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New BGE Owner Questions

Hey Everyone! New to the forum and a new BGE owner here.

My wife bought me a Large BGE for my birthday last Saturday and figured I would break it in this weekend. But before i did, I wanted to reach out to the experts and ask a few questions:

1 - I was advised to burn a little bit of the BGE charcoal prior to actually using it to 'burn out' any aromas from the ceramic and/or chemicals. Is that true?
2 - Its recommended that the first cook be below 400 degrees so that the gaskets can seat properly. Wanted your opinion there too.

We thought about doing chicken (not a whole one) and stuffed grouper or snapper this weekend so I had a couple question about that too. 

1 - If you cook multiple things such as fish and chicken at the same time under or about 400 (or any degrees really), will the chicken taste like fish and/or vice versa?
2 - since it is recommended to cook the first time at or under 400, would it be best to smoke the chicken and fish?
3 - If yes to question 2, is it required that I get wood chips in order to smoke or is that just a flavor preference?
4 - I see a lot of videos and discussion regarding smoking salmon, but not very many smoking techniques to grouper or snapper. Any recommendations?

Thanks! I am sure there will be more but that will do it for now.
1 Large BGE - Lawrenceville, GA

www.TheBGEnest.com (The Ultimate Social Network for Eggers)

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Comments

  • THEBuckeyeTHEBuckeye Posts: 286

    Me no Eggspert but I have cooked virtually every day (less 4 or 5 days) since I bought the Large in May. 

    I grilled steaks for the first cook on my Large. The temp screamed to over 700 before I toned it down. 
    I didn't fry the gasket. 

    I did not do a first burn. 

    The key is to cook to a food temperature, not be a slave to time. Over time, you'l get a sense of how long things take. The Forum is  good source for that too. 

    Wood chips, IMO, are required for smoke and taste. That said, you'll still get a great grilled taste using Lump. I have Apple and Hickory Chunks and Cherry and Hickory chips on hand. I want to try some pecan too. Sometimes I'l just throw on a few chips at the start just to drive the neighbors crazy. 

    I'm not a big salmon fan - can't help you there. 

    The biggest early lesson is that you have to allow the Egg to heat up to a given temp. If you're looking for 350, for example, it's easier to catch it on the way up than the alternative of trying to bring it down from 500. 

    Good luck and welcome to the Dark Side - never to return again! 


  • Welcome aboard. I'll answer your questions to the best of my knowledge.

    1. You can definitely cook multiple things at once. I cook a couple of things at once almost every time. Chicken and veggies ect.

    2. Some people say it's a grill just cook on it. I kept it under 400 the first two or three times I cooked. You'll probably be fine either way. I wouldn't recommend a 1000 degree pizza cook though.

    3. If you use a high quality charcoal it won't put off a lot of smoke. Therefore if you want a smokey flavor I would recommend chips or chunks. Start with something mild like apple until you get the feel for it so you don't overpower it.

    4. I would do it almost the same way as salmon. You can use a cedar plank or a Himalayan salt block. I'm no fish expert though so others will have better info.
    1 large BGE, Spartanburg SC
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 5,208
    edited August 27

    Welcome aboard and enjoy the journey.  First up-here's a great ceramic cooking reference site:  http://www.nakedwhiz.com/ceramic.htm  A wealth of info on BGE cooking.  Give it a look when you can.

    I will offer some input regarding your above questions;

    First #1-No need to burn off any lump but whenever you fire it up wait for the smoke to smell good before starting the cook.  "Smoke smells good, then it is good" and the time to that event varies.  However, as the BGE runs on air-flow it is a good idea to get a handle on controlling/managing temperature control. 

    First #2-I believe BGE started to include that a few years ago in an attempt to help with gasket life.  You can certainly cook most things (except pizza and searing meat) below 400*F for a cook or two.  BTW-check the calibration of your dome thermo.  Boil some water, insert the thermo-should read around 210*F (close enough).  If not, note the off-set, adjust out eh off-set using the nut on the back and check again.

    Second #1-I have never noticed different food taste cross-over.

    Second #2-See First#2-no need to smoke.

    #3-Wood chips/chunks are a flavor preference.

    #4-About the same process.

     

    Misc-Always cook to finish temp.  Don't chase temps-the feedback loop to any vent adjustments is the dome thermo and it can take some time. For low and slows +/- 10-15 *F is close enough, same with hot &fast.

