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Problems Getting Up to Temperature

I’ve had a large Egg for many years. Lately, I’ve been having a lot of trouble getting it hot enough to grill. I thought I was using the right amount of charwood or charwood briquettes, but after pouring hot coals from a chimney onto the fuel I placed in the Egg, it might get to about 300 degrees after a while. 

I clean the ash out pretty often. Is it also vital to keep the air holes in the bottom section completely cleared? 

This is very discouraging and I’d be grateful for any suggestions. 


  • RRP
    RRP Posts: 25,834
    edited July 2022
    Have you checked your dome thermometer accuracy lately? OTOH i have no idea what this “charwood”  stuff  you mention. Those unfamiliar product

     po we 

    oRRP said:
    Have you checked your dome thermometer accuracy lately?

    Re-gasketing America one yard at a time.
  • No. What’s the best way to check it?
  • bbracey21
    bbracey21 Posts: 319
    edited July 2022
    Boiling water test  

  • Langner91
    Langner91 Posts: 2,120
    You need three things to get your grill hot.  Four, if you count time.

    You need fuel - That's lump charcoal in your grill.
    You need oxygen - more on that below.
    You need to ignite the lump with some form of starter.

    Oxygen is the problem 99% of the time.  If it won't get hot, you are either closing the vents too far, closing them too soon, or you have an obstruction.  Use a leaf blower/hair dryer in the bottom vent and watch it get hot!

    You checked for ashes.  Good move.  Now, check your screen to see if it is plugged.  Check your alignment of your firebox to the vent.  By using a hair dryer, you will force oxygen in.

    If I had to bet, I bet you are closing things down too fast, or your thermometer is out of whack.
    Clinton, Iowa
  • paqman
    paqman Posts: 4,652
    edited July 2022
    Air flow and thermometer calibration are definitely things to check.

    There is something else that I’ve never seen mentioned.  I used to cook on my egg at least every other day so I never really noticed it before but I now use it mostly for low and slows which mean that it can be a week or more without being used.  When I don’t use it frequently, the ceramic gets loaded with moisture.  When it happens, the egg takes longer to heat up until the moisture has all evaporated.  The water in the ceramic stabilizes the temperature (kinda like water in a drip pan does).  The 300F temp that you see is about the same that I noticed when it happens to me.  When the temperature is cold outside here in the GWN, we can actually see water vapor oozing out of the ceramic; as soon as it stops I see the temperature climbing.  Evaporative cooling maybe how it is called?

    Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage. •Niccolo Machiavelli
  • johnmitchell
    johnmitchell Posts: 6,502
    Also check that your fire box is positioned correctly in the egg to have maximum opening at the bottom vent
    Greensboro North Carolina
    When in doubt Accelerate....
  • johnmitchell
    johnmitchell Posts: 6,502
    @Langner91 I should have read your suggestions first 🙄
    Greensboro North Carolina
    When in doubt Accelerate....
  • Thanks SO MUCH, everyone. I’ll check all these things. 
  • The airholes in the bottom ceramic are not a big factor and you can only clear them when lump is low. The airholes in the cast iron fire grate/plate are pretty important to flow. You might want to add something to your startup routine to clear ash down there. I stir the lump with the ash tool and check the quantity of ash through the lower vent.  Also use a wiggle rod (long sturdy skewer with a 90 degree bend on the last two inches of the end) to poke through the cast iron and help encourage some ash to fall. 

    Not sure how many people use a chimney and add to existing lump. I always start the fire in the egg. Used to use wax starters but sped it up with a gas torch. 
  • stlcharcoal
    stlcharcoal Posts: 4,679
    While most of the time is an air flow issue in these discussions, I'll touch on one other issue.  Briquettes take much longer to heat up and do not reach the temps that lump can.  They also have a ton of ash that hinders airflow once they start to burn down.  You need a lot more of them by volume because of all the filler.  Use lump and fill it up to at least the fire ring.
  • Also, if you have interest, stick around a bit and drop some wine picks in the “what are you drinking now” thread