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Prospective Buyer Questions

herbbyherbby Posts: 3
edited December 2011 in EggHead Forum
Hi,

I've been doing a lot of research on ceramic grills and have several questions.  I've narrowed it down to a Large BGE or Large Grill Dome.

1)  What should I expect from a dealer.  One of the advantages of the BGE over other ceramic grills are local dealers.  Unfortunately, I just went into my local dealer and they were less than impressive.  They are a pool store and didn't offer much insight on the BGE or ceramic grilling in general.  Worst yet, when I asked them about the warranty (which I believe one of the advantages of having a local dealer), they recommended that I go directly to BGE (and incurr shipping costs) than going through them.  Their primary focus seems to be selling rather than supporting.

2)  Firebox cracks:  how prevalent are they with the new design (expansion slit)?  I know they are covered under warranty but I am just wondering.  This has a lot to do with my 3rd question.

3)  How is the BGE compared to other grills such as the Grill Dome in terms of durability and robustness.  I don't want to have to baby a grill.  For example Grill Dome recommends that you:
- Do not use chimney fire starters (temperature shock),
- Do not cook indirect heat at high temperatures (i.e. cooking a pizza) as that could damage the unit - this one was a shocker
- Do not close both dampers at the same time to shut down - they recommend closing the bottom and then waiting 15 mins or until <250deg before closing top).  This would be an inconvenience each time I use it.

I've seen numerous postings and youtube video's where BGE dealers and customers say you can just close both dampers to shut down - is that really the case?

4)  Other than item 3), my research actually tells me to get a Grill Dome based on the following advantages:
- Thicker Ceramic
- Stainless Steel hardware
- Beefier Hinge
- Larger dome (more room for cooking things like turkeys)
- Lifetime warranty on all parts including hardware (BGE is 5 year on metal parts)

Sadly, having a local dealer for future support was a big advantage with the BGE for me - but I didn't get the warm fuzzy feeling when I talked to them this morning.

I'd love to hear people's opinions on these questions.

Thanks!

Comments

  • SqueezySqueezy Posts: 1,101

    I'd love to hear those opinions too ... especially about the Grill Dome which I know nothing about!

     

    Never eat anything passed through a window unless you're a seagull ...
    BGE Lg.
  • hogaholichogaholic Posts: 225
    edited December 2011
    I am a 4-year large egg user.

    1.  Dealers vary just like people do.  My local dealer is great, but sounds like you have a "bad egg" for a local dealer. Mine has bailed me out before when my bottom grate finally burned out and broke just before I was about to do a large cook for a lot of house guests.  One call for a replacement I was back in business.  He also carries all the eggcessories and Dizzy Pig seasonings which make great Christmas gifts.

    2.  I have never experienced any cracks in the firebox or anywhere else.

    3.  I start my egg with a propane torch and have never had a problem.  Just have to be careful to avoid burning the gasket.    Now that I think about it, I've gone out there when the outside temps were in the single digits and lit a big fire with the propane torch with no damage to the egg.  Sounds like the grill dome isn't built to the same quality standards as is the BGE.

    The advice by GD to not close the top vents is probably to allow the combustable gases to excape in the event you decide to reopen the dome to prevent backdrafts (fire from trapped combustable gas that are suddenly given a source of fresh oxygen).  This is good advice for both cookers. 

    I've done many indirect pizza cooks at 500 with no problems. 


    Jackson, Tennessee.
    VFL (Vol for Life)
  • Herbby,

    Thicker ceramics don't neccessarily mean better ceramics.

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • JimSJimS Posts: 78
    I have had a large green egg for 13 years. I start my fire with a Map torch. W hen i get ready to close down I put the top on and close the damper and walk away. My hardware ie the nest has not rusted and i lived on the gulf coast for 5 years with a lot of salt moisture. I just replaced the bands but was my fault in that i probly warped the lower band. I have had a total of 2 cracked fireboxes but were replaced with no questions. I am not familar with the other ceramic grill you mention but it looks to me like it is very fragile if you have to be particular about starting the fire and closing it down. I have cooked from 200 degrees to 900 and never had to baby it. i have replaced several gaskets until I went to the rutland and permatex. I bouhght my daughter and her husband a medium and it is 9 years old and never had a problem not even w/gaskets.
  • smokeyjsmokeyj Posts: 222
    I have had both. I like the Grill Dome hinge system better along with the stainless steel. I like color choice of the the G.D.. I bought my G.D. without a dealer near me. Now one opened which is really nice. I have used my Weber chimney to start my dome. I rather use an electric starter or the wax cubes anyways.
    Either cooker will get you great results. Both have good customer service. I gave G.D. info since you will get a lot more info from others on the egg here.
    I have done a lot of higher heat indirect cooks. I usually shut my bottom vent down and close my top vent 3/4 of the way then close completely in 5 minutes or when I'm done eating.
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 4,301
    Don't know what the dealer protocols are, but when I needed a replaced fire box, I worked thru the dealer (also a pool shop) The box was shipped to the dealer's branch that was about 7 miles from me. Only been using the new design since mid summer, so don't know about the longevity. The old one was at least 5 years old.

