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Egg lighting technique, what's yours?

Trout BumTrout Bum Posts: 343
edited 2:59AM in EggHead Forum
Let's see what the different lighting techniques are employed by egg heads for starting their eggs.

For years mine was the use of a BGE electric starter. First I would stir the old unused lump to get rid of the fines and then push them back, insert the electric starter, move the old lump back over the starter, add new lump and plug in the starter.

This was easy and worked rather well on my large providing a fairly even startup of lump. However, on the small, it tends to create hot spots usually towards the handle end of the starter.

A couple of weeks ago someone on this forum suggested not stirring the lump and using a mapp torch to light the lump in various places. This works great without creating hot spots, is easier and is now my default method.

How do the rest of you egg heads start her up?


Trout Bum


  • BacchusBacchus Posts: 6,019
    I rake out excess ash from the bottom, push aside partially burnt lump from the center of the the grate, & dump in fresh lump. I never pay attention to where the larger pieces end up.
    Occassionaly I will use a WB if hurried, but 90% of the time I use half a Rutland Cube. Leave the dome open for 10min, another 10 closed and it's good to go. It's not the fastest way, but cooking with charcoal isnt about doing it fast anyway.
  • Weekend WarriorWeekend Warrior Posts: 1,702
    I've used different things, but now, I'm strictly a mapp torch guy. I stir the old lump around, remove ash if needed and light the remaining old lump with the mapp before I add any new lump. Lump that's been burnt once or twice already doesn't seem to spark as bad as fresh out of the bag. Once I have whatever used lump there was glowing, I'll add fresh out of the bag if needed for the cook. With this method, I almost never have to use the mapp torch on fresh lump.

  • Misippi EggerMisippi Egger Posts: 5,095
    Great idea about lighting the used lump - thanks !
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,972
    if you like the mapp you may really like the weedburner, much quicker, one spot lighting B) i stopped using the mapp after two torches caught fire. also use the oil and napkin trick at camp, works fine and the materials are always available
  • Misippi EggerMisippi Egger Posts: 5,095

    I have used an electric starter (from Lowes - $9.99) to start both my large and small eggs. Occasionally used the oil-soaked twisted napkin technique when I wanted a low & slow fire and didn't want as much lump initially burning.

    I recently purchased a MAPP torch, but have yet to try it out. I am definitely concerned about the sparking, but WW's suggestion above about lighting only the used lump (if have some) sounds good to me. :woohoo:
  • DavekatzDavekatz Posts: 763
    Stir the lump.
    Remove the ashes if need be.
    Add new lump as appropriate.
    Hit it with the MAPP - 4 spots if grilling, just in the middle if cooking low & slow. Usually leave the lid open until I get the charcoal put away and then close it down and the the Egg do her magic.
    Food & Fire - The carnivorous ramblings of a gluten-free grill geek.
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,972
    resist the urge to stand it on end leaning on the rim to avoid sparks and or get another beverage. there is plastic parts in the torch head that can catch fire creating a handgranade ;) :laugh:
  • Weekend WarriorWeekend Warrior Posts: 1,702
    Mine is an old manual-light one. Still have to use a lighter to light the torch, but it's solid brass so nothing to burn or melt.
  • Jai-BoJai-Bo Posts: 566
    I use electric starter....plug it in during prep (forgot a few times so the plastic handle is a little warped) then by the time it lights up get her prepped then throw down!!! :blink: :P
    Hunting-Fishing-Cookin' on my EGG! Nothing else compares!
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,972
    mine had plastic and rubber inside the knob adjuster that would melt as the head heated up.
  • RebelEggRebelEgg Posts: 45
    I clean out the ash, and then Mapp Torch. Works Great.
  • Starter cube or Canola napkin.
  • 'Q Bruddah'Q Bruddah Posts: 739
    Tried 'em all, weedburner won. I have a grocery store about 4 blocks away and it is not uncommon at all to put a quick light on the lump and go fetch dinner at the store. I shut it down so it doesn't run away and its ready to come to temp as soon as I am prepping the food. I am not sure if its possible to make it any easier.
  • 'Q Bruddah'Q Bruddah Posts: 739
    Dave, are you connected to Bullseye Video?
  • deepsouthdeepsouth Posts: 1,796
    i was using the bge electric starter and thought i burned it up, but it was really just my electrical outlet had tripped. i haven't replaced it yet, so i've been using the oil and paper towel deal.

    is weedburner a brand of something??
  • 'Q Bruddah'Q Bruddah Posts: 739
    Its a propane torch for burning weeds. Check out propane torches at Harbor Freight Tools. There was one for $19.99 but I got the $24.99 one when it was on sale. IMO I would opt for the $25 one since you don't need the tips for lighting lump.
  • Dump Lump

