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In 2003 I was really interested in real southern bbq. In Canada back then real bbq wasn't something that anybody knew about, or had available. I was lucky enough to go to Memphis in May for business and saw a few teams cooking on them but didn't think much of it. The whole experience was overwhelming. I came home and bought an offset New Braunfels stick burner for $150 on clearance at Building Box because nobody would buy them. Nice and heavy steel, but required lots of modifications to work right, and needed constant attention. I never really mastered that thing.
In 2005, there was a bbq contest in Barrie Ontario called the Canadian BBQ Championship and they were looking for judges. Figuring I'd get some great free and real bbq I signed up. Noticed several of the teams there cooking with Eggs.
It also happened that Ray Lampe was the head judge for the first two years and learned more about the egg through his affiliation. Given my experience with the offset I decided then that I wanted to have an Egg some day.
In Canada egg prices are tightly controlled and much higher than the US. So for years I dreamed, and life, a condo, and price kept me from getting one. I told my wife for years that if she wanted to do anything for my 40th birthday - all I wanted was an egg.
She did tons of research on the dealers, called every one of them in the GTA for pricing on the best package, what I needed, what I should start with - even called Canadian headquarters for advise about which dealer was the best to go to.
So on my 40th birthday she took me to the Healthy Butcher in Toronto and I walked out of his store with the full set up - LBGE, platesetter, ashtool, grill gripper, charcoal, wood chips, cover, nest, composite shelves, nest handler and a smile on my face a mile wide!!!
I waited almost 10 years before I got my egg but I couldn't be happier how the whole thing came together.
I work for a construction company who has an owner who wanted to buy one after eating a steak off a friend of his. The closest dealer was 90 miles away. So, we contacted the corporate office and now we sell them. Very convenient to buy the lump.
(in the extreme western panhandle of NE)
Saw one on display at an Ace Hardware when we lived in Iowa.Then was at a cookout where I was able to cook on one. Was really interested in its high temp tandoor-like capabilities. Lusted after one ever since. That was in 2007. Learned how to cook on charcoal, acquired and built a variety of cookers (Weber kettles, drum smokers, tandoor, wood-fired pizza oven) until I kicked my BGE fund drive into high gear in 2012. Protested my property taxes, negotiated down the unit rate for electricity and internet service, etc. Pulled the trigger last December, then bought 2 more before SWMBO realized what I was doing
The Cen-Tex Smoker said:
Had no idea the "King of Calcutta" lived in Iowa. I'll just leave it at that
LG BGE, PSWOO2, Stoker WIFI.
Location 33.537588, -83.969298 (33.5 miles and 41 minutes SE of the Mothership)
I bought the large 18 years ago – first saw the BGE in a food magazine – called the company a few times – could not get courage to spend 325.00 + 50.00 shipping for a cooker I had never seen – finally Ed Fisher said, “Give me your credit card – I will send it to you – if after 30 days you do not like it – I will send someone to come get it and refund your money.” It was thanksgiving – holiday seasons – wife must have been in holiday mood – for she said – “Do it” – Our first cook was the thanksgiving turkey – our only accessory was a rib rack/turkey holder and a polder thermometer - wow – we and the family were so impressed – by Christmas we were, “Eggsperts” – today using the same egg – only changed the bands over the years – a good and tasty journey
Saw an ad in the Atlanta Journal back in 1990 and it looked intriguing. The original Mothership (called the Pachinko House) was located in a seedy part of Chamblee. Paid $275 for the clay version. No additional accessories were available and quite frankly, I only did wings and smoked fish on it. Rebuilt the firebox and refinished the exterior. When I took it in for trade-in (2006) for my first ceramic they BGE sales guy said "Wow, this should go into the Smithsonian."
It went from a conversation piece to cult...
My dad had an office in Atlanta when I was a kid, so he travelled there at least once a week. He says he saw this funny cooker outside of a shop every once in a while. We can only assume that it was Ed Fisher's pachinko machine shop. He doesn't remember where it was, but it was in the 80s.
Fast forward to the early 90's and the first shop in St. Louis started carrying them. They had a small ad in the newspaper and had a BGE in the corner. He recognized it and we bought one a few days later. Medium BGE with stand, cover, tools, & charcoal for $299 (we still have the receipt!)
Yeah, they would do wings on Saturdays outside the Pachinko House. That's what eventually sold me. They used to sell "Mr. Meat" dry rub (which is the BGE rub now). I figured, anything called Mr Meat had to be good...
I have been grilling for 38 years starting with a Weber and adding several gassers over the years but always using the Weber on special cooks, then my job (I am a entertainer) took me to perform at the Memphis in May BBQ Championships 7/8 years ago where I seen the egg for the first time and really loved the food I sampled, I have performed 3 different times now at the Memphis Event and always seek out the BGE BBQers. I finally wore out my second Weber this spring and took the XL plunge and I'm loving every minute of it.