Big Green Egg - EGGhead Forum - The Ultimate Cooking Experience...
We hope everyone enjoyed their Fourth of July weekend and is excited for more warm weather grilling! This week, we’ll be making these two burgers: Stuffed Portobello Mushroom and Caribbean Chicken, and also eating lots of these Ice Cream Sandwiches in honor of National Ice Cream Month! It's time to think about getting out to one of the many #EGGfests around the country - see a list here

new egg owner - couple of questions

pearlbluevtxpearlbluevtx Posts: 13
edited November -1 in EggHead Forum
Hi- awesome to be part of the EGG group!!

wow. We've had our LG Egg for 3 weeks now and we've cooked more on this Egg than we've ever cooked on approximately 3-4 small-large gas grills that we've had over the last 15+ years! And, the results have been so much better.

Also, I'm a novice griller as well so I really have no idea what I'm doing on grilling or smoking food. We haven't even used the Egg to smoke anything yet - can't wait to try this though!

I do have a couple of questions --

1) using BGE charcoal (and some sort of gel that I use to light it), I'm not really understanding how I get my Egg to heat up in a 'normal' amount of time. Maybe I need to understand what 'normal' heat-up time is but for example, I just got my Egg to 425 degrees so we can cook pizza on the Egg .. (2nd time to do this - awesome!!) ... but it's taken me about 45-55 minutes to get my temp right. I got it going, temp up to 500-600 degrees, then brought it down with our ceramic pizza stone in there ... now it's down to around 425 & the plate is heated.

Is this right? Normal in my timing? I have no idea

2) I've been using BGE charcoal & reading the NakedWhiz web site and thinking of trying other charcoal. So far, the BGE is fine - for what I understand. I really want to have it light faster, burn long, last long & have hardly any waste/ash ... and if it can have a flavor, better yet! Are these goals practical and make sense? Thinking of trying the following and for someone who doesn't know anything, if you want to comment, I'd appreciate it:
(a) ozark oak lump, (b) wicked good, (c) real montana, & (d) royal oak (since it's same as BGE??)

anyway, going to try these

we've cooked probably 50+/- chicken breasts (& frozen them), burgers, hot dogs, pizzas (awesome!) and one steak ... I'm very much enjoying this more than I have any other grill that I've had. We bought the Large with the stand, pizza stone with that ceramic stand-convection deal.

any other things I should try as we progress in our Eggperience??

Comments

  • deepsouthdeepsouth Posts: 1,788
    regarding the choice of lump, i like the royal oak/bge to do grilling and the wicked good to do long cooks such as a pork butt or pulled beef. i'll use the royal oak to do ribs, but anything that takes over about 6-8 hours, i use wicked good.
  • thank you for the info Jason. That helps.
  • thirdeyethirdeye Posts: 7,424
    I plan on 45 minutes or an hour for the coals to get right for me.... either on a cook like a pizza, or for a low and slow where I have wood splits that I want to settle down.

    Of the charcoal you have available, all are good choices. I don't care for the Wicked Good (regular or the competition blend) because it has very little smoke flavor on it's own. However it has wonderful burn times. I've wanted to try the Real Montana, but even shipping to Wyoming makes it expensive per pound. I've heard nothing but good things about it though. Ozark Oak is one of my favorites, I would burn it all the time if I had access to it.
    Happy Trails
    ~thirdeye~

    Barbecue is not rocket surgery
  • deepsouthdeepsouth Posts: 1,788
    choices are nice! i mentioned the two i mentioned because they are the only two i can get down here. i haven't ventured off into the world of mail order charcoal so i won't get sucked in. hahahaha.
  • thanks for this info - again, very good.

    so, on timing - if I'm grilling burgers/steaks/dogs etc, is that time still about the right time to wait on the grill or should it get done faster?

    thirdeye wrote:
    I plan on 45 minutes or an hour for the coals to get right for me.... either on a cook like a pizza, or for a low and slow where I have wood splits that I want to settle down.

    Of the charcoal you have available, all are good choices. I don't care for the Wicked Good (regular or the competition blend) because it has very little smoke flavor on it's own. However it has wonderful burn times. I've wanted to try the Real Montana, but even shipping to Wyoming makes it expensive per pound. I've heard nothing but good things about it though. Ozark Oak is one of my favorites, I would burn it all the time if I had access to it.
  • i'm looking on the online world too b/c time is sometimes difficult to find for me and getting it to me via internet order would be nice. just not sure if the shipping costs etc make sense ... investigating. I've only tried BGE b/c they place I bought the Egg had it so I got it. I had no idea on all the differences etc but I do sure appreciate how little ash is burned and the cleanup is pretty easy!!

