Big Green Egg - EGGhead Forum - The Ultimate Cooking Experience...
It feels as though we’ve waited forever for college football to start, and finally the wait is over! Check out our tailgating page for recipes that are sure to become fan favorites. As an added bonus, the day before Labor Day is National Bacon Day and we don’t know about you, but we like putting bacon on anything and everything, so we’ll definitely be celebrating that. It's time to think about getting out to one of the many #EGGfests around the country - see a list here

Lots of questions...

Grillin_G_MaGrillin_G_Ma Posts: 94
edited September 2012 in EggHead Forum

I am driving 2 1/2 hours each way on Friday to pick up a used LBGE.  I would like to have everything on hand so I can start cooking right away.  (Yes, I'm a little obsessed about this!)  So I have some questions. 

1.  Do I have to have a wireless thermometer?  I am hoping to wait and ask Santa to bring me one of those.  I have a meat thermometer but won't the temperature drop every time I open the lid to check it?  I am used to cooking by the clock so this is a new experience.  Are there any general guidelines?

2.  Is the Cowboy charcoal that they sell at Lowe's okay to use?

3.  Is there a logical progression that will help to learn about using the BGE like hamburgers first, then chicken, and last a pork butt?

4.  I have the meat thermometer, a platesetter, the grill lifter and firestarters.  I will pick up charcoal.  Is there anything else that I absolutely should have to start?

5.  Would it be a good idea to attend the Eggtoberfest in Atlanta on October 19th?  Do they have good prices on the accessories?

Thanks for all of your help.  I've been reading this forum for several days and you all seem like a great group of eggheads.

Comments

  • 1.  If you're used to cooking by time, you can still do that for now, so you don't absolutely "need" a wireless thermometer, but boy it sure takes the guesswork out of doing low & slows, roasting, etc.  It will also make your food MUCH better because you won't be overcooking most of your stuff (as most folks tend to do if cooking by time).  So you can wait till Xmas, but you MUST get one.

    2.  I don't know.  I use Royal Oak from Walmart.  Works fine for me. 

    3.  Yes.  But really it's about learning how to control the temp of the Egg - that's more important than what you cook.  Once you master temp control, you can cook anything.  So w/ that in mind, I probably wouldn't go out & buy an expensive cut of meat while I'm learning how to control the temp cuz if I ruined the meat, I'd rather it be something like burgers or chicken as opposed to a $80.00 dry-aged prime rib. 

    4.  To get started, that's all you need.  Eventually you'll want some way to do multiple and raised grid setups.  You can go "cheap" (an extra grid & some bricks), or more expensive & elaborate (woo, spider, etc - see the various forums discussing these items). 

    5.  YES, YES, YES.  Oh, and did I say YES?  Going to Eggfests is a way to see what all can be done w/ the Egg as you'll have cooks doing everything from breakfast to desserts & everything in between w/ all the Egg-sessories you've ever thought of and then some.  You'll also meet all kinds of folks who can answer any questions you'll have (and others you haven't even thought of yet)

    HTH,
    HH
    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
  • My thoughts on your questions:
    1. No, you don't need a wireless meat thermometer.  BGE is a good heat sink, so opening the lid to check temp, (even with an old fashioned analog meat thermo) will not be an issue.  Wait for Santa.

    2.  Make sure you buy  lump charcoal (cowboy lump at Lowes will work fine).  After you use it for awhile, I am sure you will develop your own brand preference.

    3. The logical progression is, in my opinion, is based on how good you get at temp control.  Play around with the vent settings so you get the hang of it..  Pick food that requires different temperatures and try it.  Big winners at my house were plank salmon, spatch chicken, steaks.  They are pretty easy for someone starting out, and they really show off what the BGE can do.

    4.I think you have everything you need to start egging!

