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First Cook

So I finally got the chance to fire up the Egg today - just did some marinated chicken breasts as I wanted something easy while I figured it out.  Here's what I learned

1) Had a hell of a time getting the lump lit...went through a bunch of those little fire starters.  I should have used my chimney, and I also think I used too much lump (filled the fire box to the line).  I was using the Kamado Joe brand lump, perhaps the larger piece size was a factor.  It took me the better part of an hour to get it going.

2) I can see that getting the temp control right will be the challenge.  At first (when it got going) it shot right up to 600 degrees or so with the bottom vent open and the daisy wheel off.  When I closed down the bottom vent to about 1/2" and barely cracked the daisy wheel it brought it down to right around 300.  I had some trouble getting it up to 350-400 and keeping it there - but I think the issue was all of the lump wasn't lit/burning.

3) I think I put the chicken on too fast (after waiting an hour to get the lump to light) I was over eager before the lump was properly lit and thus got a bit of the acidy smoke taste.

I had a blast though and can't wait to try again tomorrow.  Any tips/advice would be appreciated.


  • TjcoleyTjcoley Posts: 3,547
    Best advice is be patient. Sounds like you kept adding starters - you probably had some coals lit and over lit it with additional starters so it ramped up to 600 quickly. I've never used more than 3 starters, back before I switched to oiled paper towels. Each one starts a small bit of coals, temp will eventually come up, and once it starts it happens rapidly. Catch the temp on the way up. If you are shooting for 400, start closing dampers at 300 and try not to overshoot. As soon as you are at a stable temp, and the smoke smells good, put on the food. Welcome and good luck.
    It's not a science, it's an art. And it's flawed.
    - Camp Hill, PA
  • As a newbie I went through a similar experience, but decided based on my personality type to get a couple of things -
    A butane torch extended length (something like pic below), the extended length is great because some coals kick up embers while lighting, the butane allows me to light any number of areas quickly, so I can get to any temperature with little hassle.
    The next thing I got was a high powered shop vaccum. I know this sounds weird, but it allows me to clean out my firebox quickly and efficiently - this is core to maintaining high or low temperature cooks.
    A platesetter for indrect cooking is also something I would put up there as an essential.
    After that you will be buying "gear" for your egg weekly - depending on which direction your new addiction leads you, and believe be it is an addiction!
    Welcome aboard, hold on and enjoy the journey :)
  • paqmanpaqman Posts: 2,815
    What brand of fire starters did you use? Where did you place them?

    I now use BGE fire starters and I only need one to start the fire. Actually, when I feel cheap, I cut them in 4 pieces and only use 1 or 2. I move a few pieces, put the fire starter in the "hole", fire it and put 1 or 2 charcoal pieces over it making sure it can still "breathe". When starting, the draft door is fully open and the lid is closed while making sure that the DFMT is fully open or not on the lid. Works every time regardless of the temperature or amount of wind. It usually takes 15-30 minutes to get to 400F depending of the charcoal I use and cleanliness of my egg.

    Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage. •Niccolo Machiavelli
  • GrillmagicGrillmagic Posts: 1,550
    I am a newbie also and getting and maintaining a temp has been a challenge, I have tried several things and here is what I am doing right now, I bought a electric starter and put it in with what ever lump I will need and let it go for 7 to 10 minutes>keeping a eye on it at 6 minutes, when it reaches the desired temp I back EVERYTHING down, daisy wheel to just a sliver and the bottom vent to about 1/4 inch. Get it stable and cook some great food.
    Dimondale, Michigan XL BGE
  • six_eggsix_egg Posts: 985
    Welcome aboard. You will enjoy the BGE.


    Texarkana, TX

  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 18,708
    Welcome aboard and enjoy the ride.  As you can see, plenty willing to help should you have any questions.
    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
  • EagleIIIEagleIII Posts: 283
    HNL, I too am a relative newbie...going on one month with my lg BGE. Having said that, I too wrestled with lighting on my first light, then I got two things that changed everything...I got one of those chimneys and in a bit of overkill, I also got an electric lighter called a "Looftlighter", which is really a high powered blow dryer, putting out a blast of 1,250 degree hot air. Sometimes I will use one, sometimes I use the I other, and both are equally easy and equally effective. Look them both up and maybe one of those will help you. Also, as you can see, lots of help and recommendations to be found here!
  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 8,433
    I like the electric starter on the top for about 7-8 minutes, bottom open, DFMT off. Take the starter out, close the lid. Within minutes temp is climbing through 300º. Then I put in the set-up. If it is a low and slow and I have the time, when the starter comes out the set-up goes in, set the vents and give it an hour to stabilize. 
    Key is airflow. 
    Delta B.C. - Whiskey and steak, because no good story ever started with someone having a salad!
  • Forgot pic earlier....
  • JenGangJenGang Posts: 91
    Forgot pic earlier.... image
    This is what we bought to start ours and I LOVE it!


    Lakeville, MN

  • radamoradamo Posts: 372
    I use an electric and I am loving the control it gives me.  For low and slow I place it under a few coals and leave or 7 minutes. Whenever I want to get hot quicker at the start I bury it under a few more coals and leave for up to 10 minutes...  Both are with the bottom vent open and dome up.  Once the starter is removed I close the dome and monitor the temp with the no cap on.  Once I get to temp I put on the DFMT cap with the daisy vents open and close my vent at the bottom to about a half inch.  I watch the temp over the next 15 minutes or so and manage adjustments at the bottom vent.  Once temp is held I use the top vents to manage small adjustments.  So far this seems good. 

    Long Island, NY
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