Have a Big Green Egg? Have an iPhone with iOS 5 on it? Then you absolutely need to go here Settings - General - Keyboard - Shortcuts
Then create this shortcut to save your thumbs significant effort.
Delicious pork butts on the Big Green Egg! 🤤🔥🐖
Pork butts done with their journey and time to shred. Thank you Big Green Egg and Sous Vides for the journey! 🇺🇸🔥🐖
30 seconds of Big Green Egg Zen Smoke for your viewing and relaxing pleasure. 🔥
Pork Butts out of the Sous Vides baths and now onto the Big Green Egg for 3 hours of smoke! 🔥
4th of July barbecue prep started today. Rubbed two nice pork butts and ready for Sous Vides baths over next 48 hours.
Cracked the plate setter on my Big Green Egg but was able to position it to still hold the grid up. The smoke must go on!
I made Sous Vide burgers tonight. I have wanted to try these for a long time since everything else has been so good on the Sous Vide, but I was intrigued by how this would all work.
I kept it simple, 1 lb of ground beef, 1 egg, salt and pepper. We cooked in the water bath and then fried with butter in a hot pan, constantly basting 30 seconds on each side. I also managed to set off the smoke detectors in the process. 👀
The end product was a very juicy, perfectly medium-rare burger. But I didn’t find the output to be worth what you have to put into it. I can do burgers on the Big Green Egg much easier. Even Smashburgers on the flat-top are easier. Going to stick to traditional burgers…
No photos since nothing was really picture worthy.
I don’t seem to ever get tired of looking at meat smoking on the Big Green Egg. Surly Hell is going perfect today too! 🔥🍺
Time to smoke another pork shoulder! Big Green Egg charcoal with chunks of Hickory. 🔥
Just wrapped up my first attempt at doing pulled pork using the Sous Vide. I started the Sous Vide last night. I let it run for 20 hours at 165. When I pulled the bag out the pork had shrunk and there was about 3-4 cups of liquid in the bag. I poured the liquid into a sauce pan to reduce on the stove. I transferred the pork to the Big Green Egg and let it smoke for 3 hours at 280, with some good chunks of hickory for added smoke. 🔥
When I pulled the pork off the grill the bone pulled out clean and the meat shredded just by pushing on it. It had nice flavor. After pulling it I poured the reduced liquid over to taste. It was delicious and really easy.
Next time I will add more dry rub before putting it on the grill. Otherwise it was one of the best pork butts I’ve ever made. 🐖
Transferred the pork butt to the Big Green Egg after 20 hours in Sous Vide. Time for the finish smoke at 280 for 2-2.5 hours. Reducing the liquid from Sous Vide bag to add back to pulled pork.
First time doing a pork butt using Sous Vide. Pork will cook at 165 in the water bath for 20 hours and will finish with a 2 hour smoke on the Big Green Egg tomorrow. Following Serious Eats directions. 🔥
Thawing out the Big Green Egg so I can make dinner! Frozen shut! ❄️🔥
No fishin’ in the dark, but definitely grillin’ in the dark! Big Green Egg with some delicious tenderloins. 🔥
Simple flank steak on Big Green Egg tonight with fire getting ready for later. 🔥
I have long resisted adding technology to my Big Green Egg, holding that good BBQ is made with fire 🔥, smoke 💨, and love 💚. But these things are getting more interesting. The EGG Genius looks good (it is a Flameboss in a different color).
I never tire of the scene of smoke billowing out of the Big Green Egg. 😊🔥
Simple dinner on Big Green Egg tonight. 🔥
A friend of mine is selling his large Big Green Egg along with the Challenger Designs grill table. This is the same setup I have, and I love it. If you are interested in buying a great grill setup ping me and I can connect you to him. 🔥
One of my favorite things to watch is smoke billowing out of the Big Green Egg.
Time for Fourth of July barbecue! Pork butt on the Big Green Egg! 🔥
Burgers on the Big Green Egg for Father’s Day dinner! 🔥🍔🍺
Little snow isn’t going to keep me from grilling! Big Green Egg time! ❄️🔥
Gorgeous day for a smoking session on the Big Green Egg! First smoke at the new house! 🔥
Time for traditional Christmas Eve dinner off the grill! First, have to “bottom start” the Big Green Egg to unfreeze the lid! ❄️🔥 Always leave charcoal in your Egg in the winter!
Beef tenderloin on the Big Green Egg tonight. 🔥🤤
Brisket came off after 15 ½ hours on the Big Green Egg. Internal temperature between 205-210. Rested for 30 mins in tinfoil and was fall-apart delicious on the cutting board. 🤤🔥
Keeping an eye on the Big Green Egg and brisket using the iGrill 2.
“Full packer” beef brisket on the Big Green Egg for the night! Time for a good smoke and see where things are in the morning! 🔥⏲🍽
Tenderloins on the Big Green Egg. 🔥🥩
Big Green Egg grilling in the rain! 🔥☔️
Big Green Egg smoking. 🔥
Brisket going in the Big Green Egg for an overnight smoke. See ya in the morning! 🔥
Christmas Eve dinner on Big Green Egg. 🔥❄️
Beef tenderloin on Big Green Egg tonight.
Quiet, rainy day at the cabin. Burgers on the Big Green Egg. 🔥
Big Green Egg today – tenderloins! 🔥
Time to wrap pork butt and finish with Apple cider on Big Green Egg. 🔥
Big Green Egg pork butts. 🔥 Extra smokey.
Time to unwrap these little presents! 🎁 Big Green Egg livin’.
Happy 4th of July! Four pork butts on the Big Green Egg!
Grilled chicken tonight. 🐓 Plus the Sour Pickle Grilled Potato Salad. Yum. Big Green Egg for the win! 🔥
Potato salad coming soon! Big Green Egg living.
Pizza! 🍕 Big Green Egg! 🔥
Homemade pizza on the Big Green Egg tonight.
