lump?? Let's hope so. Now, you mentioned a pile. Never use a pile - always make it flat. I don't fill my firebox full unless I am going for a loooong cook, but many do and its personal choice. You are not going to waiste it it you cap the Egg with the rain cap and close the vent after use. Just add some fresh lump after you stir the old lump to remove the ash. [p]Many new users get confused about reaching temps early. If you use an electric starter, leave the top off untill your fire is going well - say 225-250 deg. Then add it, but for starting leave it off. The trick is to not let the Egg temp get too high for very long or you will not get it down easily. [p]There has been a lot of info tossed at you - so get back to us when you can and we'll be happy to come up with more suggestions.[p]Tim

  • Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
    MIM egger, This is one of the reasons I "DON'T" use a electric fire starter. Its difficult to get a exact control on your fire start. I am tempted not to even get involved with the methods anymore as there are as many methods of firestarting as there are posters on this forum.[p]About the simplest way to learn is to build your fire in a variety of ways till you find one that suits your style. Be it firestarters, firelog shavings, (my style) under or over the grate, top of the coals or under the coals. Learn how the size of your coals determine's the best for low and slow and fast start up's.[p]Can you get high fast thermo heat from a minimum of bet you can..even better than a full load to the top of the firechambers. [p]Only time you want a full load is when your out to do a low and slow cook.[p]I have filled mine clear to the top of the fire ring to the point of barely getting the grill on top..Did it for a low and slow cook experiment. But thats the only time. [p]I can get 700 to 800 F degrees from any left over charcoal in the firechamber pit. Humidity might make a difference, but only on the time to get there. Once heat is applied to the dries quickly and burns at a high temperature. Ash, plugging the air vents is the biggest culprit in not achieving your high temps.
    This type of thread is really getting repetitious, and I for one am beginning to think there should be a BGE webpage that covers these basics. [p]Char-Woody

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