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Not hot enough

edited 11:44AM in EggHead Forum
I got my new BGE on Wednesday. Great first meal. Last night, it had trouble staying hot, but I was cooking tuna, so no big deal. It turned out fine.

Tonight, I'm doing 2 sittin chickens and it just won't stay hot. I've got both drafts wide open & have even spent many minutes blowing into the bottom one trying to keep it stoked.

Charcoal is a new dry bag.

I wouldn't think 2 cookings (maybe even 1, since it was this way last night) would clog any holes.

Any thoughts?


  • egretegret Posts: 4,110
    Fire + Charcoal + airflow = heat! You're not getting enough air flow for some reason.....Look for the obvious things such as fire box opening lined up with draft door , fire grate clear of ash (this can be cleared during a cook by poking a pointed object-a bent coat hanger works well) up through the grate from the draft door. Also, store your charcoal in a dry place. Another thing you can do is keep the dome open for 15 minutes or so after starting the fire in order to maximize oxygen to the coals.....
  • ChefRDChefRD Posts: 438
    Hello and welcome,
    You are using Lump right? Anyway, assuming your egg is assembled correctly, with the lower draft hole in alignment with the fire box hole, you should have no problem getting up to high heat.
    Its very simple really: Plenty of Air + Plenty of Lump = Plenty of Heat. If you are short of air or lump, you will not get the high temps.
    I put on a glove and stir the old lump by hand before refilling the firebox each time, and I fill it to at least half way up the fire ring. This will ensure a long enough time for me to cook most things, and it will get HOT with this much charcoal if need be.
    I suggest you stir/mix up the old coals and make sure the holes in the grate are open and then fill with more coal up to the middle of your fire ring and try again. I only rake out the ashes from the bottom of the egg after a couple of cooks unless it was an overnighter previously.
  • Thanks y'all for helping me out....

    Yes, i'm using the BGE lump charcoal.

    Is it possible to have too much charcoal? Like so much that air can't flow through?

    I'm not clear on what you mean by air box opening, since the dealer delivered & assembled the BGE. But I can easily reach into the ash area & poke the holes. I can see that magic glowing orange through maybe half of the holes. I used a fireplace poker on the other to no avail.

    I agree, it's a simple enough formula for heat, so next time I'll stir the old coals & have a coat hanger handy for poking.

    Trying again tomorrow, I think....
  • ChefRDChefRD Posts: 438
    Its hard to put too much charcoal in, but I'm sure you "could" ;). For low and slow overnighters I fill up to the top of the fire ring. I have gone for around 30+ hours at 230~250 dome temps. Long ago, BGE said you should not fill ABOVE the top of the fire ring, and after all these years, I see no reason to ever want to, so I never do.
    So for low and slow, fill it up.
    For fast, hot (and quick) fires you don't need to fill it up so far. But I usually do :).
  • I took your suggestion & stirred to coals. And as I moved stuff around I could see that plenty of holes were plugged with ash -- including _all_ the ones around the side of the fire box. I've not used it again yet, but I'm guessing the next use will go much smoother.

    Thanks again.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    you are probably using the proverbial "couple handfiuls of lump" touted in the literature. ignore that.

    load it up to the top of the lower bowl, with holes (the fire box).
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
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