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can you use hard woods

I love the smell of food cooked over wood. Can you use hard woods in place of charcoal? I am trying to find an affordable (and residential) wood burning grill.


  • BobSBobS Posts: 2,485
    Matt Baun,
    I have never heard anyone talk about trying that -- at least not on a regular basis. I have never eaten anything grilled over a wood fire, but I eaten BBQ cooked over the coals from burned wood and it definitely not better than the food cooked over lump. Also, if you look at the BBQ Comps, there are lots of prizes won by folks cooking over lump, including a lot of folks with BGE's.[p]The Egg certainly does not have a very big fire box, for burning wood. You can get 30+ hours from a load of lump, but I would guess just a fraction of that for wood.[p]I really do not think that you would be disapointed with an Egg and lump.

  • Matt Baun,
    I've tried cooking with wood as a part of some other testing I was doing. You can't really cook over wood if you mean placing unburned wood in the Egg and burning it. You can't control the temperature very well. It will either stay low and smoke and produce creosote like nobody's business, or it will ignite and the temps will soar. I burned some wood in my small egg for about 2 hours and when I was done, the inside was coated with creosote and the daisy wheel was glued on. I had a time getting it off. [p]You could probably burn wood down to coals in a barrel and shovel the coals into the Egg, but it would be a lot of work and you would be constantly adding coals. [p]I suppose you could grill over burning wood chunks if you wanted, but you should give lump and chunks a try.[p]Good luck!

    The Naked Whiz
  • Matt Baun,
    Click on the link below for some fantastic information. If you want smoke flavor you can add hickory, maple, cherry,pecan, mesquite, guava wood and or alder wood chunks to the lump charcoal... (I am sure I am forgetting some more but you get the point). Lump Charcoal is the ticket the Big Green Egg shouldn't disappoint you.

  • Matt Baun,
    i tried using wood when i first bought my egg.... it works ok but you have to let it burn down to coals ,,, just like ya would when you cook on a didn't take me too long to figure out that lump( and using some chunks of wood with the flavor you like) is the way to go... for the following reasons...a) ease of use b) can be re-lighted c)can control the fire with precise of these days i'm gonna experiment with making my own charcoal(fortunately, i own 12 acres of hardwood forest)...once my pallet of wicked good charcoal runs out....hope this helps... rr

  • ranger ray,
    I too have been interested in making my own charcoal. How will you do it???? I have read in the past that if you use a 30 gal. drum inside a 55 gal drum, you can make your own. We too have 10 acres with tons of oak...I would like to try my hand at it with some of our downed oaks, Cathy

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    Matt Baun,
    what you love about the smell of food cooked over wood has got to be the smoke....[p]hardwood charcoal is made from wood, and since it has all the less desirable stuff driven off during its manufacture, you won't generate creosote and horrible smoke if you use it. you then can introduce wood chunks to add smoke as you see fit.[p]the chiminea has a removable chimney, and comes with a grate to put over the hole, so you can fire it up and cook on it. i've only done popcorn, but ostensibly, the idea is that you can cook over it like a camp fire. [p]if what you like is smoke, then the BGE probably gives you the most flexibility.[p]the big reason i think cooking with regular wood doesn't work is that the egg is designed to control temp. lid shut, it is airtight except for what air comes in the lower vent. [p]an open fire, like a campfire, needs a ton of oxygen to burn cleanly and vent the creosote. i think if you really wanted an open campfire in the egg, that means dome ope, no temp control, and the risk of burning the upper gasket, etc.[p]in short, if you like smoke, the egg will certainly give it to you. you don't need a wood fire for that . in fact, if you like smoke, you can get it on more of your food than you could doing it over an open fire. you can't do great pizza on a campfire, but you can in the egg.

    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • fyrcat,
    i was planning on using the same method..... there's ton's of info on making charcoal on the net.... some guys on here gave me links to homemade charcoal production a few years seems really simple.... i love fire and smoke... lol... if i can find a 30 gal drum...( the hard part)... 55 gal drums are everywhere....stay in touch .... let me know if ya try it and how it works.... i'm swapmed with other projects right now( gettin wood for the winter being one of 'em)...ray

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