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BIG GREEN EGG

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Has anyone had any experience with the Big Egg Grill? How does it compare to the Weber products in the same relative price range? How easy is it, how versatile and how does the food taste?

Thanks for your help-

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  1. I have some friends who are part of this religion so I will try and get one to reply. But the big advantage is it cooks in a much more controlled environment. You can slow cook at 200 or grill at 550. Poultry is amazing on the egg. As I found out attending an eggfest two weekends ago.

    1. Here's a long (146 replies) thread on the BGE:

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/351543

      I don't have one but am intrigued.

      1. We bought one last spring and love it. We use it most for pizza but everything we've made on it has been fabulous. We're doing some ribs on Sunday for my mom's birthday and looking forward to them.

        I was skeptical when my DH said he wanted what seemed to me to be a fairly expensive toy but I"m sold and a member of the cult now.

        The thread linked above will tell you lots you want to know.

        1. There are no Weber products that are charcoal in the price range of the BGE AFAIK. The BGE is far more versatile than a gas grill (IMO). There is just no comparing the food off a ceramic cooker to a gas grill. The BGE is one of the very few cooking tools that I could not live with out. They are very easy to use and heat up faster than a gas grill. When you close the vents the fire goes out and you can re-use the charcoal so they are very efficient as well.
          I can cook pork butts 24 hours plus on a single burn at 220 or sear steaks at a grate temp close to 1,000. Perfect for pizza and Paella is incredible cooked on the egg.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Fritter

            are there no comprable weber products because weber charcoal grills are less expensive?

            1. re: BBSteve

              It's because the Webers don't have the same heat retention properties as BGE does.

          2. I bought one last July and have loved it. It can be as easy to use as a standard charcoal grill, but you can get it much hotter or much cooler than a metal charcoal grill.

            As far as I know, the Weber products in the same price range are giant gas grills, which just do not compare to a charcoal grill. If all you're doing is charbroiling, then the gas grill will work fine. Anything for which you care about moisture control or low temperature or extremely high temperature will be much better on the Egg.

            It is extremely versatile. I've done 16 hour briskets and 12 hour pork butts, as well as 4-minute 800 degree steaks. I did a turkey last Thanksgiving and the relatives and the wife *inhaled* it. We are remodeling the kitchen now and we are not going to get much of an oven, simply because most baking-type of things will be done on our BGE. I attended Texas Eggfest this year and everything from chicken wings, pizza, and pies all came out wonderfully on the egg.

            1. I just got one a couple of months ago and holy moly is it wonderful! The roast chicken that thing turned out was unbelievably juicy. My first time making pulled pork turned out nothing short of phenomenal. The meat just fell off the bone, and was infused with excellent smoke. I'm looking forward to doing ribs at some point in the near future, and am giving serious consideration to roasting the Thanksgiving turkey out on it come November.

              Operation is pretty easy. Get the charcoal started with a chimney starter, then adjust the two vents to get the temperature you want; close the vents most of the way for low and slow BBQ, open them wide for high-heat grilling. When I say high heat, I mean HIGH heat. Mine hits 650 degrees easily, and I've heard that once you know what you're doing with building the fire they can go much higher.

              As others have said, there isn't really a charcoal Weber piece that is in the same price range as the Egg. The Weber charcoal grills top out at a list price of $429, and a large Egg (They make five sizes, large is the most popular by a long shot) is going to cost around $1,000 once you get the various accessories (stand, side tables, et cetera).

              1. I have been tempted by the BGE for several years but just can't seem to bring myself to spend the money. I have a wonderful Weber Genesis Platinum C gas grill that I love but I really want a smoker and also want the option to cook with charcoal when I have the time. So I am toying with the option of a Weber One Touch 22 inch charcoal grill with a Smokenator insert for water smoking. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ep_35y...
                Should I just spend the extra $700 (ouch) and go straight to the BGE or would I be happy with the weber kettle with the smokenator? My husband doesn't get the whole concept of wanting a charcoal option when our gas grill is so convenient. Maybe he is afraid I will pull the chick card when it comes to actually starting and maintaining a fire and he will have to learn to grill.

