Lighting The Big Green Egg is incredibly easy. We have only once failed to light the Big Green Egg instantly and with one eco fire lighter and that was the only time we didn’t follow ALL of our own Big Green Egg Lighting Instructions below.
Read our “How To Light Big Green Egg” guide to see how to do it and you too should be up and cooking in no time at all.
Step 1. Make Sure To Scrape The Coals From Your Last Cook On The Big Green Egg
This part, we believe, is the reason that the totallyhomely team failed the one time to light the Big Green Egg.
The Big Green Egg usually lights so well because of the excellent air circulation, both in terms of the top and bottom vents, but also the many holes that are in the floor upon which the lump wood charcoal sits.
The time we failed was the first light after cooking the Turkey and Gammon on Christmas Day (amazing by the way and done in only two hours).
The Big Green Egg hadn’t been used for around three months and so the coal dust had become damp. We didn’t scrape it away, so the circulation was dreadful.
So step one is to get the Big Green Egg Ash ScraperBig Green Egg Ash Scraper or similar and give the floor beneath the coals a really good scrape all around the edges and across the middle.
This ensures that there will be plenty of air flow when lighting the Big Green Egg, so long as you follow Step 2 below.
2. Ensure There Is Plenty Of Room Below The Coals For Air To Come In
The next part is to open the bottom air vent, then ensure that there is plenty of space for the air to come into bottom of the egg to ensure that the lighting process goes really well.
If there is a lot of ash, use the Ash Scraper to scrape it out towards you. Whilst Big Green Egg sell an ash pan, intended for scraping out the ash, if you have the Egg on a purpose built Big Green Egg Acacia Table, it doesn’t actually fit beneath the vent to allow you to scrape onto it.
How crazy is that?
Anyway, a small baking tray, with lower sides than the purposely built Big Green Egg ash pan, will do the job. Scrape out all of the ash, ensuring you go right around the sides, emptying the ash either onto your borders for a bit of compost or into your garden recycling waste (so long as the ash is cold of course).
Now that is all done, let’s head to step 3.
Step 3. Open All Of The Vents Fully And The Lid
If they are not already, ensure the bottom air vents are fully open and the top one too.
Step 4. Top Up Your Coal
Next, put in enough coal for your cook. If you are doing a simple BBQ, such as the usual sausages, burgers etc, a couple of layers of coals will be enough.
If you are slow cooking anything, such as our favourite lamb kleftiko/ leg of lamb recipe, then fill up the coals to the level where the outer part of the oven goes out. This will ensure that you have enough coals to cook for hours.
Once that is done, it is Timms to light the egg, in our ‘How to light green egg’ article.
It was important to cover the other steps above to ensure that your lighting experience was painless.
Step 5. Place One Eco Wood Firelighter In The Centre
We use Eco FireLighters and you only need to use one of them.
Make a small hole in the middle of the coals in the middle of the egg and pop your eco firelighter into that hole.
Step 6. Ensure There Is Plenty Of Coal Around The Eco Firelighter But Not Smothering It.
Next, we put a few coals all around and slightly over the firelighter, without smothering it, then it is time to go, go, go!
Step 7. Light It And Leave It For 10 Minutes
Take your fire starter of choice, this one is ours, then light it and leave it with the lid up nothing on top of the coals at all.
Set a timer for 10 minutes, this is where being able to shout ‘set a timer for 10 minutes’ on your Apple Watch is invaluable.
On most cooks we use the timer around 10 to 20 times to check the fire initially, then temperature settings several times (depending on the length of the cook) and then of course so as not to burn the food!
Step 8. Check There Is Some Orange Heat/Fire And Shut The Lid For 5 To 10 Minutes
So long as you see some orange fire or heat, shut the lid, leave the bottom vents fully open and the top vent fully open and set another timer for 5 to 10 Minutes.
What you are looking for when you return is a good flame through the middle when you slowly burp the Big Green Egg (lift the lid a little to let air in slowly before lifting it fully slowly).
If you see that, it is time for Step 9 of Lighting Your Big Green Egg.
9. Put On Your Gloves And Lift In The Cast Iron Searing Grid Or Conveggtor And Stainless Grill
Put on your Gloves, we love the Geekhom Heat Resistent Oven Gloves and pop in your Conveggtor and stainless steel grill, if you are using the Egg as an oven, or your cast iron grid if you are searing/traditional bbq’ing.
Shut the lid and wait for a further 5-10 minutes for the Egg to get back up to temperature.
Step 11. Adjust The Vents To Your Ideal Temperature
Adjust your air vents to reach your ideal temperature.
For 180 degrees (our common cooking temperature) we set the bottom vents (both) to about 1/6th open, leaving the top one open until you hit 180 degrees, then shutting it to about 1/6th open.
Step 12. Let’s Cook!
You are now ready to cook.
Burp your egg again, enter your food of choice, keep checking the temperature (thank you Apple Watch ), and away you go.
We hope you have found this ‘How To Light Big Green Egg’ guide useful.
You might also like some of our other Big Green Egg guides and recipes.