Big Green Egg - EGGhead Forum - The Ultimate Cooking Experience...
We hope everyone enjoyed their Fourth of July weekend and is excited for more warm weather grilling! This week, we’ll be making these two burgers: Stuffed Portobello Mushroom and Caribbean Chicken, and also eating lots of these Ice Cream Sandwiches in honor of National Ice Cream Month! It's time to think about getting out to one of the many #EGGfests around the country - see a list here

Newbies Ask for Advise

13

Comments

  • ssshhhh!  Don't tell anybody.  If the Wings were playing better, I'd ride Grapes to the end.  Wait, let me put it another way...

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

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

  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,030
    Don't think Grapes rolls that way.

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • doubledouble Posts: 1,212
    I'm headed to Canuckistan I was going to take my thermapen as its burgers on a gasser but in the spirit of things I will leave it at home. At least that way the egg won't be lonely tonight.
    Lynnwood WA
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,030
    Unless you are going to Skiddy's territory, bring your parka and a toque

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • shtgunal3shtgunal3 Posts: 1,723
    I would be in but I'm working tonight. Hell I cooked for years on an offset smoker with no thermometer at all.

    ___________________________________

     

     LBGE,SBGE Sweet home Alabama........ Stay thirsty my friends .

  • doubledouble Posts: 1,212

    Unless you are going to Skiddy's territory, bring your parka and a toque

    Yep just up the road to Vancouver so probably wet and grey just like here.
    Lynnwood WA
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,030
    Snowing like a bear here an 26* I love springtime :((

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • HogHeavenHogHeaven Posts: 243
    Cen-Tex said... there is nothing wrong with a good debate assuming you are using your own thoughts, experience and ideas. All you do is tell everyone what meathead says and that is the only way to do it. That's not a debate, it's regurgitating others original thought that we can all easily access..... I like you probably did, learned to grill from my father. And then when I moved out on my own and got my own grill I was always trying to learn new skills, new technic's and new recipes. I love watching BBQ show's on TV because I might learn something from them that I can incorporate into my knowledge base. I read lots of data from lots of website's regarding cooking, grilling, smoking, baking... All with intent of producing the best finished product I can and doing it in the most efficient and easiest way possible. Did I invent the reverse sear, no I didn't! Did I insinuate in any way that I did, no I didn't! Do I think that it is "the best" most efficient way to sear meat on a cooking device that heats up very, very quickly and takes forever to cool down, yes I do. Are you insinuating that I should not discuss the reverse sear because I learned it from Meathead? Maybe I should not discuss the technic's I learned from my father either, they are not original thought. I must have missed the memo about this forum being an exchange of original thought ONLY. I thought this forum was a gathering spot for people with the same interests to exchange knowledge and ideas, no matter where those thoughts came from... With the intent for us all to have the opportunity to fine turn our ability to cook tasty food for ourselves, our friends and our families. I try to start my discussion with the not to offensive, my I suggest or maybe I can help you with that. If I have failed to do that and it offended you I apologize. That was not my intent. I do use Meathead's information a lot as a reference point simply because I personally have learned so much from his very detailed data base of not only how to do something but also why it happens the way it does. I learned a great deal from the Elder Ward article at the Nakedwhiz.com website. Do I think it makes more since to fill your fire box the way he recommends for a long low and slow cook... I sure do. Should I not use that information on this forum because it is not original thought and those that just dump whatever comes out of the bag might be offended? You tell me, I'm all ears.
  • HogHeavenHogHeaven Posts: 243
    edited April 2013
    Cen-Tex said...I'll tell you what. I'll pull my dome thermo today and I'll do a hot cook for lunch and I'll totally change set ups and do ribs low and slow for dinner. I would do an overnighter but I'm flying out at 6am tomorrow. I won't use any temp measuring device at all. You name the meat to grill for lunch. I'll document everything and I'll be 100% honest on the outcome of each with photos. Even if you and Meathead think it humerous, I bet this lowly backyard griller can pull it off without a hitch. he could too....with his eyes closed (I'll even do that if you want). ... HogHeaven says... Calm down big boy. We all grilled without thermapen's and Maverick's for the last 40 years. Do I think you could do that with your eyes closed and just your skilled hands, yes I do. My question to you is with all of this new technology that makes everything so easy and so accurate WHY would you want to?
  • HogHeavenHogHeaven Posts: 243
    Cen-Tex said...Then we'll have the debate you are after using original thought and experience. I'm not sure if you knew this, but mavericks and thermopens are a realitively new phenomenon. people have been cooking over fast or slow fires for thousands of years with no thermos. Did you enjoy your grandmother's food? did she have wires coming of her oven and say "oh, my roast is 203....3 more degrees and she'll be done"? Of course not. ......................so let's have that debate. You in? HOGHEAVEN SAYS... Yes, I'm aware that temp thermometer's are a fairly new luxury for us backyard griller's. Did I like my Grandmother's food? All but the liver and onions, yes. Did she have wires coming out if her oven? No... But if they were available in her time I'll bet you a dollar to a donut she would have used them on every single cook she did. That old broad was a smart tough cookie. There is nothing to debate... Is it smart to use modern tools to make your cooking easier and more accurate or... Do you feel you don't need them. And no matter which way you lean on that discussion.. For you, you are correctomondo! I relent Cen-Tex, you win that debate! However... I'm going to keep using my Maverick on EVERY cook so I can sit inside and watch the game and have a beer while I check on what temp my meat is cooking at and what my current meat temp is. Like my grandma probably would have.
  • R2Egg2QR2Egg2Q Posts: 1,446
    edited April 2013
    70 comments, 2/3 of which don't really address the Original Post in my opinion. 8-|

