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Question about Egg vs Gas Grill

wheelermwheelerm Posts: 4
edited January 2012 in EggHead Forum
Hi!

I am new to grilling and am planning to purchase a Big Green Egg because of all the wonderful things I have heard about it. However, I am really busy and it would be nice to grill up a steak quickly for dinner. My friend recommended a gas grill because he says it heats up much faster and is much more user friendly. What are the opinions out there about the pros and cons of a Big Green Egg vs a gas grill? How does the heat up time of the Egg compare with other charcoal grills?

Thanks
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Comments

  • psalzerpsalzer Posts: 106
    Your Egg will be at 700deg about 15 minutes after you light it!! How does that compare with gas? I often cook. Burgers for lunch .... much faster than gas, a and much better!!!!
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 4,626
    Well, there are ashes left to clean out after using an Egg. And the Egg doesn't have a built in starter.

    However, if a weed burner is used to start the lump, you'll get a fire hotter than a gas grill very quickly.  While I usually try to not rush to "lava" temps, there have been more than a few times that I went into the house for maybe 10 minutes and came out to a foot long blue jet shooting from the Egg exhaust.

    And, it can be done in the dead of winter at minus -F. Try that with a gasser.
  • Hi54puttyHi54putty Posts: 1,636
    The cost/benefit analysis on time and money is overwhelmingly in favor of the BGE. I have a very nice gas grill and haven't even considered turning it on since I bought the Egg. You will not regret the purchase.
    XL,L,S 
    Winston-Salem, NC 
  • travisstricktravisstrick Posts: 4,864
    Agreed, you can be cooking in 10 to 15 min depending on your method of starting the fire.
    Be careful, man! I've got a beverage here.
  • psalzerpsalzer Posts: 106
    The Egg doesn't need a "built in starter"!
  • hogaholichogaholic Posts: 225
    Firstly, this is a BGE forum.  If you expect to hear glowing reviews of gas grills you are in the wrong place.

    I still use my gas grill occasionally, but the egg gets used 5-6 times for every 1 time I use the gasser.  The gasser is used to cook veggies or fry bacon or sausage when I don't want to make a mess with grease in the house.  All my other meat goes on the egg exclusively.

    The problem with gas grills is that there is so much air going through there it tends to dry food out.  You also cannot achieve the high temps in a typical gasser that you can in the BGE.

    I converted my gas grill to natural gas and drilled out the orifices to achieve a hotter flame.  I can get that gas grill to around 500-550 degrees but it takes a full 15-20 minutes or so to do it.  By then I can have a really hot fire with the egg using a propane torch ("weedburner") to light the lump.
    Jackson, Tennessee. VFL (Vol for Life)
  • smokesniffersmokesniffer Posts: 1,806
    edited January 2012
    It really doesn't take long to bring the egg up to temperature.There is a learning curve that takes place. The taste of the food is WAY better IMHO. There is some clean up of ash, but you would have that with a briquette BBQ as well. As mentioned, grilling in below zero weather is a non-issue. It is awesome to have smoke chugging away and snow on the ground. Try that in a gasser and see how if works out for you.
    One other thing that I like is, I stock up on lump and then when I get down to a few bags, I go stock up again, never to run out of fuel. I have however forgotten to check the propane level and been grilling and run out of fuel and then the meal is finished off in the oven. This hasn't happened on a regular basis, but it has happen a few times over the years.
    If you could go to a demo or a dealer who does some cooking you could see how the egg fires up and taste the finished meal, it may help you to jump in. 
    In some posts ( not sure where they are) you can go fire up the egg and while it is getting up to temp, you start preparing the meal and get things ready. Time works out just about right.

  • I disagree with cooking 10 minutes after you light the fire because the charcoal hasn't burnt out all the VOCs.  I wait at least 30 minutes.
    __________________________________________

    Dripping Springs, Texas.
    Just west of Austintatious

  • Mighty_QuinnMighty_Quinn Posts: 1,878
    Yeah, just because it's hot, doesn't necessarily mean its ready to cook on. those that cook after 10 minutes are the ones that start threads wondering why their food has an off tasting, bitter smoke flavor.
  • I totally agree, If i know i am cooking on the egg that night. I start it as soon as i get home and then start all the prep work. set the vents for 350 and let it do its thing. 

