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HELP! Newbie having trouble with EGG

tmuenstertmuenster Posts: 35
edited 10:28AM in EggHead Forum
I have a large size BGE that I begged by wife to buy. She is the best and bought it for me this past spring. We have only used it twice since we have been traveling all summer.

I cannot get the temperature right in this grill. I've tried just a few pieces of charcoal and filling the damn thing. And everything in between. It won't heat up above 270 degrees. I am using BGE natural lump coal.

As I write this, I have a rack of ribs grilling. Trying to use a recipe from the BGE site which calls for 325 degrees.

I have checked the bottom, cleared out ash, holes are clear, and coal is white with red embers. I had to take the metal top off to keep up any kind of temp. The ambient temp is almost 70 outside.

Comments

  • chocdocchocdoc Posts: 461
    Have you calibrated your thermometer? Poked a wiggle rod into the holes in the bottom plate under the charcoal?
  • RRPRRP Posts: 21,930
    first of all - welcome aboard! Second - have you calibrated your thermometer?
    L, M, S, &  Mini
    And oh yes...also a 17" BlackStone gas fired griddle! 
    Ron
    Dunlap, IL
    Re- gasketing AMERICA one yard at a time!
  • RRPRRP Posts: 21,930
    furthermore is your firebox opening lined up properly with your bottom vent? How long are you letting your fire to get established?
    L, M, S, &  Mini
    And oh yes...also a 17" BlackStone gas fired griddle! 
    Ron
    Dunlap, IL
    Re- gasketing AMERICA one yard at a time!
  • ShiffShiff Posts: 1,703
    Since you said you are new at this, there may be some obvious things that you are doing wrong.

    Definitely follow the advice about calibrating your thermometer. Stick it in some boiling water and then adjust using a pair of pliers on the nut on the back.

    Have you tried it with the top vent uncovered and the bottom vent all the way open? That should give you 500-700 degrees about 20 minutes after lighting if everything is assembled correctly. As someone else said, make sure the opening in the firebox ceramic is lined up with the bottom vent hole.

    Always fill it to at least the top of the firebox with charcoal. Once you're finished cooking, you put the green top on and close the bottom vent and the charcoal will go out and be usable next time.
    Large BGE
    Barry, Lancaster, PA
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,878
    Tmuenster, hope you get back to the forum. All the above advice are what you need to check. Coals white with red glow showing should be well above 270.

    Hope your ribs don't burn.
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 28,817
    tmuenster,

    You arent buying the ten minute and ready to go stuff are you?

    Steve

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • SmokeyPittSmokeyPitt Posts: 9,838
    I agree- sounds like your thermometer may be way off. If you see white burning coals, it should be hot! You may have noticed the dome thermometer is just a food thermometer- so if you happen to have another therm you can stick it in the hole and check it.

    Just thought of something- you do have the bottom draft door open right? You should open the door all the way when lighting, then close it down once the fire gets established. You can leave the screen closed for safety (prevent poppers from flying out).


    Which came first the chicken or the egg?  I egged the chicken and then I ate his leg. 

  • PhilsGrillPhilsGrill Posts: 2,256
    Alright, this may sound stupid but you do have the charcoal grate on the bottom of the egg installed right? Some have missed this in the box and have dumped charcoal straight down inside the ash area thus leaving no air chamber.
  • Now this is a suggestion I would never have thought of. It would certainly be a problem if the fire grate was not installed. Good thinking!!
  • Tank_NZTank_NZ Posts: 53
    Egg - make sure its assembled correctly - put the bits in and have the firebox opening face the opening on the outside. Easy.

    Fuel - clean out the egg (properly - making sure all holes are clear)and start from scratch. Couple of firelighters at the bottom and stack the lump over top.

    It will catch on quickly. Add more lump by hand - dont just pour it in - you will get all the dust and crap and block the holes. Fill to just above the holes on the side.

    Leave top open for a few mins as this catches on. Close the lid - leaving bottom and top vents open.

    Walk away. Drink a beer, Make a margarita, relax. Come back in 10 mins.

    The oven will now be 'hot as heck'. If the thermometer dosnt agree (carefully) put hand over top vent and you will soon see it is off and will require recalibrating (which you should have done before you started all this).

