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Need advice on Big Green Egg

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What's the consensus on the Big Green Egg? My wife and I are thinking of buying one. We like to grill steaks, chicken, burgers. Would like to smoke ribs, pork, brisket. What size is best? There's just two of us, but we occasionally entertain.

I've been to their web site, and to their disucssion lists, but I've learned to trust fellow Chowhounds. Is it worth the price? Does it live up to the hype?

John

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  1. i just got the big steel keg - similar, but made with steel and insulation instead of ceramic. i haven't gone low and slow yet, but it wrks like a dream

    1. Get the BGE. I would recommend the large. With the large you can get the plate setter and the BGE pizza stone.

      The BGE is great if you want to have one cooker that can do it all.

      1. We bought a BGE last year and purchased a large for the two of us. We are very pleased with the purchase. The BGE has really improved our ability to barbeque. Pulled porked especially has been a been one of our most successful and delicious dishes, although it does require a big time commitment (approximately 14 hours). Steak has been great too. This year I plan to make pizza on the BGE.

        11 Replies
        1. re: BigSal

          Why is a Big Green Egg better than a typical smoker? Is it because of the better heat insulation and therefore a more stable heating environment?

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            He didn't say it was better, only that it improved their ability to barbeque.

            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              Because you can grill at 700* and cook slow and low at 200*.

              1. re: chipman

                Chipman,

                True, but isn't it more expensive than buying a separate grill and a separate smoker - combined?

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  and it's a smallish grill ta boot.

                  1. re: tommy

                    the large is 18". the medium is 15". the extra large is 22" i think

              2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                I've smoked BGE in the rain, in the snow, in the wind, 5 below freezing ...etc. and it held 225 for 10+ hours with no fuss. The ceramic insulation allows the BGE maintain heat better than most dedicated smokers. I've also gotten it up to 800 to sear steaks in those conditions with no problem as well. I have the large egg but I also have a Weber Kettle for large parties. BGE to smoke and sear. Kettle to grill.

                1. re: pabboy

                  Pabboy,

                  Thanks. It is good to know that it holds temperature very steady for long period of time. I guess that makes it a very good slow smoker. I can use it as a smoker, right? I mean, can I use wood chips in it or do I have to use charcoal? I like wood. I love BBQ and hope one day I can have a good BBQ setup. Reading bit and pieces, I see the two disadvantages of the BGE are: heavy and yet small. It weighs a lot and yet it does not provide a large cooking surface.

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    You use lump charcoal for heat and wood chunks for smoke.

                    Various raised-grate rigs are available by which you could triple your cooking surface for smoking.

                    1. re: johnhicks

                      Good to know about the raised grate. That is exactly what I wanted to know.

                    2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      Like johnhicks said, lump charcoal and wood chunks. I've done 24 hours smoking without adding wood or charcoal. There are multi-tiered rack accessories. I prefer to use a vertical rib rack to smoke 6-8 racks at once. If I had the $ I'd get another second one right now!

              3. You'll probably want a large Egg; that's about the right size for what you want to do. Be sure to get the nest.

                Tip; rather than using rather esoteric methods to light your Egg, pour in an appropriate amount of lump charcoal, then light a half-full Weber chimney. Once most of the charcoal in the chimney's lit, pour it in the Egg and spread it around.

                To answer another question, the Egg requires far less attention and fiddling around on a long cook than a thin-wall offset or a WSM; similar to an insulated smoker such as a Stumps it'll just rock on and hold a temp hour after hour after hour.

                The Egg is at its best as a smoker. While it can of course be used as a grill a Weber Kettle is more suitable for grilling. Don't believe that "the Egg will reach 700F" blather; any charcoal grill will do that. Those that cook with their Eggs rocket-hot are the ones who have to replace gaskets. I use the Egg for direct and indirect smoking and a Kettle for grilling steaks, burgers etc.

                1 Reply
                1. re: johnhicks

                  I cook steaks all the time at 700+ using the T-rex method. I've done several pizzas at those temps also. It is not "blather". I still have original gasket on it. To use the Egg as a smoker only is limiting its potential, sort of like driving a car in reverse only. Can you bake pies, make bread and pizza on a weber better than the Egg? The Egg does it all and does it well.