                12 Replies
                1. re: mary0201

                  Dealing with charcoal isn't as big of a deal as one might think initially. For years I resisted and stuck with gas as well. IIR the last Genesis Platinum grill I looked at was in the neighborhood of $1800. Get the BGE and have both if that works for you but I feel 100% confident saying that once you cook on a ceramic cooker your Weber will be collecting dust.
                  The smokenator is going to be a real pain if you want to cook pork butt or brisket. There's nothing low and slow about a six hour cook time. With the BGE I run 21-24 hours on those items on a single load of charcoal. I can not even imagine the hassle and mess of emptying the grill, cleaning the mess up and re-loading 4 times for what the BGE can do in a single burn. That's not even taking into account the ability of the ceramic to hold moisture or to truly be able to regulate your temperature with indirect heat.
                  If you want to avoid mess and extra work a ceramic cooker is by far the better choice.

                  1. re: mary0201

                    Mary, Go with the Big Green Egg. You will be amazed at how easy it is to use, how fast you can set the desired temperature and how efficient is using charcoal. The ceramic shell--combined with charcoal--yield results unobtainable with gas or other charcoal grills. Even though they are not cheap, the egg is the last grill you'll ever need--or want.

                    1. re: Leper

                      OK...Well, a few weeks have gone by and we bought the BGE as an anniversary gift to ourselves. We ended up with the medium as the large seemed to be overkill.- price and physical size. The kids are gone so it is usually just 2 of us...unless we are entertaining, then I can always augment with the Weber gas grill..which I still love and will continue to use for most everything but low and slow or pizza/bread baking.
                      I used the BGE for the first time yesterday...which, coincidently, was the same day we bought it. OMG...I couldn't believe how easy it was to get the charcoal going and adjust the temperature. And the ribs were the best we have ever had at home - anyone's home.
                      Thanks to everyone for their advice. I am so happy we bought the BGE. Today its brisket. And later this week, I am going to try bread. This could become an illness. I'll need to spend lots more time at the gym going forward.

                      1. re: mary0201

                        Hot tip for doing bread: Use both the plate setter *and* a baking stone. Baking bread directly on the plate setter resulted in bread with a very black bottom.

                        Oh, now that you've done ribs, try pulled pork. Cover a pork butt with your favorite dry rub, let it sit in the fridge for a few hours, then set up the Egg with lots of charcoal, some wood chunks, and the plate setter. Get the fire up to 230-250 degrees, put in the pork butt, and walk away. Come back in 18 hours, pull it out, wrap it tightly in foil, and let it sit for 30 minutes. Then, shred the pork and revel in some INCREDIBLE pulled pork!

                        1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                          Wow I would never let my pulled pig run at 250. Why so hot? Are you running an XL? The Large BGE is easy to control at 220-230. I season the pork and let it set over night. My average burn for 6-7# pork shoulders is 21 hours. After you pull it and wrap it in foil put it in a cooler and leave it for a few hours.
                          Yum

                          1. re: Fritter

                            We usually do our pork butts at 225. We do really small around, typically in the 3-4 lb range since there's only two of us...usually take about 10-12 hours.

                            Ribs are my favorite though. mmmmmm

                            Mary, I make bread on ours frequently. As suggested I always use the pizza stone along with the platesetter.

                            If you haven't tried pizza yet, that should be your next adventure.

                            I'm not much of a meat eater but the Egg definitely brings out the hidden carnivore in me!

                            1. re: ziggylu

                              Just made pulled pork yesterday. It was fabulous. I didn't start it the night before like was suggested in a really wonderfully written recipe from the eggheads forum. I just don't have the desire to begin cooking at 11 pm since I can't typically stay awake past 10 pm :) So I started at 7 am instead and we ate it at 7 pm. I had 2 smallish 3-4 lb butts. The built in thermometer stayed at around 200. The fire really started slowing down about halfway and the meat temp was dropping so I added a few more chunks and some more hickory chips to resussitate the fire. Maybe I should have kept the temp a little higher and it might have stayed hotter. Anyway, after the meat got to about 180 it started dropping again. So I put it in the oven and finished it there to 195. Then took it out to rest in foil for an hour. Any tricks for keeping the fire buring better? I have a medium so maybe its simply a capacity issue. But regardless of how I finished the pork, it was delicious, tender and a huge hit.
                              I did buy a plate setter and stone. Cannot wait to try pizza and bread. Any recipes you recommend?

