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A thank you, an admission and a concern

batboybatboy Posts: 25
edited October 2012 in EggHead Forum

First the admission:  while I've read a ton of threads on this forum and have asked a few questions myself, the truth is that I do not own a BGE (yet).  Everytime I get close to shelling out the bucks, something comes up or I get cold feet.  The fact is that the money needed for a Large BGE plus eggcessories is needed too many other places right now.  In the interim, I have converted my Weber gasser into a ghetto smoker and I've been using the techniques from this forum to try to cook like the cool kids and their BGEs. On the Weber, I used aluminum foil to cover and seal the worst of the leaky places so that it holds smoke better.  The grill has 3 horizontal burners, so I removed the rear "flavorizer bar", put a smoker box directly on that burner, and don't turn the other burners on.  Sometimes I'll use a water pan underneath to go even more indirect. I can maintain 250F for as long as the propane lasts.  These techniques plus the BGE tips and tricks picked up here have led to some terrific meals this summer.

As for the thank you:  I have 2 kids that are fairly picky eaters.  The oldest is starting to come around, but the 4 year old is still stuck on chicken fingers, pizza, hot dogs or plain noodles, that's it.  Since I started playing around and "smoking" things on the grill in the spirit of the BGE, the oldest has fallen in love with chicken wings (using DP Shakin the Tree), brisket and salmon.  Last night was a true breakthough:  I made a spatchcocked chicken using DP Shakin the Tree and for the first time ever, my entire family all ate the exact same meal.  I pulled apart some great pieces off the thigh and breast, put them on my 4 year old's plate (along with sides that he is familiar and comfortable with) and said "this is it, this is dinner, no special dishes just for you."  In the past, taking this hard-line approach has led to some ugly meltdowns.  This time he was curious given how much older bro was raving and stuffing his face.  The first bite was the hardest for him; after that he chowed down on the meat just like the rest of the family -- and he asked for more!  The fact that he ate a natural, home-cooked protein that wasn't processed, fried and frozen was a magical thing -- and I credit this forum, even though I don't even own a BGE.

As for the concern: I will get a BGE, oh yes, I will.  The concern is that things have been going so well on my 'wanna be smoker/grill' that I'm afraid that a BGE won't live up to the hype.  I simply cannot imagine a spatchcocked chicken tasting any better than the one I made last night.  Clearly, going from gas to charcoal will bring with it more and better flavor, but to what extent?  I'm actually afraid that my family will prefer the gasser because the charcoal flavor will be foreign to them.  I guess I'm just worried that the improvements going from a gas grill to a real charcoal smoker won't be enough to justify the cost.  That's all.    

Comments

  • travisstricktravisstrick Posts: 4,436
    Pretty cool. I bet you remember that chicken for a long time.
    Be careful, man! I've got a beverage here.
  • Congratulations on improving your game.  It is a great feeling when your family really likes what you cook, isn't it?  Money concerns are a top priority for many especially in this economy so don't feel bad about being unable to pull the trigger.  I get the sense that it will happen for you when it happens.  I wouldn't worry about switching from gas to charcoal.  It only means your food will be tastier.  Sooner or later you will make the decision and it will be a step outside your comfort zone.  Stick with it. 

    The Egg IS that much better and it will amaze you.  I would advise going to an EggFest near you and sampling food the Egg produces. Once again, congratulations with your food!

    ........................................................................................

    Flint, Michigan.  Named the most dangerous city in America by the F.B.I. three years running.

  • MJGMJG Posts: 146
    Don't feel bad about not owning a BGE. I don't either. Like you I have been lurking, trying to learn, and am now sure that I will pull the trigger soon. Nice story about the kid eating. With all the difficult time in parenting the great moments are what keep most going. Good luck!
    Large Big Green Egg in a nest. North Shore of Boston.
  • Glad to have you guys on board. I fretted over getting an egg for 2 years. Shopped around for cheaper alternatives etc. I lived in a cold climate at the time and that was the last straw for me. Couldn't keep anything else warm in 20 below Wisconsin winters.

    Once I got y egg, I never turned on my gasser again.....not even once. I had a big stainless $1000 rig and had just rebuilt the insides. I took it to the fire station and donated it after 6 months of being dormant. The guys were thrilled and still use it to this day. I can tell you that the egg provides so many more things than your rigged up gasser ever will. No harm in being cautious and being smart with your money. Just know that once money is not a concern and you do choose to get an egg, you will wonder why you waited so long.

