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One last post before getting rid of BGE



  • Dude, you just jumped in too fast. I know at least one regular poster on this board who has his large setting on the ground on the 3 feet it came with- and he's been doing this for a lot longer than me! (I got my Egg in 2006)

    The advice you've been given is good, but the advice that says you've been reading too much and not cooking enough is spot on. I know because I did it too. I had a fairly large learning curve.

    your pizza setup sounded right-you don't need to wipe the stone so much.

    you can leave the daisy off the top, but as your temp gets to 50* from your target, adjust your damper door
    this is what my draft door looked like when I cooked pizza the other day at 550.
  • MaineggMainegg Posts: 7,787
    don't worry most of us have "been there done that" :) the lucky part for you is you have this forum for help :) so ask and just ignore any catty remarks.. we have had some trouble makers and some have a hard time trusting and letting go. they forget that we were all new at some point and just did not know :)if you don't know ask :) it is not a dumb or stupid question if you don't know. the egg IS different than a gasser or your oven. but when you "get it" it is better than both hands down. just try to get your temp control down and let the smoke "clear" so you can hardly see it. sniff it. You really can tell the difference. trust your nose you will know when it is ready. and get a good thermometer and a chart for meat temps and then figure out yours :) we know just what we want our steaks at and chicken and pork tenderloins. it all will come just take it one step at a time :) if you are a good cook, and you do sound like you have a little more than a clue :whistle: it will make you an ever better cook. really ;)
  • elzbthelzbth Posts: 2,075
    Hnag in there - if you will allow yourself the time and patience to master your egg, you (and your family) will be very glad that you didn't give up and sell it. I have had my share of failures - the folks on this forum have given me so much advice and direction. Accept that you are going to have some cooks that aren't perfect, and resolve to do better the next cook! I lurked on the forum for almost 10 years before I started posting - wasted so much time. :)
  • Elizabeth, :ermm: That makes you 8 years older than me. :ohmy:
  • Cheapskate - follow granpa grub's advice, it is sound. The only thing I can add is that you still have to apply regular cooking principles to what you're doing. Time has no bearing on what you are doing, you need to go by temp. The important temps are dome temp, grate temp and internal meat temp. Nothing else matters. Don't close your vents to check temps, you are snuffing out your fire. Your comment about the stainless grate being useless is silly. Lots of great grills, charcoal & gassers come with stainless grates. I will say that I made a 12 hour round trip to pick up my egg, set it up and smoked a pork butt that nite. It turned out excellent, along with most other cooks I've had. Pizza has way too many variables on it's own to blame the egg. What is your recipe? Does your dough have oil & sugar? These ingredients don't do well in high heat cooks and can lead to burnt bottoms. You also have to be concerned with your hydration %. How is your pizza in your home oven? Anyway, don't give up, relax and use normal cooking/bbq'ing techniques and you'll be fine.
    Glad to read your response. Now lets get constructive and get you some specific help.

    I am by no means a great cook. I think the best advice I have received from the forum folks and advice that really made a difference in my cooking was to buy a Thermapen (no substitutes - $80 expensive but well worth it to me) cook to temperature and not cook to time. That is still a hard thing for me to do but I force my self.

    Hopefully I would love to get to a fest and taste some of the other eggr's cooking - I just want to see if I even hold a candle to some of stuff I see here. I have done some good brisket but nothing like some of the pictures I see from the 'greats'.

    You will need to tell the forum what you are trying to accomplish, what you know and don't know and you will as many help posts as you have here.

    Even if you want pre cook help, just ask. The question doesn't matter. Not very often does a question get asked and a response shows up within minutes.

    Keep in mind there are always a lot of ways to accomplish the same results. I may post a method I like just to find out someone has a better solution. I take with I think the best solution is and adapt and use.

    Glad to help you with your frustrations, we all have them.

  • jballjball Posts: 63
    Maybe you could each out to Lawn Ranger for some help. He is also in SA.
  • Haven't read all the replies, so there may be some repeats here (sorry if that's the case).

