So you wanna buy a Big Green Egg?

Update: Now beyond six years and this is one of the most popular articles on my site! Glad it has helped so many. I upgraded the gasket and fire grate in my BGE and it is well worth doing so.

Update: After more than a year of Big Green Egg ownership, I have learned a few things. Article corrected, updated, and otherwise edited. Thanks to MacDude (Jeff Hoover) for reminding me to go back and look at this.


Big Green Egg & Pizza Peel

As anyone who reads this weblog knows, I’m having an absolute blast with my Big Green Egg. A number of folks have expressed interest in purchasing an Egg and were curious what suggestions I might have. So, here goes…

The Big Green Egg is effectively a ceramic oven with a firebox below the cooking surface. It has top and bottom vents, both of which can be adjusted to control both temperature, humidity and smoke concentrations.

The big advantage to a ceramic cooker vs. a gas or metal kettle grill is that you have amazing control over the temperature while burning fuel surprisingly efficiently. The ceramic acts as a heat ballast and the BGE is both super efficient and extremely temperature stable. Because of the design, it also tends to use burn less fuel, drawing less air and, hence, loses less moisture during the cooking process. While this also means less smoke production, the smoke tends to stay in the cooking area longer and at lower temperatures.

Kamado also makes similar cookers; more expensive but likely worth it if tiles are your thing (the amazon reviews are very negative, but not exactly a huge sample size). If I had known about the Kamado prior to getting the BGE, I would still go with the BGE for reasons of practicality. The Kamado is beautiful, no doubt, but the BGE is simply much more practical when dropped into a table. Primo makes ceramic cookers with a very similar design to the BGE. I like the oval shape, but I don’t like that their marketing materials imply competitor’s do not have certain features or capabilities that they clearly do.

The BGE comes in several sizes. I have a large BGE that features a 18″ cooking surface, stands 30 inches high, 21 inches wide and weighs around 140 lbs (yes. 140 lbs. It is hard to move). The large and extra large eggs have spring assisted lid lifters. While it can kill you if you don’t follow the assembly instructions, it ensures smooth operation while in use.

Smoked Turkey -- Half Way Done

To give an idea of how large of a grilling surface 18″ really is, the large egg just fits a 21 lbs turkey standing upright. It could fit a larger bird that isn’t propped on a can of Fosters, but not much larger. I have successfully cooked 40 lbs of pork butt and a 27+ pound turkey, but it was cramped. It is also large enough to handle a whole 8.5 lbs salmon with head and tail removed.

The key to success with a BGE is patience and never opening the lid during cooking unless you have to apply a baste or adjust something. Seriously. You should never have to open it to check for “done” unless visual inspection is the only way to tell. A properly tuned BGE will happily maintain a particular temperature for hours as long as you don’t open the lid. As soon as you open the lid, the inrush of air will cause the fire to rapidly change profile, typically getting a lot hotter and changing the burn pattern such that you are going to have to retune the vents to whatever temperature you need.

Or get a Stoker. Which brings us to the list of the accessories you will need….First and foremost, you will need at least two digital probe style thermometers. I use a couple of Polder thermometers, though it isn’t because I find them to be better than any other model. I will probably move to Taylor as their probe replacement policy is more reasonable (the probes die with any flare up — rare on a BGE, but it does happens — or if the cable is damaged, which can be easy to do where it enters the probe).

The BGE has a little hole through which one probe is inserted to monitor the interior ambient temperature while the other probe is inserted into the thickest part of the food to determine internal temperature. Ambient and internal temperature control are the key control variables when cooking meats and fish. The BGE comes with a typical probe style analog grill thermometer. I knocked mine out of calibration the first time I used the BGE because I didn’t know what the helL I was doing. In particular, I lit the egg with both vents open and didn’t close them until the internal temperature shot through 1,000 degrees. This fried the included thermometer and the felt seal on the egg. Stupid me. Both are cheaply replaceable, but having a probe thermometer with hi/lo alarms is incredibly useful.

Alternatively, go with a device like the Stoker. It is a little computer that can control a fan attached to the BGE while monitoring a probe installed within the BGE to maintain a particular cooking temperature. A Stoker can also monitor probes and control multiple fans, including monitoring probes inserted into food. Awesome device. The combination of a Stoker and a BGE enables one to easily slow cook meats for upwards of 20 hours at a temperature around 200 degrees without having to intervene, add fuel or otherwise worry about it.

When ordering your BGE, get it from a local dealer if at all possible. The BGE site has a list of dealers though you’ll likely want to call around to appliance places to see if they can order it for you. We got ours through University Electrric (Bay Area) at a significant discount versus other sources.

Other useful tools. Many links lead to Outdoor Home. They seem to have reasonable prices on an awesome selection of tools and, better yet, are from my home state. I have ordered from them a few times and never had a problem.

Turkey Waiting for the BGE

In the first picture, the BGE is sitting in a large Big Green Egg cart. It is a raw cedar cart that I sanded and used a redwood stain deck sealer on. You really want some kind of cart or stand for the BGE. Given the Egg’s weight, it is relatively stable on its own. Having the egg in a nest is much much better (I used it for a couple of weeks without the table) as a BGE will break if it is knocked over. The work surface adjacent to the grill is critical when lifting in/out things like 20+ lbs turkeys. I dropped a couple of screw hooks into the end to hold other tools, of which you are going to need several.

You will want an electric coal starter. Any other method requires that you burn the coals a bit to eliminate any starter remnants and a chimney starter inside the egg just gets really really hot and wastes fuel. The linked product is funny — box says “extremely safe” and instructions say “don’t leave it plugged in for more than 10 minutes ’cause it might ‘splode!”. Alternatively, use a chimney starter externally to the egg with newspaper coiled underneath as the starter fuel. Never use lighter fluid. Not in the egg or externally on charcoal.

My BGE came with an adjustable metal top along with the traditional green ceramic top. The adjustable metal top is critical to achieving perfect temperature/humidty/smoke control. Frankly, the green ceramic top is useless for all but keeping rain out. My ceramic top broke recently (knocked it off a table) and I doubt I’ll replace it.

You will likely want to pick up a grid lifter as it makes it possible to lift in/out the entire cooking grid, food and all. Some foods — fish, for example — tend to like to stick to the grid and being able to pull the hot grid out and deal with it outside of the BGE is critical to removing the food intact. Likewise, anything — like whole salmon butterflied — that has piles of stuff on top is much easier to simply assemble on the grid and later place into the BGE. Two grid lifters is even more useful in that trying to lift a cooking grid with 20lbs of pork on it is damned hard with one hand.

For cooking bread and/or pizza, there is a baking stone. Given that the grilling grid is inserted in the egg a couple of inches below the hinged lid, I would also suggest getting some refractory bricks to boost the height of the stone. I am likely going to pick up a second baking stone as the first one is now thoroughly gunked up from using it to block direct heat while slow cooking meat. Works really well, but totally trashes the stone.

You will also want a long handled tong. These are 12" tongs from Amazon (no idea of the quality of that one). 18″ is even better. Longer the better. Solid construction critical. You’ll need this for dealing with the BGE when cooking at high heat. Reaching into it is exactly like reaching into a hot oven — very hot!

I also have an ash tool. It really isn’t necessary save for that it is perfectly shaped for scraping out ashes and kicking things around. It also fits in between the fire box and the outside wall of the egg which is quite useful for scraping out all the ashes without having to take everything out of the egg. Your firebox will likely eventually crack — mine has not yet (that I have noticed) — as it expands and contracts during cooking. While it makes it hard to take out and put back, such a crack does not impact cooing performance.