Beef tenderloin on the Big Green Egg tonight.
Asparagus too for the steak. Big Green Egg makes everything delicious.
Holiday weekend. Mandatory grilling. Big Green Egg for the win! 🍔
Smoking ribs for dinner. Great day for the Big Green Egg.
Smoked this chili on the Big Green Egg for four hours. Tasted delicious. Best chili ever! t.co/CJLocoyv6…
The brisket at @Q39KC has me researching how to make brisket on my Big Green Egg better. So good!
Christmas grilling on Big Green Egg. t.co/3ach0Di0U…
Cold. Rainy. Time to smoke some pork! Big Green Egg!
Way too nice out to not be smoking. Big Green Egg!
I ❤️ Big Green Egg smoking sessions in the fall. Crisp air, delicious smells.
Pork shoulders on the Big Green Egg. Smoking! t.co/NNh4bDCpP…
The picture doesn’t do justice to the smells coming off the Big Green Egg.
Today on the Big Green Egg: 10 lbs of pork shoulder. “Grill of July!” Happy Independence Day!
Time to smoke! Big Green Egg. t.co/2K2OxWkjA…
Will introduce these 4 racks to the Big Green Egg in 2 hours. t.co/EynpRrRGb…
Time to start holiday weekend with some steaks on Big Green Egg!
Rib status: delicious. Big Green Egg!
Big Green Egg time - 2 racks of ribs on!
Selling my small Big Green Egg if anyone local is interested. t.co/KH44HD2AF…
It’s above freezing! Good reason to fire up Big Green Egg and make cheeseburgers!
I’m a bit infatuated with the @FornettoOven. Not to replace Big Green Egg. Nice compliment to it.
Snow ribs on Big Green Egg. t.co/kPk4UwDln…
Shoveled the deck so I can smoke some ribs on my Big Green Egg. Love winter in Minnesota.
Super excited about the flank steak and pork chops coming off my Big Green Egg tonight.
Full rack of delicious on the Big Green Egg. Now to douse with hard Apple cider for finish. t.co/wvOf21QGn…
Ribeye steaks on the Big Green Egg tonight. t.co/OeS2MTv4X…
The only thing better than dinner on the Big Green Egg? Breakfast on the Big Green Egg!
At the cabin with brother-in-laws with delicious Big Green Egg dinner!
Three racks of ribs falling off the bone! Big Green Egg! t.co/971nIgkaa…
Big Green Egg smoking. t.co/tpx9O7KKK…
Happy 4th Big Green Egg style! t.co/V4CAsy0IQ…
Double hitter on Big Green Egg coming up: traditional burger and brats today followed by ribs with Mike Rock and gang tomorrow.
Pork tenderloin off the Big Green Egg. Chainbreaker White IPA as well.
Every night is Big Green Egg night.
Big Green Egg. Beer. Lake. This works. t.co/PmiqdAUIg…
Big Green Egg after a few hours.
Big Green Egg living this weekend. See these two in a few hours.
Grilling breakfast on Big Green Egg. Yum.
Big Green Egg time.
First run with new Big Green Egg this evening. #cabin t.co/w7oAAJmOX…
Fresh brand new Big Green Egg with an awesome Challenger grill cart. Excited to fire this up! t.co/v2jOtegAk…
Christmas Eve steaks on the Big Green Egg. Nice grilling weather! t.co/SEUJpzXlN…
Expecting @TJ_Thorson to be future Big Green Egg “egghead” extraordinaire. The force is strong in that one.
Two ½ pork shoulders on the Big Green Egg. Check back in a few hours. t.co/Yoh2dcooJ…
See ya in a couple hours. Prime rib on Big Green Egg. t.co/2aRnk1d0v…
Big Green Egg. t.co/Bz3ekMlYO…
Mothers Day dinner prep starting. 4lbs of yum. Big Green Egg starting. t.co/qhFfNOyQj…
Big Green Egg getting rolling.
Grilled flank steak on Big Green Egg. t.co/jXEtoLa7N…
Grilled baby romaine lettuce on Big Green Egg. t.co/se5DnFWuM…
Couldn’t help but fire up the Big Green Egg with such nice weather! Even for simle burger and steak. t.co/KMKgv5Xcl…
Big Green Egg smoke.
Getting ready for Big Green Egg steak time.
Not my Big Green Egg. Still awesome.
I can’t wait to fire up both Big Green Eggs soon. I need to get some grilling going! t.co/LunEL9uoP…
Smoke. Big Green Egg. #biggreenegg t.co/1yRzbp2P
Three racks of St. Louis ribs on the Big Green Egg. #biggreenegg t.co/nC9qDvFR
Corn and asparagus on Big Green Egg. Simple today.
Have a Big Green Egg? Have an iPhone with iOS 5 on it? Then you absolutely need to go here Settings - General - Keyboard - Shortcuts
Then create this shortcut to save your thumbs significant effort.
I seem to have a food, movie, food, movie, food, movie stream going here so why not add one more food. :-) Last night we turned to the Veganomicon for dinner inspiration again. You may be thinking that we only have one vegan cookbook, we don’t. We have a handful and actually the Veganomicon hasn’t been the dominant one. But it’s been my favorite since it was so highly recommended by my friend John. I decided to make Chile Cornmeal Crusted Tofu with Southwestern Corn Pudding.
The tofu was easy to prepare and really all about technique. It came out okay, but I think I could do better. I don’t think I got the tofu pressed enough, and the cornmeal I used was really coarse, too coarse. There were little hard bits in the crust of the tofu that were distracting. I also wanted some sort of sauce of the tofu. As a bonus there was extra tofu left and I think it will go great on a sandwich.
