The Big Green Egg Charcoal Grill

is the charcoal grill we use to cook all of our barbecue meals. Previously we had cooked on both a propane grill and a Weber (Webber) charcoal grill -- while they were good, we love our "egg" more for its versatility and "forgiving" nature (more on that later!).

The Cons

First, let's get the bad stuff out of the way:

  • It's expensive. All the accessories are sold separately, even the stand! It really adds up. For example, the accessories we purchased added another $350 to the cost of our egg, even though we didn't buy all that much ... and that didn't include the cost of a stand, a table, or a cover!

  • This thing is crazy heavy. Best to have a couple of strong people available to help get it assembled.

  • The stand just doesn't seem appropriate for the egg. It's so narrow that the egg feels too "tippy" (and we can't imagine what it would cost for replacement parts if it fell and broke!). We recommend the table instead -- but no need to buy one, you can make one yourself. It cost us about $150 in materials to make, compared to the $600 price tag it has here in our location.

  • It takes a bit of fiddling and experimenting to figure out how to manage temperatures on the Big Green Egg (although once you do, it's easy). One thing we noted was that it's really important to put lots of charcoal in if you want to cook at temperatures over 500 degrees F. Otherwise we find it impossible to get our egg to those high temperatures.

  • We have to say that we think it's kind of weird-looking and ugly (not that it matters ... at least not much). Yes, the literature says it's attractive... but ... to each his own, I guess.

The Pros

Now for the good stuff, and why we love the green egg!

  • It's easy to set and maintain a temperature. There's a temperature gauge on the outside of the egg. Once everything's started up, you just close the lid and wait for it to heat up. When it's reached the temperature you want, you adjust the dampers to maintain that temperature. We've cooked for hours on the egg and had it maintain the same temperature within just a few degrees!

  • It's a cinch to start with an electric starter. Just stick the starter under a few pieces of charcoal, wait a few minutes, and it's ready to go.

  • You can use it any time. We see our neighbors waiting for good weather before using their barbecues... we don't have to wait! We've used it on hot summer days, on rainy days, windy days, even cold winter days (although we draw the line at really frigid days, mostly because we don't enjoy the sensation of having our eyelids and noses frozen shut). The egg still maintains it's heat well, although we've found it sometimes takes a bit more fiddling to get it set to what we want.

  • We don't have to keep checking on the food. With the other two traditional barbecues we had before (the propane and the charcoal ones), we found that we sometimes had to 'stand watch' to make sure things cooked evenly and didn't burn. With the Big Green Egg, we cook nearly everything with 'indirect heat' and just shut the lid. Then we wander off to do other stuff until it's time to take the food off.

  • It's forgiving. One time we put on a beautiful piece of salmon... then got distracted chatting to friends. When we remembered the salmon, we rushed back to take it off the grill -- and while it wasn't cooked perfectly (how could it be, after we'd left it on for an hour too long?), it was still tasty, not burned, although a bit dry.

    Another time I put a roast on. I didn't forget about it but was busy doing other things around the house. When I finally got around to taking the roast off the grill -- nearly 1.5 hours after I would normally have done so -- it was just fine. Again, just a touch more done than we would have liked, but still delicious (especially with gravy).

    Knowing how forgiving the egg is, we don't worry so much about timing. A few minutes here or there don't make much of a difference so we find it more relaxing.

  • Adding smoke flavor is easy. We just soak a couple of handfuls of wood chips in water for a few hours, then dump them on top of the coals. Fast and easy!

  • Best of all, the food is absolutely delicious! It seems like nearly everything we cook on the Big Green Egg turns out moist and tasty.

 

 

About BBQGrillingGuide.com
This website offers tips on how to BBQ as well as some of our favorite barbecue recipes. We barbecue with a charcoal grill in an outdoor kamado-style cooker called The Big Green Egg. We love food and we love the grill, and hope you enjoy our recipes!