PDA

View Full Version : Looking for user opinions of Big Green Egg



Tristan
07-19-2012, 03:15 AM
Hi, I'm thinking of shipping one over from the states and wanted to know what the thoughts were on this product.

- Best uses
- Differences between using a grill and the BGE
- Usability and clean up issues
- Which size is best (my constraints are space, as this would go into an apartment - for the occasional balcony cookout)
- Best uses for the BGE that a conventional electric oven can't reproduce
- Things that you would regularly cook with it

I'm also wondering how moveable it is on those wheels it comes with. Wondering if I can wheel it to the pool deck of the apartment to have pool parties... but then it would need to leave the house and take a ride in the lift and then get to the pool.

knyfeknerd
07-19-2012, 07:11 AM
I don't own one, wish I did. But I've cooked on them plenty of times. Great investment. PM lowercasebill, I think he's very involved in the BGE community.

Kyle
07-19-2012, 10:30 AM
I have a large and it's very heavy and awkward to lift and move around. You probably won't do it more than once unless you had to. The main advantage of a BGE over any other grill is it's versatility; it's capable of holding steady temperatures between 80* (for cold smoking cheese and the like) all the way up to 700*+ for pizza. I've smoked cheese, salmon, pork butt, brisket, grilled steaks, veggies, baked bread & cookies, made soup and chili etc. I've even used it for cooking sides when I had a big Thanksgiving dinner and ran out of oven room (if you use charcoal only you won't get a heavy smoke flavor). It's an incredible grill and I recommend it to anyone that can afford it. I think the large is the most versatile BGE, but a medium might be better for apartment use.

markk
07-19-2012, 11:18 AM
+1 to what Kyle said. I have had a large BGE for about 8-9 years now. It is great and very versitile but a pain to move. A small might even be best for apartment use but it is pretty small and may not be of practical use for parties and such.

Namaxy
07-19-2012, 12:07 PM
I recently purchased a large BGE and can provide some perspective. On the whole, I recommend it. In my mind the strength of the BGE is that it performs several different cooking tasks very well. This includes direct grilling, low temp smoking, simulating a wood fired oven (pizza/bread) etc. However, in my experience it doesnít do any one thing as well as a tool dedicated to the task. So itís important in your decision making that you place a value on the multi-tasking flexibility.

BGE vs. gas grilling: In my mind this is a no brainer. Gas grills are moderately more convenient Ė but thatís it. The flavor from the BGE (using real wood charcoaland wood chunks) is hands down better. And as charcoal grills go, the BGE shines in the area of convenience. Itís easy to light, heats up to temp quickly, is easy to deal with when you are finished and is economical in itís charcoal use. I have a large built in gas grill plumbed directly to natural gas (canít get more convenient than that) but I regularly go to the BGE instead for the flavor. One tip Ė ignore the little ash rake that comes with itĖ it will make a mess on your deck. Buy a cheap shop vac and vacuum out the ashes.

BGE vs. other charcoal grills: Iím sure Iíll get some argument here from BGE die-hards, but in my opinion the best charcoal/wood fired grill is the Cajun Grill. (www.cajungrill.com (http://www.cajungrill.com)) As purely a grill it gets hotter, has more instant adjustment in temp, and the benefit of being able to easily vary the distance from flame to food. In particular, if you want to do a reverse sear (low/slow first, high temp sear at the end) the Cajun has more flexibility, as itís easier to get very hot again. On the other hand, the Cajun takes more work, uses more charcoal, and despite what their website says is not a good smoker.

BGE for smoking: The BGE does a very credible job smoking, but again not with the control and longevity of a dedicated smoker. If you are a BBQ diehard, the best smokers Iíve ever used are made by Klose.(www.bbqpits.com (http://www.bbqpits.com)) If you want a super convenient smoker, that does a truly credible smoke, get a Cookshack. (www.cookshack.com (http://www.cookshack.com)) I can set mine to smoke overnight and never need to check on it. If you donít grill that much but love BBQ, you could get a small Cookshack and a decent Weber charcoal grill all for the price of the BGE.

BGE as wood fired oven: This to me is the weakest point of the BGE. With itís place setter and pizza stone you can make decent pizza and bread, but to be honest we can make better bread in our indoor oven with cheap clay tiles. And itís not really fair to compare it to a wood fired oven.

