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New BGE'er - Almost!

RiverFarmRiverFarm Posts: 216
edited 2:33AM in EggHead Forum
We just ordered our first BGE - a large one - along with a nest, a cover, a plate setter and a V-roasting rack. I had been salivating over outdoor pizza/bread ovens, but the cost and effort just seemed prohibitive. Then I heard about Big Green Eggs. I don't know anyone who owns one except a couple of people online who have been really helpful, so we took a ride to visit several locations which sold them, in order to meet one in person (in ovum?). There was actually a significant difference in price between stores, which surprised me. But this morning we bit the bullet and made the phone call to the one with the best deal; our egg is supposedly due in this week.

We have a Blue Flame gas grill which I wanted to get rid of because it takes up a lot of space on our screened porch, so we ordered a small Weber Q120 for those times that it's too wet or buggy for us to want to venture outside to cook. The Blue Flame grill is slated for our kid's house. But my husband is mourning the loss of rotisserie capability, and I'm wondering if the BGE, which can apparently do so many things, can somehow accomplish the same effect.

I'm also going to need to figure out how to bake bread in it. I use the 5-Minute-A-Day Artisan Bread method, but that probably doesn't make a difference.

And lastly I love to cook French dishes, like daubes and cassoulets and poulet au pot, so I'm hoping that the Grand Oeuf Vert will accommodate. I'm sure I'll have lots of questions after it arrives.


  • Welcome to the cult, RiverRat.

    In answer to your question, in the past 7 days, I've cooked the best chicken of my life (I've done several on the egg, but this was the best yet; tender, juicy, a pleasant smokey flavor and nice crisp skin), cooked two pizzas, baked a loaf of bread (first time on the egg for me), and cooked a pot of chili (my first time using a dutch oven on the egg).

    All were very good. I did have some trouble with the bread; it took much longer to bake than I had anticipated. I posted on this earlier today, so my thread should be not too far down the list. From the responses I got, this appears to be a common problem. Next time I make a loaf, I'll try bringing the egg 25-50 degrees higher than the recipe calls for, and see how that turns out.

    Also earlier today, a forum member named Grandpa's Grub posted a note with a ton of good links for new eggers. I recommend you bookmark that link.

    Have fun and break out your camera. We love to see pictures!

    Best regards,
  • mr toadmr toad Posts: 667
    would love for you to share your favorite cassoulet recipe

    thanks and welcome the the egg world

    mr toad
    In dog Beers - I have had only one !
  • RiverFarmRiverFarm Posts: 216
    Here's the recipe I use; it's modified from several others, including Julia Child's. We've had it in the south of France and I think mine's just as good! How would I cook it in an egg, though?

    Cassoulet à la River Rat

    6 15-oz cans of white beans: cannelini or Great Northern
    Crumbled thyme leaves
    2 bay leaves
    3 or 4 carrots, cut in small sections
    2 large onions, in small chunks
    5 cloves garlic, sliced
    1 lb frozen tomato purée or one large can crushed tomatoes
    Sea salt and pepper to taste
    ½ lb salt pork, sliced thin
    2 or 3 lbs. goose parts – legs, thighs and breast *
    OR duck confit, if you have access to some *
    2 or 3 lamb shanks *
    1 or 2 lbs of Italian (or preferably Toulouse) sausage *
    1 or 2 lbs of pork shoulder or any other meat you’d like to add * (mine was cooked first)
    ½ to ¾ cup of red wine
    Plain breadcrumbs
    Garlic powder
    Chicken broth

    Place slices of salt pork in a large (6 to 8 quart) heavy pot or casserole. Add two cans of beans and top with half the meat, onions, carrots and garlic. Layer with two more cans of beans and add the remainder of the meat and vegetables. Top with two cans of beans. Simmer the tomatoes with the thyme, bay leaf, and sea salt. Pour over the casserole, add the wine and then add chicken broth to the level of beans and top with breadcrumbs. Cook at 350º until the mixture bubbles and top has crusted slightly; then turn temperature down to 300º and continue cooking for two or three hours, pushing the crust down into the beans two or three times, adding more liquid (chicken broth) as needed to keep the cassoulet bubbling, and topping with more breadcrumbs each time. You can also sprinkle the breadcrumbs with garlic powder if you like a garlicky taste. There should be a crusty layer of breadcrumbs when the cassoulet comes to the table.

    Serve with a green salad, red wine, and crusty French bread.

