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Bought an XL w/ all the trimmings, have many questions (some might even be previously unanswered!)

ClarkWGriswoldClarkWGriswold Posts: 4
edited August 2012 in EggHead Forum
So.  As implied, I bought my first egg, as having a trailer smoker in the driveway just isn't plausible anymore. 

It's an XL.  Also added a plate setter to the package.  I did a lot of reading on this forum prior to purchasing, and saw some people complain it's hard to maintain a low & slow temp on them.  So I bought a CyberQ Wifi - which I'm pretty sure I had to do anyways, since nerds are obligated to nerd up everything.

So.  Questions.

-Since I'll be using a stoker tool, that obviously solves the issue of how wide to leave the bottom vent open.  But what should I be doing with the daisy wheel part up top if I'm seeking a temp in the 220-240 range?  Leave it full open and let the CyberQ work it out, or leave it almost completely shut as though I didn't have the technology?

-Are there any 3rd party cover options for the egg + the long table?  I don't so much mind paying the Germany tax for things for my car, but the Green tax for the egg bothers me.  $130 for a cover?? As I live in the Seattle area, it's not an optional thing.  I just don't wanna pay that much for one.

-What kind of grid extension options do I have (again, likely 3rd party)?  I'm in a situation where I've gotta do 2 briskets and 2 butts for a Q in the not so distant future, but the "official" XL dual grate item from BGE doesn't seem to put enough distance between the 2 levels to where I could pull that off with it.  I'm also not terribly amenable to buying a 2nd smoker right now for obvious reasons.

-For Seattle Eggheads:  Recommendations of where to go to buy accessories?  The place I bought my egg from was one disaster after another (more on that in a moment).  I'd rather not give them any more money.

-Reporting bad dealers:  Does BGE care if their dealers suck or not?  Is there a reporting mechanism to rat out bad ones to them?  Does this board have a place to put up reviews of them?  The one I chose did all of the below and more:

1)  Promised 1 day delivery; took a week
2)  Had a deal that included assembly; their delivery people left everything in boxes on my deck
3)  Tried to get me to pay another $75 for assembly, even though it was supposed to be included
4)  Assembled everything after I threatened to return it all; had given me the wrong table (I ordered tile top, they sent wood top). 
5)  Had to have them come back out to replace the table mishap.  Turned out in the 2 times they had come out and assembled everything and nested the egg into the table, failed to inform me that BGE sells spacers to separate the egg from the wood; that leaving it on the wood would likely set the table, my deck, and potentially my house on fire, or that firing it up like that instantly voided the warranty.  Thankfully, I looked at it before using it for the first time and thought "I'm no expert, but it appears that my grill is sitting on KINDLING", and didn't do any of these things.  Therefore, they tried to burn down my damn house.

-Per (5) above, I went to Lowe's and got a garden spacer, 2" thick and 16" square.  I don't know how much the "official" solution costs, but I'm sure it's more than the $1.59 I paid for the stone.  Was the best I could think of for a Sunday.  Sufficient heat diffuser for the egg and table, or do I need something more?

-Seattle Eggheads, part deux:  So apparently $679 only buys a table made of unsealed cypress (Whiskey.  Tango.  Foxtrot?).  During that same trip to Lowe's, bought some Olympic seal/stain (rosewood, for those keeping score in the home game).  Sufficient for the wetness out here, or do I need something more to maintain the appearance?

-Seattle Eggheads, part trois:  Anything special I need to know about smoking in the Northwest?  These 98 degree and sunny days like this weekend are obviously pretty rare.  Is the 1.5hr/lb cooking time for low/slow applicable up here, or does the more moderate temperature throw that off?  I've got a couple of briskets I'm going to practice on between now and the "big" BBQ where failure isn't an option, just hoping to know what to expect.

Thanks for reading my novella!

Comments

  • MikeP624MikeP624 Posts: 292

    Try the attached linked for accessories.

    http://www.ceramicgrillstore.com/xl-adjustable-rig.html

    I have the adjustable rig for the large.  It is pretty awesome.

    I have the BGE cover.  It was expensive, but great quaility.  Looked around at local hardware stores and did not find anything nearly as nice.

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 12,248
    Under 250F, the daisy wheel just needs to be cracked open.  I've run mine with it totally closed - it's leaky enough for the fan to power through.