As for fuel, I use Lazarri’s Mesquite or Lump Charcoal. For smoke, I’ll use a combination of store bought hickory chips (I miss having a forest full o’ hickory trees like I did in the midwest!) and green fruit tree wood. Usually Apricot as my Apricot tree is growing like a weed and constantly needs to be trimmed back. For any relatively fast cooking — less than 2 hours — the type of wood doesn’t make a huge amount of difference (unless you are using rosemary which imparts one hell of a lot of flavor quickly). For longer smokes, wood type can impart distinctive flavors.

As I have learned, the above was crap. I now exclusively use hardwood chunk charcoal. I typically by either BBQ Galore’s store brand or BGE brand chunk charcoal. In any case, I never use Lazarri’s Mesquite Charcoal as mesquite imparts way too much smoke to be useful for anything but very short, high heat, cooking sessions. If I could find Lazarri’s chunk hardwood, I would use it. Lazarri’s quality is excellent, it is just that mesquite is useless to me.

For smoke production, I typically choose a relatively mild wood like Apple or Alder. I will often soak it in red wine and water, with maybe a bit of bourbon. For slow smokes, you really don’t want to use more than several lumps of smoking wood — big lumps, not chips — spread throughout the coals so they burn at different times. Trust me, you’ll get plenty of smoky flavor.

It is quite easy to produce truly obscene quantities of smoke and a really sour / disgusting smoke flavor. Start light. Ramp up as you gain experience.

I will often smoke with rosemary wood. Yes, rosemary wood. It grows like a weed around here and our neighbor has a slew of rosemary shrubs — woody branches and all — around the corner. Nothing like a rosemary smoke so intense that the chicken meat turns pink 1/4″ below the surface! But, again, “intense” does not mean “rosemary wood based fire”.

Oh, and you’ll need some good beer. Until you are comfortable with your temperature control skills, you’ll be spending a lot of time hovering over the temperature probes monitoring and adjusting constantly. Or tequila. A nice sipping tequila over ice with a touch of fresh meyer’s does one good.

Now that I have gained confidence, I use the Stoker for any cook longer than 2 hours and will commonly let a cook run overnight and through the workday with nothing but an occasional check of a web page. I sleep with confidence through cooks at this point — very different than the every two hour checkup when I was first starting. For sub 2 hour cooks, I just use a probe thermometer, set the vents, and let it go. The BGE will maintain a steady temperature quite nicely without having to do anything more than slightly adjust a vent ever 45 minutes or so.

Unless it is a cook where internal food temp just isn’t an issue (like a 20 hour pork butt — after 20 hours at 220 degrees, the food will be safe to eat and it will be delicious!), I always cook with one or two probes in the food. The best way to produce an incredibly juicy steak or turkey is to bring the internal temperature up to about 8 or 10 degrees below the target temp, then cover it for 10 minutes.



117 Responses to “So you wanna buy a Big Green Egg?”

  1. David says:

    The deed is done. Thanks for all the useful info and tips. I ordered the Large size with the side tables in a “nest”. Should have it on Sunday!

  2. Amie says:

    Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait for ours, since we’re already overextended with house repairs, yard repairs, and the obligatory, “oh-my-god-we’re-having-another-baby-in-7-weeks” spending. But there’s no question that when we do invest in a new grill, this is undoubtably the way we’ll go. Your helpful posts, not to mention all of your cooking demos, have definitely sold me on it! Maybe the folks at BGE should be offering you a cut, lol.

  3. Amie says:

    Ok, here’s a big question. You’ve touted the BGE as being fabulous for slow cooking. How is it for obviously faster fare like burgers and steak? It is overkill or perfection?

  4. bbum says:

    This deserves a post of its own…

  5. David says:

    Well my first attempt last night was chicken breasts. I put nothing on them but salt and pepper and followed the guidelines to cook them at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. They didn’t have that bbq’d look at the end of the time. I actually thought they weren’t cooked yet because they weren’t blackened and dry! I cut into the thickest one, and it was perfect. I thought, this must be a mistake and cut into all the rest of them too. Every single one was perfect. The coolest thing about the egg is you can so precisely adjust the temperature with the sliding doors/vents. And I started it with newspaper! Unbelievable. Thanks again, bbum!

  6. David says:

    Forgot to mention that they tasted amazing too! My wife couldn’t believe I was watching the Big Green Egg DVD until late late last night. I thought that including that with the cooker was a nice touch too!

  7. bbum says:

    Awesome!

    Funny, I haven’t watched the DVD yet and I really don’t refer to the book much, either. Pretty much all of my recipes and usage is derived from the results of google searches.

  8. bbum says:

    A word of caution; if you leave the top and bottom vent fully open, the interior of the egg can easily reach temperatures of 1,500 degrees. Won’t hurt the egg, but it’ll kill any probe thermometer unless it is rated for that range! My included BGE thermometer died a quick death the first time I lit the egg (without reading the instructions and, thus, quickly making several mistakes — too much fuel, vents fully open, cooking with lid open, etc…).

  9. Matthew Saroff says:

    The BGE sounds like overkill for someone like me who is just getting into grilling and smoking. I’m using a cheap kettle grill, and a cheap bullet smoker, which does OK.

    At some point I would be tempted. What is the typical price for a BGE?

  10. Matthew Saroff says:

    Another question: Can you cold smoke in that thing?

  11. Richard says:

    Cool site, have been on BGE Forum for about 4 yearts, mostly lurking. Do you post there and if so what handle?

  12. bbum’s weblog-o-mat » Blog Archive » Slow Cooked Boston Butt (Pulled Pork) says:

    […] Late Saturday afternoon, I preheated the Big Green Egg to about 225 degrees using lump charcoal and big chunks of maple as fuel. Once the temperature stabilized, I dropped the boston butt in an aluminum pan (to keep the drippings off the coals), inserted a probe and shoved it in the Egg. […]

  13. bbum’s weblog-o-mat » Blog Archive » Does 35 lbs of Boston Butt fit on a BGE?? says:

    […] Tomorrow is my birthday. 37 years. 37 raises an obvious question. Does 37 lbs of boston butt fit on the Big Green Egg? Or, because that was all they had, does 35 lbs of boston butt fit on my large BGE? I know I can do a single butt well. Can I do 4 well? […]

  14. bbum’s weblog-o-mat » Blog Archive » Random BGE & Smoker Stuff. says:

    […] A friend, MacDude, asked me for some details on buying a Big Green Egg. This spurred me to update my So you wanna buy a Big Green Egg? article with information I have learned since I wrote that early last year. […]

  15. Benjammin says:

    I’ve had one for maybe 10 years. Actually, I got a medium used. It pays to live in the same city of BGE HQ. My wife was skeptical in paying that much for a BGE ($245). Remember that was a long time ago. She tried a steak and she was a convert. I still laugh the first time I did a turkey. After a couple of hours I checked the turkey and it was pink. I thought it was raw, but then found out that this is how meat supposed to look like when smoked. Yeah Yeah I was a rookie. The turkey was awesome and very moist. Because of the BGE, we only eat meat if it is done on it. It is tough during the winter, but it doesn’t take long to light up the charcoal and cook. Steak get seared at 800 degrees. I love the sizzle. Hamburgers come out awesome and my 9 yo picky eater gobbles them up. Replacement parts have been covered under warranty. One thing I recommend is getting the big wooden table. I had the nest and it sometimes hard to move around the deck. The table is lot more stable. If your handy, there are plans on BGE’s website. For those who are gas griller, “It ain’t barbeque if you can’t taste the wood”. Enjoy your BGE.

