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

Help Me, I'm being led astray.

Been lurking on the Pellethead forums and I'm seriously thinking of buying a pellet grill. I really like my lge BGE but, sometimes I think prepping it is kind of a pain. You know, direct or indirect. Raised or lowered grate. Bringing up and stabilizing temp. Use or don't use guru and so on.

The pellet looks so easy. Just add pellets, turn on and set temp. Can someone talk me down for this.? also, I you have a pellet grill,what are your thoughts on comparing with your egg.
It's no coincidence that man's best friend can't talk.

Comments

  • ScottborasjrScottborasjr Posts: 1,924
    edited October 2013
    There is no wrong way or right way to good food. I've had good food off of a gas grill, a pellet grill, the Egg, the kitchen stove, etc. I don't have a pellet grill but I think you would have a more consistent experience with an egg. Would a pellet grill be easier?.. probably. but you won't have the real flavor of a cook that you get cooking on real wood charcoal.

    Just my two cents, but to each his/her own.
    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. 
  • Get rid of the Guru, that takes care of one extra decision :)
    Chicago, Illinois
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 10,867
    Just changing gear isn't going to make the difference in cooking characteristics between baking and grilling (indirect or direct) go away.  Making those changes in an egg versus a pellet smoker or gasser takes a conscious effort in setting up your cooking environment to be appropriate for the type of cooking you want to do.  Bottom line is you need to make the effort to learn, think ahead and do the minimum amount of setup and maintenance to cook whatever it is you want cooked. 

    I know it's tough to do, but if anyone could just buy some gear and cook 5 star food with just a gear change, we wouldn't have any restaurants left.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    No City.

  • Thanks all, One thing that bothers me is a few of the posts I read say if you don't have the option to cook direct, you basically just have on oven that produces smoke at low temps. If I had one negative comment on the BGE, it would be that I just can't seem to get the smoke flavor that I'm looking for.
    It's no coincidence that man's best friend can't talk.
  • How are you trying to add smoke flavor with the BGE?
    Chicago, Illinois
  • If it was me, I would buy it.  I'm sort of obsessed with all of this though.  I have more Weber's than I care to admit, and I guess I am in a safe room, so I can admit the 5 eggs that I own.  I obviously don't believe in just one cooker, so I have a variety.  That's me though, I have a wonderful wife that tolerates my crazy obsession, so I like to buy different cookers to see how they all tick.

    A pellet cooker is not in my arsenal, who knows though, one day that salesman at Costco might get me.

    Not sure I helped.  One piece of advice I will offer is to keep the egg no matter what, even if you add the pellet cooker.  Good luck.

    John - SLC, UT

    Webers, Eggs, Bubba Keg

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 10,867
    Post a thread on what you're trying to do and we'll walk you through it.  I gar-on-tee after a few walk-throughs you'll get it and you'll be getting the flavor you want.   Remember, you're burning charcoal and wood - same fuel you'll use on every non-gas fired grill.  Technique is everything.   The ceramic on the egg doesn't add or take away flavor.  That's what this forum is for.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    No City.

  • Been using chunks, apple, hickory, and mesquite. Having trouble placing them. A lot are left unburnt after cook. Also considering purchasing an A-Maze-n smoke tube.
    It's no coincidence that man's best friend can't talk.
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 10,867
    Scatter your smoke wood throughout the lump when you load up, then don't worry about it.  The most important thing is to light just enough fuel to maintain the heat level you're shooting for, and having an established fire with good smoke, not a smoldering creosote generator.   Light on top and get the smallest, hottest fire you can to maintain the temp you need.  DO NOT light the whole pile like people do with briquette fires and try to set your temp.  It will taste like crap because you have too much fuel burning and not enough oxygen.  Like a smoldering match.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    No City.

