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DON\'T SHOOT-But I Don\'t Get The Grilling Part.....

NJ-ProfessorNJ-Professor Posts: 84
edited November -1 in EggHead Forum
First, please be patient with me.

I've used my Egg for a while and wonder what I'm doing wrong since I don't get nearly the results reported by my fellow BGE (and other)"forumers" in the grilling department....

Check this out and tell me if my expectations are too high or my egg skills are lacking....Thanks for your help.

*****GRILL-The reason I stepped up for a BGE was the advertisement of it being a "grill" and the fervor of egg devotees in describing their results.

My family and I were expecting that grilled food taste (crispy chicken wings, sizzling crispy hamburgers, etc.) that we've gotten for decades on traditional grills-only better.
----
PIZZA-Amazing results and if I can ever figure out how to make the transfer from peel to stone less of a drama (tried flour, etc.) even better......

SMOKED MEATS-Although never did a smoke beyond 3 1/2 hours I'd say the results are adequate.

TURKEY-Very Good (hat tip to Naked Whiz)

BRISKET-Just OK
Simple question: Can I ever achieve a true grill taste using my egg and if so what do I need to do?

Thanks!!!!!!
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Comments

  • My first question to you would be to ask if you have an instant read thermometer and are cooking to temperature, not time.
    __________________________________________

    Dripping Springs, Texas.
    Gateway to the Hill Country

  • Yup....I have the Thermapen as recommended here.
  • RipnemRipnem Posts: 5,511
    Pizzas-you can use corn meal vs the flour or parchment paper works great. Just leave it under the pie while cooking. (you can remove it after a couple minutes, once the crust has started to set-up.

    The only thing I smoke, under 5 hours is fish. Ribs go 5-6+ hours, butts usually 13+ and brisket (depending on size) will go long as well.

    Grilling gets more variables involved, in regards to temps and distance from the fire, even grilling indirect changes things dramatically.

    Sounds like you followed the directions on the Turkey and had success. good job

    Now just pay attention on all the other methods used for all the different cooks and ASK QUESTIONS.

    You really do have the best cooker in the world. You're just stuck in the learning curve someplace. :ermm:
  • Thanks so much for the parchment paper idea and more for your honesty about the over-hype.

    My wife is still beating me up for buying something so expensive that "doesn't do anything better than pizza" as we can do on our Weber....especially since we started using wood chip coal......
  • RipnemRipnem Posts: 5,511
    nj-prof,

    It's far from hype. I cooked on kettles for 20+ years and now have 3 eggs. Cook on them daily and will never look back. Once you get through the learning curve, you and your wife will change your tune. ;)

    Kettles make great herb gardens though. :P
  • Pizzas-you can use corn meal vs the flour or parchment paper works great. Just leave it under the pie while cooking. (you can remove it after a couple minutes, once the crust has started to set-up.
    TRIED IT BUT DIDN'T HELP MUCH IN TRANSFER AND GAVE PIZZA A WEIRD TASTE.....


    The only thing I smoke, under 5 hours is fish. Ribs go 5-6+ hours, butts usually 13+ and brisket (depending on size) will go long as well.
    I DON'T HAVE AN AUTOMATIC THERMOSTAT AND DOUBT I CAN CONVINCE MY WIFE (AND SELF) TO STEP UP FOR YET ANOTHER PIECE OF EQUIPMENT.......


    Grilling gets more variables involved, in regards to temps and distance from the fire, even grilling indirect changes things dramatically.
    NOT SURE WHAT THAT ALL MEANS....WHAT'S THE SIMPLEST WAY TO AT LEAST GET THE FLAVOR OF A SIMPLE WEBER KETTLE GRILL?


    Sounds like you followed the directions on the Turkey and had success. good job
    THANKS.....MY WIFE THINKS IT'S JUST BECAUSE NONE OF US ARE TURKEY EATERS ANYWAY AND NOW IT'S EDIBLE.....I THINK SHE MIGHT BE RIGHT.


