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Big Green Egg? Is it worth it?

Is it really as awesome as it gets hyped? I'm looking to upgrade from a standard cheap charcoal grill.

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  1. IMHO absolutely but that is for our use 52 weeks out of the year as a grill, awesome smoker and great pizza oven. Lots of prior posts discussing / debating this topic. We upgraded from a variety of grilles and metal smokers that in hindsight were a waste in comparison to the BGE

    8 Replies
    1. re: ThanksVille

      I ask everyone in the colder climates : Do you leave your BGE outside year round, and has it cracked?

      1. re: BiscuitBoy

        I live in Maryland where we have pretty cold winters (especially this last one!) I leave it out year round and it hasn't cracked. I've had mine 15 years.

        1. re: 4X4

          That's what I wanted to hear...I'd rather NOT have to move this thing around

          1. re: BiscuitBoy

            My Egg is above the fog, below the snow. It occasionally freezes there, temps in the 20's, cold enough to freeze surface water and pipes. I haven't had problems, but I haven't tried to "fire it up" when it is 25 degrees outside.

            I "hear you" about moving it, I thought about bringing it home, but since I sold the truck.. I doubt I would, the wheels on my stand have died, in a few years I don't think I could move it by myself unless I get new wheels or a new stand.

            1. re: Alan408

              Mine is in a table. I bought it used from a friend who built it for his first Egg. He needed to get rid of it because he and his wife ended up buying two or three more and he built an outdoor kitchen in his back yard.

              We had two massive snow storms in 2010. I dug a path to my Egg so I could grill some chicken during the superbowl. It works fine in all weather.

              I have had to replace some of the internal parts (firebox, grate, grid). Those were always free (from a local dealer) because of the warranty.

        2. re: BiscuitBoy

          There have been many many pictures of Eggs smoking while covered in snow posted on the Green Eggers forum over the years. They work great in the snow. I've yet to read of one that cracked just from normal use in cold weather or snow.

          1. re: BiscuitBoy

            Brought it up to over a 1000 degrees in 10 degree weather.....no issues. b

            1. re: BiscuitBoy

              Countless 800 - 1000 degree steak cooks in 10 - 20 degree weather, no problems.

              Great insulating quality for long low slow smokes in the dead of winter.

          2. I've read they are. There is a cheaper alternative made by Cranbrook I think. Check it out on Amazon.

            1. There is a learning process. You must plan ahead. I enjoy using them, but I also enjoy propane and charcoal grills.

              For me, the egg is best used for smoking and baking. They do retain heat for extended periods without large amounts of fuel.

              1. God created the Big Green Egg; it was man who made the sauce. It was the devil who created franchise BBQ. Buy one.

                1. I have one , I can do everything I need in a Weber Kettle, but no one notices the Weber ,

                  What is your cheap charcoal grill and what are you trying to accomplish ?

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Alan408

                    Alan, I think you and I are on the same page. I hate to harp on this, because I sound like a commercial, but I've been doing some really fine low 'n' slow BBQ at home on my 28 inch Weber kettle grill.

                    I use a device called the "Smokenator," a silly name for a very excellent tool which converts your Weber into a smoker. It's just a piece of high grade stainless steel bent and shaped to fit into the grill, with an integrated water pan and holes to add new fuel. Meathead Goldwyn praises it on AmazingRibs.com, and he only recommends stuff he uses and really likes.

                    I live in an apartment and only have so much room on the patio, so rather than getting a dedicated smoker, I can use the Weber for both grilling and Q'ing.

                    1. re: EarlyBird

                      I have used many "water smokers", they all perform. Spend $200 or $1,000, I don't think there is a food difference. The "cook" has more impact on the food than the cooker.

                      I had a great dual fuel water smoker branded Coleman. Either Brinkmann copied Coleman or the reverse. The Coleman metal was much thicker than the Brinkmann, and the Coleman costs ~3x vs the Brinkmann.

