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BGE question

edited 11:16AM in EggHead Forum
Ok, I have heard a lot of impressive things about the BGE. My question is how much is true. Particularly, "set and forget" can you Q say brisket all night and not have to tend to it all night? I mean once you have your temp stabilized (how long does this take) how long will it hold with out having to make adjustments. How does this beast compare to a WSM? There is a big cost difference. is it worth it? Does anyone know of the best place to purchase an egg in Houston area or over the web? Thanks, BigDuck

Comments

  • BigDuck,
    My wife gave me an Egg for Christmas, I too could not decide how to justify the buy. Well, the egg will do everything you have been reading about & with a little practice with the vents holding all night temps of 225 is no problem. (Set & sleep is the only way to cook.) My second cook was a 20 hour pig shoulder & it came out better than anything I had ever done in the past & I have been cooking on Webber grills for years.
    I live in Dublin Ga & our egg dealer has the large egg on sale for $599.
    If you go to the BGE site & enter your zip code you can find your local dealers.
    This is also my first post, I love this site. Not only have I learned to cook on my egg but I have had many hours of entertainment reading the different post.[p]LE

  • BigDuck,
    I'm willing to bet that very little exageration takes place on this board. I got a BGE about three or maybe four years ago. My BBQ experience prior to owning an egg was delegated to firing up the BBQer two or three times a month during the warmer months for steaks, burgers, and ribs. Since owning my egg, I can tell you that I have done several 18 - 20 hour overnight cooks and I've only had my fire go out once because I didn't set up the Egg properly. I'm under the belief that if you are somewhat experienced at BBQing then you probably would be successful cooking on just about anything. However, if you're like me, the prospects of busting my butt doing a 20 hour cook didn't rank very high on my list, but with the Egg, it really is so easy that I routinely do pork shoulders and briskets as well as the ole standby, steaks, ribs, and burgers. I've gone from cooking three times a month to two to three times a week and my cooks come out tasteing better than any restaurant or smoke house where I live.

  • ShelbyShelby Posts: 803
    BigDuck,
    I've had my Egg almost a year. I too found it hard to justify the cost. I'd always cooked on a Weber or a water-pan smoker. I love smoked turkey but dreaded the idea of spending all night baby-sitting the smoker. Not anymore. Thanksgiving morning, I woke about 7, had the turkey on the Egg for 8 or so and it was the best I've cooked and had it for a noon lunch.
    The short answer is...it ain't bragging if you can do it!
    Just remember, short of buying another Egg, this will be the only grill you buy again. I used to cook like many, a couple times a month. Now, if I'm not cooking a couple times a week on it, I feel cheated! Treat yourself and your tastebuds!
    It is WELL worth the investment.
    Email if you have any other questions.
    And Lewis, welcome!

