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  • Stuffed Pizza Pie-Post 2 of 3 for the 4th.

    I was finally able to get back out to my grill for the 4th of July weekend. I haven't been posting (or cooking) much lately. And since I can never guess which items are going to interest people, I figured I'd post all 3 and let folks decide what interests them. Besides this dish I also made:

    Duck & Mango Quesadilla
    Beer-Brined Wings
    This recipe was called Stuffed Pizza and was from Weber's Best Summer Grilling Recipes 2015. This was one of those recipes I knew I had to make from the moment I saw the amazing picture. It also solved a logistics problem nicely. Whatever I made for the 4th, I had to take this over to my parents house. The 15 minute cooling time allowed me get it over there in time to serve it as soon as it was ready. This was literally a pizza pie using an upper and lower crust. This was to be the first time I ever did a two crust pie of any kind. I had to adapt the recipe from a 9" cast iron skillet to using the Big Green Egg 13" Ceramic Pizza Dish. I partially pre-cooked the lower crust like other recipes I have made using this dish. This was as opposed to using direct then indirect in the cast iron pan. I used the AR on my baking Egg with a grate at the top (Level 6) to get me up into the dome. This always gives me a nice and evenly cooked crust.

    Step 1 was to sauté a ton of onion, green pepper and garlic for the filling. This recipe also used mushrooms which no one eating the pizza really liked, so I left them out.  I sautéed  the pepper and onions for 9 minutes and then added the garlic for one more minute.

    The sauce used ground basil, thyme and oregano, grated parmesan-regianno cheese, tomato paste, tomato sauce, minced garlic, sugar and olive oil. The resulting sauce was a very thick mixture indeed.

    The dough for the lower crust was rolled out, docked to release any trapped air bubbles and then placed in the ceramic dish. The lower crust was partially baked for 10 minutes at 400 degrees and returned to the Kitchen to receive the fillings.


    The bottom received 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese, followed by 1/2 of the pepper, onion and garlic filling.

    Next came a layer of pepperoni...

    ...followed by the remainder of the filling...

    ... and more pepperoni and shredded mozzarella cheese.

    The upper crust went on next and was docked and sealed to the lower crust.

    The tomato sauce went on top of the upper pie crust...

    ...followed by some parmesan-regianno cheese...

    ...and lastly some more shredded mozzarella cheese.

    The pizza took 30 minutes to cook at 400 degrees raised indirect using the AR with the grill grid at Level 6". Being above the felt line and up in the dome gives you a nice evenly cooked pie, which does not required turning midway through.

    The pizza had made the 8 minute trip to my parent's house, has finished cooling and is now ready to eat.

    This pizza was the highlight of the weekend. This stuffed pizza was so good it resulted in everyone eating it being stuffed too. It had great layers of flavor. Although there weren't many leftovers, those leftovers were gone in less than a day too.

  • Quesadillas-Post 1 of 3 for the 4th.

    I was finally able to get back out to my grill for the 4th of July weekend. I haven't been posting (or cooking) much lately. And since I can never guess which items are going to interest people, I figured I'd post all 3 and let folks decide what interests them. Besides this dish I also made:

    Stuffed Pizza Pie
    Beer-Brined Wings
    This recipe was Duck & Mango Quesadillas from the Big Green Egg website. I was looking for something quick and tasty to make Friday night and this recipe fit the bill nicely. 

    The first order of business was to direct grill the duck breast on the cast iron grill grate at 400 degrees. After grilling the duck was taken inside, where the skin was removed and the duck was cut into small strips.

    Some assembly required, batteries not included.  I sprayed the outside of the 6" tortillas with olive oil and then flipped them to top. The shredded mozzarella went on first...

    ...followed by strips of duck breast...

    ...thin sliced jalapeno peppers...


    and fresh cilantro.

    Instead of grilling these on the open grill grate, I added my two Big Green Egg Cast Iron Grill Grates while I was building the quesadillas. The griddle gave me a nice even'y toasted tortilla with just the right amount of snap to it.

    The quesadillas were served with some wild rice with tomato & spinach. 

    These quesadillas were easy to make and had a wonderful 3-way blend of sweet, spicy and savory flavors. They disappeared quickly and there were no leftovers. If you make this recipe from the Big Green Egg website, be sure to make more than you think you'll need.

