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Old School Egg (pic heavy)

ViennaJackViennaJack Posts: 357
edited 6:58PM in EggHead Forum
A couple of weeks ago I posted about my adventure cooking at the Viva Vienna festival for my friend and dealer, John of Nicholas Chimney Works in Vienna, VA.

I stopped in to say hi to John on Friday and noticed an old-school Large Big Green Egg out in front of his shop. When I asked him about it, he said that it came from a customer who had purchased a new Large from him, and asked him to take the old one away. It is purported to be 20 years old. He also said he was thinking about giving it to me as a way of saying thanks for helping him out at Viva Vienna.

To make a long story short, that old Egg is now sitting on my deck along with my 2007 Large BGE, and I'm just thrilled to have it. I thought I'd share some pics here. I figured that some of you old time eggers might enjoy seeing my new addition.

In its new home:

Rusted and stuck open:

Thermometer was reading about 10 degrees low - I calibrated it before the cleaning burn:

Gunky and old-school - no swing away lid, just the daisy wheel:

The insides - I think this Egg was used for a lot of low and slow:

Lid open - old-school handle and hinges:

Shot of the interior. The Egg is in excellent condition overall. The only real problem was the bottom vent. All of the ceramic is in great shape. The ceramic bottom grate has a crack but I don't see any cracks anywhere else.


Ceramic bottom grate:

Accumulation on inside of lid. I'm doing a gentle 650 degree cleaning burn right now. It's been going for about four hours. Lots of smoke at first but we're burning clear now for about an hour.

Accumulation on the top vent - it's inside the Egg getting cleaned right now.

Interior after removing all of the ashes. This is before the cleaning burn.

Preparing to install the new bottom vent:

The "new hotness". This is the only thing I plan to fix right now. I'm keeping the old style hinges and top vent. I have a new gasket in case it is needed but for now I'm going to see how we do with the old one.

Getting started with the cleaning burn. This was shot about four hours ago. It's been running at 650-700 degrees since then. I'm taking my time and trying not to rush things. I don't want a cascade of melted gunk wiping out what's left of the gasket. I'll open it up while it's still hot later tonight to make sure the gasket doesn't fuse shut.

I hope you all enjoyed the pics. I'm ecstatic about our new family member and very grateful to John for the gift. I can't wait to start cooking! I'll take some more pics after the cleaning burn and post them later.


  • Smokin' ToddSmokin' Todd Posts: 1,104
    Considering the firebox and grate are not in pieces I would consider that egg in perfect condition! Ur one lucky dude!
    Great grab and I wish u all the best with it.
  • JLOCKHART29JLOCKHART29 Posts: 5,897
    Yep. Nice old Egg. I would be proud to have it in my smoke shack any day!
  • Beanie-BeanBeanie-Bean Posts: 3,092

    Best of luck with the restoration project. Looks like you've already made some progress with the new lower vent. That was a really thick buildup of stuff on the inside of that cooker. Bet it'll be good as new here shortly.
  • Bobby-QBobby-Q Posts: 1,993
    That is a nice gesture by your dealer friend. It is not even that old. If it was 20 years old it would be made out of fire clay. If it has a seam on the sides then it would be one of the first ceramic EGGs.

    I'm sure you will enjoy it for a very long time.
  • ViennaJackViennaJack Posts: 357
    Bobby-Q wrote:
    That is a nice gesture by your dealer friend. It is not even that old. If it was 20 years old it would be made out of fire clay. If it has a seam on the sides then it would be one of the first ceramic EGGs.

    I'm sure you will enjoy it for a very long time.

    I had a hunch that it wasn't 20 years old. I don't see any seams on the sides.

    I'd like to find out how old it really is. Is there a date code stamped into the ceramic anywhere? How about the older top and bottom vent designs - how long ago was this style used?

    The cleaning burn finished up fine. The temp was dropping and at 600 I decided I'd better open it up. It was a bit stuck, and the gasket didn't survive, but it sure was easy to remove it at 600 degrees. It practically fell off as soon as I it it with the scraper.

    Tomorrow I'll clean the rims really well and get the new gasket installed. More pics to follow.
  • Smokin' ToddSmokin' Todd Posts: 1,104
    I could be wrong. but there might be a date one the rim of the base. I think I noticed a "2001" when I replaced the gasket on my small, but baught it in 2004.
    I didnt think much of it and dont remember exactly.
  • Citizen QCitizen Q Posts: 484
    You've got the old style scissor hinge, you need to pull at least one of them all the way forward to lock it and prevent the dome from crashing down.
    My original Egg is 10 years old, same set up as yours and in no where near as good condition. Congrats.
  • Old SaltOld Salt Posts: 357
    I bought a new bottom vent for my old egg since I can't slide it. It's still waiting to be installed since the old screws and nuts are fused together. I'll probably have to drill them out.
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