The Southwestern Corn Pudding was a star! It’s in the picture above in the casserole dish behind the wok. It tasted really good, had jalapeño to give some nice flavor and color. The sweetness of the corn was great. This is the kind of dish you could make for anyone and they wouldn’t miss the cream and butter typical in corn preparations. It was also pretty easy. I used a bag of frozen corn and the whole preparation only took about 15 minutes and then baking time. I missed an opportunity to use some of my New Mexican smoked chiles too. Next time I’ll bake this on the Big Green Egg to impart so smokey richness to it and use the premium chiles. My mouth is watering just typing that.
Our month of eating vegan has gone really well. Tammy has tried all sorts of new recipe and made some really great meals. This past weekend I wanted to cook something but I wanted something specific. I wanted to use my Big Green Egg and I wanted something spicy. For some reason eating vegan has resulted in me seeking out spicy food more than ever. The flavors are just awesome.
I paged through the Veganomicon and found the recipe for Hot-Sauce Glazed Tempeh. We had some tempeh that we didn’t have plans for so I went for it. It had the promised spice, and the preferred method of cooking it is on a grill.
I made the marinade which was really easy. Boiled the tempeh for 10 minutes and then let it soak for an hour. I fired up the Big Green Egg and got it up to 450 degrees with the cast iron grid and cooked the tempeh with some nice searing and caramelization. I served it with a side of Messsy Rice (vegan alternative to Dirty Rice). The result looked nice and had great flavor. There wasn’t a lot of “glaze” to it though, so I think the next time I may add a little extra pepper and a touch of sugar to the marinade for basting on the grill.
Made ratatouille on the Big Green Egg tonight. Tasty! t.co/pcVxbs3h
Our month of eating vegan has a lot of new challenges. One of the biggest is what to do with my cherished Big Green Egg’s. I liked that ratatouille is naturally vegan, and it seemed that cooking it on the Big Green Egg would be really good. I followed the Ratatouille’s Ratatouille recipe on Smitten Kitchen and instead of putting it in the oven I put it on the large Big Green Egg set up for indirect cooking.
It came out really good with a nice, light smoke flavor infused as well. I served it on a bed of couscous.
Vegan? Check. Grill? Check. Delicious? Check.
When it comes to grills and eating vegan there isn’t much overlap. However, the Big Green Egg is unique since it can do anything an oven can do, but better.
Last weekend I bought my last fire pit. A number of years ago I saw Jeff Lohaus LoFerno fire pits at Art Attack in the Northrup King Building. I instantly admired the quality and design. However, I had just bought a chiminea. And not just any chiminea. I had bought the Big Green Egg Chiminea and I love my Big Green Egg products. A LoFerno and a chiminea seemed excessive, especially at the same time so I didn’t get it. Additionally, at our old house I had a proper fire pit in the far back yard so I could always have fires there.
Since moving to our new place I don’t have a large yard with a fire pit and I’ve been stuck with just the chiminea. The chiminea is fine, but you don’t get that sense that you are having a real fire. I started searching for a good fire pit. I knew I didn’t want something made of thin metal. I wanted something with weight and thick steel. The LoFerno is 120 pounds and made of ¼” steel. Check!
The cool thing about the LoFerno is the fire tower. That’s a big part of the weight too. The bowl is 70 pounds and the tower is another 50 pounds. The tower allows you to be pretty sloppy with getting your fire started, and the logs burn in a vertical position and seem to start a lot easier that way. The pattern in the tower is interesting to watch as flames weave around it. The tower just sits in place, so remove it to move the unit or clean and your ready to go again. It would be pretty easy to put a grill grid on the tower and cook over the fire if you wanted, but I haven’t tried this yet.
The best thing about the LoFerno is that you really feel like your sitting around a fire. It’s stable and heavy so you know everything is safe. It’s made of ridiculous steel that will last longer than any of us will. And it’s made by a local artist who seems like a cool guy making some great stuff. I highly recommend one if you’re looking for something to enjoy the fall nights with.
Here is a scenario. You are doing a brisket on your Big Green Egg. It’s a weekend, and the meat will be smoking on the grill pretty much all day (and possibly all night). You aren’t going to serve just any barbecue sauce with it, you make your own. This requires you to simmer the sauce for hours. The longer the better. The brisket, and you, are outside having a nice day probably with a good beer. Where is your sauce? Inside on the stove? Total buzzkill. This is where you need an outdoor burner.
When I got my Double Big Green Egg table I knew I wanted to do a full meal outside, from prep all the way to eating. While I love my grills, there are some things that you need a burner for. Last year I picked up one of these Max Burton Pro Chef 1800 units from Kitchen Window and it’s worked out great.
Why get this unit?
This is a commercial unit and it is built well. I feel comfortable with moving it in and out of storage and not needing to be overly gentle with it. (Note, it is only outside when in use. Otherwise it’s stored inside.)
The unit is very easy to clean. The cook surface is a flat glass plate that just wipes down. The touch sensitive control surface is easily wiped down as well. When grilling my hands get dirty and this unit gets dirty.
I wanted a burner I could dial into a temperature, and this one can do that. If simmering a sauce I want to just punch in a temp and not think about it. Easy.
I’ve been really happy with it for everything from cooking pancakes for a brunch on the grill to simmering sauces or boiling some water for carrots. The only job I found it challenged by was boiling a huge kettle of water to cook corn in. It just didn’t have enough power to deal with 3 gallons of water. But really, the corn should be grilled anyway.
This weekend we had friends over for dinner and I tried something new. I decided to try making my lasagna on the Big Green Egg. The Egg can work as an oven, so why not?
I was also doing a squash for the side dish so I fired up both grills to get cooking.
I made the lasagna exactly as I would have otherwise but instead of putting it in the oven I simply popped it into the Egg.
The squash got some brown sugar and butter with nutmeg and cinnamon.
The lasagna came out pretty good. I learned a couple of things.
I liked the end product and would definitely do lasagna in the Egg again.
