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Large Egg vs. Primo Oval XL, yes again, with a twist

JLNCJLNC Posts: 73
edited September 2011 in EggHead Forum
Ok folks, I know that this has been beaten to death, but I'm going to buy a ceramic cooker soon and I'm hoping for some advice.  There is a twist to this that makes it a difficult decision.  

I'm down to the Large BGE or the Primo Oval XL.  I've looked at the XL BGE, but it just seems so massive and I've read some things about difficulties controlling the heat, etc.  Also, there a cost factor that I'll get to next.  My brother recently purchased the Primo Oval XL and is offering to chip in $200 if I buy a Primo (yes, nice brother, but clearly trying to manipulate me to join the dark side (you know, black cooker...)).  

Here's where I'm at....There are only two people in my house, but I do occasionally like to cook "big".  I like the Large Egg because it seems the most appropriate in size for most of what I would cook, it now comes with stainless grates, it has the pre-sawed firebox (which I'm assuming will make cracking more rare), it has more options for accessories (both BGE and aftermarket), it is more widely available and it supposedly uses less fuel.  On the Primo side, it does provide more space, more flexibility in cooking with the stock components, the $200, I can cook a bigger pizza on it, and the $200.  What I don't like is the non-stainless grates, the lack of aftermarket accessories (perhaps you don't need them), the larger size means more fuel for the same cooking temps (though some might argue that the split firebox negates this) and well, that's about it.

So, given these facts, setting your biases aside (which may be asking too much), what do you think?  

By the way, for you folks who have the older porcelain over steel grates, have you experienced cracking and rusting?  I just remember from old cheap gas grills that these things didn't last me long.  And of course, now that BGE is going stainless, this makes me think they didn't hold up as well.  And while your at it, how about the hardware? I live a couple miles from the coast and everything rusts.  I'm thinking about spraying the hardware with FluidFilm (similar to WD40) to keep it from rusting.  Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance!!   

Comments

  • My 2 cents, and I admit I have never cooked on a Primo.

    Porcelain grids suck.  End of subject.  That probably isn't a good reason to pick one over the other, considering all the things you mention, but you asked, and they suck. 

    When you talk about occasionally cooking "big", what do you mean?  If you mean butts and briskets, you can do a lot with a large, 6 butts or two whole briskets.  If you mean grid space, well, space is space and if you need more space, you should buy more space.

    Some other considerations.  Have you hung out on the Primo Forum?  I would so you can get a feel for how their customer service is.  That's really the only way to tell that I know of.  Personally, I have no knowledge of how it is, but checking their forum will probably help you get a feel.  I think BGE service is pretty well known to be very good.  The Primo lifetime warranty was only 20 years last time I looked vs. lifetime for the BGE, if that matters.  Also, do you care about all the Eggfests held around the country?

    Good luck in your decision.  You will really enjoy ceramic cooking, regardless of which brand you buy.
    The Naked Whiz
  • JLNCJLNC Posts: 73
    Yep, the porcelain thing bothers me and is on the top of the cons list for Primo.  I'm getting this beast of a cooker that's supposed to last a lifetime and now I have to be careful with the grates?  I've looked and there are no stainless options for the Primo-- so when they chip and rust, it's ~$100 to replace them.  But there is that $200.....

    Thanks for the advice Whiz.  I will take your advice and check out the Primo forum. 
  • which will serve you better for a lifetime? Two people in your house I think you're crazy to go larger than LBGE (unless you will also be cooking for lots of people.)  I cook entrees on the egg and usually do the sides in the house.  when it's just the 4 of us, I will cook a whole chicken, squash and taters at the same time.  also something that is fun is using a wok on an Egg.

    I don't have a primo, but I can speak of the versatility of the LBGE.

    lots of options and aftermarket accessories for the BGE.

