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We're Gonna Have to Sell Our Firstborn - Accessories?

Sandi_kSandi_k Posts: 31
edited March 2012 in EggHead Forum
OK, so the the XLBGE has landed! It's assembled, and on the deck.

Now, for accessories!

We got the ash tool, and the plate setter. Our minds are spinning in terms of all the other accessories!

We tend to be MINIMALISTS when it comes to this stuff. We're not huge "gadget" people, but we want to be able to cook burgers, tri tip, steak, veggies, chicken, corn on the cob, hot dogs, brats....that sort of stuff. 

So, if you could only buy 3 accessories for your BGE, which ones would they be? And WHY?

Sandi

Comments

  • cortguitarmancortguitarman Posts: 2,000
    Plate setter, pizza stone, & Wireless thermometer. I'd also spring for a veggie wok. These are only about $12 and you can cook any veggies without worrying about them falling through the grid.
    Mark Annville, PA
  • kbradiekbradie Posts: 5
    Looking at what you cook you need the cast iron grill (steaks and burgers), get the wireless thermometer and I would get the drip pan. With the plate setter you have you will be all set

  • MickeyMickey Posts: 14,897
    edited March 2012
    Number 2 item behind the Egg: http://www.thermoworks.com/ Thermapen As you must cook to temp and not time. Do not cut cost here. You will use it in the kitchen as well. It alone will make you a better cook.
    Salado TX Egg Family: 2 Large and a very well used Mini, just added a Mini Max 5th Salado EggFest is March 14, 2015 http://saladoeggheadgathering.blogspot.com

  • Since you already have an ash tool & plate setter -Thermapen, Maverick 732, grate lifter.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    you need nothing more than what you have already to cook the things you listed. 

    if you don't want to spend much, you can make do with minimal stuff.  had my egg approaching ten years, and the platesetter is the only 'accessory' i have gotten to date.  even then, i cooked indirectly without one for a while.

    you can make a raised grid yourself.  buy a smaller diameter spare grid, and raise it up on 3 or four inch long carriage bolts. put a washer on one, and slide it into the grid. ad another washer to strap the grid, and a nut.  then make feet for it to stand on the other grid with. nut/washer/nut.  see the pic.

    image

    this raises stuff like chicken, brats, etc. to a more gentle but still direct heat.

    but you can also use it to set up indirectly. put your stock grid in.  then put in some bricks (need not be firebricks, but all the better), to block the direct radiant heat from the lump. over that goes the raised grid.  on that, your pork butt or ribs.


    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • BYS1981BYS1981 Posts: 1,597
    Truthfully, you had me scared you were going to sell your "firstborn" lol.

    I agree get a thermometer, especially since it is useful in all cooking, not just bbq. I am going with a maverick as my next tool.
  • Hillbilly-HightechHillbilly-Hightech Posts: 966
    edited March 2012
    I agree w/ Stike for the most part. Being as you said you were minimalists, you don't "need" a cast iron grate when a normal grate does just fine. You also don't "need" a $100 thermopen, though it's a nice luxury to have.

    The only "gadget" I'd recommend is a wireless temp probe (e.g. Maverick 732: http://www.amazon.com/Maverick-Wireless-BBQ-Thermometer-Set/dp/B004IMA718) and the ONLY reason I recommend that is because you'll soon realize that on the Egg, you'll acquire MUCH better cooking skills & your food will be the best you've ever had if you learn to cook your meat to temp, and not to time. Cooking to temp will GREATLY increase your cooking skills, and you'll become more of a BBQ Chef & less of a backyard griller who just pushes meat around w/ a spatula & takes it off the grill when he/she "guesses" it to be done.

    The only Eggceptions to cooking to temp that I can think of would be pizzas, perhaps burgers, and perhaps ribs, maybe the occasional veggies or what not - basically foods which, by their shape / form / texture / size do not easily lend themselves to sticking a temp probe in them.

    As far as raising & lowering the cooking heights - to raise, you can buy a smaller grid for about ~$10 & use firebricks (as Stike suggested - that's what I use), and to lower, you can remove the grid that came w/ the Egg & then use that SAME smaller grid that you just paid $10 for & just place that right on top of the coals to sear your steaks on.

    No offense to those who rave about cast iron grids, but it's like when I go deer hunting & shoot a doe (which is legal in WV) & someone laughs at me for not waiting on a 10-point buck - I just smile & say "ya can't eat the horns" - same concept w/ cast iron - they make nice grill marks on your steaks, but it's just for looks - doesn't make the steaks taste any better.

    In fact, looking back over your original post, I'd suggest that if you have a shop vac, or an old grill spatula, then you should see if you can return the ash tool & use that $$ for something else. Reason being, I don't own an ash tool, and for quick ash cleanouts, I just take my old grill spatula & use it as a small "spade" to scoop the ashes out. When I want to get ALL the ashes out (which, by admission, isn't very often), then I'll pull the shop vac around to the back of the house & suck all the ashes out w/ that.

