I want to start out by saying that I love my BGE. I have the large size, and my food always turns out great. However, I read forums and blogs and realize that my experience could be so much better. Here are the problems that I have. I'm hoping people have input.
Hot spots: Search the Internet for "Big green egg hot spots". You'll get a bazillion hits, and every one of them says that the BGE cooks evenly with no hot spots. How is this even possible? I use an electric lighter to light my BGE, and obviously because of its shape, it's only going to touch charcoal in one spot (middle to back middle). Isn't this obviously going to be a hot spot? When you guys cook burgers, for example, if you put one on the very edge and one in the very center, are you saying that they both cook exactly the same? This isn't my experience at all. I either have to limit what I cook so that it all fits close to the middle, or move things around quite often.
Leaving the BGE: Everything I read says that people get the temp set right, put their food on, and walk away. HOW? I find that with really low temperatures (less than 250), I can do this (I did pulled pork overnight and it was great! I've also done two roast beefs and a bacon explosion, and I was able to leave them alone without checking). But for things like burgers and chicken, I don't get how people do this. I get my temp steady, let's say at 400 degrees. Open BGE, put 5 burgers on grill. Close lid, temp is down to 250, due to me opening the grill and putting cold meat on. Wait a couple minutes, grill is up to 300. Open top wheel lid thing to get things heated quicker, temp goes too high, and I get flames. Close lid wheel thing a bit, etc etc. Look at watch, 8 minutes have passed. Time to flip and repeat the entire process. The longer food takes without needing to be flipped, the easier things are... but for something that only calls for 8 - 10 minutes per side, how do people walk away?
Too much food blocks air circulation: Everyone told me that the large size would be big enough. We're two adults and one young child, so that's what we bought.. but I find the grill gets covered quickly on some nights, and I totally lose heat. A couple examples - we put on a tray of veggies, which wasn't even that big (took up < half the grill) and three chicken breasts. The temp dropped from 450 to just over 200, and took FOREVER to get back up. I don't particularly like cooking chicken at 200 degrees. It ended up taking forever (close to 40 minutes).. mind you, it came out perfectly, but took waay too long. Another example is when we had a couple friends over. We made 10 burgers, which pretty much covered the grill... and never got our temp back above 250 (started at close to 500). I've seen so many videos and read so many posts from people who stack their grills. How do you maintain the temp?
I want to finish the same way I started, by saying that I love my BGE. I don't love standing next to it to monitor it constantly, and taking 40 minutes to cook something that should take 20 kind of sucks, but overall, my food comes out moist, tender and perfect.
Thanks to all for any insight you can offer.