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Thread: Looking for user opinions of Big Green Egg

  1. #1
    Senior Member Tristan's Avatar
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    Looking for user opinions of Big Green Egg

    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.

  2. #2

    knyfeknerd's Avatar
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    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.
    If "Its" and "Buts" was candy and nuts, we'd all have a Merry Christmas
    -Cleon "Slammin'" Salmon

  3. #3
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    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.

  4. #4
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    +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.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Namaxy's Avatar
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    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) 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) If you want a super convenient smoker, that does a truly credible smoke, get a Cookshack. (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!

  6. #6

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    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...site=shopLocal

  7. #7
    Senior Member Keith Neal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tristan View Post
    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
    If you reach the age of 60 without becoming a curmudgeon, you haven't been paying attention.

  8. #8
    Senior Member lowercasebill's Avatar
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    thanks for your help with the vst and bottomless portafilter,, time for me to help you spend some of your money.
    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

  9. #9
    Senior Member AFKitchenknivesguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Neal View Post
    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.
    Jason

  10. #10
    SmokinTiger's Avatar
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    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.

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