When I got my Big Green Egg I got the large table to go with it. It seemed okay, not great. I knew I wanted to have a good work surface for my Egg and I didn’t think the simple fold out “wing” tables would work at all. I know a lot of Eggheads make their own tables. There are some wonderful plans online that help out. But I don’t have even the basic woodworking skills, or patience, to do that. So I just went with the table from the store.
It was okay but pretty quickly I was disappointed with it. The build quality wasn’t great. It was stapled together instead of using screws. But it worked so that is what I used for the first year.
I’m glad I did because it allowed me to really figure out what I wanted in a custom table for my Egg. After a lot of searching I found a carpenter to work with and after a design session with some sketches I now have my dream Egg table.
If your just grilling some burgers you really don’t need much prep space around your grill. But when you’re doing full day smokes and preparing entire meals on the grill I found that I wanted ample space. I wanted my table deeper than the stock table by about 4 inches.
I thought for a long time about how I wanted to accommodate two Eggs. I considered having them in two separate tables, which would be convenient for times when I wanted to just use one or maybe even take it somewhere with me. After consulting my friend and kitchen expert Mike he suggested that I consider a hot/cold setup, like a professional kitchen. I decided I liked that and put both Eggs in one large table and then have a completely separate prep table. More on the prep table later.
One of the issues I have found when using my Egg is dealing with hot tools or grill parts, as well as dirty grids and such. I asked the carpenter if he could design something that slid out on the bottom of the table that could deal with this. He hit it out of the park!
This shelf is just great. It’s all metal, so I can put a hot plate setter on it and not worry. Since it slides underneath I can then store those things out-of-the-way and not worry about kids bumping into a 500 degree ceramic piece.
You may notice in the picture above one other minor thing that I did around the bottom vents of the Eggs. I found that you inevitably spill ash when cleaning it out, and that ash if left on the wood caused staining. I mentioned this to the guy that build the table and he just got a couple of squares of metal and mounted them under the vents. Now the ash just falls on the metal and can be cleaned up easily.
I copied (stole) the idea of the granite inserts from a friend who bought an Egg and built his own table. I thought it was a brilliant idea and had to do it as well. In the center of both the hot and cold (prep) tables I have a removable slab of granite.
I found that my Egg table got pretty dirty over time. You have various sauces and rubs out there and it makes a mess. The granite gives me a place to not worry about grease, sauces or even hot items that might burn the wood.
I can pop the granite out and pressure wash it easily enough. I have also found these to be great places to put a single portable burner when I want to simmer some sauce or cook something that way outside as well. I have a nice induction burner for this purpose. It works great!
The prep table was an indulgence. It serves a lot of purposes. First, I get a bunch of shelves to put my tools in. I now even have room to house a spice bin outside so there is less running around. I have another bin just with fire starting stuff. The room is nice.
I also like that the table is very mobile. If you need to shuck some corn, or prep food for the grill and have someone helping they can take the table wherever it is convenient for them. I also made the table “double-sided” so two people can work on either side easily. I also slapped some hooks on it so I can keep tools there, as well as hang a trash bag on the side if you have a lot of prep work to do.
The entire table is covered in outdoor varnish. It should last a very long time with basic upkeep. I’ve grilled with this setup now for about six months and have yet to find anything I would change.
Feel free to riff off of any of these ideas. If you live in Minnesota and would like to reach out to the carpenter that built this amazing table just contact me and I can send his info along. He doesn’t have a website to link to.
What makes this chili unique is that you smoke it for a while on the Big Green Egg. Here is the Le Creuset going on the grill.
A couple of hours later and you can see that the chili has darkened and steeped itself to deliciousness.
What was a blue pot, now looks completely black. That is the smoke residue. Don’t worry, an SOS pad gets it looking like new in no time.
This is easily the best chili I’ve ever made.
I’m a huge fan of my Big Green Egg. I have been a casual griller for a long time, mostly on a gas grill. At some point I decided I wanted to look at a grill that had more capabilities and that is when I found the Big Green Egg. After I got the Egg, set it up and used it, I put my previous gas and kettle grills on Craigslist and they were gone in a couple of days. I think I can count about ten people who have Eggs now in part on my recommendation. A number of friends that decide to get a Big Green Egg have asked me for advice on what accessories to get, or which Egg to get.
This post is a collection of those recommendations so I don’t have to repeat myself, and to share with the larger group of soon-to-be EGGheads!
Before we start on what to buy, let’s address where to buy. Big Green Eggs are always the same price so you won’t find a better price at one place or another. You may find some stores that will throw in a class or something, but not a discount. I bought my Egg, and recommend others in Minneapolis to check out Kitchen Window. I also buy a lot of supplies at Settergren Ace Hardware which is really close to my house.
I would encourage you to buy your Egg local, and buy it from a place where the person that runs the store has his own Egg at home. The guy that runs Settergren’s has an Egg at home. The manager at Kitchen Window does too. They know their Eggs.
You need more than just the Big Green Egg. These items are things that I view as a requirement to get with your Egg, starting with the Egg I recommend.
I strongly recommend that people get the large Big Green Egg. I started with a large and have added a small Egg to my setup as well. I’ve never owned a medium or x-large but have talked with people who have them. The medium seems an odd choice to me, sort of “no man’s land” between small and large. The x-large is really big and with that you need to factor in longer time to come up to temperature and more charcoal required.
The large will accommodate nearly everything you do on the egg. You can do a half-dozen or more full racks of ribs. Whole fresh hams fit fine. All but the most giant of turkeys will be fine. If you get a whole packer brisket you will likely need to cut it to fit it on the large, but you would on the x-large as well.
I also have a small so that I can have two temperatures going. Mainly if I want to do a tenderloin and corn on the cob, I can do both at the same time. Or if I’m smoking a brisket for 20 hours and need to prep some burgers for the kids I can use the small one. It’s very handy, but is certainly a luxury.