    Now just pay attention on all the other methods used for all the different cooks and ASK QUESTIONS.
    THANKS FOR THE ENCOURAGEMENT TO WRITE....SOMETHING I'M USUALLY RELUCTANT TO DO.....PART OF MY RELUCTANCE IS THAT THERE ARE SO MANY IDEAS, APPROACHES, ETC. THAT I ASK MYSELF "WHY BOTHER?"


    You really do have the best cooker in the world.
    I WANT TO BELIEVE IT BUT QUESTION IF I WAS TRAPPED BY THE ZEALOUSNESS OF EGG OWNERS WHO MAY BE LESS THAN OBJECTIVE.


    You're just stuck in the learning curve someplace.
    YOU MAY BE RIGHT ABOUT THAT BUT HOW CAN I SIMPLY (YES "SIMPLY")GRILL BURGERS, CHICKEN, ETC.


    THANKS!
  • I can't help with crispy chicken skin. My wife won't let me eat it because she says it's bad for me. There have been several threads on that subject though.

    Suggestion: If you haven't tried it already, grill a steak using the TRex method. He uses NY strips, but I use Filet Mignons.

    http://www.nakedwhiz.com/trexsteak.htm

    For hamburgers, I put a splash of Asian fish sauce in the meat before cooking. I also use 80/20 hamburger so it will be juicy. Grill them at 400°, and flip them only once.

    http://whiteonricecouple.com/recipes/best-umami-hamburger-recipe/

    In general, grilling with the dome up might not be any better than on a Weber, but the versatility of the Egg is, IMHO, where it shines.
    __________________________________________

    Dripping Springs, Texas.
    Gateway to the Hill Country

  • Could you provide a little more detail about how you're grilling? For example, if you're doing burgers, are you grilling at the standard grill height, or raised? What temp? How are you determining doneness, and how are your results inadequate?

    For pizza, I use a generous amount of cornmeal on the peel. I stretch the dough on the counter, and then transfer it to the peel. Give the peel a little jiggle to make sure the dough isn't already stuck. Build the pie quickly, and then take it out to the egg. Give it a little jiggle again, to make sure it's loose, and then open the dome and transfer the pizza to the stone.

    Other people use parchment or pizza screens with success.

    What kind of smoked meat are you doing? What is your goal, and what makes your results only "adequate?"

    Want to feel better about your purchase? Buy two whole chickens. Roast one on your weber or in your oven. Roast the other on the egg. Compare. I know that ONE superior dish isn't enough to justify the cost, but it might help to have one big success to pull you out of the doldrums. Other successes will follow.
  • not overhype at all. ...simple fact, metal cookers suck moisture out of food....ceramic helps retain moisture in food (think of clay pot cooking)....once you get it figured out, your food will be moister than similar food cooked on the kettle...and that will translate to better flavor ...

    but flavor is also partially determined by quality of products used, from the charcoal, to woods, to the base foods, to the seasonings, etc. ...and people tend to mistake that smoke is good, its not always. ...you have to let the ugly black smoke burn off and just have a whisp of light smoke coming out before cooking to get good flavors...

    keep working on it .. .you'll get happy...
  • what is it you liked so much on your webber and how did you cook it that you aren't at least getting as good results on the egg? ...lets start there...
  • RipnemRipnem Posts: 5,511
    Absolutely no need for any sort of thermostat gizmo. The dome therm and a thermapen are plenty. As long as you have a good idea what to expect with each cook, be it low-n-slow or HOT_N_FAST.

    The 2 things that come to mind are:
    1. You may be putting the food on a bit too early. Never put meat on an egg that is smoking white poofy smoke. Wait till it is blueish or almost clear.
    2. You also may be overcooking and drying things out. Be sure of what temp you should be cooking to. Some info is just plain WRONG in that regard. ie. pork to 170

    People (eggheads) put in way too much $$, time and effort for it not to be true about the great things an egg will do for you.

