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After years of deliberation and due diligence

733102243733102243 Posts: 38
edited October 2012 in EggHead Forum

I bit the bullet - (decisions can be painful), and pulled the trigger:

After a month-long flirtation with a PrimoXl - I bought a large BGE. It will be delivered Monday.

I'm not a noob as far as cooking goes but a total noob as far as ceramics go:

My original intent is to use the BGE for Pork - Butts, picnics, ribs etc. Low and Slow. Any advice on breaking-in? First cooks?

FYI - bought basic package: Large BGE, plate setter, nest, Daisywheel, etc. Plan to add some kind of extender, Stoker/CyberQ etc. but first things first... breaking-in. Should I cook something? Or just put some charcoal in, light it see how long it burns?

:-)

Thanks in advance

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Comments

  • vettmanvettman Posts: 17
    Welcome to the BGE fraternity, I bought mine around Super Bowl time and broke mine in on a long 15hr Pork Butt.  I have a large and build a nice nest for it (wanted more stability) The Butt turned out great for my first, but cant take all the credit the Egg did all the work.  I was amazed at how it maintained 180 degree temp for that amount of time.  Pick out your fav meat and go at it and enjoy many years of fun and fellowship.
    Doug
  • U_tardedU_tarded Posts: 1,175
    edited October 2012
    welcome, don't worry about breaking in too much.  hopefully you got the new high temp gasket!  temp control is the hardest thing to learn so a no brainer low and slow is a good starting point pork butt etc.  enjoy and take lots of pics!
  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 5,731
    welcome aboard, The first two or three cooks should be under 400, or so my instructions said, and after each of the first 2 or 3 cooks, tighten the bands.... make sure they are torqued correctly. 
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • Thanks!

    Got the new gasket - larger handle etc. Plan to add a CyberQ/Stoker as soon as I get it broken-in. I have a Lynx gasser with a smoke box that works well for weeknight cooks (easy, no drama) but am really missing hickory flavored pulled-pork.

    The Lynx is just useless when it comes to low and slow. The Sear burner is its great redeeming feature though I can't wait to try a Tri-Tip over oak with the BGE.

    Will post pics and experience.

     

  • BTW - thanks for a great resource. I've devoured everything I could find here. Now - to devour some fine swine...

    :-)

  • mb99zzmb99zz Posts: 182
    Welcome!  I too just joined the BGE family.  This forum pretty much helped me move to the BGE.  
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 4,231
    Welcome, and congratulations on your purchase. I spent 2 years trying to convince myself to buy an Egg, and within a week or two of getting my first, I wanted to kick myself for waiting.

    I'll suggest you get some sort of grill raising set up soon. Then a Thermopen, which takes the guess work out of many things.

    Do read thru the forum. Also check out the Naked Whiz's website about ceramic cookers. Among many things, he describes how to do spatchcock'd chicken. Its fairly simple, doesn't take to long to cook, and makes a decent introduction to the Egg.

    The one primary thing to learn is temperature control thru airflow management. Its all pretty much vent settings. But don't fuss too much trying to get an exact temperature, and don't expect the temperature to change rapidly after changing the settings. For example, if you want a dome temperature of 250F for a low and slow cook, don't worry if the temperature is 15F lower, or 25F higher. Sometimes, the fire just won't co-operate. It will stay steady at 260, but wobble around above or below. So leave it at 260. If you want to adjust it, tap the bottom vent ever so slightly, (more closed for a little cooler, a bit wider for hotter.) and wait at least 15 minutes to see what the temperature goes to.

    And, save yourself a surprise. Don't leave the Egg untended with the vents wide open once the dome temp hits 450. The speed with which the temp can jump to 800+ can be remarkable. I've watched 100 degree increases in less than a minute.

    Have fun, but watch out. I now have family and guests that get upset when I suggest restaurant food instead of Egging something.
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,174
    733102243 said:

    Thanks!

    Got the new gasket - larger handle etc. Plan to add a CyberQ/Stoker as soon as I get it broken-in. I have a Lynx gasser with a smoke box that works well for weeknight cooks (easy, no drama) but am really missing hickory flavored pulled-pork.

    The Lynx is just useless when it comes to low and slow. The Sear burner is its great redeeming feature though I can't wait to try a Tri-Tip over oak with the BGE.

    Will post pics and experience.

     

    Just guessing but you'll probably use the egg on weeknights too. It doesn't take any more time than a gasser really.