Getting a Big Green Egg without getting a plate setter isn’t really an option. I’m not even sure why it is sold separately. I guess if the only thing you plan on doing is typical grilling you could maybe skip it. But you really aren’t taking full advantage of the wonderful capabilities of the Big Green Egg. The plate setter is how you make indirect heat on the Egg and is required for anything other than high heat grilling.
The plate setter is required for smoking, but it’s also used for pizza. It’s not just a low temperature thing, it is about managing the heat distribution on the food.
Update (Sept. 2016): It looks like the marketing department at Big Green Egg got excited and renamed the plate setter to the convEGGtor. I’m going to flatly refuse to use that name but be aware that it may be called that in the store.
The design of the Egg leaves the ash in the bottom of the grill. The vent is there to control air flow and heat during cooking, as well as to reach the ash that has collected there. This is where the ash tool is used.
I don’t think there is anything that you could use besides the ash tool to clean it out. It seems like a required accessory.
I’m a big fan of the paraffin fire starters for the Egg. Feel free to start with the Big Green Egg brand, but I would quickly switch due to price. I get these in boxes by the hundreds at my local hardware store and I swear it is the same product inside.
Over time I’ve learned that I use one block to start a fire “slow” and two to get going faster. So if I’m smoking something and want a low temperature I use one block. If I’m doing steaks and want something closer to 500 degrees I light two separate blocks and start the fire in two spots. This is a handy shortcut.
A few advantages of the paraffin starters:
I’ve used these all the time and I could count on one hand the number of times I’ve had a failed start.
You’re buying a charcoal grill, you need some charcoal. If you previously used charcoal briquettes throw those away. Use only natural lump charcoal in your Egg.
I tend to think of charcoal like film photographers used to think of film. I don’t experiment a lot. I’ve learned a couple of charcoals and I stick with them. I know how they work, how they flavor the food, how they burn. If I’m using new charcoal I’m always a bit on edge about how it will behave.
I only use Big Green Egg charcoal. It is composed of oak and hickory, has a good flavor and consistency and burns consistently. I do use Wicked Good charcoal at times when I want less of a smokey flavor. Oak and hickory are powerful, and if I want to bring more subtle flavors I use the Wicked Good as it is a more mild flavor.
An important note, if you are adding wood chunks to your charcoal to add smoke you must consider that in conjunction with your charcoal. Using a mild, sweet smoking wood with the oak and hickory in the Big Green Egg charcoal is a waste. The flavors will be completely overloaded by the charcoal.
If you decide to play with other charcoal, make sure to consult the charcoal database.
Working with the Egg you are going to need some very serious hand protection. I have two options that I use. I have a pair of very thick welding gloves. These work well for handling heavy and very hot pieces of ceramic, such as removing the plate setter from the grill when it is hot. However, if they get at all moist I’m in for big trouble. The heat will flash through in no time.
For more cooking uses, I have a pair of liquid resistant Kitchen Grips mitts that are rated to 500 degrees. These work great and protect my hands even when there is some moistness to the surface.
I like having both because the mitts don’t have fingers so I can’t do anything complicated with them. The gloves are fingered, and work well for lifting or setting things in place. I would recommend a similar combo.
You will need a place for your Egg to sit. The cheapest option is to get the Egg nest and set it in their. You can also get “wings” which are swing out little tables on it. If this is all you can accommodate from budget or space, it would be fine. However, I think you are going to want more space.
While I think a table for your Egg is required, I’m not a fan of the table from the Big Green Egg company. I got one of these to start with and was never happy with it. It is strong enough, but barely. Boards started to sag after a year. I had problems with mold on it. It absorbs every mop sauce or rub that ever touches it and was just very dirty.
I had a custom table made by a wonderful woodworker and am a huge fan. If you are handy with tools there are plenty of kits to building your own table, and for many Egg owners there is great pride in building their own custom table.
These items are not required, but they are highly recommended. You’ll be able to grill and get things done without them. But, I think you will make better food and enjoy yourself more with these items.
It took me a while to get a cast iron grid for my Egg. I just used the porcelain one for everything. Mostly that is fine, but the cast iron grid is really needed if you want to get good char marks (and the flavor!) on steaks or even vegetables.
The cast iron grid holds a good amount of heat. I can tell just from the sound when you put a steak on the cast iron grid that you are getting that true steakhouse look and taste.
The cast iron grid is also very useful for veggies. The spaces between the grid are smaller and easier to cook on. Grilled romaine actually grills on a cast iron grid, on the porcelain you get more of a high temp cooked effect.
My good friend and grilling mentor Mike introduced me to the Thermapen and I can’t imagine grilling without it, and certainly not smoking anything. The Thermapen is a must have for me, but I left it as recommended since you can cook without it. You can also drive a car with your feet if you like. Yes, it is $100 for a thermometer, but it’s worth it.
I’ve written before about the miracles of the Thermapen. The speed that the instant read works at allows for amazing uses. For example, when smoking a brisket you can put the probe in and pull it out slowly over several seconds seeing the temperature at each location from the center to outer region of the brisket.
The grill gripper is more needed than you may think. I use it every time I grill. It is what I use to lift the porcelain grid out of the grill and get the fire started.
You will also find this useful if you are pulling a deep dish pizza pan, or cake pan off of the grill.
Unfortunately, you cannot grip the cast iron grid with this. The gripper doesn’t open wide enough.
You may have a pizza stone already, but be careful. The Egg can get really hot, hotter than a lot of grills. I have read temperatures that exceed my infrared thermometer and just show +999 on the surface. When I do pizza I have a full firebox, and the top and bottom air vents are wide open. It’s very hot.
A lot of stones will crack in these temperatures. I’m not sure why, but it is a common problem that people mention on the EGGhead forums. I have a Big Green Egg stone and it is fine. It is also thick and heavy.
If your stone doesn’t indicate a rating, or is less than ¾ inch thick I would not put it in your egg.
