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First Time Lighting Question

wintonbeerguywintonbeerguy Posts: 11
edited 10:47AM in EggHead Forum
This is my first attempt to cook with the Big Green Egg. I just lit the lump coal with a fire starter. I shut the lid after ten minutes. I want to maintain 200 degress. The temperature shot up to over 300 degrees right away. I now have the top vent and bottom draft closed to about 1/4 inch. Only the coals in the center are burning. Am I doing this properly?


  • EGGRPhEGGRPh Posts: 180
    All I do is I cut my fire starter into quarters and place the 4 small pices throughout the lump to get a better start. I have done what you did but I just took a little longer to get the whole lump lit. I also use a chimney. I dump about 2 to 2 1/2 inches of lump in the chimney and with crumpled up newspaper I start it on the unlit lump. When red hot I dump the lit lump on the unlit and wait 5 to 10 min. then good to go.

    Stef in Brunswick, Oh
  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,172
    Why are you trying to maintain 200&deg - that too low for most cooks and can be treribly difficult to maintain. Shoot for 250&deg and you'll be happy.

    On a large egg the top daisy petals should be open the width of a toothpick, and the bottom draft door maybe 1/8" or so to hit and hold 250 reliably. Don't put any food in until the temperature is stable, and then don't adjust your vents after you add the food - the temp will come back to where it needs to be.
  • Oops, I put the pork on before all the coals were lit. Do you think I will be okay or should I remove the pork and start over?
  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,172
    No - you don't want or need all the lump lit. You want to wait until it is burning clean - let the nasty thick white smoke burn off - but if you get all the lump engaged your temp will be much higher than what you want or need in most cases.
  • EGGRPhEGGRPh Posts: 180
    Thanks Fidel for the lesson. I'm still a newbie.

  • Thank you so much. This forum is what really sold me on purchasing my first large big green egg.
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 28,817

    Are you doing a long cook?



    Caledon, ON


  • It is only a 4-pound pork butt. My dome is at 200 deg and thinking I will check the butt in about 6 or 7 hours.
  • PhilsGrillPhilsGrill Posts: 2,256
    Hopefully you calibrated your thermometer in boiling water before starting your cook. It could be off quite a bit. 200 degrees is too low to cook a butt to 195, it could take twice as long. 250 degrees will but the temp at the grid about 220 which is perfect and your butt get done faster.
  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,172
    Assuming this is an indirect cook.....
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 28,817
    Just so you know, and this is rare, there is a possibility of the fire burning straight down and dying out. That is why most of us light in multiple locations.
    It won't bother you if you are around to check the cook but is something you want to avoid for overnight cooks.



    Caledon, ON


  • That makes sense, thank you for the good advice. I will start lighting in several locations of the lump coal.
  • EGGARYEGGARY Posts: 1,222

    You won't go wrong.

    Thank you.

  • beesbees Posts: 335
    I used to live in Texas and the brisket came out juicey and almost tasted like a steak(in some restaurants). Can someone help me with a simple process for a beef brisket beginner???
    Thanks much
  • 2Fategghead2Fategghead Posts: 9,623
    Hi Bees, I suggest you start you very own post posing this question. Tim :)
  • How does sirloin cook? I have done rib eye and t-bone but never tried sirloin. I have heard that sirloin is not as tender. Any siggestions?
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