    Also, just as a side note, you may want to go 'smoking wood' free for your grilling. It is easy to over smoke things that take on smoke easily. ie. burgers and poultry
  • CBBQCBBQ Posts: 610
    I'll disagree with the over-hyped part along with being able to cook everything else (except pizze) just as good on a Weber or gasser. I am in the bbq business. I have 3 BGE's, a custom 4-quad pull behind grill and 3 Ole Hickory commercial cookers. And there's even a couple of old Weber's floating around here somewhere. They all have their purpose but the BGE can essentially do what all of them put together do. When I cook for me or friends I use the BGE because it's better in my opinion.
    What you are going through is a learning curve. If you want crispier burgers I'd turn up the heat to char them a little bit. If you want crispier wings you can do something as simple as mixing in a little corn starch with your rub.
    Feel free to ask questions because it's not your egg. It's like buying a $40,000 bass boat. It won't catch you anymore fish than a johnboat. It just gives you the capability to do more. A year from now you won't know how you did without your egg.
  • nj-professor wrote:
    Pizzas-you can use corn meal vs the flour or parchment paper works great. Just leave it under the pie while cooking. (you can remove it after a couple minutes, once the crust has started to set-up.
    TRIED IT BUT DIDN'T HELP MUCH IN TRANSFER AND GAVE PIZZA A WEIRD TASTE.....


    The only thing I smoke, under 5 hours is fish. Ribs go 5-6+ hours, butts usually 13+ and brisket (depending on size) will go long as well.
    I DON'T HAVE AN AUTOMATIC THERMOSTAT AND DOUBT I CAN CONVINCE MY WIFE (AND SELF) TO STEP UP FOR YET ANOTHER PIECE OF EQUIPMENT.......


    Grilling gets more variables involved, in regards to temps and distance from the fire, even grilling indirect changes things dramatically.
    NOT SURE WHAT THAT ALL MEANS....WHAT'S THE SIMPLEST WAY TO AT LEAST GET THE FLAVOR OF A SIMPLE WEBER KETTLE GRILL?


    Sounds like you followed the directions on the Turkey and had success. good job
    THANKS.....MY WIFE THINKS IT'S JUST BECAUSE NONE OF US ARE TURKEY EATERS ANYWAY AND NOW IT'S EDIBLE.....I THINK SHE MIGHT BE RIGHT.


    Now just pay attention on all the other methods used for all the different cooks and ASK QUESTIONS.
    THANKS FOR THE ENCOURAGEMENT TO WRITE....SOMETHING I'M USUALLY RELUCTANT TO DO.....PART OF MY RELUCTANCE IS THAT THERE ARE SO MANY IDEAS, APPROACHES, ETC. THAT I ASK MYSELF "WHY BOTHER?"


    You really do have the best cooker in the world.
    I WANT TO BELIEVE IT BUT QUESTION IF I WAS TRAPPED BY THE ZEALOUSNESS OF EGG OWNERS WHO MAY BE LESS THAN OBJECTIVE.


    You're just stuck in the learning curve someplace.
    YOU MAY BE RIGHT ABOUT THAT BUT HOW CAN I SIMPLY (YES "SIMPLY")GRILL BURGERS, CHICKEN, ETC.


    THANKS!

    I do long smokes 18 - 22 hours with no automatic thermostat. Its not necessary.

    I think that most of us here enjoy the aspects of figuring the methods out. You were familiar with your Weber. You have to become familiar with the egg. It holds and retains WAY more heat than any other grill. Temperature control is much more sensitive and accurate. I think if you just want to grill burgers and chicken you probably should have stuck with your Weber. The egg is great for that but most of us also do long cooks, bake desserts, etc. We replace our stoves and ovens basically by cooking on it daily. Eggheads are in a way a cult so ofcourse we have a biased opinion. I had Weber grills for 15 years and now that I have an egg I will never go back.

    You have to be willing to spend the time for trial an error until you get the result you want. Believe me you WILL get the result you want if you put the time in.
  • THANKS BEN.....