If you want one grill to do all of the things Ė get the BGE. Itís very well built and should last a long time. If you think youíre only going to grill, look at the Cajun Ė youíll save money but it wonít be as convenient.

As far as size and portability: Unfortunately the cooking area is not that large. You really need a large size if you plan to cook for a group. On the other hand, I don't find it particularly hard to move. We don't use the nest - we have our sset on a wall. However, I have moved it with one other person without too much trouble. I imagine this would be easier on the wheeled nest.

Hope this helps and good luck. Feel free to ask questions!

JMJones
07-19-2012, 12:22 PM
I dont have a BGE but purchased a kamado grill in april of this year. I have used it to sear, grill, bake and smoke a variety of meals for family and friends and could not be happier with its performance. I can't speak to the longevity of the unit but it is lighter than an egg, less prone to crack and waaaaaay cheaper. Also it gets hot fast but can hold low and slow bbq temps for long periods with little to no adjustment.

http://www.lowes.com/pd_131712-49769-6719_?productId=3609214&site=shopLocal

Keith Neal
07-19-2012, 01:22 PM
Hi, I'm thinking of shipping one over from the states and wanted to know what the thoughts were on this product.

- Best uses
- Differences between using a grill and the BGE
- Usability and clean up issues
- Which size is best (my constraints are space, as this would go into an apartment - for the occasional balcony cookout)
- Best uses for the BGE that a conventional electric oven can't reproduce
- Things that you would regularly cook with it

I'm also wondering how moveable it is on those wheels it comes with. Wondering if I can wheel it to the pool deck of the apartment to have pool parties... but then it would need to leave the house and take a ride in the lift and then get to the pool.

AFKitchenknivesguy is out of pocket right now or he would have answered you. I mentioned your question to him and he said "tell him to buy once, cry once".

There is a thread about the BGE here somewhere.

Keith

lowercasebill
07-19-2012, 04:00 PM
thanks for your help with the vst and bottomless portafilter,, time for me to help you spend some of your money:D.
a large BGE weighs 140lbs. look on their website for the nest handler that will make taking it down the lift and to the pool much easier.
all of the other posts had good info. like alton brown says "no uni taskers" you can make anything on the egg except grits which needs to be stirred too often . i have made paella several times. as far as using it as a smoker there are many competition bbq teams that use the BGE and win [a lot] i competed for several years with a team that cooked on BGE's .. google "dizzy pig"
you cannot get the real smoked flavor out of a conventional oven and you will find chicken soooo much more moist. my sons did not want to eat the first chicken i cooked it was so moist they thought it was undercooked. you can take a costco choice rib eye a baked potato and tomato with blue cheese and moderate bottle of red and make a meal to rival Mortons or seafire save your self $350 and smoke a cigar at the table and not get a dui! .. the bge excels at steak. as you will not be moving it often the large is your best choice. you were gracious in helping me with my espresso accesories.. please do not hesitate to email.
p.s. you can use the egg in any weather . i have cooked on mine when it was 0 degress f. my canadian friends -20 and worse.. no problem

AFKitchenknivesguy
07-20-2012, 12:55 AM
AFKitchenknivesguy is out of pocket right now or he would have answered you. I mentioned your question to him and he said "tell him to buy once, cry once".

There is a thread about the BGE here somewhere.

Keith

Thanks Keith. I have been in the field for the last month and rarely get internet service. Let me try to give my experience. I love my egg for so many reasons. I've done just about everything on it except for baking sweets. Here is my answers to your questions:

