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Big Green Egg advice

sudiepav Sep 8, 2006 03:56 PM

I found a post about the Big Green Egg from last year but wondered if any of you had more to add. I bought my husband one for his birthday after hearing my brother rave for years about his. He said that it's tricky keeping the fire going at the right temperature. We'd like to smoke a turkey and a pork butt. Do we need the turkey rack and a v-rack as the literature seems to claim? What other things have you done successfully?

  1. BackyardChef Sep 8, 2006 04:11 PM

    Try the Big Green Egg Forum....


    Try to fill the fire ring, add a half chimney of lit coals, when it reaches target temp, adjust the inlet until it stabilizes. Once the egg is preheated, it should hold heat and run smoothly. The folks in the Egg Forum will help you out tons-- it's a great site!

    1. a
      amoncada Sep 8, 2006 05:33 PM

      I recently purchased my XL Big Green Egg and have had very good results keeping a constant temperature. Watch the Big Green Egg CD a couple of times. Also go to biggreenegg.com forum. If ever I've had problems controlling the temperature it was from damp or old lump charcoal or too much accumulated ash at the bottom of the egg. Make sure that your lump charcoal stays in a dry place. Damp charcoal is useless. Be sure to clear the bottom of the egg of ash on a regular basis. Also check to see if you have a good seal when closing your egg. Make sure you periodically tighten the hinge bolts. It could be that the lid is not sitting squarely in place.

      Here's my Beer can chicken recipe using the “herb’s de provence” combination of herbs. Be sure to rub the herbs thoroughly between your hands before applying them. High quality dry herb’s makes a huge difference...cheap herbs are usually old and flavorless. Don't forget to soak your favorite wood chips for 30 minutes.

      HERBS DE PROVENCE BEER CAN CHICKEN: Get your egg heated to 375 degree’s. Place soaked wood chips (don't forget to drain the excess water from the wood chips) over hot coals and start cooking when you reach a temperature of 375 degrees. Beer can chicken stands are available but not necessary. I found a great beer can stand at Menards home center for $2.98. The weber one is about $30.


      Approximately 3.5lb whole chicken

      3-5 tablespoon’s of herb’s de provence

      kosher salt to taste

      3- tablespoons (or more...careful not to use too much, It could catch on fire. Use just enough olive oil so it’s not dripping all over) of extra virgin olive oil-works best because of it’s low burning point. Makes skin really crispy.

      Fresh ground pepper to taste


      Wash and dry chicken thoroughly inside and out.

      Rub olive oil all over bird inside and out

      Rub kosher salt inside and out to taste and finally pepper

      Rub herb’s de provence all over inside and out

      1⁄2 of a beer in the can (you can’t waste the other half so you must drink it)

      Place the bird over the can on a baking sheet/pan on the grill and prop up the legs in front of the bird

      Close Green Egg lid and cook for 45 minutes before checking. Adjust temperature if needed when bird appears to be burning (not likely). Cook another 15-25 minutes or until juice from bird is clear.

      When bird is done, remove from grill and cover with foil and let stand for 10-15 minutes before serving

      Please report back with your results.


      Alex Moncada. afinance@rcn.com

      1 Reply
      1. re: amoncada
        jiriswari Dec 22, 2010 06:13 AM

        Thanks for this, it truly is a fantastic recipe. Two suggestions, FIrst, I drank the whole beer and filled the can with a nice white wine. Then, I used about 1 tbsp of duck fat with the olive oil, heated up in a pan with 2 cloves of garlic (whole) until nicely browned. Then proceeded as you suggest. WOW!!!

      2. s
        sudiepav Sep 11, 2006 01:16 PM

        Thanks to you both. We tried the Herbes de Provence beer can chicken last night. Got the BGE working well, and my husband (who was a restaurant professional for 35 years) had no trouble regulating the heat. The chicken was beyond delicious! Thanks for the recipe. We got the lump charcoal at Home Depot and the beer can stand at Lowe's for 2.98. We also plopped two baking potatoes on the Egg along with the chicken, and they were done to a smoky turn by the time the chicken was done. The chicken was tender and wonderfully flavored. We're looking forward to more BGE cooking this weekend.

        1 Reply
        1. re: sudiepav
          amoncada Sep 11, 2006 09:13 PM

          Sooo happy you liked my recipe! I've tried many herb combo's and always go back to and get the most compliments with the Herbs de Provence mixture.
          FYI: The baby Yukon Gold or Fingerling potato's work really well and do not require such a long cooking time due to thier size...they also reheat well for leftovers. Rub Kosher Salt, Pepper and olive oil, and a little chili powder and cumin (optional) on them. I think it's "herb overkill" to add herbs to the potato's. Occasionally I add a couple spriggs of fresh rosemary in the beer can as well.

          I noticed that the recipes from The Big Green Egg forum as well as most cooking and grilling forums are based on pre-packaged rubs and sauces. So far I've been really impressed with The Weber Grilling Cook Book. I picked it up at the local grocery store. The rub and sauce recipes show how easy breezy it is to make your own. I find that the store bought rubs taste like they're store bought. The Weber Cookbook gives one a lot of insite on experimenting with your own sauces and rubs.

          If you have any Rick Bayless cookbooks, look up his Ancho Chili and Garlic Rub. I tried it last Friday on some outer Skirt Steak...great flavor but I added too much rub. Don't add too much of the rub as it can overpower the meat.

        2. j
          jsuhr May 2, 2008 06:35 PM

          I rented one for 5 days Large and then purchased an Extra large
          Had no problems with maintaining temp, he might not be using enough lump charcoal
          You do need the diffuser plate for long slow cooking I cooked for 6 hours with no problems maintaining within 25 degrees.

          I am kind of bummed though since on the new Extra large after two times once at 550 my gasket started to cook off and it leaks smoke, it seems like they didnt get the alignment right but they came out to look at it and I'm confident they will take care of it. It seems like the hinge needs to be redesigned if you ask me They are sending the distributor out to look at it, the large worked great.

          Salmon on a Cedar plank is killer and easy.

          1. t
            tidecreek Dec 25, 2010 11:45 AM

            We just got our BGE in October and we love it, actually its way easier to keep the temp low and slow, so unless your grates are clogged with soot or you need to clean, or your charcoal is wet it should be easy to get to temperature. I love doing pork butts and turkey and cornish game hens and now I;ve been playing with meatloaf it does a great job on just about anything. We don't use the rack though I just put the turkey on the grate and it cooks fine, I always brine mine first though and than smoke it low and slow.

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