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When to reload?

Have seen some discussion mentioning this in other posts so I thought I'd ask. Three cooks down, all successful. The only surprise for me so far is that I'm going through charcoal faster than expected. Three cooks were not too long or at very high temps (just over 1 hour each at around 375).  EGG got to temp quickly each time but, of course,  took quite a while to cool off.   Anyway,  all three cooks used about 3/4 of my bowl of BGE lump.   I had always heard that these were really stingy with fuel.... At $30 per bag I'm plowing through much faster than I expected. 

Sound normal?   Also,  when's the best time to reload lump?   I've been doing it at the start of each cook,  but got the sense that others reload while coals are still hot during previous cook?   Doesn't seem like it should matter too much,  but maybe something I'm missing? 


  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 26,706
    reload if you don't have enough to cook whatever you're cooking.  Estimate.  You don't want to add more mid-cook.  If you have to add more, add just enough so you can clean it out afterwards without having to pick out the good stuff.  If you think you have enough, just light whatever is in there.
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.  Love me or hate me, I am forum Marmite.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • TjcoleyTjcoley Posts: 3,528
    How far are you filling the fire box? With a full fire box (up to the fire ring) one hour at 375 I have enough lump left for several more cooks. After the cook, let it go for about 10 minutes to burn off any remaining gunk, then shut down bu closing bottom vent and ceramic lid on top. Add new lump before next cook as necessary. What lump are you using?
    It's not a science, it's an art. And it's flawed.
    - Camp Hill, PA
  • U_tardedU_tarded Posts: 1,562
    at 30 a bag i am assuming you have BGE lump, there are for sure more frugal brands than that.  may have a bad bag as well.  i don't want to sound like I'm preachy but also check your dome thermo, if it is reading low that may be an indicator too.  i usually run 2-4 cooks a load depending on what i'm doing.
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 26,706
    If I'm cooking direct, I snuff it out right after I take off the food.  If it's a greasy fire pit, I'll let it ramp up to burn off the fat before snuffing it.   If you're cooking hot direct after a greasy low n slow, just snuff it. It'll burn off when you light.  If you know that information.
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.  Love me or hate me, I am forum Marmite.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • MrCookingNurseMrCookingNurse Posts: 4,628
    what nola said, you'll get the hang of it.  figuring out lump, ash, air flow is the one of the first few obstacles. plenty of talk out there and if you cant find it just ask away. 

    i just stir around whats in there to knock the ash and small pieces down, then light up if there is enough in there or just top it off.  i do not get involved in lump sorting or anything, i just pour till the bags empty, never had any trouble at all. 

    you dont want to add lump mid cook, not really understanding what your saying at the end, i dont see why you'd add lump after a cook on hot coals, I always add lump before i light my egg for a new cook. 


  • jccbone62jccbone62 Posts: 212
    @ddegger; I use to own a large bge before I got my xl bge.  I've noticed that when I had my large, I used less charcoal per cook than compared to my xl.  Now on my xl since I've tried the RO lump, I've noticed that it burns slower than the bge brand, thus using less per cook.  All of that to say what size egg are you cooking on and what type of charcoal are you using.  Maybe a different type would help. ijs
    XL owner in Wichita, KS
  • MrCookingNurseMrCookingNurse Posts: 4,628
    hey, you really wanna save money on lump??? buy a mini or a small!!! I love mine! quick supper's too and very easy on the lump ;)


  • doubledouble Posts: 1,214
    As soon as the slide locks back... Sorry couldn't resist. I normally just top my XL up as needed but normally that's about every 3 or 4 cooks just chuck whatever wicked good is left in the bag closest to hand. You can definitely do a lot better than $30 a bag for lump I hope!
    Lynnwood WA
  • shtgunal3shtgunal3 Posts: 4,005
    If I had to pay 30 bucks a bag for lump, I'd use tree limbs or something. Just saying..... I do like @mrcookingnurse and just dump from the bag for a top off and light and go grab another beer.



     LBGE,SBGE, and a Mini makes three......Sweet home Alabama........ Stay thirsty my friends .

  • flemsterflemster Posts: 264
    You may consider the "dollar bill test" for your gasket + lid adjustment. If you have enough gap the fire will still get air even when you think it is snuffed. I get multiple mid range temp cooks out of a full firebox in my Large using BGE lump. Sounds like something is wrong.

