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Member Big Green Egg Thread!

Discussion in 'Drink, Smoke, and Fine Dining' started by rob lay, Jul 18, 2018.

  1. rob lay

    rob lay Administrator
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    Dec 1, 2000
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    Rob Lay
    For all of us with the Big Green Egg, thought we would start a thread to share our experiences. I have had one for about 6 months and love it! I've never been a cook or even a griller, but I'm enjoying the learning process. I'm getting pretty good at it already.
     
  2. rob lay

    rob lay Administrator
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    Dec 1, 2000
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    For maximum temperature on those steaks...
    • Open bottom vent all the way
    • have open cap
    • turn into the wind
    • fill coals to max line
    You can get it really hot!

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  3. rob lay

    rob lay Administrator
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    Dec 1, 2000
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    For the slow and low smokes...
    • need the Conveggtor so no direct fire.
    • less coals, I go about half way to line.
    • mix real wood for smoke.
    • only open bottom vent a few inches and adjust from there for temperature.
    • turn away from wind.
    • only crack the vent cap so you just have a quint eye of open.
     
  4. ridege55

    ridege55 Formula Junior
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    May 9, 2017
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    I love my Big Green Egg. I was originally going to get the medium size, but so glad that I went with large instead. Once you get the dampening down, it's so easy to do low and slow without fussing with it. Did a 12 hour brisket on it last month, it was perfect!
     
  5. rob lay

    rob lay Administrator
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    awesome! we have the Large one too, it is perfect size for us. I do want to get a MiniMax though! :)

    please share your tips and pictures, I'm still learning. did you have to constantly add coals for 12 hours? what temperature were you doing?
     
  6. rob lay

    rob lay Administrator
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    Dec 1, 2000
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    I'm still perfecting my ribs. I've done it 3 times so far and haven't ruined any of them, all tasted really good, just need to fine tune.

    Attempt 1: Dry rub wrapped in foil for 1:30 250-275 and then exposed basted BBQ for 20 minutes.

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    Attempt 2-3: was told to leave exposed for the dry rub smoke and then wrap to finish. so I did 2 hours 250 open smoke and then wrapped at end with BBQ baste for 20 minutes. came out good, but not happy with my caramelized bark as I thought too hard although it tasted good (not burnt).

    The 3rd attempt we had a "rib off" among friends and I actually got 2nd place with blind tasting against some experienced friends. Was scored a 7 out of 10.

    2nd attempt with a steak...

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    3rd attempt "rib off" (mine is the dark barky one on left)...

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    Think I have it down now, will try attempt 4 this weekend. Plan is lower temp open dry rub smoke at 225 degrees only 1:30 and then a longer foil wrapped BBQ soak another 1:30. Our local grilling store recommended that as the wrapped final stage will soften the hard bark problem I'm having. Also little lower temps overall should improve quality.
     
  7. Lotaz

    Lotaz Formula 3

    Nov 18, 2016
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    I have been eye balling Gig Green Eggs for a bit now. My grill needs replacing and I have heard wonderful things about the "eggs".
     
  8. rob lay

    rob lay Administrator
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    They aren't that expensive compared to what guys are talking about up in Silver their gas or pellet cookers.
     
  9. ridege55

    ridege55 Formula Junior
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    May 9, 2017
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    I have had mine for a year, so very much a beginner still. I will have to say that the cost of the BGE is worth the investment. It is so versatile and easy to use. For the brisket, I did not have to reload any charcoal over the 12 hours, but I did fill it up to the line at the start. This is where the dampening is key to keep the temp constant over the time. Get it to a roaring start (so all the coals are hot), then adjust the top and bottom vents. It was a dry rub, fat side up in center of rack at 215 degrees. I did not baste it or anything, and it came out terrific. Another time I did a pork shoulder (bone in) for about the same amount of time. However I did wrap it in foil for the last 1.5 hours.

    For ribs, I use your attempts 2-3. I usually smoke at 225 for 2 hours, then wrap for another hour. Last week I did huge beef ribs and they were awesome. Just a simple rub of sea salt and black pepper. For the pork, I usually rub with yellow mustard before applying the dry rub.
     
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  10. tomc

    tomc F1 World Champ

    Apr 13, 2014
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    Rob...If you have not done so already, get a pizza stone. The BGE is awesome for pizza. I use a cast iron Lodge "stone". I also use the plate setter to make the fire more indirect & raise the stone a tad closer to the dome. There's also a ceramic stone from BGE by the way.

