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I finally took the plunge - cooking on the egg tonight!

Going to cook our Valentine's Day dinner on the egg tonight.  I've been looking at them for a long time and reading this forum.  I bought a Large BGE and the following components...Cypress table (sealed with several coats of Helmsman Spar Urethane), bag of lump, ash tool, grid gripper, cover, thermopen, Maverick (ET-something or another), platesetter, and Sam Adams.  I am going out at lunch to find 3 or 4 fire bricks.

Tonight I am putting the grill together and will grill something, just not sure what yet.  Do I need to worry about "curing" the new gasket?  I've read conflicting reports.  I'd like to do steaks but I can't sear them if I have to keep the temp at or below 350 degrees.  I am leaning towards burgers since I have many years of experience with burgers on my Weber kettle grill or maybe some type of chicken.

What do the experts recommend for a first timer?  What other accessories are must haves.

I will post pictures!   
Ringgold, Georgia
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Comments

  • Taking the Bull by the horns aye?? Good luck my friend. Sounds like a busy night. The 1st thing I ever cooked was Garfunkel chicken. http://www.biggreenegg.com/recipes/simon-and-garfunkel-chicken/ Best chicken I've ever had up to that point
    Clanton, Al LBGE
  • 500500 Posts: 1,326
    I would break it in with chicken or burgers.  Just getting used to temperature control can take time.  Some here have suggested starting out with a practice run, with no food, so you can get a feel for how to get the Egg stabilized at 250*, 350*, 550*, and so on.  Also it is helpful to understand air flow when you add the plate setter.  If you've been lurking long enough you may have a handle on these.  For me, getting the VOC gasses off and running the Egg at a clean burn took me some time to get used to.  But I moved from a gasser to the Egg.  I never had much experience with charcoal before the Egg.  So like anything else, practice.  Welcome from Midlothian, Virginia!
    Large BGE; Midlothian, Virginia
    I like Pig Butts and I can not lie.
    "Barbecue is a journey, one meal at a time."
  • +1 on the Garfunkel Chicken, it's Eggcellent!
    LBGE
    Go Dawgs! - Marietta, GA
  • SmokeyPittSmokeyPitt Posts: 5,137
    edited February 2013
    I wouldn't worry too much about the gasket.  It's only going to last 6 months no matter what you do!  One tip is do not use the plate setter legs down.  Many recipes suggest this, but it is the best way to fry your gasket quickly. 

    For a first timer, chicken is a great cook.  I imagine you are looking for a relatively short cook since you have to put it together and get dinner ready.  Spatchcock chicken is a great way to go...cooks pretty fast since you cut it in half.  If you find those firebricks, you can use them to raise the grid. 


    If you would like to do steaks- do steaks.   You don't have to go nuclear if you are worried about the gasket.  You could always just grill them at about 400 until they are done and skip the sear if you are worried about the gasket.  They will be great.  

    Welcome aboard and good luck!




    Which came first the chicken or the egg?  I egged the chicken and then I ate his leg wing. 
    2014 Wing King's Apprentice
  • Welcome to the obsession! 
    Always room for one more in the insane asylum. 
    Keep it simple and do not chase the temps. Everything takes time on the egg, a small adjustment may take 15 minutes to make a difference, but it will. 
    I always recommend a spatchcock chicken cooked at about 400 indirect until you get temp control down, then try a direct cook. Alternative is raised grid for burgers, then it cooks like a gasser. 

    Good luck, Enjoy!
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • Welcome, for your first few cooks try to keep the egg at lower temps. Stay between 350-400 and you will be fine to go high heat after 2-3 cooks. Make sure to wait until your lump is burning clean (no more blue smoke) and remember if the smoke smells bad, it will taste bad. Also make sure not to over do the smoke at first as it can become really acrid when overdone especially for someone who is not used to the quality of smoke you infuse into your cook with the egg. Burgers can get really nasty really fast with too much smoke, I would recommend not even using wood chips at first for burgers if that is the way you go.



