i don't sort my lump when i load my egg and i light it with a mapp torch. when i want it real hot, i light it at 3, 6, 9, and the middle. about 20 seconds in each spot and wait until it starts to rip. if i'm using a dense lump, it may take 45 minutes, but when i use royal oak (same as bge brand), it's super hot within 20 minutes.
i do have an ash tool and i always make sure i've cleaned under the grate and i run the tool around the sides of the grill to pull as much out of there as possible.