    Couple strategies I've used, but this is my favorite. First, get the Egg rocket hot to pre bake the pizza skins. The Central Market in Southlake sells pizza dough for a buck or two. Good stuff. I've recorded temps 700+ F with my IR thermometer on the CI stone. Keep damper and top fully open. If you get impatient, use a floor fan to goose the initial conflagration.

    At these temps, takes a minute or less to crisp up skins. Then, remove, rub olive oil on cooked pizza skin. Put down tomato sauce, and any desired toppings, then mozz. Throw it back on until it cooks to your desired level of doneness. If you are doing veggies, I sautée those ahead of schedule. A pizza peel and welders gloves are handy items if you'd love to keep any of the hair on your forearms.

    If you want to cook everything at once, dough and toppings, I've recently discovered Wewalka crusts. 3 beans at Kroger, and you can go online and get a buck off coupon. So, they're stupid cheap, dang good, and save you a lot of grief. They also come wrapped with parchment, which is great for keeping your pie sliding around easy for transfer to and from stone. But you'll want temps in the 450 F range so as not to immolate the parchment. As before, precook any veg. Top as you see fit. Cook until it's done as much as you like.

    If you've made it this far, my final top tip is use only fresh basil. It grows like a weed down here in containers. You'll never use anything else on your BGE pizza!

    Happy Egg-ing.

    T
     
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  11. rob lay

    rob lay Administrator
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    Dec 1, 2000
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    I don't have much interest in doing pizza's, but the girls do. I will pass this along to them. They might even try this weekend. Thanks!
     
  12. Dom

    Dom F1 Veteran
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    Nov 5, 2002
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    I've had my big green egg for over 10 years now. My favorite accessories are the Kick ash basket, and a better vent cover than the stock one:

    https://www.amazon.com/Kick-Ash-Basket-Green-Stainless/dp/B079B1W2HN/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1531952668&sr=8-3&keywords=kick+ash+basket&dpID=41bY9q-VxZL&preST=_SX300_QL70_&dpSrc=srch

    The kick ash basket makes it easy to clean out. Just lift out and shake over trash can, then add more charcoal. Also provides lots of airflow so that you get a quick start. Only downside is it doesn't hold a ton of charcoal for those really long cooks.

    https://www.amazon.com/Dracarys-Punched-Replacement-Stainless-Accessories/dp/B06XRXLB68/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1531952721&sr=8-3&keywords=big+green+egg+vent+screen&dpID=519tB92-T9L&preST=_SX300_QL70_&dpSrc=srch

    My screen kept breaking every couple of years. Replaced it with one of these and I'm good to go.
     
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  13. rob lay

    rob lay Administrator
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  14. GatorFL

    GatorFL Moderator
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    Nov 18, 2005
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    Duane
    I've had a large BGE for over 10 years. I've used it for smoking but honestly I don't think it's a great smoker. Can't get a good enough smoke ring and I don't want to customize it with those kind of accessories. It's a hell of a grill though. We grill everything on it: steaks, burgers chicken, etc.

    My favorite accessory is the cast iron grill grate. I picked up a table built to BGE specs from a local carpenter who was selling them on Craigslist about 5 years ago, best $200 I spent.

    My firebox just cracked and so I ordered another one. The store where I originally bought it is out of business or this would have been a warranty item!

    I get my lump at Walmart, I get the cheapest stuff I can find and separate it out by size. Largest lump at the bottom!

    What are you guys using to start the grill? Best thing I've found is a chimney starter with newspaper.
     
  15. Dom

    Dom F1 Veteran
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  16. rob lay

    rob lay Administrator
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    I mix small wood blocks evenly through the coals and I've learned it doesn't need many as I get too much smoke.

    the little 2" starter squares are the way to go, I use one each side on the large egg.
     
  17. tomc

    tomc F1 World Champ

    Apr 13, 2014
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    From time to time, Costco has really good deals on lump. Last time it was Stubbs. Then we'll chuck a couple into the pickup truck.

    For lighting, I like Weber parrafin cubes.
    And, if I'm in a rush, I use a floor fan to speed things along once the charcoal has ignited. Keep the vents open all the way, top off, lid ajar...T
     
  18. Sonoma

    Sonoma Rookie

    May 7, 2017
    46
    Wine Country
    I've had the BGE for more than 10 years. I use it primarily for smoking (convection plate in place and maybe 250-280 on the dial) or 'smoke roasting' (the convection plate in place but a relatively high temp ~400 on the dial). For smoking (ribs, brisket and pork shoulder), I've found the BGE settles in nicely without too much fuss around 280F on the dome dial, and that seems ideal for bbq. It is worth noting that in the configuration in which the convection plate is in place, at temps in the range between around 250 - 450 on the dial, the temperature at the cooking grate itself is about 40 degrees lower than what the dial is reading at the dome due to the nature of the design of the dome. This may or may not be important to you, but if you are looking to dial in a particular temperature at the grill surface, it may be helpful to understand the delta. I'd be interested to hear if any of you have made the measurements on your own BGE and if they are in line with my experience.