The ash pan isn’t required but you will miss not having it. You use this with the ash tool to collect the ash out of the Egg. You could use anything else to catch it, but the key is that the Egg is round so there is a curve. The winning feature of the ash pan is that it is the same curvature as your Egg, and has a little lip that sits into the vent mechanism to make a tight seal.
It is worth noting that even with the ash pan you should plan that there will be some ash spill when you clean out the Egg. Like many Egg owners I place a 18” square paving stone underneath mine so that the ash falls on that instead of any wood.
There is nothing Big Green Egg specific about the meat hook, I just find it to be such a wonderful tool for dealing with meat on the grill. I find that I can deal with a tightly packed cooking surface better with it.
Just get one, I think you will find it very useful.
These optional items you can probably skip.
I have one of these riser racks and it is handy for times when you are doing a lot of food. If I do a full brisket I will often cut off the point and put it on the riser rack. It also is handy if you are doing a lot of corn and want to get another 8 or so ears on the grill.
Beware that it isn’t very heavy-duty so I wouldn’t put a dutch oven on it. It’s fine to hold most any food, but beware of weight limits.
I have one of these for two reasons. I like to have it to sear meat or do a burger in a fried (versus grilled) style. I also like it for cooking vegetables on, or if you are doing up some potatoes to go with your meal. If you’re doing breakfast on the Egg this is a great way to do some hash browns while your sausage cooks on the other side.
These are some things that you may think you should buy, and I really recommend you don’t.
I’m biased against the electric starters for a lot of reasons. I will say that a couple of friends of mine got them and they like it. I also know that my favorite Egg seller, Kitchen Window, regularly recommends these to customers. I don’t have one and won’t be buying one.
The first reason I don’t recommend these is really out of principle. You are working with an Egg and charcoal. I just don’t like the idea of introducing electricity to the setup. It seems, well, wrong for some reason.
The better reason I don’t recommend them is that I feel it limits your ability to start the fire with a specific intent. I mentioned above when talking about the starter blocks that I use one or two depending on the type of fire I’m building. I also will top or bottom-start the fire, again depending on intent. I don’t see how you can start different kinds of fire with the electric starter.
To elaborate, if I’m looking for a 220 degree Egg temperature for a brisket I top start the fire with a single starter. It’s slow and gradual, I can keep it in line and it will burn for 24 hours. If I want to do pizzas at full blast, I’ll top and bottom start to get a ton of fire going quickly.
If you are looking at one of these your probably coming from a kettle grill. You don’t need these at all on an Egg. The lump charcoal starts easily, and the firebox of the egg is its own containment area. If you are used to using one of these on your existing grill, please don’t try to use it on your Egg.
I will admit that I was foolish enough to buy a drip pan. One of the great things about the Egg is that you really don’t clean it. If it’s dirty, just start the fire. At 800 degrees it will be clean. :-) Don’t worry about dripping from meat getting on anything, just let it burn down.
You may think you want a drip pan to catch drippings. That is what I got one for. I just haven’t ever seen that work. The pan boiled empty and was destroyed with black residue.
If you wanted to introduce a mop sauce into the cooking chamber, you may want a drip pan for that. But in that case just get a cheap aluminum pan or old cake pan and keep an inch of liquid in it.
Hope that helps. You should also download the Big Green Egg community cookbook.
Using binoculars to check Big Green Egg temperature. Cold out there! :-)
EGGfest Chili on for a couple hours of smoking in the Big Green Egg. /STfeZ/h21mwaxj
Making EGGfest Chili from Big Green Egg cookbook. So far smells awesome!
Midway for pork shoulders on the Big Green Egg. Smell is awesome.
Wasn’t expecting a frozen Big Green Egg this morning. No worries. Bottom starting fire.
10+ lbs of pork shoulder rubbed for the Big Green Egg. Halloween smoke!
Time for the corn to get on the Big Green Egg. Pretty! imageshack.com/lost
Big Green Egg held 220 all night. Brisket looking good! imageshack.com/lost
Smoke. Big Green Egg. imageshack.com/lost
Big Green Egg update; 2 pork shoulders, 3 lamb shoulders, pork shank. Gorgeous. Heads up Mike Rock. /4fososj
Lamb shoulders about to go on the Big Green Egg. Heads up Mike Rock. #biggreenegg /4i214j
Pork shoulders from Mike Rock on the Big Green Egg. #biggreenegg /YaVkZ/4gjczaj
It is hard to not be smug when you have a Big Green Egg at grilling classes. :-)
Ran into @benmoore at Kitchen Window buying his Big Green Egg. Great barbecue in his future. Congratulations!
Intermediate stage for porterhouses on Big Green Egg. Firing up to 700 degrees to finish. #biggreenegg
Big Green Egg ready. Filet on left is lemon/taragon, right is bourbon glazed. #biggreenegg
Big Green Egg finally unthawed! It’s all easy from here. #biggreenegg imageshack.com/lost
Sending warm Big Green Egg wishes to Mike Rock’s Dad who got a large egg for Christmas. In Florida his will not freeze shut. #biggreenegg
Luckily found out early my Big Green Egg is frozen shut. Also lucky there is charcoal in it to burn and thaw
Man, there goes more arm hair courtesy of the Big Green Egg.
4 lbs tenderloin going on the Big Green Egg.
Over the weekend I decided it was time to do a full cleaning of my Big Green Egg. Now and then I find it helpful to actually pull out the fire box and fire ring to get all the ash out of every part of the grill. I know that I need to do this if I can’t easily get the temperature on the grill up over 650°. The airflow is just being limited. Time to clean out all the parts.
I got it all cleaned out and as I was putting the parts back together I took a moment to think about technique when pulling ash out with the ash tool. I’m right-handed, and I find that I have a much easier time working the ash tool from the right side of the draft door with my right hand. Thus far I’ve always aligned the fire box to be centered with the draft door (per the instructions). This time I tried something new.
