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It all started with a Big Green Egg. The best smoker/grill ever built. I have owned one for over ten years now. Like many I prefer cooking outdoors with fire. My wife and I entertain a good bit. Back in the day, we wanted a larger home for our family and to accommodate more guests. We can host parties of 50 to 65 people with a fair amount of ease with only one cook. Me. We found a house for sale that was zoned on farmland with 5 acres. My lonely Egg and I cooked in this big empty space for a long time. We wanted to do something better accommodate our guest and to make cooking more enjoyable for the chef. My Egg and I devised a plan. She needed a sibling and I needed a very large sink with pluming. We needed counter space and burners for side items.
I got to thinking about pizza on my Egg and how its a favorite of mine– yet never attempted making them for parties due to the turnaround time. The more I thought about a pizza party with two Eggs and 65 people… the more I still felt unsettled. I can remember thinking “I need a larger cooking surface for pizza” and then remembered an amazing coal fired brick oven experience many moons ago. The shape even looked like a Big Green Egg with the massive domed structure and a flat cooking surface with temperatures exceeding 900 degrees. That thought sent me straight to the internet where I found blueprints/plans to build a Pompeii110. Thanks Forno Bravo!!
My wife, less enthused about this revelation, indicated if I got an outdoor kitchen her needs should be met as well. Mainly, a spa and with a comfortable space to relax in. She thought our son would love a pool. A pool meant more opportunities to cook. I couldn’t argue with the paring/chemistry of it all. It made sense to have a TV outside so… shelter was added. My wife and I agreed a fire pit would complete the design. So I envisioned buying a spitjack pig rotisserie and setting it up with the two tripods and steel bar across a flat dirt surface – then digging a hole around the oval dimension needed to cook whole hog over fire.
The continual sound of water became important to me. It made economic sense to remove dirt from the pool site/space then mound it up beside the pool to place the spa 4ft high and 12ft away from the pool’s edge to create a water feature.
For almost two years I did nothing with the above. I couldn’t afford it and had to pair down the design/cost without compromising quality. I created two itemized spreadsheets and budgeted each component and mico-components out until I had something actionable, within budget, and within the given resale projections.
Long story short, I get asked all the time…. “All this for a Big Green Egg?!?!” My response is usually “Well… I guess you’ve never cooked on one before, or at the very least, you have never fallen in love with something inanimate.” Most don’t know how to respond… a few do.
Over the holidays I had a conversation with a guy that led me to joining this forum. He asked “So what is it? The Egg or the three day brine that makes this turkey so good?” My response sounded cryptic and weird by reading his facial expressions. I indicated it was about the journey as I recalled the many turkeys before this one and talked of my Christmas plans for the next year with eagerness. We were miles apart as he kept asking about the blasted turkey… the turkey was merely a byproduct of a passion born long ago.
You guys understand me… even without an introduction.
I’ve never been a part of a forum before… I have a learning curve ahead of me….
Feeling at Home already,
If its not memorable, its not worth doing.