    More than enough for now and I'm sure others will be along.

    BTW-the search function here will provide some good links and if you use google just add "Big Green Egg" to your query and you will get plenty of hits.

     

    Louisville
  • stemc33stemc33 Posts: 1,195
    Welcome. As far as burning lump to burn out chemicals in the ceramic question, I've never heard of that. You will want to burn off the Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the lump. You will do this with every cook unless your using left over lump. The time will depend on the lump charcoal type. The best way to tell is to hold your hand over the the top of the egg and them smell your hand. If it's a bad smoke smell it's not ready to cook on. Bad smoke equals an acrid taste will impart into the food. Usually takes about 15-20 minutes once it gets up to temp.
    LBGE
    Wyoming
  • fence0407fence0407 Posts: 728
    Zarcon said:
    Hey Everyone! New to the forum and a new BGE owner here.

    My wife bought me a Large BGE for my birthday last Saturday and figured I would break it in this weekend. But before i did, I wanted to reach out to the experts and ask a few questions:

    1 - I was advised to burn a little bit of the BGE charcoal prior to actually using it to 'burn out' any aromas from the ceramic and/or chemicals. Is that true? Not necessarily. Just cook on it.
    2 - Its recommended that the first cook be below 400 degrees so that the gaskets can seat properly. Wanted your opinion there too. Again, not necessarily true. If you plan to do chicken/fish, you won't need it above 400 anyway. Carry on.

    We thought about doing chicken (not a whole one) and stuffed grouper or snapper this weekend so I had a couple question about that too. 

    1 - If you cook multiple things such as fish and chicken at the same time under or about 400 (or any degrees really), will the chicken taste like fish and/or vice versa? No.
    2 - since it is recommended to cook the first time at or under 400, would it be best to smoke the chicken and fish? Not really. I'd say grill the chicken and the fish at around 350-400 degrees. Chicken will take longer than the fish, so plan accordingly.
    3 - If yes to question 2, is it required that I get wood chips in order to smoke or is that just a flavor preference? See #2. (But for the future, you don't "need" wood chips to smoke. But you'll want them if you are smoking something. Remember - chicken takes on a lot of smoke flavor - be careful adding wood chips/chunks to chicken unless you want a smoked out bird.
    4 - I see a lot of videos and discussion regarding smoking salmon, but not very many smoking techniques to grouper or snapper. Any recommendations? Sorry - not very familiar with smoking fish. I say grill it.

    Thanks! I am sure there will be more but that will do it for now. The forum search bar is your friend, as is Google/YouTube. Pics or it didn't happen. Share often and ask questions. Welcome aboard! :-h

    Large & Mini BGEs, Alpharetta, GA  
    image - 2009 Alumni
  • ZarconZarcon Posts: 390
    Wow! Great (and quick) feedback here. I definitely have a lot to learn but I am so pumped to get started using my egg.

    I was lucky to use my gas grill 4-5 times a year. I got a funny feeling that is not going to be the case with my egg! What has my wife done to me???
    1 Large BGE - Lawrenceville, GA

    www.TheBGEnest.com (The Ultimate Social Network for Eggers)

    Check out the new Facebook Page
  • fence0407fence0407 Posts: 728
    Zarcon said:
    Wow! Great (and quick) feedback here. I definitely have a lot to learn but I am so pumped to get started using my egg.

    I was lucky to use my gas grill 4-5 times a year. I got a funny feeling that is not going to be the case with my egg! What has my wife done to me???
    From here on out, your wife will be known as SWMBO on this forum. Wait until the "Accessory Bug" bites you.  :bz
    Large & Mini BGEs, Alpharetta, GA  
    image - 2009 Alumni
  • SoCalTimSoCalTim Posts: 294
    edited August 27
    (1) Your woman's a keeper!
    (2) Like @THEBuckeye, I too just went for it ... no break-in, just started egging.
    (3) If I could give a new guy just one piece of advice ... if you want to cook @ 350, don't think you can get the temp to oh say 500 and expect the temp to be able to drop fast. It's not. Catch the temp on the way up. If you want to cook @ 350, when your thermometer says 290 or so start dialing it down.
    (4) I learned #3 the hard way
    (5) One last thing, don't over think things, just have fun.
    (6) Ok .. one more last last thing. Stay away from anything Turbo ... this is a low and slow cooker. The Egg is 'specially designed for doing just that. Enjoy
  • shtgunal3shtgunal3 Posts: 2,347
    Welcome aboard. Sounds like your wife is a keeper. My wife bought me both my eggs. Large for birthday and small for Father's Day the next year.

