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to buy or not to buy?

edited 10:27AM in EggHead Forum
My wife and I are looking at either dropping some money on a BGE or a Vermont Castings BBQ. Both are in the same price range, but the BGE is a bit more once you factor in the accessories, etc.[p]The BGE looks hip and cool and different from any other BBQ on the market, but for the price I can get a Vermont Castings VC400 top of the line BBQ with five times the cooking area, etc.[p]Is there a long learning curve for cookign with the BGE and how long
does it take to get the carcoal lump to heat the BGE to cooking temperatures? How much cleaning and maintenance is required? [p]All the showroom guy could tell me was that its different in many ways but nothing to specific.[p]Help!


  • The Naked WhizThe Naked Whiz Posts: 7,780
    andrew in TO,
    Cleaning and maintenance is almost nothing. You scrape out the ashes once in a while and you clean the grid as you see fit. You can have the egg up to cooking temps in 10 minutes if you use a MAPP torch to start the charcoal. I usually allow 15-20 since I used weber starter cubes and starter gel, and stuff like that. The only drawback to the egg might be the grid space if you really want to do things like 50 burgers for a big party. If you don't need all that space, then I'd go for the egg. But then, I already have. :-)[p]TNW

    The Naked Whiz
  • RaySRayS Posts: 114
    andrew in TO,[p]If TO stands for Toronto, go for the BGE. You can use it all year round even on those cold, snowy winter days. The ceramic holds the heat alot better than metal.[p]RayS
  • HumptyHumpty Posts: 27
    andrew in TO,
    A few months ago I too was trying to decide between the BGE and a new gas grill. I had already worn out a couple of mid-range gassers so I knew what to expect there. After lurking here and reading all the comments the BGE sounded like not only a great cooker but lots of fun as well. Still couldn't decide so I ended up getting a Large egg and a new Weber Gold. Both are nice but to tell you the truth, I use the BGE 10 times for every one on the gasser. It just plain does a better job with whatever I put on it and besides, it is a heck of a lot more fun to use. Do youself and those you care for a favor and go for the BGE. You will be patting yourself on the back for making the right decision.

  • andrew in TO,
    VC400 is a very nice gas grill, but it's still a one-trick-pony. You can use it to grill food at a moderately high temperature, and nothing else. The same can be said for virtually every gas grill on the market, whether it costs $99 or $9000. They all perform about the same due to that one narrow operating temperature range. You will never barbecue (225-250 degrees for hours) on a gas grill. It is, after all, a grill, not a barbecue.[p]The BGE, on the other hand, has a cooking range from below 180-F to well over 1000-F. You can actually burn chunks of wood that impart a complete pallet of flavors to meat, poultry, and fish, giving you authentic barbecue flavor. You can sear a steak at 750-degrees or more and obtain a char that no gasser can give you. You can smoke a Boston Butt for hours upon hours without adding fuel, at a stable 225-F. Once stable at that temperature you really have nothing to do to maintain it. I set one up last night about 7:00 PM, and woke this morning to find it at the same temperature. You just can't do that with gas.[p]With the plate setter and pizza stone, you can make yourself into a pizza gourmet, cooking in a wood-fired pizza oven. You can reach the high cooking temperatures that are normally only available in large commercial pizza ovens so that you get a perfect crust matched to properly melted cheese and other ingredients.[p]If you take nothing else away from this, take away the fact that the BGE is versatile; more versatile than any other cooker on the market. I've only scratched the surface of its capabilities. You can do much, much more than what I've described here. These things are just some of my favorites![p]BBS

  • maddaugmaddaug Posts: 56
    andrew in TO,
    We had to replace our gas and went with BGE. We absolutly love it. It holds the temp of anything you cook. We just made shrimp scampi, yum and bacon, jalapeno stuffed shrimp too. The cooking with this egg is unbelievable. Our grill is ready in 5 to 10 just like a gas. What clean up? There is none.

  • Steve-OSteve-O Posts: 302
    andrew in TO,
    We were in the exact same place a year ago that you are now. My 20+ year old Broilmaster needed its fifth new burner, and our local Broilmaster dealer happened to also be a BGE dealer. The rest is history. The difference that I see between your introduction to the BGE and mine is the enthusiasm of the dealer (or in your case, the lack of enthusisasm). Me dealer would have been happy to sell me a new Broilmaster, but he was so enthusiastic about the BGE that I decided I had to try it. I have never been sorry about that decision. In fact, by the end of last summer I had added a mini, a small and a chimnea to that first large BGE. When I bought our first egg, I had no idea what I was entering in to. It is a whole new approach to cooking. The egg is so versatile and capable of doing so much more than can be done with a gas grill. As BBQBluesStringer has already said, if you like to BBQ, then you will love the egg. If, on the other hand, you just want to grill some steaks, burgers and chicken once in a while, you might be better off with a gas grill. The egg does take a little more time. Whereas with a gas grill you can go out and light it, and your done until cooking time, the egg needs to have the charcoal stirred, new lump added, and it does need to be cleaned out once in awhile. Some of us do that more frequently than others. It is pretty much up to you. But you can add such great flavors to your meals with different smoking woods, you can make some terrific pizzas on it, and a gasser will never cook a steak as good as the egg. I must say, though, that the best thing about having a BGE is this forum. The people are wonderful and only too willing to help out with questions, suggestions and recipes. Unless you just want a grill for an occaisional quick meal, you can't go wrong with an egg! Hope to see you around here often.

  • Bama EggerBama Egger Posts: 137
    Andrew in Toronto,[p]I've had my large BGE for two years now and love it. My big gas Napoline Grill only gets used to warm up food stuff or perhaps to roast red peppers - no more that 5% of my cooks would I use the gas. It does make a good storage shed however. [p]If you go with the BGE don'T get the electric starter as they do not last - get the MAPP torch (40$ at Home d>).[p]Good luck. You would not be disappointed with the BGE. [p]Paul

  • willmwwillmw Posts: 41
    andrew in TO,
    Learning curve... I was cooking pizza and delicious ribeyes on mine the first weekend I had it. Pulled pork the second. Best steaks I've ever cooked, everything else, remarkable as well. [p]I'm only on my 3rd weekend with my large egg. Read, read, will get more information here and in the manual than you need to get off to a great start.[p]Time to heat up... I just put on some ribs. I lit the egg...came inside to get the ribs out of the fridge and put them on a rack. By the time I got back outside, the dome temp was up to 700. Had to cool it down before putting the ribs on. [p]Based on your original questions, the only variable I see is grid size. If you need to cook massive quantities...then the egg might not be the right choice...otherwise...NO QUESTION!

  • EarlEarl Posts: 468
    <p />RayS,
    Hi Ray:[p]Are we going to see you at the Paris cookoff June 7th?[p]Earl

  • andrew in TO,
    Bought a BGE at the Cottage Life show in Mar. Was looking for a charcoal BBQ for the cottage and was directed to the BGE by one of the Napoleon grill salesman. He actually stepped out of the booth to recommend it.
    Still learning but have no regrets. Have done burgers, chicken parts, steaks, vegies, will be smoking a small bird today for the first attempt at smoking food.
    Only problem is that it's at home next to my Weber and not at the cottage.
    Tony on the edge of TO.

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