    Its a pretty simple formula. - And lets be honest - its a ceramic egg - it's not like there is much to go wrong - so you will get there pretty quickly.
  • Thanks for all the great advice. The ribs were a bust! I hate to say it, but my old gas grill did a much better job. My sweet wife was really disappointed. She even suggested we sell the BGE. I am not ready to do that.

    We bought the egg from a dealer and they set up the BGE so I assume it was done correctly. However, I will take it apart tomorrow to see if everything looks right down below. It has to be something with the air or charcoal. Right?

    Second, I got out a digital thermometer and was getting temps consitent with BGE temp guage. The BGE just did not feel that hot. I tried it with several combinations of vents open/closed, etc. The temp never got above 300.
  • RRPRRP Posts: 21,930
    nm
    L, M, S, &  Mini
    And oh yes...also a 17" BlackStone gas fired griddle! 
    Ron
    Dunlap, IL
    Re- gasketing AMERICA one yard at a time!
  • DondgcDondgc Posts: 337
    Don't sell your Egg! there is sometimes a little learning curve, that's all. Don't get down on the Egg or yourself - just try again. You don't even need food to make sure you can get your fire burning properly. Just light it up empty and get the hang of it. You may waste a bit of lump but that's all.

    Lots of great advice above this on what to do to get the fire going. I did notice you mentioned you tried various combinations with vents open/closed etc. If the fire is not hot, don't close anything. More air - hotter fire.
    New Orleans LA
  • DondgcDondgc Posts: 337
    Sorry - double post.
    New Orleans LA
  • SmokeyPittSmokeyPitt Posts: 9,838
    I agree with Don...don't give up! Maybe your lump got wet at some point? You might want to get a fresh bag and then follow all the advice.

    Here is a vid that might help:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbOPeneIapY


    Which came first the chicken or the egg?  I egged the chicken and then I ate his leg. 

  • Hi tmuenster,

    Where do you live? Maybe on of the fine members of this board could to your home and help get you cooking.
  • KMagnusKMagnus Posts: 114
    You mentioned getting your BGE this spring. Have you had the lump for that long too? From what you're describing, it sounds like moisture has gotten into your lump. That happened to me on one occasion earlier this year and I remember getting very frustrated - thinking something was wrong with with mine.

    But, the first time I fired it up after using a new bag of lump - I ended up singed the hair off my arm.

    Get a new bag of lump, but more importantly, don't give up and sell!

    -Ken
  • I'm in Ken's (KMagnus) boat 100% of the way here!!
    After reading everything here (unless things aren't right in the Egg...Everything lined up, fire grate and so on...) I have to point my finger at the the lump!
    I have had trouble with wet lump and the fire just NEVER gets hot.
  • OK, I could not sleep last night and spent the time looking at posts on this forum and watching BGE clips on YouTube. I am going to try three things:
    1) Clean out my BGE (I read about problems with air flow)
    2) Get new charcoal
    3) Use a lot more charcoal (I was filling up the fire box but not much more. This time I will fill up the fire ring too.

    Thanks again for all your help!
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    no need to fill up the fire ring. TO the fire ring, sure
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • SmokeyPittSmokeyPitt Posts: 9,838
    Sounds like you have a plan. I hate to contradict...but I don't see a reason to fill up the fire ring unless you are planning on a 15+ hour cook. For a normal cook I think filling up the fire box or even a little below is fine.


    Which came first the chicken or the egg?  I egged the chicken and then I ate his leg. 

  • RRPRRP Posts: 21,930
    Personally for years now - unless I'm doing an overnighter - I always fill my eggs to the bottom of the fire ring - no matter whether it will be just a 2 minute high temp sear or a 5.5 hour cook. By being uniform I get fairly consistent known times to temp performance. Then of course when done I just snuff my fire and reuse the unburnt lump the next time after I once again fill it to the bottom of my fire ring!
    L, M, S, &  Mini
    And oh yes...also a 17" BlackStone gas fired griddle! 
    Ron
    Dunlap, IL
    Re- gasketing AMERICA one yard at a time!
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    bingo.
    i always add. just gives me a known starting point. i never am surprised by how quickly or how long it'll take to get to temp
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
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