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Help on the best way to get the egg going.

tazcrashtazcrash Posts: 1,852
edited March 2012 in EggHead Forum
OK vets. This weekend was my first attempt. I felt like I fought the egg most of the way. Seemed like either I couldn't get the lump to light, so I broke out the chimney starter and got that going, then the temp started raising, then dropped, plus I had an expectant family waiting to put some sausages on it. I read naked Whiz's site (yep pretty much all of it), but if someone can give me a good basic set of instructions, and about how long (time, visual, etc..) on lighting it would really be appreciated (by my impatient family :) ). 
Bx - > NJ ->TX!!! 
All to get cheaper brisket! 


  • bigguy136bigguy136 Posts: 1,161
    I used the chimney for several months then I tried the mapp torche. I will never go back. 45 seconds to 1 minute with the torche stuck in the lump and wait a few minutes. Give it a try.

    Big Lake, Minnesota

    2X Large BGE, 1 Mini Max, Stokers, Adjustable Rig

  • cortguitarmancortguitarman Posts: 2,061
    20 minutes start to finish. I use the rutland fire starters. Place 3 starters at 12, 4, & 8. Light and leave lid open. Let em burn until you see the coals start ashing. Stir the lump with the ash tool. Close the lid and let everything wide open. Leave the daisy wheel off. When the thermometer is 50 degrees before your desired temp, begin closing things down. If temp climbs higher than you like, adjust daisy wheel. It should come down as long as you haven't let it go too high. Keep it at desired temp for 10 minutes. Make sure smoke is burning clear. Put your food in and have fun. I'm still learning, but this has worked for me. I plan on trying the rubbing alohol method when my fire starters are gone.
    Mark Annville, PA
  • Village IdiotVillage Idiot Posts: 6,958
    You didn't mention what lighting method you used that didn't work.  You will get a plethora of recommended ways to light your lump.  I use 91% isopropyl alcohol from WalMart.  Maybe your lump was damp, and therefore, hard to light?

    Temperature control is the major learning curve with the egg.  I would start with cooking things that are not temp critical, such as hotdogs, hamburgers, etc.  But, use those cooks to practice your technique.  I originally found that it takes a very small opening in the bottom vent to achieve a high temperature.

    There is a thread by Grandpa's Grub where he shows the upper and lower vent settings he used to achieve various temperatures.  

    Dripping Springs, Texas.
    Just west of Austintatious

  • dunnharrdunnharr Posts: 45
    The Looftlighter is the ticket.  Watch the YouTube video - I'm usually ready to cook in 10-15 minutes and it's much safer than using a torch or alcohol.
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,935
    If the starting method begins with the dome open for a considerable time, it is quite likely that the dome therm will first register a hotter fire, and then lower, because closing the dome reduced the airflow. I'd suppose that's what happened when you dumped the burning lump from the essentially wide open chimney into the Egg.

    The impatient family didn't help. I used a chimney several times, and found that large of a bunch of burning lump could bring the Egg to a high temperature very quickly with the daisy wheel off, and the bottom vent wide open.

    I tried most of the lighting methods, with the exception of the electric starter. I settled on a weed burner that can use either MAPP Pro gas, or propane. Its made by Bernzomatic. Don't know the model number, but it looks like a cane. The cylinder attaches to the end of the handle. The MAPP works best. The lump can be lit in a downpour in about 45 seconds.

    There is a reason to let the Egg burn for maybe 20 minutes before putting the food on, no matter what method you are using. Check out the Whiz on VOCs. When lump is started, there is a lot of stuff besides carbon left in the lump, and as the fire develops, much of that comes off as a heavy, billowy white smoke. That stuff will give the food a bitter, nasty taste.

    I assume I have 25 minutes after I light the Egg before it is ready for cooking. But there is a lot of variability. I've had a raging fire in just over 10 minutes a few times, and a couple of times where I was not up to temp for over an hour (of course, one of those times was Thankgiving, and I had a big bird to cook.)
  • tazcrashtazcrash Posts: 1,852
    edited March 2012
    OK, can't write much now at work but...... 
    I had some Royal oak from last year. Open but dry. While in the supermarket, I got some fireplace starters that are made of paraffin, and wood dust. I put them on top of the lump (it did have a lot of small nuggets). I tried lighting them with a long neck windproof butane lighter (works like a mini propane torch). They kept going out, and they didn't melt the way I had thought they would. 

    So I broke out my propane torch, chimney starter, opened up a bag of wicked good, and newspapers. Got the chimney going, then poured it on the unlit lump. (nice big chucks in the WG btw). 

    I will check out the Grandpa's Grub. But I did notice that if I wanted 300, the bottom vent was about the width of a couple nickels.
    Bx - > NJ ->TX!!! 
    All to get cheaper brisket! 
  • Janssen14Janssen14 Posts: 50
    Rubbing alcohol is the best thing I've found
  • ChuckGGaChuckGGa Posts: 115
    Skip the chimney starter if you have the propane torch and just light the lump in the egg w/ the torch...