    Part 3 stuff has no relevance to the Egg. If you do shut down both vents after a super high fire, the dome should not be opened till the hot gasses have a chance to cool.

    I don't know the exact temperature, but the BGE ceramic is fired to over 2000F. Its very dense. As mentioned, there is little concern about heat shock. I wouldn't drop a bucket of water into a roaring one, but i have accidentally spilled a glass of liquid into one, and nothing happened.

    I'm not very careful about covering my Eggs up, so they sit in all sorts of rain, snow and ice. I may need to replace a few bolts next year, but the bands,and hinges don't show any wear. The metal tops seem to be similar to cast iron. Getting greased and heated makes them kind of waterproof.

    The Egg does have a whole bunch of accessories, both BGE and 3rd party.
  • Sounds like you have an unmotivated dealer... One next to me is a pool and spa dealer too. Her big selling point was the "great customer service" she would provide. Even gave me an example of how someone had their egg go Humpty Dumpty the day they bought it and she was able to get the mother-ship to replace the scrambled egg for free...

    I called customer service directly when i broke a bolt on the band and had an entire hardware package the next day. Even a couple BGE koozies LOL

    You probably wont go wrong in your decision but i too did the research and almost bought something else but incredibly happy i became a part of the BGE cult as my wife calls it.

    I shut mine down by closing both vents.

    I left it unattended and thought the fire had gone out but quick to realize it was 200 degrees but more like 1200. No issues (my gasket even survived and it didnt happen just once, i failed cooking with a 2 y/o 101)

    Many pizzas at over 500. No issues.

    I dont use a chimney, i use a fat boy torch from home depot ($3.15 to refill so it is much cheaper/faster than the started sticks). It is designed for efficiency, so light it in the middle and let it do what it is designed to do.

    at the end of the day i got the egg because i didn't want to have buyers remorse. all my friends with eggs say "i got a green egg" all the other usually start by explaining why they bough something else.i am sure you will enjoy whatever you get but follow your gut.

  • I have one of each and luckily I have a dealer for both where I live.  If I had to do this all over again I'd have to go Grill Dome based on color choices, stainless steel banding, weight assisted spring hinge, thicker ceramics...better fuel efficiency because of it...in my opinion and of course no gasket issues.  My GD is 5 years old...original gasket, my egg is 2 years old and 3 gaskets later.

    The lid is heavier to lift on the egg in comparison and when your hands are full this means a lot, I'm not bashing just being honest.
  • Hey Herbby, where are you located, maybe there is another dealer in the area that you could consider. I am new to the egg "cult" Looked at 2 other less expensive brands and decided to go with the egg. I want something that is going to last and not have to worry. For me I an glad I bought the egg, and didn't buy some other brand and wish I had purchased the BGE. In the end, do what you feel is best and carry on. Good Luck.
  • chrisnjennchrisnjenn Posts: 534
    edited December 2011
    My buddy bought a Grill Dome a few years ago and regrets he didn't buy a Big Green Egg. I played with his and it isn't as nice. Plus Big Green Egg has been around a long time and will be around.

    Interesting that the makers of the tier swing grid system also sells the GD and push both products heavily on a Big Green Egg site. Coincidence? No way.
  • ShiffShiff Posts: 1,189
    My dealer (Fred's BBQ and Music in Shillington, PA) is great and has handled 2 warranty replacements for me - firebox and fire grate.  He  is located about 20 miles away but is well worth the ride since he carries just about everything you could imagine.

    Check for other dealers in your area - tell us where you liveand maybe someone from this forum will recommend one.
    Barry Lancaster, PA
  • Thank you all for your feedback.  I'm just north of Charlotte NC in Cornelius.  I may check out some other dealers.
  • SqueezySqueezy Posts: 1,101
    Fred is a long way from where I live, but some day I will get down there. He is a character that's for sure!
    Never eat anything passed through a window unless you're a seagull ...
    BGE Lg.
  • joe@bgejoe@bge Posts: 394
    My dealer told me that the BGE ceramics are much higher density than the other ceramic grill vendors...don't know how much truth there is to that - but....all I know is that I own two eggs now - both perform flawlessly and have far exceeded my expectations.

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    "If that is true (the density thing) then the BGE would likely be less
    effective at heat retention.  There is a reason why insulation floats."

    yep.

    if the ceramics are for insulation, then thicker and lighter is better.

    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • gerhardkgerhardk Posts: 785
    If that is true (the density thing) then the BGE would likely be less effective at heat retention.  There is a reason why insulation floats.
    There is a difference between heat retention and insulation.

    Gerhard
  • Speaking from my experience with a BGE.  I know nothing about a Grill Dome

    1. After my dealer put my large BGE together they called and asked if I wanted to pick it up or would I prefer them to deliver it to the house at no charge.  I didn't want to wait a couple of days so I went and got it.  They loaded it in my truck and made sure it was secured for the trip home.  They then made sure I was told several times that "if anything goes wrong with your egg, call us first and we will deal with the company for you."  I actually have my sales guy home email addy and his personal phone number if I have any questions.  That in my opinion is customer service.