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

  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 9,784
    Welcome to the obsession! 
    Always room for one more in the insane asylum. 
    Keep it simple and do not chase the temps. Everything takes time on the egg, a small adjustment may take 15 minutes to make a difference, but it will. 
    I always recommend a spatchcock chicken cooked at about 400 indirect until you get temp control down, then try a direct cook. Alternative is raised grid for burgers, then it cooks like a gasser. 

    Good luck, Enjoy!
    Like he said on the cook and Welcome!

    Some advice, though: If you feel the need to escape, don't throw your egg through the window. Use the water fountain.
  • hapsterhapster Posts: 5,837
    Welcome aboard!

    Have fun; don't worry too much,and take pictures...
  • shtgunal3shtgunal3 Posts: 2,833
    I broke mine in with burgers, they were awesome. Through some bacon directly on the grid with them. Have fun and welcome to the cult.

    ___________________________________

     

     LBGE,SBGE, and a mini makes three......Sweet home Alabama........ Stay thirsty my friends .

  • Broke ours in with chicken and even though we overshot the temp on the finished product, it was still juicier than you could get in most restaurants.  Congratulations and good eating.

    Damascus, VA.  Friendliest town on the Appalachian Trail.

    LBGE Aug 2012, SBGE Feb 2014

  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 4,307
    My experience has been that if the standard felt gasket is broken in w. some lower temp cooks, it can last as long as 2 years. My experience is also that an immediate high temp cook can either melt the gasket and glue the Egg shut, or partially burn the gasket and have it fall into the food when the dome is opened. Thus, my recommendation to just fire up the Egg the first time, and watch how it heats up. The transition from stove hot to lava temp can be surprisingly quick.

    Nevertheless, you could do steak at a lower dome temp, altho it might not be quite as good as with a higher temp.

    Most of the heat energy in the Egg comes from the IR glow of the burning lump, not hot gases as in a propane grill. The energy decreases rapidly w. distance. If you fill the fire box w. lump, and light it evenly, even though the dome temp reading is just 350F, anything facing the lump sitting on a grill on the firebox will be getting at least 1200F. Not on the fire ring, but down just and inch or so away from the lump.

    You could "hot tub" thicker steaks in 125F water, and then sear as described above. Or, you could raise the grill to the felt line and finish after searing. The second method is less likely to give as good results as the first, in my experience.
  • I did whole turkey breasts for my first cook... Fantastic ! One was cajun injected and the other was a Lemon and Pepper rub with herbs. Cooked both at the same time indirect and they were fantastic!
    Welcome aboard and have fun with it! A standing rib roast is kinda a no brainer as well! Good Eats!
    Standing Rib Before.jpg
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  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 9,784
    That's a gorgeous-looking rib roast. Outstanding!
  •  Anything you want, maybe nothing with to high a heat temperature, just to let the gasket get use to the warmth. Welcome to the nut house. ;) You know that pretty soon you will be hooked and that you will spend way to much time on this forum, and that your addiction to what you can do on the egg will spike and that a good part of your day with be taking up thinking, what could I put on the egg for supper. Enjoy the cult. It is a ton of fun.
  • chicken breasts and grilled veggies were my first cook. I'd say careful at first with the gasket.I used to try to get to 700 for steaks but now I find 525 - 550 an ideal temp range. Same for pizza btw. Don't need to go nuclear. 

  • Pork Tenderloin was my first cook, raised indirect.  Helped me understand the temperature control.  It also was a relatively easy and quick cook - but the smoke ring made it popular in my house immediately!
  • How'd it turn out? Doing all you were doing, I doubt id be sober enough by now to cook! Ha
    Clanton, Al LBGE
  • YEMTreyYEMTrey Posts: 1,683
    Congrats on the purchase and first cook.

    My first cook I spent some time getting used to the Egg and temp control.  After a few minutes to an hour, I threw on some chicken wings and haven't looked back.

