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Newb -- Looking For First Ceramic Job

edited November -1 in EggHead Forum
I'm sure these questions have been asked a hundred times, but I can't seem to locate them with a quick scan, so...[p]I only just learned about ceramic cookers. I love to cook generally and just bought a new house with great capacity for parties and beautiful outdoor setting -- would love to get one of these for regular cooks and smoking and what have you.[p]I don't imagine I'd be a super high end user in terms of cook size. Family of four, often would cook for 8-12, much more rarely for something like 50.[p]Questions:[p]1) This is the Green Egg Forum, so I imagine you all swear by it. Why? What's better about it than the Kamado or Primo?[p]2) The Kamado claims to have 2 inch thick sides, to the Egg's 1/2 inch. Does this matter in cooking terms? I've read anecdotally that the Kamado holds heat better/longer.[p]3) My unit would have to go in a place where it would be highly visible from inside the house, and would also be in my viewshed (basically on a deck overlooking nice areas). For this reason, cooking aside, I lean toward the Kamado regular look (not the tiles, which I don't care about, but the one that looks more terra cotta).[p]4) But, the Kamado is made in China and is shipped from Cali (I'm on the East Coast). If I understand right the Green Egg is made in Mexico... but there's a local retailer right by where I work that carries them. Then there's the Primo, which is made in U.S. This does matter to me, for environmental if not patriotic reasons.[p]5) What accessories are absolutely essential? Assuming I want to do two-tier cooks occasionally, for example, what's the best upper grill and all that?[p]Sorry about the length of this and would appreciate any thoughts.

Comments

  • dhuffjrdhuffjr Posts: 3,182
    Saztronic,
    The general rule here is not to compare competing ceramic grills so I'll address primarily the BGE.[p]The BGE grid extender is a good rack to get you and upper level to cook on and it is easy. There are other options involving a little hack saw work if your interested to make a multiple level grid with threaded rod and grids. A platesetter great for indirect cooks but you could also go indirect with several other routes.[p]Hands down I'd get the BGE, you are asking a BGE crowd :>)[p]The Large BGE sounds perfect for you situation. Although you'll find Eggs addicting and many get more. I currently have the large small combo which many consider to be the near perfect combo.[p]If you choose Primo for the made in America reason I'd recommend the large. Keep reading up on the kammodo and those 2 inch walls, I've not heard flattering things about that cooker.[p]Remember the Egg is not really a grill as much as it is a cooker. You can cook anything on it except something you want to deep fry.[p]H

  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 15,936
    Saztronic,
    skip the kamado, too many horror stories from long deliveries to much worse. the other two are good cookers, it would be a good idea to consider that you will eventually have two cookrs out on the deck so plan for it now, start with a large, cook with it for a year and you will get an idea of what size you need for a second cooker. i have a large and a small that works well for me, but a larger family or party entertainer might want 2 larges. its not generally a space issue, but you will have times when you want to cook at 2 temps or with different setups at the same time. these are much more than grills, my eggs have replaced a 7000 dollar lacanche stove with dual ovens, wok burner, and simmer plates as far as a cooking tool, they are that good. i cook outside with them all year thru newengland winters, rainy springs etc, theres nothing like it. i lean toward eggs, this forum will get you cooking things you never thought to cook before with a quality above most good resteraunts. customer service is tops

  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 4,232
    Saztronic,[p]Having a nearby dealer is nice, because you can more readily get "eggcessories." For the Egg, there are quite a few. The platesetter, grill extender, triple grate for the large, pizza stone, etc. These greatly enhance the Eggs versatility. And the availability of warranty replacements is re-assuring.[p]As for size, it looks like you would be well suited by a large. The extra large would probably be more than you'd need for anything except those crowds of 50. Many Eggers get 2 Eggs, usually a large and small. The large for main courses, and the small for side dishes, or the small for dinners for 2.[p]I'm usually cooking for 4 or 5, but sometimes a dozen. I started with a medium, and found that somewhat small. So I added another. I can cook about 20 pounds of ribs on them at once. I've cooked about 14 pounds of pork butt on a single one. [p]At a half inch thick, the Egg does a good insulating job. Charcoal use in most cases is minimal. And, if you have to move them, the weight, although substantial, is not outrageous. There are quite a few competitors that carry them to contests.[p]gdenby

