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View Full Version : Big Green Egg worth the admission price?



rahimlee54
03-24-2011, 09:53 AM
I have been looking at the eggs for a couple of years and I am finally considering one. I have a UDS for smoking a a weber charcoal for grilling, so I was wondering if the BGE is worth the price of admission. It does look much better and a number of people have them so there must be something to them. So I was just looking for opinions one way or the other.

Thanks

UnConundrum
03-24-2011, 12:06 PM
I think it's the only way to go. Love mine.... some pictures HERE (https://picasaweb.google.com/unconundrum/BGEPictures?feat=directlink)

Kyle
03-24-2011, 12:26 PM
I don't have an Egg, but I was able to pick up a Comet Kamado (BGE knockoff--almost an exact clone) dirt cheap. It is the best cooker I have. You simply cannot beat the range of a ceramic cooker, you can smoke cheese at 75* or cook 3 minute pizzas at 750* and anything in between. I love it so much I want to buy an actual Egg (the fit and finish on the Comet is lacking).

Kyle
03-24-2011, 12:33 PM
Here's a current thread on a BBQ forum about the Egg.

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=103019

lowercasebill
03-24-2011, 12:37 PM
egg is the best ond only cooker you will ever need. most of us have more than one. take a look at eggheadforum.com. i cook on mine all year long .

mikemac
03-24-2011, 01:27 PM
I have a "Kamado" from Richard Johnson's company (?) and that usually gets the fireworks going....like the BGE, it is a really wonderful ceramic cooker. I think I've had mine for about 15 years and paid a sinfully low $500 delivered no tax. Either of the two and I'm sure some of the 'replicas' will work great. Big props to the BGE forum and community.

I always add that one of the best bang for the bucks has to be the Weber WSM. I think that'll give you about 90% of the cooking capability of a ceramic for about 20% of the price. I paid about $150 for mine in 1981 and although it has been retired to the family mountain cabin, it still q's or grills like a charm.

rahimlee54
03-24-2011, 01:50 PM
Found a used large pretty close by considering it. Egg does look cool though.

Thanks for the opinions guys.

Jared

SpikeC
03-24-2011, 03:01 PM
One more for the Egg. The range of capabilities is a really strong suit. One load of lump will slow cook for well over 24 hours.

mikemac
03-24-2011, 03:38 PM
Used large what? BGE?
If it's an egg I wouldn't spend too much time considering it, it's not the type of thing the comes up for sale much


Found a used large pretty close by considering it. Egg does look cool though.

Thanks for the opinions guys.

Jared

rahimlee54
03-24-2011, 03:48 PM
Yes large BGE, I sent the guy an email as he didn't have a phone number up. He has 2 and they have been up for 4 days so maybe they are still there.

Kyle
03-24-2011, 03:54 PM
Yes large BGE, I sent the guy an email as he didn't have a phone number up. He has 2 and they have been up for 4 days so maybe they are still there.

JUMP ON IT! Used Eggs don't pop up often.

Any chance this is So Cal or even Arizona (I'll be there this weekend)? I'd be interested in the second Egg.

rahimlee54
03-24-2011, 05:29 PM
Opposite side of the US sorry :(. Link here (http://charlotte.craigslist.org/for/2276746612.html) in case someone in the NC area wants one. Haven't heard from the guy but if he does have them I'll have to rent something to haul one on unless it can fit in a Toyota Avalon trunk?

SpikeC
03-24-2011, 05:42 PM
You can disassemble them to fit in a car. Bring some tarps, tho..........

monty
03-24-2011, 06:32 PM
The advantage of a BGE over your uds and weber charcoal is that the BGE can get super hot. I don't own one, but I've never heard anyone say they regret buying one. You can never spend too much money on smokers/cookers!

Kyle
03-24-2011, 06:46 PM
Opposite side of the US sorry :(. Link here (http://charlotte.craigslist.org/for/2276746612.html) in case someone in the NC area wants one. Haven't heard from the guy but if he does have them I'll have to rent something to haul one on unless it can fit in a Toyota Avalon trunk?

