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Jun 10, 2012 10:27 AM

Vegetarian considering Big Green Egg

I have been considering getting a big green egg for a while now. My main concern is that I eat a mostly vegetarian diet and am not sure whether I will get enough use out of the smoking function. I'd be interested to hear if anyone had had much luck with non-meat dishes in the BGE, or if I should just stick with a conventional grill.

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  1. That's a lot of money for very little use.

    Have you considered a Weber Smokey Mountain? Or even a Weber kettle? Do veggies smoked a long time turn out like a good steak does? Hmm.....

    1 Reply
    1. re: Sid Post

      Smoking vegetables requires very little "oomph" and both the BGE or Weber SM would be overkill. A Weber kettle with a foil packet of moistened wood chips would be fine for nearly everything except maybe potatoes (and even then it would probably be fine).

    2. That may be a huge expense for something that is not the best option for what you want to do. I would look at a Weber kettle grill and maybe at a Green Egg mini. It is their small 2 person Egg that would rock the veggies "egg style" without spending huge sums.

      1. Do you cook breads and pizzas? Otherwise not really worth it for veggies alone.

        1. The three big strengths of the BGE are (a) low-and-slow cooking (i.e. BBQ), (b) extremely high-temp cooking (like a wood fired oven), and (c) standard charcoal grilling.

          (a) is one of the main strengths of the BGE, but it's pretty much useless for vegetarians because vegetables don't need long, slow cooking to break down connective tissues and become tender - in fact, the opposite happens and most vegetables get hard and leathery if you cook them too low for too long. To smoke vegetables (like eggplant, onions, potatoes, etc.), cheeses and even fish, you can do just as well with a Weber kettle grill and some wood chips since you don't need to worry about maintaining low temperatures for a long time.

          (b) is relatively unique to the BGE and is equally useful for veggies and carnivores as long as you're into making pizza and bread on the grill (which is time consuming because of the rising and resting time, but fun and delicious).

          (c) is also good for veggies and other non-meat items, though the BGE isn't really any better than any other charcoal grill for regular grilling. If this was your main function, then you'd be better off saving a ton of money and just getting a Weber kettle grill instead.

          On balance, if it were me, I'd probably buy a Weber kettle instead. You can smoke veggies and cheese and grill over charcoal, and you can always do traditional grilled pizza on it, for less than 1/8 the price of the BGE.