Best uses - Steaks are probably better than anyplace you can get, and it will cost you mucho less yet taste better. Pizza was very good and rivals my favorite pizza shop; different since it had a smoky flavor. My favorite thing to cook on it is a halved chicken. I can direct cook it, turn it every 30 mins, for three hours and not burn it. No Weber will ever be able to do that. It comes with a crispy skin, pink/smoky meat and falling apart tender. It's simply amazing. Brisket is amazingly simple with the plate setter. I have some extra tools to make it a no brainer and it's drool worthy. Smoking is average, not as simple as one may think. Since the meat is over the plate setter or coals, you have a hard time adding wood chips after the meat is on the grill.
Differences - I still keep my Weber, it's good for steak and indirect cooking but I rarely use it anymore. Webers are cool, but don't hold a flame to BGE's. You get what you pay for.
Usability/cleanup - Simple simple simple. I buy the pretreated wood composite cubes and they light right away. Open the bottom vent, keep the top open, and in 20 mins you are ready to grill. It's self cleaning, though you will have to brush the rack and do minor ash cleanup. I actually use the ash tool and find it easy to use. I put a garbage bag underneath and sweep the ashes after it's cool, normally before I start the next grill session - many days later.
Which size - I say large for your needs. It's not that big compared to a large Weber, but it is very heavy, I mean 200lbs like heavy. Not something you can easily move...over course get a nest with wheels and that helps a whole lot. I wish I bought the extra large, as I think it would be better for my needs. Large is the most popular model, for good reason. I'm a more than average griller though.
BGE versus conventional oven - umm flavor times 100
Regularly cook on it - as I said I love chicken on it, by far my favorite thing. Steak is unbelievable but I don't cook many steaks to be eaten later, for obvious reasons. To sell the chicken some more, I sponsor a cadet from Ecuador at the USAF Academy and I made the chicken for him last week. He said it was the best thing he ever ate. I wish I could take the credit.

BTW I move mine all the time on my deck, it's heavy but even when it's hot you can still touch it due to the insulation. Tips I've learned:

Keep it full with charcoal, keep the ashes clean after every use. I clean the ashes before the next time I use it.
Buy some gadgets like a remote time and something to keep the temp stable. It's amazingly stable, but it adds peace of mind. I sleep with my remote and haven't been woken once; ok just once.
I don't use the plate setter as much as I thought I would. It's a must tool, but you can keep the temp so low you can direct cook and still have an awesome product afterwards.
I don't smoke as much as I thought I would. The natural juices/drippings provide a robust flavor for anything you are cooking. It's pretty cool.
Buy a high heat gasket if you plan on making steaks and pizza. I busted my gasket the first time I made steaks, but the small investment is worth it. No issues since.
Most BGE's come as a package. Be sure to get a nest, side tables for extra room, ash tool, plate setter, and pizza stone. The grid lifter is handy and worth the $15. Other than that, don't buy the other BGE crap/accessories. They are overpriced and you can get much better for less.

SmokinTiger
07-20-2012, 09:19 PM
Another Egghead here. I have a large and a mini. I use mine at least 2-3 times a week and sometimes more. Best uses for me are chicken, steak and pizza. I have also cooked 4 large Boston butts at one time and yes, it was pretty full. Like bill, I am trying to rid myself of unitaskers, so I really like the flexibility I have with the egg. The biggest difference between another charcoal grill and an egg for me has been temperature control and stability over time. I also agree with bill on the moistness of grilled chicken, it is fantastic. Cleanup is no big deal unless you only do low temp smoking. As for size, you will have to balance the weight and the capacity you need. There are multilevel cooking options available at the ceramic grill store. For things that cannot be duplicated in the oven, pizza and anything cooked low and slow with smoke. My regular cooks are chicken, steak, pizza, ribs and pulled pork.

PS. If something happened to my egg, my WIFE would go buy a replacement tomorrow. That is the only thing I own I can say that about.:laugh:

Tristan
07-21-2012, 09:24 AM
Just back from a week out at work - heck of a week. Good to be home.

Amazing responses, and not a single lukewarm one! Ok - I'll have to speak to a friend who is relocating back home to check the logistics. He gets a free shipping relocation perk - i get a BGE :D

I'm just concerned about size, especially for apartment use. I would love a large, but I'll see if a medium can accommodate what i'd do almost as well, and be easier to manhandle.

Odd question time - how much smoke does it output? Particularly for apartment use, I'm sure the neighbors will be more amenable if it isn't spewing large amounts of smoke all night. BBQ is one of the glories of living in the USA - here we hardly get the opportunity to do any BBQ.

Even if it is subpar - I would be glad to utilise it as a smoker if it can pass muster.

LCB - was a small thing, and thanks much for your help! All the rest, I can sense the passion for the BGE just coming off this thread!

Namaxy
07-21-2012, 09:38 AM
Tristan -

Regarding your question...I can't imagine the smoke output offending anyone. Once you damper it down to the low smoking temp, you're burning very little wood at a time. One of the great features of the egg is how contained and airtight it is. By comparison, at the same temp range my Klose offset puts out a lot more smoke. Smoke is hard to see on film, so it's not a real good indicator, but there are tons of youtube videos of people doing a competition style cook with their Egg. It gives you an ideal of just how little smoke.