                2. I got one last year about this time... YES they're worth it, and YES they live up to the hype. Even if it is just you and your wife usually, I'd likely still get the large since you do occasionally entertain. The pulled pork that comes out of the thing is incredible. And while it does take a good long time (I do mine for eighteen hours), once the Egg is up to 225 degrees you just walk away and come back eighteen hours later. An Egg full of charcoal can go that long without needing a refuel. Oh, for a real treat, do you Thanksgiving turkeys on it. A little cherry wood and it's going to come out of there looking (and tasting) better than any bird you've ever seen.

                  17 Replies
                  1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                    Always wanted an egg, but man, they are pricey....Been using the claypot rig for smoking recently. So 18 hours without a refuel, for real? How do you manage your smoking fuel with an egg? I usually go 12 hours for a pork butt, and the thing is falling apart

                    1. re: BiscuitBoy

                      18 hours for real. I do good sized wood chunks at the beginning and then just don't worry about it. You get a pretty good smoke ring.

                      1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                        By "good sized wood chunks" do you mean that you use them instead of lump charcoal? In addition to the charcoal? What size? Any advice is ,much appreciated, since I want to start smoking some pork butts and ribs ASAP.

                        1. re: dochoch

                          I'm always curious when people say that lump charcoal adds smoke flavor. Wood adds smoke flavor. Charcoal adds heat.

                          If anyone has ever gotten a smoke ring or notable smoky flavor with charcoal I'd like to know. I'm not saying it hasn't been done, but I would be very curious.

                          1. re: tommy

                            it adds a smokey flavor. not deep smoke like a smoke ring, but smokier than cooking over gas.......

                            1. re: thew

                              So you could smoke a pork butt with no wood. Just charcoal.

                              I'm not talking about gas vs charcoal. I'm talking about smoking meat with wood vs. carbonized wood. I know of no BBQ restaurant or competition BBQ team that doesn't use wood but only uses charcoal.

                              1. re: tommy

                                i didnt say that. i said charcoal has and imparts a smokey taste. and if you want to see it compare cooking over charcoal compared to gas. it is smokier. has noting to do with smoking meat and making bbq.

                                1. re: tommy

                                  You generally add wood chunks provided you want smoked meat; sometimes you don't want smoked meat. You could cook a butt using just charcoal but it wouldn't have much smoked flavor.

                                  As far as Egg cost, a high-quality thick-walled or insulated smoker costs the same or much more. For example, a Stumps Baby is $1350, and Gator's least-expensive grill-smoker is $750.

                                  Just for giggles I once let a full firebox of lump run in the large Egg until an unrecoverable temperture drop from 240F; it went just over 22 hours.

                              2. re: tommy

                                Raw wood reduced to coals produces the most smoke..(and the best)
                                Lump Charcoal when burning produces less smoke (but still very good smoke)
                                100% Hardwood Charcoal briquettes produces very little smoke..but some.

                                All three produce heat and smoke to some degree...All three produce smoke flavor to a degree....

                                A smoke ring, which really isn't a "smoke ring" but rather a chemical reaction can/may be produced by all three to some degree...A "smoke ring" can even be produced by a propane cooker. Anytime you burn an organic fuel, trace amounts of nitrogen dioxide are produced...In simple terms, upon contact with the meat it reacts to the moisture, and the meats pigment myoglobin where it (sometimes) forms the pinkish ring we call a "smoke ring" ~~ Not to be confused with smoke flavor, it has little to no bearing on flavor, and is only important to neophytes, and old "smoke blowers" HTH

                                Fun!

                                1. re: Uncle Bob

                                  Uncle Bob is dead on. As a matter of fact, if you use the correct seasoning (chemicals) you can get a smoke ring right from your home oven.

                                  The "ring" carries no smoke flavor at all.

                                  1. re: JayL

                                    chemicals and seasoning aside, the point i was making is that lump charcoal does not "smoke" meat. if it did, BBQ restaurants, those on the circuit, and home BBQ'rs wouldn't be using wood chunks. wood adds smoke. wood is how you smoke meat. those who think otherwise aren't making BBQ.

                                    1. re: tommy

                                      Tommy,

                                      You are correct, but then I am not sure if you are guys just arguing over semantics. Technically, wood and coal produce "smoke". However, the smoke from charcoal does not produce the wood smokey favor which we associate with barbecue. Huck, I can make smoke by burning my hair too, but trust me, you don't my hair burning BBQ meat :P

                                      Thus, in my opinion, only wood smoke produce good barbecue meat.

