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FAQ from Forum
What kind of charcoal should I use?We recommend Big Green Egg 100% Natural Lump Charcoal. Our manufacturer uses the finest kilns and the highest standards in the industry. Unlike briquettes, it contains no fillers, no additives. It lights easily using newspaper or an electric lighter. After cooking, you can extinguish it by closing the top and bottom drafts. You can reuse much of it the next time you use your Egg. The charcoal burns evenly and cleanly and there is very little ash to remove from your Big Green Egg. Some other brands of natural charcoal are also acceptable. If you run out of the "good stuff," please use the best quality charcoal or briquettes you can find.
How much charcoal should I use?Fill your fire box to a level of one inch above the firebox air holes. This amount should last from 2 to 5,6 even 8 hours depending on the cooking temperature. Control the temperature by the draft adjustments. There will be little charcoal wasted, because you will save most of it by closing the draft doors after the food is ready.
Where can I get natural lump charcoal other than your store?You can usually find some good brands at farmers' markets during the summer months. If you can't find any in your area we can ship it to you via UPS.
Do I need starter fluid to light the Big Green Egg?Do not use lighter fluid. Your Big Green Egg will start quickly without it. You will avoid the nasty smell and bad taste lighter fluid may impart.
How long will a bag of natural charcoal last?The Big Green Egg requires far less charcoal than ordinary outdoor cookers. If you use your Egg 2 or 3 times a week, a 20 LB bag will usually last 4 - 6 months.
What are the advantages of the electric lighter?The quickest and easiest way to light the charcoal is with an electric lighter. You will not need newspaper. It will light the charcoal in 5-8 minutes, and you will not have the extra ash you get when using newspaper.
How do I regulate the heat?You will achieve very accurate temperature control by adjusting the damper top and the bottom draft door. Remember, the wider your openings, the greater the air flow, and the higher the temperature.
If I get the Egg too hot how do I reduce the temperature?Close the bottom draft door and top damper completely. Keep both dampers closed until temperature drops to 300' or below. DO NOT USE WATER!
Do I use a water pan when cooking as with metal smokers?No. The ceramic construction of the Big Green Egg retains the moisture without the need for a water pan. Food will remain juicy and flavorful. However, if you have a recipe that calls for wine or another liquid in your drip pan, you can use it. Be very careful not to spill the liquid on the hot ceramic.
Why is the Big Green Egg safer to use than metal cookers?
The surface of the Egg will not get as hot as metal cookers.. This makes it safer around small children.
Can I set the Big Green Egg directly on a wooden deck?
If you are going to use your Egg on a wooden deck or table, we recommend you use some bricks or a cement stepping stone directly under the Egg.
How do I remove the ash?The ash will fall through the grate into the bottom of the cooker. You should not let the ash build-up so that it hinders the flow of air through the bottom draft door. Remove ash through the bottom draft door with our ash tool or similar item. To avoid any damage, remove ash only when cooker is completely cool. Do not remove the fire box for this purpose.
Can I use the Big Green Egg in the winter?You can use The Big Green Egg year-round because of the great insulation qualities of the ceramic. If you have no overhead protection, use the heavy-duty Vinyl Cover to keep moisture from the inside of your Egg.
Will rain hurt the Big Green Egg?
Rainy weather or very humid climates may require some preventive maintenance for the metal hardware. Oil occasionally with WD-40 Covering the Egg with a suitable cover will protect the metal.
How do I get a smoky flavor to my foods?
Add some aromatic wood chips to the charcoal just before putting food on the grill. Soak the chips in cold water for 30 minutes before using.
What are the best chips for smoking ?
Pecan for turkey; Alder for fish; Jack Daniel for steak; Sugar Maple for ribs; and Apple for pork. You can also substitute peach, cherry, mesquite, hickory, Vintage Barrel Chips with good results. Click here for more information on chips for smoking. http://biggreenegg.com/wood.htm
How do I use wood chips?
Soak chips in cold water for at least 30 minutes before using. Just before putting food on the grill, add the chips directly to the charcoal.
Click here for more information on how to use wood chips.
How much wood is needed?
One or two handfuls is about the right amount.. Add more later when smoke quits, if you wish. You control the degree of smoky flavor.