Definitely go buy one of those. $500 for the Egg, the nest and the plate setter is a STEAL and is over 50% off retail. In case you don't know, the plate setter is crucial for slow smoking, baking and making pizza. I don't know what other accessories are included in the one for $650, but they could be worth it as well depending on what he has.

WildBoar
03-24-2011, 06:47 PM
You guys are killing me here. We are getting up to our necks in debt to build our dream kitchen, and now you are trying to convince me to buy a couple $700+ grills and move the cooking operation outside. :slaphead: You are almost worse then Dave M. And Pierre. And Devin. And Butch. And Del. :angry1:

:help3:

Pensacola Tiger
03-24-2011, 08:28 PM
You guys are killing me here. We are getting up to our necks in debt to build our dream kitchen, and now you are trying to convince me to buy a couple $700+ grills and move the cooking operation outside. :slaphead: You are almost worse then Dave M. And Pierre. And Devin. And Butch. And Del. :angry1:

:help3:

Enablers, all of them. I should know. :bashhead:

markk
03-24-2011, 10:35 PM
i will add another positive vote for the BGE. I use it year round as it does not care what temp it is outside. Great all purpose grill/smoker/oven

apicius9
03-25-2011, 12:04 AM
I wish I had a place to set one of those up. Neighbors in a downstairs apartment have one chained to their lamp post. Actually, I should take it away from them because they don't use it enough... :)

Stefan

wenus2
03-25-2011, 03:12 AM
As long as it's not chained shut, it doesn't sound like you need to buy one at all Stefan.... :)

99Limited
03-25-2011, 10:36 AM
I've been looking at BGE for years and they never seemed to be very convenient when it came time to add additional wood or charcoal. So if you're going to smoke something for 8 to 10 hours how do you go about keeping the fire going? And another thing I was wondering about. When you're smoking for long periods, you need to protect the meat from the direct heat source so how do you go about doing that. I know people do all these things, I've just never seen it done and it seems I'm missing out on a great piece of BBQ equipment.

mhlee
03-25-2011, 12:08 PM
I've been looking at BGE for years and they never seemed to be very convenient when it came time to add additional wood or charcoal. So if you're going to smoke something for 8 to 10 hours how do you go about keeping the fire going? And another thing I was wondering about. When you're smoking for long periods, you need to protect the meat from the direct heat source so how do you go about doing that. I know people do all these things, I've just never seen it done and it seems I'm missing out on a great piece of BBQ equipment.

I don't own one but have been reading Kamado cooker forums for years (BGE, Grill Dome, Primo, Komodo Kamado, etc.) and am still considering buying a Kamado-style cooker. (Dream cooker is a Komodo Kamado but it's pricey!) Almost all owners have had no problem doing an 8 to 10 hour cook. In fact, most owners say that they can do two 8 to 10 hour cooks on a full load of charcoal. So while it's inconvenient to add charcoal (you would have to remove the food, grill, etc.) during a cook, you won't need to as long as you put enough in the beginning.

Most people use a Plate Setter - it's a piece of equipment placed over the charcoal and heat source; some other makers have a lowered grate (to either use for grilling at a lower level and higher heat) that you can also put a small pizza stone on to deflect the direct heat (I believe Grill Dome offers something like this).

Check out the forums for these cookers. There's THOUSANDS (literally) of threads and users out there who write about these kinds of issues and their experiences.

Kyle
03-25-2011, 02:19 PM
I've been looking at BGE for years and they never seemed to be very convenient when it came time to add additional wood or charcoal. So if you're going to smoke something for 8 to 10 hours how do you go about keeping the fire going? And another thing I was wondering about. When you're smoking for long periods, you need to protect the meat from the direct heat source so how do you go about doing that. I know people do all these things, I've just never seen it done and it seems I'm missing out on a great piece of BBQ equipment.