  • BobSBobS Posts: 2,485
    Saztronic,
    Ceramics are a whole new world and you will like whatever you get. The BGE is great! starting with this Forum and the support you get. [p]Regarding essential accessories -- it depends a lot on you, but here are a list of things I enjoy:[p]Grid lifter: Need something to lift the grill
    Billy Bar: Hands down the best grill cleaner I have seen
    Ash cleaner: use it to stir the lump and clean out the ash.
    Extended Grill: Something to raise the normal cooking level to the level of the opening. Several ways to get there from here, including folks on hte forum that make rings that raise the grid.
    MAPP or Propane Torch: fastest way to start the lump
    Plate Setter: for indirect cooks and pizza stone. Pizza is wonderful on hte BGE.
    Thermapen: True high speed digital thermometer.

  • Saztronic,[p]Personally, given you cooking size wanted and visibility (and some other reasons), I'd go with komodokamado. The other posts about kamado are correct...wouldn't touch one of those. Komodokamado however is a different story, and different animal. The nakedwhiz did a review - some key features are ability to do a rotisserie, no bands to slip / adjust, self-opening, retains heat better, and if go with the gen II it has 45 degree cuts on the lid / bottom to help keep from frying gaskets. Negatives of course are price and weight (>400 lbs) but if not moving it, that's actually a positive.

  • BKBK Posts: 19
    Saztronic,[p]I would definately not get a Kamado...way to many horror stories floating around. If you ever plan on competing, get a BGE, it's light enough to cart around. Don't know much about the Primo.

  • First of all, thanks to everyone for your opinions, very helpful. sumrtym, the Komodo looks amazing, and the review seems to give it a clear edge over the BGE in terms of design and construction. And they look nice enough to be a conversation piece.[p]But at more than double the price, this looks like the Ferrari of ceramic cookers. I guess a lot of what might be extra on a BGE is included in that price, but still...[p]Plus, this thing has to be able to withstand possibly several feet of snow in the winter. At 400 lbs I won't be moving it inside too much -- but with less parts prone to rust, maybe this is not earth shaking.[p]I'm leaning toward the BGE as my first entry into this world, given the lower price and the local dealer. But do you actually own a Komodo? Besides the info in the NakedWhiz review, any personal experience with it? Just curious.

  • Saztronic,[p]I'm planning on talking to a guy has one over in Newton to see it first hand (not a gen II I don't think). Think he'd like showing it off (retired guy). [p]Ya, the big negatives to me besides price are:[p]1) OTB has that non-standard shape / size meaning if I want a replacement grill....difficult.
    2) Weight, but it does have wheels so if it was a straight shot anywhere to take it with concrete / pavement, tis fine.[p]Positives though I'm really liking. It's probably gonna be end of the month before I see one in person.[p]

  • dhuffjr,
    say, you might do a search on Bobby Fley cooks on Primo Grill, or something of the sort. On one of his shows the other night on Food Network, he was barbeqeing on a Primo, apparently the first time he experienced a ceramic cooker, and he was just beside himself on how these cookers cook. I believe that the science behind both these grills is about the same and the results are about the same. I own a small BGE and have been thinking about getting a large, but when I saw the amount of stuff he was able to get on the large Primo, with its oval design, wow, was I impressed. Plusses of the Primo, IMHO, are the oval grilling surface, enabling a larger cooking space, also they are made and manufactured in Atlanta. On the downside, Primo does not have nearly the distribution network that BGE has developed. Since they have contracted with BBQ's Galore, and a number of other distributors, it is safe to assume that you would live near distributor who would more than likely stand by the product should something go wrong. I believe that the retail price of a BGE is a little less than Primo... although I would think it would be a whole lot less, as they are using $1/hr Mexican labor (another philosophical reason I would consider the Primo over the Egg (don't get me wrong, BGE is a fine product.).
    __j

  • John Ross,
    in the june issue of Southwest Airlines magazine Bobby Flay was the 'guest' columnist for the "Best of..." series, and for the "Best of BBQ" he recommended in order of price the Weber Kettle (budget), the Caja Chine (modest--sp?==that newish cuban style cooker where the coals go on top of a steel tray above the food in a wooden box below it), the large BGE (deluxe), and the Viking outdoor grill and range (luxury). Didn't mention Primo, though I know it was the one he used on the show...Primo has no dealers within 200 miles of me (acc. to their website) so that wasn't an option for me...

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