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Newbie Needs Lots of Cooking Advice

edited 8:15PM in EggHead Forum
Hubby and I just used our large Egg for the first time with mixed results. We're sure no experts on grilling, so I'm hoping for some hints and tips from more experienced users. Please forgive the basic nature of these questions and assume we know nothing :)[p]1. We followed the lighting instructions in the book and let's just say getting the coals burning was messy and time consuming. I'm sure we made it harder than it needs to be - is an electric lighter a worthwhile purchase? [p]2. We grilled steaks, trying the searing method in the book, but they didn't get "crusty" and really tasted no different than from the gas grill. I used a BGE thermometer that fits in the lid hole - is this particular item usually accurate? I'm wondering if the Egg just wasn't hot enough. Do we need to add chips to get that flavor I miss from charcoal?[p]3. I have a 5.5 lb top round roast I'd like to try in the Egg. Can I use a small, non-stick v-rack I already have for oven use? I don't have a drip pan - is there something I can use temporarily until I can find one?[p]4. We'd love to try a turkey for Easter, but is this the type of thing we should try once before attempting it for company?[p]5. Is there any online source for accessories that I can't find locally?[p]Any advice would be very much appreciated. We really want to be able to be as thrilled with our BGE as everyone else seems to be.[p]Thanks!

Comments

  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,399
    Goldie,
    That is a bunch of questions, and they will probably all be answered. You asked at the right place.[p]I'll try and hit question # 1 for you. Firestarter cubes or sticks are my favorite starting method. Works every time. you can buy them at camping stores, Kmart, Wal mart. Or get the weber starter cubes at your grilling store. They are all basically the same thing. Sawdust and paraphin (a flammable wax). Light a chunk of firestarter, and lay it in the lump pile...helps to dig a little hole in the center, and lay a few pieces over top of the firestarter once it is going good. Open the botom vent all the way, and leave the top off until the smoke from the firestarter stops, and a group of coals is glowing red.[p]Close the lid, and leave the daisy off. If you are going for steaks, just wait for the dome temp to rise. 10-20 minutes and you should be at 600 plus. I like to do steaks at 650-750, 3 minutes a side, then a couple more minutes with the bottom vent closed...for a 1 inch thick steak.[p]Some folks are happy with the electric firestarter, but the cubes or sticks work best for me.[p]Welcome
    NB

    DizzyPigBBQ.com
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
  • Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
    Goldie, welcome to the forum.. I have a sister with that name. There are a bunch of us just waiting for you to come aboard, and nuthin we like better than to help ya kick start that BGE..Your first time is your first step toward many years of continuing enjoyment..Sit back and watch the fun. For starters.. I posted a good way to start a BTG (happened to be a large) in a thread down below somewhere. Its not messy..First, let us know if you are using real Chunk Charcoal...And to save space, maybe we can take each of your questions in a single reply..You might want to save em. Lets try and answer em (1) thru (5) in single posts.[p]For (1)...I would try the simple firestarting methods first, and if they don't work satisfactorily..then invest in the heavy duty stuff. I use a single fire starter such as BGE's firestarter cubes, or Weber cubes..sitting on the grate and place a small amount of large chunks of lump charcoal around and over the burning cube. Shut dome, open lower vent..top dome fully open and you will have a rip roaring start..Add more charcoal as you need it for the cook your going to do..We can go into more details later.
    Next

    > :-) BTW...hide the book..come here for better input. The book is stale and out of date.
    Char-Woody[p]
  • Nature Boy, not bad, and ya beat me.:-)

  • C~W,
    Amazing we both picked number one. Said dang near the same thing.
    Great night to ya.
    Go terps.

  • JJJJ Posts: 951
    Goldie,
    First of all throw the book away and come here for help.
    NB was correct in stating fire cube are good.
    Have idea what temp you got the EGG to for doing steaks try to get atleast 550*.
    V-racks are v-racks and aluminum foil makes a great drip pan
    Turkey is easy 350* for 20 min per pd for internal temp of 180* (thigh).
    What accessories are you lokking for?

  • Orio KidOrio Kid Posts: 87
    Goldie,
    Welcome, I will try to tackle question #2.
    You can test your thermometer for accuracy by placing the tip in a small pan of boiling water. Once you have a rapid boil the thermometer should read 212*. The thermometer can be adjusted on the back of the dial with a 7/16 wrench or pliers.
    Stay with the egg. You will learn very quickly how it works. Some times I start a fire just to play with the temp adjustment.
    Jake

