Big Green Egg - EGGhead Forum - The Ultimate Cooking Experience...
Welcome to the EGGhead Forum - a great place to visit and packed with tips and EGGspert advice! You can also join the conversation and get more information and amazing kamado recipes by following Big Green Egg at:

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Pinterest  |  Youtube  |  Vimeo
Share your photos by tagging us and using the hashtag #EGGhead4Life.

In Atlanta? Come visit Big Green Egg headquarters, including our retail showroom, the History of the EGG Museum and Culinary Center!  3786 DeKalb Technology Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30340.

First Cook-Lump Question

Buckeye FanBuckeye Fan Posts: 50
edited November -1 in EggHead Forum
Fired up my new large egg for the first time last night. The lump when lit had a very strong odor which my wife really didn't like it was kinda of an overpowering smell if you sat on the deck near the egg. Is that normal? I also detected a slight charcoaly taste to the burgers. Maybe I didn't wait long enough for the voc's to burn off ? Could it be the quality of the lump it was a new bag? The burgers were very juicy not like on a gas grill. I really like working with the egg and messing with the settings and adjusting the vents. I am hooked for life with my new toy!!


  • BBQMavenBBQMaven Posts: 1,041
    You didn't tell us what brand lump you used....
    Each brand of lump has it own flavor... You are correct about the smoke flavor if you didn't let it burn off...
    Simple trick is to get a whiff of the smoke coming out of the top, this will tell you what the cook will taste like.... I wave my hand in the smoke, palm down, for a second or two and then smell my skin... I usually wait till there is no visible smoke (you can still pick up a smoke smell on your hand) and the Egg temp has been stable at the desired cooking temp for 15 minutes...
    Kent Madison MS
  • BBQMavenBBQMaven Posts: 1,041
    Oh, meant to tell you welcome to the forum :) ... You have great taste in cooking ;) , too bad your not an SEC fan.. :whistle:
    Kent Madison MS
  • JPFJPF Posts: 592
    Congrats on the egg and welcome. What did you use to start your fire? I usually light my egg and get it stable and let it go for at the very least 30 minutes. I start my fire and then start preping sometimes it has burnt over a hour before I get around to getting the food on the egg. Just depends on how many adult beverages are involved.
  • Maven

    It was Frontier Brand lump. I suspect that I didn't wait long enough like you said. I filled the fire box with a lot of lump then thought if i have to wait till all this lump is burning I will be here all night waiting to cook. I should have given it a little more time to burn off.

    The SEC are some tough fast boys and some of the beat downs they give my Buckeyes makes me cringe!

    Bama ranked 1 Buckeyes ranked 2 should be a fun season for both of us.
  • JPFJPF Posts: 592
    Frontier is a good lump. Just let it burn longer before you start cooking, don't worry how much of it is burning. Another great quality of the egg is when you shut it down it snuffs out the fire and you can relight later.
  • BBQMavenBBQMaven Posts: 1,041
    It really doesn't matter how much lump you start with... as the Egg temp rises start closing the bottom vent (I don't use the top unless I'm cooking under 300)and when you reach the temp you desire you'll notice the smoke starts to wane... give it 15-20 mins and throw on the meat...
    One thing I've noticed about Frontier is some of the lump seems to be heavier (maybe the word "dense" is better) than the next bag... when you pick up a large piece of lump and it feels very light - less smoke flavor

    As for the teams - every dog has his day
    Kent Madison MS
  • JPF

    Is there always an odor from the lump as you are bring it up to temperature ? My wife really didn't like the smell as it was firing up. Do you leave the lid open while it's coming to temperature or close the lid with both top and bottom vents wide open?
  • Maven

