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Home Brew Forums > Food and Beverage > Meat Smoking, Curing and Sausage Making > Big Green Egg opinions
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Old 06-03-2011, 01:17 AM   #1
cfonnes
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Default Big Green Egg opinions

I am close to buying a Big Green Egg but they are expensive so I wanted to hear the pluses and minuses from people who own them.

I hear the stand that you buy with them is not very stable so I plan on building a table with an area for it to sit in.

You guys and gals that have owned them for a while I would like your opinions. Good things and bad things.

Thanks

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Old 06-03-2011, 01:46 AM   #2
milesvdustin
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I have a Large size BGE. I LOVE it. LOVE LOVE LOVE it! I have the nest stand that is for it, and I drag mine all over the back deck to where I want it and I don't have any problems as long as I pay attention to the wheels and the surface to make sure it will roll. One bad thing about it is it takes a while to start up if you are just doing a couple burgers or something. I love it for doing slow smoke bbq. I have done ribs, brisket, shoulder, chicken, even the thanksgiving turkey with amazing results. I also like to get it roaring hot with a pizza stone in it and get that brick oven crust with a little smokiness. I either make my own dough or use those marketfresh pizzas from walmart, either way turns out great. I also like to do steaks at nuclear explosion temps, about 60 seconds per side gives an amazing char on the outside and leaves the inside nice and medium rare. I always do 1.5" prime ribeye, but I have had success with other steaks of various cuts. Just need to get used to the heat. I use royal oak natural lump charcoal in mine, you probably want to stay away from briquettes and lighter fluid. The ceramic can soak in the chemical smell from that and mess up the grill. A chimney starter is a great way to get a lot of coals going real fast. The stock lid gasket sucks, order the high temp one from them for like 6 bucks. I have had that gasket for two years now, works like a champ. I suggest getting the XL size if you ever plan on doing a large amount (more than six racks) of ribs or more than four 6 pound pork shoulders at once. All of that extra space would be nice. But good luck with your decision, I love my egg and I have had it for three years now, and the wife and I cook on it 3-4 times a week.

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Old 06-03-2011, 01:28 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply, I am going to go with the Large, very rarely would I need to cook as much as the XL can handle.

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Old 06-03-2011, 01:38 PM   #4
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I've had my large BGE for several years now (I think like five). I've done the Thanksgiving turkey on it every year, and several one-off turkeys just because it's SOOO good!

The XL doesn't handle a turkey of the same size as the large because the curvature of the lid is lower, so the turkey can't be as tall.

I've done smoked pork, ribs, the turkeys, a flock of chickens, and more veggie kebabs than I can imagine. But I've also baked cookes (chocolate chip with bacon), bread, pizza. I also grill salad.

Steaks are incredible! I do what I call "caveman-style steaks" where I get the grill temp up to about 700 degrees, toss the steaks directly onto the coals for about 60 seconds per side, then pull them out and close the vents to let the grill come down to 400 or so. Then throw them on a cast-iron grate to come to temp.

It takes a bit of work getting used to maintaining temperatures, but well worth getting to know your egg.

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Old 06-03-2011, 01:47 PM   #5
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I have had my Large BGE for over 12 years. Love it.

I use fire starters to start mine. You can either get them in the camping section of a local Wal-Mart or similar. Or, I use some natural fire starters I got from Whole Foods.

Takes about 20 min to get it up and running.

Search the Egghead Forum for lots of info

The "Nest" works well but gets aged.

A couple links to a table I designed using "Google Sketchup"

Corner table with wood top

Corner table with granite top

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Old 06-03-2011, 02:05 PM   #6
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I have had my Large BGE for over 12 years. Love it.

I use fire starters to start mine. You can either get them in the camping section of a local Wal-Mart or similar. Or, I use some natural fire starters I got from Whole Foods.
I use a MAAP torch and a hair dryer up the bottom vent to push massive airflow.

Takes maybe four minutes to get up to 400+ degrees.

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Old 06-03-2011, 04:39 PM   #7
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You will be hard pressed to find a cooker as versatile as the BGE. From low and slow, to pizza to baking cakes, it is simply the best outdoor cooker you can buy. I have used my X large BGE at many BBQ contests to make my chicken turn-in and for the desert catagory making a chocolate layer cake.

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Old 06-03-2011, 04:41 PM   #8
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Protip: If you like your eyebrows, remember to burp the BGE when opening.

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Old 06-03-2011, 07:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Protip: If you like your eyebrows, remember to burp the BGE when opening.
Most things I have to learn from experience, but this one I think that I will be able to remember.
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Old 06-03-2011, 10:09 PM   #10
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I know I'm probably going to take a lot of flak, but I wanted to throw out some of my own opinions of the egg. Firstly, I know it's expensive but if you're looking at buying one then this probably isn't a consideration. You're going the right route by building a stand yourself, because it doesn't come with one and they're ovepriced. Here are some things that I don't like about the egg:

1. Small cooking surface. Even with the larger ones, it feels really small. It's also round which makes it harder to fit multiple ribs, pork butts, etc that have more of a square shape.

2. Cooking surface is too deep for my liking. It might just be my own preference, but I don't like how low it sits on the lip. It just makes for awkward maneuvering. I've seen stacking accessories for the egg though. You pretty much need the special raised pizza cooking stone to use a peel, otherwise if you use your own stone you'll have an awkward time using tongs and a peel or something similar. Maybe I just need a smaller pizza peel...

3. The caps or tops for the egg. They aren't attached, they just sit on top. It's not like they fall off when you open the top, but they come pretty near. The cast iron one that slides open is annoying when opening too, because you'll lose your "spot" and have to re-adjust.

4. The vents on the bottom get stuck sometimes and require fidgeting or pushing one vent in so the other one can slide over top of it. It's just annoying. On other grills I have they slide perfectly.

5. Indirect heating with a plate doesn't give as good control over temp as using a separate box for smoke, a raise/lower charcoal tray, or a setup with charcoal on one half and food on the other. It also makes it difficult if you want to cook perfect burgers/steaks during the day while you are simultaneously doing an all day smoke. This can be done easily on nearly any other grill.

6. Cleaning ash out of it is annoying. I don't want to make it sound like it's the end of the earth or anything, I'm just saying that compared to easier methods of ash removal, it falls short. There's probably some accessory you can use or even shop-vac it out or something but it's not as easy as "slide and dump" stock.

I don't want to deter you from buying it or anything, but these are some things to think about. There's always a way around an issue, I just wanted to point some of them out. I don't know if they have any around where you live, but I would highly recommend at least going to the store and taking a look at them. Really you should find a person close by and cook on one though. It might be your thing, it might not be.

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