    As for the flavor, if you just cook over lump with no wood chucks or chips, the flavor can be quite mild. We eat off our egg several times a week (and have for around 9 years since I got it). My kids grew up on it and will no doubt be eggheads one day as well.



  • CONGRATS on getting your child to eat "real" food!!  =D>

    As far as the Egg not living up to the "hype" - it may, or it may not, I dunno.  I guess that depends on how much you've perfected your spatchcock chicken on the Weber. 

    Keep in mind that the Egg is JUST a grill, albeit a very good quality one.  But even the best BBQ chef can cook up a MEAN batch of 'Que in an old abandoned metal trash can!!  And most of the "professional" mobile smokers are big metal ones, and not Eggs. 

    The Egg just helps control temp better... that's it.  It's more efficient at maintaining a constant temp, and more efficient at getting to that temp.  Metal conducts & radiates heat a LOT more than ceramic, so to keep the same temp for a long period of time (say, a "low & slow") on a metal smoker, you'd have to constantly keep monitoring the temp, and you'd have to feed it more fuel more often. 

    But the Egg isn't a magical device (though I guess the way we Eggheads fawn all over it, someone on the outside would think it was).  I've gotten a lot of strange looks & questions when I've had guests over for a cookout & they see me taking pics of my food, they think I'm crazy!!  :-B 8-}

    P.S.  Shop around, compare prices.  You'll find that many of the high-end stainless setups are just as much as the Egg nowadays!!  But, for the amount of $$ you'd spend on a high-end metal grill, the Egg is a better buy, IMHO because of the lifetime warranty, and the MUCH MUCH more efficient means of getting to temp & maintaining it!!   
    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
  • See if a friend or neighbor or local dealer has an egg and have them cook what you want so you can try it.
    Born and raised in NOLA. Now live in East TN.
  • DeckhandDeckhand Posts: 318
    Lump charcoal imparts very little flavor by itself.  Smoking woods (hickory, oak, cherry, apple, pecan, mesquite, etc.)  mixed with the lump give the smoke flavor.  People bake on the BGE.  They wouldn't do that if their cherry pie smelled like smoke... Well, some would.  
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 4,259
    Your post was one of the most interesting I've read in a long time. Not to get maudlin, but, geez, love of family, love of cookin'.

    Nothin' wrong w. that.

    I completely understand being careful w. $$. As CTS, I waited a couple of years to buy an Egg. Don't rush yourself. Need a new front end on your car, or a transmission? Got a leak in your bathroom tub that's rotting the floor? Get those out of the way.

    There is not much hype about the BGE. Some of the older advertising talked about just using a hand lfull of lump per cook. Strictly speaking, its true, but its better to have that hand full sitting in the middle of a whole firebox.

    Another thing about utility. The BGE is not just a smoker, or grill. Last week, my less than 1 year old kitchen stove would not heat the oven. I had a loaf of bread, ready to go, even tho' it was 6 a.m. and still dark. So, no warm kitchen for breakfast, but by 9, I had my fresh loaf coming out of one of my Eggs.

    Again, no need to rush. Lo-n-slo is the way to go. An Egg will repay itself in a few years w. food better than many restaurants, and extreme reliability. Get one when you can.




  • Batboy, don't feel bad about not having an egg. It took quite awhile (and a great sale) for my wife and I to finally decide to spend the money. The fact that you are gathering the family around the dinner table and making meals that they love is fantastic (an egg won't top that) Where do you live? If you're nearby, you're more than welcome to come over try out my BGE! If I'm not close enough, I'm sure you can find someone on this forum who lives close by and would be willing to do the same.
  • henapplehenapple Posts: 11,752
    i waited years. went to buy parts for my pgs gasser, which ive had for 16 years and will probably last another 16. it has set dormant since i bought the egg....on sale. as long as you enjoy what you have and the food's good....your happy....family enjoys....sounds like you have it nailed. had a honda and loved it, great rides.bought a harley, liked it better. didnt make the rides any better.
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • Don't worry about the charcoal taste. It's there, but mild. I've learned that the charcoal taste that we all think of is actually lighter fluid used to light briquettes. Food cooked on lump and food cooked over briquettes is vastly different.
    Mark Annville, PA
  • henapplehenapple Posts: 11,752
    actually the rides were better....comfort, performance, etc. had fun with both
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • DonWWDonWW Posts: 257
    Batboy, If it's one thing I learned raising a couple of boys, it's that getting them as excited and involved with things like this reaps huge benefits.  Get them outside to help unpack, setup, tell them about the lump charcoal.  Tell them you want them to help you.  Let them know how excited you are about how awesome the food is going to taste.  Worked for me in many instances.  
    XL BGE.  Dallas, Texas.
  • Over or under one month before he has one? Lol.