  • Don't forget the EGG ceramic compnents have a lifetime warranty!!!
    Coming to you from the Mothership!
  • The Naked WhizThe Naked Whiz Posts: 7,778
    edited September 2011
    Eggzilla, I already said that :)
    The Naked Whiz
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 15,948
    i would rather use the 200 towards buying an adjustable rig, spider, wok,  pizza stone and dutch oven.
  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,295
    One other thing to consider is that round is better than oval when it comes to expansion.
    Best of luck with the big decision.
    Chris
    DizzyPigBBQ.com
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
  • JLNCJLNC Posts: 73
    Yeah, accept he is only chipping in the $200 for the Primo.  He is guzzling the oval kool-aid and trying to get me on-board!  Of course, I'd rather get the "right" cooker more than anything, so I'm not too worried about it. 
  • SpoonSpoon Posts: 328
    I was deciding between the same two cookers as you a couple of years back. The things that made my mind up to go with BGE over the Primo were: the lifetime warranty, all the accessories from BGE and aftermarket, the forum support, and the fact that BGE has been around a long time and is the #1 ceramic cooker for a reason. I have never regretted my decision.  
    "Pork so tender you can pull it with a spoon."
    ~Spoon
  • My opinion if you need the extra space by the xl egg and go to ceramicgrillstore.com and look at all the things he makes for the xl and also the large. I personally owned a primo for 6 months the oval xl  and gave my large to a now ex in law then ended up buying another large because after cooking on the primo then on my large for a get together at that in law's I discovered the oval shape did not cook as even. Primo does have good customer service though.
  • SpoonSpoon Posts: 328
    Just one more nudge Towards the egg... A local Atlanta upscale deli (Muss and Turners) used to cook all there meats on and sell Primo XL Ovals. A year later I went back and they were cooking on BGE's. I asked them why and they said they has some problems with the Primos and didn't get with they needed from Primo corporate. They said BGE came out got them what they needed and took care of everything and every small problem they had. They said they couldn't be happier with the eggs.
    "Pork so tender you can pull it with a spoon."
    ~Spoon
  • FWIW, I happen to own both, a large BGE and an Oval XL.  They are both great.  I got the BGE first then bought the Primo.  I love my Egg as it is a rock solid cooking machine that I can setup and walk away from without worry, and it is very fuel efficient.  The Primo is great for doing both indirect and direct cooks at the same time, it does not seem to be as fuel efficient.  I would not part with either as I use them both on a weekly basis.  You need to determine what is important to you and it looks like you have already done your homework.  Good luck in your decision. 
  • You should check out the Grill Dome too.  I didn't know about it when I bought my egg and would have considered it if I had.  I think their large can use BGE large accessory.
  • I'm extremely happy with my LBGE.  I'm also sure that the Primo is an excellent cooker also.  I've had my egg for about 4 years now, and everything I read when I was doing my research recommended getting a large and a small over an XL. (for similar $)  I tend to agree with that, although it doesn't help you with the $200, or did you forget about that? :)  The Grill Dome was on the radar and I thoroughly researched it, but quickly was removed after I tried to utilize thier customer service for a few questions.  I also eliminated the Grill Dome due to the fact that once you add up the necessary accessories and shipping (unless you live close), it was the same price as the BGE.  They advertise a lifetime warranty, but I believe that they have changed either the manufacturer or the ceramic makeup of their units 2-3 times.  Not sure how that effects the warranty, but I also know from being on their message board (and others) that the exterior finish is suspect along with the fire boxes cracking (but so do BGE's).  The shipping makes utilizing the warranty almost cost prohibitive due to Grill Dome not having an extensive dealer network.  (ie:  more of an internet supplier)  That being said, I haven't frequented their site for around a year, and things may have changed, but that was my experience with them. 

  • JLNCJLNC Posts: 73
    Thanks for everybody's help.  I've had the egg since Friday and used it daily since--- very nice!  I used to like leftovers, but now they seem like a obstacle for getting to use the new egg.  I even heated up the leftovers on it last night!

    I'm planning to build a table, but I started by modifying the mates -- something a little more roomy...
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  • 4Runner4Runner Posts: 1,278
    Looks good.  Congrats.
    Joe - I'm a reformed gasser-holic aka 4Runner Columbia, SC Wonderful BGE Resource Site: http://www.nakedwhiz.com/ceramicfaq.htm and http://www.nibblemethis.com/
  • Thanks for everybody's help.  I've had the egg since Friday and used it daily since--- very nice!  I used to like leftovers, but now they seem like a obstacle for getting to use the new egg.  I even heated up the leftovers on it last night!


