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Spread your fire or not?

PowakPowak Posts: 655
I’ve been egging for 2 straight years now and every now and then even I’ve noticed my fire will stay right in the center and I’ll have cold areas in my grill. Anyone have tricks for a getting a good bed of coals?

Comments

  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 13,215
    Light in more places. 

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

                                                                …Unknown

    Michael 
    Central Connecticut 

  • BotchBotch Posts: 6,600
    My big change (about a year ago) is to start lighting my lump with an oiled paper towel, from the bottom (you need a KAB or similar to do this) instead of with a square of whatever, in the center of the top.  I seem to get a more even fire that way.
     
    Also, a lopsided fire isn't a big deal if you're doing an indirect cook; when cooking direct (grilling) keep Her closed with the vents wide open until everything is really hot; all the lump should be lit by then.  
     
    Hope that helps.  
    _____________________________________________
     
    Live fast, die young, and leave a well-marbled corpse.  
     
    Ogden, Utard.  
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 17,383
    As above, the fire you want is dependent on the upcoming cook.  If low&slow you only want enough lump/fire going to maintain your desired cook temp.  This enables the small fire to travel around the lump load and sustain that temp for well above 20+ hours w/o a lump reload.
    If you want hot & fast and especially an even hot bed of coals then light in several places with the dome open and once you have a good amount of lump burning, shut the lower vent with the dome open.  The fire will draw the air (O2) down and across the lump bed and get the whole deal involved.  FWIW-
    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
  • The_StacheThe_Stache Posts: 926
    Weber Chimney...

    In a full time state of entropious nebulinity as Head Brewmeister and Chief Flatulator @ Rancho Loco Brewery and Flatutorium, Kirkland, TN

  • ChokeOnSmokeChokeOnSmoke Posts: 1,921
    So many ways to light a fire.  I've tried them all and use a electric starter, then I always stir the coals.  It doesn't matter what kind of cook I'm doing, I just vary the time I leave the starter in, I still stir the coals no matter what.  Always works for me.
    Packerland, Wisconsin

  • XC242XC242 Posts: 1,118
    Weber Chimney...
    This...
    LBGE (still waitin' for my free T-Shirt), DIgiQ DX2 (In Blue, cause it's the fastest), Heavy Duty Kick Ash Basket, Mc Farland, WI. :glasses:  B)
    If it wasn't for my BGE I'd have no use for my backyard...
  • DoubleEggerDoubleEgger Posts: 12,526
    Leave the bottom vent closed and dome open when you light it. The fire will spread out. 
  • PowakPowak Posts: 655
    XC242 said:
    Weber Chimney...
    OK,  details on this?? I’ve got one but always use the electric starter. Does lump do well in the chimney lit by a mapps gas torch?
  • XC242XC242 Posts: 1,118
    @Powak Do this (started w/ newspapers)



    Then this



    Then spread out the coals



    And do this...


    LBGE (still waitin' for my free T-Shirt), DIgiQ DX2 (In Blue, cause it's the fastest), Heavy Duty Kick Ash Basket, Mc Farland, WI. :glasses:  B)
    If it wasn't for my BGE I'd have no use for my backyard...
  • PowakPowak Posts: 655
    XC242 said:
    @Powak Do this (started w/ newspapers)



    Then this



    Then spread out the coals



    And do this...


    That looks like a good method!
  • PowakPowak Posts: 655
    @XC242 do you put just fresh lump in the chimney or could you relight old coals? Also
    about how long does it take before the chimney’s ready to pour in?
  • PowakPowak Posts: 655
    Right now I light my egg using the electric hoop starter. Maybe I could benefit from moving It around in the 15 minutes it takes to get the coals burning.
  • ScantronScantron Posts: 51
    I also use a Weber chimney to start my hot and fast cooks.  If there's enough lump left in the egg from the previous cook, I'll put the used lump in the chimney and roll with it.  If there's not, I use fresh lump.  It only takes 5 minutes or so to get the chimney flaming.  I like it because we get a TON of advertisements in the mail, and now they actually get put to use instead of getting tossed.  
    Cooking on a Large Big Green Egg in North Chicagoland.
  • BotchBotch Posts: 6,600
    Leave the bottom vent closed and dome open when you light it. The fire will spread out. 
    Huh, never heard of that before; will give it a try!  
    _____________________________________________
     
    Live fast, die young, and leave a well-marbled corpse.  
     