And for the record - I would never call it a subpar smoker. The food results are 100% the equal of any smoker. I personally think there are other options that are more user friendly for doing a long cook, but as someone above pointed out, there are many, many competition teams using the Egg.

Based on your criteria I think it's perfect for you :doublethumbsup:

Kyle
07-21-2012, 11:17 AM
Agreed on all above points. Once the fire has calmed the smoke is very very mild. It will plume up when you first light it but settle after 20 minutes or so. I think you can avoid this heavy initial smoke if you invest $40 into a hand held MAPP torch at Home Depot. My understanding is these things can get an Egg ready in under 5 minutes.

Also, smoking on an Egg is absoltely not subpar. It puts out MUCH better BBQ than my dad's $3800 Fast Eddy by Cookshack, although nothing is easier to use than the Cookshack. Flavor wise it's hard to beat traditional offsets like the Klose, but that in no way implies the Egg is "subpar".

knyfeknerd
07-21-2012, 11:39 AM
If I could ever resist buying knives, I might see one of these in my future.

lowercasebill
07-21-2012, 01:25 PM
while i still recommend the large with the nest handler a medium probably makes more sense [which i often lack when it comes to all things BGE]
when the egg is damped down to all night bbq temps there is not much smoke.. the only real smoke you will get from bbq is the first couple if hours when you have smoke wood chunks on the egg to flavor the meat and get your smoke ring. most smoke you will get out the egg is grilling chicken thighs direct and that smoke is from the fat. guy on the bge forum has temper issues and pissed off his neighbors with the smoke ......threats back and forth and such..... cooler heads recommended he give the neighbors some egged chicken and some ribs ..they are friends now and his elderly neighbors are grateful for the food he provides. since good bbq is lacking where you are a rack or two of ribs at the pool for the neighbors and you will find them asking you do do bbq for when they have company. neighbor asked me to do pulled pork for her sons going away party. 32lbs of butt on the large..
link is to my redneck arkansas biker friend he cooked on a medium for years and now has mini small and medium no large, click on his posts you will be surprised how much food he pulls off a medium. dont be misled by his spelling and downhome attitude. he is very bright , a great home cook has a boardsmith board and a couple of japanese knives [my influence as you probably guessed]
http://www.greeneggers.com/index.php?searchword=jlockhart29&usersearch=1&dtstart=0&dtrange=0&orderby=score&pagelength=50&returnfirst=0&option=com_simpleboard&Itemid=112&func=search

Kyle
07-21-2012, 01:47 PM
This is the torch I was talking about earlier. My understanding is you need MAPP, not propane as it doesn't get hot enough. I've seen these at Lowe's and Home Depot. They supposedly get the lump ready in minutes.

http://www.hardwarestore.com/media/product/632559_front200.jpg

lowercasebill
07-21-2012, 01:56 PM
i have been egging for many years now. mapp is hotter but propane works just fine . i use both and at the moment the mapp is next to my large and the propane is next to my mini ..... many use a weed burner from harbor freight ,, i have a red dragon weed burner google it .. :D.. 500,000 btu's 2300 degress f.. that is the fastset way to light the egg sounds like a jet engine scares the neighbors... i like that part a lot. . lots of guys use the compressed woodchip fire starters .. cooking oil on a paper towel., 90% ethyl alc soaked into a few pieces of lump or a looftlighter [or heat gun which is much cheaper] i also have looftlighter ..

El Pescador
07-21-2012, 02:11 PM
Had an egg for 10+ years. Would agree that it isn't the best at one thing but amazing as an all arounder. Its like a tuner bbq. There more after market products for it so you can make it better in one area if you'd like. I'd highly recommend.

Deckhand
07-21-2012, 03:24 PM
I have a mini Big green egg and use it 3-4 times a week. I love my mini. I bought it to be portable and it takes very little charcoal. I bought a mini woo and pizza stones for it, and some fire wire skewers. I will probably buy an egg carten later.
See mini video.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYGge_k7FUI&feature=youtube_gdata_player

large/xl if you have room will be more enjoyable. If you get a large get a big green egg handler that attaches to the nest.
That being said. I will never sell my mini. I will just get more eggs.

SpikeC
07-21-2012, 08:01 PM
I just did some pork tenderloin on my BGE today. Oh Lordy is it ever good!
I will be getting Small or mini because my wife just bought a '58 Airstream Overlander.
Wow Hoo! Epicure on the road!