                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                        I'm not arguing. I'm stating my opinion. And I agree with you.

                                        it's not semantics though: people are often under the impression that they can use lump hardwood charcoal to add smoke flavor to food.

                                        To illustrate, a few weeks ago, I recommended to a BGE owner that he use wood chunks, and he said "i don't need to, I used the special BGE charcoal." Clearly he doesn't understand. The smoke that is required to make BBQ or impart desirable smoky flavor comes from wood, and not wood that has been carbonized (charcoal, lump, or briquettes).

                                        The poster above also seems to think that charcoal will add a smoky flavor to food. I can run my smoker without wood for 6 hours for ribs, and I'm pretty sure they will taste as though they came out of the oven.

                                        1. re: tommy

                                          thats where we disagree.for my part I was not saying that cooking over charcoal tastes like smoked food from hardwoods. But cooking over charcoal absolutely, to me, has a different flavor from cooking in an oven or grill. This is rue for steak and more so for delicate foods like fish

                                          1. re: thew

                                            And here is where you all need to come together...as you all have valid point, but are talking about different cooking methods.

                                            In low & slow cooking, charcoal will add negligible flavor. Coals are commonly used as a heat source, but actual wood had to be added for "smoke" and flavor.

                                            In high temp cooking (grilling) charcoal will certainly add more flavor than a gas grill. But to be honest the flavor typically comes from the meat juices dripping on the exposed coals and incinerating...which produces a very flavorful smoke.

                                            Technically, you are all right.

                              3. re: dochoch

                                In addition to lump charcoal. I do about three chunks, each about the size of... an orange, I suppose. They might be a different size, they're the size of wood chunks one gets from a decent BBQ store. Once the charcoal temperature is stabilized, both the wood chunks and the pork go in. I learned how to do pulled pork from http://www.nakedwhiz.com/pullpork.htm and it comes out fantastic.

                            2. re: BiscuitBoy

                              look at the big steel keg. a lot cheaper than the BGE

                          2. We've had ours two years now. I was a bit skeptical when my husband first started looking at them and struggled with the price tag. That said, once it was home and we started cooking on it I never looked back.

                            We're a two person household and have the large. We cook on it all the time and have always been pleased with the results whether we're doing a pizza, grilling some salmon, smoking some ribs, or making a beer but chicken like we did last night.

                            If it fits the budget I'd definitely recommend one. They certainly aren't cheap but given the amount of use ours gets I've never felt guilty about spending the money.

                            1. I bought a medium off of Craigslist from a guy that used it 10x then bought an XL to better suit his family. I used the medium 7x then bought a large to better suit my family of 3.
                              The medium too small for a packer trimmed brisket (without separating bw flat and point). It's too small to do chicken breasts for the family (the are so good...you will want to cook extra for salads). Having said this, I am having medium big green egg separation anxiety over the prospect of losing it.
                              The BGE is a good investment. It's a lifetime smoker/grill. I just got rid of my top of the line 1996 Ducane that cost me 750. You can outfit a BGE for 1000 and give it to your grandkids.
                              It's has a lot of power, versatility and control. I put a digital therm in the dome and can change the temperature of the grill 3 degrees by opening my daisly wheel 1mm. I've done 16 hours smokes on one load of charcoal. I was skeptical of the hype...but it's all true.
                              Try this.... chicken breasts with salt and pepper only...using inverted plate setter with water filled drip pan underneath....475 for 45 min....magic

                              1. I considered the BGE a while ago but opted for a similar ceramic cooker in the Primo. You can't really go wrong with either as using a ceramic cooker is fantastic. Keeps the food very moist and is very versatile. They're a little tricky in controlling temp but you can purchase electronic fans to regulate the air inflow - those can be pricey and IMO not really needed...just practice. If I had to do it all over again, I'd get the larger Primo. It's also just my wife and I do entertain. BTW, the primary difference between the BGE and Primo is that the latter is oval...I found that that gives you a more efficient use of space.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: manhattan01

                                  Is Primo cheaper?

                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                    Yes...typically cheaper though it depends on where you go or are. The Primo Jr., is about $600 us or $750 cdn. The Primo XL is about $900 us or $1200 CDN. BGE prices are slightly higher than that IF I recall...it's been a while since I looked though. I know the BGE large here in Vancouver (Kerrisdale Lumber) is $1600 while the Primo XL is $1200...so quite the difference in price from the Primo XL. Keep in mind, those are CDN prices and I have seen them a lot cheaper in the US.