  16. don zwick says:

    What is your experience with gasket replacement for Egg, using fibreglass gasket, such as made by Rutland?
    Suggested to remove both upper and lower gaskets and install on lower position only. Ace Hardware has sold several with very good results at $9.95.
    What say you?

  17. bbum says:

    My gasket is pretty much completely gone. I need to replace it, at this point, but am completely torn between the fiberglass solution like a Rutland gasket and going with the original egg gasket that, obviously, wears out relatively quickly when cooking at high temperatures.

    The fiberglass solution sounds great and I hear many reports of it working very well. At the same time, fiberglass fibers are really really bad for you. Extremely bad. And I haven’t seen a fiberglass rope that didn’t drop particulate matter when under stress.

    The original felt style gasket is obviously supported and safe, but there is an additional disadvantage in that it doesn’t provided as much “give” and, thus, will never seal completely when you have various sensor cables running into the egg.

    So… I haven’t solved the problem yet! But I’m thinking about it. Any other suggestions?

  18. Patrick says:

    Great blog. We’ve had a large BGE for 6 months. Wife got me a stoker this weekend for our anniversary. Used it on Ribs yesterday, smoking baked beans and hot dogs today (yes, smoke hot dogs for an hour at 200. You’ll never boil them again).

    We’ve been using the egg as a wood-fired pizza oven. Use the plate setter and the pizza stone, get the internal temp to around 800 and homemade pizza is incredible.

    Obviously I am frying the gasket when we do this. Any updates on gasket replacement?

  19. Aiden says:

    Hey, how do you get the BGE up to a steady 800? The supplied thermometer goes to 750, so how do you measure above this without risking damaging the thermometer? I’d really like to try to make a pizza like;
    http://www.think2020.com/jv/recipe.htm

  20. Susanne says:

    WE’re thinking about getting a BGE, but I’m a little paranoid about putting it on our wooden deck, but I see in the picks that it can sit in a wooden table. How is this possible? Basically, I just don’t want my house to burn down. What’s the scoop on this?

  21. bbum says:

    Even driving the egg up to 800 degrees or so, the outside doesn’t get that hot. And the fire is very well contained — you only have to worry about burning embers coming out when you are cleaning the firebox.

    For example, I have *zero* char marks on my wooden table. My egg is sitting on three of the little egg feet — just visible in some of the photos.

    BGE also makes a very nice stand which is a metal stand for the BGE with a couple of side tables. Quite nice, though I like the egg table better because that big workarea to the side is very very handy.

    In any case, having anything that burns stuff on a wooden deck carries inherent risk. My experience is that the BGE is much less of a risk than your standard kettle grill (my brother in law has cooked with a standard kettle grill for years on a wooden deck without problem).

    For a while, I had my egg sitting on a really big concrete tile. Actually worked quite well and looked good, too.

  22. Chris says:

    Great site. Mouthwatering pics. Question. When using your BGE as a grill, do you find it inconvenient for the grid to be so far below the opening? It’s several inches lower. Do you ever rais it somehow? If so, how?

  23. bbum says:

    I have raised the grid on a couple of bricks occasionally, but not often.

    When I use the BGE as a grill — regardless of cooking over a hot or cool fire — I almost never flip the grilled items. The flavors seems much better with the lid closed as the food seems to lose less moisture. Best damned london broils ever. If I’m going for that “criss-cross” grill mark effect, it only requires four flips.

    Anyway — I don’t find it to be that big of a deal. There is still plenty of space to get a spatula under the food. The only foods that are problematic are relatively large, flat, and flaky foods (salmon fillets) where you really need to get under ‘em flat and likely from multiple sides.

  24. Joe says:

    I am planning to purchase a large BGE very soon. Do you have any recommendations on what to smoke 1st with the least difficulty? I am not sure if the local place will have the stoker you recommended or the digital probes. Any suggestions with instructions would be appreciated. I really like brisket, ribs, boston butt, and turkey. Thanks
    Joe

  25. bbum says:

    I’d go for ribs or beer butt chicken. Both are relatively short cooks and semi-forgiving on temperature fluctuations, thus allowing you to perfect your temperature control skills.

    You really don’t need a stoker for anything less than about 6 hours. The BGE does an amazing job of maintaining temperature and consistent burn rate, as long as you don’t mess with it too much, use good fuel, and don’t leave the vents wide open.

  26. Sean says:

    I just burned up my gasket. Any word on a safe alternative to the rutland gaskets?

  27. Tim Knotts - Fireplace Designer says:

    “The big advantage to a ceramic cooker vs. a gas or metal kettle grill is that you have amazing control over the temperature while burning fuel surprisingly efficiently” – Absolutely Right. Fuel efficiency is the need of the hour and its great to hear that this cooker gives energy efficiency. What a Great Story!

  28. Eggsistentialist says:

    What about your table. Did you build or buy?

  29. bbum says:

    The table was purchased and is, I believe, a Big Green Egg manufactured standard accessory.

  30. bmacpiper says:

    Hey bbum,
    What a fun read–I definitely need the networked turkey option. Nice to see another total geek out there working towards culinary excellence…

    Anyway, I’m having a very hard time deciding between the large and the extra-large BGE. I prefer the look and size of the large, but don’t will sacrifice aesthetic and footprint for function if I have to. We are a family of four, and frequently have another family of four over for dinner. We often do things like salmon filets, steaks, etc. along with potatoes, corn, whatever. My existing Weber is 425 square inches, the large BGE is something like 250, and the XL is around 450 I think. I have never said, “Man, I wish I had less grill space”, but I also don’t want to have a huge grill if I don’t need it.

    I’ve gone so far as to cut 18″ and 24″ circles out of cardboard, but hoped you might give your thoughts on the size options, and how large of a group you typically feed.

    Thanks and keep up the good work!
    bmc :)

  31. bbum says:

    I’m seriously considering upgrading to the XL. Both because it has more surface area and because — I think, but really need to double-check — there is more distance from the grilling surface to the top of the dome, thus allowing for taller birds and more interesting stacked configurations.

    However, the various accessories for the XL BGE — of which you’ll most likely want the plate setter — are significantly more expensive.

    Still, though, the Large is an amazing cooking device and I have done up to a 27 lbs turkey or up to 40 lbs of pork butt at once.

  32. bmacpiper says:

    Have you done any meals that involve, for example, both veggies and meat? How do you deal with the different needs for heat, and have you tried doing something like ears of corn on the extender shelf, and meats below? Results?

    More directly, do you feel you could easily cook for eight or ten people on the large, or would you feel like you were having to juggle to make it happen?

    Thanks again,
    bmc

  33. bmacpiper says:

    P.S. The other thing I wonder about in the L vs. XL question is shape. The L is still tall and skinny–the XL is short and fat. Do you suppose there is any problem with draw, i.e. the XL having a cooler zone to the edges as the heat rises up through the center, or is the retention such that the whole thing heats like an oven? Newbie questions, I know, but who wants to spend $1000 and find out that it doesn’t work as well or is too small?
    bmc

  34. bbum says:

    Honestly, I haven’t done that many meals that involve both veggies and meat. But that is because I’m a rank amateur of full meal, limited tools, cooking.

