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Grill surface area

TomTom Posts: 189
edited 12:46PM in EggHead Forum
I am in the process of searching for a new grill and recently found a local BGE dealer. I am concerned about the cooking surface area, BGE 18.25 vs the standard grill surface, 411" or greater. How does the cooking area issue stack up? What are the pro's and cons of this grill?
Thank you very much for the input.


  • Tom,
    Uh, that's 18.5 inches in diameter, not 18.5 inches of grilling surface. That's about 268 square inches. That said, we typically don't use them as grills with the lid open to cook 50 hamburgers or chicken pieces. If we are going to feed a large crowd, we would probably cook the chickens whole, cook a couple of pork butts, briskets, etc. The BGE is not just a grill, it is a roaster, smoker, baker, etc. [p]Another thing to consider in terms of sheer geography is that you can put a raised grid in and almost double your space. [p]And if sheer grid space is important there is another brand that sells an oval cooker called Primo.[p]TNW

    The Naked Whiz
  • Tom,
    There is ample space on the large BGE for most cooks, unless you have a family of 18 and they all want their big porterhouses done 18 different ways. 6-7, no problem.[p]The advantages over a gas grill....BGE is better for long, low temp cooks, smoking, baking, moisture retention. Steaks and chops (quick cooks) are as good or better, depending on personal tastes. It can be used like a regular charcoal grill for steaks and chops, only there are improvements over that in the way that the meat is cooked during the last 1/2 of the cook. They are easy to light, and I find mine heats up faster than my old gas grill (which I have only used once in the past 6 Mos.) You can grill in any weather (rain, cold, snow) A harsh wind can cause problems, but the other grills would be impossible to use. You can set a temp on the grill, and once it is stable (happy) you can walk away from it for hours and if everything was done right, the temp will remain at your set point (within reason). The food retains moisture, and is juicy....better than gas grills.[p]Disadvantages: A little more money to purchase, but comparable to the fancy gas grills (that was my arguement with the better half) A little more money to operate, unless you find a cheap lump charcoal that you like. We tend to buy the charcoal that works the best for us, irregardless of the price because we care about our end results. The cooking temp is easy to raise from 0° to 700°+, but it is slow to drop it. You can't go in there with the water bottle to knock it down. You must shut the bottom and top vents, and wait for the temp to drop. It's a learning thing, and once you figure it out, you don't allow that little problem to "over" develop.[p]This grill is for someone who likes to cook, and good cooking is important. There is more "tinkering" involved, but the results are almost always better. [p]I never used to grill in the winter because I couldn't get the old gas grill heated up properly. That is a moot issue with the egg, unless it is REALLY harsh outside (below 0° with a 20+MPH wind). Now like a fool, I'm out all the time....the neighbors think I'm crazy, until they get a whiff of the smoke...or samples.[p]Mike in MN

  • Mike in MN,[p]Chosen Frozen up in Alaska has posted cooking in some very interesting temperature ranges that would make what I do sound like I was cooking in the mouth of Hell. So this Egg can cook under the worst of conditions it is more of what we can handle not what it can handdle. I believe if you can open the lid and start a fire it is a done deal. [p]Other wise that is be best desciption I have seen of our fine cooking tool. [p]Elder Ward
  • Tom,[p]Just reading this forum ought to give you an idea of how loyal and enthusiastic Egg owners are. I was skeptical when I bought my first one, as was my wife. Now we use our Egg at least 4-5 times a week and there are times during spring and summer where the kitchen is reduced to a "pre-staging" area for our meals as they head out to the Egg.[p]As you can see, this forum is populated with alot of really great folks who'll bend over backwards to help get you started and provide advice and feedback that is invaluable.[p]I say go for it. The grill surface area is a non issue unless, like Elder said, you're feeding an Army. I have a wife and five kids and we have no problem getting everything to fit.[p]Good luck on your decision![p]Brian
  • Elder Ward,[p]Thanks, hey![p]I agree with the outside weather condition question...It is probably more of what we care to contend with, weatherwise. It does take the fun out of it when you have to dress with a minimum of exposed skin just to go out and make adjustments, or prepping Mr. Egg for his evening's chores. I'm kind of wussing out, I think it's an age thing.[p]I'm tinkering with the thought of a couple of sheets of plywood to form a windbreak when it gets too windy out there. I have Mr. Egg moved up close to the house, just outside the patio door. I open the door, 1 step out, adjust, 1 step in, close the door....probably happens faster than I typed this! Oh ya, then there are those remote thermometers that we use.....[p]Mike in MN
  • BlueSmokeBlueSmoke Posts: 1,678
    The posts below, esp. Mike's, give you a good handle on the cooker.
    The largest run I've done was 4 pork shoulders (38 pounds total) at once. The only time I have a space problem is with baking bread, something I'd never even consider with my gasser or steel-body. I bake round loaves, and can only fit three in at a time. I get around the problem by staging the rising time so one load is ready to go in as the previous load comes out.
    I don't think you can go wrong with a ceramic cooker.

  • Tom, I got my BGE for Christmas 2001. Best gift ever, hands down. If you enjoy grilling/smokeing you will not regret the purchase. To me it is like a hobbie, which I enjoy very much, and I am always pleased with the results. And what a great support group on this forum. If you get one you will be hooked just like the rest of us. Good luck![p]Hugh, "Sitting on The dock of The Woods"

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