                                    Forgot to mention that accessories are pricey for both lines so consider that in your price. Some accessories are a must...some aren't.

                                    One thing I have noticed...when I was shopping for my Primo, there was only 1 retailer locally that stocked them. I ended up buying it just south of the CDN border in Olympia, WA. Now...after looking up the prices, I see almost all major (high-end) grill and appliance stores stock Primo.

                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                      They're both about the same price wise. The Primo might be slightly less, but it's going to be a difference of less than $20. Remember to include the various accessories when pricing. You want to have a holder of some kind (either a table or a metal stand) side tables if you got the metal stand (trust me, you want these), a plate setter/heat deflector, and a pizza stone if you plan to bake. There are other things you'll need but those won't come with any grill and are therefore going to be the same price either way.

                                      The Primo that compares to the large BGE is round and slightly larger (280 vs 255 square inches of cooking space). The XL models are 450 inches on the BGE, 400 on the Primo, but the Primo looks a little bigger because of the oval shape.

                                  2. I agree with other posters about other options....I should have said I'm a big fan of kamado cookers in general...I do enjoy the Egg...but i'm sure i'd be just as happy with the other options...it's the physics Baby!!

                                    1. And one other point - There is an active community forum for Primo which Primo themselves monitor for warranty issues. Most, if not all users, are very happy with Primo warranty. 20 years on most parts - so take a picture of a cracked firebox (which might happen when firing pizza at 600 degrees) send it in, they send you a new one. You can continue to use the cracked firebox (nothing wrong with it) and then replace it when you want. Same is probably true with a BGE but I cannot comment on their warranty procedures.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: manhattan01

                                        The BGE warranties everything but the metal bands for the lifetime of the Egg. the metal parts are only 5 years for rust and oxidation.

                                      2. I've been cooking on a Kamado style grill for many years...better check the Green Egg out close...parts are made of black steel and will rust...several good Kamados out there with all stainless steel and stainless steel stands for less money and better quality...

                                        Do your homework, spend less money and get the same results...your neighbors won't know the difference.

                                        Happy Kamado cooking!

                                        fd

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: fundog101

                                          I think you should do YOUR homework. The Egg uses powder coated steel on the bands and cross-sections of the nest. The hinge is stainless steel. As far as warranty, Grill Dome has a lifetime warranty on ceramics ONLY if failure is heat related. Damaged during shipping? Hmmmm, what to do. Primo has 20 year warrranty on ceramics and 5 on steel parts. Egg has lifetime (no matter what) on ceramics and 5 years on powder coated steel parts.. Unless you live in Georgia, a Grill Dome shipped to your door with all the necessary parts they charge extra for (standard on the Egg) will cost the same if not more. Primo price is comparable to the Egg. Kamado out of San Diego should be avoided period. Crappy quality and even crappier service after sale.

                                          1. re: fundog101

                                            Fundog 101 we have a K also. Have cooked on it for 10 years now and have never eaten better. The BGE will do a great job also. And it gets up to 6 - 700 degrees and does steak like you've never had before. There is a certain flavor..... Hubby has done long cooks on it and sleeps thru the night whilst the K does all the work. Daughter neighbors are crazy about Pop's cooking, they descend on his pulled pork & ribs like they're starving to death.
                                            The kids are fighting over who gets it when we die. My son says the first guy that gets there with a pickup truck and friends to help move it. LOL.

                                            Ceramic cookers are all pretty good. Good luck with your decision. We've seen K's & BGE's used in competition cooking. The K's won the one we were at.

                                          2. After several years of watching from the 'wings' and trying to stretch the capabilities of my SS Ducane gas grill, my wife surprised me with the large BGE as an early Father's Day gift back in February. I don't know if the quality and cooking performance is typical of all the Kumoda type vessels on the market but I can assure you the results have been nothing short of spectacular cooking on lump charcoal and throwing an assortment of soaked wood chips (for fast burning items) or big chunks of wood (for extended smoking efforts).

                                            I started with simple burgers just to 'break in' the grille at a moderate temperature and used a very lean beef mix that was only 5% fat; normally a sure path to failure on my gas grille with the beef drying out while cooking to medium. I grilled at a moderate 400 degrees, lid closed, handful of soaked hickory chips, about 4 minutes per side and the result was one of the moistest, most flavorful burgers that I could previously only dream about if using 20% fat ground beef. Home run.