Tristan
07-22-2012, 06:07 AM
Ok I'm sold.

While I'm picking the size... somebody chip in and tell me what accessories are a must? :D

I'll be doing basically everything on it. Need to figure if I can pull a pizza off the medium. Lets get anal about specifications now. Thanks all. You guys are the best people in the world when it comes to affirmative action on spending hard earned money.

Ratton
07-22-2012, 07:25 AM
Ok I'm sold.

While I'm picking the size...

Hi There,

I strongly recommend that you get the large, the medium is too small!!! I have had several Green Eggs over the past 15 years or so and I know you will not be satisfied with a medium.

My first Egg was a medium, the salesman tried to talk me into a large, but I thought I am single and just cooking for myself most of the time so I ignored his good advice and bought the medium.....I didn't have it very long and I realized that I had made a mistake....... I really needed that extra room for ribs and chicken.

Trust me, your really need the large!!!! I find the large isn't big enough lots of times.

Just my :2cents:

lowercasebill
07-22-2012, 09:00 AM
first thing i tell everyone is buy a thermopen..that the advice i was given and i followed it . . the 2-3 second response time is invaluable when you have the dome open at 500 degrees.
for pizza you will want a plate setter and a pizza stone. for brisket and pulled pork, i.e. overnight cooks you will want a bbq guru. multi level or raised grid cooking,, couple of options ,, . i really like the cast iron gird and leave it on all the time not just for steaks. take the standard grid and some carriage bolts nuts and washers and make a raised grid with that. or the ceramic grill store.. first class stuff . i have not purchased yet as i just have too much egg stuff already but i will and wish i had already. link to follow.. you will need a pizza stone .. get the bge stone,, the pampered chef stone does not hold up to egg temps. a wok forum guys are on a wok kick of late. . do cruise around JL's posts you will see what can be done with a medium. if you are going to be an egger you got to do the naked whiz. link to follow. there is a wealt of info there .. when i got my egg i read every word on his site and it made me the self proclaimed expert that i am today [ha ha]



http://www.ceramicgrillstore.com/woo2-direct-or-indirect.html

http://www.nakedwhiz.com/ceramic.htm/

click pics for slide shows of some of my cooks

http://s258.photobucket.com/albums/hh247/bgefoodpics/th_saturday076.jpg (http://s258.photobucket.com/albums/hh247/bgefoodpics/?action=view&current=3fc38f2a.pbw)

http://s258.photobucket.com/albums/hh247/bgefoodpics/th_paella023.jpg (http://s258.photobucket.com/albums/hh247/bgefoodpics/?action=view&current=f7ab64d6.pbw)

http://s258.photobucket.com/albums/hh247/bgefoodpics/th_october001.jpg (http://s258.photobucket.com/albums/hh247/bgefoodpics/?action=view&current=b368e1ff.pbw)

http://s258.photobucket.com/albums/hh247/bgefoodpics/th_paella023.jpg (http://s258.photobucket.com/albums/hh247/bgefoodpics/?action=view&current=f7ab64d6.pbw)

Deckhand
07-22-2012, 11:36 AM
Thermapen,plate setter, pizza stone. I used to worry about mapp torch vs electric starter vs starter cubes etc, etc. to light it. No worries. I just twist up a couple paper towels with some vegetable oil on them. Lights perfect every time. If you have the extra money get a BBQ guru. They are great, but not essential. There are a few big green egg forums. Really helpful to see what people are doing. There is a big support base of big green eggers.

Tristan
07-23-2012, 01:53 AM
Last (almost) questions: Anyone knows the best place to pick up a BGE in San Francisco? Either a webby with great delivery service (ideally free) or a nice one stop shop?

Do you specifically use the BGE charcoal or would any form of briquette/compressed or whole charcoal work just fine? I'm guessing results vary with fuel just like other charcoal cookers, but wondering if the BGE is extra sensitive to needing the 'branded' charcoal to facilitate functionality.

Namaxy
07-23-2012, 03:59 AM
I think it matters to buy your Egg from someone BGE considers an authorized dealer.....then you're protected by warranty and get free replacement parts. I think most people have replaced their gasket with the better high heat one, which BGE will send you for free. You can find dealers from their site.

