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Newbie needing guidance

New to the BGE, but long time smoker.  Tried to really crank the heat this evening, but could only get to about 530.  Your thoughts?  Any advice much appreciated. 

Comments

  • RRPRRP Posts: 22,929
    Several things to look for, but first let's narrow it down - what size BGE?
    L, M, S &  Mini
    Re-gasketing America one yard at a time

    Ron
    Dunlap, IL
  • ColtsFanColtsFan Posts: 3,543
    Lump level and firebox hole aligned with the bottom vent is where I would start 
    XL BGE, 2-LG BGE, KJ Jr, 36" Blackstone, Ardore Pizza Oven
    Follow me on Instagram @ hoosier_egger
    Bloomington, IN - Hoo Hoo Hoo Hoosiers!
  • It is a large.
  • Also, it's new and I did clean out the ash prior to lighting. 
  • RRPRRP Posts: 22,929
    What @ColtsFan said.

    Now how did you light your fire? Dome open or closed? How about the bottom vent?How long did you wait trying to let it go nuclear? Dome thermator tested? 
    L, M, S &  Mini
    Re-gasketing America one yard at a time

    Ron
    Dunlap, IL
  • td66snrftd66snrf Posts: 1,599
    What are you cooking that you need to get over 530 degrees? 
    XLBGE, LBGE, MBGE, SMALL, MINI, 2 Kubs, Fire Magic Gasser
  • RRP I actually tried both leaving the dome open when it wasn't getting up there, but also closed dome with chimney and bottom vent wide open.  I lit it with a hot air gun, and gave it at least an hour to get to temp.
  • SlippySlippy Posts: 212
    RRP I actually tried both leaving the dome open when it wasn't getting up there, but also closed dome with chimney and bottom vent wide open.  I lit it with a hot air gun, and gave it at least an hour to get to temp.
    I have found that lighting the coals in 4 different spots gets the fire hot and does it quickly... I use the starter squares, but whatever you use, try lighting in multiple spots around the perimeter, and quite a deep serving of coals. Up to or close the the top of the fire ring. I got my large to over 1200 degrees in about 20 minutes this way (by accident)... Not sure how high you want to go, but be watching it close. I stepped away for a bit and created a lava egg... At first I thought it was only at 300°, but the dial had circled around. Scary.
    Rockwall, TX  •  LBGE, Big Hat Ranger offset smoker, Really old 22" Weber Kettle, Pile of Pecan and Post Oak... 
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 20,039
    As you are aware, the BGE (and any cooker using fire) is all about fuel, a fire ignitor and air flow.  If your thermo is accurate then with adequate fuel that has been lit it is an air-flow issue.  Something doesn't fit if you have all the above and only get to 530*F.  Could it be the lump??  FWIW-
    BTW-welcome aboard and enjoy the journey after this challenging start.  Above all, have fun. 
    On a side note-if you want to sear a steak then give caveman a search.  Dome open and straight on to the coals.  Great char-but that's for another day. 
    Louisville;  "indeterminate Jim" here; L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
  • Thank you all for the guidance.  I will make sure all vents and air holes are aligned.  Wanted a BGE for a long time, and now enjoying playing with it!  
  • RRPRRP Posts: 22,929
    Thank you all for the guidance.  I will make sure all vents and air holes are aligned.  Wanted a BGE for a long time, and now enjoying playing with it!  
    The learning curve will come sooner than you might think. I've read your responses - as well as the helpful replies. You will be getting "there" before you know it!
    L, M, S &  Mini
    Re-gasketing America one yard at a time

    Ron
    Dunlap, IL
  • Mattman3969Mattman3969 Posts: 9,080
    edited August 22
    You got some good suggestions above.  Tell me how long you are leaving the dome open after lighting 

    -----------------------------------------


    2008 -Large BGE. 2013- Small BGE and 2015 - Mini. Henderson, Ky.
  • TheophanTheophan Posts: 2,594
    You didn't say how much lump you're adding.  Some people just put in a chimney full and wonder why they're not getting a hot fire.  I load the lump up to near the top of the fire ring.  If I'm grilling hot, not smoking low-and-slow, I'll light it in several places, and I need to watch it to be sure it doesn't go over 700º!

    As others have said: If you have enough lump (and it's not wet or something), and you have enough air flow, the fire will be HOT.  If it isn't, usually it's an air flow issue.  But if that's OK, be sure you have enough charcoal in there.
  • jtcBoyntonjtcBoynton Posts: 2,494
    First thing to check is airflow. Second thing to check is airflow. After that, repeat.  For higher temps, try removing the top vent and see what happens. With the top vent removed and the bottom vent wide open, you should see temps above the range of your thermometer.  If not, check to make sure the firebox is aligned correctly.
    Southeast Florida - LBGE
    In cooking, often we implement steps for which we have no explanations other than ‘that’s what everybody else does’ or ‘that’s what I have been told.’  Dare to think for yourself.
     
  • While we are on the subject of airflow, are the kick ash baskets really worth nearly $90? If so, has anyone discovered a less expensive alternative?  I really appreciate the welcomes and the advice that's been shared with me.  Hopefully, as I gain experience with my BGE I can do the same for others.
  • northGAcocknorthGAcock Posts: 13,358
    Welcome aboard....you will learn fast. The more you cook, the more you learn. You have great resources here as you can see from the responses. 
    Columbia, South Carolina with a Medium, MiniMax & a 17" Blackstone

    “May the four winds blow you safely home.”
  • jtcBoyntonjtcBoynton Posts: 2,494
    The kick ash baskets do help with cleaning out ash from the egg and provide more assurance that small lump pieces will not impede airflow to the point of causing problems.  Cost is less than your number, so check where you were shopping.  You can cook without them fine, they just add some convenience.  Worth the cost? For some definitely, for others not so much. I have one of the older (pre stainless) versions and am quite happy I have it. Try cooking for a while without one - it will become clear to you if your fire management practices could benefit from one.
    Southeast Florida - LBGE
    In cooking, often we implement steps for which we have no explanations other than ‘that’s what everybody else does’ or ‘that’s what I have been told.’  Dare to think for yourself.
     
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 25,029
    take the metal top off the egg and put it on the ground, with it all fully open it will reach 1200 f degrees in time
  • logchieflogchief Posts: 1,406
    First thing Welcome to the zoo.  I'm really happy with my Kick Ash on my large.  It really makes cleaning out a breeze.  Check Amazon, there are several alternatives there at quite a bit less but don't have a clue about quality.
    LBGE - I like the hot stuff.  The big dry San Joaquin Valley, Clovis, CA 
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