Big Green Egg!!

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Happy to say my wife got me a BGE for Christmas and man was I surprised!!  Normally it's just a package of underwear and the promise she will leave me alone for the rest of the day!  It's still in te box so I'm gonna make a nesting table (the blueprints are online) and set this thing up right.

Can't wait to break it in!!
 
You will love the egg! Most guys start out with a chicken or pork butt to season their eggs. You don't want to dry out a expensive brisket while getting use to maintainng the dome temperature.
 
I'm still loving the egg! Pork shoulder, ribs, pork loins are all coming out amazing. Steady temps do make it a set it and forget it deal. Meat always stays nice and moist, no needto mop!

Best investment ever!

Now I just gotta get the confidence to try Brisket.
 
I got a Bayou Classic Cypress Ceramic Charcoal Grill from Lowe's a couple of years ago and love it.  I think it was $699 for the XL and it had all the attachments.  Had problems with the fire ring at first, but customer service was great.  They had upgraded the metal plate in the bottom and sent a new one along with the ceramic fire ring.  No problemo's since then.  It weighs a ton but rolls really easy on my concrete patio.  I like the egg also. 
 
The Egg is the bomb! Lots of great info at eggheadforum.com.

Things to know: flashback. Don't straight up open an Egg that's running 350 or over with the vents closed. The gases will ignite in a volatile manner. Oper the dampers for 10 seconds to clear the gasses first.

The gasket will eventually burn. Nomex makes a high temp replacement.

It's a definite learning curve.

Go nakedwhiz.com for a ton of info.

Happy Egging!

John
 
Jrod,

I've owned a medium Big Green Egg for 20 years, and they are great. I've had to replace parts over the years, like the felt seal, the wooden handle, and lastly the nest that the BGE itself sits in. I'm really not upset by this last one since it's lived outdoors for 20 years without a cover. The nest is still in one piece, but the wheels (tiny on a 20 year old BGE nest) are frozen in place, and the area where the legs are welded to the horizontal support are rusting through. My local dealer in South Florida gave me a great price on a replacement nest. I see that the design has been improved, including the wheels and horizontal supports, and I now expect it to outlive me!

I would humbly offer a couple of suggestions with your new BGE. If  you're doing a long cook, say brisket or a Boston butt, don't use leftover coals. Clean out the entire firebox and start with 100% new coals. The only problems I've encountered with my BGE have come from long cooks when I added new coals on top of old, and the fire started to go out, or couldn't be controlled over a 12-18 hour cook. Using fresh coals and making sure the firebox is filled at least an inch over the air holes will prevent this problem and make temperature control a LOT easier!

Secondly, I'm not a fan of using a metal box to hold the wood, at least in the medium size BGE. It plays havoc with the temperature and doesn't give out enough smoke for my tastes. Instead, after the fire is started, sprinkle the wood directly on top of the coals in a pile, with additional wood as needed outside of the center. It should resemble the same pattern as if you took a salt shaker and emptied it on a table: a pile in the middle and lighter as you move out towards the edge. I use chuncks on a long cook for Boston butt, brisket or ribs and chips for a short cook, with fish or chicken wings. Keep in mind that the maximum amount of smoke flavor is absorbed by the protein you're cooking when it's below 110˚. After that it has minimal effect. In fact, on a couple of occasions, when I haven't followed my own advice about starting with all-new coals, I've had to finish a cook in the kitchen oven, and absolutely no one (including me) had a problem with the taste and texture.

I see you purchased a plate setter. Smart move. Indirect cooking in your new BGE is far superior to cooking directly over the coals. It's the best accessory investment you can make. When it gets filthy from the drippings of dozens of meals, start a fire with some leftover coals, enough to burn full-on for about an hour, leave the lid and air flow door wide open, and build a red-hot fire. Flip the plate setter upside down above the fire box and then let the coals burn completely out. Any food that has dripped onto the plate setter will be burned off and into oblivion, and you'll be left with a clean plate setter.

Once you get the hang of controlling temperature, the BGE is easy to use. I'd recommend a Maverick 732 thermometer to monitor the heat. Keep in mind that the thermometer that comes with the BGE is measuring the temperature in the dome, which will always be 15-20˚ hotter than at the rack level. Over a long cook that's enough to throw off your cook time. In addition, it allows you to monitor the BGE's temperature from the comfort of easy chair rather than constantly checking on it. Just remember that for a lo-o-ng cook, use all new LUMP charcoal. I don't use BGE charcoal as I think it's overpriced. Try Royal Oak or Cowboy and you'll always have a successful cook!!

Congratulations on your new smoker, and many years of good eating and good luck to you!!
 