    Could you provide a little more detail about how you're grilling? For example, if you're doing burgers, are you grilling at the standard grill height, or raised? What temp? How are you determining doneness, and how are your results inadequate?
    CHICKEN-FOR A WHOLE BIRD I USE NAKED WHIZ GUIDANCE AND LEAVE THE CHICKEN IN REFRIGERATOR FOR 2 DAYS (WHEN I HAVE THE TIME) UNTIL SKIN GETS "TRANSLUCENT". SOMETIMES I LIFT SKIN AWAY FROM BODY USING A FORK.... I USE A RAISED GRID ABOVE A PLATE SETTER.

    For pizza, I use a generous amount of cornmeal on the peel. I stretch the dough on the counter, and then transfer it to the peel. Give the peel a little jiggle to make sure the dough isn't already stuck. Build the pie quickly, and then take it out to the egg. Give it a little jiggle again, to make sure it's loose, and then open the dome and transfer the pizza to the stone.
    THE JIGGLING DOESN'T WORK EVEN WITH THE CORNMEAL. WHEN I USE ENOUGH OF THE CORNMEAL FOR LESS OF A BATTLE THE TASTE IS OFFENSIVE.


    Other people use parchment or pizza screens with success.
    I DON'T KNOW WHAT A PIZZA SCREEN IS BUT I'LL CHECK. IN THE MEANTIME I'M GOING TO USE THE PARCHMENT PAPER APPROACH.

    What kind of smoked meat are you doing? What is your goal, and what makes your results only "adequate?"
    DIFFERENT KINDS BUT MOST OFTEN FLANK STEAK, THICK SKIRT STEAK, SHORT RIBS (3/4")AND BABY BACK RIBS (WITHOUT SUGAR/SYRUP). GOAL IS TO BE VERY MOIST (JUICY?),DISTINCT BUT NON-OVERWHELMING SMOKE TASTE, MEDIUM TO WELL DONE IN CENTER, AND A HARDENED (CRISPY) PATINA FINISH.


    Want to feel better about your purchase? Buy two whole chickens. Roast one on your weber or in your oven. Roast the other on the egg. Compare. I know that ONE superior dish isn't enough to justify the cost, but it might help to have one big success to pull you out of the doldrums.


    THANKS BUT THAT'S WHAT LED TO THE HOSING DOWN I TOOK.... I DID A BLINDFOLD TEST FOR FAMILY AND FRIENDS USING BURGERS, CHICKEN WINGS, MATAMBRE (A long thin cut that lies just under the skin and runs from the lower part of the ribs to belly–or flank area) AND LOST ON EVERY COUNT-HANDS DOWN! THE BIG WINNER WAS THE PIZZA WHICH EXCEPT FOR THE TRANSFER DRAMA WAS THE KNOCKOUT OF THE DAY!!!!!

    Other successes will follow.
    God do i hope you're right :)
  • Pizza: Get a wooden peel and keep the pie moving with a shake every minute or so. Make your dough a bit drier if it is too wet.
    The Naked Whiz
  • Photo EggPhoto Egg Posts: 3,249
    Good post and valid questions.

    The BGE makes low temp, slow cooks almost a sure thing.
    The small amount of air flow needed to keep the fire going and a steady temp are the secret.
    The draw back for "grilling" is the same. Little air flow keeps so much more moisture in the Egg and this prevents crispy skin with normal Weber style cooking.
    I'm a big Weber fan and still cook on my Webers at times. I now cook higher in the dome at higher temps with my Eggs to get the results you are looking for.
    Advantage is a faster cook with the best results and very little moving food around on the grill like I do on the Weber. You can't kick a $70.00 Weber kettle grill like many on this site seem to do. Many people don't have $1000.00 to toss at a BGE. With a little skill you can cook on any grill but I would avoid low end gas grills because of poor temp control but have friends that cook great steaks and burgers on $150.00 gas grills with lots of moving and flipping of food.
    Make or buy a raised grid, open your top vent and close down your lower vent to control your temp and let more moisture escape and try cooking direct w/o plate setter higher in the dome.
    Foods like boneless, skinless chicken, salmon and veggies are very easy on the Egg.
    Work with it a little and try to catch a local Eggfest in your area and visit with other cooks.
    Have fun,
    Thank you,
    Darian


    Galveston Texas
  • RipnemRipnem Posts: 5,511
    Typically Flank and skirt steaks are cooked hot and fast and ribs cooked at 250* dome will take at least 5 hours, but as much as 7.
  • Whiz.....First, thanks for all you do.....your site, wisdom and willingness to help is unparalleled....thanks!