    5.  Haven't been to one, don't know.
  • Thanks for the info. I have a lot to learn but I will enjoy the process.
  • One thing further to what HH and tman says - do a spatch chicken heat at 400 indirect with you setter in, watch the temp and after an hour or so, cook by temp 160 breast/170 thighs, just like your gasser - Everyone will love the result. An easy first cook, and you don't need a Maverick or other wireless for the chicken. (put a drip pan on the setter under the chicken, with a spacer under the drip pan to avoid burning)
    Butts need wireless.
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • I found a video for preparing the chicken. Thanks for the suggestion. That will be my first cook this weekend. Do you smoke it too or just use charcoal?
  • I found a video for preparing the chicken. Thanks for the suggestion. That will be my first cook this weekend. Do you smoke it too or just use charcoal?
    For me no smoke. Chicken is delicate, smoke overpowers it, and it will not be on the grill that long to take on much smoke anyway, IMHO. I do have some friends who like hickory with chicken, good with a bay leaf rub. Just not my favourite. I like a nice dry rub or salt and pepper finished with a nice BBQ sauce. 
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • I also drove 2 1/2 hours to get my egg. Greenville to Atlanta. I went on a Saturday and the BGE store in ATL was having a cooking demo. I spent an hour or so there picking the brains of the guys that were there cooking. I got A LOT of helpful info. Temp control tips, recipe ideas etc. I have the following accessories... plate setter, ash tool, grid lifter and pizza stone. I use B & B lump charcoal. I've learned the Cowboy lump isn't real good. The day I got my Egg, I cooked burgers. The second day, I did an overnight butt. Don't do a high temp cook until you've cooked a couple of 300-400 degree cooks. Since then I use my Egg at least three days a week. Definitely get a pizza stone. Pizza cooked on an Egg is incredible!! And remember... If you're lookin, you ain't cookin! Learn to trust your Egg! If you build a good fire and set the temp it's hard to screw up! Also... Read this forum. I've learned more here than I ever thought I would. These guys are great!
  • @hashmaker - if your egg has the BGE felt gasket, make sure you have a spare, as soon as you go over 400, you will need it. BGE has finally started to ship with high heat gaskets. Pizza is incredible.
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • @Skiddymarker - I've replaced the gasket once with another felt one from BGE ( called them and they sent another felt one) and need to do it again. I just haven't coughed up the money for an upgraded one yet.
  • DonWWDonWW Posts: 249
    Welcome to the zoo, Grillin.  A progression of difficulty is how I did it.  This lets you get the feel for the Egg and how it cooks. 

    I would definitely get a dual probe wireless.  Like many others, I have the Maverick 732 and use it for the majority of my cooks. 

    Definitely go for the spatchcock chicken.  Simple to prepare and remarkable outcomes.

    The one additional accessory I would recommend is a pizza stone.  BGE pizza is addictive.  Period.
    XL BGE.  Dallas, Texas.
  • tjvtjv Posts: 3,241

    One thing further to what HH and tman says.......cook by temp 160 breast/170 thighs, 

    One thing further to the one thing further........USDA now recommends chicken to 165 internal, as measured in the wing, thigh and breast, whole bird is considered done at 165 internal.......

    Odd thing is USDA also recommends you do not wash/rinse the bird prior to cooking/grilling......guess it minimizes the spread of the bacteria and such.....

    t

    www.ceramicgrillstore.com
    ACGP, Inc.
  • Could I just put baked potatoes on the rack with the spatchcock chickens for the same amount of time?  Should I wrap them in foil?

    Thanks for all of your help.

  • Instead of baked...cut some red potatoes and add some olive oil, Italian seasoning, garlic salt, pepper and lemon slices (same thing I put on and in the chicken)...wrap in foil and place on grate. I usually flip them once...much better than baked taters IMHO!
  • Could I just put baked potatoes on the rack with the spatchcock chickens for the same amount of time?  Should I wrap them in foil?

    Thanks for all of your help.

    Split bird done this past weekend, did nugget taters around it (only for about 30 minutes) they cook rather quickly. You can use all the space on the grid, just watch as the more you put on the more the temp may drop. 
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • Welcome, Biggest learning curve for me was chasing temperatures around, instead of getting the temperature I desired and then leaving it alone.
    LBGE, Weber OTG w/ Rotisserie, Weber Genesis S-330, Chargriller Duo, AR-15, AK-47
  • Cowboy lump at lowes is just okay.  B&B at walmart is better.  

    When you first start to cook wait for the white smoke to turn blue or clear or your food will taste like creosote.

    I think hamburgers are harder than steaks or pulled pork.  Chicken is a nice start, but meatloaf, steak, pork chops whatever.

    I coat my baked potatoes in olive oil, kosher salt and Costco salt free seasoning and bake without foil of an hour to 1-1/2 depending on size.  Nobody in my family will eat a micro potato anymore.  The egg has drawbacks.

    You got good advice on thermometers.  You might add a thermapen to the Xmas list.  

    I like my chicken indirect at 450 for an hour or 1-1/2, but I don't cook it much.

    Alder planked salmon is super easy.  wet plank, 450 till white dots show up on the top of the fillet.  I usually season with evoo, pepper and dill, maybe onions and a little dizzy pig.

    Line up the flapper on the top in line with the swing of the lid so that it doesn't move when you open the lid.

    Have fun! Post a lot of pics here and ask a lot of questions.  You can go here too: www.greeneggers.com

    Ed
  • Learn to build the correct fire for what you are making. Slow and Low- I start on the top in the middle of egg. For a steak- I'll start it on the bottom, let it heat up for 10 minutes then stir it around to get a larger fire.

    The best thing to learn is not to put the meat on too early, let the bad smoke burn off first.

    Take your time and have fun!

  • Learn to build the correct fire for what you are making. Slow and Low- I start on the top in the middle of egg. For a steak- I'll start it on the bottom, let it heat up for 10 minutes then stir it around to get a larger fire.

    The best thing to learn is not to put the meat on too early, let the bad smoke burn off first.

    Take your time and have fun!

    +1
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
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