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 5,046
    Welcome to the cult-the degree of cocktail mix in the Kool-Aid is user controlled.  It is a game-changer!
    Louisville
  • dlk7dlk7 Posts: 975
    Welcome and expect to expand your BBQ toy list.  It won't be long and you'll be reading reviews on meat grinders, suis vite, designer charcoal, temp controllers, and then trying to figure out whether you should get another large or add an XL to your line up!!!

    Two XL BGEs - So Happy!!!!

    Rudderville, TN

  • DocWonmugDocWonmug Posts: 225
    You don't need break the egg in, you need to break yourself in. I am pretty new and remember starting off. I suggest firing it up once with no food.

    Welcome to the cult.
    LBGE
  • henapplehenapple Posts: 11,085
    dlk7 said:

    Welcome and expect to expand your BBQ toy list.  It won't be long and you'll be reading reviews on meat grinders, suis vite, designer charcoal, temp controllers, and then trying to figure out whether you should get another large or add an XL to your line up!!!


    +1

    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • Thanks All:

    Gdenby - thanks for the tips about temp. I plan to do my first couple of cooks SANS anything fancy. Plan to get a wifi controller  - right now it looks like CyberQ but given how long it took me to take the plunge on the BGE I should probably go with my gut. The login/password/read-only feature on the CyberQ is important so, I should just buy one. BUT, I would like to keep it simple and learn the basics - kind of like sailing. You'll never be a great sailor if you don't know basic chart based navigation.

    NakedWhiz is my other go-to site.

    dlk7\henapple - my wife wanted to buy the egg for Christmas. I gave her the accessories list - minus the CyberQ. Designer charcoal - can't wait. Another BGE? We have a small yard.

    DocWonmug - thanks. A foodless burn will burn off any oil etc. AND I can practice controlling temps.

     

  • R2Egg2QR2Egg2Q Posts: 1,567
    Congrats on a great decision & welcome to the club!
    XL, Large, Small, Mini Eggs
    Bay Area, CA
  • DuganboyDuganboy Posts: 1,118
    Good decision on holding of the the wifi temp controller.  Learn how to control the temp manually and then buy the controller.

    As someone said above, very soon you will want something to raise the grill for direct cooks.  You will figure it out.
  • Welcome to the group. No break in just cook.  BTW anything you have ever cooked in the oven will translate well to the egg from baking bread to pies, to any braised meat.  Enjoy and post pictures
    Eggin in SW "Keep it Weird" TX
  • Thanks again - re: Temp Controllers, grid extenders etc. I might as well learn to cook on the egg in its worst state. I've never regretted learning to drive with a manual transmission.

    That said - what is the best dome thermometer to add?

    AND remote thermometer?

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,176
    The Thermapen by Thermoworks is the best instant read.  For grate/food constant monitoring, the Maverick ET732 is popular with a remote sensor, water resistant transmitter and it's cheap, but the probes suck - they use thermistors, which aren't as steam resistant as thermocouples, which is what the Thermoworks TW8060 uses.  The Maverick's cables and connectors are consumer grade.  The thermocouples in the The TW8060 cost almost as much as the whole Maverick.  It's because they cost more to make.

    A good review on the TW8060 is here http://www.bigwaynerbbq.com/2011/11/22/shane-draper-reviews-the-thermoworks-tw8060/

    The Maverick has a billion reviews on Amazon. 

    The Thermapen is the ubiquitous instant read, not many will debate it isn't a good choice.

    Expect to pay about twice for the TW8060 than the ET732.

    The stock dome thermometer is fine if you calibrate it. (unless it's broken)
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • Thanks for the notes about thermometers. I'm wondering if I should spend a lot on a thermometer given my plans for CyberQ/Stoker (sooner rather than later)? The ET 732 is in my Amazon cart...

    I'll look at the Thermoworks.

    My first couple of cooks will be ribs so, a thermometer is less of an issue but it would be nice to know the grate temp.

  • Doesn't hurt to check dome thermometer for calibration. Boil water 212*, adjust nut on back if it's off.

    Good Luck

  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 4,231
    733102243 said:

    Thanks for the notes about thermometers. I'm wondering if I should spend a lot on a thermometer given my plans for CyberQ/Stoker (sooner rather than later)? The ET 732 is in my Amazon cart...

    I'll look at the Thermoworks.

    My first couple of cooks will be ribs so, a thermometer is less of an issue but it would be nice to know the grate temp.

