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Lighting XLBGE Question!!!!!!!

ok i have a XLBGE and i use the electric question is this after the middle is red with coals is it truly ready to cook or am i supposed to wait untillthe whole box is hot before i put my meat on...i did my first cook yesterday just hamburgers and i played with the temp contrlos witch are awesome by the way....but it was only hot in the middle someone please help me!!!!!
"Ask not what your Egg can do for you, but what you can do for your egg" 1LBG 1XLBG , Grilling, JimBeam, and Life....What else is there??!!!!!


  • YEMTreyYEMTrey Posts: 5,670
    I have an XL as well.  I usually light the lump in more than one spot.  Once it gets to my desired temp, and the smoke is clear, that's when I put on the food.

    I also, depending on the cook will build an indirect fire, off to the side of the firebox and will only light that in one spot.
    XL, Mini Max, and a 22" Blackstone in Cincinnati, Ohio

  • dlk7dlk7 Posts: 1,053
    I use a Bernzamatic TS8000 to light my lump.  I only light the area below where I'm cooking.  So, if I'm doing a single steak on one side of the grill and want to do something indirect like a baked potatoe on the half moon stone on the other half, I only light 2 spots near each other on the direct side.  If I'm doing a ton of burgers or using the whole grate area, I will light about 10 spots equally around the whole base.  For anything cooked over 350 degrees, I always start with the bottom vent wide open and the daisy wheel off.  Once I hit about 400 dome temp I dial back the lower vent until the smoke smells good - just a few minutes and even less if reusing the left over lump from the last cook.  Then I let it stabilize at the temp I want - a few more minutes and start cooking.

    Two XL BGEs - So Happy!!!!

    Waunakee, WI

  • Plano_JJPlano_JJ Posts: 448
    Get you some Rutland Fire Starters and use at least three in a triangle pattern to light it. I have the electric starter as well and I'm not too impressed with its ability to light the XL. To answer your question, I used to leave mine for about 10 min, the coals were red but the rest of the lump on the outside wasn't lit.
  • QDudeQDude Posts: 667
    I have an XL and I only light one spot with a Weber starter cube.  Once it gets to temp with clear smoke it is good to go.  It can take 30 minutes or so with this method but that is not a problem for me.

    A northern Colorado Egghead since 2012!

    XL and a Small BGE.

  • travisstricktravisstrick Posts: 5,001
    I light 3 spots in a large triangle. I control how hot it gets by how large I allow the glowing spots to get before I close her down.
    Be careful, man! I've got a beverage here.
  • FoghornFoghorn Posts: 6,480

    I vary how I light it (with firestarters) depending on what I am cooking.  Yesterday I wanted it around 300 for cedar plank salmon and was not in a rush so I used 1 starter in the center and put the daisy wheel on adjusted to where I know it will be about 300 and went for a 45 minute run.  When I returned it was exactly where I needed it to be.  I also had a hot spot directly over the lit coals where I could throw on some chicken breasts at the end of the cook.

    If I want to do burgers that cover the entire grill surface I have used up to 4 firestarters to get up to temp quickly with the whole surface being over direct heat.

    With an electric starter it is not really an option to light multiple places simultaneously, but I wonder if you could get two places pretty well lit in about 12 - 16 minutes by doing 6-8 minutes per spot.

    I used to think that uniform heat distribution across the entire grill surface was 1) desirable and 2) the mark of a good grill.  At this point I have come to the conclusion that for the majority of cooks having some temperature variability around the grill is best so you can be cooking/warming/searing as needed. 

    XL BGE, Klose BYC, ProQ Excel, Weber Kettle, Firepit, Grand Turbo gasser, and a portable Outdoor Gourmet gasser for tailgating

    San Antonio, TX

  • Black_BadgerBlack_Badger Posts: 1,182
    I'll throw in my two cents from my experience with the XL as well. 

    When I started using the Egg I used a chimney to start a batch of lump, got that the glowing hot then dumped it out over the top of the rest of the lump. It worked well and gave me uniform heat, but I often had a hard time locking in below ~275 and was using a lot of lump. 

    For the last month or so I've been starting in 2-3 places by stuffing a rolled paper towel, dosed with olive oil down into the lump and starting with a match. I leave the top and bottom wide open with the lid closed until I get close to temp then pop the DFMT on and regulate temp. Usually takes 15 min or so to get clear smoke. I've also started clearing an area at the front of the box so I can see at least two holes in the bottom of the firebox. This method seems faster to temp, easier to regulate at ~235-275 and less messy (no loading the chimney). I also get an area right in the front where I can park things to flip, check temp, etc without direct heat on my hands or the meat. So far it seems to work very well. 

    Experiment, you'll find something that works great for you too. 

    Cheers -
    Finally back in the Badger State!

    Middleton, WI

  • When I started using the Egg I used a chimney to start a batch of lump, got that the glowing hot then dumped it out over the top of the rest of the lump.
    This... I use this method for direct heat when cooking chicken thighs, drummets etc.  Just make sure when you open the lid to tend to the meat its quick! When the entire batch of lump is lit, it will get away from you.
    XL bge, Mini max & 36 BS Griddle.
  • JscottJscott Posts: 174
    I've got an XL and have used the same electric starter for 4 years. Yes, I know I'm on borrowed time.
    I leave it in there until I see a flame come out of the lump. Then take it out and spread the coals around as you like. Works fine!
  • zosobao5150zosobao5150 Posts: 133
    Me use weed burner when me want fast fire and high temp, light in one spot with Weber starter cube.
    XL BGE
  • GQuizGQuiz Posts: 701
    For a cook less than 2 hours, I use an electric starter in the middle. One I reach temp and have clear smoke, I cook. For longer cooks, I put the electric starter in the front. Reach temp with clear smoke and go to town. Last night, I went 13 hours after lighting in the front. I doubt the lump could be stretched that long by starting in the middle.

    XL BGE; Schertz TX by way of Stow OH. #egghead4life
  • Black_BadgerBlack_Badger Posts: 1,182
    Hey @GQuiz, that's a really interesting thought, start at the front where you have the most reliable airflow and let it burn back from there. Do you have any issue with the temp creeping up as the fire burns back and gets exposed to more fuel? 

    Cheers -
    Finally back in the Badger State!

    Middleton, WI
  • PlanoPokes79PlanoPokes79 Posts: 197
    Just 2oz of 91% rubbing alcohol and wait 30 seconds then throw in a match and 20 minutes is ready!!
  • jeroldharterjeroldharter Posts: 550
    I use the electric firestarter in the center. Depending on ambient temperature, it takes 8-15 minutes to get going. Then I close the egg but leave the vents open. 

    I let the dome temp get ~50 degrees above my desired temp and then put the daisywheel on to bring the temp down. Then I progressively close the lower vent to regulate the temperature (or add the DigiQ to take over).
  • GQuizGQuiz Posts: 701
    The temp stayed steady. Start in the middle and it burns in all directions. Burns more quicker. The front cuts in a line to the back and lasts longer. At least it does for an indirect cook.

    XL BGE; Schertz TX by way of Stow OH. #egghead4life
  • ChokeOnSmokeChokeOnSmoke Posts: 1,914

    You're doing the right thing, electric starters are the best.  Leave it in for 8 minutes, pull it out and GENTLY stir the coals.  This technique works for every type of cook.  I wait about 10 minutes after I pull the electric starter out and you're good to go.
    Packerland, Wisconsin

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