    Another thing I've seen that may help some of you guys out is that for longer term smoking (>4 hours), the temp in the egg is quite stable once dialed in for the first 4-5 hours. At some point around 4-5 hours in, as the fire burns slowly from the middle outwards, I always notice a significant drop in the temp and need to open the vents a bit to get back to target. Typically, if you have enough fuel in the egg, you'll only need to adjust this one time and you should be good to go for another 5+ hours. So, I'd recommend that if you have a long smoke planned, don't trust that the egg will maintain the temp that whole time - check it 4 hours or so into the process.
     
  19. BubblesQuah

    BubblesQuah F1 World Champ
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    Nov 1, 2003
    10,515
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    You aren't really initiated into the BGE club until you've burned all of you arm hair off at least one arm. Bonus points for eyebrows.

    The BGE can provide a face to face education on back draft/flash over. :D
     
  20. rob lay

    rob lay Administrator
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    Dec 1, 2000
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    I wondered if any safety issues with it. What to look out for etc? I haven't had problems except when I get it 700 degrees for steaks it burns your arms even just grabbing the steaks.

    Looks like main risk is cutting the vents off when trying to snuff out fire and then you reopen.

     
  21. tomc

    tomc F1 World Champ

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    ^Definitely need to burp before opening the lid fully. I recommend these gloves. No issues when working at temps up to 800 F. They're clunky, but protect your hands and some forearms.
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    T
     
  22. tomc

    tomc F1 World Champ

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    Another favorite recipe is popularly beef, a Hawaiian delicacy.

    http://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/pipikaula-hawaiian-dried-beef-246201

    From the "What's For Dinner" thread, post #1162...
    ...
    "My prep is not traditional, since my wife will not let me air dry them in the sun, or deep fry them in oil. So, I marinate beef in shoyu (or sugar + soy), garlic, & ginger for 24 hours. I prefer flanken style ribs. Then I cook them low & slow in a BGE, atop a plate setter (I prop the ribs up with a Weber rib rack), for as long as I can stand it. Typical loss to requisite chef sampling is in the one-quarter to one-third range. :) When they're done like you like 'em, remove & serve The longer they're on, the more jerky-like they become...T"

    Great with mac salad and white rice...T
     
  23. arizonaitalian

    arizonaitalian F1 World Champ
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    Oct 29, 2010
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    Rob - I ran into the hard bark problem when I first started cooking ribs. I'm far from an expert at ribs, but have settled on a cook process that usually eliminates the "hard bark" problem:

    1. You gotta cook it unwrapped for the majority of the time only with dry rub to maximize the smoke influence (especially without having a proper indirect heat offset smoker (meaning a grill or BBQ or egg) that doesn't go down as low as ideal for a real BBQ smoke cook)
    2. When its within an hour of being done, wrap 'em up in foil with juice of some sort inside the foil (no BBQ sauce or baste yet). Baste with butter heavily.
    3. When they are done cooking, take them out of the wrapper, baste with BBQ sauce (if you like that) and cook for only a few minutes unwrapped.

    This method has resulted in properly cooked/rendered ribs, without hard crust, yet loads of smoke flavor and you get moist ribs and the BBQ sauce influence at the end.

    (one change I often make is zero BBQ sauce during the cook. Only baste with butter and keep the juice present inside the foil wrap. Then, after cutting the ribs, I toss them into a giant bowl and pour in some sauce and toss them around in it. So no "cooked" sauce. I'm sorta torn on whether I prefer that or the step 3 above).
     
  24. tomc

    tomc F1 World Champ

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    ^Interesting. Maybe the hard bark could be from sugar, Maillard reaction. Many commercial sauces have a lot of sugar, HFCS, etc. Last time I did ribs, I used the 3-2-1 method. During the time they were not in foil, I basted in a concoction of peaches, water and pequin peppers that I blitzed with a stick blender. They came out pretty good...T
     
  25. rob lay

    rob lay Administrator
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    This is basically what I'm going to try tomorrow (4th attempt). What "juice" would you use if not BBQ? thanks! I can't wait to try tomorrow and post results.
     

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