  • Prof DanProf Dan Posts: 339
    I love my Egg, but I don't think it's for everyone. If your idea of good bbq is a steak charred for a couple of minutes per side every month or so, I would not get an Egg. A gas grill produces an acceptable result, with less effort and expense.[p]But if taste and texture are important to you, and if you would use it once a week or more, then there is no question about it. Yes, it involves a learning curve, but I have enjoyed that part of it, It's easy to get good results the first time out. Getting great results consistently, and tweaking the recipes, is not as easy, but it's fun.[p]It boils down to this: what's it worth to you to have your family and friends tell you, sincerely, that "this is the best chicken I've ever eaten in my life" or "the best ribs" or whatever? And you are modestly forced to agree with them. This is not an issue of pride. It's a question of dining pleasure.
  • sdbeltsdbelt Posts: 267
    BigDuck,[p]If you are familiar with a WSM, then you are probably familiar with what it does well, and what it doesn't do well. I think the WSM is a great, inexpensive cooker, that you can put a pretty large amount of food into at one time, at temps below 300. For long cooks, you may need to reload the fuel, but it will do a long cook pretty well.[p]However, it's a fairly big pain in the rear to clean up after and I find temp control more difficult on the WSM than on a BGE.[p]As to overnight cooks, I've done quite a number with my BGE. I usually get up between 3 or 4am, and check on it mid-cook. It's almost always within 10 degrees of where I left it at when I went to bed. I've never had the fire go out...ever! My bigger concern is that the temp will spike up during the night. As I get better with the vent settings, this problem is subsiding.[p]Where the BGE really shines, is in the things it does, that the WSM does not do. High heat cooks (like 700+) for pizza, steak, burgers, etc. are all possible on the BGE. Turkey and chicken the WSM can do, but would you really go through the trouble of firing up a WSM to do 2 chicken breasts for dinner tonight? I think with the BGE you will go through that trouble, because it really isn't much trouble. The fire is easily up to 300 in 15 minutes, and ready for that chicken. If I start the fire first, then prepare the meat to go on it second, the fire is nearly always ready for the meat. It's about as easy as pre-heating a oven. Few would say this about a WSM.[p]The cost factor is something you'll have to answer for yourself. I paid ~$750 for my large including all of the initial extras. Later I bought the plate setter, 2 extra grill grates, the pizza stone, and some fire bricks, for an additional ~$75. For that I could have had 4 WSM, or 1 WSM and a decent gas grill. However, I still prefer the BGE as my all around cooker. Great food, great flavors, and pretty darn simple.[p]Enjoy![p]--sdb
  • Prof Dan, I love grilled or smoked food but before I purchased my Egg, I only grilled a few times a month because it was such a hassle. Grilling burgers and steaks may not be easier on the egg, but stuff like Tri Tips, Ribs, Brisket, Pork Shoulder, Pork Loin and even chicken are very easy and a beginner would probably have a better than good chance of having success the first time on the Egg. What the Egg does is open up a world of variety for people who like Barbique or smoked meats. I don't think basing the purchase of an egg on the number of times a person currently grills is an appropriate guideline. I would suggest that your closing statement is a much better guideline. If a person really likes Barbiqued and smoked meat they should seriously consider owning an Egg because there is a very good chance they'll grill more often.
  • AZGatorAZGator Posts: 24
    BigDuck,[p]I have both the BGE and the WSM. They are both great cookers. Both are great at all night cooking. I get them going and go to bed. This was my number one reason for either of these cookers. [p]I bought the WSM first (in '96) due to cost and capacity. I smoked over 400 lbs of meat my first year.[p]When my gas grill bit the dust in '99, I decided to get the BGE. The steaks are fantastic on the Egg, way better than your garden $150 gas grill at Home Depo. I can't speak for those monster grills that can reach equivalent temps.[p]The BGE is alot less setup than the WSM. Many times I just stir up my old charcoal, light it, and cook. I'll do this on a whim whenever I want. The Egg is not as convenient as gas grill, but not an order of magnitude off. The other advantage of the Egg is it has replace my oven for many roasting (not smoking). It adds great flavor to roast beef, pork roast, etc.[p]To sum it up:[p] WSM
    ADV: long cooks, good temp control, great capacity,
    cost
    DIS: cleanup, uses alot more charcoal, ease of use
    BGE
    ADV: Convenience, long cooks, good temp control,
    flexibility
    DIS: Cost, capacity (people are working around this)[p]Paul[p]

  • MarvMarv Posts: 177
    Prof Dan, But be careful, as I fed my friends and neighbors, the would say that it is so good that I should open a resturant. I couldn't even spell that, so I choose catering for the freedom (not being tied to one location and more time off).
    Although all of this happened before I received my BGE, now they want samples from my new egg. I MIGHT cook up a pack of 39 cent hotdogs just for them. Even those are good.[p]Marv

  • Prof DanProf Dan Posts: 339
    MasterQnot, I agree completely. Owning an Egg has changed the way that I cook and the way that I eat.[p]And you'd think that I would have gained weight as a result, but I haven't. I think that's because the fat drips off the meat more thoroughly than it would in a regular barbecue, where I cook at a higher temperature but for a much shorter time.[p]
  • BigDuck,
    The question is how are you going to use the unit.
    If this for your home and family and friends a BGE is a great investment.
    If you are going to compete there are a number of reason why a cermanic may not be your choice, it is not as easy to travel with and it will not cook the amount of food needed.
    I'm not saying that noone uses them because we know there are.
    If your going to go into catering the volume of food needed make other style of units a better choice.
    Non of this has to do with the quality of the cooker, I believe BGE has proven it's quality.
    How are you going to use the cooker is the question.
    Jim

