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Considering adding a BGE

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
I've been smoking for a few years now with an el cheapo Wal-Mart special SnP. It's been modified and generally works ok to BBQ year around. Using hot water heater blankets I can reasonable keep the heat at 250 long enough to smoke a couple of butts, ABTs, fatties, ribs, etc.

Wife has offered to buy me a large Big Green Egg smoker. Someone told her it's the best smoker around. The BGE is expensive. Not only is there the cost of the smoker itself, then I'd need to add the stand and wings. Not really into building a UDS or modding the SnP for reverse draft.

Is the BGE really worth the coinage?
post #2 of 35
From what I've heard in the last 2 or 3 months from folks who've bought them, no.

The Komado- the BGE competitor- has units with all the extras included for less than 1/2 the price.

They both work the same. You don't get to "drop names" if you buy a Komado.

Half the people I know who have one got it to be able to say they own a BGE, and couldn't cook their way out of McDonalds.
post #3 of 35
Thread Starter 
Odd that you should mention the Kamado (http://www.primogrill.com/products.html)... I just ran across it on the web. It looks alot similar to the BGE, just never heard of it. Looks like there are a few dealers in the area that carry it. Going to have to check it out.

I am not a brand person. Prefer to let the food speak for itself.
post #4 of 35
Hi Iso - I just saw this.
I have had a few cookers and got a BGE last year. Since then, I have only used my stick burner once (because I needed the space).

I didn't get an Egg because I wanted to drop names, and I have heard great things about the Primo product as well. Not sure what the price differences are, but I can tell you what I like about the Egg.

It is a very versatile cooker - once you get it dialed in the temps hold steady for long cooks.
It is very frugal on fuel use. I use lump charcoal and wood chunks. Last month I did a 18 hour cook on one load of fuel (less then 10 #s) and had enough coals left in the Egg the next time I fired it up to cook pizzas at 500 degrees.

Speaking of pizzas - you can crank up the temp and your cooker becomes a brick oven, or if you like to get a high sear on a steak you can do that too.

Is the Egg pricy - yep, can't argue with you there. For me it was the right decission. We cook on it multiple times a week and have never looked back.

I know an Egg owner in your area that I have no doubt would be happy to talk with you about his Egg experience if you like - just let me know.

All of the pictures I have posted on this forum have are of food I cooked on the Egg and there are a few more here - http://cid-3bfd530a8c28ea90.skydrive...om/albums.aspx

PM me if you want to talk about it. If my hubby volunteered to buy me a new Egg I would jump all over it.
Oh - one other thing - it's a great cooker - so she may become more interested in cooking with you - that may be a plus or a minus. PDT_Armataz_01_12.gif
post #5 of 35
Being I could buy around 15 of my current smokers or a heck of alot of meat, I'll pass on the BGE. That being said, any of my friends that have the Egg seem to love them, but I can say the same about my friends that have a GOSM.
post #6 of 35
Has anyone considered building a refractory based cooker? I don't know about the ceramics, but I do know how to build a vault oven..it's not too deep a stretch to see
a tank lined with firebrick, or a castable refractory...

It's something to think about...
post #7 of 35
No egg for me, build a drumicon_mrgreen.gif
post #8 of 35

Had 'em both

My '02 worth from prior experience. The Kamado works as well and in many instances better than the BGE. For grilling the BGE can out perform but only slightly. For smoking, the Kamodo is a more efficient system and uses less fuel. Both should not be left out nor used in winter conditions. Both units suffered cracks from from moisture and freezing temps. I bought the original
BGE from the hype. Moved to the Kamado after the BGE went down. Wont
reinvest in either for similar problems. Longer than 6 hr smokes , the adding of fuel and or wood is a hassle, but both delivered great results if you dont mind the pain. Used them more as grills because of that disadvantage and burdensome fuel situation. Great grills, but a pain to use on long smokes.
THis was more than 20 years ago and the ceramics might have improved since then, but I wouldnt invest again to find out.

Just my opinion,, FWIW,

post #9 of 35
I have no experience with an egg or a knock off. But if I could afford it, and the wife said to go buy an egg, I'd do it and not think twice. They have a marvelous reputation, so if money is not a problem, why futz around around with a knock off?

I'm great at spending other folks money..........
post #10 of 35
well, yeah...

post #11 of 35
Me too..I work for the government! PDT_Armataz_01_42.gif
post #12 of 35
I personally, don't own a BGE, but a close friend does. He seems to like it really well & can't believe the temps he can hold for long periods with minimal fuel. I have heard they can pretty much last forever if you take basic care of them & as noted & keep them out of severe weather variations.

The Kamado's or other brands of that style of cooker appear to be the same concept to me, with most likely pro's & con's for both. I have seen a few of the BGE's, Kamoda's & other similar products on Craigslist, so that might be worth looking into.

I personally am a MES user, due to the ease & minimal time required to babysit it.... If I had a lot more time for charcoal, I would probably start with a Weber WSM, personally.
post #13 of 35
They are nice ceramic rigs....Not cheap,but nice.....I plan on getting one....eventualy.I have 6 smokers now...............
post #14 of 35
The Komodo makes a refractory design, per this page:

In my opinion, the high dollar cooker is not where good Bbq comes from. The chef need only the knowledge and skills required to maintain his equipment/materials during a cook so as to produce consistantly good results.

If you wish to purchase or design/construct a big dollar rig, be sure you do it for the right reasons...Jonesing won't make you a better cook, and no amount of money invested in your equipment will help you understand how it operates the best in all conditions. Big dollar equipment doesn't make the food taste or look any better...only the chef can turn out good food.

I could never justify buying a (nearly) $2,000.00 cooker that could only handle enough food for one or two families at a time. Look at the cost of investment per meal cooked over just a few years, that's some pretty spendy in-home dining.

Personally, I go for the simpler rigs with a few basic conveniences designed into it so that my outdoor cooking experiences will be the most enjoyable. Then, it doesn't seem like a chore to cook a meal.

I digressed here, but, this is how I see it.

post #15 of 35
Thread Starter 
thank you for all of your feeback. It looks like I need to expand my search.

With respect to "Both should not be left out nor used in winter conditions" and "Both units suffered cracks from from moisture and freezing temps.": I do smoke & grill year around. I don't care if there is 6 inches of snow on the ground or its raining the typical PNW rain. My SnP has a hot water heater blanket that gets wrapped around it in the winter.

It would appear that neither the Komado nor the BGE would withstand even a years cooking. A typical smoke session will run anywhere from 16-20 hours for 2 butts. I'll load in ABTs, fatties, etc for snacks.

I am just looking for a better tool. Better product will come with experience and time. I'd like a smoker that is less maintenance during a smoke session & can cold smoke cheese. A smaller smoke chamber than the SnP would be good. Don't need to cook for a brigade, just a family or two.
post #16 of 35
had an idea...build yerself a UDS and add some thermal mass in the form of a few fire bricks...<G>

I'm thinking of painting mine green and calling it the BGD...
post #17 of 35
LOL call it a "BRE"

"Big redneck egg"
post #18 of 35
DING! Winnar! Thread over.

Oh..this isn't FARK...

Considering the guy I got the drum from and the not so urban atmoshpere of his establishment, and of course my own sunbaked rural background...I think that's the ticket...now photoshop someone's logo and see if I can get sued by both john deere and BGE...LOLZ....
post #19 of 35
Eric- could not have said it better myself. Excellent reply!
post #20 of 35
I have heard the eggs are a good smoker but you have to fine a true owner to hear that. I dont know any but as far as me I own a Gosm gasser and i can said it's a ggreat smoker for whay I have and do with it.
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