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First time poster, needs a little advice, XL or L

ringkingpinringkingpin Posts: 235
edited November -1 in EggHead Forum
Hi Guys,

My name is Geoff. I live in NW Indiana about a three stones throw from the sunny shores of Lake Michigan. I've been cooking my entire life and used to be in the industry. I have my grand diplome from Le Cordon Bleu and worked in Paris for a number of years at some of the top restaurants in the world. I also worked at a number of restaurants in Chicago but am now in Metal Fabrication, lol. When I returned home, I started doing lots of BBQ and smoking, something which we hardly ever did overseas or in the fine dining restaurants which I worked in. I'm happiest when I'm outdoors, with an adult beverage in my hand and a fire of some sort in front of me.
I've had many, grills and smokers, from the traditional Weber Kettle, to a traeger to a number of custom built units. I've had the pleasure of cooking on a couple different eggs, in particular, my friends XL which I showed him how to do BBQ on. He bought his BGE specifically for searing steaks ala Cleveland or Pittsburgh style.
With my friends BGE XL, I noticed that the weak link appeared to be the hinge and the metal bands. I did some research on this site about that and found many people that had similar problems. It looks like the clamp has since been redesigned, or at least the spring had been removed. I'm not sure what that is supposed to do. It also seems like a barrel shim might be useful to put between the two 90 degree bends of the clamp to keep those "ears" from bending towards one another.
Ok, sorry for getting windy but the bottom line is this, is there any reason NOT to buy the XL? Have the factory "fixes" taken care of the problem with the band? I realize there is a little maintenance involved like tightening it after a week of initial use but I don't want to purchase the most expensive unit only to find that it has a problem with the lid.
Any and all info from XL owners would be really appreciated!

BTW, sold the traeger on Craigslist, it's getting picked up tonight! :)
"Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are."
 Brillat-Savarin

Comments

  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,221
    Geoff,

    Impressive credentials. The large has usually been the most popular in past dicussions. In the last couple of years the XL has undergone some changes. There have been several redesigns of the large bands and spring mechanisms. The newest version has a dome geometry which makes it look more like the large. The older XL's were more squat. This change is relatively new and I'm not sure that some aftermarket manufacturers, like the Ceramic Grillstore, have anything designed for accessories yet but I am sure they will. I have large eggs and an older style XL and I think my next one will be the new XL.

    Welcome

    Steve

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • ChokeOnSmokeChokeOnSmoke Posts: 1,691
    Posted a similar question and got many responses. In the end, I went with the XL [new design] (about 4 months ago). Love it and glad I went BIG. I'm sure I could have done plenty of large meat with the Large size but I love the grid "real estate" of the XL. The only thing I purchased for it was the plate setter which I use all the time.
    I assembled it myself (even though the dealer offered to set up and deliver for free). I wanted to understand how everything worked. I've had no problems with the hinge/spring assembly. If you have any other specific questions about it, let me know.
    Packerland, Wisconsin

  • Thanks for the response and welcome Steve. Yes, the XL that my friend has, has a squat lid compared to the other egg sizes. One of the main, if not the main reason I'm looking at the XL is because I have an old 22" paella pan that I love and it's the perfect size for some of the dinner parties I have. I'd have a hard time with a smaller pan and the 18" diameter of the large. Of course I could get a burner just for the paella but I'm trying to lower my inventory of outdoor cooking devices, lol.
    "Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are."
     Brillat-Savarin
  • BacchusBacchus Posts: 6,019
    Egging in general is not about doing it biggest, it's about doing it best. And the Large Egg is the best.
  • I do not own an XL, but my neighbor did.

    The only reason to get or not to get an XL is the number of people you intend to cook for. Someone will post the magic number, I seem to recall it being 10 or 12 before you need the XL. When I first got my egg, I was thinking I should've got an XL until I learned to use the Large. XL would've just been more space that never would be used.

    anyhoo, my neighbor used to go thru a lot of lump and used to have a LOT of unused grill real estate when he cooked.

    I have a large, I'm not creative and I have easily cooked for groups of 12 (50/50 kids/adults)

    I just saw your more recent post re: paella pan. If that's important and you plan to use it enough, I'd say go XL. I'd prefer to have one cooker that I can do everything in rather than have a bunch of different setups depending on what I'm cooking.
  • Geoff
    I own a large and from everything I have read and the little I have seen, I prefer the LBGE to the XL. More versatile and more accessories. The logic to some, including myself, is if you are willing to drop $x on an XL you might as well spend a $100-$200 more and get the large and the small at the same time. Especially if you can get a demo egg.

