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Opinions, again...(Long Post)

edited 10:51PM in EggHead Forum
Hi all,
I have been lurking for several months and even made a post or two earlier asking for opinions and info on the BGE.[p]I am still undecided about whether to go with a good gas grill ($500 range) or the BGE. I love my gas grill. It was a cheapy, but made great food. There is no maintenance (or relatively little), its ready to cook on in minutes, and it cooks the same every time. I am ready to take my grilling up a notch and I am just not sure which way to go on this. [p]I am considering getting a small BGE to test the waters. It should give me plenty of cooking space for two (probably even more) and should give me a feel (or taste rather) for the BGE's potential. IF I find I like it, I could always get a big'n later right?[p]As I mentioned in my previous posts, the main reason I am even considering the BGE for my next grill is its ability to smoke slow and low. I have an NBBD horizontal smoker that I hate to use because the temp control is just too time consuming. As Ron Popiel (sp?) says, I want to set it and forget it, at least as much as possible.[p]This being said, how much can you smoke on a small? 2 Chicken halves? A full slab of spares (halved)?[p]Also, I went by my dealer and he fired up a large to show me the whole thing in action. He lit the fire, threw on a hunk of something and within a minute or two he lifted the dome and said "look how much smoke there is already." Now I know on my NBBD, that that kind of smoke would taste bitter. That smoke would have put creasote all over anything in the cooking chamber because it was smoldering.[p]When I do smoke, I like a lot of smoke. I would keep smoke on ribs or chicken for probably the first 2 hours of the cook. Using the BGE, can you start and stableize the fire at say 225-250, then throw on a fist sized hunk of hickory or 2, lay on the meat, close her up, and sit back and let her do the cooking? If so, why wouldn't the chunk of hickory smolder like it is likely to do on my NBBD? Why doesn't the unburnt lump impart any "adverse" flavor on the meal as it progresses through the cook and begins to burn? I hope that some of you veterans can educate me on this one in particular.[p]I know many of you have mentioned having really nice gas grills setting covered and unused now that you have the BGE. But I dare say you guys aren't necessarily in the middle of the curve, probably more towards the one end I imagine.<g> Still, any advice, opinions, or comments are appreciated.[p]Thanks in advance,
Mike[p]

Comments

  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,399
    Mike Bowen,
    Welcome! A small would be a great way to get your feet wet. Dang those salesmen! Yeah any cooker will give you plenty of smoke when the fire is just getting going. But you are correct in that the initial heavy smoke you get at the beginning is not what you are looking for. I usually prefer to get a good fire stablilized first before adding my wood chunks. Then you get smoke from wood that is burning...not smoldering. A nice light steady smoke will give you a better flavor that thick smoldering smoke.[p]Compared to your NBBD, you will feel like you have cruise control. Once your temp is stabilized for an hour or so, you can forget it for a while. Others can help you more on how much you can get in a small. I use my small as a companion for my large, so I havent pushed the limits there.[p]As the fire spreads to unburnt lump, there is no bitter flavor. That is one of the great things about lump.[p]you should get quite a few opinions here. I have been in "babbling" stage the past few days!!
    Great weekend to ya.
    NB

    DizzyPigBBQ.com
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
  • SpinSpin Posts: 1,375
    Mike Bowen,[p]You obviously have questions about obtaining a larger gas grill which you haven't asked.[p]Get the small BGE and test the waters. We will help you along the way. I do think you will be impressed.[p]Spin[p]
  • Nature Boy,
    Many thanks for the response.[p]>Then you get smoke from wood that is burning...
    >not smoldering. A nice light steady smoke will give
    >you a better flavor that thick smoldering smoke.[p]Exactly what I would expect. On the NBBD, the smoke leaving the stack is extremely light when it is burning properly. That demo the salesman gave me made me think that either he didn't know what he was doing or that he thought I was stupid. Neither sat well with me.[p]How big are the wood chunks you use? Most of what I have are about as big as my fist (course, you don't know how big my fist is do you...) or smaller than a softball. Is that size too big, will it burn cleanly or will something that large smolder when you put it on the BGE? [p]Just out of curiosity, what do you use your small for primarily? Why did you get it and a large?[p]Thanks,
    Mike
    [p]

  • Spin,
    >You obviously have questions about obtaining a
    >larger gas grill which you haven't asked.[p]Not sure I get what you mean. Like I said, I am wanting to improve my grilling skills and equipment. Right now, I am considering a decent gas grill (not sure I am supposed to mention brands here). It was consumer report's #2 gas grill in June, just behind a $2000+ unit.[p]I am considering it for:
    - higher temps
    - stainless steel grates
    - better searing
    - durability
    - even cooking temp
    - 3 burners with config for indirect cooking[p]Had I not found this forum some months ago, I would probably already own this grill. However, I have been intrigued by the BGE. I have followed the posts here, checked out the links to members' sites, loved the photos of food on the grill, and decided that I should wait till I learned more about the BGE before I spent my money.[p]If you have any advice on either the gas or bge grill, I'd love to hear it. Feel free to e-mail me if you want to discuss compteitors.[p]Thanks,
    Mike[p]