                      Initially, I couldn't cook steaks on the egg, I didn't know how to cook steaks at 800 degrees. I used to joke, I could turn iron into steel in the egg (takes a high temp to make steel) but I couldn't cook steaks. But, as long as I didn't make happy hour a priority, I learned to cook steaks.

                      1. re: Alan408


                        I agree that the cooker has far less to do with good food than the cook. Basically, whatever tool allows the cook to maintain the right temperatures, and the person has other aspects of technique down, he/she can cook good Q in anything.

                  2. I adore my BGE. Live in Toronto and use it year round.

                    No issues with cracking in the Winter- only issue is that the gasket freezes and you need to very carefully jimmy it open if you don't wedge it with something between uses.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: biggreenmatt

                      My gasket failed years ago, I replaced it with what may contain abestos and is glued in place with a flour and water mixture.

                      A cabin visitor who worked construction gave a long strip of material, a tube similar to woven cloth, but he said it was heat resistant, later either he told me or someone else, it may contain abestos. Over cocktails, we decided to use flour paste as an adhesive vs something chemical out of a tube. Been a decade or two, still works.

                    2. I have several webers & several eggs. The Weber is a bargain for everything it can do but it is not a BGE. The Weber cannot sear at 700 or go unattended all night for 14 hours and stay locked on steady at 250 without adding any charcoal. I probably average cooking on it 3 nights a week year round. Just go read the posts on egghead.com to get a feel of the cult of ownership. '
                      However, any Ceramic cooker from a reputable company will do. Vision has not been around as long but the deals at costco are great and feedback in the forums indicate great customer support from the company as well as Costco's great customer support. Also the Acorn from chargriller is not ceramic but has agreat following & is much more reasonable than a ceramic cooker. Stay away from ceramic cookers from questionable manufacturers.

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: beteez

                        We did low and slow and on a Weber for years before we bought our Eggs. There really isn't a comparison. When we used to smoke our turkeys for Thanksgiving on the Weber we had to add coals numerous times. Food comes out moister on the Egg also ( we don't use a water pan either) and you do not get the temp fluctuations in windy and cold weather on the Egg like you do with metal cookers, they don't have the thermal mass.

                        1. re: rasputina

                          Isn't the Green Egg designed to provide heat immediately below the food, rather than as in a side-draft set up? And if so, isn't it more difficult to keep the temps low for smoking?

                          1. re: EarlyBird

                            The BGE people make a gizmo called a plate setter, for indirect heat

                            1. re: BiscuitBoy

                              You also use a pizza stone, a foil pan and rack or second grid for indirect cooking.

                            2. re: EarlyBird

                              Nope it's not hard at all. First off you have the thermal mass of the ceramic itself. Then you have a variety of ways, plate setter sold by BGE, refractory fire bricks, pizza stone ect to block direct flame. Temperature is controlled by the the air vents at the bottom and top.

                              1. re: rasputina

                                Cool. I know these are used a lot in BBQ competitions and just didn't know how they did it. Now I know!

                        2. Yes. If you like grilling, especially with charcoal, I highly recommend one. Its a great smoker, too. I live in Indiana and I have left it out for two years now, covered and uncovered and never had a problem. I have friends who have had theirs outside for many years.

                          1. Absolutely 100% yes. I was a skeptic for years. Finally decided to buy one, now we have two larges.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: rasputina

                              Crazy how you can fall in love with a big hunk of ceramic :-)

                              My wife about killed me when I showed up with it about 10 yrs ago when I was sent out to get a new pretty SS gas grill. Now if something was to get stolen, she would rather it be ME.

                              1. re: Tom34

                                My husband was unconvinced, until we bought ours and cooked on it.

                                1. re: rasputina

                                  IMHO, with a very easy learning curve and good ingredients, the BGE elevates back yard cooking up to or even above the level of a good steakhouse or specialty barbecue restaurant.

                            2. I love mine...its name is Eggward... it was gifted to me by an anonymous person at Eggfest who saw me at on a demo stage and thought I needed one of my own... I use it at least twice a week... bake in it love it ....