When you light the BGE for slow smoking you need to use the minion method. Basically, fill the firebox as much as possible with lump charcoal. Then light a small portion of lump and get it up to your desired temp, then close off the vents as needed to keep it steady. I've heard of people getting 20+ hours on a single load of lump, no need to replace the coals mid cook, they're very efficient. Include a few wood chunks with the lump to ensure that you have plenty of smoke throughout your cook.

Lots of information about this on nakedwhiz.com/ceramic

To protect your meat from direct heat you need to use a plate setter. Basically, it adds ceramic mass while raising the cooking grid a couple inches away from the heat. Here is a Bubba Keg using a BGE plate setter. Typically, people will put a drip pan on top of the plate setter underneath the grid.

http://www.gas-grill-review.com/image-files/bubba-keg-with-plate-setter.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3170/2583100706_397e723366.jpg?v=0

sw2geeks
03-25-2011, 03:18 PM
I look at the egg, but went with the Treager pellet grill instead for ease of use. I have two now.
Here a link to a review if you don't know what they are.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XSJgOzvTdE&feature=youtube_gdata_player

SpikeC
03-25-2011, 05:12 PM
I did a brisket for 24 hours on one load of charcoal with fuel to spare. Before I got a plate setter I used an extra grill with fire bricks on it under the regular grill and it worked just fine. I only bought the plate setter because of gadgetitis, butt it does do the job. With a pizza stone on the plate setter you have a ton of ceramic mass, and the shape of the cooker radiates heat onto the top of the pie, duplicating the effect of a woodfired oven.
The BGE forum is an ocean of information, with all of the technique anyone could ever ask for!

rahimlee54
03-25-2011, 06:43 PM
As long as we are talking egg is there a local Hard Lump Charcoal available at a big box that is worth it? I have tried a few and was disappointed. I found the hardlump review site but nothing that tops the list is available locally.

mhlee
03-25-2011, 07:26 PM
As long as we are talking egg is there a local Hard Lump Charcoal available at a big box that is worth it? I have tried a few and was disappointed. I found the hardlump review site but nothing that tops the list is available locally.

Most big box stores have no selection of lump charcoal. However, I tried the Barbecues Galore Hardwood Lump Charcoal (NOT MESQUITE) recently. It's way better than Cowboy (available at Lowe's), Whole Foods (same as Cowboy), any Kingsford briquette, and IMHO, equal to B&B. Most of the pieces in the bag were good size, with some especially large pieces that are fantastic for smoking. The 20 lb. bag is like $15. It's a lot better than the BGE charcoal they sell which is like $30 bucks for a 20 lb. bag.

Barbecues Galore is nationwide so you should be able to find one reasonably close to you.

SpikeC
03-25-2011, 08:12 PM
I get mine at a local food service supply place, Lazzari mesquite, 40 lbs. for around 13 bucks. Some people don't like the intensity of mesquite, butt the lazzari is not overpowering at all.

Kyle
03-25-2011, 08:15 PM
As long as we are talking egg is there a local Hard Lump Charcoal available at a big box that is worth it? I have tried a few and was disappointed. I found the hardlump review site but nothing that tops the list is available locally.

My go to lump is Royal Oak, which is readily available at any Wal Mart. It's very well rated on the Naked Whiz lump comparison page.

UnConundrum
03-25-2011, 08:40 PM
Rahim, you have to tell us what "local" means to you. Also, check a feed and grain store if you have one nearby. One near me, independently owned, carries Humphrey's, one of the best out there IMHO at really great prices. Check where you bought your smoker, they probably carry charcoal as well. If you live in Canada, Maple Leaf Charcoal is readily available and good stuff :)

Any one coming to the ECG, I'll probably have two BGEs fired up doing 20#+ chuck roasts :) Gotta feed the masses ;)

rahimlee54
03-26-2011, 01:33 AM
Guy pulled his eggs :( there is a kamodo joe listed though.