    @TwoCooks - are you still here? Welcome aboard! We're usually not this dysfunctional!

    In regards to your questions:
    -digital thermometer - I would suggest an instant read thermo. One for measuring temps at your cooking grid is nice but you can also use an inexpensive oven thermometer (with a dial). They won't last that long but are handy when you don't feel like dealing with wires.

    -chimney - in my opinion, not necessary and with the variability in lump size you have to be pretty careful to select larger pieces that won't fall through when lit.

    -low temp cooks to set gasket - it has been recommended to cook at lower temps for the first few hours of cooking to help it set. However, BGE changed gaskets to a better gasket a few months ago and I don't know if they changed the adhesive in the process or if this is still recommended. I'd say it can't hurt to start at lower temps.

    -assembly - I think it is pretty straightforward if you review the instructions / videos. Only thing I think is a bit tricky is with how tight to tighten the nuts on the bands if you don't have a torque wrench. Need to be tight enough to hold the dome but not so tight that the clinch studs break (I had one do this while assembling my 4th Egg last year).

    - Soaking chips (or chunks for that matter) - I don't and you'll find most folks here don't either

    As for where to post, the Egghead Forum would be the best area to post for the greatest visibility. Although you received a good amount of responses here under Forum Feedback, not everyone looks here or uses the Latest Posts link to see these posts.

    Good Luck with your XL!
    XL, Large, Small, Mini Eggs
    Bay Area, CA
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,030
    HogHeaven said:
    Cen-Tex said...Then we'll have the debate you are after using original thought and experience. I'm not sure if you knew this, but mavericks and thermopens are a realitively new phenomenon. people have been cooking over fast or slow fires for thousands of years with no thermos. Did you enjoy your grandmother's food? did she have wires coming of her oven and say "oh, my roast is 203....3 more degrees and she'll be done"? Of course not. ......................so let's have that debate. You in? HOGHEAVEN SAYS... Yes, I'm aware that temp thermometer's are a fairly new luxury for us backyard griller's. Did I like my Grandmother's food? All but the liver and onions, yes. Did she have wires coming out if her oven? No... But if they were available in her time I'll bet you a dollar to a donut she would have used them on every single cook she did. That old broad was a smart tough cookie. There is nothing to debate... Is it smart to use modern tools to make your cooking easier and more accurate or... Do you feel you don't need them. And no matter which way you lean on that discussion.. For you, you are correctomondo! I relent Cen-Tex, you win that debate! However... I'm going to keep using my Maverick on EVERY cook so I can sit inside and watch the game and have a beer while I check on what temp my meat is cooking at and what my current meat temp is. Like my grandma probably would have.

