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More Basic Newbie Questions

Dooms-DaveDooms-Dave Posts: 15
edited 3:09PM in EggHead Forum
Some more basic questions as I learn:[p]Curious what the Eggsperts recommend for the following:
1. Cleaning the cooking grate, method / tool and frequency. Been wiping with paper towels after each cool down, but wonder about brushes (scratching?) or just burning off.[p]2. Cleaning the interior of the BGE below the grate down to the fire box. Should I be scraping off any drippings, wiping, nothing??[p]3. What suggestions for baking potatoes along with other cooking (did some new potatoes rubbed with olive oil along outside of grate - not on direct fire – were good). Is foil wrapped better? And what about timing? Slow cooks versus the high temp searing?[p]4. Going to the dealer to pick up more lump, cover for the shrine currently under construction, and wanted to try some wood chips for a first attempt at smoking. Looking for
- Instructions on when / how to add to fire e.g. Before grate
is put on, through grate, must be on hot spots ? . . .
- Recommendations for what to try first, given that I’m
still on basic cooks and want to try a mild flavoring
first to break the family in.[p]Starting to get the hang of BGEgging, but still lots to learn. Thanks to all.


  • JJJJ Posts: 951
    Welcome to the family. As to your questions.
    1. I assume that you are refering to the cooking grid and if so I just leave it alone and let the next cook take care of cleaning it. If you want to clean it the grid brush does a good job.
    2. Nothing is necessary there. Cooking will clean it like a self cleaning oven.
    3. I like to put a metal skewer thru the spud to speed up the cooking process. As for low and slo vs high temp. Two entirley different types of cooking. Steaks, chops etc.m, high temp. Boston butts, brisket etc., low and slo.
    4. Put the wood on the hot charcoal prior to placing the cooking grid on the fire ring. Try a beer butt chicken, very easy to do and the family will love it. See Brant's beer butt chicken recipe in the recipe section.[p]Ask all the questions you want and need to. We are here to help.

  • KennyGKennyG Posts: 949
    Dooms-Dave,[p]You'll get a large mixed bag of responses on this one. Here's my $.02[p]1. Many grilling supply retailers carry a special spiral wound brush for cleaning porcelan cooking grids without scratching. They are inexpensive and work well. When lots of gunk accumulates, I soak mine in soapy water in the laundry room wash tub for an hour first.[p]2. Folks on this forum may disagree but I like to disassemble Humpty every now and then and clean the interior and firebox and ring with a DRY stiff bristle brush and then a shop vac[p]3. many creative ideas have been posted for baking potatos on the Egg. I believe it was Char-Woody who posted the method I like best. Rub with oil, sprinkle with Kosher salt and cook indirect at 375* dome. Should be done in about 90 minutes. [p]4. Your dealer is, I'm sure, a dependable source for lump, but if you shop around a bit, you can save yourself a lot of money. Lump is available almost everywhere if you know where to look and should cost no more than about $15/40 lbs.[p]Smoking chips should be tossed onto the coals just before you start the cooking process. Some like to soad them first, some don't. Go with whatever works for you. Many inaugural low and slow suggestions will follow. Salmon is a good one, since it always seems to come out perfect.[p]Good luck and let us know if we can further assist.[p]K~G
  • Tim MTim M Posts: 2,410
    KennyG said there would be a lot of responses - I only saw two so I better add my $.01 worth. Actually is not much different than those prior to mine.[p]1. I use the gizmo grate scraper that has two wire wound things at the end. I wish I had taken a picture of it for my website (one of the few pics not there). I also use and strongly recommend a brass wire brush over paper towels.
    Don't get all crazy cleaning it unless you're Felix Unger - the next time you fire Humptey up, it will be quite safe to use. If you want a really good clean - grill some steaks at 700 deg or make a pizza.[p]2. You won't have any drippings above the grate, but like KennyG - I scrape the flakey black stuff off the inside dome once or twice a year when I do clean out the Egg. I just installed a new vent and that forced me to clean it out - otherwise do it once a year.[p]3. I do my spuds differently. I do not like the smoke smell a potato(e) gets from cooking unwrapped in the Egg. I add a pad of butter to the potato(e) and wrap in foil. Then toss on the grill for 2 hours min - 3 hrs. I use this also for sweet potatoes, then cut open and add more butter and brown sugar and cinnamon. [p]4. Lump charcoal is available from True Value Hardware stores item #145607 or ServiceStar Hardware #66990 but you might need to talk to the person who actually "orders" stuff, not the front store clerk.[p]There is a lot of information you might dig up on the website linked below. Ignore the recipes that came with the Egg, ask lots of questions here and Welcome to the Egg family. Enjoy![p]Tim

