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First time buyer/griller/bbq'r, what should I get?

I only know how to make three things in life (breakfast burritos, beef vindaloo, fish in foil) so somehow I have decided I want to be a great bbq'r since my wife and I love ribs and pulled pork. I own a gas grill but she uses it way more than me.  

Since my birthday and my first ever father's day as a father have collided, my wife said I could quit watching BBQ Pitmaster marathons on TV and actually buy a Big Green Egg and try it myself.

So we have decided on getting a Large Big Green Egg (From Dizzy Pig BBQ) and their package comes with the charcoal etc. 

I plan on getting a nest, a thermapen (I am crazy paranoid about food safety) and a place setter. I bought the cook book last week and have read it cover to cover and scoured the web for every bit of advice I can find before I try this. I even have conned my dad in making the trip up from Texas to help with the first smoke. I think we are going to try ribs, then a pork butt. Before he leaves we may try a brisket.

What else should I consider getting? My wife made the mistake of saying "does it have a thermostat?" which opened up talk about buying one of those temp probe/fan combos. oh, it also comes with stainless grate, should I get something different like the two tier one?

Any help you have would be great!

Comments

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 12,251
    Welcome to the forum!  Sounds like you're on the right track.  I'd add a High-que stainless grate and a PSwoo3 and stone rather than a plate setter.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr., smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • Mama RoneckMama Roneck Posts: 346
    Welcome! You've got everything you need for now. You might want to spend $15 on a few fire bricks and cheap weber grate so you can cook raised direct. Then experiment for a few months with all of the great cooks you'll find here. Then figure out what else you'll want to buy.

    I suspect it will be an adjustable rig and another egg!
    Mamaroneck
  • Doc_EggertonDoc_Eggerton Posts: 4,058
    A Woo or other rig from Ceramic Grill Store.  The single most useful accessory I have.
    Pasquali Luciano
    Buon appetito to all the BGE family
    XLBGE, LBGE, MBGE and lots of toys

  • Question: do I have to season the BGE or anything before using it the first time or do I just fire it up and cook?
  • No seasoning needed.  Just light 'er up and cook.  Make sure to only use hardwood lump charcoal - no briquettes, no lighter fluid.

    [Northern] Virginia is for [meat] lovers.
  • Also, if you're doing low and slow cooks (pork butt and brisket especially), you'll either need something to monitor or control the temperature.  If you're doing a pork butt or brisket, you are not going to want to open the Egg a lot to check the temperature with the Thermapen (if you're lookin', you ain't cookin').

    I like controlling the fire myself, so I use a Maverick ET-732 dual probe wireless thermometer to monitor the Egg's temp and the food's internal temperature.  It has alarms that you can set to warn you if the temp is creeping too high or low (I usually set mine 25* below and above my target temp) and when the food has hit an internal milestone.

    Many people here like the DigiQs and other temperature contollers, but as I'm happy with my Maverick, I've not used one yet.

    [Northern] Virginia is for [meat] lovers.
  • yzziyzzi Posts: 1,727
    If you want pulled pork I'd suggest a maverick remote thermometer and a high que grate.
    Dunedin, FL
  • BigGreenBamaGrillerBigGreenBamaGriller Posts: 496
    edited June 2013

    Birmingham, AL
    XL, Small, and Mini BGEs
  • Place I am buying it at has DigiQs, that is what I was thinking about getting. I am not sure if they have mavericks because I specifically asked about the temp controllers. 

    The thermapen was for after x hours , I know the curiosity is going to kill me waiting overnight before I peek but yea going to follow the advice not to open that thing until it's time to take it off. 

    What I am trying to figure out is - should I just spring for the DigiQ now or should I try a few without it and see how well I figure out temp control just using the vents?
  • I'd think about it this way:  If monitoring and occasionally fiddling with stuff is fun for you, then you'll be fine without the DigiQ on an overnight cook.  I'd add that a lot of people on the board like to do "turbo butts," which don't require an overnight cook, anyway, and result in darn good pulled pork.