                              1. re: mary0201

                                You should still be able to get plenty of charcoal in a medium for a slow burn with out ever adding charcoal. The Large with have a lot of charcoal left over after even a 21+ hour slow burn. Fill that bad boy right up.
                                Make sure you are sorting your charcoal. Big chunks on the bottom, then medium and your small pieces on top. You really need a Polder thermometer to do pulled pork properly. They are not expensive ($30 ish). This will allow you to see the internal temp of your meat with out opening the BGE. When you use one over night set it on your nest table and cover it with your ceramic cap. That way if it rains your thermometer won't get ruined. Start with your top vent and bottom vent wide open. Once you get to a temperature of 300 close the top daisy wheel and only leave the eliptical vents open 1/2 way. Close the bottom vent 90% of the way. Allow your fire to settle for an hour. If the temp drops open the eliptical vents on top a bit more. If your fire is to hot after an hour close the lower vent a bit more. Once you get a polder thermometer you will reach a point where the internal temperature of your meat drops. This is from the conversion process and is totally normal.

                                1. re: Fritter

                                  I do have a remote thermometer - a maverick rather than a polder - and I did leave the lid down the whole time. I even sorted the charcoal pieces although I might not have been totally immersed in that process and proabably could have done better. I think I might just have overreacted when the meat temperature started dropping. I didn't realize that was normal. Thanks for the tips.

                            2. re: Fritter

                              It was my first time, it ended up running at 250, and did just fine.

                              1. re: Fritter

                                Agreed, pulled pork should be at 225 grill temp (which means 240-250 dome temp).

                                I think a 16 hour pulled pork at 250 would be much too dry.

                            3. re: mary0201

                              You can also see others at www.eggheadforum.com

                              Smoking Dan

                        2. I have all types of cookers. If you want one cooker that will do it all then get the BGE. Great dealer support, lots of information available on the cult website, lots of accessories. Pizza, low and slow brisket - butts - ribs, high temp steaks and normal grilling of burgers chicken and whatever.

                          1. Thanks so much for all your great advice and comments. It's seems hard to get information from the ompany itself, but you guys really filled in the gaps.

                            Any suggestions which model to get for use with hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, fish and steak for mostly 2 people throughout the year, up to 10 or so for the occasional barbeque?

                            Thanks again-

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: willie 2

                              The large is by far the most popular model and has the most accessories.

                              1. re: willie 2

                                I'd reccomend the Medium. It's not as cumbersome as the Large and has a surprisingly high capacity for its size.

                              2. I'm about to get one myself. I had a meal cooked on one and I was amazed at what you can do with one of these. Here is the website to all of the information you could ever want on a Big Green Egg. www.eggheadforum.com

                                1. The large BGE is now available on line through Sam's club for $698 including a nest and mates!!!!!!!

                                  http://www.samsclub.com/shopping/navi...

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: Fritter

                                    I've visited a couple of BGE retailers around here, and they have been awfully nice guys who deserve your money a hell of a lot more than Sam Walton's brood does. Besides, if you buy it from Sam's Club, it comes with the nest and mate tables but no warranty.

                                    A little note from Big Green Egg's website:

                                    "We have been made aware that Big Green Egg grills are being sold in some Sam’s Clubs across the country as well as on their website. Sam’s Club is not an authorized dealer of Big Green Egg products. Purchasing a Big Green Egg from any internet vendor, including Sam’s Club, violates our internet policies.

                                    Reason for this Policy: Big Green Egg® products require customized packaging and special shipping procedures. It has come to our attention that unauthorized internet resellers do not package and ship our products properly, and do not assume responsibility for damages. As a result, customers risk having purchased a product that arrives with hidden damage or missing parts. Furthermore, the claim may not be processed by the internet reseller or honored by the freight company."

                                    1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                                      "if you buy it from Sam's Club, it comes with the nest and mate tables but no warranty"

                                      I seriously doubt that's the case although I'm sure there are those that would like you to believe it. BGE's do not come with a serial number so it's not like they know (or ask) where you bought your unit.
                                      Now I agree my local dealers are great guys but this is about $300 less than what they are selling for.......Just don't be surprised if freight eats up that entire $300. That's eggsactly why I bought a BGE from my local dealer and not a Grill Dome.

                                    2. re: Fritter

                                      no BGE's on site

                                    3. Like someone said further up, very controlled, good for long cooks, really hot cooks, bread and pizza. BUT! Only one temperature zone. In the Weber you got direkt and indirekt, i.e, coals on both sides, nothing in the middle. So if you do different things at a time, steaks, potatoes, drums,.., or just need a quick grill, I prefer the weber.