I wouldn't worry about charcoal brand.....just get natural real hardwood. The old time brand briquettes you see in supermarkets are usually chemically impregnated which you don't want.

obtuse
07-23-2012, 04:42 AM
I have the large egg and I wish I had an extra large to go with it. For charcoal I use royal oak, which I believe is the BGE charcoal OEM. Royal oak is available at walmart and is the only reason I ever go there. I also like cowboy charcoal, but sometimes I get a bag that is mostly small pieces. The small pieces are great for cooking steak because I can get the egg 800+ degrees pretty fast. Just cooked some bison rib eyes this Saturday, perfect medium rare in 5 minutes.

lowercasebill
07-23-2012, 07:10 AM
Last (almost) questions: Anyone knows the best place to pick up a BGE in San Francisco? Either a webby with great delivery service (ideally free) or a nice one stop shop?

Do you specifically use the BGE charcoal or would any form of briquette/compressed or whole charcoal work just fine? I'm guessing results vary with fuel just like other charcoal cookers, but wondering if the BGE is extra sensitive to needing the 'branded' charcoal to facilitate functionality.

http://eggsbythebay.com/ this guy has a good reputation

you want lump charcoal not briquettes all you need to know about lump is on the naked whiz website

http://www.biggreenegg.com/ top of the page is a "find a dealer button"

never ever use lighter fluid in the egg

sw2geeks
07-23-2012, 09:57 AM
Odd question time - how much smoke does it output? Particularly for apartment use, I'm sure the neighbors will be more amenable if it isn't spewing large amounts of smoke all night. BBQ is one of the glories of living in the USA - here we hardly get the opportunity to do any BBQ.


I had the next door neighbor call once to check and make sure my house was not on fire when I was smoking some jerky on my Teager once. :)

rahimlee54
07-23-2012, 10:10 AM
Get the royal oak from walmart it is cheap and works great.

Duckfat
07-26-2012, 04:35 PM
I'd suggest going with the large for sure. Buy one at an eggfest if you can to save some $$$. IIR eggs by the bay participates in the SFO eggfest. When it come to accessories skip the BBQ Guru at least until you get familiar with the BGE. A lot of people buy controllers way too soon and they really don't need them.
Charcoal varies quite a lot and the data base at the NakedWhiz is awesome. Sadly Wally World has cut the RO bags down in size and jacked the price so it's not much of a deal buying Royal Oak at Wally World any more. My last four bags have been loaded with small pieces and dust as well. BGE branded Royal Oak is now a lot more competitive on the pricing with the WW price hike and it's really more like a premium Royal Oak as you don't get a bag of dust and bits.
For lighting I buy fireplace lighter squares at TSC. I grab big boxes of them in the fireplace section every year when they put them on spring clearance. Saves a bunch of $$ and they work like a charm.
I spent over 30 years in professional kitchens and IMO the BGE may be the single best cooking tool for a home cook that I've ever seen.
Buy one and never look back.

Dave

mhlee
07-26-2012, 05:09 PM
Check out Eggs By the Bay. I know they're an authorized dealer. If you can get one of the once-used eggs at an Eggfest. You'll save up to 40% off.

Instead of the platesetter, I'd look here. http://www.ceramicgrillstore.com/ I haven't used these products, but I think the design is a LOT better.

Ditch the ash tool and buy a small wet vac to vacuum the ash. Definitely get some kind of thermometer - a thermapen is great.

A remote thermometer is good for long cooks when you do your first few long cooks. CHECK your thermometer that comes with the BGE to make sure it's accurately calibrated. If you're doing pizza, I'd also recommend a laser thermometer - I don't have one but almost every serious wood burning pizza place uses one to make sure the floor is up to temp.

The hardwood charcoal from Barbeques Galore is ok. Since you're in the Bay Area, look for a company that supplies restaurants with charcoal and wood. There have got to be places where you could buy charcoal in bulk.

But, to start with, I would actually recommend using natural briquettes because they provide a predictable burn. But, if you're going to use hardwood, you will have natural fluctuations in temperature. Don't forget a chimney starter or a propane torch (I use an Iwatani torch) or some product to light the charcoal. Also, be sure to start with chunks of wood or small logs of wood if you want to add smoke (or fire) to whatever you're cooking.