    If you really want to do overnighters (I like 'em, personally), and the idea of an alarm potentially waking you up because your temp skyrocketed or the butt finished way early or the fire went out sounds like hell on earth, then I think the DigiQ would be a good investment. 

    For my part, I spent the $300 I otherwise would have spent on a controller on a Maverick, lump, and meat.  It's not the right decision for everyone, but it was the right decision for me.


    [Northern] Virginia is for [meat] lovers.
  • Looft lighter. Gets the thing going in under a minute. I'm in the same boat, just got mine Memorial Day weekend. We did baby backs and chicken, spares and chicken, then a pork butt and turkey breast. Ribs and chicken were a good starter combo. The egg holds temp ridiculously easy, I wouldn't worry about a thermostatically controlled blower yet.
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 4,307
    Doesn't need seasoning.

    I started w. the old style gaskets, and those held up better if used several times under 450F dome. Newer gaskets, I've read, are more durable.

    Do a "dollar check." Put a dollar sized piece of paper on the lower gasket, and close the lid. It should be snug all the way around. Dome band adjustments are common maintenance to keep a good seal. Bad seal means harder temp control, and more burnt gasket. Newly assembled and moved Eggs should be checked.

    Before you cook anything (and I'm sure you are eager), just learn how to light it, then close the dome, and play w. the vents to see what temperatures result. Most people are astonished how fast the Egg w. wide open vents can go from 450F to +800. I walked away from my 2nd cook for less than 5 min, and came back to an Egg w. blue flame shooting from the top!

    Other than that, let the "bad smoke" clear. Lump and wood chunks for smoke will release Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) for awhile. Between those, and water, there will be a period of heavy, bitter smelling smoke. Once the smoke turns thin, wispy and vaguely blue, it is "good smoke."

    If you haven't cooked much before, some of the Egg's eggcellence will be lost on you. Temp control, re-fueling, and dry foods are all problems you will rarely encounter. Many people have been amazed after asking "How many times do you need to add more charcoal when doing a lo-n-slo butt?" and getting the answer "None."
  • Charlie tunaCharlie tuna Posts: 2,191
    Welcome to the club!  Sounds like you have what it takes to get started.  There are many different items to buy, that do the same thing, so try not to duplicate something posted here that you really don't need.  Just as important, remember there are many different ways to achieve the same results, some control their temperature from the top vent, others the lower vent, and some from both vents!!  As long as it is controlling, they all work!!  I was facinated by "low and slow" pulled pork when i first got my egg!!  Boasting about cooking a chunk of meat for 18 or more hours!!  Along with those overnight cooks came the uncertainty of what i would awake to?  Would my temperature drift up or down, and knowing i was into this "hobby" for the "long haul" i bought a DigiQ.  I was very suprised how accurate it held temperature, and how sensitive it was!  I was using it on every cook, even spatchcocked chickens which i found were better than beer can chicken and easier.  As time went on, and i was cooking 5 and 6 times a week, i started understanding the egg's operation and how i could predict what it was going to do.  Little by little i was using my DigiQ less and less, except for pork butts and briskets.  Now, looking back, i don't regret buying it, it is well worth the money for what i use it for.  It gives me peace of mind and allows me to turn my back on six to eight hour cooks and do other things.  And there are other things that do the same thing as the DigiQ and even more.  I bought the BGE cast iron grid, don't use it much, but i need it!  I built the raised grid gizmo out of a cheap webber replacement grill from Home Depot and some bolts,nuts and washers, comes in very handy.  I also was talked into buying the BGE three tiered grill, which i use quite a bit because i cook entire meals at the same time as part of my "hobby".  Other manufacturers make similar gizmos that produce the same good food.  I have a couple of pizza stones, that came to me as gifts and i use them.  I have a good source for my lump and use pecan for my smoking wood because it is plentiful where i live.  MORE important than the hardware, is finding a local source for good meats and poultry.  Locally grown chicken, and pork makes a big difference in your final outcome, regardless of what hardware you have or what sauce or seasonings or even that secret method you found!!!  Oh ya, and what about the camera??  You didn't spend ALL your money did you???    [-X
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