Welcome to the EGGhead Forum - a great place to visit and packed with tips and EGGspert advice! You can also join the conversation and get more information and amazing kamado recipes by following Big Green Egg to Experience our World of Flavor™ at:
Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Pinterest  |  Youtube  |  Vimeo
Share your photos by tagging us and using the hashtag #BigGreenEgg.

Want to see how the EGG is made? Click to Watch

Looking to buy first egg but what size?

Railslider Posts: 5
edited March 2012 in EggHead Forum
Hey everyone, first time poster. I'm definitely sold on the BGE, not a doubt in my mind I will be purchasing one. However, I'm having an issue deciding on what size to get. I'm leaning toward large but part of me thinks it will be too much about 90% of the time. At the same time, I want something big enough to cook for 10-12 people on a somewhat regular basis. I'm in my mid 20's and the only one in my group of friends who owns a house, so that's where the gatherings occur. Opinions? Suggestions? Thanks everyone!


  • travisstrick
    travisstrick Posts: 5,002
    The XL has been called the "no regrets" model. That being said, a large will NEVER be too much. I have an XL.
    Be careful, man! I've got a beverage here.
  • EggRacer
    EggRacer Posts: 400
    Large is the sweet spot for most people and is not too much.
    North Richland Hills, TX
  • Doc_Eggerton
    Doc_Eggerton Posts: 5,321
    You would not believe how often this comes up.  I bought a large and soon discovered it was not big enough for my most common cook of some sort of meat and a large perforated wok of veggies.  I got an XL planing to sell the large and then discovered how convenient having two was, for either smoking on one and grilling on the other, or for cooking at two temps.  I think folks that have never cook on a BGE have misconceptions based on their regular grilling experience.  An XL gives you a lot of cooking space, that does not necessarily have to be over the flames, and the whole are cooks even when it isn't over the fire.  One other example, you can just barely get two vertical chickens in a large, and you can get three or four in an XL.  It is deceptive, but the XL has twice the cooking area.  Here are some pics of the XL with a half lump cook, 8 ribeyes getting ready to go one a once, and two chickens getting ready to smoke.

    Today we smoked salmon on the XL and grilled peppers on the L for lunch.

    In short, I am a proponent for get the largest your budget will allow.

    XXL #82 out of the first 100, XLGE X 2, LBGE (gave this one to daughter 1.0) , MBGE (now in the hands of iloveagoodyoke daughter 2.0) and lots of toys

  • centex99
    centex99 Posts: 231
    I would say it depends on what you're cooking for 10-12 in which would affect if you should get a large or xl... 
  • I should clarify a bit. Most of my cooking will be for myself and the girlfriend, possibly 3 depending on whether my buddy who's renting a room from me gets in on dinner as well.
  • fbama
    fbama Posts: 5
    I have a Large and have cooked burgers for any number from 2 to 12 people on a regular basis without any real problems.  3 racks of ribs.  2 whole chickens, last weekend.
    Unlike other grills the Egg is very frugal with charcoal so you can cook for 1 on a large without waste so my advice is go for the biggest you can afford and think that you will need.  If you smoke 2 racks of ribs the large will do but for 3 the XL would be better.  IMHO
  • Trip
    Trip Posts: 27
    I told somebody the other day for me and what I cook if I had to do it all over again I would buy a small. There are just three if us but the main things we cook are steaks, Boston butts, smoked meat loaf and pizzas. I have a large and a mini and gave my dad a medium. Really it comes down to how much do you want to spend
  • Gato
    Gato Posts: 766
    From what you are describing at least get a large. A large is really a great size for most people. However if you cook for ten or twelve very often, maybe an xl. I have a large and love it. Just added a small, just because I found a great deal.
    Geaux Tigers!!!
  • Thanks everyone. I suppose ideally I'd use a medium when cooking for 2 and an XL for parties but that's just not in the cards...yet. It seems as if I will have to be somewhat coordinated when cooking for bigger groups with the large so I think that will end up being my choice. Would love to spring for the XL but I'm thinking it may be out of the budget, the large is pushing what I'm willing to spend these days as a new homeowner with a fix-it list half mile long. Thanks again everyone and I hope to be able to contribute a little here once I get one of these buggers home!
  • chrisnjenn
    chrisnjenn Posts: 534
    edited March 2012
    Got a XL and soon regretted it. Just didn't like it for some reason. Regretted buying it. Sold it for only 100 less than I bought it for. Got a large and loved it a lot better than the xl especially with the adjustable rig and other toys I bought for it at the Ceramic Grill Store. Soon after bought a small Egg. Best of both worlds. So in my case, I hated the XL. Most of my friends who want an Egg and are looking at the XL, I tell them to just get the large and small combo. With the adjustable rig 3 tier system, you can easily cook as much or more than a XL. Plus you can buy a small and large for just a few bucks more than a xl. Cook direct and indirect at the same time. I know Tom makes a divider for the XL to do it, but it isn't the same thing or near as versatile.
  • onedbguru
    onedbguru Posts: 1,647
    I say go XL or go home... ;) 
  • ChokeOnSmoke
    ChokeOnSmoke Posts: 1,942
    edited March 2012
    When making my decision, it had nothing to do with how many people I was going to be cooking for.  99% of the time it's just my wife and I and I chose the XL.  As my only grill, I wouldn't want to cook on anything smaller.  For me it's about real estate and having direct and indirect zones around the grill.  Just the way I learned how to cook sides and meat at the same time.  In the end it's all about preference and what you're used to.  If they made an XXL, I'd own that.
    Packerland, Wisconsin