                                            The next night we cooked a custom cut, 2" thick ribeye, sufficient for two at a searing 700 degrees that had been basted with olive oil and well seasoned with pepper and sea salt, allowing 6 minutes first side and then flipped the steak and shut down the fire by closing all vents, allowing it cook for about 8 minutes as the temperature dropped, removed it to a platter, tented with foil and allowed to rest and the result was as good a steak as I've ever had at any of the NYC steakhouses we've visited over the years.

                                            The next effort was indirect cooking of a couple of Griggstown Quail Farm's fresh poussin (1.5 lbs each) over a moderate 350 degree fire and three golf-ball sized cherry wood chunks. Brined the birds in our usual Thanksgiving Turkey brine (old John Ash recipe from Bon Appetite) for about 3 hours, rinsed, dried and seasoned lightly with Bell's poultry rub and pepper, heavy salting on the bone side, the birds had the backbones removed to lay flat and brushed the skin side with melted butter which we had prepared to coat over
                                            a couple of nice Idaho potatoes (stabbed a dozen times with a fork) and then heavily salted with Maldon Sea salt. Both went on the grille together, kept the fire pretty constant rotating the potatoes every 15 minutes while the poussin went 25 minutes bone side down and then about 18 minutes skin side down. Crisp skin, smokey moist white meat and very moist dark meat, phenomenal potatoes, etc.

                                            The successes have just continued by following the approaches outlined in the BGE cookbook and the BGE Forum recommendations from other back yard cooks. Was it an extravagence that we could have lived without? Absolutely, but then our BGE has afforded us such high quality results that we have not been heading out for our usual Saturday nights at a restaurant gig. Furthermore, both of our propane tanks for the Ducane have been empty since February and are still not refilled as the BGE has become our go-to grille, roasting oven, smoker. Next step will be wood smoked pizzas.

                                            1. Those things are $500-600 for a grill? They aren't even good smokers from what I can tell.

                                              Now, I don't own one and haven't done extensive research into them so I could be premature on my judgment.

                                              I would love to hear how a present owner justifies the price he/she paid.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: tonka11_99

                                                tonka, try research instead of presumption......

                                                1. re: tonka11_99

                                                  I can justify the price we paid for our Kamado by the longevity of it. We were replacing gas grills every 2 - 3 years, and grates every year. Our k is 10 years old and looks and cooks like it did when we first got it.
                                                  And we've had no problems with getting it when they said we would, or the service to replace a knob.....the only problem we'v had with it. We love our Kamado.

                                                2. Well, I just did some research on the big green egg. First and foremost, they are extremely well rated by consumers. In fact, I found very few negative statements at all.

                                                  Apparently, the thick ceramic material makes for a very stable temperature and a low charcoal consumption rate.

                                                  There are some steel models.

                                                  My biggest concern about them is that they cost $500 to $900 and they weigh 140 to 200 pounds.

                                                  If you folks want to spend that kind of money on an outdoor cooker, knock yourself out. Just because you disagree with me doesn't make you an outlaw. It just makes you wrong. It's just a joke! :-)

                                                  5 Replies
                                                  1. re: tonka11_99

                                                    I have owned one for a year now and absolutely love it. Instead of making burgers and hot dogs for a cookout, I do pulled pork that slowly cooks for eighteen hours. I load up the Egg with charcoal, stick the pork in, and just walk away. When it comes out of the egg, anything sharper than a stern glance at it makes it just fall apart. Roast chickens come out unbelievably tender and juicy. Bread baked in it is a real treat. And last year, I cooked not one but TWO 18 pound Thanksgiving turkeys at the same time, and I'll be damned if they weren't two of the best turkeys I've ever eaten. As a bonus on Thanksgiving dinner, since I was cooking the turkeys outside, the oven was completely free for me to cook everything else.

                                                    Your last paragraph reminds me of someone saying "If you want to spend $50,000 on a luxury car, that's fine with me, I'll think you're an idiot because my Ford Focus is just as capable from getting me from point A to point B." Much like with the nice car, the whole experience of cooking with the Egg is just better. Lots, LOTS better.