    So, for about an additional $80 (where about $60 of that being the wireless temp probe), you can pretty much do everything you want to do.

    HTH,
    Rob
    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
  • BotchBotch Posts: 2,656
    I assume you already have tongs?   :D
    _____________________________________________
     
    Live fast, die young, and leave a well-marbled corpse.  
     
    Ogden, Utard.  
  • MickeyMickey Posts: 14,897
    I assume you already have tongs?   :D
    Botch you just lay back and swing only on the high fast ones... (like your style)
    Salado TX Egg Family: 2 Large and a very well used Mini, just added a Mini Max 5th Salado EggFest is March 14, 2015 http://saladoeggheadgathering.blogspot.com

  • Sandi_kSandi_k Posts: 31
    So, some say Thermapen, some say Maverick. What's the major advantage of one over the other?

    And Stike, thanks for the raised grill plan - I had been discussing something like this with my DH - when I asked him to pick up 3-4 fire bricks, I think he's decided I'm now officially insane.  :D

    And Botch, yes, we have tongs. But I think we may need gauntlet gloves.  :)

    Sandi
  • Hillbilly-HightechHillbilly-Hightech Posts: 966
    edited March 2012
    So, some say Thermapen, some say Maverick. What's the major advantage of one over the other?

    And Stike, thanks for the raised grill plan - I had been discussing something like this with my DH - when I asked him to pick up 3-4 fire bricks, I think he's decided I'm now officially insane.  :D

    And Botch, yes, we have tongs. But I think we may need gauntlet gloves.  :)

    Sandi
    Hi Sandi - the Thermapen & the Maverick are both thermometers, but they differ in their functionality. 

    The Thermapen is an "instant read" thermometer - you use it by going out to the Egg (or stove, or oven), and poke it in the food & it'll give you a very accurate reading w/in 3 seconds.  You then remove it from the food.  I tend to think of it like the thermometer you'd use to see if your kid has a fever or not - you stick it in, it takes the temp, and then you take it out. 

    The Maverick is more of a temperature "monitor" that you stick into your meat before putting it on the Egg & you leave it there during the whole cook.  It has a "transmitter" that you leave outside, and a "receiver" that you can take inside.  The transmitter sends signals to the receiver at certain time intervals, keeping you up to date with what the temp is of your food.  You can set it up to alert you when your food reaches a desired temp. 

    Personally, I prefer a temperature monitor like the Maverick because I can just "set it & forget it" and relax inside till the alarm beeps telling me it's time to take the food off the Egg. 

    As far as the raised grid via firebricks, the first pic shows how I used the firebricks to have a 2-tier cooking surface so I could cook chicken on the lower tier, while grilling corn on the upper tier.  (you can also see the probe wire from my Maverick sticking out of the Egg in that pic).

    The other pic shows how I use a smaller grid that I throw on top of the coals to sear my steaks.

    Hope this helps answer some of your questions!!
    Rob


    IMG_0059.JPG
    2816 x 2112 - 1M
    Steaks_Seared_on_Coals.jpg
    800 x 600 - 357K
    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
  • JayHawkEyeJayHawkEye Posts: 170
    1) Thermometer (of some sort; I've got a couple of cheaper ones from menards)
    Regardless of what thermometer you get, having one really helps on everything from low and slows to steaks.

    2) Pizza Stone and peel(sp?)
    After you make your first pizza you will put this as the number 1...

    3) lawn chair


    You can fashion a grate lifter out of bolts or bricks, lump reducers are nice but not necessary on the XL (push the coals to one side), and drip pans are easy to make with foil.
    "Take yourself lightly, but what you do seriously." - M. Martin
    XL BGE - Johnston, IA
  • fbamafbama Posts: 5
    Go for the a chimney for starting the charcoal,  Strike's homemade raised grill (I'm heading to the store today) and then a platesetter.  I have the shelves (the cheap ones) and they are super handy but I plan to build a table/cart for it soon.  
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    Don't forget, mine was the cheap way.
    But the most versatile and highest quality way is to stop over at the ceramic Grill store. TJV will take care of you

    http://www.ceramicgrillstore.com/ceramicgrillstore/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=45&Itemid=57

    Literally have never heard anything but raves.

    His system is more flexible than a platesetter and a homemade rasied grid. I was just offering the cheapster oldschool way that i learned from the forum
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Sandi_kSandi_k Posts: 31
    OK, so we have the plate setter. We bought a veggie basket last weekend, and a couple of planks for fish (HUGE awesomeness resulted!)

    I have the Thermapen in my Amazon shopping basket; I think I'll add the grate lifter, and call it a day for now.

    THANK YOU ALL for your input - very useful for a direction to "grow" into in future cooking.

    Sandi
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