Lastly, invest in a comfortable patio chair with a cup holder. You'll be spending longer periods of time just sitting and sipping on a beverage watching the steady smoke plume coming from the top of your BGE.

lowercasebill
07-26-2012, 05:11 PM
I'd suggest going with the large for sure. Buy one at an eggfest if you can to save some $$$. IIR eggs by the bay participates in the SFO eggfest. When it come to accessories skip the BBQ Guru at least until you get familiar with the BGE. A lot of people buy controllers way too soon and they really don't need them.
Charcoal varies quite a lot and the data base at the NakedWhiz is awesome. Sadly Wally World has cut the RO bags down in size and jacked the price so it's not much of a deal buying Royal Oak at Wally World any more. My last four bags have been loaded with small pieces and dust as well. BGE branded Royal Oak is now a lot more competitive on the pricing with the WW price hike and it's really more like a premium Royal Oak as you don't get a bag of dust and bits.
For lighting I buy fireplace lighter squares at TSC. I grab big boxes of them in the fireplace section every year when they put them on spring clearance. Saves a bunch of $$ and they work like a charm.
I spent over 30 years in professional kitchens and IMO the BGE may be the single best cooking tool for a home cook that I've ever seen.
Buy one and never look back.

Dave

i agree with dave on all but the guru,, since you indicated that bbq [pulled pork, brisket , ribs ] were very high on your list and you are not a novice cook i think the guru is a good thing to add to the shipment. getting up in the middle of the night to check your fire is fun .... once.
oh and one more thing,, dave is wrong about the buy "one" most of us have 2 or 3 :rofl2:

Duckfat
07-27-2012, 09:00 AM
Guru's are nice for sure but I find if I start my burn in the early evening and tweak the vents in the first hour I never have to check in the night at all. In five years my fire has gone out ounce so the cost of a controller is really un-necessary for most unless you plan on competition cooking or have some elevation or wind exposure issue that can cause temperature swings. I think it makes a better cook to learn the unit before adding gadgets but amongst egg heads I'd be in the minority with that opinion. I found using the BGE second nature but others may have some learning curve and a controller can help make that curve easier, albeit with a price increase to match. I just hate to see any one get turned off to ceramic cookers based on price point thinking a controller is a must have.
I'll second the idea to ditch the ash tool. I just scoop most of the ash out and blow the rest out from the bottom up with the yard blower......POOOF!:lol2::wink:
Pretty cool that there are so many EggHeads here. I like this forum format a lot better than the BGE forums.

Dave

lowercasebill
07-27-2012, 09:32 AM
you are absolutley right, i got into using the guru while competing.. and i start my long cooks later in the evening..set the guru and my alarm for an hour later .. get up throw the meat on and go back to bed. for those considering you do not need a guru the egg will do the job perfectly and with out gadgets .. also i know the guru guys and had the pleasure of spending some time with shotgun fred at many competitions .. sad that he has passed away.
gadgets ha ha i have ond of those 6ft.stainless racks in my garage piled high with gadgets, wood chunks and STUFF lots and lots of STUFF... i'd post a pic but then everyone would realize how really nutz i am .. all this egg talk .. i am off today and now i have to go get ribs.

Kyle
07-27-2012, 10:00 AM
I'll add to the group and say I've NEVER felt the need to use any gadgets on the Egg either. Once you get the hang of it it's practically set it and forget it. I put meat on at the end of the night, go to bed and wake up in the morning with no issues whatsoever.

rahimlee54
07-27-2012, 10:15 AM
What are you guys using to scoop the ashes out with I haven't been able to find anything I like? I have been taking the whole thing apart to scoop the ashes from the bottom ever couple of months. I am going to try that leablower trick thanks Duckfat.

Deckhand
07-27-2012, 11:13 AM
Shop vac

Tristan
07-27-2012, 12:07 PM
Would a dyson home vac die? :D

I've stated that I would get a medium. Homes here are just not that large sadly. Sigh... I did however give my pal a veto to go large if he felt the necessity when he saw the size in person.

I'm going to load up on a few accessories. Given that I can't access america often, so might as well buy once and buy well

Deckhand
07-27-2012, 01:28 PM
I use a cheap wet/dry vac. I am not a vacuum specialist, but I had a dyson
before I switched flooring because of my four kids. I don't see why the dyson would have a problem. They work great. I would just empty after and spray the plastic filter insert off with the hose. I used to do that all the time with
my dyson filter and filter housing anyway.