                                                    1. re: tonka11_99

                                                      Yep, for a high-quality smoker that'll just rock on hour after hour virtually unattended the BGE (and Primo etc) is downright cheap at around $900. <g>

                                                      jbh

                                                      1. re: johnhicks

                                                        Or you could spend $100 (or less) on an ugly drum smoker that will rock on for 12-16 hours on one load of fuel.

                                                        LOL...just kidding with you, but it's true.

                                                        1. re: JayL

                                                          But will the drum smoker rock on for 12-16 hours in the middle of winter? in 3ft of snow? I know my BGE will because I've done it.

                                                          1. re: JayL

                                                            true, but it wont grill. this does both

                                                      2. Have you ever noticed that no one ever complains about their $70,000 Lexus or BMW? Well they would look pretty stupid having paid that kind of money and not liking the car. A lot of it is impressing their friends.

                                                        Well a lot of people that pay $900 for a big green egg are doing it to impress their friends or themselves.

                                                        Like so many things, you have to decide if it is worth paying 200% more for something that is maybe 20% better.

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: tonka11_99

                                                          A little bit of what you said is true, but if the big green eggs are really bad, you will hear about it. Some people pay a lot of for plastic surgery and they are very vocal when something seriously went wrong.

                                                          1. re: tonka11_99

                                                            and a lot of people are buying them with no intention of impressing anyone, but because to them there are considerations that trump price

                                                          2. Just for the sake of comparison (and to make those that gasp at $900 for a grill go into complete meltdown), here's a picture of a Komodo Kamado (not to be confused with the Kamado) next to a BGE. Remember, these are now running like $3600-$3800. But man oh man, which do you REALLY think you'd be passing down to the grandkids? There's 82 lbs of stainless steel in a KK. I doubt you find that in most your SS grills.

                                                             
                                                            27 Replies
                                                            1. re: sumrtym

                                                              Nice picture. The KK looks huge. What BGE model is that? Is it the large BGE.

                                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                I believe that is a large yes. The OTB shape of the KK was supposedly to balance out hot spots you might see in a round design (this makes the lid with reflected heat a bit more even. It's hard to compare the size real well because of that, but they make a 23" and a 19.5" grill. I think on their forum site they had a picture of an 18" grate laying on the 23", but I really can't remember for sure or where it was posted.

                                                                Found it, the grill isn't round but the main cooking grill is 21" wide and 20" deep, the lower grill is 20-3/4" wide and 15-1/2" deep cooking area (actually deeper than that but that's the cooking surface on it because it's missing grate area so you can throw wood or more charcoal in if needed), and the upper or sear grill (same used for both) is 19" by 17-1/2" cooking area. As you can tell, it will hold a LOT of food.

                                                                The cooker itself is 50-1/2" tall when closed, 26" wide at the grill level opening, 30" wide at the feet, and it's 34" from ground to the open lip of the cooker.

                                                                One other thing I forgot to mention, on the KK the bands are built into the cooker so no slipping problems and the back has a giant heavy stainless steel spring so it can be adusted to gently open itself when you release the latch on the front and just push upward lightly. No having to heft the weight of the lid, and worry about it crashing back down on the cooker / breaking.

                                                                If you can't tell, I've been drooling over these for awhile. I just wish the dollar would strengthen so we might see a price break on them when I get to the point I'm ready to buy one.

                                                                Oh did I mention it's the only Kamado style cooker that has the parts / opening to run a rotisserie?

                                                                1. re: sumrtym

                                                                  :) I thought that picture you shown meant you got a KK and a BGE in your backyard. Guess not. :P So, where did you take that picture?

                                                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                    It's one from a guy on the KK forums after he got his in. It's in the KK photos section of the forum at www.komodokamado.com in a thread with BGE compared or comparison in the title.

                                                                    I wish I had a couple in my yard. Heck, I wish I had a YARD (still apartment dwelling). Then again, as my allergies take hold, maybe I don't thinking back on lawn care (which makes me bring up robot lawn mowers....).

                                                                    If you decide to look around the site for the KK, you might notice a slightly creepy picture of two kids peering out of a KK. Gives ya an idea of the size. I don't THINK he cooked them though.....

                                                                    1. re: sumrtym

                                                                      i sure hope he didn't cook them - kids that size are better braised

                                                                      1. re: thew

                                                                        Somehow the KK or BGE looks less threatening. I bet you two that if someone takes a picture of having two kids lying across across a large charcoal grill, he will get badly ridiculed.