    My mom, on the other hand, cranked out some awesome full meal menus within days of acquiring a medium sized big green egg. It isn’t hard, but you’ll want to avoid things that require high heat on one side and low heat on the other. Mostly, you vary the different ingredients by time given the relatively constant temperature within the egg. Or, as my mom has schooled me, use an open dutch oven to contain parts of the meal and put other parts directly on the grill.

    Frankly, the XL would give you the option of having direct heat on one side of the grill and indirect on the other, unlike the Large or smaller. I believe — I haven’t cooked on one yet.

    In terms of heating, you definitely get hot zones due to drafting, but not anywhere near the degree of a Weber. With the vents closed and the egg running at a lower temperature it really acts more like an oven than a grill.

  35. bmacpiper says:

    Thanks again.
    bmc

  36. bmacpiper says:

    Got the large BGE on Friday. Did a beer can chicken that night with homebrew, pizza Saturday, burgers (kids) and steaks (us) tonight. What a blast. I can see where the stoker would be a lot of fun. I also notice that although the marketing says, “heats up in minutes”, the true temperature stability is much more evident once the ceramics have had a chance to come up to temp also. The porcelain coated cooking grid is a joke–chips every time I touch it with the BGE tongs, but nonetheless I love it and would buy the BGE again twice if given the chance! Perhaps I’ll try their cast iron grid. My buddy said, “I think there are going to be a lot of dead chickens this summer.” ‘Nuff said.
    bmc

  37. Sarah says:

    Great info! I’m leaning towards getting the Large BGE for my husband. We live in a very, very windy area with extreme gusting. Would the Large be stable in the Nest?? I’m afraid of it toppling… Thanks for any advice.

  38. bmacpiper says:

    Hey Sarah,
    Not sure what anyone else would say, but I’d say that it would take hurricane force winds to knock it over, and I’m not even sure that would do it. They aren’t kidding about it weighing 140#. I think it is more stable in the nest than on the included ceramic feet, because the footprint is bigger. If you had trouble with it rolling in the wind, you could set each wheel in something round, like a large o-ring, to act as a brake.

    As an aside, I had first looked at a local dealer and then found these on the web for several hundred dollars less. BGE says you get no warranty if you buy from someone on the internet (you gotta love that–they don’t have control over their distributors, so they make the customer pick up the slack?). Anyway, if you get one on the web, you shouldn’t mention that to BGE–I would say it was a gift or just don’t register until if/when you need warranty service, then tell them you lost the invoice. I took the time to call around to local authorized dealers, though, and was very pleased to find one very close by whose prices were better than any I found on the web! I did have to pay sales tax, but I’ll gladly do that to be able to support a competitive local shop, and to have no questions about warranty down the road.

    Best of luck, and have fun with it. Tonight we did pizza and cobbler. Then we sat around the BGE chiminea afterwards. Very nice.

    bmc

  39. bbum says:

    No, they definitely won’t blow over in the wind, but an egg-in-a-nest will roll around in a storm!

    BGE doesn’t support mail order sales of eggs because there is way too much potential from breakage due to improper shipping practices. When BGE delivers to a dealer, they do so through relatively slow, ground based deliver, typically with the product on palettes and otherwise packaged by BGE. Even then, there is some breakage and dealers are instructed to both inspect the major pieces of the egg upon sale and are generally very supportive after the sale.

    With mail order, there is no telling what may happen to the egg between the dealer and the recipient. A non-committed dealer may repackage the egg to minimize shipping costs and then may choose a cheap shipping method that results in more breakage and more dissatisfied customers.

    BMC’s [indirect] advice of calling around to local authorized dealers is good. Most areas will have more than one and at least one will be in the business because they love the BGE, not because it is a money maker. They’ll usually provide reasonable costs and will generally provide awesome support.

  40. Sarah says:

    Thanks so much for the terrific advice! So far I’ve only found one local store that carries the BGE (Barbecues Galore) and the sales people weren’t very helpful/BGE knowledgeable. But now that I feel secure in purchasing, I’ll continue the search in earnest. I think my hubby is going to be very happy!!

  41. bbum says:

    BBQ Galore is likely going to be slightly expensive for the actual BGE, but their house brand hardwood lump charcoal is actually very very good (newly so — they changed suppliers in the last couple of years.).

    In general:

    – never use kingsford or the like. Unless you like burning wax or other glues as a part of your fuel.

    – always use lump, but avoid mesquite for anything but shorter, hotter, cooks as the mesquite flavor will quickly be overwhelming

  42. Kaila says:

    After reading Chile Pepper magazine for several years, I decided to buy a BGE. Contacted my “local” dealer in Hilo, HI and he suggested I start with the large BGE as I was thinking small for 2 people. Got the large one and LOVE it. Took a few tries to get the hang of the egg , but now I use it almost nightly, planked brie cheese, shrimp, steaks, grilled veggies , planked Salmon and a perfect beautiful Turkey. Never had so much fun cooking on a grill.
    Thanks for a great post.

  43. bbum’s weblog-o-mat » Blog Archive » What is good tequila? says:

    […] weblog this thing”. So, here it is — with some additional edits, too. Like my “So you wanna buy a big green egg” post, I’ll likely edit this over the coming years, […]

  44. Greg says:

    I almost did the BGE, but went with a Kamado instead. My guess is that both do great. I believe the Kamado has thicker walls, and ways much more–perhaps unfortunately–per size of cooking surface. I am able to easily cook pork butts for 20 hours or more at temps as low as 170, and–to answer a poster above–am also able to cook big steaks at over 700 degrees. This type of cooking, regardless of which brand or model you buy, is fabulous.

  45. Mike says:

    I need help … someone in my condo backed over my beloved medium egg with a pick up truck. It fell out of its nest and need the two inner pieces, a new lid and a new band … can you recommend the best online store or store (I’m in Jersey City, NJ)? Do you think it’s worth fixing if the green outer shell is okay?

  46. bbum says:

    @Greg The Kamados are beautiful and, from what I understand, they perform pretty much identically. The Kamado is considerably heavier and more expensive. There is also another brand called Primo that seems to be a lower cost copy of the Big Green Egg. Slightly different materials, but similar performance. I have no experience with the Primo and couldn’t indicate anything about quality.

    @Mike OUCH! That is truly unfortunate. I have oft ordered parts from Outdoor Home (http://www.outdoorhome.com/productcart/pc/viewcategories.asp) and they carried all the bits you mentioned the last I checked. Any local dealer should be able to get a hold of parts, too. The prices are generally pretty consistent from dealer to dealer, but you might be able to find a bargain here or there. You’ll have to price out what you need to see if it is cheaper to repair than replace. Or you could use this as an excuse to get a larger BGE. :)

  47. Mike says:

    After more carefully evaluating the egg, I only need the inside bottom piece and the green top … Phew!! Thanks for the website advice … I should be grilling again by Football season …

  48. Ziggy says:

    Hey Mike — If you have homeowner’s insurance, you might be covered for the cost of a new BGE.

  49. bbum’s weblog-o-mat » Blog Archive » All On One Grill: Cheeseburgers & Grilled Whole Potatoes says:

    […] suddenly transitioning from done to overdone in seconds. The Cobb is as relaxing to cook on as the Big Green Egg; put the food in, configure for appropriate temperature, and wait patiently with beer in […]

  50. Benjie boy says:

    I am a died in the wool offset vertical smoker kind of guy. .went looking for one of good(heavy duty) quality and ran into this guy in a grill store who spent the better part of 45 minutes giving features and advantages of big green egg. I looked at the large and extra large and believe that the XL fits my need but my wife looked at though she was going to stroke at $1100.00 for a grill and then another couple hundred for cart and accessories. I looked at the large and extra large and believe that the XL fits my needs. I was expecting to spend $500-$700 but I must be convinced to do this amount. I mostly do ribs and chicken, usually 9 slabs or ribs and four chickens. Family cook-outs and stuff. Will the large at $800.00 or so do this amount or am I looking at the XL?