    Didn't this all get started over the dome vs grid temp question? In my limited experience there is no substantial air temp variation in the egg unless you are using indirect setups. Certainly there is less than a regular oven. Your heat source is consistant, unlike an oven, if your air flow is set there may be some stratification, heat rises. That leaves the thermo. I'll give you that bi-metallic is not as accurate as thermacouple but it is repeatable. Once it is calibrated (I'm talking about the TelTru ones that BGE supplies now), display accurately within a few degrees. So is a few degrees going to make any difference in a cook that is being checked with a thermapen? I don't think so.

    With an indirect cook there can be substantial difference between the dome and grid...for a while. The things we do indirect like butts, briskets, ribs etc have a whole lot more internal issues that will effect the outcome than a few degrees of variation in the first hour of the cook. Yes once the meat gets warm and the platesetter and drip pan all get to temp the difference decreases, and equalizes.

    Not for nothing but we are all here, mostly, to help new folk. It may not be the best idea to obscure the discussion with finer details that don't matter a tinker's cuss to the struggling newbie.

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • HogHeavenHogHeaven Posts: 243
    Little Steven... I find that the majority of the time when I'm cooking that my dome temp is 25 to 40 degrees different than my Maverick tells the the cooking temp is on the grid. I know that when I cook chicken breasts on indirect heat at 350 degrees at the cooking level they will be done in very, very close to 35 minutes. If the cooking temp was at 310 degrees it would take about 50 minutes. So when my wife says how long is that going to take so I can have the sides done on time. If I know that my cooking temp is stable at 350, which means my dome temp will say 375 to 390, I tell my wife they will be done in 35 minutes. The Maverick allows me to do that. The thermapen or an oven temp gauge that you sit in the Egg does not give you that benefit. I do think that we all benefit greatly from these modern tools and will continue to encourage newbie's to obtain them. I do agree it's best to keep things light and entertaining. Thanks for your comments.
  • Gentlemen, gentlemen.  Please!  My wife is here and the discord is shocking to her.

     

    image

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

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

  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 4,635
    I will refrain from further comment as I think I may have inadvertantly started this $hitstorm.  But all's well that ends well. 
    Louisville
  • R2Egg2Q said:
    70 comments, 2/3 of which don't really address the Original Post in my opinion. 8-|

    @TwoCooks - are you still here? Welcome aboard! We're usually not this dysfunctional!

    In regards to your questions:
    -digital thermometer - I would suggest an instant read thermo. One for measuring temps at your cooking grid is nice but you can also use an inexpensive oven thermometer (with a dial). They won't last that long but are handy when you don't feel like dealing with wires.

    -chimney - in my opinion, not necessary and with the variability in lump size you have to be pretty careful to select larger pieces that won't fall through when lit.

    -low temp cooks to set gasket - it has been recommended to cook at lower temps for the first few hours of cooking to help it set. However, BGE changed gaskets to a better gasket a few months ago and I don't know if they changed the adhesive in the process or if this is still recommended. I'd say it can't hurt to start at lower temps.

    -assembly - I think it is pretty straightforward if you review the instructions / videos. Only thing I think is a bit tricky is with how tight to tighten the nuts on the bands if you don't have a torque wrench. Need to be tight enough to hold the dome but not so tight that the clinch studs break (I had one do this while assembling my 4th Egg last year).

    - Soaking chips (or chunks for that matter) - I don't and you'll find most folks here don't either

    As for where to post, the Egghead Forum would be the best area to post for the greatest visibility. Although you received a good amount of responses here under Forum Feedback, not everyone looks here or uses the Latest Posts link to see these posts.

    Good Luck with your XL!
    Thank you cap. I realized I totally hijacked this thing earlier so I just bowed out. As always, you are the rudder that steers this ship toward the land of information through the friction-less conduit.