    So, let's start off:

    1.) Pricing - some folks actually use the platesetter as a baking/pizza stone, so you don't "have" to buy another stone if you don't want to. The regular grill grate works just fine, no need to buy a cast iron one unless you want to (I've had mine up to 700 degrees before, and it's just fine). As far as a stand / nest, see my post regarding my impromptu table (I put the Egg up on an old apartment-sized refrigerator that was laid on its side) - total cost: $0.00 (and I was able to move that old eyesore of a fridge out of my garage & free up space for more stuff). As far as the table, you can build a basic table for less than $70 in materials. As far as cleaning out the ashes, the "tool" they sell is for people who don't know any better - I just use my shop vac. As far as tongs - I would think if you've EVER owned any type of grill in your life, you'd have a set of tongs laying around somewhere. Even if you don't, a fork works well too.

    2.) Steaks / burgers - I'll leave this up to the
    Eggsperts. But I will say that this is NOT like any "normal" grill. For my burgers, I put them on the Egg, 4 minutes / side at 350 degrees & that makes 3/4" - 1" thick burgers come out medium with a nice reddish "ring" around the perimeter of the meat (as you're looking at it cross-sectioned).

    3.) baking - I cook my pizzas at about 400 for 15 minutes. I pre-heat the stone (actually just put it in the Egg as the Egg itself is getting up to temp), and cover it w/ a light dusting of cornmeal. After 15 minutes, I'll open the dome & check the pizza, if it looks done, I'll take it out, if not, leave it on for another few minutes. I've never had any problems with this method, and can even take a "so-so" uncooked Costco pizza & make guests go "ga-ga" over it because of the wood-fired oven taste it gives to an otherwise "normal" pizza.

    4.) low / slow - again, I'll leave this up to the Eggsperts.

    Finally, I'll leave you with this - there is some variability as to the temps & times even on your own Egg as it is somewhat dependent on the heat/humidity/barometric pressure outside on any given day. The times/temps given on the BGE site (and on here, or anywhere else, for that matter) should be used as a GUIDE only (sort of like the warning they put on microwave oven cooking times). You have to "Eggsperiment" with your Egg to find out what works - take notes / keep a journal of what works, what doesn't, what times & temps work for a particular food, etc.

    Also, as some have mentioned (DBcooper being one) - cook to temp, NOT time. Get a meat probe thermometer & cook to the desired temp. Time is NOT a definitive guide as I said before, because environmental changes can affect the time it takes to cook to a specific temp, but a specific temp is always that temp, so cook to that temp!!

    If you still have unburnt coals after a cook, great, you can use them the next time!! I typically get about 3 good cooks out of my coal b4 I have to do a complete replacement. I'll typically throw a handful or 2 to "replenish" what I have in there, but yeah - about 3 before a total replacement (and that means that it's about 3 cooks before I've used up all the coals I've had in there & have to put all new coals in). If you don't like having unburnt coals then you can do 2 things - don't put as much in or light the coals in several spots (a good example would be to light in the middle, then 3-4 places around the perimeter of the fire ring). That way you'll get a good fire going all throughout the coals.

    Finally, in case you're not sure how to do it, think of the lower vent as the "intake" vent & the upper as the "exhaust" vent. What does a fire need in order to survive? Fuel, air, and exhaust. Take out any 1 of the 3, and the fire dies. You have to "play" with the positions of both the upper & lower vents to get the temp you want - if you leave the lower vent wide open thinking you'll get a lot of air in to the fire but you have the upper vent almost completely shut - what will happen is that the fire will burn the oxygen out of the air it takes in, but will not have a way to exhaust the burnt air (which is carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, etc). Look at a fire extinguisher & depending on the type, it may use CO2 because that will kill a fire). So, in short, if you choke the exhaust vent down too low, the fire will burn all the oxygen & all that will be left is CO & CO2 (and other gases) which are NOT flammable & thus will extinguish your fire.

    Think of your car exhaust - the engine burns the fuel, but it MUST exhaust the burnt fuel out your exhaust pipe (hence the name "exhaust" pipe). If you put a banana in your tailpipe, it won't be long before your engine stops working - same principle with the Egg.

    Hope this helps... :)
    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
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