    2. I have had my temp pushing the 900 degree mark a few times.  Not a problem with any cracks if the firebox.

    3. I don't have to baby my BGE at all.  I use Rutland firestarters that I get at Ace Hardware, I have done 800 degree pizza cooks and shut the vents down and let fire die on it's on while saving on lump.  Baby it...I don't think so.

    My only issue with the BGE is the crappy gasket they use.  They could do better in this area.  Doing high temp cooks will fry the gasket.  My dealer even told me this and it is not a warranty item.  Oh well, my gasket has been fried for months and I have yet to replace it or had any problems doing lo and slo cooks or high temp cooks.

    When I first started looking at the BGE, my wife says your going to spend how much for a grill?  Now she says it was the best decision we made buying the BGE.  Maybe I'm bias but I don't work for or sale BGE.  This is just my experience with a very good cooker that has produced many great meals for my family and some friends.  My wife even says the BGE has made me a better cook. 

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Welcome to the Swamp.....GO GATORS!!!!
  • Grillin_n_ChillinGrillin_n_Chillin Posts: 52
    edited December 2011
    My buddy bought a Grill Dome a few years ago and regrets he didn't buy a Big Green Egg. I played with his and it isn't as nice. Plus Big Green Egg has been around a long time and will be around.

    Interesting that the makers of the tier swing grid system also sells the GD and push both products heavily on a Big Green Egg site. Coincidence? No way.
  • First off, I'm not pushing anything heavily on this forum as I'm not associated with Ceramic Grillworks.  Secondly a bit of history...Grill Dome has been around since 1989 and just because the egg is has the brand recognition doesn't make it the better the cooker. Your comment of "it isn't as nice" is based on what?

    I expressed my opinion based on me having both cookers.  Enough said.
  • EgtsEgts Posts: 27
    edited December 2011
    I have both a Grill Dome and an XL Egg. Hands down get the egg. The Grill Dome does not have thicker ceramics. It is only thicker in the band area. People who are saying it its twice a thick are misleading people. Also the paint on the Grill Dome is not as durable as the eggs glaze. My Grill Dome had the paint peel off, there are quite a few people that have had this happen. When I called Grill Dome, TK told me that water vapor migrated through the ceramics (BS???). By the way my Grill Dome always say in my garage, do it was our of the elements. Grill Dome also likes to argue with people making warranty claims, I've got first hand knowledge of it. It is also my understanding that TK used to work for BGE before he started Grill Dome. Now I must say that there is no difference in cooking between the to grills. Both are excellent cookers and cook great food. However, customer service is better with BGE and the product is more durable. The best thing you can do is buy from a local dealer, that will support you later. I'd look for another dealer even if they are in another town as shipping warranty parts across the country is expensive.
  • odie91odie91 Posts: 188
    To the OP... Any reason you are not considering a Primo? When I went into my local BGE dealer, she tried to convince me to get a Primo instead. Made in the USA, and more versatile than the BGE with the oval shape and firebox divider. I ended up getting neither... Found a used BGE on craigslist, but if I bought new, I'd go with the Primo.
  • I bought the XL BGE a month ago, A little pricey, But in my opinion WELL worth the time of research. No buyers remorse here.
    LET'S EAT
  • To the OP... Any reason you are not considering a Primo? When I went into my local BGE dealer, she tried to convince me to get a Primo instead. Made in the USA, and more versatile than the BGE with the oval shape and firebox divider. I ended up getting neither... Found a used BGE on craigslist, but if I bought new, I'd go with the Primo.



    Interesting. You give advice about something you have never used nor owned based on some suggestion from a sales girl. She probably gets a bigger commission or there is more profit by selling a Primo, genius.

    I owned a Primo and sold it. It was horrible and their customer service flat out sucks.

    Love me some maple.  Go Canadians.
  • odie91odie91 Posts: 188
    Well I figured she would be unbiased if she sold both brands. Maybe I'm wrong and she does get bigger commission from primo. No need to get all snarky at me though. PMS lately? What a tool.....
  • Well I figured she would be unbiased if she sold both brands. Maybe I'm wrong and she does get bigger commission from primo. No need to get all snarky at me though. PMS lately? What a tool.....
    Snarky?  PMS?  Tool?  Wow.  Even my teenager has more maturity than you.  I guess I should expect that from a moron who gives advice on something they know nothing about.
    Love me some maple.  Go Canadians.
  • My dealer in Stockton,Ca brought out my XL and set it up in the dark and cold, And have answered all my questions. Talk about customer service!!!!
    LET'S EAT
  • I have owned both and EGTS hit the nail on the head.

    Big Green Egg wins in all catagories in my book.

    As a matter of fact, am looking for a small BGE for my daughters housewarming gift.

    JT
  • Maybe she never cooked on or ate food off the BGE

     

    LET'S EAT
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