    Caribbean Pools in Schereville does pretty good, I have been to the one in Orland not the Indiana one. If you want you are more then welcome to stop by my house sometime and check out my large. I live in Mt. Greenwood.
    Drop me a line
    tim
    timmyshitz@yahoo.com
  • Bacchus, I think I understand what you're saying even though you didn't say much or back up what you've said with examples or explanations but there is a reason why I'm interested in the XL and it's not to be the biggest. I have cookers on axles for that.

    Nice name btw, oenology is another strong interest of mine. Unfortunately it doesn't go well with BBQ.
    "Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are."
     Brillat-Savarin
  • I debated between the XL and the LBGE and went with the Large. It was a good choice for me but what ever you decide on will be a winner. Bottom line is you will love your Egg and, with your culinary pallet, love everything that come off it. Welcome.
  • El Dirty,

    Thanks for the response, I have lots of family in your neck of the woods! Not sure if you saw or not but one of my main concerns is getting my Paella pan on there. I can't remember if it's a 22" or 24" but it fits a large weber (not the huge one) perfectly. If I was to get a Large, I'm forced to bump down to an 18" which will feed five hungry people, if even that vs 10 or more with my current size. Of course I do have the 60" pan for big groups but that's for special occasions. ;)
    "Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are."
     Brillat-Savarin
  • BacchusBacchus Posts: 6,019
    Some things just are the way they are. The Large is the flagship of the line, and represents a majority of eggs sold. It is the tried and true workhorse of BGE. It more closely represents the size and proportion of the ancient kamado's.
  • ChokeOnSmokeChokeOnSmoke Posts: 1,691
    Bacchus wrote:
    And the Large Egg is the best.

    That's a great OPINION. Glad you enjoy your Large. I will continue to enjoy my XL.
    Packerland, Wisconsin

  • BacchusBacchus Posts: 6,019
    No need to yell Kitty. Yes it is opinion obviously, as is 99% of what is said on this forum.
  • PattyOPattyO Posts: 882
    I like the versatility of having two eggs instead of the biggest one I can afford. You can do different temps or direct and indirect. Just works better for me with two. I have the medium, and one week after purchase I ordered the mini. You might want the large and small or large and med. Something to think about.
  • The XL costs more and uses more lump to cook. Up side (sort of) is real estate for cooking.

    I have a LG. I often fire it up just for two chicken breasts of a couple of chunks of salmon, shut it down, and have a lot of lump left for nest time. I have cooked 12 lb briskets and 2 to 24 lb turkeys in my large. Never felt I needed the extra space of the XL.

    You pays you money and you takes you choices. I recommend the LG.
  • I really need to do a better job of proof reading. That's 22 to 24 lb turkeys.
  • Wise OneWise One Posts: 2,645
    I have a very old XL that has been retrofitted with the new bands (and new dome) and it it works great. I see no reason not to get the XL - unless that is, you decide two larges will do you even better. :-)
  • 2 things
    1. You can bring your pan over to my house or to your nearest dealer and do some dry fitting

    2. invite me over the next time you make paella since we are practically related. :woohoo:

    love your cousin
    tim
  • eenie meenieeenie meenie Posts: 4,391
    Geoff, welcome to the forum. I have a paella pan that with the handles measures 22 1/2" diameter and 18" inside diameter. I fits in the XLG.

    I have an XLG. I frequently cook for quite a few people and like the flexability of the XLG. I also like the larger grilling surface. When I am not cooking for a crowd I can use the lump reducing ring from http://www.ceramicgrillstore.com in addition, Tom from the Ceramic Grill Store has also made me a custom wok ring. I actually have quite a few accessories for the XLG.

    Good luck with your decision.
  • Hey Guys,

    Thanks for all the good input, I appreciate it. I've decided after actually measuring my Paella Pan to go with the Large BGE. I'm getting it Friday, delievered from the Big Green Egg store in Chicago (no sales tax). Thanks again, look forward to sharing and learning with you guys! :)
    "Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are."
     Brillat-Savarin
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