SmokinTiger
03-26-2011, 09:51 AM
I have two Big Green Eggs (a large and a mini). I use the large the most and if something happened to it, my wife would go buy another one without hesitation. We use it 2-4 times a week depending on our schedules. Not an insignificant investment, but well worth it in my opinion.

JMJones
03-26-2011, 03:50 PM
Cabelas has a knock off.

http://www.cabelas.com/grills-accessories-river-grille-ceramic-grill-cart-1.shtml

Thoughts?

SpikeC
03-26-2011, 04:16 PM
They don't tell you how big it is.
It looks rather small......

UnConundrum
03-26-2011, 10:56 PM
Also, BGE is known for it's warranty. Not sure about a knock off....

trevt777
03-26-2011, 11:52 PM
Anyone that has experience with more than one of the ceramic cooker companies? There are a number around but it's difficult to find real comparisons online....

rahimlee54
03-27-2011, 05:07 PM
Just found a used one for a decent price now to get some meat together for next weekend and read up on how to use the thing. Large BGE that is.

Doug Seward
03-27-2011, 10:12 PM
Another Kamado owner chiming in. I own two and have cooked on them both at home and for competitions and love them. They are efficient and very even heating - especially for low and slow. I strongly recommend round ceramic cookers including the BGE. I just wish I could still get the high quality Extruded Coconut charcoal Kamado used to sell. It burned super clean and lasted more than twice as long as briquettes. -Doug

Kyle
03-28-2011, 12:17 PM
Anyone that has experience with more than one of the ceramic cooker companies? There are a number around but it's difficult to find real comparisons online....

Well, I use a Comet Kamado, which is a BGE knockoff, I got it for dirt cheap used so I snapped it up. It cooks just like a BGE, but the fit and finish is pretty weak. All of the ceramic cookers will cook like a champ, but if you stick with BGE or Primo, you know you're buying a quality product from a company that will stand behind their product.

Someone mentioned the warranty on the Egg and that is a great point, I've heard of people getting a new firebox from BGE 25 years later. They certainly back up their product.

mikemac
03-28-2011, 12:23 PM
As long as we are talking egg is there a local Hard Lump Charcoal available ...

Local means ????
My local (Suburban Los Angeles) Smart Final always has 40lb. sacks of mesquite hardwood chunk, and used to have 40lb sacks of hardwood chunk - a combo of hickory & oak...this is the Royal oak product but it wasn't packaged as royal oak (IIRC), and this is chunk wood, not compressed briquets.

If you have any restuarants locally that cook over hardwood (and most mid size cities and larger do...) then there is a distributor somewhere in town

In L.A., it's Calif Charcoal, off the 5 in commerce...

rahimlee54
03-28-2011, 09:33 PM
I am local to Greensboro and Raleigh NC so I have access to most stores.

As far as temp probes is there a certain setup you guys would recommend for the BGE setup?

UnConundrum
03-28-2011, 10:14 PM
Assuming you're referring to temp control units, there's two available, the BBQ-Guru (http://www.thebbqguru.com/) and The Stoker (https://www.rocksbarbque.com/). They are both fine units with different strong points. Most folks I know prefer the Guru, and their customer support is great. They have a team that competes in KCBS and they always do well. The Stoker is stronger in networking capabilities for us techies out there, but he's not known for his support. If you're not worried about adjusting the temperature while you're at the grocery store, go with a Guru.

wenus2
03-29-2011, 03:03 AM
another good (slightly cheaper) option
http://www.auberins.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=14&zenid=dd8e96c957b5a3cc54e8aaf26745c9f9

StephanFowler
03-29-2011, 04:59 PM
i've gone through literally hundreds of pounds of lump charcoal doing iron smelting projects and always hated cowboy brand charcoal.

most bags would have chunks of fiberglass insulation, uncooked wood pieces, nails, etc.

Kyle
03-29-2011, 06:55 PM
i've gone through literally hundreds of pounds of lump charcoal doing iron smelting projects and always hated cowboy brand charcoal.

most bags would have chunks of fiberglass insulation, uncooked wood pieces, nails, etc.