    [ul][li] --- Tim's BGE Cookbook and Msc pictures ---[/ul]
  • Mike OelrichMike Oelrich Posts: 544
    Dooms-Dave,[p]1. I use a grid scraper (look for the ones that are made out of soft metal). Also if you do a short high-temp run at the end of every cook, the stuff gets charred quickly and is easy to remove.[p]2. I use a shop vac with a bruch attachment to clean the flaky stuff off the top of the dome when it gets thick enough to start falling onto my food. That's the only time I bother with it. I never clean below the grid except to suck some ash out of the bottom occasionally (leave some ash down there, though -- it acts as a wonderful insulator).[p]3. I'll defer to the experts on this one as I don't cook that many potatoes.[p]4. There has been some debate on the whole soak/don't soak thing for wood chips. My rule of thumb is to soak them if I want to try using them at higher temps (300-400) and to not soak them if I'm cooking at really low temps. If you want to start out with mild flavoring, I'd start out with a chicken smoked over some pecan wood (follow the recipe on this site for beer-butt chicken on this site -- if you really don't want to do a whole chicken, then cook some thighs). Hickory is a stronger wood, mesquite is very strong. Fruit woods are milder, but have to want a fruity flavor to use them. Another nice wood is sugar maple; it's my favorite for pork.[p]MikeO
  • JimWJimW Posts: 450
    JJ, KennyG and Tim M did a good job on your questions...but I thought I'd throw in my approach to the first two.[p]1. I have a fetish about a clean grate. Every time before I cook, I spray some Fantastic on it, let it sit a few minutes and clean it with soapy water and a sponge with the plastic rough surface glued on. Let it dry and spray some Pam on it to help with the next cleaning. This is more than most do but then again I have OCD.[p]2. Whenever I dump the ash from the Egg I kind of scrape the big chunks of drippings out. An occasional high temp cook will take care of most of the gunk.[p]JimW

  • ChiefChief Posts: 154
    I am a newbie as well and I can give you my 2cents:
    I use a grill cleaning spray( Wal-Mart- $2) on the grid and leave it on for about 5 minutes. Rinse in thoroughly with hot water and use a sponge...
    Re Potatos: Char Briol makes a device that looks like a nail that you place your potatoe on. As the grill get hot the temp heats the nail which cooks the potato internally.
    I rub mine with olive oil and kosher salt...takes about 45 minutes on the BGE at 300.

  • Dooms-Dave, just one comment from me as everyone else has given you plenty of options, but here's mine. I paid $1.50 at Ace for a metal garbage can lid. I invert that on the kitcken sink and soak my grill for an hour or so in hot soapy water and it cleans up like a charm. More beneficial is momma kat doesn't have a hissy-fit about my messing up the sink anymore! ^oo^~

  • KennyGKennyG Posts: 949
    one feral kat,[p]This is a damn good idea! I've been getting a lot of grief about "getting the wash tub all greasy". thanx[p]K~G

  • AbqEgg'rAbqEgg'r Posts: 91
    Not the absolutely lowest price for lump, but available almost everywhere; Go to your local Walmart. $4.97 for a 10lb bag. If it's not where the other charcoal is located, check in the nursery area where they keep the BBQ grills.[p]TR

  • KennyG, Me too KG. Wifey gets all bent out of shape about the grease on the toilet seat. Garbage can lid makes a lot more sense.
    yours in the egg (and clean grill)---the colonel

  • Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
    The Colonel, don't ya know ya cannot potty train a grill??
    Don't let your mother-in-law see that one!! Question, why not buy the whole garbage can and then use the lid?? I "assume" they are the "rubbermaid" type. Great idea!!

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