As Dr. Farnsworth would say, “Good news, everyone!” My Big Green Egg and I are back in business. The problem was old charcoal. The solution was new charcoal.
Over the weekend, I made a crusty no-knead bread
These are from Miranti Borvornsin’s High Heeled Gourmet, one of my favorite food blogs.
In both cases, the Egg behaved perfectly. It came up to temperature quickly and held that temp with no drama. Also, the slightly off, smokey taste I got when I made spelt bread earlier this year was gone.
At the time, I’d blamed the odd flavor on having smoked a turkey in my Egg before I made the bread. Now I see that it was the charcoal having gotten damp and not burning properly.
I am a bit surprised that the charcoal got that bad. It’s been a cold, dry winter. I won’t have thought the small amount of moisture in the ambient air, even with the boost from the laundry room, would have been enough to spoil the charcoal.
OTOH, charcoal is really, really good at absorbing things. That’s why they put it in filters and gas masks.
Lesson learned: Next winter man up, put on a coat and keep grilling!