    Ogden, Utard.  
  • XC242XC242 Posts: 1,118
    Powak said:
    @XC242 do you put just fresh lump in the chimney or could you relight old coals? Also
    about how long does it take before the chimney’s ready to pour in?
    I do it with fresh lump but you could relight also. To me it’s just easier to dump fresh into the chimney. Takes 15-20 minutes. It would probably take less time with old coals. 
    LBGE (still waitin' for my free T-Shirt), DIgiQ DX2 (In Blue, cause it's the fastest), Heavy Duty Kick Ash Basket, Mc Farland, WI. :glasses:  B)
    If it wasn't for my BGE I'd have no use for my backyard...
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 27,660
    Grilling:  You want the whole top of the lump bed lit.

    1. Open lid.
    2. Close bottom vent.
    3. Light in a few spots
    4. Leave lid open and bottom vent closed until top is all lit.
    5. Grill.

    Note, you can put this configuration in a holding pattern if you're not ready to cook yet by opening the bottom vent an inch, leaving the top open and shutting the lid.  It will die down, but will be ready in a couple of minutes to grill by opening the lid and closing bottom vent.

    Leaving the bottom vent open causes the fire to dive down towards that vent.  Lump burning below lump burning doesn't help a direct grill, it just wastes fuel.
    ______________________________________________
    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 

  • LitLit Posts: 6,995
    You have to get the lighter fluid soaked into all the lump before you light it. 
  • BotchBotch Posts: 6,600
    Leaving the bottom vent open causes the fire to dive down towards that vent.  Lump burning below lump burning doesn't help a direct grill, it just wastes fuel. 
    THAT'S the piece of information I was missing here, thank you.  
    And the shave the queen info, I did not miss, but thanks there too.  :tongue: 
    _____________________________________________
     
    Live fast, die young, and leave a well-marbled corpse.  
     
    Ogden, Utard.  
  • BeggerBegger Posts: 521
    YEP, and 100%.
    Weber Chimney is tops.     I have a couple scoops for overflow of used charcoal from 'last' run.
    Load chimney.     Overflow to scoops.    Light chimney.   Pour into grill, spread out and add from the scoops.    Top UP with 'new' 
    Give it 10 to 15 and you're golden.
  • PowakPowak Posts: 655
    Botch said:
    Leaving the bottom vent open causes the fire to dive down towards that vent.  Lump burning below lump burning doesn't help a direct grill, it just wastes fuel. 
    THAT'S the piece of information I was missing here, thank you.  
    And the shave the queen info, I did not miss, but thanks there too.  :tongue: 
    This exactly what happens to me when light with the electric starter. A burning hole right down to the fire grate. I’ve had a bunch of times where I’ve lit the egg and forgot to open the bottom vent. Sounds like that’s key.
  • carl292carl292 Posts: 35
    I like to postion the lump all pushed together , like a volcanoe and as it burns it levels out
  • PowakPowak Posts: 655
    Trying the light with electric starter while the bottom vent’s closed and then moving around the coals. So far I can’t tell if this combo’s going to work but I’ll find out soon enough.
  • PowakPowak Posts: 655
    Does fire spread better with the dome open or closed?
  • DoubleEggerDoubleEgger Posts: 12,526
    Powak said:
    Does fire spread better with the dome open or closed?
    Open. It needs air to spread 
  • PowakPowak Posts: 655
    Powak said:
    Does fire spread better with the dome open or closed?
    Open. It needs air to spread 
    Just realized that! Next time I’ll leave dome open after pulling the starter.
  • PowakPowak Posts: 655
    Should I open the lower vent after pulling the starter and storing the coals? Or wait until I’m close to closing the lid?
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