    But.... don't' sell me short. I believe I started the $h*t storm :))

    @2cooks please ignore the sophomoric hi-jinks and I apologize for taking this over the cliff.







  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,030
    edited April 2013
    I don't think you are sinsere here

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • Village IdiotVillage Idiot Posts: 6,947

    Gentlemen, gentlemen.  Please!  My wife is here and the discord is shocking to her.

     

    image
    Anytime Wilma needs private instructions, I'm here to help in any way I can.   :D
    __________________________________________

    Dripping Springs, Texas.
    Gateway to the Hill Country

  • yzziyzzi Posts: 1,246
    I think we need to start a new thread here. I bet the thread owner won't be posting much after this, but I hope that's not the case. I'll take the liberty to start a new thread...
    Dunedin, FL
  • TwoCooksTwoCooks Posts: 35

    Wow!! This was absolutely awesome!  To tell you the truth, I thought your comments were fabulous and after the first two days, expected the topic had run its course.   We did order both the Maverick and Thermapen after the first few hours of responses.  I did not realize the discussion which ensued later, since I'm only returning today to post and found a plethora of posts (61new) surrounding the BBQ thermo control issue.  I suppose, like one of you suggested, it will be our personal experience that decides on what side of the fence we stand. Chances are we’ll just sit on it, while we experiment.  Also,we appreciated both the informative websites given and have added to favorites for future reference material.

    My last post was April 19th.  After returning home with BGE boxed and ready for assembly, our excitement to get started was quelled by the return of winter weather in these parts for a week.  This week we managed to brick in a 4’ X 5’ BGE patio right next to the kitchen deck to house our EGG.  Yesterday, we assembled the nest and today, the BGE itself.  Thanks to all your suggestions, it went rather smoothly. Yes, to GK59, who asked if anyone actually used a torque wrench to tighten those bolts?  Hubby had one, so why not?

    First cook maybe tomorrow and we have decided on slow & low chicken which was a suggestion to keep costs down while getting acquainted with the procedures.  Just wanted to return today to let you know we appreciated all your helpful comments and we haven’t totally disappeared.  In closing, to the person who just wanted to find a cold beer, we have a parrot that repeatedly asks, “Do you want a cold beer?”  Alas, he has not mastered how to fetch it.

    Enjoyed your comments, your discussion and your humor.

  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 4,635
    @TwoCooks-Top marks for riding thru the above storm...now that you have shown remarkable staying power, enjoy that BGE!  And most welcome to the cult...degree of Kool-Aid consumption is self-regulated.  But you have a bit of training to do with your parrot :) Jimmy Buffett fans by chance...
    Louisville
  • cazzycazzy Posts: 4,929
    Glad you ordered both since each serves its own purpose! Next, you and the hubby should check out The Ceramic Grill Store and research the adjustable rig. ;)

  • GK59GK59 Posts: 438
    Just remember , if the temp is going beyond 400* BURP, and burp it a second time. Or you'll be a member of the hairlees arm club. I'm a member once or twice.

    Smitty's Kid's BBQ

    Bay City,MI

  • Me & Wilma were talking about this the other day.  She noticed the hair on my left arm nearer to the hand is a lot shorter than on my right arm.  "I open my Egg with that arm."  She laughed at me for a while.

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

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

  • calracefancalracefan Posts: 472

    Don't sweat trying to keep the perfect temp, if you are close to your desired temp you will be fine.

    After lighting your egg let burn until it running clean (if it smells goodyour good to go,if it smells bad it is going to taste bad)

    If you do make adjustments be patient, wait 20-30 minutes to let the egg settle, you cna end up chasing it forever if you don't wait.

    Most of all relax and enjoy.Your food will be better than ever !

    Ova B.
    Fulton MO
  • lousubcap said:

    @TwoCooks-Top marks for riding thru the above storm...now that you have shown remarkable staying power, enjoy that BGE!  And most welcome to the cult...degree of Kool-Aid consumption is self-regulated.  But you have a bit of training to do with your parrot :) Jimmy Buffett fans by chance...