    Keywords: Gator, Nashvegas, LBGE, Looftlighter, Thermapen in Racing Green (faster than the red one!), PSWOO2, Spider with CI, IQ120
  • ddeggerddegger Posts: 244
    Good info - will check the thermo to see what's happening.  I've been snuffing right at the end of the cook, but it takes several hours for the temp to come down (after being at ~375 for an hour, I notice that it's not all the way cool until about 5-6 hours after snuffing). 

    I should have been more clear about 'reload'.  I meant for the next cook, not for the current one.  I haven't had to add new lump during a cook.  I've been doing like @mrcookingnurse - stirring things up and dropping out the ash before each cook, then loading new lump. 

    I've been filling to the top of the firebox each new cook.  Like I said, I've been surprised that after fairly short cooks my firebox has only a small covering of lump on the bottom after starting with a full box. 

    Yes, I've been using BGE lump at $30 per bag.  Sounds like it's time to try a different brand - heard RO is pretty good and actually makes the BGE lump....maybe I'll look for that somewhere else (dealer only sells BGE). 

    Thanks all...
  • Charlie tunaCharlie tuna Posts: 2,191
    Just generally speaking, i guess-t-mate my egg uses about three pounds of lump per cook -- on the average.  I use RO and get about three cook out of a bag.  So the cost is a little over two bucks a cook.  The savings is whatever is in your egg on the next cook!  If you were using a weber, that coal would be burnt completely up !
  • Still classify myself as a newbie but I've found that BGE burns up faster than the B&B that I'm now using. Haven't opened the RO yet. Been an egghead since Christmas 2012 and loving it.


    LBGE, Grill Extender, 5 burner Char-Broil gasser that hold my eggessories
  • I have to agree that the BGE burns fast. Or the two bags I have used so far have. So far the best has been Wicked.
  • ddeggerddegger Posts: 244
    Yep, sounds like I'm due for a brand switch.  I'll try some alternatives and see how they go....
  • ChokeOnSmokeChokeOnSmoke Posts: 1,914
    edited March 2013
    ddegger said:
    I've been snuffing right at the end of the cook, but it takes several hours for the temp to come down (after being at ~375 for an hour, I notice that it's not all the way cool until about 5-6 hours after snuffing).
    I hate to ask the obvious, but are you using the green ceramic cap when you snuff it out or just closing the DFMT.  I've never really measured how long mine takes, but 5-6 hours sound like a long time.  I actually bonded some extra gasket around the inside my green cap to get a tight seal when shutting down and have a Rutland gasket for air leaks.  I always have a lot of lump left after everyday grilling.

    $30! wow.  I pay $12.50 for a 20lb bag of my favorite Grove Charcoal.  You definitely want to shop around.
    Packerland, Wisconsin

  • ddeggerddegger Posts: 244
    Yep, using the ceramic cap. As soon as cook is finished, I do a quick scrape of the grid, close the bottom vent, and cap with the ceramic lid. Have been monitoring time simply because I want to put the cover back on the Egg and table (which houses all my accessories) but normally have to wait until the next morning - usually still too hot at the time I'm headed to bed. Obviously I'm burning up some lump during the simmer/cool off period. I'll definitely be on the hunt for an alternative lump. I have two dealers close by and both charge 29.99 for 20lbs of BGE lump.
  • henapplehenapple Posts: 15,986
    With .308 shells at $1.50 per round I'm starting to reload now....sorry.

    I just stir the ash out and top off every cook. If a huge piece is in it I'll pull for a l/s later. I'll have to start tracking cooks/time per bag of Ozark Oak.
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • brownbwbrownbw Posts: 132
    Using the ceramic lid instead of the daisy wheel will put the fire out QUICK (well, that and closing the bottom off).  Mine has usually cooled off in a couple hours.  
    Opelika, AL
  • ddeggerddegger Posts: 244
    That's what I though too, but it's been too hot to put my cover on even 4+ hours later. Oh well...really interested to try a different brand
  • cortguitarmancortguitarman Posts: 2,061
    +1 for doing the dollar bill test. Sounds like you've got air leaking in to continue to fuel your fire. On a normal 450-500 degree cook my egg is cool within 2 hours. It may still be warm, but that is the nature of the ceramics. Your fire should go out within 10-15 minutes of shutdown. Now, if you're cooking pizza, that's a different story. The fire rages hot and fast.
    Mark Annville, PA
  • Royal Oak from Wall Mart does very well
    Chesapeake, VA
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