SpikeC
07-27-2012, 02:48 PM
I clean the ash out with a piece of metal with a 90ļ bend in the end, about 4 or 5 inches worth. It is a 3 foot long strip about 3/4 inch wide and maybe 1/4 inch thick.

lowercasebill
07-27-2012, 03:02 PM
What are you guys using to scoop the ashes out with I haven't been able to find anything I like? I have been taking the whole thing apart to scoop the ashes from the bottom ever couple of months. I am going to try that leablower trick thanks Duckfat.
cheap shop vac , remove the attachement adaptor and then it will slide in between the base and the firebox and you will never have to remove the innards for cleaning .
leaf blower is fun but messy.. cloud of dust and a hearty hi ho silver and then blow it all towards the neighbors .:D

Deckhand
07-27-2012, 03:15 PM
Spike is talking about something like this.
http://www.biggreenegg.com/eggcessories/tools-thermometers-and-cleaners/ash-tools/
They are popular. Many are homemade.There are many brands and models and custom ones from the lawn ranger on the egg forums. Leaf blowers,vacuums, ash tools. Lots of different ways to handle it. Same with how to light an egg. MAPP torch, electric starter, vegetable oil and paper towels, starter cubes, etc.

rahimlee54
07-27-2012, 03:35 PM
Ya I have seen the ash tools but wasn't sure how well they worked. I personally use a weed burner and propane tank to light mine. That is pretty fun.

Deckhand
07-27-2012, 03:52 PM
Ya I have seen the ash tools but wasn't sure how well they worked. I personally use a weed burner and propane tank to light mine. That is pretty fun.
Jealous:D Sounds fun.

Keith Neal
07-27-2012, 04:26 PM
Has anyone seen a Kamado? Costco has the "Phase 2 Ceramic Kamado grill" for $579, including trays and legs and stuff. It looks like a close copy of the large BGE. Any reports?

mhlee
07-27-2012, 05:10 PM
Has anyone seen a Kamado? Costco has the "Phase 2 Ceramic Kamado grill" for $579, including trays and legs and stuff. It looks like a close copy of the large BGE. Any reports?

My take on these cheaper knock off is that you have no idea what they're made of. One would hope that they don't contain asbestos, lead or other harmful products or chemicals, but you never know.

According to the regional rep that I spoke with when I bought mine (at an Eggfest), the company that makes the ceramics for the BGE is Daltile, one of the largest manufacturers of tile products. And, according to him, the ceramics used in the BGE do not contain any asbestos. The only other company that I know of that is willing to represent that their cooker doesn't contain any asbestos is the Komodo Kamado - roughly 3 times the price of a BGE.

SpikeC
07-27-2012, 05:17 PM
Ya, the price of a BGE doesn't sound so bad after you look at one of those Komodos!

rahimlee54
07-27-2012, 05:37 PM
Anyone planning to come to Carolina Eggfest I just bought my tickets today.

mikemac
08-03-2012, 10:29 AM
Personally, I'd be pretty comfortable with kamado offered thru Costco - their gauntlet for sourcing product is pretty brutal, not perfect, but I'd be comfortable with the health, safety and quality of their offerings. FWIW, I'm pretty sure I've seen Primo branded kamados at Costco as well.

I've owned my 'KAMADO' brand kamado for 16-17 years (?) and at the timeI'm pretty sure it was the only variant available with the mosaic tile exterior. It cost me $500 cash (for a #7 which I think is about the same size as a X-lrg BGE), and was delivered free by an employee driving from Sacramento to Anaheim to pick up supplies...from DalTile.

In those days there was a bit of a blood feud between the owner of KAMADO and BGE over who first invented vs. imported the kamados. Pretty sure some of that hasn't changed, although BGE clearly won the war.

Fortunately for me, my #7 is running strong, never had a tile fall off or anything like that. Had a bit of degredation to the firebox, but that actually improves air flow and makes clean out easier


Has anyone seen a Kamado? Costco has the "Phase 2 Ceramic Kamado grill" for $579, including trays and legs and stuff. It looks like a close copy of the large BGE. Any reports?

UCChemE05
08-03-2012, 11:41 AM
I'm on the fence right now about getting a Kamado. If I do get one, it will be the Vision Classic from Costco. From what I've read, Vision's CS is pretty damn good and if all else fails, Costco will make good on the lifetime warranty of the ceramics. I checked it out a couple weeks ago and was pretty impressed with the build quality.