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newbie - loading and replenishing coal

ArizonaBoxsterArizonaBoxster Posts: 26
edited 1:48AM in EggHead Forum
Newbie question - I've had my BGE XL for about 3 weeks and LOVE it. pulled pork, burgers, steaks, chicken, ribs all came out great. My tri-tip... well, I have to try again on that one.

My question to the forum: when firing up the egg, do you always put a little more coal in there? Just reuse what's left? and do you have to move the coals around to get the ash to fall below the grate or does that not matter?

Just trying to get a sense of how to use the firebox - if it's better to have it loaded up or am I wasting coal...


  • Capt FrankCapt Frank Posts: 2,578
    You will get some different ideas, but I nearly all ways start with a full firebox. Stir the used lump around to get rid of the ash, add some fresh on top and light. Every three or four cooks I pull the old lump out, clean everything, add fresh lump, put the larger pieces [golf ball size, approx] back in on top of the new and go. The XL has a huge capacity so you may not need to add more as often, but you definetly need to stir stuff around to git rid of the ash and be sure your air holes are open! B)

    Capt Frank
    Homosassa, FL
  • BeaumontyBeaumonty Posts: 185
    I agree with Capt. Frank.

    When you are stirring around your coals, however, make sure you don't shift your grate. I caused a mini cave-in that I think actually affected my air flow and temperature control...for one cook. thankfully i cleaned it out after that cook and realized i stirred a little too hard.

    good luck.
  • NibbleMeThisNibbleMeThis Posts: 2,293
    I agree with Capt Frank. Top it off but every 3-4 cooks, I pull out the old, add in new, and top back with the old.

    And every time I stir old coal around, I poke the cast iron grate on the bottom with a metal BBQ skewer with the tip bent up at a 90 degree angle (about an inch worth). That gets any ash to fall through and clears the holes for oxygen flow.
    Knoxville, TN
    Nibble Me This
  • Thanks guys - appreciate the advice - I did notice it was pretty easy to plug up or constrict the airflow of some of the grate holes with smaller lump charcoal pieces.

    the XL damn near uses half a small bag of charcoal to fill it up the first time - but then only needs a little replenishment...
  • BoogieBoogie Posts: 137
    Where are you at in AZ?
  • Chandler, AZ
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