    We just bought some outdoor fabric and sewed up a cover in about 45 minutes.  Friend of mine just bought a generic cover - found a match using gross measurements.

    Cypress can handle more abuse from the elements than most wood species, but unfinished, it doesn't last as long, and it will pick up stains from food.  Deck sealers are fine, you'll want to re-seal every year or three when it starts looking like water doesn't roll off it anymore.  Covering it is the best.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr., smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • JWBurnsJWBurns Posts: 334

    Try the attached linked for accessories.

    http://www.ceramicgrillstore.com/xl-adjustable-rig.html

    I have the adjustable rig for the large.  It is pretty awesome.

    I have the BGE cover.  It was expensive, but great quaility.  Looked around at local hardware stores and did not find anything nearly as nice.


    Hands down the best place for accessories is linked above!

    On you low and slow, just crack the top vent open enough to allow air to escape. No science to it really. Remember to set your damper on the DigiQ to half when doing low slows. 
  • Couple of notes.

    I have a large and got the table from http://www.daniellefence.com/products/553/Vinyl+Covers+for+EGG.aspx not a bad price for $90, loved the cover and fit perfectly.

    I live on the Kitsap Peninsula near you and have been egging since April of this year, nothing really to note changing time wise in our area. I would recommend a patio style umbrella, or a gazebo or something, for egging in the rain since we get a fair amount of it. I just bought a cheap one for $100 and use it to keep rain from going down the Daisy Wheel and keep it off of me.

    Sealing it I used 3 coats of MiniWax. Seems to work great so far.

    I have a 2" paver under my egg and have never had a problem.

    Not sure if you can do much about it but I have not heard great things about the Big Green Egg table, and I built/stained mine for $200 and a weekend.




  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 12,248
    I had mine directly on a paver and I melted the finish off the wood underneath during a pizza marathon.  I put spacers under the egg to create an air gap.  Problem solved.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr., smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • CanuggheadCanugghead Posts: 4,254
    remove the ceramic cap before putting on the cover, else you risk yanking off and dropping/shattering the cap when removing the cover ... don't ask how i know!
    Vaughan, ON
  • Wow, this *is* an active board!  Thanks for all the answers and links.  That one link provided looks exactly like the type of place I was searching for. 

    Soon as the stain on the table stops being a little tacky, gonna re-assemble and hopefully pop its fire-cherry this evening w/ a brisket.  Should be interesting to see what 3 days with a rub on it will do (wasn't planning on quite so many delays getting it all set up, heh)
  • I would take the home depot sealer back and go to a boat store and get the the epiphanes sealer. It's for wooden boats and it does not delaminate like the home store stuff does. of course at $41 per quart it ahd better be good. I just redid my top with it and it's worlds of different in the consisatancy of the 2. The epipahnes is so much thicker. the only issue is that it's only high gloss- and I mean HIGH gloss. You can get an additive to take the sheen down to satin for your last coat if you want to.

  • cortguitarmancortguitarman Posts: 2,008
    edited August 2012
    For a cover, go to a canvas shop that makes boat covers. They can make you one for a reasonable price. Top Gun or Sunrella are great outdoor fabrics. FWIW, my egg sits outside with no cover. No problems.
    Mark Annville, PA
  • jedawajedawa Posts: 24

    +1 on the adjustable rig...  I'm a newbie with an XL too.  I got the ar combo with woo2, 17.5" stone, and drip pan.  Let's me put stone lower than plate setter for more room.  I can do several roasts, butts, and ribs with room to spare.  FYI- The stuff close to dome cooks faster cuz heat from ceramic.  And the back of mine seems a little hotter, I spin my pizzas.  I also found out the hard way that if you cook with heat at the gasket line, the stock gasket torches pretty easy.  But BGE sent me a free high heat replacement.  Happy Eggin'

    http://shop.ceramicgrillstore.com/xl-woo2-adjustable-rig-combo/

    I'll eventually get one of these, but they're backordered...

    http://ceramicgrillworks.com/products-page/product-category/large-2-tier-adjustable-swing-rack-system/

    XL Big Green Egg, adjustable rig combo, Woo2, CyberQ, plate setter, Weber Genesis
  • doubledouble Posts: 1,214
    Lynnwood here I buy my lump at the local Aqua Quip store they have a rewards programme and often send out coupons so you can get some good deals on it. As far as accessories haven't really fallen in love with any particular local dealer.
    Lynnwood WA
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