     

    I think it's great that you are waiting for the right time, but when you do get your EGG, it will be one of the best purchases you have ever made, and you will wonder why you waited this long!



    "Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage."

  • FanOfFanboysFanOfFanboys Posts: 1,607
    One thing I have learned, and it applies from grilling to proper use of a cooler and a hundred things between is the right technique can make even a rigged or cheap product better. So many people jump into buying the most expensive and have no real idea how or why it works. I think when you get your BGE you will appreciate it that much more and use it that much more effectively. You getting the technique or the "why" behind the concept of proper grilling is more important than dropping any amount of money on a product.
    Boom
  • I was like CTS, I had a high dollar gasser and thought I could put out a pretty good meal.  I finally decided I wanted to try a smoker.  After talking to many others who had a BGE, I bit the bullet and bought my first large.  I haven't looked back and now own a large and a small.  I never used that gasser again and finally gave it to a friend of my wife's so she at least had a grill.  It would take a mighty fine smoker / grill to get me to ever change from a BGE with the quality of food I can now produce.

    Feel free to ask questions, I certainly did not hear about the BGE one day and bought it the next.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Welcome to the Swamp.....GO GATORS!!!!
  • HashmakerHashmaker Posts: 149
    When you get one, get a pizza stone. My daughter had the same eating habits. She rolls her own dough and builds her own pie. She really likes the "egg pizza".
  • Hashmaker said:
    When you get one, get a pizza stone. My daughter had the same eating habits. She rolls her own dough and builds her own pie. She really likes the "egg pizza".
    We have eaten 80% less restaurant pizza since learning to do it right on the egg.



  • DocWonmugDocWonmug Posts: 261
    Great post. Everybody here says its the end result that matters, not the tools to get it. "Rock on" to quote Garth. 

    Pizzas might be tough on a gasser. But other than that....
    LBGE
  • Ragtop99Ragtop99 Posts: 1,173
    If you're afraid of the charcoal flavor, there are couple things to try first.  Do you know anyone with weber kettle you could borrow for a few days?  Buy a bag of lump charcoal and cook a few meals on it and see how you like it.  Assuming charcoal cooking is well received, since funds are tight you might consider finding a used weber kettle or weber smokey mountain.  It gets you in the game.  Cooking with a wood fire is a different skill than using gas and being creative, you could get years of enjoyment from them with a much smaller investment.  I used a weber kettle for over two decades before buying my egg.  I've had excellent BBQ from a friend's WSM. 

    For me the egg was a bit of a luxury and its biggest advantage is all weather capability and its set and forget (sorta) capability to hold a constant temp for hours.  Without the egg, I only did low and slow cooks during about a 4-6 month window.
    Cooking on an XL and Medium in Bethesda, MD.
  • I can appreciate your concerns about cost.  I too had a problem justifying the cost and shelling out the money, but the fact is, I probably spent more money in the long run trying to save money instead of buying the egg in the first place.  Needless to say, I now have an egg anyway and have never looked back.  When the kids and grand-kids hear I'm cooking they allways find and excuse to stop by.  My wife complains that I cook too much for just the two of us, then complains that we don't have leftovers because the kids came over.

    Yes, you will get your egg and you and the family will love it.  You will look back and ask why you didn't do it sooner.
    Brighton, IL (North East of St. Louis, MO)
  • batboybatboy Posts: 25
    Thanks for the great replies.  This is a truly special online community and I thank you for your kind words, recipes, advice, etc.  My wife thanks you too, as I have begun taking on more cooking responsibilities.  I'm thinking that a BGE will find its way onto my deck some time in 2013.  If that year-end bonus comes through, 1-1-13 might be a special day.
  • r270bar270ba Posts: 763

    batboy said:
    Thanks for the great replies.  This is a truly special online community and I thank you for your kind words, recipes, advice, etc.  My wife thanks you too, as I have begun taking on more cooking responsibilities.  I'm thinking that a BGE will find its way onto my deck some time in 2013.  If that year-end bonus comes through, 1-1-13 might be a special day.
    Well heres hoping it does (they need a emoticon of a smiley cracking open a beer)
    Anderson, SC
    XL BGE, Father's Day Gift 2012 (Thanks Fam!!!)
    Webber Kettle and Webber Summit Gasser
    Want List: Thermapen, Small BGE, Wok, Adjustable Rig, Food Saver, More $

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