 
Jrod,

I've owned a medium Big Green Egg for 20 years, and they are great. I've had to replace parts over the years, like the felt seal, the wooden handle, and lastly the nest that the BGE itself sits in. I'm really not upset by this last one since it's lived outdoors for 20 years without a cover. The nest is still in one piece, but the wheels (tiny on a 20 year old BGE nest) are frozen in place, and the area where the legs are welded to the horizontal support are rusting through. My local dealer in South Florida gave me a great price on a replacement nest. I see that the design has been improved, including the wheels and horizontal supports, and I now expect it to outlive me!

I would humbly offer a couple of suggestions with your new BGE. If  you're doing a long cook, say brisket or a Boston butt, don't use leftover coals. Clean out the entire firebox and start with 100% new coals. The only problems I've encountered with my BGE have come from long cooks when I added new coals on top of old, and the fire started to go out, or couldn't be controlled over a 12-18 hour cook. Using fresh coals and making sure the firebox is filled at least an inch over the air holes will prevent this problem and make temperature control a LOT easier!

Secondly, I'm not a fan of using a metal box to hold the wood, at least in the medium size BGE. It plays havoc with the temperature and doesn't give out enough smoke for my tastes. Instead, after the fire is started, sprinkle the wood directly on top of the coals in a pile, with additional wood as needed outside of the center. It should resemble the same pattern as if you took a salt shaker and emptied it on a table: a pile in the middle and lighter as you move out towards the edge. I use chuncks on a long cook for Boston butt, brisket or ribs and chips for a short cook, with fish or chicken wings. Keep in mind that the maximum amount of smoke flavor is absorbed by the protein you're cooking when it's below 110˚. After that it has minimal effect. In fact, on a couple of occasions, when I haven't followed my own advice about starting with all-new coals, I've had to finish a cook in the kitchen oven, and absolutely no one (including me) had a problem with the taste and texture.

I see you purchased a plate setter. Smart move. Indirect cooking in your new BGE is far superior to cooking directly over the coals. It's the best accessory investment you can make. When it gets filthy from the drippings of dozens of meals, start a fire with some leftover coals, enough to burn full-on for about an hour, leave the lid and air flow door wide open, and build a red-hot fire. Flip the plate setter upside down above the fire box and then let the coals burn completely out. Any food that has dripped onto the plate setter will be burned off and into oblivion, and you'll be left with a clean plate setter.

Once you get the hang of controlling temperature, the BGE is easy to use. I'd recommend a Maverick 732 thermometer to monitor the heat. Keep in mind that the thermometer that comes with the BGE is measuring the temperature in the dome, which will always be 15-20˚ hotter than at the rack level. Over a long cook that's enough to throw off your cook time. In addition, it allows you to monitor the BGE's temperature from the comfort of easy chair rather than constantly checking on it. Just remember that for a lo-o-ng cook, use all new LUMP charcoal. I don't use BGE charcoal as I think it's overpriced. Try Royal Oak or Cowboy and you'll always have a successful cook!!

Congratulations on your new smoker, and many years of good eating and good luck to you!!
Well I've had my Egg for about 4 years now, wow time flies!

I'm still just as in love with it as I was from day one. I have a lot of family and friends that give me grief over spending so much on a smoker/grill. I just enthusiastically explain how versatile it is as well as how dependable it is. I'm glad I started out on a cheap smoker, it really allows me to appreciate this BGE.

I originally started out using the BGE Charcoal but found it to be cost prohibitive. I use Royal Oak as its half the cost. The advice given by bocaboy was great, thank you! I no longer buy wood chips as the chunks do work best.

Now a few years later, my only regret is I have a Large BGE and not an XLarge BGE. lol   In reality I only wish that on few occasions.

Keeping the firebox clean and starting with new Charcoal on long smokes is very important. I'll remove old small charcoal, clean the box, fill with new, and top it off with some of the old smaller pieces.

Pizza is an all new type of amazing on this thing!

Cooking high heat (searing steaks) is another thing I didn't realize I'd appreciate until now.

Ceramic cooker is the only way to go in my opinion.
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Nothing else cooks like a Kamado style grill. I have a Kamado Joe Big Joe being delivered tomorrow and can't wait to start playing with it. I already have an Akorn and the BJ will be joining it.
 
Get yourself a Kamado of some sort!  There are a lot of good options now.  Protect your food and fire!

Check out this video on YouTube:

 
I have a black Vision Grill, very similar to the EGG but I like it better than my neighbors EGG as there is a place to insert the electric starter. It also has two cooking grates which is great for veggies. It was less expensive but I have found it works very well for smoking or BBQ, holds the temp well and once you get it set on the temp it is pretty easy to adjust. Very happy with mine. Tell your son to enjoy it and experiment with different cuts of meat.
 
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