  • Wagyu Cheeseburgers

    Work and family needs have conspired to keep me away from my Eggs for far too long lately. In fact the last two timesI I have eaten food cooked on the Egg, it was cooed by others. First at my Egg dealer's Customer Appreciation Day 2 weeks ago and last Saturday's NewEGGlandfest in Brentwood, NH. Now before I start feeling too sorry for myself, both times some of that food was cooked by Eric Mitchell, author of the new Smoke It LIKE A PRO (on the Big Green Egg) cookbook. My personal drought was due to end Saturday night when I got back. I had a recipe called Korean Burgers that I planned to make for supper.

    I had been telling the folks at my butcher shop about the Big Green Egg and NewEGGlandfest, plus they had seen some pictures of the food I made using their meat. Well they evidently listened and 3 of them were there and I bumped into them. This chance meeting resulted in a conversation about Wagyu beef. I found out they carried Wagyu beef and where this was sort of a Bucket List item for me, I decided to switch plans and make a burger with Wagyu beef. After all if I was going to do a hamburger, why not do THE hamburger. I decided to keep things simple and use only salt & pepper for seasonings and some good American cheese for the only topping. Onto the pictures:

    This first picture is out at the Egg which has been pre-heated to 425. The bowl contains the salt & pepper I was using for seasoning, pre-mixed together. Notice the color of the patties: They are almost salmon pink, rather than the typical red of regular ground beef. This is due to the high amount of marbling present in the Wagyu beef. The other difference was the texture of the meat, which was softer and smoother and didn't feel like the typical ground beef mixture.

    Step 1 was to toast the buns. At 425 the first one was ready to come off as soon as the last one went on.

    The three 1/3pound Wagyu patties are on the grill. They were prone to flareups due to all of the fat, but the flames went out as soon as the lid went down.

    After 4 minutes it was time to flip the burgers. i had oiled the grill grate well, fearing the worst from this soft, delicate meat and I had very little stickage.

    The patties were topped with cheese for their last 90 seconds on the grill.

    The burgers were rested for 10 minutes and it was time to eat.

    mmmmm. Comments below.

    Cutting to the chase: These burgers were Excellent! There were several surprises though, because they certainly didn't turn out to be what I was expecting. This wasn't a bad thing, just different.
    • These were the most moist burgers I have ever had, this surprised me a bit though. The recipe I used for cooking Wagyu burgers called for you to take the burgers up to 160 degrees, which is higher than I sometimes do. Every bite was juicy almost out to the edges.
    • The consistency was different than any ground beef I have ever had. It was smooth and creamy and didn't seem like a typical burger made of strands of meat pressed together. It was like an extremely soft and creamy single piece of meat. I wasn't expecting this but noticed it at the first bite.
    • The meat had an intense flavor, but it was not what I was expecting. I expected a more intense flavor of grilled ground beef. This is a bit hard to put into words that make sense: This was an intense flavor, but it didn't taste like typical grilled ground beef flavor. I can't describe what it reminded me of.
    • These three items combined add up to this: If you had blindfolded me and gave me a piece of this burger I never would have guessed ground beef. Grilled meat, grilled beef perhaps, but certainly not ground beef of any kind. 
    Grilling some Wagyu beef was a bit of a Bucket List item for me. It was certainly a fun experiment, resulting in some tasty food. Fortunately while it was very good, Fortunately, I am not feeling now that I have tried it, I must have it going forward. I will probably make it again from time to time for a true burger lover for some special occasion.

  • Two Egg Breakfasts - Pt. 2 - Pancetta Frittata

    As I mentioned in my other breakfast picture post Buttermilk Pudding, life hasn't left me with much time for grilling. This was another brunch entry I made from Fred Thompson's The Kamado Grill Cookbook.

    The ingredients are gathered and prepped: 8 eggs, red bell pepper, butter, diced pancetta, buttermilk, shredded fontina cheese, diced onion, kosher salt & black pepper.

    The onions are sautéed first.

    The diced red bell peppers are added next.

    The pancetta goes in next.

    The items being sautéed were placed in a wire strainer to drain.

    The eggs, cheese, salt & pepper are mixed together.

    The wet and dry ingredients are combined.

    The final mixture  is poured into a 9"x13" baking dish.

    The frittata is on the Egg which was preheated to 400. I am using the Adjustable Rig with the oval pizza stone. The frittata is on a s/s grid at the top of the AR (Level 6).

    The Pancetta Frittata was very tasty if not slightly salty. It was like a very flavorful omelette a d extremely filling. There were no leftovers when we were finished.

    See also Breakfast Pudding the first breakfast entry I made a week earlier.
  • Re: Loaded Burnt Ends Baked Potato

    MMMMmmmmm. Downright decadent. And I am not saying that like it is a bad thing. Nicely done!
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