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Big Murth needs help: Butt Lump levels

Big MurthBig Murth Posts: 350
edited 11:30PM in EggHead Forum
Doing an 8.2lb Boston Butt this weekend, and want to revisit with ye, the preferred and expert way of loading a Large BGE for such a cook. Have read plenty of posts, but remember a few that recommend filling with lump to the top of the fire ring, not just the firebox! I'd like to sleep through the night Saturday, and as the girls are teenagers now, I don't have to get up so often....unless they're out on a date!!! What say you Eggers?
p.s. Will be using the plate setter, and probably combo hickory and apple.
Big Murth


  • WooDoggiesWooDoggies Posts: 2,390
    Big Murth,[p]Yes, fill that puppy up! Better too much lump than not enough. Hickory and apple sound mighty fine, too.[p]For long cooks where I want to sleep soundly I use the C~W method. Which loosely is... clean out the the firebox, make sure all holes are clear, lay large lump over grate holes and firebox holes.
    On top of this layer start a smallish fire teepee-style and once it gets roaring red-hot good, add 2"~3" lump on top of the fire, spread your wood chips/chunks around the perimeter and then pour the rest of the lump to just a few inches below the main grate.
    Put on the meat, close her down a good ways and watch the smoke crank... and there will be large loads of mongo smoke... the first time I did this I thought the neighbors were gonna call the fire department. :~)
    Let the heat climb slowly to the target temp and you are basically set and ready to go for the duration.
    Once your temps have stabalized where you want them and you are ready for bed, C~W recommends gently stirring the grate holes with a bent rod thru the bottom vent to free any small pieces of lump that may have fallen in and impeded airflow... which subsequently may choke the fire while you're asleep.
    This method always works for me without a hitch. And I end up with about a third of the lump unused after an 18-20 hour cook. Not too shabby.[p]Good luck and tell us how it went.[p]WD

  • WessBWessB Posts: 6,937
    Big Murth,
    I`ve gone 26 hours and still had lump left after only filling to the top of the firebox..I dont see any need to fill to the top of the fire ring...just my opinion..[p]Wess

  • WardsterWardster Posts: 1,006
    Big Murth,
    True, there are many variations. I have always went by Elder Wards instructions and never had a problem. I have no problems keeping the temp around 200* or sleeping while it's cooking. It may be a little 'extra' work, but worth it not have to worry about it. If you need his instructions, email me. Besides, it gives a reason to open the egg up and clean her out.... she likes that...
    If it aint broke, don't fix it. Stick with Elder Wards way.

    Apollo Beach, FL
  • davidmdavidm Posts: 64
    Big Murth,[p]Until recently I had always filled up to the fire ring, and wondered why my fires in my large Egg took so long to come up to temp and were relatively hard to maintain at a constant temperature.[p]Then several weeks ago while I was re-reading Elder Ward's treatise on pulled pork, I noticed that he recommends filling only to the top of the fire box. I've started doing that and since then I notice that my fires are coming up to temp faster, my hot fires are much hotter and my low-and-slow cooks are much more consistent for temperature and I've gone 20 hours without running out of lump.[p]So while I don't think there's anything to be hurt by overfilling to the fire ring, I no longer believe it's necessary.[p]Cheers![p]David
  • Big MurthBig Murth Posts: 350
    Thanks to you and everyone who got back to me. I think I'll straddle the line between Elder Ward's method and that of Charwoody's, and just be sure that I've got good air flow under those larger pieces of lump, but load it generously with enough to at least get me through till early morning. This is my third butt, wish me luck.............and thanks again!!
    Big Murth
    p.s. Will probably christen the Sonoma Williams remote for temp monitoring of the dome....not the meat---jeez, I get to read another instruction manual!!

  • Big Murth,[p]Just want to share something I discovered quite by force :)[p]A few weeks back I noticed that the grate in my large had broken into 5 pieces :( [p]I was going to call BGE and get a replacement under warranty but needed to BBQ that night so decided to go to the hardware store and improvise. Now... they didn't have any drain grates or such but they did have a small BBQ grill that fit perfectly in the bottom of the fire box ... just a tad bit higher than where the grate used to sit and I bought some expanded steel mesh I cut in a circle to sit on top of the grill to catch any small pieces of lump.[p]Man oh man.... what a difference ! It has super airflow now and the small lump crumbs dont bother it a bit. No more cleaning out the holes etc. I wish I would have done this a long time ago. Temp. response is amazing... overnight cooks are easy and I no longer have to sort my lump and be careful of the grate holes in loading. Just pour it out of the bag ! Im not even thinking of getting the replacement grate from BGE. It works that good ! [p]
    It reminds me of when I put dual carburators on my VW bug from the stock one :) What a kick in the pants .... big difference oxygen makes ! [p]Im not selling small BBQ grills and or expanded mesh :) LOL
    But I highly recomend this "upgrade" to anyone having problems with their BGE breathing... choking on small pieces of lump etc. with the factory grate. [p]Be careful cutting the expanded mesh though... that stuff has sharp edges and can give a nasty cut...wear gloves...I found out the hard way ... ouch :) grin[p]Happy BBQ'ing... BB [p][p]

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