  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,399
    Mike Bowen,
    I prefer wood chunks half the size of my fist. I bought my large first, then I got the small mainly for transporting. But junior has become a huge asset here. Working at home, I often get the opportunity to cook myself some lunch, and the small comes in very handy for one serving. And i will frequently use it for cooking side dishes, or simply for extra space if I am cooking a lot. RhumAndJerk has been using a small for his family for years. He does ribs, turkeys, butts, briskets....just about everything. The small has an edge on the large for searing, as the coals are closer to the grate.[p]I couldn't imagine life without either of them.
    HTH.
    NB

    DizzyPigBBQ.com
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
  • Nature Boy,
    Thanks for your help.[p]Mike

  • RhumAndJerkRhumAndJerk Posts: 1,506
    Mike Bowen,
    A couple of years ago, I read about the BGE in a long gone magazine called On The Grill. I purchased a small BGE simply because of economics. I figured that when I saved up enough dollars that I would purchase a large. I am still waiting on the large but I have added a mini to my arsenal. My gas grill with rotisserie sits in the garage gathering rust. The Propane Tanks get used for the Turkey Fryer. There is a common theme here on the forum, many people own more than one egg. The reason is simple … the food is so much better when cooked on the egg. I do not think that I have ever heard of anyone buying another gas grill just in case they wanted to cook at two different temperatures or just for added capacity.[p]There is one more thing that a gas grill simply cannot do that a BGE can. It can be easily setup as a brick oven to cook Pizza, bread and pies with a real old world flavor that most people have never tasted.[p]As far as capacity of a small BGE is concerned, I have growing children. We do not have a problem with capacity. I can fit two whole racks of ribs (rolled), a seven-pound pork butt, a whole chicken, a six-pound turkey breast and once even an 11.5-pound pork shoulder.[p]When I do get a large BGE, it will be my third egg. I would not trade my small BGE even for a large BGE.[p]I have included a link to our own KennyG’s web site that shows the number of different grills that he uses. This is by no means a product comparison, but notice the number of BGE’s and guess which grills get used the most. Also, take a look at JJ’s Profile and see the variety of cookers that he has. Again, I have included this information to illustrate a point and not to make any product comparisons.[p]Hope this helps,
    RhumAndJerk[p]

    [ul][li]KennyG’s Cooking Arsenal[/ul]
  • SpinSpin Posts: 1,375
    Mike Bowen,[p]All of the Eggs can easily exceed 1000°F. They all employ porcelain coated grates. Ceramic doesn't rust and BGE provides a lifetime warranty. The BGE is a four season cooker. Even cooking temps, from <200 - 700°F is quite reasonable. Indirect cooking is done with temp control and a drip pan to insulate the meat from the fire.[p]Smoking is best done early in the cook while the meat is still cool. Chips or chunks added to the fire (about a fist sized - 180-200°F dome temp) will provide a very deep smoke. Adding some wood later in the cook will enhance the smoke flavor in the crust.[p]The design of the BGE provides a moist meal as cooking is done with the dome closed. Temp control is accomplished by controlling the airflow (oxygen) to the fire. A slight (but fast) learning curve is needed to master temp control.[p]I was a gas fan. The BGE is a serious cooker. I encourage you to give it a try, as I am sure you will be impressed. Come here for help and information.[p]Spin[p][p][p]
  • >I was a gas fan. The BGE is a serious cooker.
    >I encourage you to give it a try, as I am sure you
    >will be impressed. Come here for help and information.[p]Spin,
    I appreciate your comments. I am very interested in the opinions of those like yourself who previously preferred gas. I am also encouraged by the willingness of the forum members to help out the new guys.[p]Thanks again,
    Mike[p]

  • Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
    Mike Bowen, I haven't read any of the prior posts (my my "bge" never light again) so here is my comparison. I was graciously invited to a reciprocal dinner with my neighbor last Sunday Evening. We have had them over several times for dinner cooked on the BGE. The meat for the evening was a pork loin roast cooked on a gasser at 25F degrees outside temperature. My wife commented later, it was so dry she could hardly chew it. But in all fairness, my neighbor did the very best he could do, and commented later, "your still the King" for outdoor cooks. This is the difference that you will find. If a small is on your list to purchase, by all means get it. Test it, and soon you will be putting a Large on the list for the future. Usually folks get the large and supplement it with a small or medium. The versatility comes in handy when a small cook is in order, and also the duo supplements when a larger than normal cook is in the works..Thats my 2 cents and change..Hope it agree's with the rest.
    Good luck with your decision..
    C~W

