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First Dutch Oven and first Frozen Egg

Decided to make try my new Lodge dutch oven today.  Figured I would try a recipe I saw for Peruvian Chicken.  Prepped the bird, prepped the vegetables, went to light the egg and .... wait for it ..... wait for it ..... frozen shut!  Not a little frozen but rock solid.  

I didn't worry I remembered reading you just toss a starter block into the inlet door, wait 5 minutes, and bam open sesame.  Ok, so step one open the inlet door .... wait for it .... wait for it ..... frozen shut!  Well dang, now what?

I tried a lighter but in the wind and cold I couldn't get it to stay lit.  Finally, I had to use a torch I use for Creme Brulee to free the door.  Phew, ok now wrap a starter cube in newspaper light it, toss it in, hang out, check in 5 minutes.  Guess what happened 5 minutes later?  I will clue you in, ummm, nothing.  Rock solid.

Ok, so now I decide to light a second starter cube, and set it into a little pile of charcoal I built carefully inside the inlet.  Finally got the little pile built.  Everything finally was burning good in about 15 minutes, but temp needle didn't budge.  I kept making the pile larger and larger.  Eventually the needle started to move.  Ok, 70 degrees.  Perfect go to lift the lid, and, nothing.  Lifted the whole egg.

Ok, so temp finally hits 300.  Surely it is done now.  Go to life the lid, and nothing.  Ultimately it took 75 minutes and at 350 degrees I was able to break the lid free.  Ok, so that was a lot harder than I had figured it would be.  Luckily when I popped the lid free the entire bed was burning so I just topped off the basket, made a little air pocket by the front air hole, waited 15 minutes and put the pot on.

After another 90 minutes or so the chicken was perfectly done, the vegetables where fantastic (sweet potatoes, idaho potatoes, sweet white and sweet red onions, bell peppers, and garlic).  Overall the lodge oven was super easy to use, great being able to ramp temp to 500 at end to crisp the skin.  Definitely will try this cook again.  Hopefully without the fiasco I had starting it.

I did put aluminum on the seal after I shut it all down.  Hope that will make it easier to free next time.  That was another frustrating deal though, trying to put aluminum strips on the felt seal in 5 degree weather and 20 mph wind was no fun.  I am sure I looked like the proverbial monkey and a football.

To prove it happened, here was a quick picture before I pulled it off the egg:  (The 7 quart pot looks small in the XL!)

image


If it is worth doing, it is worth overdoing.

XL, Medium, Minimax, Mini, Blackstone, WSM

Comments

  • mikenbmikenb Posts: 10
    Awesome picture! Chicken looks delicious. I am ready for some spring weather, too. Had to do everything with one hand tonight while freezing and holding an umbrella.
  • TQBTQB Posts: 29
    edited January 2015
    Sorry to hear about all you had to go throuh bit man that chicken looks good!!!! I need to get a larger dutch oven mine is only 5qt.
    Central Pa
    XL BGE
  • jhl192jhl192 Posts: 1,006
    I am in CT and had a similar situation with my XL freezing up. I tried a hair dryer. I tried building a small fire under the grate. It took almost an hour. This summer I switched to a Rutland Gasket on my XL and so far it has not frozen shut while my Medium with the original gasket still does. It just may make a difference.
    XL BGE; Medium BGE; L BGE 
  • pgprescottpgprescott Posts: 13,454
    Nice looking cook and an advertisement for the value of a cover. Although, it is possible to have the egg freeze with a cover, it is far less likely.
  • Great job and post. The only suggestion I have is to put some foil down under the Dutch oven. So you don't get any gunk on the bottom
  • johnmitchelljohnmitchell Posts: 5,635
    I am asking myself at what stage would I have given up and headed for the stove...Great resolve and awesome result.. Agree bring on spring.. =D>
    Greensboro North Carolina
    When in doubt Accelerate....
  • THEBuckeyeTHEBuckeye Posts: 4,225

    I'd try a quick pop with a hammer and chisel. 
    :-t
    New Albany, Ohio 

  • CTMikeCTMike Posts: 2,526
    edited January 2015
    My LBGE was frozen shut the other day. Took off the ceramic top, shoved the harbor freight weed burner (use it normally to light the lump), about 10 seconds of flame and it popped open with no trouble.
    MMBGE / Large BGE / XL BGE (Craigslist Find) / SF30x80 cabinet trailer - "Ol' Mortimer" / Outdoor kitchen in progress.  

    Southeastern CT. 
  • DMWDMW Posts: 13,773
    CTMike said:
    My LBGE was frozen shut the other day. Took off the ceramic top, shoved the harbor freight weed burner (use it normally to light the lump), about 10 seconds of flame and it popped open with no trouble.
    Be careful using propane inside the egg to thaw things out. Depending on conditions, lack of airflow can cause the flame to go out and propane to gather. Upon hitting the starter button, there could be a small flash. Don't ask me how I know...

    Morgantown, PA

    XL BGE - S BGE - KJ Jr - HB Legacy - BS Pizza Oven - 30" Firepit - King Kooker Fryer -  PR72T - WSJ - BS 17" Griddle - XXL BGE - Akron Jr - BS SS36" Griddle
  • jcasparyjcaspary Posts: 1,479
    Great looking chicken. My XL is frozen shut. Good thing I have the L to be the workhorse. Going to need to get it opened up though.
    XL BGE, LG BGE, and a hunger to grill everything in sight!!!
    Joe- Strongsville, OH
  • cook861cook861 Posts: 872
    Hard work and pursverance  makes for a great meal
    Trenton ON 1 mbge for now
  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 14,723
    jhl192 said:

    I am in CT and had a similar situation with my XL freezing up. I tried a hair dryer. I tried building a small fire under the grate. It took almost an hour. This summer I switched to a Rutland Gasket on my XL and so far it has not frozen shut while my Medium with the original gasket still does. It just may make a difference.

    This. My rutland was installed 5 years ago and has never frozen. I think it's because I only installed it on the base and there is no upper water-soaked material to freeze to. But whatever the reason, it has always opened.

    I hate it when I go to the kitchen for food and all I find are ingredients!                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

    Michael 
    Central Connecticut 

  • Ozzie_IsaacOzzie_Isaac Posts: 11,346
    When it comes time to replace the gasket I will look into the Rutland seal.

    I will admit I did start the oven pre-heating as a backup.

    In the end the chicken tasted great and the vegetables were super tasty. I was amazed at the amount of liquid in the bottom of the pot. I added 1/4 cup of water but there was probably 3 cups of liquid at the end. No scorching or burning to the bottom..
    If it is worth doing, it is worth overdoing.

    XL, Medium, Minimax, Mini, Blackstone, WSM
  • Jeepster47Jeepster47 Posts: 3,827
    edited January 2015
    Just to add some info to the frozen egg part of the discussion:

    1) @Ozzie_Isaac and I live close enough that we share the same weather ... both have been covered in snow off and on for the last two weeks ... and both have been well below freezing for that same period of time.

    2) My egg is a large, his is an XL.

    3) Mine has about four months of cooking, his has about three weeks.

    4) Mine is in the shade, his is in the sun for most of the day.

    5) Both set uncovered out in the weather.

    @saluki2007 also lives in the area ... maybe he has some input.


    Washington, IL  >  Queen Creek, AZ ... Two large eggs and an adopted Mini Max

  • TinyfishTinyfish Posts: 1,755
    Looks like theres a red led light in the base looks cool.
  • JonWessonJonWesson Posts: 125
    bump
    large small and mini all in legal proceedings but i can use them for now no more, all gone                                                                                                                        usa somewhere on the road
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