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May 2, 2011 10:05 AM

Big Green Egg-heads: How long to preheat?

How long do you all find it takes to preheat to grilling temps (500+ in the dome)?

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  1. 15-40 minutes, depending on how well the hardwood charcoal catches, how much fuel I put in, and other mysterious factors. probably moisture, wind, karma ...

    1 Reply
    1. re: cocktailhour

      I completely agree about the karma factor. 15 to 40 seems close. Most of the time it probably takes 20 to 30

    2. Yes it really depends, old wood vs new wood, how much, size of the pieces and what I'm planning on cooking. If it's pizza I cook at 800+ and preheat for an hour with the pizza stone in it. If I'm searing steaks on the cast iron grid it takes longer to preheat than cooking fish on the stainless grid. But then I don't grill fish at 500.

      1. Thanks for the responses...I was thinking of getting a BGE for a long time now now that I have some experience with smoking and would love to also replace my gas grill with it.

        So basically I'm thinking in terms of the stuff I cook all week - usually your typical cookout meats and vegetables. My gas grill takes about 15-20 min to preheat so if it's usually in the 20-30 range that's not too bad. 40 would be a bit long, but if I just start it right when I get home from work it will be ready by the time we're ready to cook either way.

        7 Replies
        1. re: jzerocsk

          i know the BGE heads will lambast me for this, but i have the big steel keg, and i love it. - just saying check out all your options before committing to a brand

          1. re: thew

            I certiainly would not rule it out. Does it achieve the high heats and long heat retention that clay/ceramic ones do? How are the pre-heat times for you, about similar?


            1. re: jzerocsk

              yes, as the steel in insulated to mimic the qualities of ceramic. i've done long low and slows, and cranked it up to 800+. it's also a little lighter and less fragile. and the preheat time is similar, and it burns fuel super efficiently

              1. re: thew

                One thing to remember on the Big Steel Keg is that it is NOT stainless steel. Rust will become a problem when the paint blisters or on the inside the grill scrapes the inside paint. I also am not a fan of how they did their gasket...there are screws underneath it all around the lid and it creates major wear points and frays it on those spots.

                1. re: sumrtym

                  i've had it outside, with a cover, for a year. including this last very brutal blizzardy NYC winter. as of yet, no rusting, no paint blistering.

                  1. re: thew

                    I've no doubt in a year, but in 10? One of the things about the ceramic grills is they'll last ya forever.

                    Don't get me wrong though, I'm not a fan of the fact for as much as they charge that the BGE doesn't use stainless on it's bands / screws either. There were just a great many things I saw as room for improvement on the Keg. Hopefully, the new owners make some improvements in the coming years, not just the cheaper version they have made for this year (lower priced) along with the current.

          2. re: jzerocsk

            Just get in the habit of starting it before you prep your food and you will be good to go.

          3. If you use a chimney or a weed burner you can get up to temperature in 15-20 minutes. However that is only part of the story. No matter what temperature you cook at you have to wait for the "bad" smoke to clear before putting your food on the grill. Check out the advice on the Egghead Forum. One of the other posters mentioned an hour if cooking pizza and i agree with that along with the karma factor.