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Soon to be Egg owner questions

JerkChickenJerkChicken Posts: 551
edited October 2011 in Root
Hi,

I will be attending the first annual Eggstravaganza in Orlando, next month. I've never been to an eggfest, and I've never even seen a BGE in person or tried one. I've wanted one for a while now, seeing how fanatical you guys are and all the great things I hear. So I went ahead and pre-ordered a Large Demo Egg and I am so excited. I have a few questions:

Is it possible to effectively achieve a 2-zone fire on a Large BGE? Currently I have a Weber Kettle Gold and for many things I cook, I like to sear the meat over the flaming hot side, and then move it over to gently finish cooking on the other side. I will be getting the platesetter but it seems like it would be a pain to get at it with a grid full of meat. What do you guys do?

Also, I hear many people saying how great the egg is for baking and such, and someone said that apple pies, cobblers etc. come out well. My wife brought up a great question; Wouldn't it taste smokey? I wouldn't add smoking chips, but does the inherent smoke flavor of the lump coal have an effect on desserts? 

Finally, what would you guys recommend as must-have accessories? I am already getting the nest (sans mates), the platesetter, and the ash tool. I will definitely be getting the pizza stone. I am contemplating the extender for more grid space.

Thanks.



LBGE, Weber OTG w/ Rotisserie, Weber Genesis S-330, Chargriller Duo, AR-15, AK-47

Comments

  • Hillbilly-HightechHillbilly-Hightech Posts: 966
    edited October 2011
    First off - congrats on getting an Egg - your life is about to change!!

    Now, as for your questions:

    I am sure you can achieve a "2-zone" fire if you really worked at it - perhaps got a separator that kept the lump to one side, or something like that. However, might I suggest that you don't "need" a 2-zone fire w/ the Egg - it's a different way of looking @ cooking.

    For instance, I know many ppl who get the Egg up to blazing temps to sear. However, I stumbled upon a technique that I learned from someone else that I have used ever since. Since you have a Large Egg, you can get a 13" grate (I bought mine from a hardware store). Then, you can place the grate directly over the coals. Since obviously the fire is hottest @ the coals, you can sear your steaks there without getting the ENTIRE Egg up to blazing temps. I usually sear 60-90 seconds per side, depending on thickness. I can sear w/in 10 minutes of the Egg being lit, especially if you throw the small grate onto the coals as soon as you know you have a good fire (that way the mass of the metal grate has time to heat up).

    Then, after the searing is done, you can remove the smaller grate (with tongs or high heat gloves, obviously), and put your Large grate onto the fire ring as you would normally have it, and then start getting your Egg to your desired temp (which won't be hard cuz you've already got a good fire going).

    Then, you can cook your food at whatever temp you wish, and you have already seared your steaks - so effectively you have just made "2 zones" of temperature - just in a different way!! (also, you mentioned you are getting a platesetter - you don't need to use this for cooking steaks - you should do them direct).

    Which leads me to the next discussion - the baking. This is where you would use your platesetter. Using a platesetter is called an "indirect" setup (as opposed to "direct" which is NO platesetter). Basically, it means your food is either directly over the coals (getting "grilled") or being cooked by indirect heat (using the platesetter effectively turns the Egg into a convection oven). By using the platesetter, this is why you can bake things like pies, breads, cookies, etc.

    As far as the "smoky" taste - there will be a small amount of smoke flavor, yes. I don't think you can escape that entirely, as you ARE cooking w/ lump charcoal (however, give it a shot - as most ppl don't really notice it too much, and it actually adds a new layer of flavor to your baked goods).

    But, in order to minimize the smokiness, you HAVE to let your fire burn for awhile. If you've let your fire burn for enough time (I'd say for indirect cooking, you'd want it to be burning for no less than 1/2 hour, I think some folks go an hour before they put the food on) - then by that time, most of the strong smoke will have burned off. Again, w/ the platesetter, just like allowing the smaller grate to come up to temp - you should put your platesetter in after you've established a fire that won't go out. If you're going to allow the Egg to burn for 1/2 hr to an hour BEFORE putting any food on, this is the same time that you should have your platesetter in there to get heated up. Remember, you are placing a cold, large mass of ceramic in there, so it needs quite awhile to get heated up.

    As far as accessories (or "Egg-cessories") - you will get as many opinions as there are people. Personally, since I'm a Hillbilly, I tend to keep my stuff simple & functional - I don't need a bunch of fancy high priced stuff which does the same job as cheap or free stuff. For instance, you'll see a bunch of ppl who own things like adjustable rigs, or 2-tier cooking grid setups, etc. Those things work as advertised, they are great products, and they look pretty - but I can get the same effect from a couple well placed fire bricks on the bottom grid, and another grid. So I've basically made a "2-tier" system as well, just from cheap components.

    Also, many people get these fancy grill cleaning brushes - I'm sure they work great, but I've found that if you roll up a piece of aluminum foil into a ball & use that to scrape along the grid, it works just as well as a fancy brush.

    Others swear by the Thermopen, but I've never had a need to instaneously check my temp. I just use a remote temp probe which wirelessly transmits the temp to a sensor inside (that way I don't even have to outside till the beeper goes off). I think it's a Maverick ET or something like that - there's several manufacturers - just make sure you get a good one.

    Also, others have the ash scraper - I just use a shop vac.

    So yeah, when it comes to Egg-cessories, you can be as fancy or as cheap as you want.

    HTH,
    Rob
    Don't get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup... Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend. - Bruce Lee
  • LitLit Posts: 2,779

    If you want an all in one get the adjustable rig customer package. You don't need the $60 plate setter or the $35 pizza stone (It comes with a stone) then so for $60 more you can do multi level cooking and you get a spider to lower the grate for searing and you can do raised direct cooking (It raises your grate to the felt line instead of it being 6" below. I gave you a link to the customer package but if you go to ceramicgrillstore.com in the top left there is a link to the adjustable rig and it shows picture of all the set ups you can do with it. If I could start over this is what I would do.

    http://shop.ceramicgrillstore.com/products/Large-Adjustable-Rig-Customer-Combo.html

     

     

  • In regards to getting a smokey flavor when baking, I baked two pizzas and a pan of brownies on Monday.  Used the platesetter, feet down, and a pizza stone on top of it.  The pizzas were great and so are the brownies with almost no smokey flavor to them.  I did burn straight lump and let it warm up for 30 to 40 minutes.  Next time I think I will put in a piece or two of apple wood to get a smokey flavor which I personally like. 

    As far as accessories go, the sky is the limit.  The best thing to do is get the egg and use it.  Then you will know exactly what you want.  Congrats on the egg and have fun.  

  • Thanks for the detailed responses! That gives me a better idea of how to approach this whole Egg thing. I guess I just have to start thinking outside the firebox ;)  Now I have the hardest part ahead of me... Waiting :(
    LBGE, Weber OTG w/ Rotisserie, Weber Genesis S-330, Chargriller Duo, AR-15, AK-47
  • If you don't have the salt and pepper shakers you're gust a guy with an Egg!

    Huge purchase is the BBQ Guru. Keeps the fire stoked at just the right temp for the low and slow. You can go to bed and it will keep it perfect for 18 hours if need be. I got mine and my wife (Who is Number 1) completely freaked out. I couldn't blame her. But damn that was one amazing pulled pork. Oh Yeah! Next Brisket!
  • I also bought my Egg at an Eggfest. The wait is terrible. Been There Done That. Worth it.
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