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Maiden Voyage

eggnitedeggnited Posts: 94
edited February 2012 in EggHead Forum
Hello Eggheads,

My first post here. I've read several posts so far and can tell I have a lot of learning to do. I will pick up my large BGE later in March and am feeling like kid in a candy shop. So...after reading a bunch of posts I thought I might ask...what would you suggest for a  first cook? Should I pick something grand that takes hours to cook....and requires low temps...etc? Or...should I cook something fast like a burger/steak? Maybe it doesn't matter?  FWIW, I think going large and attempting something a bit more difficult might be fun....but it might also be stupid! LOL  Something that cooks for a few ribs might be nice as I can drag the experience out a bit!  :-)  Any thoughts, warnings or advice?


  • One of my first cooks was plain and simple boneless, skinless chicken breasts.  That is a pretty pedestrian and unispiring thing to cook, and it came out so much better that my previous normal frying.

    This is one of the foods I cite as an example that the BGE really does cook differently and produces tastier meals.  Get the dome good and warmed up, and cook the breasts between 400 and 450 for about 10 minutes on a side.

    Remember, if you're looking it's not cooking.

    Oh, and BTW you will gain experience quickly.  We've cooked on our BGEs almost every night for months now.

    XLBGE X 2, LBGE (gave this one to my daughter), MBGE and lots of toys

  • Welcome, Eggnited !

    Most Eggheads enjoy spatchcocking (butterfly) a chicken.  It makes the chicken cook more evenly, and for some reason, it seems more juicy.  It's also an easy cook.  If you ask folks how to cook it, a third will say indirect, a third will say direct, and a third will say direct-raised grid.  I just do mine direct, and it works for me.

    I found you a video to look at in case you are not familiar with the process.  The guy ends up cutting the chicken in half.  Most of the cooks I've seen here don't do that.  I don't.

    Good luck, and remember that if you don't post pictures, it didn't happen.


    Dripping Springs, Texas.
    Just west of Austintatious

  • Ribs are a great 1st time cook.  Not much money if you blow it, (which you won't)  You need the practice of controlling the temp.  That is the real trick to making some great food on your BGE!  Good Luck!
  • MickeyMickey Posts: 18,644
    edited February 2012
    KISS...... This is your first time.   Burgers, Hot Dogs/sausages, vegi's. Just sit there drink an adult beverage and play with making the temp hotter and less hot. Please don't worry about buring off (or just falling off) your felt, it will no matter what you do or cook. Have fun and keep cooking.
    Salado TX Egg Family: 2 Large and a very well used Mini, added a Mini Max (I'm good for now). 

  • Ahhh Man!  I remember posting on the old forum about the deal I got on an XL BGE.  My GF was sort of mad in that I was spending all that money on a grill/smoker when I already had an expensive Weber Gas Grill.  It was best use of money and my GF is a believer.  While I still use the gasser from time to time (blasphemy I know) I would hands down recommend that people pull the trigger on whichever BGE they can afford.  In any event, first cook should be a proper steak or/and burger cooked to temp and not time.  My first cook was as follows:

    1.  Lump Charcoal

    2.  Chimney starter

    3.  NY Strips seasoned with salt and pepper

    4. Generic Digital Meat thermometer (purchased a Thermapen down the road)

    Cook was a normal cook (No TREX or Hot-tubbing).  Pulled at 130 on my first cook and steaks where slamming.

  • Hillbilly-HightechHillbilly-Hightech Posts: 966
    edited February 2012
    FWIW, I'd just cook something simple, and something you already know how to do on a grill. Reason being, cooking on the Egg is different than cooking on a propane grill, and as such, there is a bit of a learning curve.

    Because of that, I'd try to minimize the variables & complexity. It's hard enough to try to hold temps steady & cook something for 6-7 hrs for someone who already knows a bit about the Egg - not that it's hard, but I mean that you have to know how to do it - a "newbie" won't know how open or closed the top & bottom vents need to be, how long to let the smoke clear out, how long to let the Egg get up to temp, how to stabilize temp so that they don't overshoot the desired dome temp and then are trying to "chase" the temp by going "up & down" on the temp gauge by opening & shutting the vents, etc.

    Something like burgers is what I'd recommend - quick, easy, and even w/ that, cooking burgers is different on the Egg - for instance, don't "smush" them w/ your spatula (don't even touch them till after about 4 minutes, then only open the lid long enough to flip, then shut the lid again & leave alone for another 4 minutes).