  • stantrbstantrb Posts: 120
    I've had a lot of luck adding wood in a line from front to back. My thinking is that if I light a fire in the front, the draft will eventually pull it backwards away from the draft door. I'll tell you this though: Go check out the pellet forums and take note of how many people have trouble getting the "smokey flavor" they want. Smoke is a colloid of fine particulates suspended in gas. The kind of fuel you're burning has a direct impact on perceived smokiness. Eggs usually burn lump charcoal, which usually burns pretty cleanly. Stick burners burn big cuts of wood, which introduces lots more particulates into the colloid. Pellets are, by original design, cleaner burning than most fuels. If you really want smoky flavor, get a stick burner or a briquette burning WSM. If you want ease of use, pellets. If you want to split the difference and get the widest temperature range for your $, stay with the Egg.
    Rocking the Large, a Mini, and a wood-fired oven for good measure.
  • I too have many tools of the trade. The Egg being my favorite but I use all my others when the time is right. I have a friend with a Traeger pellet and he loves it. It is fire and forget and it can produce some really good product. The downside is that it is simply a smoker, and an expensive one at that. The Egg is a smoker and all other things (Swiss Army knife.) I say, if budget allows, get it and you can always off load it on CL if you don't like it.
    In the  Hinterlands between Cumming and Gainesville, GA
    Med BGE, Weber Kettle, Weber Smokey Joe, Brinkman Dual Zone, Weber Genesis Gas Grill and portable gasser for boating
  • yzziyzzi Posts: 1,255
    I'd say buy it if you wanted another toy as long as you won't regret the purchase when/if it disappoints you. But if getting that smokey flavor will help you love your egg more, then I'd recommend the following. From my experience, when I scatter chunks throughout lump, none of the chunks in the front and most in the sides would light since the lump lit towards the back and bottom. So I usually put one or two chunks in the bottom back mixed with the lump, but when I light the egg I put 3 or 4 chunks directly over my lit coals in the center and maybe one more at 12 o'clock position to be lit earlier on in the cook when the lit lump begins spreading towards the bottom back. Smoke really only matters for the first few hours of the cook anyways, so getting smoke on your last half hour won't really do much to the few except make your egg area smell really nice. 
    Dunedin, FL
  • 500500 Posts: 1,193
    I have a friend who has a pellet smoker.  He loves smoking on it.  He has the same conceptions about the Egg that you do; essentially he says he thinks it's alot more work.  But he says he'd like to have one someday.  I guess a pellet grill is like set it and forget it, but as far as I know, you are only slow smoking on it; no grilling steaks or burgers at high heat.
    Large BGE; Midlothian, Virginia
    I like Pig Butts and I can not lie.
    "Barbecue is a journey, one meal at a time."
  • YEMTreyYEMTrey Posts: 1,371
    Go for the pellet smoker and sell me the LBGE on the cheap!
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    "Ain't nobody gonna find ya, unless you get yourself lost."
  • When I was in the market a few yrs ago I was told by someone in the BBQ market to check out the BGE, had never heard of it before... I went and looked at it...stewed it over, could not get past the fact that it looked like a BIG GREEN EGG or an oversized green golf ball!! My wife was urging me to just buy it...I walked out of the store, drove up the street and bought a Traeger....it was black, had a chimney and was barrel round...it looked like a grill/smoker should!! With all that said I enjoyed some chickens and Turkeys from the Traeger...enjoyed the ease of turning on the dial and making sure the hopper was full of pellets. My frustration started to set in when I could not do a simple hamburger or steak. I could never get a temperature higher than 350 - 375. I was a rookie in all phases of grilling/smoking so I kept thinking I was at fault. This is a long story to say that I was surprised with a XL BGE one year for Father's Day...I never cooked on the Traeger again...about one year later I turned it on to make sure the auger still worked. Thought it was a shame to have it sitting there not doing anything so I bartered it away with a friend of mine. I wish I had kept it as a secondary piece now, but I have been very happy with my egg. The egg is more work and I find that I really have to plan ahead. I hope this helps you somewhat with your decision...if money is no issue then go ahead and get you one and try it out. Good luck! By the way, it seems to me that I always get a much stronger smoke taste the following day eating leftovers.
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 15,715
    just so you know you can add pellets to an egg, i slip down a big spatula thru the grid and dump handfuls into the lump and they scatter off the spatula toward the burn area. something i found interesting reading about traeger pellets is that they are mostly flavored oak, maybe add some oak to the cherry wood etc
  • FYI, I just gave away my Traeger. It is about 10 years old, cost ~$1000, was rusting on the outside and corroding on the inside. Mine was made in USA and better built than the current made elsewhere models. It was fine but the heat was wildly uneven left to right and front to rear. The fan was noisier than I liked. The temp did not get much above 400. It was convenient to just turn on and walk away but every so often you have to take it apart, scrape it down, vacuum the dust, etc. I prefer the ash removal of the egg to that.

    If you want to try pellet smoke just buy some pellets and use them in the egg. Made a double layer foil pack, put a handful of pellets (i.e. not too much or they flame up) inside, and put literally 1 small fork tine puncture in the pack and lay on the coals. Lots of smoke. More wood options than I can usually find locally with wood.
  • henapplehenapple Posts: 10,473
    sometimes I think prepping it is kind of a pain. You know, direct or indirect. Raised or lowered grate. Bringing up and stabilizing temp. Use or don't use guru and so on.

    Please don't take this the wrong way... It's merely an observation. If you consider that a lot of prep.... I'd opt out and get the traeger. I spend more time at the grocery store than I do setting up. I hardly see this as a pain.

    Dump
    Light
    Burn off
    Place grids and ps
    Bring to temp
    Place groceries in
    Drink beer while completing these steps.

    I enjoy the set up almost as much as the slicing, dicing, etc. I love spending a long timewith the food before cooking it. If I merely wanted a smoked chicken occasionally I'd save the money and go to a bbq restaurant. My neighbor has a traeger and he'll admit my food is better. He is also jealous of the different style cooking I can do.

    As I said before... Observation only and not a judgment. Everyone is different. Good luck deciding.
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • dmaroisdmarois Posts: 44
    I have one of each, traeger pellet and LBGE. I'll never go without an egg again but the traeger is great to have when doing a large quantity of shoulders or if I will not be around the house during the cook 
  • Although it really sounds like he ought to "get a room", I agree what @henapple says.