    Amen cap. Sorry bout that two cooks! Really glad we didn't run you off with the dumb stuff. Happens from time to time but we could do better for sure.

  • TwoCooksTwoCooks Posts: 35
    edited April 2013
    Kudos to all those seasoned BGE BBQer’s  who gave us sound advice on getting started.  We made it through the assembly like we knew what we were doing and our first cook was fabulous!!!!   Yes, we may have been able to achieve the same results possibly by the 3rd or 4th cook without your help, but with your guidance we managed to sidestep some mistakes that we most likely would have made.  For instance, we ordered and received both suggested thermometers in time to be used for our first attempt.  I believe having them was a crucial contribution to our 1st success.  We used a heat gun to start the charcoal with 4 oz. cherry wood chips (non-soaked) and within minutes temps had climbed inside the EGG to 500*.  Hubby was in charge of regulating airflow and he did a superb job.  He experimented with adjustments to both top and bottom air space to see how quickly temps changed and also made note of the correlation between changes at the dome vs. changes at grill level.  While he experimented, I finished preparing the four cost-effective roasting chickens (approx. 4# each) we chose to be our 1st challenge.  Our idea was to do 2 in a standing position using beer cups & 2 laid out on a V-rack to get a comparison between them.  I also decided to experiment with 2 purchased rubs vs. the Simon & Garfunkel rub recipe I found on Meathead’s website, another valued suggestion from the forum.  I used this on the 2 birds laid out on the V-rack.  All other prep factors remained constant: dribbled the wine/Lea & Perrins marinade potion I always use to marinade chicken into the cavity; slathered entire surface in a garlic butter blend; patted down select rub inside and out; then popped a celery stalk into each cavity and they were ready for burn side!  By now, the dome temp was a steady 325 to 330* while grill level was still making a slow climb and had reached 280.  All 4 birds were placed in two drip pans and entered the Big Green kiln at 1:00PM.  I poked the breast of one on the V-rack with the food probe.  By 3:15, the desired internal 165* was attained and my husband then used the Thermapen on remaining 3 to find that the two in standing position had beaten the probe by 15*.  Point taken; next time poke the bird standing at attention.  One of the V-rack birds served as dinner tonight and satisfied 5 hungry adults with enough left over for 3 lunches tomorrow. All meat of the remaining 3 was stripped away from the bones, piled on platters, divided into 4- 24 oz. portions which were vacuum-packed in Food Saver bags for future use in casseroles, soups, salads or sandwiches. All were juicy and fell off the bone easily.  Fantastic!   MMmmmm Goooood  and though I am belaboring our gratitude:                                 Thanks a Bunch from Two Cooks!

     

  • TwoCooksTwoCooks Posts: 35

    Inquiring Husband Wants To Know?

    Near the end of today's 4-hour slow and low cook, husband did notice temperature was beginning to drop because charcoal was running low.   If and when we do a longer overnight cook like some of you have mentioned, what is the best way you all have found to add charcoal?

  • U_tardedU_tarded Posts: 1,143
    TwoCooks said:

    Inquiring Husband Wants To Know?

    Near the end of today's 4-hour slow and low cook, husband did notice temperature was beginning to drop because charcoal was running low.   If and when we do a longer overnight cook like some of you have mentioned, what is the best way you all have found to add charcoal?

    At the beginning. A full firebox filled up to the fire ring will go a long time. I have ran 24 hrs on a load up to about 1/2 way up the ring with enough left over for a rib cook the next day.
  • R2Egg2QR2Egg2Q Posts: 1,446
    Adding charcoal during a cook should be avoided. As U_tarded stated, if you fill up your XL good (I like midway up the fire ring) you should have no problem completing a long cook. Denser lump makes a difference in burn time as well.

    It is a pain to refill. You have to find a place to put the meat, deal with a drip pan with hot flammable drippings, then a really hot plate setter or baking stone, add lump, wait for bad smoke to clear and temps to come back up. It's the kind of mistake you make once and learn to fill your Egg properly. ~X(
    XL, Large, Small, Mini Eggs
    Bay Area, CA
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