    Get a wooden peel and keep the pie moving with a shake every minute or so. Make your dough a bit drier if it is too wet.
    I HAVE A WOODEN PEEL....IF DOUGH IS TOO DRY IT SHRINKS BACK......NOT SURE WHAT YOU MEAN BY SHAKE....ONCE ON STONE?

    USUALLY SUCCESS IS MUCH HIGHER WHEN USING PRE-MADE DOUGH FROM LOCAL PIZZERIA.....BUT TOO EXPENSIVE AND LESS INTERESTNG.....

    Again, thanks for all!!!
  • GREAT ADVICE....I'LL GIVE THEM ALL A TRY....

    KNOW OF ANY BGE GROUPS IN NJ THAT I CAN LEARN FROM?

    THANKS!
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 4,233
    From your use of the word "crispy," I'm going to guess that you were cooking at a higher temperature on the Weber. I don't aim at crispy for burgers, but for crispy chicken on the Egg, I go with the dome at 450-ish, a raised grill, direct with nothing blocking the food from direct exposure to the IR coming from the lump. Also, make sure the fire is as evenly spread through the lump as possible. I use a torch, and light in 6 spots to do that without waiting for an hour or more for the fire to spread. As I recall, it took at least 30 minutes, sometimes 45, for briquettes to get the white coat that meant they were ready to grill.

    Note that the Egg retains moisture, unlike a metal cooker, which tends to suck water out. For chicken, make sure the skin is dry before putting in the Egg. Let it sit for a few hours uncovered in the fridge.

    Before getting the Egg, my wife stopped me from doing pork steaks, because she found them to greasy. After the Egg, they are a favorite. I do like to marinate them, then place them on the grill at the lower position, so that the coal are really close. With a dome at 450, the cook quite quickly, about 10 minutes a side. End up with a sizzling outside, and a moist interior, and most of the grease rendered out.

    The main reason I got the Egg was not to grill, but to do lo-n-slo BBQ. It does take a little practice to get the Egg to hold a steady temperature, but it is easy enough that I have never considered an automatic blower. Once you get to make pulled pork, your family will realize the great value of an Egg.

    In order to get the hang of using the Egg, I had to pretty much un-learn all the habits I'd acquired from 20 years using metal cookers. While I'm still learning after several years, I'd say 90% of what I do on the Egg is better than all but the best I ever had from the earlier set-ups.
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 15,936
    chicken was a hard cook for me when i went from the weber to the egg, literally took me a year to figure out how to get what i wanted. i now cook thighs between 250 and 275 and shoot for a 195 to 205 internal. wings a little hotter, around 300, and breasts i cook whole unsplit at 375 plus. the skin will be crispier if you start skin side down and start cooking it first. here is the setup i use. i dont mix parts on the grill, its all thighs or all breasts etc.

    http://www.eggheadforum.com/index.php?option=com_simpleboard&func=view&id=491362&catid=1

    the thing that ruined burgers on the egg was the thermapen, i cook by watching the liquid rise to the top, flip, wait for the liquid to rise again and start to puddle up, i like a med/rare burger and with the thermapen i always seem to over cook them to dry overdone
  • WHY IS BGE CALLED A GRILL THEN IF ONLY AN OVEN WITH A TOP RACK?

    I'll try your advice but I must tell you that I really appreciate your honesty.

    Funny thing is that in Argentina, guys on the side of the road repeatedly cook the best bbq I ever ate using nothing more than a truck wheel, open pit with a screen on top or just staked eviscerated animal carcasses....without all the razzmatazz of a BGE!
  • jeffinsgfjeffinsgf Posts: 1,259
    There are several pairs of green colored glasses being worn in the answers to your post. The Weber Kettle is a very versatile cooking device, and turns out some great stuff. I still have one, but it doesn't get used much. I'll take off my green shades and try to share some things I've learned in 11 years of Eggin'.