    The egg is always ready before I am.  And remembering back, the gasser took 20 minutes or more to get up to a temp of 350 or 400 to do a beer can chicken. 

    as far as running out of charcoal. i ran out of gass a lot more often and had to finish inside.  Lump is available at Home depot, lowes, walmart, and even Kroger.

     

     

    XL   Walled Lake, MI

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    edited January 2012
    all instructions for any grill (gas or otherwise) always tell you to light it and wait for it to get up to temp.  you CANNOT light a gas grill and toss a steak on in five minutes.  Well, technically you can, but you could do the same with an egg too.  Neithr would be the best way to cook a steak.

    Does the BGE take time to get cruising to a certain temp? yes and no.  If i want a roaring fire, i use fresh light lump.  Boom.  750 in 15 minutes max.  your gasser never gets to 750 anyway.

    but what most of us do is rethink the cook.  With a gasser, you putz around the kitchen getting the meat ready.  Then you walk out and light the grill, wait a few minutes and toss the steak on.  Gives you the illusion that it is quick.

    well, I light the egg first, then go in and putz around with the steak.  While i'm seasoning and slicing veggies or whatever, the egg is getting to temp.

    Takes the same amount of time.

    If someone timed it all anyway, and said the gasser was even 20 minutes faster (it's not), I still can't see how that would screw up dinner time or sway my decision.

    And forget about just steaks. Ask him how the gasser does with pizza, pulled pork, baking bread, etc., too.

    You can't compare apples to eggs. (see what i did there/)
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 4,626
    While it takes time to let the VOCs clear at lower temperatures, if the fire is running towards max, the VOCs are burning (making the fire all that much hotter.)

    And, for a direct cook sear, the lump is putting out more heat in IR than burning propane does in heated air. So while I usually don't drop food into a roaring fire, if I'm in a hurry and have something thin-ish, like pork steaks, I'll drop them on when the dome hits 450, and turn them every few minutes. 20 - 25 minutes from lighting the fire, dinner is done.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    edited January 2012
    Gdenby says something which is lost on most folks: when you sear a steak in a BGE that says "600", you are actually searing around 1200. The flame of a gas grill Is much cooler.

    Both grills may say "600", but that is airtemp, and you dont sear with air. The direct radiant heat of charcoal can approach 1800 degrees, rendering the air temp ( thrrmometer) irrelevant

    Dome temp in a bge is a tough indication of how much 1000+ degree lump is burning. The lump in a 250 degree bge is still close to a thousand degrees. There's just only enough of it to warm the dome to 250

    To take it to an extreme, an easy-bake oven cooks with an element which is around 4500F. It's the filament of a lightbulb, and small enough that the oven itself never gets to 4500 itself

    In a gasser, the flames are pretty cold compared to roaring charcoal. And you cook with the radiant heat from both
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • You also don't usually have to wait a 1/2 hr to burn off voc's unless you've put new lump in the egg. Unless I'm doing a low and slow I usually get 4-5 cooks out of the same batch of lump. As soon as any grease/residue from the previous cook burn off I'm cooking as soon as it hits temp.
  • To follow up what Stike said, I one measured the temp at the grate with a firebowl full of roaring charcoal and found it to be about 1500 degrees.
    The Naked Whiz
  • A gas grill isn't forever. I am pretty sure I won't be buying another grill, unless it's a second Egg.
  • yumdingeryumdinger Posts: 195

    Here is my take on this subject.  Within the last year I am an Egg Convert.  I woned a perfectly good gasser previosuly and loved it.  I just could not get the flavor I am capable of in the egg.

    I was up against the same issues you are.  Very busy life with kids, coaching work, commute on and on .  I decided that I would find time.  I bought the egg and will never look back.

    Owning the egg has given my family something to enjoy together.  I find my boys talking about what they want me to cook next. In fact my youngest has grown to enjoy veggies tath were previously off limits.