                                      1. I don't own a BGE...yet, but I do use one at the butcher shop where I work.. The thing I like about theBGE is how easy it is to use. I also love it's versatility. In the month and a half I've used it, I've smoked briskets for 14 hours, grilled steaks at 700 degrees, baked pizza, made quesadillas, roasted a duck and even baked a cake!. I have a Char-Broil Santa Fe in my back yard at home, and I have tried all of these things on it and I just doesn't work. I had to use two full 10 lb. bags of charcoal (and a little bit of prayer) to smoke a brisket on my Char Broil, as opposed to one 5lb. bag on the BGE (mind you that I had enough charcoal left to grill the next two times I used the Egg. If you get one, I reccomend the large, it's the right size for filling all your grilling, smoking and even baking needs. Oh yeah...it keeps eveything that's cook in it very moist. You really don't lose any heat when cooking on it. The key to cooking with the BGE, KEEP THE LID CLOSED!!! Do this and you'll be very happy with the results.

                                        1. A better alternative to BGE is the Primo Grill.... It might be a little harder to source but given it's oval shape, it makes indirect cooking easier! Otherwise it's essentially the same thing but with more cooking surface.

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: berkeleyluddite

                                            Given that it is impossibe to buy and service is not readily available, why would this brand be better than a BGE?
                                            Also, after a little research, the quality of construction appears not to be as good as the BGE.

                                            1. re: chipman

                                              At the time when I bought my Primo, there was no California dealer. I think you live out in the East Coast anyways so sourcing and servicing will be less of an issue.

                                              In terms of quality, Primo is actually a OEM for Viking's C4 cooker. C4 as you probably know is a super expansive round cooker that directly competes with BGE. If Viking trust their quality, one should be a little more assured.

                                              Having said all that, having the ability to only have half of the cooking grates in the grill while smoking, it makes the process of throwing more soaked wood chips way easier during indirect smoking. If you smoke a lot of meat, it's well worth getting the Primo!

                                              Good Luck!

                                              1. re: berkeleyluddite

                                                "C4 as you probably know is a super expansive round cooker that directly competes with BGE"

                                                Viking does not compete with BGE in any way. The Viking is wrapped in SS and nearly 3x the price of BGE. I smoke a ton and I wouldn't trade my BGE for a Primo. Not that I don't think it's a nice product but they simply don't have the dealer network and support.
                                                I had a small issue with a part recently part so I sent BGE an email. The same morning I had a response apologizing for the inconvenience and offering to get me a new product out ASAP or my choice of a newer type of replacement. That's my idea of customer service and eggsactly why the BGE continues to be the dominant ceramic cooker.

                                                1. re: Fritter

                                                  It's funny how the BGE and Primo users (dealers) are very passionate about their ceramic cooker.

                                          2. I love the way eggheads love their BGEs. I haven't used one, and say "glad you love your BGE."

                                            BUT... just for the record, you CAN buy a Weber One-Touch Gold for $150, load it with charcoal and wood chunks, and do proper butt, rib and brisket BBQ, as well as regular grilling.

                                            For long burns, I do the "fuse" of charcoal and wood, and get about 6 hours uninterrupted, at about 225-250, and then add charcoal to finish. A good direct fire can deliver all the heat I need for steaks, IMHO.

                                            Just an alternative!

                                             
                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: woodburner

                                              Woodburner, The ceramic of the Big Green Egg provides an entirely different cooking technology than the metal of the Weber. The results are no contest; the Egg wins hands down for moisture-especially with poultry and brisket.

                                              1. re: Leper

                                                how does the BGE manage to make food more moist? people routinely put a pan of water in smokers. surely this would add more water vapor to the environment than any benefit of ceramics.

                                                1. re: tommy

                                                  I have a large BGE. The ceramic plate setter shields the meat from the direct heat. Anytime I have meat dangling over the plate setter, it dries up. If you can setup something similar in a Weber or any other grill then you'll get the same effect. I tried using a Weber Kettle by keeping the charcoal on one side and meat on the other. The result was drier than a BGE. You need something to separate the meat from the heat source.

                                                  The main attraction of BGE is you can use it in ANY weather condition. I've smoked in the snow, 5 below, pouring rain...etc. My friends complain their metal smoker will not retain heat in winter. The ceramic insulation is perfect for that.

                                                  1. re: pabboy

                                                    the weber bullets have a large pan for water which shields the meat from any direct heat. i agree that this is helpful. temp control is an issue in cold weather with metal smokers as you suggest.