    I did notice last night that some of the wood was very heavy almost looked like tree limbs I was surprised by that. I thought it would all be broken into smaller chunks. Still not sure why there was such an odor when I light the lump. I used a Mapp torch lots of sparks flying around.
  • JPFJPF Posts: 592
    It's a little stronger wood burning smell when you first light it but I kinda like the wood smoke smell. Once I have it ready to fire up I have the bottom vent wide open and leave the lid open til it's burning then I shut the lid down and set my bottom and top vent to what temp I am shooting for that cook. Remember it's better to sneak up on the temp than to overshoot. It's much harder to come back down. I light with a mapp torch and use ozark oak brand lump. I have tried many others but ozark is the one I stick with the most.
  • EggscriberEggscriber Posts: 276
    I agree with the other poster. That charcoal must have much more odor to it when it burned. Perhaps, much of it was "unignited" when you started. Use less next time and let it burn a little longer before cooking. In general, when I am doing indirect cooking such as baking, smoking or roasting, I use larger chunks, evenly spaced to allow alot of free airflow. For "grilling" such as steak, burgers, veggies etc, I use small or thin pieces and get a nice even bed of red hot coals to grill on. It takes a while to get the widespread red hot bed and often I do the grilling of meats after I have used the egg indirect for appetizer dips or potatoes.

    Good Luch!
  • I use starter cubes (normally 3) light nestle down into lump, close lid with both vents wide open, on 2nd rising of temp (1st time is heat from starter cubes) I adjust vents when about 50* from my target let temp stabilize and look for clear smoke, add meat, cook, enjoy!

    PS make sure to let temp stabilize with platesetter, or any other items that you will have inside while cooking.
  • BullyCBullyC Posts: 142
    Hi buckeye fan,
    All above gave great advice, heres 2 more tips,
    starting the egg anyway you want, if you have electric near by try a electric starter, there great, also
    starter cubes are relatively cheap, I only use 1
    and it works fine, Go to this web-site,
    WWW> will tell you everything about
    Lump charcoal you want to know. some will differ but
    I prefer cowboy lump because it does not give off a
    strong woody flavor, kinda mild, its all preference.
    Also try royal oak, they make it for big green egg.
    Last I did try a brand that whole foods stores sells,
    Oh my god this tasted terrible, I thru the bag away.
    You will get experience over time using egg, so be
    patient. take care BullyC
  • BBQMavenBBQMaven Posts: 1,041
    When I get one of those pieces (seems too heavy) I throw them in the fire pit for use with an outdoor evening fire... I'm always trying different brands I can pick up locally - Royal Oak for me is the easiest sourced and most consistent.
    We do a lot of pizza and breads which require a very clean burn with very little smoke smell - when I want smoke I use chunks of fruit trees, hickory, or mesquite - according to the type flavor desired...
    Kent Madison MS
  • BBQMavenBBQMaven Posts: 1,041
    Kent Madison MS
  • To all who have offered advise many thanks. I will take the advise given on my next cook. What I have noticed while lurking around on the site is that people are willing to jump in and lend a hand with advise. You don't see this kind of support on a lot of message forum's. Looking forward to talkin with you guys soon. Gonna try some chicken breast next!

  • BBQMavenBBQMaven Posts: 1,041
    My experience was the same- I struggled the first year or so before I found the forum... 95% of the post are positive and encouraging - like a family... learn to ignore the other 5% - never get "baited" into one of those threads...
    Kent Madison MS
  • stevesailsstevesails Posts: 990
    i had a problem witht he smoke taste that the wife hated. Make sure you wait to cook until the smoke is clear. coule be 30-45 minutes,, but worth the wait.
    XL   Walled Lake, MI

  • Maven

    Are saying you control the temperature with the bottom damper only and leave off the daisy wheel for many cooks?

  • BBQMavenBBQMaven Posts: 1,041
    Oh yeah, with my Large BGE the lower slide will regulate temps starting around 300 without using the daisy wheel... this keeps it simple... I'm a lazy Egger and don't want stuff complicated...
    Now when low/slow smoking 200-300 degrees, the daisy wheel is a must...
    Only other time is when I'm cooking fish or boneless chicken and I want to "flash smoke" them for a few minutes - I'll put wood chips (not a chunk) on the red coals, drop the daisy wheel on with a small opening for a minute or two to hold the smoke in, and then pull it to keep the Egg at temp...
    Hope this helps
    Kent Madison MS
Sign In or Register to comment.
Click here for Forum Use Guidelines.