    * You can cook the meat beforehand, browning it with the onions, carrots and garlic, and then simmering it with the tomatoes, thyme, and bay leaves in some stock on the top of the stove. Cover and cook for about 1 ½ hours, and then cool, remove the bones from the meat, and discard the bay leaf. Reserve the liquid for topping up and then proceed with the recipe as above.

    Note: Using the original streamlined recipe, you can leave the bones in the lamb shanks and goose parts or remove them once the cassoulet is cooked through. Then you can cut up the meats and return them to the cassoulet, adding more beans if desired, and more breadcrumbs on the top before putting it in the oven for the final hour or so prior to serving it. It's a little easier to serve that way.
  • RiverRat,

    If you'd like to brown the meat and aromatics before-hand, as you would on the stove, you can do that on the egg in a dutch oven. When I made my chili this weekend, I started by building a moderate fire in the egg, and using a "spider" which is an eggcessory that allows one to put a grill grid, wok, pot, etc right down by the coals. They can be purchased at But a spider isn't necessary for sauteeing in the egg. You could do the same with the regular grill grid, you'd just need a hotter fire.

    Do all the same sauteeing as you would on the stove, leaving the dome of the egg closed, except when you need to stir.

    Then, place the plate setter in the egg with the legs pointing up, and place the grill grid on top of the plate setter legs. Put your dutch oven on the grid, and bring the egg to a temp of about 300-350 degrees and continue with your recipe. The simmering and baking parts should occur at about the same egg temperature anyway, so it should be pretty convenient.

    In summary, saute in the dutch oven over "direct" heat (without the plate setter) and simmer/bake over "indirect" heat (with the plate setter).
  • Bienvenue River Rat,

    I think you will it easy to adapt your daubes and cassoulets to the egg. I have done up carbonade de boeuf and have designs to give coq au vin a try. Since the egg can work just like an oven, anything done in the oven can be done on the egg. Too boot, the egg will take over the slow stove top braising as well. I like to avoid putting the lid on as it prevents that bit of smokiness that comes with cooking on charcoal (or from the wood chunks you may add). Don't hesitate to ask questions as there are a lot of knowledgeable people here and please post pictures of your cooks.



    Charles is a mischevious feline who always has something cooking

    Twin lbge's .. grew up in the sun parlor of Canada but now egging in the nation's capital

  • Welcome! And thanks for the recipe.
    You won't be disappointed with your egg.
    You won't miss your rottisseri either.Like Ben said..the egg makes the best chicken ever and much more as you use your egg and will see if you hang out here for any length of time.The people on here are very helpful!
    Here's some bread pics.
    whole wheat peasant bread
  • RiverFarmRiverFarm Posts: 216
    Ben, those are just the sorts of instructions I needed to get an idea of how to use this thing. That's really helpful. Thanks!

    And Tom, I'd love to see your carbonade de boeuf recipe. We use deer meat instead of boeuf, but it's similar enough that it works, and it's also more like the grass-fed beef you get in France.

    Serial Griller, those bread pics are very inspirational. I have a baguette pan like that except mine has only two slots, not three. They look delicious! Are you finding that you have to heat the egg more than you do an oven to get those results, though?
  • One thing to remember about the BGE and using oven recipes is that the temperature measured by the thermometer is about 25 degrees warmer that it is a grill level. So if a recipe says to cook at 375, you egg should be set up for an indirect cook at 400 to get the same results I think.

  • rsmdalersmdale Posts: 2,472
    Welcome and congratulations on your egg purchase.I did a great green -chili cornbread yeserday that shows how easy the egg is to bake on.I never bake -but have done cobblers,cornbread,sourdough,and numerous pizzas on the egg.As for the chicken,Ihad a DCS rotisserie that was really nice,but the egged chicken surpasses it by far.


  • Welcome - you are geauxing to really like your Egg

    Wiver Wat? You Will be Smokin Wibbies on Witch Wiver?
  • Desert FillyDesert Filly Posts: 1,042
    Welcome RiverRat. Not sure on the bread thing...but here's my Rum Cake I've been doing at the fests. The moistest ever made...and it does take about 10 mins longer than the oven. I wouldn't up the temp....for fear of burning.....and inside not done.

    Good luck.....

  • River Rat,

    I basically follow Mark Bittman's recipe from his book "The Best Recipes in the World".

    3 cups thinly sliced onion
    2 tbsp lard or oil
    2-2½ lbs beef (chuck roast or similar cut)
    Salt and pepper
    2-3 cloves of garlic chopped
    bay leaf
    thyme leaves
    dark beer -- (I use a dark german beer)

    I like to slowly carmelize the onions in a frying pan in the oil.

    For the meat, I like big chunks of the chuck roast. You can brown the meat first or simply proceed to the egg.