    Having said that, there's nothing at all wrong with using different cooking tools/methods.  Just don't start posting pictures of your Traeger on this forum. 
    ;)
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Well, "spa-Peggy" is kind of like spaghetti. I'm not sure what Peggy does different, if anything. But it's the one dish she's kind of made her own.
    ____________________
    Aurora, Ontario, Canada
  • bettysnephewbettysnephew Posts: 663
    edited October 2013
    Make the prep part of the ritual.  Have an adult beverage of your choice while you do the set up.  Have the wife come out and enjoy a glass of her favorite wine while getting everything ready.  it is a good time to talk over the days problems and high points.  If you are going to do a low and slow, these probably don't apply so well, but they work at the end of the cook in that case.  At our house this is WE time.  I guess you could do that with a Traeger, but it would have to be short drinks.
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  • Hi54puttyHi54putty Posts: 1,324
    Neptunes said:

    The pellet looks so easy. Just add pellets, turn on and set temp. Can someone talk me down for this.? also, I you have a pellet grill,what are your thoughts on comparing with your egg.
    you lost me at "turn on" 
    I'm not interested in a grill you have to plug in. 
  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 5,399
    edited October 2013
    yzzi said:
    I'd say buy it if you wanted another toy as long as you won't regret the purchase when/if it disappoints you. But if getting that smokey flavor will help you love your egg more, then I'd recommend the following. From my experience, when I scatter chunks throughout lump, none of the chunks in the front and most in the sides would light since the lump lit towards the back and bottom. So I usually put one or two chunks in the bottom back mixed with the lump, but when I light the egg I put 3 or 4 chunks directly over my lit coals in the center and maybe one more at 12 o'clock position to be lit earlier on in the cook when the lit lump begins spreading towards the bottom back. Smoke really only matters for the first few hours of the cook anyways, so getting smoke on your last half hour won't really do much to the few except make your egg area smell really nice. 
    If this works for you, great, always do what you are comfortable with. Many light from the bottom with good results. 
    It is opposite of what the infamous Stike suggested on this forum. His advice set me straight from the first time I lit my egg. Mix the chips or chunks through the lump and light the lump on the top at the front. The fire will follow the air down and back through the lump engaging new smoke wood on the way. Low and slows are always successful. For grilling, light in a few places, again on the top. Briquettes are lit from the bottom, lump from the top in a Kamado. 

    @Neptunes - friend has a pellet smoker. He does a reverse sear on steaks and they are fantastic. The low cook is done on the pellet and the sear is done on either his infrared burner on the gasser or in a CI pan on side burner. The pellet smoker is not intended to be grill, it will not get hot enough. 
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 15,715
    im sometimes lost when i see these posts. been doing lunch at home lately with a fake mini egg. 35 minutes i can drive the 3 miles home on back roads, light it, prep some burger, a steak, or a couple chops, get them on a 350/400 degree mini,cook it, eat it, feed some to the dog, shut down and drive back to work. thinking about getting a battery fan or fireplace bellows to get it done quicker
    :)) setup isnt something you think about, you just do it
  • Thanks everyone for your comments.  I think I have come back to my senses. Good suggestions for added smoke. Will try them, hopefully with better results. I really enjoy and would not part with my egg. Sometimes I guess I'm just too much in a hurry. Got to learn to slow down, smell the roses and enjoy the whole egg experience.
    It's no coincidence that man's best friend can't talk.
  • yzziyzzi Posts: 1,255
    Neptunes said:
    Thanks everyone for your comments.  I think I have come back to my senses. Good suggestions for added smoke. Will try them, hopefully with better results. I really enjoy and would not part with my egg. Sometimes I guess I'm just too much in a hurry. Got to learn to slow down, smell the roses and enjoy the whole egg experience.
    I hear you on that. Not sure if you have kids or not. I have two kids under 3 so I'm rarely "slowing down and enjoying" prepping/egging. Just focused on trying to do something as quickly or as quietly as I can. 
    Dunedin, FL
  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 5,399
    Another good suggestion learned here was to fill the fire box setting you up for the next cook. 
    if you plan to do a 1 or 2 hour cook on the weekend and have some prep time, load the egg to the top of the fire ring. Do your cook and snuff it out. The next two or three weeknight cooks, burgers, chicken, tenderloins can be started in under 15 minutes, your lump has already had the VOCs burned off. I think it was @Mickey who cooked a ham faster than in a microwave (well almost) using second burn lump. 
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • I too tossed the idea around of buying a Yoder pellet grill before I bought my Egg. I've been using charcoal and wood chunks to cook for years and am comfortable cooking that way, own 3 Weber kettles and a WSM. The more I thought about plugging in a unit, setting the temp like an indoor oven, and then feeding it wood pellets that are not cheap, it hit me one day...why? Just go get an Egg, and have the best charcoal cooker made and continue cooking the way I know how and enjoy. Best of luck with your decision.
    Cherry Hill, NJ
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