Lump Management in the XL Big Green Egg® Firebox
Managing Lump on Small Cooks
With the XL egg, we have the ability to manage the lump by sectioning the firebox. It's a fantastic way to shrink the XL for small grilling cooks or create different temperature zones.
Please note, what follows is only recommended for grilling cooks. If you try this on a low & slow, BBQ cook - good chance you'll could run out of lump and loose the cook.
CGS offers two accessories for managing the lump when grilling. The first is the Ang-L brackets. The second is Lump Reducing Rings. Each is effective - they just manage the lump differently.
So, good chance you'll ponder - which is best, rings or brackets! The easiest way to look at it is to consider the accessories you already own. If you purchased half moon accessories, half grids or stones, then the Ang-L Brackets should be your best fit. Or, if you own other round accessories, maybe from another grill, then the lump reducing rings may be your best fit. Our preference at CGS is the Ang-L Brackets, as they provide more flexible with lump configurations.
XL Ang-L Brackets
The Ang-L Brackets work in pairs to partition the firebox into lump and non-lump quadrants. Creating the desired formation is as easy as setting the Ang-L Brackets on the lump grate, see below. Just make sure the Bracket legs face out and away from the lump. Bracket legs out insures proper airflow under the lump.
Pictured below are three pie shape formations for 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4 firebox. The fourth formation, below right is the 1/2 formation expanded to 3/4. Just about any angle from 30 thru 330 degrees is possible.
The Ang-L Brackets are built to handle high-heat cooks. They are laser cut from 14 gauge, 304 Stainless Steel. A pair weighs over two pounds. Each Bracket leg is approximately 3.5" tall, matching the depth of the firebox. The Bracket’s side edge is angled to match the curvature of the firebox wall. Below are a couple cooks.
The steaks are seared to medium rare over the back half of the firebox. Sliced mushroom are in the foil pouch. We find it easier to use the back half of the firebox on half firebox cooks.
With the brats, the Ang-L Brackets are set to one quarter firebox size. We moved the brats back and forth over the lump to make sure the casings did not break open. We like 'em to ooze with juice on each bite, so it's a lite char cook on a raised grid.
With the spatchcock chicken cook below, the Brackets are approximately one-third of the firebox. The dome temp is 350-375. A piece of foil is positioned on the lump grate (under the roasting bird) to catch the fat drippings and minimize burning fat.
The cook starts with the bird skin side down directly over the lump to get the skin rendering. Next, the bird is moved to the opposite side of the grid to roast, breast away from the heat/lump. If needed, the bird can be moved back over the lump (skin side down) to crisp the skin near the end.
Use one of the brackets to scoop or shovel the lump into position. Saves getting your hands messy.
The Ang-L Brackets work with the XL Spider, XL Woo Ring, XL Flip Ring and XL Adjustable Rig and KickAsh Basket.
XL Lump Reducing Ring
The Lump Reducing Rings are an alternative to the Ang-L Brackets. The Reducing Rings take a slightly different approach to managing lump in the firebox. Instead of partitioning the firebox like the Ang-L Brackets, the Lump Reducing Rings shrink the overall diameter of the firebox.
We offer two types of Reducing Rings. The first is an Open Bar Ring with an open outer wall. The second is a Solid Sheet Ring with a solid outer wall. Why offer two?
The Open Bar Rings allows air movement on all sides. This lets the lump come up to temperature quicker. The only drawback is small chunks can fall out of the ring. The Solid Sheet Ring mimics the firebox by moving air through the lump grate. Having a solid wall, the lump stays corralled in the ring.
The rings are approximately 14" - 14.5" in diameter. They are 3.5" tall, matching the firebox depth. Lump wise, each holds approximately the same amount of lump as the firebox on the Large Big Green Egg, roughly 3 - 4 pounds.
The Open Bar Ring (above left) includes four, 1/4" rings welded to four vertical studs. The open area between rings is 7/8". The Open Bar Ring weighs over 2 pound and is fabricated with 304 Grade Stainless Steel. It's designed to take the punishment that comes from high heat burns.
The Solid Sheet Ring (above right) is rolled from 14 gauge, 304 Stainless Sheet stock. The solid wall design emulates conventional airflow with air moving through the lower lump grate. One ring is welded at the center roll to enhance stiffness. The Solid Sheet Ring weighs over four pounds - it's fabricated to take the punishment.
To insert the Open or Solid XL Lump Reducing Ring, just slide the Ring back and forth until it slips past the lump pieces and rests on the XL lump grate or firebox. We recommend filling the XL Lump Reducing Ring half full of lump on your first cook. It’s the best way to gauge temperature control. Chances are you’ll find the temperatures generated from a half loaded Ring sufficient to do just about any quick grilling cook. Also, lump outside the Open and Solid Wall Ring can ignite, so use it to fill the Ring when getting started.
You may wonder why we did not add a bottom to the Ring, creating a bucket. Without a bottom, the Ring inserts easily into the partially filled firebox. If it had a bottom, you would need to scoop out the lump, insert the bucket and then scoop the lump back inside the bucket.
You can set the grid right on the Rings. It's a great position to do the high temp cooks right the lump. Pictured below is the 18" cast iron grid (model 18CI) for the Large Big Green Egg on the Solid Sheet Ring.
Note the nice fit of the 18CI inside the fire ring. It's this great fit that makes the 18CI our preferred cast iron grid to use with the XL Spider or XL Woo Ring. The Lump Reducing Rings work with the XL Spider, XL Woo Ring, XL Flip Ring and XL Adjustable Rig and KickAsh Basket.
One last note: It should not take long for the Ang-L Brackets or XL Lump Reducing Rings to pay for itself. Just consider how much lump you’ll save on small grilling cooks!
Warning - High Temps
Ever wonder about how hot the temperatures get inside the lump. The two temperature readings were taken in the lump with a data-logger. The readings are Fahrenheit.
So, when using the Ang-L Brackets or Lump Reducing Rings, it is important that you understand and follow the procedures detailed below.
- WHEN TO SET OR HANDLE THE XL ANG-L BRACKETS OR LUMP REDUCING RINGS: Set the XL Ang-L or Lump Reducing Rings on the lump grate prior to lighting the lump. Do not handle or remove either during the cook or when the lump is burning. Let the grill come to ambient (cool) temperatures before handling any of the equipment inside the grill. Wear adequate hand and body protection.
- FLASHBACK: For protection, anyone using the ceramic grill needs to understand the principals and preventive methods surrounding a Flashback, including Flashbacks from the lower slider vent, felt rim opening and/or top daisy wheel vent. Please consult your ceramic grill manufacturer or retailer for Flashback details and preventative measures before attempting any cook in the ceramic grill. Keep children away from the grill, especially the lower slider opening, at all times.
- The dome thermometer or remote temperature probes positioned above the fire ring are not an accurate measure of the temperatures in the fire ring and firebox. The temperatures in the fire ring and firebox are much higher. Lump burns in excess of 1000 degrees Fahrenheit.