     

  • Now there is the real reason, I got my wife to buy in. You wont have to buy a replacement in 4 years.

     

     

    XL   Walled Lake, MI

  • BrocBroc Posts: 1,398
    Well... My friends love their gassers.  I'm an Egger.

    So, we experimented.  We cooked a bunch of stuff side-by-side, gas vrs Egg.  Taste-Testers-Anonymous-We!

    For several years, now, we all meet every Friday and cook on the Egg... even in winter... even in heavy snowstorms... and -- Yeah!  We even bake bread in thet L'il Ole Egg.

    But -- Gassers are great for one thing... to hold all that stuff ya use when Eggin'
    Now -- my gasser is long gone.  The only thing I miss is the shelf-space it provided.

    Downside of Eggin'... Ya gotta handle lump, and it's dirty.  No ifs-ands-or-butts about it.  But, I get very little lump dirt of me, after several years of learning how to handle it.

    But I still have my gas canister!  That and my weed burner get the lump started real super fine-like!  Roar!

    :)

    ~ Broc
  • Thank you everyone for all your great responses. This has been really helpful. I hate shelling out all the money to buy me a BGE. However, I don't think it will be money wasted. I am super excited at the same time. I will be getting my egg on February 1st.
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 27,408
    If you compare the egg to a good quality gasser the egg is cheaper. The gasser doesn't get any better with price.

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • Yes, I did hear that a high quality gas grill can cost $1500.00. It's just that I have never been much of a cook or a griller. I do have an indoor electric grill. At first, when I tried to grill steaks on it and they tasted like crap, I thought it was me and my lousy grilling skills. Now, after reading about it, it also had to do with that grill. I still have it and it's going to Goodwill. I try to follow a Paleo diet and I am really interested in making my own steaks and chicken that has a flavor and tastes good. Also, want to grill vegetables too.
  • It's like anything else you buy, Ya get what ya pay for. I personnaly would rather pay for 1 BGE than buy 4-5 gassers
    LET'S EAT
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 27,408
    What most don't realise about the egg is that you will pretty much zero out your order in and restaurant meals within the first year. You will, however, have more guests

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • Yes, I tend to eat out alot because I am such a terrible cook and the fact that my food doesn't taste very good just encourages me to be more lazy about cooking. Also, restaurant food is generally not very good for you, it just tastes good and can make you fat. I am spending too much money eating out and my goal is to eat mainly lean meats and vegetables. From what I've read, it seems like the Egg will be just the right tool to help me learn to make my own healthy food that actually has a flavor and tastes good.
  • BOWHUNRBOWHUNR Posts: 1,471
    As one poster said on here a while back.  "You will never have to worry about replacing your egg.  The only worry you will have is which kid inherits it."

    Me, I am up to three eggs now.  I just keep buying them to see if I will like them. :D

    Mike
    Omaha, NE

    I'm ashamed what I did for a Klondike Bar!!

    Omaha, NE
  • i find the only food i will order out in a resturant is something i haven't learned to cook myself on the egg.  i will never order ribs, pulled pork, or steak. 

    I end up ordering a couple of appetizers that I cant or wont cook at home.

     

    XL   Walled Lake, MI

  • Hungry JoeHungry Joe Posts: 1,186
    edited January 2012
    Lets not forget that the gasser has its place in the BBQ world, after all it was a great place to store all my eggccessories  until I finally rolled it to the curb for the local scrap guy that comes around every Friday morning before trash pick up. There might have been enough scrap there to buy himself a happy meal.
  • NJ-GrEGGNJ-GrEGG Posts: 171

    I had my large BGE since 2003 and it's still a baby compared to how long others here had there Eggs.  Just another thought about the time it takes to start cooking.  If you are going to do steaks or a roast you are going to leave the meat out for about an hour anyway to let it come close to room temp before cooking.  Your Egg will be long ready before then!  For quick burgers and dogs light the coals first, drink a beer, then get cooking. 

     

  • or 2
    LET'S EAT
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