That's the general consensus with Cowboy lump. I've only bought it a couple times and only because I literally had no other option.

rahimlee54
04-03-2011, 12:08 AM
I got the BGE man that sucker is heavy. The guy that had it used to cook for the troops when they got back from tours so that was pretty cool. He had around 9 BGEs and I saw all kinds of neat stuff at his place. The guy now travels extensively for work so I talked with his wife. She helped me load up the egg and even gave me a 20 pound bag of weekend warrior lump to mess around with. It was dirty since the husband wasn't around to clean it so I lit it with some kingsford I had here, saving the good stuff, and it got to 600 without breaking a sweat. The top cap had been sealed shut by fat so a quick placement on top and it is no mobile again. The hardest part is deciding what to smoke tomorrow. The pizza stone had literally 1 inch of grease on it which is now carbonized, tomorrow I'll sweep and incinerate anything that is left. Fat was even coming out of the main seal, should I worry about the felt gasket or just keep on trucking for now? It doesnt appear to be leaking smoke.

Thanks
Jared

SpikeC
04-03-2011, 01:43 PM
You should have a backup gasket in stock. They don't cost much and are easy to install when needed. The briquets won't get it up to temp, so a good heat blast with lump will probably burn off the old grease best.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_R-BA0-S2VKk/TZfRaFJ0IrI/AAAAAAAAAIk/3lKNUhqsaIM/s640/PICT0435.JPG
This is an untrimmed slab of pork ribs.

rahimlee54
04-03-2011, 01:49 PM
I did a burn out and it worked really well, then I did another one which is just about done just to be sure. I'll go ahead and order another gasket and have one on hand sounds like a good idea. when it cools I'll be ready to throw on some spatchcock chicken, shrimp, and chuck eyes that were on clearance just a bit ago.

Thanks
Jared

SpikeC
04-03-2011, 03:13 PM
Sounds like a good plan! Do let us know how it all comes out!
:grilling:

rahimlee54
04-03-2011, 10:23 PM
Chicken=awesome. Thanks for the enabling guys. Next week I think pizza is order. Also a new gasket as this one is coming off and fried. That royal oak from walmart worked out well I use that a couple weeks then try the weekend warrior stuff that the lady who sold me the egg gave me.

SpikeC
04-03-2011, 10:40 PM
I really like Lazzari Mesquite lump. I get it at a local food service supply for around 13 bucks for 40 pounds. It doesn't overpower with the smoke, butt does provide enough for a nice subtle flavor.

rahimlee54
04-03-2011, 10:55 PM
I am not sure where one here is, I'll have to look a little more to see if I can find a supplier of something.

SpikeC
04-03-2011, 11:01 PM
Around here the restaurants tend to use it, so you could ask someone in the business, but grocery stores carry it also.

mhlee
05-19-2011, 05:32 PM
I'm an EGGhead. I paid for a "once-baked" XL BGE. I'm picking it up at the SoCal Eggfest this Saturday.

Pictures to come of my first cook.

Kyle
05-19-2011, 06:59 PM
I'm an EGGhead. I paid for a "once-baked" XL BGE. I'm picking it up at the SoCal Eggfest this Saturday.

Pictures to come of my first cook.

I really wanted to go this weekend but money is tight and $25 admission is a bit steep. Unfortunately I just sold my knockoff BGE yesterday. I'm going to miss it but I needed some cash. Oh well!

mhlee
05-31-2011, 01:02 PM
I'll preface the results of my first cook with this: unfortunately I don't have pictures because my cell phone sucks at pictures and I'd rather spend my money on knives and barbecue stuff, so technically, my first cook never happened. :slaphead:

So, for my imaginary first cook on my BGE XL, I slowly got the BGE up to 300 with the vent open half way (damper open completely) then closed the vent to 1/4 and it continued to rise in temp to 325. I closed the vent to literally 1 cm., and it stabilized between 275 and 300. The damper was open completely this whole time. I used the daisy wheel (completely open) and got the BGE to be steady at 275. I put about 4 pounds of large Barbecues Galore Hardwood Lump Charcoal and two small chunks of cherry wood. It had no problem going for six hours.