                                                              2. re: sumrtym

                                                                and this is the insulated steel version

                                                                 
                                                                1. re: thew

                                                                  I've looked at the Big Steel Keg (used to be Bubba Grill) that your'e picturing. I find one great thing about it:

                                                                  1) They are able to be fastened onto a trailer hitch and taken with you for tailgating, picnicking , whatever. The discontinued Bubba Grill came with it the hitch assembly, the Big Steel Keg requires you to purchase this separately.

                                                                  The Drawbacks having looked at in store:

                                                                  1) The weld on the 2nd auxillary grill that inserts into the main grill and then can be rotated out of the way is not very good. The one in the store I saw was broken already, and I can see that easily happening through use and with heavy foods on it with the one offset support with poor weld.
                                                                  2) The Keg is not stainless steel I believe, but just powder-coated regular steel. The way the cast iron grill is moved around it's going to scratch that powder-coating and you're eventually going to have a major rust issue.
                                                                  3. The insulation cushion between the body and lid is placed directly over some screws. Those screws cause wear points on the gasket. The one I'd seen in the store had wear spots, some severe, on the gasket at all those points which is going to lead to needing to be replaced constantly.

                                                                  Nothing against the grill, it's the only option if you want a portable Kamado style cooker and that makes it worthy of consideration, but if you aren't moving the grill from place to place I'd go with another choice. They definitely still have some build / design problems from what I could see that could easily be corrected (stainless, move those screw points so not under gasket).

                                                                  1. re: sumrtym

                                                                    I have a medium BGE my wife gave me as a birthday present in January. I never would have bought it for myself because of the expense -- but boy, do I like it. It grills, it smokes, it does both in every kind of weather, it is incredibly efficient at using charcoal (if you're used to burning up bags of charcoal in a Weber like I was, you'll cut your charcoal use by more than 50%), it is largely self-cleaning, it makes an excellent oven.

                                                                    Most of the kamado makers these days make at least a decent good product. I for one would like to see a Big Steel Keg in person -- that's a smart idea. I also saw the Bayou Classics kamado that Lowe's is selling -- it's basically a large Egg with numerous options for hundreds of dollars less, and build quality looked good to me.

                                                                    1. re: Frobozz

                                                                      Frobozz, The advantage of the Egg over a steel cooker is the ceramic material which helps food--especially poultry--retain moisture. The Big Green Egg makes amazing chicken.

                                                                      1. re: Leper

                                                                        Leper - I have a BGE and it does make great chicken amongst other things. The ceramic material retains heat and essentially cooks the chicken from all sides. But I fail to see how ceramic can cause the chicken to retain moisture. Please explain.

                                                                        1. re: pabboy

                                                                          Like an oven does?

                                                                          1. re: tommy

                                                                            The big green egg is for grilling, smoking, and baking. Pizza is like what you get in a wood fired oven. You can bake bread, cakes, pies, cobblers, etc.. Meat doesn't dry out and lump charcoal gives the food an amazing favor. In all my years of cooking my BGE's are the best investments I have made in kitchen gear. Pricey, but worth every penny.

                                                                            1. re: sharhamm

                                                                              the chicken doesn't dry out because it cooks the chicken from all sides like an oven?

                                                                          2. re: pabboy

                                                                            Does the BGE work like an oven then? All sides? consistent heat?

                                                                            1. re: tommy

                                                                              Much like a gas oven, the heat source is on the bottom. You can switch very easily from direct cooking (grilling) to indirect cooking (BBQ, baking) by putting the plate setter (basically a pizza stone with legs) into the Egg. That makes the heat go up around the sides and evenly heat the interior. Heat is more consistent than a regular oven; in an oven, the heating element cycles on and off, while charcoal is constantly on. You just adjust the vents on the top and bottom of the Egg so that you get the temperature you want, and the temp stays put until it runs out of coal.

                                                                              1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                                                                                are you suggesting that the temperature in a BGE is more consistent than a modern electric convection oven? and then are you on board with the claim that this differential in consistency explains why the chicken "retains moisture" and turns out "so juicy" in a BGE?

                                                                                I'm trying to understand how this cooker could possibly make chicken so magical. It has been claimed that it "retains heat". Well, so does an oven. It has been claimed that "the heat is consistent". Well, so is the heat in an oven. It has been claimed that "it cooks from all sides". Well, so does an oven.