    NOTE: 4 minutes per side is the time that works for me at about 350 - your timing & temps may vary. Which brings me back to my point of simplicity - because you may realize that your timing & temps might be different than what others tell you on here (the altitude of the town where you live, relative humidity, type of lump you buy, where & how you light your lump, how much wind is blowing (especially if you have your Egg facing where the vents are getting wind blown directly into them), how well "done" or "rare" you like your food, etc are ALL variables which influence final cooking processes.

    Finally, cook the meat to internal temp, and NOT time as you're used to (the only "Egg-ceptions" to this rule are the aforementioned burgers, and pizza, and perhaps ribs).

    P.S. Because of all the variables I mentioned above, don't get too obsessed w/ trying to make the Egg hit EGGSACTLY the proper dome temp. Meaning, if someone tells you a certain cook should be done @ 350, and your Egg (for whatever reason) is having difficulty holding steady @ 350, but it seems to want to "hover" at around 340, then just let it do that, rather than wasting time trying to "chase" the temp up & down to try to make the needle land & stay on 350. There's nothing "magical" at being exactly at 350, and whether you cook @ 350, or 340, the effects (mainly time until the meat is done to your desired doneness) will be, for the most part, minimal to negligible.

    I guess my point is that most of the advice you'll get is really GUIDELINES & NOT written in stone - use the advice as a STARTING point & adjust till you find what works for you. Keep a "BBQ Journal" w/ times, temps, rubs that you found that you like on a certain type of meat, etc. & you'll find that, over time, you'll be much less of a "backyard griller" and much MORE of a "BBQ GURU" that all your friends & family envy!!!

    Don't get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup... Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend. - Bruce Lee
  • Congrats, you'll love it.  Spatchcock chicken is a good way to go, I cook at 350-400 dome temp with plate setter legs up but like VI said many ways to skin a cat.  Enjoy and have fun.
  • Wow, some great responses here! It's been a busy day for me and I am just now able to come back to the discussion. I don't know that it counts as experience but I did watch my brother one day when he cooked a pork loin on his....but he lives in another city. I'm picking my egg up at the Salado's a demo. I may even learn a bit that day...depending on how much time is left by the time I get there. Anyway, I watched my brother light off the charcoal, watched a few of his videos that came with the egg...and then watched him adjust both the bottom and top vents. So I'm an eggspert...not! From the recommendations here I think I will keep it more on the simple side. I like the ideas of burgers, ribs or the spatchcock chicken. Great video btw. There's always a restaurant around the corner if things don't work out! :-) I will be sure to print out this page for reference. Thanks!!!

  • Here's another one for you.  We grill veggies pretty much every night.  Usually in a grid wok, not a pan.

    XLBGE X 2, LBGE (gave this one to my daughter), MBGE and lots of toys

  • Tonight's dinner, grilled in the rain.

    XLBGE X 2, LBGE (gave this one to my daughter), MBGE and lots of toys

  • beef tongue or pig heart.  Good eating.  I also think an easy cook is upside down triple layer liver pudding cake.  Yummy!  I kid I kid!  something you already cook good,  worry about the grill, no what you are cooking and the grill

    Paul Go there. I write it.
  • boatbumboatbum Posts: 1,273

    I agree with VI -- spatchcock is good first time around.

    Just jump in though.   You spent $1000 on an egg, if you mess up $12 worth of ribs or pork loin - chalk it up to learning.   You will be surprised.   Its not that hard.

    Lot of support here - don't agonize too much over the first cook.  Jump in - if it doesnt taste good - then ask for input.   Lot of people who want you to be successful.

    Good luck and welcome aboard.

    Cookin in Texas
  • edited February 2012
    Chicken breasts. Short cook. Great way to start off. Don't do a long cook until you get a Maverick remote thermometer.

     "Where the weak grow strong and the strong grow great, Here's to "Down Home," the Old North State!"

    Med & XL

  • Lot's of good suggestions....and very nice people here. I appreciate all the advice. I'm liking several I will probably let the wife decide. I think keeping it simple is good...and no real harm if I muck it up. One thing I'm indeed very interested in is trying the spatchcock chicken. But who knows...I may just do hamburgers. This will be an adventure! I will be sure to take pics of my first cook. :-)
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