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: girloftheworld

                                We should all have such an anonymous person in our lives--good for you! Love the name, too. What do you bake in it--something particular or anything/everything?

                                1. re: kattyeyes

                                  For anyone else who was wondering, seems other posters bake a wide variety of things on their BGEs:

                                  It must be fab for cornbread!

                                2. re: girloftheworld

                                  Given? That's damn peculiar. Nice to be a girl

                                  1. re: BiscuitBoy


                                    The person actually donated two eggs one for me to keep and one to raffle off.. it one of the coolest things ever... I dont think it had much to do with my gender... I think it had more to do with their generousity

                                3. Hmm.

                                  I scored a fantastic deal last year on a Pitts n Spits smoker. A damn big one. Vertical box, dual grills, etc. Fantastic machine, I can cook several briskets at a time if I want.

                                  But I never do. We're a small family with a very small urban yard, and this thing sucks up space.

                                  So I'm thinking about the BGE, and have just started to research.

                                  Will it do ribs? How many racks? A full-sized brisket? Do I use chunks of wood? The Pitts/Spitts uses logs.

                                  I have a gas grill for grilling- works fine for me,

                                  What do you think?

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: Fake Name

                                    I have had a LG BGE for 10 years. Love it. With a cheap wire rib rack I can easily do 2 racks of spare ribs. Pork shoulders & butts no problem. Same with a good size turkey. With a raised plate setter the space doubles.

                                    For fuel I use exclusively lump charcoal (Royal Oak mostly). Sometimes I add a few big chunks of wood for flavor but usually just use straight lump which really lets the flavor of the meat come through.

                                    Another great feature of the ceramic cookers is Year round smoking even in the dead of winter which is when most sheet metal smokers go into hibernation. They are also extremely fuel efficient & once the temp stabilizes its pretty much set it and forget it & there is no need to maintain a source of moisture.

                                    Outstanding searing capabilities for steaks and such....1000 degrees very achievable.....then kill off the air, flames drop & finish oven style.

                                    Heavy & expensive & not for everyone but the overwhelming majority of folks who own them love them.

                                    1. re: Tom34

                                      Helpful, thank you.

                                      Only two rib racks? Is that the capacity, or just your choice?

                                      1. re: Fake Name

                                        Only 4 of us so I only smoke 2 racks at a time. I cut the full racks in half and they stand up perfectly in the rib rack. 2 of my cheap wire rib racks sitting next to each other would easily fit and keep 4 or 5 full racks of ribs standing on edge with no problem. Add a place setter and you could add even more.

                                        I think my wire rib racks were about $6 or $7 at HomeDepot but they may not have them anymore. I know they are avail on the net. They can be bent for thicker beef ribs and also fit into the dishwasher.

                                        Inverted "V" racks are much more expensive & good for roasts but a full rack of ribs standing on edge tend to flop over in them.

                                    2. re: Fake Name

                                      How much it will do depends on the size you get. yes you can use chunks of wood. We use lump charcoal and wood chunks, or split log pieces depending on what we have.

                                    3. I wanted to get a BGE but didn't want to pay the price so I ordered this Kamado style grill that is well reviewed for $240.00.

                                      This review is from "Meathead" Goldwyn of Amazing Ribs a popular barbecue site.
                                      Target sold out of this grill @ the sale price but look for many sales on grills, smokers etc. because stores don't want to hold their inventory over the winter.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: zackly

                                        Well it's Kamado shape but I wouldn't call it kamado style, it's not even ceramic.

                                        1. re: rasputina

                                          but it works similarly according to many reviews

                                      2. Well, in the worst case scenario, you can always try making your own BGE.


                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: biggreenmatt

                                          UDS...Tho the lawnmower mod is new to me

                                          1. re: biggreenmatt

                                            Thats pretty cool. A 35 gallon drum slipped inside with a couple inches of fireproof rock wool between the 2 drums and its insulated.