  • Goldie,[p] I'll try and hit a few of the other questions:[p]5. Halco Grills carries some of the accessories online at www.halcogrills.com. Also, you can order direct from BGE if you give them a call. What accessories are you lookin' fer?[p]4. Turkey is great on the BGE. You might want to do a small one to practice first if you feel a bit insecure. My first BGE turkey was a 24 pounder for the family Thanksgiving meal. I brined it first and it turned out great. The next one was even better.[p]3. Beef roasts have been done with mixed results here. You can do them a couple ways dependingon what result you want to achieve. If you're looking for something to just fall apart like pulled pork, you can do it low and slow for a long time, or speed up the cooking time by putting it in foil for the last part of the cook. You can also cook it to slice. I brined a chuck roast, seared it, then cooked ituntil the internal temp was 135º. Tasted god but was a bit tough unless sliced real thin. What are you trying to get out of this roast? V-rack should be fine. You can get one of those disposable pans at the store to use for a drip pan, or you can just make one out of foil. I'd also recommend some firebricks or a pizza stone eventually to put under the drip pan to help your indirect cooking setup.[p]MikeO
  • Wow, I'm really overwhelmed by all the help provided in this forum - thanks for the quick responses![p]First, it sounds like the consensus is...dump the book and get advice here. So, that's what I'll do :)[p]My first question was about starting the Egg. Several of you said that starter cubes would be a big help, so we'll use those next time. We used newspaper (per the book)and the BGE lump charcoal that came with the Egg.[p]My second question was about our so-so steaks. The temp was between 500 and 600 degrees, but I'll test the thermometer as was suggested to make sure it's accurate. Also, it sounds like we need to use a higher temp.[p]My third question was about a roast I'd like to try. It sounds like the v rack I have will work, and I'll try good old foil for a drip pan. I'd like to use a long/slow cook as I've never done that before - in fact, I've never cooked a roast on a grill at all.[p]My fourth question was about turkey. Think I'll try a small one first before inviting guests, just to be on the safe side. Will ask for more details when I get to that point.[p]My last question was about accessories. We're trying not to go overboard, but do want to get whatever will help us enjoy the egg more. I saw the daisy wheel and wondered if that was a worthy purchase - seems like it might help greatly with temperature control?[p]We love simple, grilled foods and are trying to eat more healthfully - hoping our Egg will help us with both! We switched to a gas grill years ago but have missed the flavor that you only get from charcoal. [p]Thanks so much for your help![p]

  • SippiSippi Posts: 83
    Goldie,One of the most useful accessories that you can buy is a polder or similar remote thermometer. Being able to tell immediately what the internal temperature of your meal is makes a really big difference in having a succesful experience or experiences early on. George

  • Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
    Goldie, See, you did good.:-)
    I need to clarify my good friend JJ with foil. Use the foil to line your drip pan with inside and outside just to keep it cleaner if that is a object. I now use (and I think Sprinter too) a high heat pyrex type dish. Wrapped in foil Now JJ, and I at times think that is the best purpose for foil. Others use it to wrap ribs in..(Joke folk's Joke!!)
    We will dodge that bullet right now..!!
    So far, you objectives look good and your reasoning is sound. If you want a metal top, get the combo daisy/slider shown in accessories with the wire handle on top.
    A bit more versatile.
    George (Sippi) is correct..A remote thermometer is a big time help to newbies to find the cooking levels in the BGE. Once you become acclimated to its personality, you learn the times and can just use it as a finishing thermometer.
    (My personal opinion)
    I started over four years ago with the paper routine and we (the forum) quickly out grew that one. But it does work, and from time to time I still do it for old times sake.
    Keep your ashes cleaned of the grate, and secondary out of the ash pit over serveral cooks. Cleaning isn't necessary every cook. You will not have that much to clean out. Over 5 or 6 cooks, or after you see a inch or better of ash..then pull some out..nothing critical but it helps air flow for high temps cooks.
    Don't disregard the lower steak temps..just takes a bit longer like 8 to 10 minutes per side versus 2 to 3 per side on high temp searing cooks.
    We will help ya with that one.
    I have went too long here, and hope it helps..!! Just remember, you will get variations of advice in techniques and recipes and none are wrong, we all have our idiocyncracies in our methods.
    (Me too.);-)
    Char-Woody[p]

  • Tim MTim M Posts: 2,410
    Goldie,
    Much help is offered to those who ask. Link below has a new users section that could help you see what your suppose to do.[p]Tim[p]http://www.tm52.com/bge/[p]Tim M
    chef1.gif

    [ul][li]
    Tim's world of BGE
    [/ul]
  • hounddoghounddog Posts: 126
    Goldie,
    I like looking brilliant without having to go to the bother of actually being brilliant. Which is good, because it would be a tremendous amount of effort. Anyway, I suggest for your first turkey that you try one of those boneless breast of young turkeys they have in the supermarket, or, if you see them, the marinated boneless breasts. As a first whack, they do marvelously and will make you feel like you know what you are doing.

  • RhumAndJerkRhumAndJerk Posts: 1,506
    Goldie,
    You have received the best advice possible. I have only one thing to add.
    When cooking on the BGE, keep the dome closed as much as possible. This is where a Polder or Remote Thermometer comes into play. The ceramics of Egg keep the moisture is the grilling environment, so no peeking.[p]I also agree with doing a bone-in turkey breast, before doing a whole turkey. Use either apple or pecan wood chunks to add the smoke flavor. All you will need is one or two chunks.[p]Welcome Aboard,
    RhumAndJerk
    [p]

  • MickeyTMickeyT Posts: 607
    Goldie,[p]I have a Daisy Wheel with your name on it if you want it. I cook a little different than most folks here on the forum, and don't really require the daisy.[p]You can't beat the price. :>)[p]E-mail me if your interested.[p]Mick

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