Since I work the ash tool from the right hand side, I put the ash tool into the draft door and then put the fire box in so that it was also aligned on the right side. The result is that I have a lot of open space that I can work the ash tool over and am much more effective at getting ash out as needed. (If you are left-handed I would align the draft door and fire box to the left side.) I also have very little need to work the ash tool with my left hand since I can reach most of the chamber from the right.
In these pictures the ash tool is inserted along the right hand side of the draft door and fire box. For a refresher on what the fire box, fire ring are see the Big Green Egg components section of their website.
Brand new gasket for the large Big Green Egg tonight. It always feels like the grill is shiny and new with a brand new gasket. It closes with a soft thud, and the seal is perfect. Time for an extra low temperature smoke with a perfect gasket.
This is a good example of what a Big Green Egg looks like when it’s full blast, north of 700° F. And it can get hotter!
Two pork shoulders to go on the Big Green Egg tomorrow at 7am!
Tammy, Mazie and I joined my sister-in-law Angie, Mazie’s cousin Nora and Grandma Olson for lunch at Burger Jones today. We’d been meaning to try out Burger Jones since before it even opened and this was our first opportunity.
First impression was good, but unfortunately the whole experience just stayed there at just good. I got a burger because, hey, you’re at Burger Jones. I ordered the burger medium, but it came well without any pink at all. It was a pretty uninspiring burger and I would take a burger of my own off of the Big Green Egg most any day. We also tried the cheese curds as they were supposed to be very good. They were pretty good, when they had cheese in them. The way they were prepared made a lot of the cheese come out of the breading. Mazie and I decided to give the Nutella Malt a try and it was good, but how can you do a malt wrong. Lastly everyone split the stack of fries trying the regular fries, sweet potato fries (my absolute favorite) and waffle-cheese fry. The sweet potato fries seemed like they came right off of a Sysco truck and into a fryer. Another yawn.
For the cost, I would have expected something better. It was all fine, and everyone left happy, but there wasn’t anything about the food that left me wanting to return quickly.
Flank steak off the Big Green Egg for lunch today.
Racks on the Big Green Egg.
About a week ago I stumbled upon a blog post from a fellow Big Green Egg enthusiast that explained how he had attempted to do tandoor style cooking using his Big Green Egg. If your unfamiliar with a Tandoor there is a good write-up on Wikipedia, but the essence of it is captured as:
The food is cooked over a hot charcoal fire or wooden fire . Temperatures in a tandoor can approach 480° C (900° F), and it is common for tandoor ovens to remain lit for long periods of time to maintain the high cooking temperature. The tandoor design is something of a transitional form between a makeshift earth oven and the horizontal-plan masonry oven, and is used almost exclusively for live-fire, radiant heat cooking.
If you’ve ever had Tandoori Chicken at an Indian restaurant you’ve eaten food from a tandoor. It has a very distinctive flavor, and is not easily reproduced at home.
I read this other guys first try “Big Green Egg as a Tandoor Oven?“ as well as his second try “Tandoori Experiment 2”. I sent these links to my friend Senthil who is from India. He’s from southern India and tandoor cooking is a northern India thing so he was as unfamiliar with a tandoor as I was! He has a connection with Taste of India and we were able to secure some of uncooked Tandoori Chicken from them. This was important since we would be able to isolate the taste based on cooking method, rather than the marinade and preparation.
Preparing the Big Green Egg to be used as a Tandoor was simple. I topped off the firebox as I would with any high heat preparation. Getting that hot uses a lot of charcoal. I let the fire get going with the top completely uncovered and the bottom vent fully open. Once we got to 400° F we quickly climbed all the way to 600° F.
There was flame in the Big Green Egg with that much air going through. Very, very hot blue flames. We needed to make sure the chicken wasn’t torched in the flames so I took the plate setter from my small Big Green Egg and put it upside down, straight on the charcoal, in the large Big Green Egg. This worked great. It pushed the open flame to the sides and still allowed plenty of air for high heat cooking. It also gave us a stable, flat surface on the bottom to hold the skewer in place.
Putting the plate on the charcoal stunted the temperature momentarily but it quickly regained it’s footing until we reached a roaring 680° F. Now, that’s not the 900° that a true tandoor may reach, but it’s plenty hot enough.
We placed the chicken on a skewer that was about four feet long and placed the hook down so that it could not slide off. We then simply slid the entire thing through the top of the Big Green Egg, never opening it. It is important at this point to make sure that you skewer the chicken in a manner that will allow it to fit through the top. We had to do some maneuvering for some of our pieces but it worked fine.
After 8 minutes we pulled it and checked the for temperature but it wasn’t done. We put it in for about 5 more minutes. Ultimately, we probably could have pulled it 2 minutes earlier.
Oh my! The results were amazing! The thing that hit both Senthil and I was how incredibly juicy the chicken was. It was cooked in an inferno but the meat was incredibly succulent. It had that wonderful red color that you get from tandoor cooking. It absolutely looked and tasted like the real deal. In fact we both felt that it tasted better than the Tandoori Chicken we’ve had at most Indian restaurants.
This is really easy to do and I encourage Big Green Egg owners to give it a try. Equipment wise you will need some specific items:
Other than that, just enjoy some amazing tandoor cooking at home. We want to try cooking bread next!
On the Big Green Egg.
Ribs anyone? Big Green Egg FTW!
Checking in on the ribs in the Big Green Egg. Warning: this picture may cause hunger. :-)
Starting to work up three racks of ribs for Mothers Day dinner on Big Green Egg.
Wow – looks like the Big Green Egg company just got on Twitter! @BigGrnEgg
Tonight’s brisket is on the Big Green Egg! Dinner in ~12 hours. Bet Mike Rock can smell it at his house.
Problem: Sun has now come out and started to raise the temperature of the Big Green Egg past 220°. Solution: Umbrella.
Brisket rubbed and ready to rest for the night before meeting the Big Green Egg tomorrow morning.
