I suggest that the first thing you should do is to thoroughly familiarize yourself with how Cycles, and Eevee, are different from BI. Their approach to “the same objective” is completely different – both with regards to BI and with regards to each other. (Ditto the now-reimagined OpenGL renderer.) Therefore, you aren’t going to “set up your problem” in, at all, the same way. This statement is of course “generally true about rendering anything at all,” but I predict that it will be especially true if you’re rendering an explosion and don’t want to wind up in “firefly hell.”
And, yes, I would definitely explore both Cycles and Eevee in this situation. Maybe render several other things, to “kick the tires real good,” before embarking on your explosion.