  51. bbum says:

    I have done four chickens on my Large, without a problem. 9 slabs of ribs might be hard if you are talking about full sized pork ribs (not the baby-back), but I’d bet you could do it with two cooking grids, one above the other (which I have used to do 40 lbs of pork shoulder at one time).

    The BGE is awesomely versatile. You can use it to smoke, bake, grill, sear, etc…

  52. Brad says:

    Great advice for newbies! Couple “very newbie” questions: Calibration info for the temp guage (egg temp guage) did not come with my new egg, know where I can find this or have instructions on how to do it? Secondly, local retailer did not have plate setter or drip pan accessories available….any thoughts on where to purchase and type to get, best material, etc? thanks.

  53. Larry says:

    Interesting Blog. Saw my first BGE yesterday a a local fair. Very interesting but I did notice that the vendor had assembled several Eggs and in almost every case the top and bottom BANDS that retain the bottom and top domes were fastened with bolts tightly enough to bend the bolt so that it would be unusable or difficult to remove if necessary. This tension also bent the tabs on the BAND. Is this much tension necessary to retain the dome? I can imagine that if either band was too loose the band could slip off either the top or the bottom and the top dome might come off when opened. Possible serious safety hazzard. What is your experience?

  54. bbum says:

    @Brad You can calibrate the thermometer by sticking the end of it in boiling water. The BGE temp gauge will be destroyed if you let the egg run over about 800 degrees — but that is too hot to be useful for cooking anyway. As for parts and accessories, I have often ordered from Outdoor Home (http://www.outdoorhome.com). No idea if they are the cheapest or the best, but they have always delivered what I wanted in a timely fashion without hassle.

    @Larry The bolts on the band really are tightened down that tight on purpose. Sounds like they might have been over tightened a bit, but given that they were display models, it wouldn’t surprise me if the vendor was going for the overly cautious route (i.e. don’t want the thing coming apart with atypically rough handling). Mine are almost as tight and I have never needed to remove them, nor is my dome at all loose.

  55. Brad says:

    Thank you. I can work with that. Beer butt chicken for first BGE grilling this weekend!

  56. Bev says:

    Ok, total noob here. I’ve been screwed over by another Kompany that manufactures ceramic cookers, and now I’m looking to purchase something else, once I get my deposit back (assuming my credit card company is able to do so). Anyhow, the main selling feature for us was the ability to start the grill using our natural gas hookup. This appealed to us because we could just light the gas, and go back inside for a bit during the winter, and then only go in and out when necessary (rather than what’s required to use a Weber in the wintertime). Can this be done with a BGE?
    Appreciate your help, folks!

  57. bbum says:

    The BGE is purely a charcoal — hardwood chunk charcoal — based cooker. However, it is trivial to start the coals in a BGE. I typically use an electric charcoal starter. Takes 8 minutes. Set a timer. Done. Alternatively, you can use charcoal starter chunks — little wax molded bits of wood shavings — and not have to worry about the timer at all. Works great. No fuss. Never doesn’t work.

    I have cooked with the BGE during heavy rainstorms and the relative cold of winter in the SF bay area (it does freeze here). The BGE is remarkably convenient in this context; open the vents, drop in the electric starter or starter waxy thing and be done with it.

  58. Bev says:

    Bbum,

    Thanks so much! Seems like a good fit for us, even without the gas starter ability. Next step is to go look at one (in the flesh, per se) and hopefully see a demo of some kind. Of course, I’m not planning on doing anything until I get my dispute with the other Kompany resolved.

    Bev

  59. bbum’s weblog-o-mat » Blog Archive » Smoked Tomato/Garlic/Basil/Eggplant Sauce says:

    […] should say, we (and by “we”, I mean “I”) are using some combination of the Big Green Egg and the Cobb to do our baking and baking-like […]

  60. bbum’s weblog-o-mat » Blog Archive » Compound Miter Saw Table from Recycled Kitchen Cabinets says:

    […] the house that will require custom bits of framing. Shelves. A cover for our atrium. Repairing the Big Green Egg […]

  61. MikeD says:

    Great site as a new BGE owner! I have had it for 4 days and I have cooked ribs, steaks, burgers/hot dogs, asparagus, mushrooms and a cedar planked salmon! Thats a lot of eating but I just cant stop cooking on it!

    A couple of questions for the expert.

    1.) I guess I let it get too hot and during my last cooking experience (about 2 hours ago!) the gasket melted right off the BGE!! I ended up pulling the whole thing off because it was burning inside the grill. I am out of commission now so what do I do!! I am thinking about paying the dealer to come out and help me “fix” it and make sure I put the thing together correctly. I purchased the XL BGE and the table and it was crazy putting it together!

    2.) When a put the charcoal in and the little starters should I let them burn for a few minutes and then close the lid. I may have closed the lid to early once and boy was it smokin!

    Thanks for any help!

  62. bbum says:

    Welcome to BGE ownership! I know the feeling — ate way too much when my parent’s recently got an egg!

    To answer your questions:

    (1) I fried my ring the first weekend I had the egg and have yet to actually replace it. I have the replacement ring, but haven’t gotten around to dealing with it. You can buy replacements from your BGE dealer. They aren’t hard to install, but if you can convince the dealer to give you a hand that’d give you a good demonstration on exactly how to do it for the next time! Because there will be a next time!

    In general, though, you should try to avoid running up the temperature that much. The most common cause is the daisy wheel flopping open when you lift the lid. I try to make sure the vent door is open only as much as needed — controlling the temperature almost exclusively with the daisy wheel.

    (2) Yes — let the starters burn for a bit and let the coals get a bit lit up before closing the lid. I found that it works better. Also, use hardwood chunk charcoal if you can. The Egg burns differently than a kettle grill and hardwood lump works much better. Personally, I use an electric starter to avoid *any* taint from the starter blocks.

  63. Michael says:

    I’m another BGE user for about a year and a half. I’ve tried about evey lighting method out there; fire starters, newspapers, electric starters, charcoal holders. What I finally ended up using is a MAPP torch, about $35-40 dollars at Lowes, Home Depot or Ace Hardware. It’s easy and quick. The only down side is that much head causes some woods to spark when lighting. Another thing I’ve had success with for a long cook is to put some hotter burning lump in the bottom like Cowboys and get that going, Then lay or pour the rest of the lump on top after the intitial lump is going strong. This keeps down the straight down burn that sometimes happens. I can usually get about 16 hours of burn before I have to stir the charcoal. I found some really good charcoal at Ingles called Natures Grilling Mesquite Charcoal. It runs about $3.50 for a 6.6 lb bag. I can get up to a twenty hour cook with one bag. I keep a bag of Cowboy for short hot cooks. I have used BGE charcoal and like it but do not find it particularly superior to other brands that I have tried.

