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first time owner

I received a medium bge as a Christmas present and was very excited, because I had heard so many good things about this grill. I would consider myself a decent cook, but I had given up on outdoor cooking because I could never get high enough or consistent enough temperatures on a grill to be happy with the results. Well I've been cooking on this grill, reading the forums and watching the cooking videos and I just can't seem to get the BGE to do what you all rave so much about on the forum.

For example, today I did some simple strip steaks. I filled with BGE charcol to just above the vent holes. After a little over 30 minutes the egg finally reached just under 500 degrees. It didn't look to be going any higher so I started my steaks. After the steaks were on and I closed the lid, the temperature dropped to below 400 and never rose back to much above 400 during the entire cooking. What did happen though is that I had so much flare up inside the egg that the steak were chared to an almost inedable state.

Now, with so many people loving this grill I am perfectly willing to believe I am doing something wrong, but I can't figure out what it is. Has anyone else had a similar experience using this product, and can anyone offer suggestions to help.


  • thirdeyethirdeye Posts: 7,428
    Well, you do need a pretty hot fire for steaks and I like a hot spot about 8" in diameter, especially if I am cooking more than one. (This still leaves me a cooler zone around the edge if I need one).

    I would go with more fuel, fill the bowl with lump. I rarely fill the bowl to the vent holes, and when I do it is for a very low temperature cook.

    EDIT: I forgot about the flare up issue...That is really odd to me, I mean I will get some when turning but once the lid goes back down the flames snuff out.
    Happy Trails

    Barbecue is not rocket surgery
  • SundownSundown Posts: 2,961
    First thing to check is if your fire box opening is aligned with the lower vent opening.

    The next question is are you sure you are using real lump charcoal? Is it dry? Are you lighting the lump in at least two or three places and leaving the lower vent wide open? Dome closed without the daisy wheel and top open?

    I don't own a medium but you should be able to attain temperatures in the 800º to 1,000º range in a fairly short time.
  • I'm a very new owner myself and don't have alot of experience but my first thought would be to make sure your rings are tight enough and your not leaking air around the middle. Again, i'm not an expert but after reading that was my first thought.
  • SundownSundown Posts: 2,961
    Actually I think that if the rings were loose it would only contribute to the heat factor by letting more air in. Most have a problem holding temp when the dome fit is bad. Good thought though.
  • I have the firebox opening aligned and I'm using the BGE brand charcoal. For lighting, I've been using a paper towel soaked in a little peanut oil bured in the charcoal.

    You mentioned in your post "dome closed without the daisy wheel and top open." I'm not sure I understand. When I light the charcoal I usually close the lid, open the bottem vent and open the top vent all the way. Should the top vents be closed?
  • BrocBroc Posts: 1,398
    I have a Medium, and a Small -- but my Medium is my Main Mean Machine. When I first got the Egg, about 16 months ago, I had very unsatisfactory results. Absolutely nothing came out right, and I was ready to get rid of the thing.

    A local dealer and a few forum members took me under wing, and I came to understand that I had to "learn a new approach" to the grill. The Green Egg just isn't a heavy, green-colored Weber... everything is different.

    Not harder-to-use... just different.

    I use more lump than I probably need. For high heat, you need a lot of lump burning, and high temps eat a lot of lump.

    Although it's already been mentioned, make sure your firebox opening is lined up [straight path] with your bottom draft opening. Put your hand through the bottom draft and feel the direct line into the firebox.

    Don't just dump lump into the firebox... a bag with lots of itty-bitty pieces and dusty-particles will clog up the "breathing hole" in the firebox. I have learned to get my hands dirty and place the lump in carefully. Now, I don't play lincoln logs, or anything like that... but I have become very aware of air flow.

    With good air flow, I cxan easily control temps -- after all, temperature control is all about us controlling airflow, as airflow is what we're doing with the bottom vent and daisywheel.

    There are people who put the grate on just above the fire for searing. They want the steaks literally touching the fire. I don't... I keep the grate on top of the fire ring, unless I'm going to cook indirect.

    After searing steaks at high heat for 90 seconds each side, I insert the plate setter [legs up], put on the ceramic grill, drop the Egg temp to below 400F [takes about 15 minutes, and then put the steaks back on to roast.

    This is a slight variation of the TRex method, which for me has proven to be Super-Duper!

    Any fat burning off doesn't hit the fire -- the fire can't get up to continue to burn the meat... But, with proper air control, an indirect roast at 350F temps isn't going to have any flames anyway. So little O2 is getting to the red-hot coals that the coals don't burst into flame -- except when you open the lid... remember to burp!

    When I first got the Egg, I had the lid open far too much... treating the Egg as if it were a metal, open hibachi.


    Good luck -- Continue to experiment -- Ask lots of questions!

    There are some REAL chefs on the board who will answer you fully, once they discover you're here, needing help. It's amazing how many people are willing to help.

    And keep your powder... erm... your lump dry!

    And never use that K
    d stuff! No briquettes, y'hear! Santa's Elves are watching!

    ~ Broc
  • Keith WKeith W Posts: 61
    For high heat, the vent/daisy wheel should be completely off, with the bottem vent AND screen completely open. In order to achive higher temps, you need to fill up your firebox to at least the bottom of the fire ring.

    Hope this helps.

  • If you haven't been there go to the Naked Whiz site... lots of useful info... specific to your problem click the link below

    This will answer alot of your questions... don't know if you have heard about TREX steaks... he is a member here.
  • Good EatsGood Eats Posts: 136
    Don't know if you have heard of The Naked Whiz, try his site it will give you a vast array of info about your cooker and how to use it more effectively... click below

    More specific to your problem try this link:

    If you haven't heard of TREX steaks stick around here a while, he is one of the members here.

    Hope this helps.
  • Ok, so a few more things to try. Thanks guys.
  • Dimple's MomDimple's Mom Posts: 1,740
    If you don't 'stir' the lump and clear the little holes at the bottom, you'll have trouble getting the heat up even if you add new lump. You have to stir every single time. Whenever I'm lazy and don't stir, I get a lousy fire.

    And after you stir, you have to rake the ash out that falls through the holes.

  • AZRPAZRP Posts: 10,116
    First off fill the lump to the bottom of the fire ring for high temp cooks. Then check your thermometer. I helped a friend with his first cook around Christmas time and I fired it up for what should have been reading 350 degrees. The thermometer read just over 100. I told him I've fired up enough Eggs to know that the temp was 350 inside that Egg. So we checked the thermometer in boiling water and it was off 250 degrees. If I hadn't been there he would have been cooking at 600 when the thermometer was reading 350. -RP
  • Listen to this man. The TRex method gives an excellent steak and there's virtually no chance of getting anything close to what you got tonight.
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