    I think one of the things that will most quickly alter your results is to experiment with leaving the dome open for at least part of the cook. The moisture retention of the Egg is a tool to be used, not an absolute. When I do burgers, I leave the dome up and sear each side over a ripping hot fire, then raise the grid, choke down the fire and close the dome for a couple minutes. I think that will help you develop the crust you're looking for. The same method applies to steaks and chops.

    Regarding wings...I've eaten a lot of rubbery chicken wings, and I don't like them. I truly love a perfectly cooked deep-fried chicken wing, but I hate getting out and setting up (and buying oil for) my frying rig. Most "barbecued" wings fall short of the mark. However, if you follow this recipe:

    http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/good-eats/buffalo-wings-recipe/index.html

    ...precisely, except use the Egg instead of your oven, I promise you the best Buffalo style wings you've ever had...even better than 90% of the fried wings I've had (the Anchor Bar in Buffalo and The Oriole in Cleveland are the remaining 10%).

    On larger poultry sections, I've just discovered that brining and then drying in the refrigerator -- combined with a bit of open dome time -- yields a very nice skin.

    Don't give up. The learning curve isn't as short as some would have you believe.
  • mollysharkmollyshark Posts: 1,519
    Man, if a weber beats out an egg in your family I would sell the egg. Different strokes, I guess! You'll find some buyers for sure.

    Good luck!

    mShark
  • Unfortunately you just missed the Eggfest in Hatfield PA which isnt too bad of a drive. Was a great time. I think the next closest is on 10/9 in Maryland down by DC.
  • where are you in jersey?? if you aren't doing anything on november 7th, come out to shillington PA (near reading) for turkey day at the smoking guitar player's place. ...its a great day to learn all about mastering turkey on the egg, and you can pick up lots of additional egging tips as well. ...

    see the banner at the top of the page..
  • I'VE TRIED EVERY COMBINATION FOR CRISPY EXCEPT WHAT YOU SUGGEST....THANKS.....

    I'll spend more time drying down the chicken before putting it in....makes sense.
    My rap to convince my wife to get an Egg was that it grills, smokes and bakes.....equally well and supposedly miles ahead of everything else.
    I proudly learned to keep the temperature steady and would love to know the pulled pork recipe you use.
    ...I'd say 90% of what I do on the Egg is better than all but the best I ever had from the earlier set-ups.
    OUT OF CURIOSITY, WHAT IS THE OTHER 10%?
    THANKS FOR ALL YOUR HELP/ENCOURAGEMENT!
  • oh no, it is very much a grill ..what other grill can you buy that can crank up to 1000 degrees??!! you just need to learn how to master sear/dwell....how do you think most top end restaurants 'grill' a steak?? they zap it in a super hot broiler to sear it, then finish it in a lower temp oven ...you get the same effect in the egg....
  • Since you seem to like working with dough (and your family is impressed by the pizza results), why not branch out to other breads? This is one area where the BGE has an edge over the Weber. Homemade pita & naan are easy, and fresh flatbreads provide a stellar counterpoint to a simple kebab or flavored burger. A half-moon stone can be helpful, as you can do breads on one side while cooking the kebabs on the other side. Or try a loaf of Lahey's no-knead bread; this can be an efficient use of the egg's thermal mass after a quick cook is complete.

    I don't have a thermopen (just an inexpensive, non-instant read probe thermometer with a long lead), I don't have a guru or other thermostatic control, yet I do low & slows just fine. If you're worried about your ability to maintain temps, don't shoot for an overnight cook. Start very early in the AM for a late supper; once you get a better grasp of temp control & burn speed, you'll gain the confidence needed to do an overnight without any supportive gadgets.

    Someone upthread mentioned an important point: if you want your egg to behave more like a traditional grill, try using a raised grid & cooking higher in the dome at higher temps. Sure, specific aftermarket parts are available, but foil-wrapped bricks will work to elevate your grid.
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