  64. Brad says:

    I’ve been a BGE owner for over two years and have enjoyed every meal with it. For getting it fired up, I’ve tried torches and electric starters, but the easiest method I’ve settled on over the last year has been to just use one paper towel with a little bit of vegetable oil on it. I’ll put the coal in the BGE by hand, wipe my coal dusted hands with the paper, wad it up under the pile and light it from below with one of those fireplace lighters or a long fireplace match. I don’t really seem to need to worry too much about how things are stacked as long as there are a couple of smaller chunks around the paper.

    There’s constant hand washing going on while cooking and this is just getting a little extra mileage out of one of the times I wash and chances are if you don’t want to get your hands dirty you’re probably cooking with gas anyway – like my wife who says “I just want to click the button . . .” In all the fires I’ve started this way it’s only died once on me, and I can generally count on a full temp fire 8 -10 min from start.

    Oh, and lump is the only way to go in an egg. Along with all the other advantages noted here, one of my favorite things about the better lump charcoals is the really small amount of ash that is left over after a burn. It feels like good practice to keep the chamber below the firebox clear, but if I let it go for a couple runs, I’ll only find t a cup or two of ash to remove.

  65. Roy says:

    I love my BGE. Had it for about a year. Usually no problems, but I sometime have trouble with getting it hot. The fire has ‘caught.’ Everything is open. But the temperature stays at 125 to 150 degrees. I’ll be darned if I can gigure out why. What am I doing wrong?

  66. bbum says:

    @roy — that sounds like your thermometer is shot as it is pretty much impossible to maintain 125 to 150 in the dome. I find that about 180 to 200 to be a minimum, and that is hard to maintain. If you have let the egg run up to jet engine temperatures (as I did the first time I lit mine), two things will happen: you’ll burn off the gasket (which I did) and you’ll destroy the thermometer (which I also did). I still need to replace my gasket.

    @Brad — I have had great success with an electric starter, but have burned two out by plugging it in and forgetting about it for too long. Next time I cook, I’ll give your method a shot. Sounds like a winner. I totally agree about the lump charcoal. It burns clean and, as long as it is good quality, long.

    @Everyone — until they change the contents, avoid Trader Joes and Whole Foods brand lump charcoal. Extremely inconsistent burn times and quality.

  67. Eric says:

    I have a hard time getting my egg up to 700 degrees and keeping it there. I have thoroughly cleaned ashes out and vent holes. I have top daisy wheel lid completely off and I have to keep the lid open.
    Then when I close the lid (with the top off) the temp might get to 600 -625, but soon the flame goes out and the temp recedes to 400 – 450. I am using a lot of good lump and a Digi- Que on at full blast for air circ.
    The only thing left to try is eliminating all the little pieces of lump (The Big Green Egg Lump has quite a few smaller pieces in the bag)

    Any other suggestions?

    Thanks.

  68. Woody says:

    I am having the same propblem as Eric. I have been using Whole Foods charcoal. Any suggestions?

  69. CAM says:

    BOUGHT THE LARGE EGG TWO YEARS AGO AND LOVE IT.. ONE ADVISE THOUGH.
    WHEN THE EGG REACHED HIGH TEMPATURE AND YOU DAMPER IT DOWN.. WHEN LIFTING THE LID, YOU MUST DOUBLE PUMP IT OR YOU WILL LOSE THE HAIR ON YOUR ARM… DID IT ONCE……OUCHHHH

  70. Don Ford says:

    Just bought a BGE for Christmas. Where can I get some receipts?

  71. Matt Ramsey says:

    I’m picking up my BGE this afternoon. A large until with mate and nest. One piece of advice, go to the BGE website and do a dealer search for your area. CALL EACH AND EVERY ONE for a price quote. The dealers in the Kansas City area varied as much as 10%. All told, I’m looking at about 780.00. Some shops wanted as much as $1000 for this basic set up. It pays to spend a half hour on the phone.

    Can’t wait to start cooking. We’ll be hitting Costco on the way home.

    mjr

  72. Matt Ramsey says:

    Quick edit to above post…

    The dealers in the Kansas City area varied as much as 25%.

    Sorry

  73. jgram2 says:

    Great blog; lots of good info. I’ve had a large Egg for ~four years and use it 3-4 times per week.

    Leather fireplace gloves with long gauntlets are a good investment. Mine are Grilla Gloves (which I cannot find on the web) but Charcoal Companion is another good brand Your local welding shop may have some equally good but cheaper.

    Someone mentioned flashback when opening the lid. Not enough publicity about this; I’ve singed arm hair more than several times (slow learner) and once got a loud bang when the flash occurred. Scary. Lift that lid carefully and only a bit at first when you’re at temps >350-400.

    I concur with using an electric starter. Mine is so old, there’s no zip code on the plastic handle, only a postal zone number.

    Discovered last night that my firebox was broken and am checking web sites and local dealers for prices which have range from $123 to $139 (which the salesman said is MSRP). Will call local dealer to avoid the $30-60 shipping charge.

    And I tried baking bread a few weeks ago using the plate setter. Burned bottom so I’m also looking into a baking stone.

    Finally, is there a resolution to the gasket debate? Not sure how long mine has been burned out.

    Portland OR

  74. David says:

    Any Hot Dog tips?

  75. bbum says:

    hot dogs? Hot and fast.

    good sausages? Low and slow.

  76. Briantroy says:

    Great info you have here. I’ve wanted a BGE for a few years and, now that I am ready to pull the trigger, I wanted to make sure my investment would be worth it. I am particularly interested in the pizza-making capabilities of the BGE. Any experience with this? Everything I read tells me they come out great, but the temps and cooking times vary considerably. Also, I cannot find any mention of how long a wait (if any) would be needed for the temp to return before dropping in a second pie after removing the first. Any pizza recipes would also be greatly appreciated!

  77. cam says:

    pizza takes some getting use to.. using the stone works great.. just getting the timing right , takes getting use to… make sure you keep the lid closed until you think it is done.. and amke notes how long you cooked and at what temp..
    what does work great is spagetti sauce>>> put the whole tomatoes( skin and all) and green peppers on the eggg around 400 f garnish with olive oil.. turn onece and a while cook for 20 mins,, and then damper it right down to nothing for 20 mins.. put everything in a pot with garlic and fresh erbs and mulchified.. the smokyness really comes thu

  78. bbum says:

    Cam– you aren’t kidding about the tomato sauce!!! Best tomato sauce ever. I made tomato, eggplant, garlic, basil sauce using a really big cast iron wok.

    Recipe and details here:

    Big Green Egg sauce

  79. CAM says:

    okay.. call me cheap. but i priced out the EGG EXCELERATOR here .. and it sells for $135.00 bucs, plus 8 batteries.. so i bought a hair dryer on sale with 3 blower speeds for $12.88 at canadian tire store and made up a piece of aluminum to put on the end to deflect the air upwards… does this thing work slick,,, heats up to 700 in no time….. ..

  80. bbum says:

    CAM — you are solving a very different problem. 700 degrees is great for short cooks (and not that hard to achieve, with a properly loaded Egg). However, your solution is useless for maintaining the temperatures needed for low-and-slow cooks of, say, pulled pork or brisket.

    (Not to say your solution isn’t useful — it is and I have sometimes used a hair dryer to quick start the Egg, mysefl. Now I just use a turkery fryer burner and a chimney starter to get a batch of lump up to temp before dumping it into the egg.)

  81. CAM says:

    i only use the dryer to fire up the egg.. as the temp stays constant once up and running… fresh fish on for 5 mins. with sliced lemon and onions and fresh ground pepper…. at 300 F…

  82. Big Green Egg Table says:

    Check out this new table for the big green egg.