    Take a firm grip on my weedburner :evil:

    Light Lump :evil:

  • 'Q Bruddah'Q Bruddah Posts: 739
    Pictures, as they say... Thanks, Frank for the exquisite clarity of this post. :)
  • DavekatzDavekatz Posts: 763
    No I'm not.
    Food & Fire - The carnivorous ramblings of a gluten-free grill geek.
  • 'Q Bruddah'Q Bruddah Posts: 739
    Sorry, someone, same name lives in Arizona and does video work. I thought you might be one and the same. Guess not. :ohmy:
  • DrZaiusDrZaius Posts: 1,481
    MAPP gas is my choice.
    This is the greatest signature EVAR!
  • Partially soak (70% absorption, but ends dry) a single Bounty Select-A-Size paper towel section in canola oil.

    Make a little nest for the rolled up paper towel in old or new lump. Make a little bridge over the paper towel with longer, thinner pieces of lump. Light paper towel. Open bottom vent. After towel is burned up and lump is lit (a couple minutes), close lid and wait for smoke to go clear.

    Very simple, but I do get my hands dirty.
  • wow, my technique seems so... so... antiquated & boring compared to most already posted.

    I have a simple method:

    1.) Stir the lump
    2.) Shop-vac ashes if necessary
    3.) move strategically chosen pieces of lump away from grate holes & place a fire starter cube, broken into 4 pieces, at 4 different spots along the grate (usually front, back, 2 sides, and middle).
    4.) Light the 4 cube pieces w/ a simple fireplace butane-powered flexible fire starter.
    5.) use bellows to get a nice airflow into the bottom vent.
    6.) sit back & enjoy a cold one B)

    I've been infatuated with the mapp (and now weedburner) torches, but they seem pretty expensive to just be used as a fire starter...
    Don't get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup... Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend. - Bruce Lee
  • 'Q Bruddah'Q Bruddah Posts: 739
    The way I saw it, a box of consumable fire starters 144 count from Amazon is 9 dollars and change, so for the price of two boxes I bought a weedburner on sale. It has the lump glowing red before I could get the canola oil out of the cupboard and I don't have to wash my hands after.
  • ahhhh, well I guess I wasn't looking in the right place.

    I did a quick Google & the first site that popped up (flameengineering . com /Red_Dragon_Propane_Torch_K.html) had the smallest 1 it sold listed for $50.00 (the VT 1-32 C MINI DRAGON – 18,000 BTU model). Others on the site were listed for over $100.00!!!

    What brand & model do you have / recommend?
    Don't get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup... Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend. - Bruce Lee
  • 'Q Bruddah'Q Bruddah Posts: 739
    Harbor Freight Tools search propane torches. I got the $24.99 model on sale for $19.99
  • BacchusBacchus Posts: 6,019
    Q Bruddah, the cubes can be cut in half and they work fine that way. So $9 to start 288fires will last most of us a year or more, making the cost negligible. It's not about the cost.
    To me, lighting a cube and dropping it in is the easiest way. No, it's not the fastest, but when was the last time your afternoon or evening would have been so much different had the meal been 10 minutes later?
    just sayin.... :) I realize I am in the minority. I own a mapp and a weed burner. The last time I used the Map was for lighting fireworks. I may have used the WB twice in the last year when in a big hurry.
  • BrokersmokerBrokersmoker Posts: 646
    Stir used lump
    Add more as needed
    open bottom and top vents fully
    place lit starter cube in 3 locations nestled into lump
    close lid, first temp rise is starter cube
    second temp rise to about 25* short of target temp and adjust vents, and add platesetter and grid as necessary
    let temp settle to desired temp
    add food, wait, enjoy
  • Misippi EggerMisippi Egger Posts: 5,095
    Sounds like the voice of experience ! :ohmy:
  • walruseggerwalrusegger Posts: 314
    I'm with Bacchus on this one. I light one full BGE fire starter cube, build a mini teepee shaped fire out of some of the larger pieces and wait for it to get going a bit, maybe two min. Then I close the lid, open the bottom all the way and the top. 6-8 min later it's movin' on up to 300, 400....that's about when I start shutting the top and bottom down accordingly to the temp I want for the cook, unless I'm seering beef. Watching the fire get going is part of the experience for me. I could see a few times a year being in a hurry and needing it lit fast, but I'll do it the standard way...takes me back to watching my dad light the ole Webber all summer long! Now I sit around with my kids who are fascinated and love my relatively new egg. Just tonight my eight year old wanted to help, so I gave her the bag to hold while I scraped out the ash and let her move the the lump around to get the small stuff to fall through the grate. Then she helped move the lump in the center to find a spot for the fire starter. All three of my kids love the egg; hearing my 2 yo boy point at the grill and say "Daddy's egg" is priceless.
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