                                                                                And there have been many vague claims with even less of a scientific basis, including "the ceramic makes chicken moist" and countless others.

                                                                                1. re: tommy

                                                                                  Yes it is just like a convection oven in the ways you've described. But I won't smoke in my oven nor will my oven get up to 900+ degrees.

                                                                                  1. re: pabboy

                                                                                    OK, so claims of "incredible chicken" attributed to the reasons stated can be written off as nonsense. I'm glad that's settled.

                                                                                  2. re: tommy

                                                                                    it isn't magic, but it is well sealed so there is little moisture loss

                                                                                    1. re: thew

                                                                                      It has vents. It's not a closed environment. If it were closed the fire would go out. Surely that's clear to everyone?

                                                                                      And if it was a closed environment, then you are suggesting that a moist environment makes chicken more moist, but this can be done in an oven or any smoker by adding a water pan.

                                                                                      But again, it's not a closed environment, so this explanation leans toward magic.

                                                                                      1. re: tommy

                                                                                        i'm not suggesting anythng, otehr than perhaps it would be easier to talk to you with a smaller chip on your shoulder.

                                                                                        i did not say it was a hermetically sealed environment. but there is little moisture loss in these sorts of cookers. I did not say you couldn't also do it in an oven, nor did i claim any magical moistening properties.

                                                                                        not all ovens have the same properties. there is a reason a tandoor is not a viking stove.

                                                                                        1. re: tommy

                                                                                          I do think that the temperature fluctuation in an oven is pretty big. It has to do with the fact that the oven go on and off and there is a lag time in heat response.

                                                                                          When the temperature is low, the thermocouple trigger the heater and it starts to heat but it always overshot because the heat response delay and then it will start to cool and it will overshot that as well because of the response delay.

                                                                                          This has a bigger effect at low temperature cooking than high temperature cooking.

                                                                                          *Edited out based on thew's correction*

                                                                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                            actually, for small birds, high temperature means less moisture loss, as the meat can come to temperature before it has a chance to dry out

                                                                                            1. re: thew

                                                                                              Thanks for the correction.

                                                                                      2. re: tommy

                                                                                        For the most part, the temperature is more consistent than a convection oven; while the BGE tends to have a hot spot near the back due to vent convection patterns, the temperature stays exactly the same. No, I don't believe that the BGE magically makes better chicken than an oven does. I've had spectacular results from both my oven and my BGE.

                                                                                        I think one reason that people get better results from the BGE than they do from their oven is that oven thermostats are wildly inaccurate, often varying 25 degrees from the actual temperature. That's enough to overcook your chicken.

                                                                                2. re: Leper

                                                                                  the big steel keg is insulated to mimic the properties of ceramic. food comes out very moist in it.

                                                                        2. Fourteen years ago I was given a medium BGE for Fathers Day. My wife bought it at he Atlanta Georgia store and the egg has since moved from Georgia to Maryland and finally Hawaii where it will spend the rest of its days. I have changed the gasket twice and cooked a whole lot of meat/veggies and pizza on it and except for a bit of crazing on the outer surface it is still running like it was new. A BGE is a liftime investment.

                                                                          1. I just bought and assembled a medium big green egg. I've got a problem -- the only paved surface in my yard is under (or nearly under) a grape arbor. I have always grilled out on the grass, trundling the Weber grill out onto a nice free area on the grass from the grill's storage place under the grape arbor. I'd like to do the same with the Big Green Egg, but none of the mounts (the nest, the cedar table) for the egg look like they are going to move across grass easily. Any suggestions?

                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                            1. re: cstrauss60

                                                                              wow, that's a huge problem...I think you should donate it to me instead! Seriously...You can retrofit the nest for larger pneumatic casters, available from places like harbor freight or northern hydraulic, and that rascal will roll anywhere. You'll need some 2x or 4x4 post sections to fab this up. Or, lay a few patio blocks to extend out from under the arbor a few feet, if you're worried about the flame issue. Scrape off the topsoil and level the blocks with stonedust (taililngs, dg, crusher run, or whatever your supplier calls it in your area)

                                                                              1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                                                                like this:

                                                                                 
                                                                              2. re: cstrauss60

                                                                                Maybe the medium is easier to move, we have 2 larges but I don't find the egg in the nest to be something I'd want to move every time I cook in it. We have one in the nest and one in a table my husband built. The one in the table is much easier to move, and we put nice big locking casters on it.