    8 Green Eggs...I have a problem, ha ha!   1-XL; 2-L, 2-Med; 2-Sm; 1-Mini.       


  • BuckeyeBobBuckeyeBob Posts: 670
    The Looftlighter is the ticket.  Watch the YouTube video - I'm usually ready to cook in 10-15 minutes and it's much safer than using a torch or alcohol.
    Clarendon Hills, IL
  • I have found an electric starter to be the easiest. Fill up with lump, shove the starter into the middle of the pile and plug it in to an extension cord. In 10 minutes or less you have a nice pile of glowing coals. Can't get much easier!
  • tazcrashtazcrash Posts: 1,852
    Thanks all for the info. Unfortunately the Looftlighter is not an option for now. 
    I think the best advise is to get the family out of the house when I try lighting.
    Bx - > NJ ->TX!!! 
    All to get cheaper brisket! 
  • Another plus for the electrc starter is that it cost $10 at Lowes or Walmart!
  • EggucatedEggucated Posts: 213
    I'll also vote for the electric starter. I started with the starter cubes and had to pay attention to starting the fire. Now I fill with lump, shove the starter in, plug it in and go prep dinner. 10 minutes later I have a nice fire going.
    Thanks, Mike "Live in such a way that if anyone should speak badly of you, no one will believe it."
  • bumpyebumpye Posts: 15

    As Village Idiot mentioned-you got a plethora of ideas. I'll add to the confusion and tell you what worked for this rookie. My first "burn" was empty-no food. I just wanted to get a feel for the egg and temp control. I used the white parafin(?) starters from Weber. You can get them at the Depot for about $3 or $4 a box. After swishing around the old charcoal, making sure most of the ash has fallen through, I nestle two cubes in the charcoal, light them, and leave them alone for about 5 minutes. I then close the hood-all vents open wide, and let it burn for 15 to 20 minutes. By then the temp is at or higher what I need, so I start adjusting the vents to where I want, maybe open the hood for a bit to let some heat escape.

    Bottom line-no matter what you use it should work...sounds like you may have damp charcoal (leftover from last year). If all else fails, bite the bullet and throw it out and start with a fresh dry bag. I have only used Walmart Royal Oak and it works great.

  • MickeyMickey Posts: 18,734
    Salado TX Egg Family: 3 Large and a very well used Mini, added a Mini Max (I'm good for now). 

  • Doc_EggertonDoc_Eggerton Posts: 5,160
    LOL Micky.

    XLBGE X 2, LBGE (gave this one to my daughter), MBGE and lots of toys

  • MickeyMickey Posts: 18,734
    Doc just no patients
    Salado TX Egg Family: 3 Large and a very well used Mini, added a Mini Max (I'm good for now). 

  • mikey5874mikey5874 Posts: 86
    The last time I cooked, I used a paper towel and a little veggie oil, lit right up.
  • gte1gte1 Posts: 376
    I used the chimney for several months then I tried the mapp torche. I will never go back. 45 seconds to 1 minute with the torche stuck in the lump and wait a few minutes. Give it a try.

    What he said!!  Starter cubes first, then chimney, now mapp torch.  No more methods in my future this is very easy and very fast.  Wicked is hard to light this way though.


  • obob Posts: 17
    Weed burner only way to go - 2 minutes to light and 5 minutes later time to cook
  • jjmillsjjmills Posts: 117
    i have a smaller weed burner.  It hangs on the egg and the torch ends up right on the lump.  Can't get any easier
     LG. BGE  Straight up Cheese head from Little Chute, WI
  • EggbertsdadEggbertsdad Posts: 804
    I just toss a Molotov Cocktail in it and I've got a fire going in no time! Plus it let's the neighbors know I mean business.
    Sarasota, FL via Boynton Beach, FL, via Sarasota, FL, via Charleston, SC, via The Outer Banks, via God's Country (East TN on Ft. Loudon Lake)
  • tazcrashtazcrash Posts: 1,852
    Thanks for all the suggestions. Gave it another shot tonight.
    OK I pulled out the biggest pieces of lump from the fire box, made sure all the holes were clear, put them back with some new wicked good. I took one of those fireplace starters, broke it up, lit them and after a short while they went out. OK, ask the wife where the rubbing.g alcohol is. OK sprinkle the lump with the alcohol, lite it, hey looks likes things are going well..... wait, why did it go out? Again? Oh, operator terrors. Stupid forgot to open the bottom vent. Lol. OK, more sprinkling, a satisfying whoomp, and after 20 minutes (of course now the stupid fire starters light and smoke!) I close the lid, and leave the daisy wheel off.
    Burgers were good.
    Thanks again, but this isn't over. I think Mickey made the best argument on a primal level.
    Bx - > NJ ->TX!!! 
    All to get cheaper brisket! 
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