  • CornfedCornfed Posts: 1,324
    AZGator,[p]I also agree that this is a good, fair comparison. I've cooked on a friend's WSM a few times and have enjoyed food he's cooked on it a number of times. I agree with your pros and cons above. I can really only compare my Small BGE with my friend's WSM. The Small BGE, by default, is a more effective "griller" than the WSM. This is because the Small can more quickly reach blazing temps. However, the WSM can do some fine grilling by removing the top two sections and simply loading the bottom section with tons of briquettes or lump. On the other hand, the WSM is more easily equipped to do indirects. This is since, by default, food is much further from the heat source and is separated by a water drip pan/heat deflector. The Small BGE can do some fine indirects, but it requires some setup work.[p]Both are great cookers, and the Large Egg can do indirects more easily than the Small. My money has so far gone to BGE for both Small and Mini eggs. My next cooker will be a bigger one, though, and I'm personally leaning towards a Large Egg with all of the fixin's at E2K+2. My main reasons are that at E2K+2 prices, one can have a Large BGE with accessories for less than $500, and this then can satisfy all of my grilling, roasting, and smoking needs since I don't usually require the extra capacity of the WSM and since portability won't be an issue since I already have small and mini BGEs plus another very portable kettle grill (the Weber Smokey Joe). Also, I do really like the fuel conservation traits of the BGEs, though in fairness I have seen lump charcoal extingiushed and reused in WSMs.[p]In short, both are great cookers and I think most would be happy with either. I think it's up to the purchaser to weigh the various pros and cons to make the best choice.[p]Hoping I'm not rocking the proverbial boat,
    Cornfed

  • Jim,
    Thanks for your input so far. This is strictly back yard family and friends stuff, nothing more. I do not intend on moving it around much nor do I intend on large quantities. If I can do a couple of briskets at a time, that is more than enough for my uses. The real question is it truly worth & price tag? Can I do the same with a WSM or some other unit? Thanks, BigDuck[p]

  • BigDuck,
    The WSM is a low and slow cooker and does well in cold weather, but needs to be blocked from the wind. It is not designed to high temp cooks 500 to 1000º.
    A BGE is a good low and slow cooker and gives you the high end of the range cooking ablities also. It uses less fuel and the wind should not effect it.
    It is constructed to last for year and as you can see a large group of folks willing to help you enjoy this cooker.
    If you want low and slow and a grill to do high temp cooking, the BGE is a good choice of quality and price.
    If you buy a WSM (and this a god choice for low and slow) you will need to add a grill for the rest of your needs.
    A low end grill is one of the worst investments that anyone can make. A good gas grill for example, would need to be in the $500.00 plus range to get anything worth owning (and this is the very low end). You can go with a charcoal grill but a good one can run the same kind of money.
    If the unit is for your family and/or a small group of friends, a large BGE does pencil out. You would have a unit that can give you what is needed for both styles of cooking, and do it very well.
    Jim

  • Cornfed,[p]I have never heard of E2K+2. Do they have a web site? $ 500.00 with all the extras is considerable less than the prices I have been seeing, $ 600.00 + for just the egg, NO EXTRAS. Thanks, BigDuck

  • CornfedCornfed Posts: 1,324
    BigDuck,[p]Hey, BigDuck. E2k+2 is my stupid name for the upcoming Eggfest. Basically, I think the first Eggfest was called Eggfest 2000, so I've been tacking on stupid names ever since. Tim M has a website explaining Eggfest which can be found here.[p]Basically, it's an all day cookout in Waldorf, MD, where the mighty DDDDAAA MMMAAAYYYOORRRRR (aka Dale) of Seasonal Distributors provides a number of BGEs for cooking. At the end of the day, the Eggs are sold at significant discounts (I think the past two years they were around $475 for the Large Egg, nest, dual top, autolock hinge, and temp guage (and maybe more)).[p]If you are near the area, I think you should definitely attend. You'll meet some really cool people, eat some really good food, and, if so inclined, enjoy libations with some famous Eggers like Nature Boy, Spin, Tim M, Cat, RumandJerk, JimW, and others. You'll hear Smokin' Todd say, "Heeeeeeeeeee" and witness all types of tom foolery coming from idiots like me. Alternatively, if you are close to the Atlanta area, Eggtoberfest, the original BGE "fest," occurs each year in October. I believe discount Eggs can also be had at this gathering.[p]Hee,
    Cornfed

  • Cornfed,
    Geez, I wonder if I went, if they would invite me to do my flashback demonstration... [p]TNW

    The Naked Whiz
  • CornfedCornfed Posts: 1,324
    The Naked Whiz,[p]I'd vote for that demo. If you are in the area, you should definitely attend. Figure two nights at ~$70 a pop at a local hotel plus something like $20-35 registration fee (can't remember what it is) plus travel costs and a small amount of miscellaneous costs (plus food costs if you are cooking). All in all, a super cheap two day excursion which will be incredibly fun. I'll buy you a few rounds if you attend.[p]Later,
    Cornfed

  • Cornfed,
    Thanks for the info. Looks like a great time can be had by all. Wish I could attend for the People, food, and an opertunity to pick up one of those discounted Eggs. But, it is a little far to drive from Houston, Texas and my wife is due with our baby girl around that time. I wonder how much trouble I would get into if I took my vacation and went to E2K+2 instead? Well I may not be able to come back home but I would go hungry either. Thanks for the info, BigDuck

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