    ___________________________________

     

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

  • stemc33stemc33 Posts: 1,195
    Zarcon said:

    Wow! Great (and quick) feedback here. I definitely have a lot to learn but I am so pumped to get started using my egg.

    I was lucky to use my gas grill 4-5 times a year. I got a funny feeling that is not going to be the case with my egg! What has my wife done to me???

    You'll probably be using the egg 4-5 times a week. Remember, no pics =didn't happen.
    LBGE
    Wyoming
  • fence0407fence0407 Posts: 728
    SoCalTim said:

    (6) Ok .. one more last last thing. Stay away from anything Turbo ... this is a low and slow cooker. The Egg is 'specially designed for doing just that.
    ????????  :-O  ???????
    Large & Mini BGEs, Alpharetta, GA  
    image - 2009 Alumni
  • THEBuckeyeTHEBuckeye Posts: 286
    Like I said, Welcome to The Dark Side - Never to return again. \m/
  • SoCalTimSoCalTim Posts: 294
    fence0407 said:
    SoCalTim said:

    (6) Ok .. one more last last thing. Stay away from anything Turbo ... this is a low and slow cooker. The Egg is 'specially designed for doing just that.
    ????????  :-O  ???????
    I'm in the 'low & slow' camp. Egging is an 'experience' ... an 'event', if you will.
  • tarheelmatttarheelmatt Posts: 1,308
    edited August 27
    SoCalTim said:
    fence0407 said:
    SoCalTim said:

    (6) Ok .. one more last last thing. Stay away from anything Turbo ... this is a low and slow cooker. The Egg is 'specially designed for doing just that.
    ????????  :-O  ???????
    I'm in the 'low & slow' camp. Egging is an 'experience' ... an 'event', if you will.
    image
    Thanks,

    Matthew
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------

    Thomasville, NC - Large BGE (w/Nest) - Plate Setter - Maverick ET-733 - BBQ Guru Party-Q (new design ) Pizza Stone - BGE V-Rack - Weed Torch (to light egg)

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  • fence0407fence0407 Posts: 728
    SoCalTim said:
    fence0407 said:
    SoCalTim said:

    (6) Ok .. one more last last thing. Stay away from anything Turbo ... this is a low and slow cooker. The Egg is 'specially designed for doing just that.
    ????????  :-O  ???????
    I'm in the 'low & slow' camp. Egging is an 'experience' ... an 'event', if you will.
    I gotchya...I rarely turbo anything either - guess I was just confused by your comment. Sry!
    Large & Mini BGEs, Alpharetta, GA  
    image - 2009 Alumni
  • ZarconZarcon Posts: 390
    Yeah she is definitely a keeper. She already gave me a few 'eggcessories' when she gave it to me as a 'kit' from an actual BGE store close to her work.

    I have my eyes on a few others though. Once thing I have seen all over YouTube is people DEFINITELY believe in using a food thermometer. I never knew just how versatile this egg is until I starting looking it up. This thing does it all. Now all I have to do is figure out how to make beer on it :)
    1 Large BGE - Lawrenceville, GA

    www.TheBGEnest.com (The Ultimate Social Network for Eggers)

    Check out the new Facebook Page
  • fence0407fence0407 Posts: 728
    @Zarcon - I occasionally make a batch or two of homebrew and use a turkey fryer setup for the mash. I guess in all reality, you could use the egg as the heat source to cook the mash. Never tried it, but doesn't seem impossible to make beer on an egg! 
    Large & Mini BGEs, Alpharetta, GA  
    image - 2009 Alumni
  • ZarconZarcon Posts: 390
    fence0407 said:
    @Zarcon - I occasionally make a batch or two of homebrew and use a turkey fryer setup for the mash. I guess in all reality, you could use the egg as the heat source to cook the mash. Never tried it, but doesn't seem impossible to make beer on an egg!

    Oh Gawd.. Don't tell me things like that !! haha

    1 Large BGE - Lawrenceville, GA

    www.TheBGEnest.com (The Ultimate Social Network for Eggers)

    Check out the new Facebook Page
  • fence0407fence0407 Posts: 728
    Zarcon said:
    fence0407 said:
    @Zarcon - I occasionally make a batch or two of homebrew and use a turkey fryer setup for the mash. I guess in all reality, you could use the egg as the heat source to cook the mash. Never tried it, but doesn't seem impossible to make beer on an egg!