    I'm planning to build a table, but I started by modifying the mates -- something a little more roomy...
    Good choice.  Your mates look really nice.  How did you modify them?  Thanks.
  • JLNCJLNC Posts: 73
    Thanks.  I just removed the cedar planks and replaced them with some ash I already had-- using the metal bars that came with the mates.  I used two strips of wood under the center on each side to help with stability and to reach the far outside boards--- the metal arms don't go out that far.  A few coats of spar varnish and they're ready to take a beating.  This just gives me more room and looks a little better anyway.  The only concern was the weight--- those cedar planks are super light and the metal arms aren't extremely sturdy.  They seem fine for now.  The table comes later.......
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 5,080

    Congrats on the BGE.  You will soon, if not already become addicted to using it.  While on the BGE here's a link to another site that has lots of good info about using the BGE.  www.greeneggers.com .  This link used to be, in a prior version, the "official BGE site" but since change is a constant it is now operating unaffiliated with BGE.  However, the volume of info and expereince that resides there will undoubtedly be of help to you as you navigate the BGE lifestyle.

    Enjoy-

    Louisville
  • 4Runner4Runner Posts: 1,278
    JLNC - If you don't mine sharing, did your dealer throw in any extras? I'm just curious what is going on in the market these days.  
    Joe - I'm a reformed gasser-holic aka 4Runner Columbia, SC Wonderful BGE Resource Site: http://www.nakedwhiz.com/ceramicfaq.htm and http://www.nibblemethis.com/
  • JLNCJLNC Posts: 73
    edited September 2011
    Sure thing.  They offered a package, which included the large egg, the nest, the mates, a bag of charcoal, starters, wiggle rod, grate lifter and cover for $950.  The nest and the mates are really very overpriced for what they are, but I didn't want to be in rush to build a table, so it was worth it to be able to get grilling right away.  I got the mates knowing that I would modify them--- just really wanted the metal bars connected to the egg.  As for the table, I really like the compact setup and mobility I have at the moment, so I may just stick with this for a while.  The gas grill will probably become storage at this point anyway!

    I called around a good bit and the $950 was as good as I could find for a similar package.   
  • 4Runner4Runner Posts: 1,278
    Sounds good.  Thanks for sharing.  
    Joe - I'm a reformed gasser-holic aka 4Runner Columbia, SC Wonderful BGE Resource Site: http://www.nakedwhiz.com/ceramicfaq.htm and http://www.nibblemethis.com/
  • Congrats on your decision, you will not be disappointed. 
  • Relationship with local dealer is very important. Make sure to consider that in your decision. I was about to go Primo over the egg but I could never see myself returning to that guy. The egg dealer will re-open the shop if already closed when I am coming in and has comped me some dizzy pig for the holidays because he is happy to have my repeat business.

    Good luck whichever way you choose. We look forward to seeing you around here in the future.
  • JLNCJLNC Posts: 73
    Thanks.  Well, I've already purchased the Egg and went with the nearest dealer-- someone who we've purchased outdoor furniture from before.  Unfortunately, with the two minor issues/questions that have come up so far, I'm beginning to see that they aren't big on the service after the sale-- a bit defensive and dismissive.  Fortunately, the folks at BGE have been very responsive and I know they will take care of me if anything comes up.  There's another dealer in town, but I don't know how helpful I can expect them to be after purchasing elsewhere.  Of course, they sell supplies and accessories (and other appliances), so they do have the potential to get future business from me. 
  • mbcjrmbcjr Posts: 14
    Hi JLNC,

    I was much as you deciding between the primo vs. egg.  I decided on the egg for all the above reasons covered,  plus the pizza cooking in my opinion is much better with the egg.

    Also not to put a negative on your new purchase, but be prepared to replace the gasket.  I got my egg in the winter and replaced the gasket to the high heat one in early summer.  It's a simple procedure and the folks at the egg gave me the gasket and the advice I needed.  In addition the Spider is going to be a blessing to your new egg.  It saves fuel and is certainly handy for small fast cooks.  i.e. a couple or so steaks, quesadillas etc.

    mbcjr/God Bless
    mbcjr/God Bless
  • JLNCJLNC Posts: 73
    Thanks mbcjr----- Yep, I fried my gasket within a week (trying to set a record).  I was tired of wondering when it would go, so I cranked up the grill for a pizza cook and it just melted and dripped right off.  I got the "high heat" replacement from BGE and replaced only the bottom side.  So far it is holding up nicely and I've learned that pizza actually cooks better at 550 instead of one million degrees.  

    I bought some gadgets from the ceramic grill store--- including the Woo3, a wok, some stones and drip pans.  I didn't get the spider, but that is on my list --- like you said it will work great for small cooks with less fuel needed.  


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