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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 05-05-2008, 12:23 PM   #1
71-South
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Default Does my egg have a leak?

Doing my first real smoke yesterday, I found it very difficult to maintain a 240° level on my large BGE. To get it there, I had the big part of the top (what's that called?) all the way closed and the daisy wheel was just rotated enough to see a very, very small slit. I had the bottom vent open about 1/2 inch (w/ the screen shut).

When I shut her down, it took well over 2 hours to drop below 100°. The egg is on my deck, surrounded by three walls. So, wind was a complete non-factor yesterday.

I replaced the lower vent door last week and noticed some sort of caulk/sealant on the old one, but I didn't bother to seal the new one. I didn't see any smoke coming out of the door yesterday, but I'm wondering that lack of seal is my problem.

Do I need to seal that door somehow? If so, what should I use to do it?

Are there any other problem spots I should check for leaks?

Thanks,
Bret
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Unread 05-05-2008, 12:28 PM   #2
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How much lit coal did you start with. Sounds like it may never been low enough.

Just a thought

Dan
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Unread 05-05-2008, 12:38 PM   #3
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Quote:
How much lit coal did you start with. Sounds like it may never been low enough.
I'm very early on in the process of learning how to build a good BGE fire. Yesterday, I loaded the firebox about 2/3 full with bigger chunks of the BGE charcoal. Then I put my electric (element) starter on that and filled the last 1/3 or so w/ smaller pieces left over from the day before.

I had read that you should start it from near the top for a slow, low fire and start it from near the bottom for a hotter fire. The fire never got really big, but I'm really not sure what to be looking for.

Thanks,
-Bret
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Unread 05-05-2008, 12:54 PM   #4
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Bret,
I fill my fire box to the top, then I take one starter block break it in half, shove them in the lump about half way from the center to the edge on each side. I use about three fist size chunks of wood, Center, middle and edge(I learned that from one of the brothers here when I got mine) so you will get good smoke all the way through the burn. I have a hard time keeping mine at 225, sometimes it just wants to run about 240. Thats about where my vents are opened also for the low and slow cooks. It takes a while for the BGE to cool off, the ceramic really holds the heat. Sounds to me like you are doing everything right. Rick will probably answer on this. He will know if the lower should be sealed or not. He is the EGG MASTER!!!!!!!!!
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Unread 05-05-2008, 12:58 PM   #5
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Bret,
Also the BGE is very efficient. I was amazed how little of lump it used on a six hour rib cook. I dump in the lump and let it go. The only thing to watch out for is when you reuse coals make sure the grate doesn't get clogged up with smaller pieces........No air...no fire.
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Unread 05-05-2008, 12:59 PM   #6
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1/2 inch on the bottom is still a rather large opening for 240 ish temps. I've seen folks have it down to 1/8 inch or so on the lower vent and the daisy wheel hardly open. I cooked on the pictured egg for months before changing the gasket. It's always easier to come up to temp than down to temp....

If you want to find leaks, get the egg smoking strong and close the upper vent and open the lower vent.
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Unread 05-05-2008, 01:05 PM   #7
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Was it getting too hot, or not getting hot enough? I don't use the screen very often, but I read that it reduces intake about 25%. I light mine about the same as hd4me does.
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Unread 05-05-2008, 01:14 PM   #8
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Use some Rutland high temp silicone and seal the draft door. That being said... I usually only have the draft door open maybe 1/8 of an inch and the daisy wheel petals open about 1/2 way for smoking temps.

As far as the cool down... it just takes a long time. That ceramic is some good stuff.
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Unread 05-05-2008, 01:15 PM   #9
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Use some Rutland high temp silicone and seal the draft door. That being said... I usually only have the draft door open maybe 1/8 of an inch and the daisy wheel petals open about 1/2 way for smoking temps.

As far as the cool down... it just takes a long time. That ceramic is some good stuff.
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Unread 05-05-2008, 01:34 PM   #10
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I normally load up my eggs with lump charcoal, then I use a paper towel dipped in veggie oil to light it. I will open my draft door about 1/4-1/3 of the way with the screen open. Then I control my egg with the draft door once I get to my ideal temps.

Once I cook my food, I will just shut the draft and the exhaust vent down. This full load will last me about 4-5 cooks when doing hot and fast. As far as low and slow with bigger pieces of meat, I will just let the fire burn out.

I have noticed with my large BGE I have to use lump to get a good controllable fire, but with the medium Komodo it doesn't matter as much.
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Unread 05-05-2008, 01:44 PM   #11
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Do the $1 Bill test on your Egg.

Open your lid and put a dollar on the gasket then shut the lid. When you pull the $1 out you should feel friction and hear it slide against the gasket. Do the $1 bill test in multiple places, especially around back by the hinge.

Also make sure your bands are tight. You should tighten the bands until the screw bends.

Good luck.
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Unread 05-05-2008, 02:08 PM   #12
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I would check the gasket...

I normally only open my bottom vent 1/8" and maybe half way on the daisy wheel... With a full load of lump I've been able to do up to a 29 hour cook on one load.
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Unread 05-05-2008, 02:15 PM   #13
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Thanks for all of the advice. It's all very much appreciated.
-Bret
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Unread 05-05-2008, 08:50 PM   #14
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I'd seal the slide draft door. Permatex Hi-Temp red silicone sealant.
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