    Oh Gawd.. Don't tell me things like that !! haha

    One other question that will be asked of you on here - where are you located at?
    Large & Mini BGEs, Alpharetta, GA  
    image - 2009 Alumni
  • ZarconZarcon Posts: 390
    edited August 27
    I am in the Lawrenceville/Grayson area.

    I will update my signature to include it..
    1 Large BGE - Lawrenceville, GA

    www.TheBGEnest.com (The Ultimate Social Network for Eggers)

    Check out the new Facebook Page
  • badinfluencebadinfluence Posts: 834
    Oh and it starts again. First egg jitters. Next a thermopen. Then oh honey with a 2nd egg look how much more I can cook...then you end up with 10 of them but the mrs is still happy cut she didn't have to cook :(
    1 XXL BGE, 1 XL BGE, 3 LG BGE, 3 MED. BGE, 1 SM. BGE, 1 MINI BGE, 1 MINI MAX (on order) 1 Peoria custom cooker Meat Monster.


    Clinton, Iowa
  • ZarconZarcon Posts: 390
    @badinfluence
    That's what I am afraid of. To have a signature with as many BGEs as you have..
    1 Large BGE - Lawrenceville, GA

    www.TheBGEnest.com (The Ultimate Social Network for Eggers)

    Check out the new Facebook Page
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 5,208

    And regarding all the after-market toys-I would cook on the BGE for awhile before deciding what you want/need.  Hit the search feature here and you can find many quick and inexpensive ways to make a raised grid. 

    About the only real thing you should have right out of the gate is a good "quick-read" thermo.  Thermopen is the flavor of choice, pricy but worth it.  FWIW-

    Louisville
  • badinfluencebadinfluence Posts: 834
    Thermoworks.com AND a 12 foot inflatable Mr egghead :D
    20140803_132248.jpg
    3264 x 2448 - 3M
    1 XXL BGE, 1 XL BGE, 3 LG BGE, 3 MED. BGE, 1 SM. BGE, 1 MINI BGE, 1 MINI MAX (on order) 1 Peoria custom cooker Meat Monster.


    Clinton, Iowa
  • THEBuckeyeTHEBuckeye Posts: 286
    edited August 27
    Purchases since the initial purchase:

    Pizza Stone

    Ribs stand

    PSWoo2

    Spider

    13" Cast Iron Grate

    Beer Butt Chicken stand - BGE

    Dizzy DustSSSSSS

    Salt Lick Rub - Austin Texas

    Thermapen - pissed it didn't arrive today!

    IT NEVER FREAKIN' ENDS! 




    \m/ \m/
  • THEBuckeyeTHEBuckeye Posts: 286
    I'm at 141 and McGinnis Ferry. Smell the cherry?
  • NPHuskerFLNPHuskerFL Posts: 5,582
    fence0407 said:


    SoCalTim said:


    (6) Ok .. one more last last thing. Stay away from anything Turbo ... this is a low and slow cooker. The Egg is 'specially designed for doing just that.

    ????????  :-O  ???????
    & in 3,2.... @Mickey
    LBGE, SS Table and Stoker
    Die Hard HUSKER and BRONCO FAN
    Middleburg, FL
  • THEBuckeyeTHEBuckeye Posts: 286
    edited August 27
    Spatchcock Chicken

    Learn it, live it, love it

    350 raised direct, Dizzy Dust

    50 minutes.....160 breast, 180 thigh 

    Chicken will never be the same.

    As we speak.........
    IMG_0414.jpg
    2448 x 3264 - 2M
  • ZarconZarcon Posts: 390
    Ya'll are really making me wanna go fire my Egg right freaking now. I cant stand this!! I need another drink or something.. Step away from the computer.

    BTW, some of these things I already have like a pizza stone, dutch oven, and others. I WILL be making my own pizza too for sure.

    Don't worry, ya'll will be seeing pics of my first adventure. It's like I have a crowd here chanting 'Do it, Do it, Do it, Do it'..


    1 Large BGE - Lawrenceville, GA

    www.TheBGEnest.com (The Ultimate Social Network for Eggers)

    Check out the new Facebook Page
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