  • RhumAndJerk,
    Ok I thought I was into grilling, but KennyG has an impressive arsenal. <g>[p]I am also very encouraged that you have been so successful with your small one (egg that is) for so long. Your detailing of amounts of foods is particularly helpful. I am beginning to think I should revisit my dealer tomorrow and check out a small up close.[p]Thanks for your help,
    Mike[p][p]

  • >Usually folks get the large and supplement it with a small
    >or medium. The versatility comes in handy when a small
    >cook is in order, and also the duo supplements when a
    >larger than normal cook is in the works[p]Char-Woody,
    I do almost everything else bass ackwards, so why not this. I think I feel better about putting out the least money until I am certain it will do what I want (or more). R&J seems very pleased with his small, so I am more confident now that it would be a good "first" egg.[p]Thanks for your comments,
    Mike

  • Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
    Mike Bowen, checking out the posts, and this one needs a comment. You touched on the principles this forum was built upon. Working with the new owners in the techniques of a successful cook. And sharing a recipe or two along the way. When the new person on the block had success, then we all shared in the excitement of his/her new discoveries. There is a bond that people build with their cooker and this forum that is lifetime.
    Have fun..
    C~W[p]

  • Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
    Mike Bowen, I wasn't being clear I guess.. Many folks have done exactly as you are planning. Move up or move down. Either way, its your gain.
    C~W[p]

  • mollysharkmollyshark Posts: 1,519
    Mike Bowen,
    I have a mini and a medium. A small would be nice. A large would be nice. I'll probably end up with all of them. I literally have not used my oven indoors since I got the medium except for baking a couple cakes and a few batches of cookies. Your small will be perfect for, I'd guess, most of your meals for 2 or 3. [p]As far as the gas guy? Well, I just traded mine to the guy to painted my front porch. I figured it was a fair trade, although I got the better end of it.

  • FireballFireball Posts: 354
    Mike Bowen,
    I Have two BGEs, both mediums. My second was to be a small but that dealer was going to take about six weeks to get it to me. I did not want to wait so I jumped up to another medium. Like most of the others here I beleive that you will get another egg sooner than latter. A small will give you the smoke you want, and is a great place to start your egg collection. If you buy one and do not like it, chances are good that someone on this forum would buy it from you. Get a small you will not be sorry.
    Fireball

  • SmokeySmokey Posts: 2,468
    Mike Bowen,[p]I started out buying a Webber gas grill in the summer of 1999. About 2 weeks later a saw a BGE and tasted food from it. I bought a small with in the week and sold my virtually new Webber. I upgraded the small to a medium with in another 30 days and have loved it. The medium is a great size egg. I have also since added a mini. Don't get me wrong. I certainly covet money as much as the next guy, but I love to grill and smoke food and food from the egg is sooooo much better than the gas grill that I wouldn't go back.[p]Just a simple story![p]Smokey
  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,399
    Char-Woody, Great point about this forum. When I purchased my egg a year and a half ago I had never really cooked with charcoal. A few days later I found this forum and my questions were frequent. The help I received was incredible, and I was amazed how patient you folks were in answering my questions that had probably already been answered a hundred times. After a month or two of tapping knowledge, there was this overwhelming urge to give something back. [p]The system works better than anyone could've imagined. Thanks to folks like Bill Miller, you, JJ, KennyG, Cat and many of the other great folks who got this whole thing started. Not only is everyone a better cook because of it, but think of all the friendships that have resulted.[p]Just keeps on rolling.
    Happy Saturday.
    NB

    DizzyPigBBQ.com
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
  • Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
    MollyShark, you too?? I figure I have saved enough on my high end electric bills (Electric stoves) over 4 years to pay for my Large and Small BGE. Yup..they are cookie makers now. I wonder what peanut butter cookies would taste like from the BGE?? :-)
    C~W[p]

  • Wise OneWise One Posts: 2,645
    Smokey, you're just like me. Cheap and own a medium and mini. I had cooked on gas for 25 years and when my wife bought me a medium, I was trying figure out how to return it without hurting her feelings. But then she made me cook my own birthday dinner on it and I've been hooked on it since. I have used my gas grill exactly one since then - to cook frozen hamburgers on a cold rainy night when I just couldn't work up the energy to go on the deck to start the BGE in the rain when my gas grill is covered on the porch. Buy a small. I'm like everyone else - you'll either upgrade to a larger size or get another later.
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