Getting ready to put dry rub from Mike Rock on the 7.5 pound grass fed brisket.
Big Green Egg is in action turning whole tenderloin into magic.
Just finished pepper rub on tenderloin with Mike Rock and firing up Big Green Egg. Surly flowing.
At Clancey’s getting large hunks of meat to bring to the Big Green Egg!
Making plans for tomorrow’s breakfast. Old Recipe Johnny Cake on the Big Green Egg. eggheadforum.com
If your in the Twin Cities, Kitchen Window is having their Grilling Expo this weekend. Good deals on grilling stuff. Big Green Egg FTW! :-)
So tempting to get a small Big Green Egg to pair with my large one.
Best day in months. Wow. Awesome everything. Spent hours outside. First shorts day of the year for me. Big Green Egg at dinner too!
I’ve been firing up the Big Green Egg throughout winter and as the weather has started to get a little nicer I’ve been grilling even more. I’ve been really frustrated lately though with my grill not coming up to temperature as fast as I thought it should. I also have been getting some odd results. I recently put a couple of racks of ribs on and they came out really dry and overcooked. I had the temperature right the whole time, and couldn’t figure out what was wrong.
Then things got confusing. I took out my Thermapen and a couple of other thermometers and started getting really odd temps all over the grill. Today I fired up a pot of water to calibrate the thermometer that sits in the dome of the Big Green Egg. This is the one I use constantly to know the internal temperature of the grill.
Whoa! That’s not just off, it’s horribly off. I was shocked that the thermometer was reading -60° lower than it should be. A quick turn of the nut on the back and it was calibrated!
Why am I posting about this? It’s a really simple thing, but I bet a lot of people don’t do a calibration. Your out there grilling away and you need to know your temps. I’m not sure if being outside all winter causes the calibration to get all screwed up. Either way it was off so much that I was grilling at temperatures that were just way too hot.
I had the newly calibrated thermometer in tonight for some grilling and things were so much better. Lesson learned. Get a pot of water boiling and make sure all your thermometers and probes read 212° on the nose.
Firing up Big Green Egg to smoke two racks of ribs.
Fired up the Big Green Egg and did a 3 lb. grass-fed beef tenderloin on it tonight. Basic preparation with a little salt and pepper. Turned out really nice, but I still have much to learn. Controlling the heat on the Egg at 400° F was harder than it should have. I could have done a better job building the fire.
A few months ago my neighbor Mike and I decided to put my Big Green Egg through it’s first real trial with a 12-hour brisket session. Mike is a stellar cook on all counts and I wanted to learn anything I could about grilling. As we were working the brisket through the hours we probed this large hunk of meat for temperature dozens of times, in dozens of locations. I’ve always had temperature probes and such, but Mike was using one of these high-end instant read digital thermometers and I realized this was a must for grilling.
I decided to be patient and put a Thermapen on my wish list for Christmas. Now that I’ve used it a few times I feel like every grill owner should just get one of these with their grill. Why?
First, a large piece of meat is going to have several different temperatures throughout the cut. The Thermapen is fast enough that you can take several readings and get “x-ray vision” into the meat. Before you even slice it, you know where the cut will be more rare and more well.
Secondly, when you are grilling at really high temperatures the grill itself gets so hot that it’s really hard to hold a probe in place for 10-20+ seconds waiting for a reading. Yes, you can put a big huge glove on but that takes a lot of time and results in fewer temperature checks. The Thermapen is so fast that you just probe it, read, and remove. 2-3 seconds tops.
If you love to grill, get a Thermapen. It gives you a lot more confidence on the grill. You can stop overcooking to be cautious. And since you can take a temperature so fast you can temp every single item on the grill before it comes off. Each and every cut can be just perfect.
We’ve been enjoying the reprieve from -20° F to 20° F with some great winter grilling on the Big Green Egg. Tonight is a chicken on the vertical roaster.
Celebrating the “heat wave” with some pork chops on the Big Green Egg!
Researching methods to drop the Big Green Egg temp rapidly to move from searing to roasting on 3 lb tenderloin
Preparing Big Green Egg for grilling. Music playing on the deck. Hello winter!!!
Naked Whiz T-Rex SteakReally great description of making the “perfect steak” on your Big Green Egg. I really appreciate the detail on controlling the temperature, bringing it back to cooking temp after searing, etc.
Egghead ForumPlace to go and learn about all things Big Green Egg.
Cold out today, but not too cold to fire up the Big Green Egg for some burgers.
Just got two backdrafts in one session from my Big Green Egg! Yikes!
Today I turned this “fireplace cord” that I got the “special” delivery of the day, about 20% more than I ordered from Firewood.com.
Into this, 5 feet in the air and there are two rows deep:
And this, for the Big Green Egg Chiminea that is on the way, and maybe to try cooking with some wood in the Big Green Egg:
And this, for ample fires over the next few months:
Whew, tired out!
Just ordered a log hoop for the upcoming Big Green Egg chiminea.
Wishing my Big Green Egg chiminea wasn’t 3 weeks away. :-\ Rearranged the deck for it, great spot and nice layout now. Zen.
Just finished replacing the gasket on the Big Green Egg. More work than I expected, but closes so nice again.
Burgers on the Big Green Egg tonight!
Having hard time keeping Big Green Egg at 200°. Ranging up to 230° but working it. Anything under 250° is fine, but I want 210°.
Starting the Big Green Egg for todays brisket cook!
Researching brisket cooking techniques for the Big Green Egg.
Getting ready to fire up the Big Green Egg!
Completely homemade pizza on Big Green Egg was awesome! Success!
Just made pizza dough for tomorrow nights Big Green Egg fun.
Eating a plain chicken breast grilled off the Big Green Egg. It’s like a revelation!
Steaks off the Big Green Egg were awesome!
Cooking my first meal on my Big Green Egg! Tenderloins!
Just picked up my very own Big Green Egg!
Wanting a Big Green Egg too!