    Its not Egg specific, and is not necessary to your plans just now. But do put a Thermapen on your wish list. Its easily the best thermometer I've ever used. I keep it on hand for everything. I might even use it more than my knives. Potato done yet? Yup. Bread done? No, gotta couple minutes more. Chicken done enough to be safe? Got it!

  • Ragtop99Ragtop99 Posts: 1,113
    nolaegghead said:
    The Thermapen by Thermoworks is the best instant read.  For grate/food constant monitoring, the Maverick ET732 is popular with a remote sensor, water resistant transmitter and it's cheap, but the probes suck - they use thermistors, which aren't as steam resistant as thermocouples, which is what the Thermoworks TW8060 uses.  The Maverick's cables and connectors are consumer grade.  The thermocouples in the The TW8060 cost almost as much as the whole Maverick.  It's because they cost more to make.
    It would be great if Thermoworks made the TW8060 in a wireless version.  With their quality, as long as they kept it under $200, I would have chosen that over a $60 Maverick.  At the point I'm going to walk outside to see what's going on, I can live with their $20 meat probe (TW362B) and the egg's built in thermometer.
    Cooking on an XL and Medium in Bethesda, MD.
  • No break in necessary.  My first few cooks were things I wouldn't get too upset about if they were overcooked some, chicken, fish, until I got used to temp control.  Congrats and good luck.  Send Pictures.

    Damascus, VA.  Friendliest town on the Appalachian Trail.

    LBGE Aug 2012, SBGE Feb 2014

  • Nola... Egg arrived. Looked at the review for the TW8060. Thanks - no brainer.
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,176
    Sweet!  It's like Christmas in October!
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • SigPSigP Posts: 25
    733102243 said:

    I bit the bullet - ...

    Thanks in advance

    I also bit the bullet last weekend, but after only a week of deliberation and due diligence. I saw the display at Ace Hardware weekend before last and had never heard of the BGE (or ceramic cookers in general). I thought the concept was fantastic. Talked to a salesperson. She had one and raved about it. I came home and did the research and went back and bought it this weekend. Made some jerk chicken on it and loved it. There is a learning curve. Getting the temp adjusted takes a touch but I think I have the basics down. Looking to try a brisket this coming weekend. I'll let you know how it goes...

  • Am I an idiot? I had that sinking feeling as the temperature rose and the smoke got thicker...

    I had to tour the neighborhood and let the neighbors know the reason for the smoke.

    What is a good wood to charcoal ratio? I'm used to my gasser and smoke box. The chips never really burn.

    I put too many hickory lumps in - so I shut it down and once it's OUT, I will remove a good bit of the hickory. I used about 1/3 wood, the rest charcoal.

    Shoot - I could have bought a lot of barbecue from NC and had it shipped to California for the $1500 I paid ($150 to Jerry Brown's slush fund)...

    Thoughts? What's a good ratio of wood to lump?

  • SigP said:
    733102243 said:

    I bit the bullet - ...

    Thanks in advance

    There is a learning curve. Getting the temp adjusted takes a touch but I think I have the basics down.
    LOL - see my prior post... :-)
  • bertscampersbertscampers Posts: 136
    edited October 2012
    733102243 said:

    Am I an idiot? I had that sinking feeling as the temperature rose and the smoke got thicker...

    I had to tour the neighborhood and let the neighbors know the reason for the smoke.

    What is a good wood to charcoal ratio? I'm used to my gasser and smoke box. The chips never really burn.

    I put too many hickory lumps in - so I shut it down and once it's OUT, I will remove a good bit of the hickory. I used about 1/3 wood, the rest charcoal.

    Shoot - I could have bought a lot of barbecue from NC and had it shipped to California for the $1500 I paid ($150 to Jerry Brown's slush fund)...

    Thoughts? What's a good ratio of wood to lump?

    The charcoal itself has some flavour.  For longer cooks like ribs I put 2 chunks of wood.  For shorter cooks I use a handful of wood chips.  Remember let the thick smoke clear before putting food on.  When smoke smells good then its ready for food.

    Cheers
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,176
    I'd say about 1/2 oz chips to a pound of lump.  What's that - 1/32?  I can fill up with 8-10 pounds of lump.  I'd put about 6-8 oz chips or lump.  Maybe 2-4 lumps, depends on size.  More so, all depends on how much smoke flavor you want.  Sometimes I cook with no wood added. 
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

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