    deepsouth wrote:
    choices are nice! i mentioned the two i mentioned because they are the only two i can get down here. i haven't ventured off into the world of mail order charcoal so i won't get sucked in. hahahaha.
  • MazzdogMazzdog Posts: 44
    do you have a Walmart by you? You can get the Royal Oak and save a few dollars.. (essentially the same stuff as the BGE brand).
  • MetalheadMetalhead Posts: 668
    B) welcome to the world of BGE. I love the BGE and all of the great cooks I have been able to accomplish with it. I had never even cooked w charcoal prior to buying the egg in '06. It will be a short road to success with bge in ur corner
  • One thing I notice when it seems my egg is slow getting up to heat is that I need to clean out the collecting ash. I haven't gotten a ash cleaner yet. I just take my tongs and bucket and pull out a good amount of ash and it seems the air flow is improved significantly and temp rises with greater speed. When I do a low&slow for a pork butt or brisket, I will pull out all the innards and clean out the ash so that I can insure my egg gets enough air to stay light for 15+ hours. Ohhh and when I get the egg lit (I use the 90/10 rubbing alcohol method) I leave the vents wide open and monitor the temperature rise and start closing down the vents when its within 50* of my target temp.
  • sooner- great info & I have cleaned out my egg bottom once so far and checked it tonight to make sure. I haven't taken my egg apart and it came put together so maybe I need to consider that when I do some sort of low/slow cook

    your 90/10 alcohol method- do you just pour rubbing alcohol on some of the coal and then light it?

    I started out closing the lid with the vents wide open but I also have tried keeping my lid completely open and that seems to speed up my heat - or I think. I don't have that much time on grilling to probably have a great read on it yet...

    thanks for the info & ideas.

    Egghead-Sooner wrote:
    One thing I notice when it seems my egg is slow getting up to heat is that I need to clean out the collecting ash. I haven't gotten a ash cleaner yet. I just take my tongs and bucket and pull out a good amount of ash and it seems the air flow is improved significantly and temp rises with greater speed. When I do a low&slow for a pork butt or brisket, I will pull out all the innards and clean out the ash so that I can insure my egg gets enough air to stay light for 15+ hours. Ohhh and when I get the egg lit (I use the 90/10 rubbing alcohol method) I leave the vents wide open and monitor the temperature rise and start closing down the vents when its within 50* of my target temp.
  • I just recently starting doing the rubbing alcohol after seeing a few forum members talk about it. There is an excellent 2 part video on youtube that shows you in detail how to do it.

    Part 1
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWZUrtaEb-U

    Part 2
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IH1VxWsR1Sw&feature=channel

    Part 1 gets a little long and you can probably skip on to #2 but i was bored at work and watched both videos!
  • fire eggerfire egger Posts: 1,124
    Hey Pearlblue
    welcome to the madness
    you've already gotten plenty of good answers, but heres my 2 cents worth anyway.
    1. It usually takes about 30-45 minutes or so to get to temp and stable. once I light, I leave the dome open until several pieces of lump are started, then put plate setter/ grid, whatever I'm cooking on in and bring it up to temp, starting to close the vents about 50* or so before I reach desired temp. It takes a while for the mass of the egg, PL, etc to get heated, but the wait is worth it, once your there, the temp is stable. once your there and stable, put your food in and dont change the vents, it is normal for the temp to drop, it will come back up.

    2. I like Oazark Oak, Royal oak is also very good, I have not used the other two. If you have Krogers in your area, their store brand lump is made by Royal oak, and is also very good, generaly availble year-round in my area ( central Arkansas)

    Sounds like you have a pretty good start, have fun
  • thirdeyethirdeye Posts: 7,424
    DSC09345a.jpg

    Even for a grilling fire, which is more spread out than a low-n-slo fire, and may or may not be as hot as a pizza fire..... I would still plan on at least 30 minutes. Now, if you had a lot of used lump in there you might get a batch of cooking coals sooner. If you don't have a nice consistant fire you will have several different heat zones to deal with, and this will make something as simple as a burger harder to cook.

    As you can see from some of these pictures sometimes I cook with the grate in the regular position with a smaller fire, and sometimes I'll have a hotter fire and cook on a raised grate. I also use different thicknesses of burgers at different times.


    DSC09338a.jpg



    208af3bd.jpg

    DSC05395JPGx.jpg

    DSC04984b.jpg
    Happy Trails
    ~thirdeye~

    Barbecue is not rocket surgery
  • Rezen73Rezen73 Posts: 356
    Couple of tips for improving the amount of time it takes for the egg to get up to temp:

    Make sure you clean the ash from the bottom of the firebox/grate every time. Also take a long narrow instrument, such as an old screwdriver, and clear the firebox oxygen holes and push down any stubborn pieces of charcoal that are lodged in the grate below. This will increase oxygen flow.

    Second, it is extremely important how you distribute the lump charcoal in the firebox before you light it. Not doing any "charcoal management" and just dumping coal straight from the bag and into the firebox is not conducive to fast ignition time. Think of building a campfire. The big pieces should be propped up so air can circulate underneath them, but don't completely smother them with smaller pieces. Make sure that if you use a paraffin starter that you put a couple of charcoal pieces above the paraffin block.