However, I used two frozen racks of ribs and except for the meatiest center portion of the ribs, they came out dry. I had read that BGE's run a little dry when cooking, but did not use a water pan since I hadn't noticed much a difference when using a water pan in my Weber. I also used a plate setter, put a double thickness large sheet of foil and a rectangular cake pan for a drip pan. The flavor was mild and the smoke ring was not pronounced (I did not keep the ribs ice cold before putting them in the BGE), but I think that, again, this is the result of frozen ribs. I did not wrap them after partially cooking them because I wanted to see how the BGE cooked.

Next time, water pan, wrap and FRESH RIBS! But man, it's nice to not have to check charcoal or temp every hour and a half. I saw that I still had a good amount of charcoal left as well.

watercrawl
05-31-2011, 02:55 PM
Congrats on your first imaginary cook on the BGE. :D

Kyle
05-31-2011, 03:37 PM
Michael, congrats on the Egg and on your first cook. Definitely go with fresh ribs next time!

I'm already regretting selling my kamado last week. I've been pinching pennies lately and I've saved the cash instead of spending it and now I think I'm going to end up buying a new Egg. Oh well, live and learn!

Anyone wanna buy a Konosuke HD 240 with Stefan handle so that I can have enough to buy a L BGE w/ Nest?? :D

mhlee
06-01-2011, 03:12 PM
Thanks Kyle.

I'm actually going to give some Danish ribs a shot this next time. I got them dirt cheap at Vons, and since they're from Europe, they're hormone and antibiotic free - Yup, they have higher standards than we do here.

I'm definitely not a fan of frozen ribs. I hate to wrap them because it's such a waste of aluminum foil, but it seems like the only way to keep them moist. I had great results on Mother's Day for my gf - smoked three racks of baby back ribs on the Weber for 3 hours, then put them in a half sheet pan, sprinkled raw sugar all over them, put a little water in the bottom, wrapped them in foil and cooked them for another three hours at 250 in the oven. I finished them by taking the juice on the bottom of the pan, mixed with my gf's favorite sauce, basted the ribs again and finished them on the grill at 300. They came out super tender, sweet, and sticky, but slightly missing the smoke flavor that I like.

However, since we have metalworkers here, I might try to come up with a design for a permanent steaming pan (rib shaped that is).

You might want to check out if there are other Eggfests that are close and try and get a once-used Egg. You'll save like 40%. I know there's one in San Jose up north; maybe there's one in Vegas or Arizona.

Kyle
06-02-2011, 07:35 PM
I just called a guy on CL and it looks like I'm going to be picking up a used L BGE with nest, plate setter and some other accessories tonight! It's not the best CL deal I've seen, but it appears to be lightly used and I'm paying way less than new or even EggFest pricing.

SpikeC
06-02-2011, 07:42 PM
Congratulations! May you have blissful cooking experiences!

mhlee
06-02-2011, 08:05 PM
Good luck Kyle. I hope it's in good condition. Don't forget to check for cracks in the firebox and for issues with the bands.

And thanks Adam. I hope to get more of a hang of it this weekend. I'm thinking chicken this weekend.

Kyle
06-03-2011, 06:07 AM
I went and picked it up! It's in pretty good shape, no cracks and came with a plate setter, nest, daisy wheel top, grate grabber tool and the BGE cover. I snagged it for $750. Again, not the greatest CL deal I've seen, but used Eggs out here are hard to come by and I still saved a decent chunk of change over buying it new.

rahimlee54
06-03-2011, 09:52 AM
Nice pick up, the used market on these is crazy I have found about 3 used on CL and all around 30-40% off at most. There was a guy selling a large with stand for $100 off retail somewhere, so as infrequently as they go on sale you have to jump while you can.