February 9

The Big Green Egg … BBQ Grill Smoker and Ceramic Cooker

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The futuristic looking Big Green Egg Grill makes surprisingly great food. Actually the design is based on the centuries old Kamado cooker of Japan.

This versatile cooker is capable of grilling, smoking, or baking.

Like a smoker it cooks low and slow. Thick ceramic walls hold a steady heat for incredible amounts of time.

Purists insist the Egg is not a true smoker and get hotter than a wood smoker in July at the mere mention of big green. If you are offended by this grill you have my apologies, now get over it. 

 Big Green Egg Basics 

Kamado style cookers have been around for a couple thousand years. 

They just started gaining popularity in America in the last ten years. 

It didn’t take long for pit masters to realize that the thick ceramic walls of the egg can hold steady temperatures for a very long time.

Today the Big Green Egg is arguably the most popular and best ceramic cooker.

Lots of Meat Smokers on the market today can only dream of holding rock solid temperatures like the egg. On the down side is the cookers 145 pound weight. So yes it’s portable, but so is a Abrams Tank!

Another consideration is price. Amazon lists the Big Green Egg at nearly $900.00. This is a nice unit, however for the same money I got a Weber Smokey Mountain, a Luhr Jensen Little Chief electric smoker(used), and a awesome Weber Genesis Gold Grill.

However for some the price is worth it. 

Cooking with the Big Green Egg 

The Big Green Egg Grill works greatl with standard smoker charcoal. Avoid the chemical impregnated junk. Charcoal consumption is miserly, only a few pounds of charcoal are needed per cook.

Owners report that what the Egg can accomplish with a few pounds of charcoal would take a Weber Smokey Mountain ten.

Over 24 hour cooks on one load of fuel are common. It’s easy to see the high initial investment in this cooker is somewhat offset by it’s low fuel consumption. Users also recommend an electric charcoal starter for easy starts. 

Temperature control is accomplished by use of a top vent and damper plus a lower draft door. There is a temperature gauge mounted in the top. I recommend a good Digital Thermometer also.

I feel the biggest drawback to the Big Green Egg is it’s cooking area size. The large unit will handle about a 15 pound turkey, or a full brisket. If you need to prepare more than that stick with a conventional smoker.  

One of the greatest advantages of cooking on a Big Green Egg is how moist the food comes out. With little effort the Egg will put most smokers to shame when it comes to juicy meats.

Another great advantage is heat recovery and retention. The egg will quickly return to cooking temperature when open and closed, even repeatedly.

 Bottom Line

I  never tasted food prepared on a Big Green Egg Grill much less cooked on one. I am however intrigued by this ancient and interesting cooker. Surfing the net I saw a few Egg forums, this thing has quite a following.

There seemed to be many “Big Green Egg” cook offs listed on the forums. It would probably be a good idea to go to an event, speak to a team, and see if you can score a taste of some meats prepared on an egg. 

For me there are a few drawbacks, mainly cost and limited cooking space.

Between me, my three growing boys, and usually a couple neighborly neighbors we lay waste to vast gobs of meat quickly. So if I pick up a ceramic grill it will be for smaller meals and special occasions. As far as cost, yeah it’s very expensive. However if something is really terrific I will justify the cost.  

But don’t rule out this cool cooker just because it I don’t plan to add it to my stable of outdoor cookers any time soon. I think this would be a great barbecue cooker for couples or singles that entertain smaller groups of people.

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