    Alternatively, you could use an electric starter (where's the "fun" in that though??), or better yet, a chimney starter. You basically dump the charcoal in the chimney starter, and stuff a crumpled up newspaper that's been drizzled with corn oil. Don't use oil that has a low smoke point (like extra virgin olive oil). The idea is to keep the newspaper burning long enough to light the coals. This method will get the coals nice and hot in 15 minutes. Another 15 to preheat the ceramic interior of the egg and you're good to go! You could also have the entire chimney inside the egg, which will pre-start the pre-heating process. lol

    Good luck!
  • thanks all for the info. GREAT INFO!! much appreciated

    I did clean (ok, fessing up - I moved) the bottom of the egg where the ash is at and cleaned out some of the ash in the oxygen holes etc. That was the first time I had done anything to the holes and will do a better job on the ash & the coals.

    starting to get the hang of it a bit better I think... especially after reading other people's opinions & experiences - very very helps.

    here's some of the pizzas we've cooked... the crust on these pizzas and the taste is just the best coming over the grill versus being in an oven - just amazing that it's that much better (first pizza we cooked about a week ago, I told my wife to turn the oven on as a backup in case we didn't get it right - after getting temps etc right, which took longer b/c we're learning, those pizzas cooked awesome, faster on the egg plate and better tasting than the oven...)


    IMG_1426.jpg

    IMG_1427.jpg

    IMG_1428.jpg

    IMG_1430.jpg

    IMG_1436.jpg

    IMG_1437.jpg


    i have never craved homemade pizza before we started making them like this on the egg...
  • ibandaibanda Posts: 429
    Sounds like you are jumping in with both feet!

    1) Be careful going over your target temp while heating up, it takes a long time to cool it back down. Better to set your vents on the way up to get the right temperature.

    2) The BGE/Royal Oak lump is one of the best. We had an OKC group buy last year on Wicked Good where 7 or 8 of us bought a pallet of 60 bags and had it delivered to one spot on OKC. If we get enough interest we might get another order together this summer (let me know if you have any interest). Having used both I think they are fairly close, I just prefer getting a bulk order an about 20% discount that way.

    Have fun egging!
    "Bacon tastes gooood, pork chops taste gooood." - Vincent Vega, Pulp Fiction
  • I'm actively contemplating buying an Egg and this thread has got me confused. All that I've previously read states that the BGE is ready to use in approximately 10 minutes, but now I'm reading much longer times. Thanks in advance for any clarification.

    As an aside, knowing that this forum is available is tremendously comforting because I will be starting at the beginning of the smoking learning curve.
  • ibanda,

    I'd be in on a co-op buy of different brands to try them out... could we look at that Montana as well? Just let me know ... would try it. THANKS!!

    BTW, both feet are definitely in on the EGG .. tonight, QUESADILLAS ... not my idea, WIFES!!

    ibanda wrote:
    Sounds like you are jumping in with both feet!

    1) Be careful going over your target temp while heating up, it takes a long time to cool it back down. Better to set your vents on the way up to get the right temperature.

    2) The BGE/Royal Oak lump is one of the best. We had an OKC group buy last year on Wicked Good where 7 or 8 of us bought a pallet of 60 bags and had it delivered to one spot on OKC. If we get enough interest we might get another order together this summer (let me know if you have any interest). Having used both I think they are fairly close, I just prefer getting a bulk order an about 20% discount that way.

    Have fun egging!
  • sayhey...

    (1) I'm a total NOOB at the EGG.

    (2) If I (and my wife) would have known how much fun, great food we could have been enjoying off of this cooker, we would have made this purchase LONG AGO. (and maybe some of the other 'ceramic cookers' would be fine but for the reputation, I took the BGE as my choice after my research)

    (3) TIME: we've cooked multiple times since we got this a few weeks ago. 10 MIN is really quick - I honestly can't imagine it heating up that quick. However, as we get better at it & learning the EGG-way, I'm feeling comfortable to maybe seeing a 15-25 min timeframe for good heat (but, like I did tonight, wife got the heat going, then she tweaked it down too much and almost - or did - lost it. I got it back but then ran the temp up 200 degrees higher than I needed ... but, it came down in 10 min & we were cooking) -- so, I'm new- take that FWIW ... but I believe we should be able to get this heated up quicker than what I've been doing but for me, 10 MIN sounds a bit on the hopeful side. (MY 2 CENTS)

    Sayhey wrote:
    I'm actively contemplating buying an Egg and this thread has got me confused. All that I've previously read states that the BGE is ready to use in approximately 10 minutes, but now I'm reading much longer times. Thanks in advance for any clarification.

    As an aside, knowing that this forum is available is tremendously comforting because I will be starting at the beginning of the smoking learning curve.
Sign In or Register to comment.