    Enjoy the ride!
    XL BGE and Mini Max in Cincinnati, Ohio

  • First cook for me was steak, but I had learned from my buddy's egg how to do a lot of things.  Hopefully your first cook was a success and welcome to the club.
    I raise my kids, cook and golf.  When work gets in the way I'm pissed, I'm pissed off 48 weeks a year.
    Inbetween Iowa and Colorado, not close to anything remotely entertaining outside of football season. 
  • Assuming that you picked up a new egg with a nomex gasket, I don't know that there's a need to baby it. I did steaks the same night I put on my nome last year with no problems. By this point in the night you are probably 3 sheets to the wind if you are just now switching to Sam Adams from big box brews so I hope you enjoyed your first cook. If you haven't cooked yet, I'd also suggest chicken. I always halve mine instead of the traditional spatchcock. Welcome!
    Adam
  • Thanks for all of the advice folks.  Well, I ended up making the Garfunkel Chicken - it turned out great!  My wife helped me assemble the egg - until she had to run to the store to pick up more beer.  I had no problem lighting the lump, but I did have something unexpected...after I closed the lid I watched the dome temperature slowly increase.  at around 250 degrees the egg sort of burped - made a weird noise and a few sparks came out of the bottom vent (I had the screen closed).  when I looked up, the temp had jumped to nearly 500 degrees.  I throttled the vents back and the temp immediately fell back to 350 - 400 degrees.

    I followed the chicken recipe and cooked it for the time listed, but when I but the two chickens on, the temp fell quite a bit but eventually came back to around 350...but, when I flipped them, the skin wasn't as brown as I expected.  I assume that's because the heat wasn't where it needed to be for most of that interval.  When the timer went off I checked the internal temp  and it was around 150 so I left it on for another 10 minutes or so, checking the temp regularly with my thermopen.  Took it off at 160 and it was done perfectly.

    Thanks again for all of the encouragement and advice - I have lots of cooking planned for this weekend.  I took some pictures and will upload them later today.

    Happy to be an Egghead!
    Ringgold, Georgia
  • Welcome aboard. Sounds like you have been carefully researching your options. I would look into a cast iron grate, reversible v-rack,and a party Q down the road. You can pair the partyQ with your dual probe thermo and basically duplicate the more expensive controller. You will of course need lots of foil, surgical gloves, tongs, cutting boards, knives, lump, rubs, and a bucket for your ashes. It sounds like you have everything you need to get started. Have fun and enjoy the journey.
  • Welcome aboard , you seem to have caught on quickly ! Good start using the thermopen, time will only get you close but the thermopen will get you spot on!
    Ova B.
    Fulton MO
  • My first cook was steaks. Didn't read about the gasket curing until after that. My gasket lasted a month. We cook lord of pizza at high temps so it had no chance. I'm about to put on gasket number 4 when the weather warms up. This last one was my fault. I tried a different adhesive and it failed. Left my gasket sitting on the grate. Oops. Oh well, you'll enter a gasket discussion soon enough.

    Bottom line, just cook and enjoy. If the gasket fries, BGE will send you one freebie.
    Mark Annville, PA
  • Some pictures from last night's initial lighting of the Egg!
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    Ringgold, Georgia
  • The beer is too close to the edge of the table!!  If you knock it over, it could fall and break the bottle.  If you keep it close to the center of the table and knock it over, you still will have some beer in the bottle.. :D
  • U_tardedU_tarded Posts: 1,223
    kascls said:

    Some pictures from last night's initial lighting of the Egg!

    It's better than the lighting of the Olympic torch, all that white ceramic brings a tear to the corner of my eye. So clean and innocent.
  • shtgunal3shtgunal3 Posts: 2,833
    I remember when my egg was that clean.

    ___________________________________

     

     LBGE,SBGE, and a mini makes three......Sweet home Alabama........ Stay thirsty my friends .

  • Great job, Nice table, great choice of beers! Does my heart to see a clean new Egg start producing.
    LBGE
    Go Dawgs! - Marietta, GA
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