    [bbum (Editor): Yes — this is a marketing comment. However, it is both relevant and the company looks legitimate. Thus, the comment is quite welcome on my site. The product — the Big Green Egg Cabinet — actually looks quite nice. I would be interested in hearing any feedback from folks that have one as I’m going to be in the market for a new table in the coming year or so.]

  83. cam says:

    I checked out the table and a great idea.. beats the wooden ones.. but a little pricey…. if around 500- 6oo dollar range , ,, think it would sell well as people can’t re-poduce this product. as for myself i built a stand out of patio stones ..

  84. Outdoor Kitchen Company says:

    Cam, I’m with the company that makes the Big Green Egg Cabinet. You’re right, it really is expensive. The material we use is very costly, so that does drive the price. The cabinet will be shown at the Eggfest in Melborne on March 12-13, so we’re looking forward to some more feedback. We really like the feedback, it helps us improve our products, so thanks! We’re launching some new tables within the next few weeks, so there will be some more options available.

  85. CAM says:

    will the cabninets will shown at the egg fest at Toronto. this year?????
    some advise… someone was complaining before about not getting the egg up in temp.. i found that if that happens , i take everything out of the egg and scrap the gunk off the sides .. and once put back together , no prob getting up to over 700 f…. cleaning the sides out helps let the air circulate inside,.. i do this about 4 times a year.. i use the egg about 3 to 4 times a week,

  86. Rich Mc says:

    Great blog, bbum. I have an interesting story. I went out tonight to fire up my Egg and couldn’t lift the top. After checking the hinge, I tried several more times. Then I joked to my wife that somebody had Crazy-Glued it shut. After several more attempts and literally having the Eggstra Large Egg rise from the Nest when I lifted the handle, I started to get concerned. So I grabbed a flashlight and looked inside. Along the edge where the base meets the top, there were several places where there was a substance that looked like tar dripping down (but hardened). We started suspecting vandalism or a really bad practical joke. I decided to add some charcoal through the vent hole in the top and dropped a camp match into it. It took quite a while to get up to 700 degrees given the fact that the cover was closed, but it got there eventually. The fire was in the top half of the grill, so it took a while for the ceramic to heat up along the area where the top and base meet. It then hit me that my problem might be a melted gasket. After about 20 minutes of 700 degree heat, I was finally able to lift the lid. It turns out that the gasket was the culprit. I always close the bottom and top vents to kill the fire immediately after cooking. Has anybody ever heard of the gasket melting and sealing the Egg shut?

  87. cam says:

    hey Rich.. i heard of the gasket burning off when people forget when they fired up the egg.. but for myself, no prob. with the gasket and my egg is 3 years old.. one prob is tho.. after shutting everything down.. when i go to use the egg a day later.. the ceramic cap is tarred on.. so i take a rubber malet and tap it loose… I WILL MENTION IT AGAIN….. DOUBLE PUMP THE LID.. SO YOU DON’T BURN YOUR ARM.. CAUSE ONCE THE AIR HITS THE COALS WHEN LIFTING THE LID… THE HEAT AND FLAME ROLLS UP THE LID …

  88. Marc says:

    Thanks a lot for this blog! I have been trying hard to get my large BGE up hot enough to create Neapolitan pizza (e.g. 700 deg or so). I am like the others who are having trouble getting the egg to sustain a temp over about 500deg, despite cleaning it out religiously, and keeping vents wide open. I even built a Guru-like fan to blow air in the bottom, but that didn’t help. I have been using Fire-King lump charcoal (and trying to avoid small pieces that can block air flow). Two thoughts: 1) the charcoal is incapable of burning much hotter (latent moisture??); 2) I need to really pack the egg with more lump coal, e.g. close up towards the ceramic baffle. It is very frustrating.

    Has anyone else found one type of lump charcoal burns hotter than another in the BGE? Any other suggestions besides keeping it clean and opening up the vents?

  89. cam says:

    to Marc
    hey Marc ..
    did you take everything out of the egg when you cleaned,, i take evrything out and scrape the sides with PLASTIC
    spatchla.. i know ita a pain taking out the ceramic insert but cleaning around it definatley helps out.
    as for charcoal…. i use” maple leaf”
    not getting it up over 500.. man that is unusally….. sometimes less charcoal is better..

  90. Chukknob says:

    I’ve noticed if you place your starter cube at the bottom of the lump it will create a faster burning hotter fire.

  91. Tom Gollinger says:

    I just purchased a BGE ( large ) I am having trouble getting the temp. to 400 degrees and keeping it there. I am using the Cowboy

    an you give me any advise
    Thanks
    Tom Gollinger

  92. David says:

    I received a large BGE for Christmas and got it out of the box today and was wondering what was supposed to come with it. The store it was purchased at had already closed for the day. I got one big box. It has the egg in it and the cap that goes on top of the lid. It doesn’t have a handle,hinge,bottom charcoal grate,grill,thermometer, or instructions. I was wondering if I was missing a box or I have to purchase all of those things.

  93. David says:

    I am looking to purchase a used Green Egg hinge (any size). If you you have one and would like to sell it, e-mail me at dmcolegrove@gmail.com.

    Thanks.

  94. Bill says:

    Rich, I had the exact same thing happen on my large BGE. Fortunately, the gasket is relatively easy to replace. Getting the old gasket off is a pain.

  95. Suzanna says:

    I have a large big green egg. I have it in the next with the side trays. I have recently purchased an egg table. How do I move it from the nest to the table? Do I need to take it apart? Please help. I don’t want to crack my egg.

  96. bbum says:

    To get it out of the nest, you’ll need to take it apart, yes. It isn’t hard to do, but you MUST tie the top and bottom metal bands together!!! If yo don’t, the springs tha assist with lifting the lid will cause the bands to fly apart and can hurt you.

    Beyond that, it is jus a matter of disassembly, putting it in the table and then reassembly.

  97. Mimi says:

    Is it okay to leave the BGE outside in the weather all the time? Our deck is small.

  98. GreenEgger says:

    I noticed there were several comments from people on what to do about gasket replacements. I like cranking my Green Egg way up and decided to go for the Nomex high temperature gasket seal.

    At http://www.high-que.com you can buy ones with adhesive tape already on the nomex, unlike other products out there that require you to use adhesive spray (which is a huge pain).

    Would highly recommend that you check it out.

  99. TC says:

    Great site!! I am a new BGE owner and have successfully cooked hamburgers as the first try (and yes I burnt the hair off my left arm…gonna take some time getting used to burping the grill after just lifting the lid for the last 15 years ;)). I have been cooking on gas grills for the last 15 yrs and I can quickly see I won’t be going back. A couple of questions (1) I have purchased a custom table from the dealer that has an umbrella holder, but my concern is the heat that this thing produces. Is it possible to have an umbrella over this cooker without burning it up? and (2) I don’t see much mention of the BGE lump charcoal which is what I have used with the first meal. My understanding is there are different qualities of lump charcoal, but I’m unsure where to buy locally? I used one starter brick and it was at 700 in about 10 minutes. I was rather impressed at the speed and happy that it was indeed faster than my gas grill in heating up.

  100. Dolly says:

    Great Blog! The BGE makes AWESOME bread and pizza… if you’re interested in learning from my trial and error, check this out: http://bgebread.blogspot.com.

  101. cam says:

    Hey Mimi
    nothing to worry about with the weather… except.. if it gets below freeezing , put a quarter coin between the lid and gasket so the lid doesn’t freeze to it… my egg going fours years and still looks like new…
    sits out in minis 20 weather ( ont. can.)

