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Pre-buy Questions: Starting fire, etc.

edited November -1 in Pre-Sale Questions
We are LP grill users but are planning on converting to BGE owners. We BBQ 99+% of our meals and really depend on a good grill. We have recently had LP grill burner problems and it really put a damper on our cooking and in reallity never realized how much we depend on BBQ grill operation. We have been thinking about all the great thing we hear about the BGE and how food is so different when cooked on a BGE.

Starting the fire: I'm concerned with lighting the charcoal (best method) and time that the BGE is ready to cook chicken, steaks, etc. I've seen a couple posts that have what looks like a flame thrower device to start the fire which doesn't look convenient. I've seen things written that the BGE is ready to go in 10 minutes. What is the real truth? I don't want to invest in a BGE and be disappointed because we are turned off by the time it takes to start the fire and the time it is before we can start cooking. I can deal with 10-15 minutes since this is about the time it takes to get the LP grill ready after starting it, burnig off the grill and wiring the grill, then getting the temperature down to the cooking level.

Altitude/Cold/Windy Weather: We live in the mountains of San Diego, CA (yeah, I know what you are thinking) at about 4,200 feet and during the winter our temperatures get down to 20s, 30s, and low 40s with the occansional snow and plenty of winds to extremly high winds all throughout the year. How does the BGE handle these conditions?

I guess we are so progamed with the LP grill that it is scary to think of going to a charcoal grill. Our brother-in-law will not cook on anything other than a charcoal grill but he doesn't have (nor anyone we know) have a BGE and it takes soooooo long for him to have the coals ready and I am SOOOOO turned off by the starter fluid he uses to get his fire going. We eat organic and him using that fire starter fluid turns my stomach. Since I mentioned eating organic...the organic meats must be cooked at lower temperatures and they cook faster than non-organic so that is another concern of ours. Please help make the right decision as so we don't have a BGE sitting on our deck and not being used.


  • Buster Dog BBQ
    There are multiple ways to start the egg. Some use the MAPP torch because it is very fast. Downside is it creates a lot of sparks. Some use an electric starter, some use starter cubes. and some use a napkin with cooking oil on it. Each method takes a different amount of time.

    But if you get home, light the egg, and then get your food prepped and ready, the egg should be close to your time. A good 20 min or so to let the smoke go clear. Depending on your cook temp will also depend on how long. Like 700 degrees will take longer to get to than 325. Good rule of thumb, don't allow the temp to shoot past your target or it will take extra time to bring back down.

    Egg handles weather conditions better than anything. I have used it with -10 below to 100+ and in windy and humid conditions. Just try to not have your bottom vent in the direction the wind is coming from or your lump might burn faster.
  • Take the plunge. I light my egg with a mapp torch the big idem you see some using is a weed burner and after some posts last year (people starting there house,deck,and bushes on fire) I would not recomment it.

    The egg WILL get to temp within 10 min if the egg was kept clean of excess ash. When I say temp it can be at 750 or above so when lighting the egg I stay close as to not overshoot my target temp (low and slow).

    When you say organic I assume the meat is less fat. If im correct then you will still be OK. I cook alot of deer, elk, and bear on the egg all VERY lean meat and all turn out great. Good luck