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This was different - is it common?

JanetJanet Posts: 102
edited 9:54PM in EggHead Forum
This afternoon I was readying the Egg for a slow-heated ham (already cooked). I put a small bit of starter cube in some nice fresh Maple Leaf chunk, lit it, and let the fire get going. When the dome temp reached about 220, I added smoking wood chunks (aged oak). I closed the top and shut it down for a slow cook. I then noticed (visually and aurally) regularly-spaced "whooshes" with flame shooting out the bottom vent. Pretty dramatic. These whooshes occurred for about 10 minutes, when they stopped and all was well. I'm assuming that they were due to volatiles released from either the lump or the smoking wood, but I've never seen this before. [p]Anyone else notice this?


  • Tim MTim M Posts: 2,410
    Janet,[p]Any time you have a fire going and add wood and make it smoke by starving it for oxygen you can come across what you experienced. Opening the dome under those situtions can cause a mean flash-back where the fire all of a sudden gets a load of oxygen and the fire roars and the smoke burns. Be careful. You should "burp" your cooker by opening the chimney top and the vent and letting the smoke escape before opening the dome.[p]Since I don't like that much smoke on food, I seldome run into it anymore but I have had a few hairs burnt off my fingers. [p]Starved fire - wood smoking = need for caution.[p]Tim
  • Janet,
    The phenomenon you experienced is called "panting" and is caused by your fire intermittently expending all of the available oxygen and going out, then rapidly re-starting when enough oxygen has entered the fire box. It stopped when the balance between airflow and combustion settled down. I have seen Marine Boilers' walls actually bend and flex when this is going on (a VERY dangerous and scary thing). The forces at work in your BGE are small enough that the ceramic can easily handle it. If you think there is enough commotion going on to get ashes on your food, you can stop the panting by changing the balance - open or close a vent a bit. This happens in my wood stove quite often. The really important part was covered by Tim M - Be careful and watch out for flashbacks!

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