  102. cam says:

    Hey Mimi
    the egg will survive any weather.. my egg sets out all year( winter hits minus 25).. one thing tho.. put a quarter coin btween the lid and gasket.. it will keep the lid from freezing to the gasket

  103. Jay says:

    Headed to the store to buy a large egg (on sale!!!). Great info on this website! Will come in handy as I get the recommended accessories and learn to use my new BGE!

    Jay
    St. Paul, MN

  104. CAM says:

    it took a few tries but finally got it nailed down doing a homemade pizza on the egg without the stone(never had much luck with the stone, I always heated the stone up too hot).. . I heat the egg upto around 600 f then damper it dwon to 400 f … slide the pizza on the grill, cook for apprx 2:oo mins. at 400 f then damper the egg right down( putting ceramic cap on and shutting the draft at the bottom ) and cook for another 10: mins.
    The crust comes out perfect !!

  105. GK says:

    Had the BGE for about a week now. Did some Pizza, Chicken and burger. Tried my first brisket last night and the fire went out twice on me. Finished it off in the oven. It seems like thing have been taking longer then they should to cook, so I decided to check the thermometer. Put it in boiling water and it was reading 80 degrees high. Did the calibration and it came back in. Not sure if I damaged the thermometer with a previous cook or it was shipped from the factory out of calibration. Seems to be ok now. I hope that was my problem.

  106. Bob Roberts says:

    I haven’t tried pizza just or brisket but I have just about everything else. The other day we had a snafu and my egg got blown off the back patio. Luckily I have thick grass so it didn’t crack but the plate setter did break. I’m looking at plans on building a table now to give it more weight in case this happens again but it’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve been able to cook on it :(

  107. carey says:

    I got my egg a year ago I actually work for a dealer in Nj and get the personal use discount my boyfriend believes its our best investment today I’m smoking with apple chips turkey just pieces not a whole turkey. Everything I cook on it is amazing and am very happy ive only really used jack Daniels chips and find the place setter a necessity. I do a lot of grilled artichokes and honey butter corn on the cob cooked in the husk. A lot of tiler mignon. My next step is to try the wood planks with some fish fillets also want the Dutch oven for chilling in the winter and the rib rack. Other then that a good pork loin seared and cooked at 350ish for a few hours and kept warm in the oven with a bath of chicken broth comes out amazing. If u truly enjoy the art in cooking this is the answer I wouldn’t want any other grill and I laugh at people who invest thousands in these stainless grille’s and call every year to get replacement ignitors and complain about rusting. Any rib or pizza recipes as well as grilled vegetable recipes are appreciated

  108. Dennis says:

    I bought another after owning before. Worst mistake. Not only is the Price gone up a bunch the hardware is poor. Handles can’t be attached because the nuts spin–they use a clinch nut with a smooth round head that has nothing to grab onto. So the handle wobbles. A $850 Egg with a handle that wobbles??????????????? The bands on the bottom and the top dome don’t line up so they won’t last and they is no way for them to keep from slipping off. Compare other ceramic grills before you make a costly mistake like I did.

  109. bob mack says:

    My daughter bought me an egg for my birthday 5 yrs ago…The distributor set it up…The egg would not hold the temp and burned the gasket…complained to corporate, they did nothing, complained to distributor, he sent a crew out and changed the gasket….still wouldn’t work..kept trying..then finally gave up, and went back to my Weber gas grill. I put the BGE cover on it and forgot about it…..It has set on my deck unused for 4 years I buy my propane from this same store that sold us the egg never once did they question why I wasn’t using my egg…My son-in-law recently bought a Treager Grill, the first time he used it (Brisket) it was sensational.That made me determined to figure out why my egg won’t work…..Got a mechanical engineer to look it…What he discovered was the spring mechanism was installed upside down and that burned the gasket off the back also the seams aligned improperly…I’m waiting for a new gasket…. Watching the videos on YouTube they seem to indicate that air leakage is not an uncommon problem. I know everybody wants to get excited about owning a BGE…But the problem of bad customer service, and the need to constantly tinker and adjust a product that cost over a $1000.00 dollars should cause folks to step back and take pause. If I had an option again, I would not buy this grill

  110. bob mc alister says:

    wow….Bob Mack.and Dennis..what dealer did you use ? We had the spring problem one time, and that was all it took to double check that for our customers. We truly believe in the quality of the product and have had excellent experiences with our customers. We are only a few miles from the plant in Tucker and see those guys several times a week. they keep us ‘up to par’ with news and all. Anyway , just wanted to point out about the spring but Bob beat me to it !
    come see us when you are in Atlanta area !

  111. Gary says:

    Just Wondering-

    Have you used Pimento Wood in your green egg ? If so, thoughts? I’m a big fan of Jerk Chicken and am considering a BGE
    Thanks
    G

  112. Ken says:

    I understand the appeal of an egg, but I struggle with the surface area… it’s just too small. A full brisket, or several full racks of ribs just hang over the sides of the damn thing. This is the only reason why I prefer an offset smoker in a 24″ pipe. I can put 6 pork shoulders on it, easily, and feed a crowd. I guess the eggs are more for “small family” style cooking?

    Thanks,
    kjw

  113. Ben says:

    This is a great write up. Thanks. I am considering buying a small BGE for my patio (I live in the city). I have been wondering if it would be a bad idea to also have small fires in the BG as sort of a campfire. Ideally with the lid off – though I have heard this is not easy due to the rings. I really would like one “device” for both cooking and small “campfires”. As a recent transplant from a home with a large fire pit to a small apartment it would be great. Thoughts?

  114. RW Doc says:

    I’ve had a BGE for about 15 years and love it. Buyer beware: Their prices on replacement parts are exorbitant!! I just bought an external thermometer–the one that reads the grill temperature, for just under $40. In hindsight, I wish that I’d bought a standard thermometer elsewhere for 1/4 the price. I wanted to replace the ceramic top–the removable part that fits over the hole on top–the price on that is over $30. I didn’t replace mine!

    Prices used to be more reasonable but they evidently went to distributor only. I used to be able to buy online at reasonable prices. Check Amazon for something that you might need. Their prices are a bit less expensive.

  115. Mac says:

    We are thinking of purchasing a BGE. I have located a large used one with the wooden worktable included. The current owner tells me that is needs a new gasket and that the metal “ring” around the outside is a little rusty. Is there anything specific we should look for in the purchasing of a used BGE?
    Thanks!
    Mac

  116. Larry says:

    Hey guys i just found this blog and thought id throw a couple things out there. Ive seen several people have fried the gasket , i fried mine about 5 years ago and haven’t replaced it and have never had peoblems, I did however recently order a Rutland gasket from a gentleman named Ron (RRP) on the big green egg forums its probably the last gasket ill ever need

    As far as lump charcoal try Ozark Oak or Rockwood. Ozark Oak is by far the best charcoal i have ever used. Yet to try Rockwood as its not available local but will be firecaraft.com plus if you order over $100 its free shipping.

  117. Larry says:

    sorry that was supposed to say . As far as lump charcoal try Ozark Oak or Rockwood. Ozark Oak is by far the best charcoal i have ever used. Yet to try Rockwood as its not available local but will be ordering some at http://www.firecaraft.com plus if you order over $100 its free shipping.

    check out the forums at http://eggheadforum.com/categories/egghead-forum there are tons of great recipes and tons of great helpful people

    Keep on egging ;)

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