    I combine all of the ingredients into a dutch oven and then cook indirect (platesetter with legs up with grill on legs) at 275 dome for 3 to 4 hours. I have added a bit of beef stock as the normal recipe calls for the lid to be on (which I don't do). I add some cherry wood to give it some smoky flavour.



    Charles is a mischevious feline who always has something cooking

    Twin lbge's .. grew up in the sun parlor of Canada but now egging in the nation's capital

  • MickeyMickey Posts: 17,802
    Welcome to the forum from Texas.
    Tell us about the dog :)
    Salado TX Egg Family: 2 Large and a very well used Mini, added a Mini Max (I'm good for now). 

  • RiverFarmRiverFarm Posts: 216
    Doug, that's interesting; it's just the opposite of my convection oven. When I want to cook at 350 and set it there, it heats up to 325 which supposedly is equivalent. So I'll remember that the egg is a contrary beast!

    Dale, would the egg work for small birds like quail or Cornish hens? That's what my husband wanted to use the rotisserie for. What's a DCS, though?

    Frank, I'm on a tributary of a Wild and Scenic River in southern NJ. It's a lovely place if you like marshes and bays, wading birds, osprey and eagles. If you don't, then it's probably not. Some people actually don't like the smell of marshes!

    Filly, that rum cake looks scrumptious. Is it listed in the recipe section?

    Tom, I don't know Mark Bittman's books; I'll have to look him up. Thanks for the recipe. It looks good and not too complicated.

    Mickey, that's my labradoodle, Chouette. She's a treasure!

  • Dimple's MomDimple's Mom Posts: 1,740
    You made it...yay! Can't wait til you get your egg and start cookin'.
  • Dimple's MomDimple's Mom Posts: 1,740
    Oh baby, are you making that this year? If so, I can't wait! Please save me a tiny bite...
  • RiverFarmRiverFarm Posts: 216
    Gwen, am I making what? The cassoulet? Or the carbonnade de boeuf?

    Still no word from the BGE dealer - what's taking him so long? After all, we ordered it on Monday! :lol:
  • Dimple's MomDimple's Mom Posts: 1,740
    Oh, I was replying to Desert Filly and her yummy-looking cake, asking her if she was going to make that at Eggtoberfest this weekend.

    Don't know why that darn dealer is taking so long. I bought mine from a dealer who had it in stock. Instant gratification.
  • RiverFarmRiverFarm Posts: 216
    Oh, sorry, that wasn't clear to me!

    No one anywhere had a large BGE. Well, one store could have had it shipped to them from another store, but they wanted $749 for it and said they couldn't discount it or give us any kind of deal on a combination of accessories for it. The other place had a better price. And we did want to think about it for a bit before we committed, anyway.

    We just got a small Weber Q120 gas grill to replace our huge Blue Flame grill, and that one will go to the kids. We did want something on the porch to give us that extra option. Now all we need is our egg....

    Are you going to be able to go to the Eggtoberfest or is your son's event going to preempt it?
  • Dimple's MomDimple's Mom Posts: 1,740
    No, I am going to Eggtoberfest. His girlfriend was nominated to the homecoming court but he was not. I would have had to stay home had he been nominated. As it is, I really hate to miss his girlfriend's excitement and all the festivities. I missed last year's homecoming too and had I realized it was the same weekend, I would not have made plans to go to Eggtoberfest this year. I had wanted to cook dinner for the kids before the dance, go to the game, etc. So I'm a little bummed to miss everything and mad at myself for being so shortsighted. :(
  • RiverFarmRiverFarm Posts: 216
    I know, that's so frustrating. You want to be there for them because this is the last event you can share so closely, and besides, you were interested in showing off your floral designs, right?

    Oh, well; have lots of fun at the Eggtoberfest! The mental image of a whole lot of eggheads gathering is almost overwhelming. You'll have to tell me how it went.

    I emailed Little Chef to ask her how she cooked the beautiful glazed duck she posted about. That might be my first meal on the egg, although maybe I should stick with something simple like hamburgers to start off with, instead of potentially ruining a duck.

  • Dimple's MomDimple's Mom Posts: 1,740
    Yeah, I was planning to do corsages and bouts again. I esp wanted to do them to get the recognition while I still knew a lot of kids at the school who would order from me. Much easier to get orders when you know the kids and then hopefully the younger kids would see my great designs and remember to order from me in the future.

    But...I'm looking ahead to Prom. Won't be as good as Homecoming because it doesn't involve the freshman and sophmores.

    But I do know a few of the younger kids so hopefully I can build off that.
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