  • EggRacer
    EggRacer Posts: 400
    I have a large and want to get an XL as well and I'm cooking for two most of the time.
    North Richland Hills, TX
  • I'm with Travis,Doc and Smoke/ Its just the wife and I most of the time,But I bought an XL and haven't looked back. Yes it is big and heavy,over 200lbs so you wont be loading it up in the truck to often. It is a little pricey. I have crancked it up and seared steaks and our whole meal and done in 1/2 hour to an hour and then shut it down.Very little lump usage. Platesetter and extra grill is eggcential for raised direct cook and indirects. Ya only pull the trigger once. XLBGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • gte1
    gte1 Posts: 379
    I have a large, and wished I had bought an XL. If you are doing meat only the large is probably big enough, if you want to do side dishes at the same time it is not.

  • The Large is the most popular, and there's a reason for it.  If you're creative w/ spacing (raised grid, etc) you can increase the grill size of the Large. 

    I've hosted many parties & have never complained that my Large couldn't keep up.  I've cooked up to 6, 16" pizzas before, one right after the other. 

    I've cooked a prime rib roast large enough to feed 10 ppl on my Large

    The XL will obviously allow you to cook even MORE stuff at one time, but from what you've described regarding your cooking habits & your budget, my personal opinion is that a Large will work for you. 

    You should go to a dealer that has both on display & just compare them - picture yourself using each one, and what you can do w/ each one.

    Don't get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup... Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend. - Bruce Lee
  • acrash
    acrash Posts: 17
    Starting out life new homeowner, I understand the concerns of budget constraints.  You can't go wrong with buying any egg - it is simply the best grill, smoker, oven I have ever used. I was deciding between an XL and a Large, and because of the family get togethers and partys I have, I needed the extra space.  Got the XL, and now even the wife is out cooking on it.  Super easy to start up, food tastes great.    I love the XL - great cooking tool.  I have only owned it for a month now, and I have already cooked on it 9 times. Go for it!
  • stevesails
    stevesails Posts: 990
    you will have this thing forever and your kids will get it after you are gone.
    XL   Walled Lake, MI

  • burr_baby33
    burr_baby33 Posts: 503
    I have a large and love it. I cook for wife and me most of the time. But if I was starting over and buying my 1st egg, why not go for the XL. Additional space is a handy thing. Can't go wrong either way.
  • cortguitarman
    cortguitarman Posts: 2,061
    I'm with Doc, get the largest your budget will allow. Keep accessories in mind. You'll spend a few hundred bucks on accessories. As someone in your 20's I'm willing to bet you and your buddies can house a lot of pizza. You'll want a piizza stone, a platesetter or woo for making those, a thermometer, and possibly a raised grid. I didn't bank on the accessories that I'd need/want so the account was drawn a little lower than expected.
    Mark Annville, PA
  • centex99
    centex99 Posts: 231
    acrash, 9 times in 30 days?  You should be to at least 25 by now! :-)
  • Cowdogs
    Cowdogs Posts: 491
    The Large is the most popular, and there's a reason for it.  If you're creative w/ spacing (raised grid, etc) you can increase the grill size of the Large.... 

    The large size as been around for something like 40 years.  By comparison the XL is relatively new, and has not yet acquired the momentum the large has. 
    I pretty sure if the large and the XL were priced closer together, like $100 apart, the XL would be outselling the large.
  • xraypat23
    xraypat23 Posts: 421
    I always wanted the xl, but my girlfriend got me the large and Im extremely happy with it. I bought the adjustable rig customer combo for the ceramic grill store and I can easily do 6 racks of spares, at least 4 chickens, 2 packer briskets, 4-6 pork shoulders depending on bone in or out.  It's miserly on charcoal. Filled the firebox with new and old charcoal and smoked a brisket last night for 12 hrs. Most of the coal still seems to be there, ill know better once its cool and i pull out the stone from the spider.  
  • travisstrick
    travisstrick Posts: 5,002
    Take some string and make circles in the diameter of the eggs you are concidering, that way, you can visualize the cooking surface. You could also try putting things you think you would normaly cook in the circles. I was torn between a L and XL, I chose the XL. I'm not able to pick either up without help so I chosen the XL. I CAN pick up a medium and put it in my truck so that would make a difference if I was concidering one.
    Be careful, man! I've got a beverage here.
  • dlk7
    dlk7 Posts: 1,053
    I brought home my XL 23 days ago and only missed cooking on it 4 of those days - the first night I just fired it up and learned how to control temperature, 2 nights we were out of town, and the 4th night my wife forced me to go out to dinner with relatives (would have rather cooked on my XLBGE!!!).  I love the XL and with the half moon baking stone, I can do direct and indirect cooks without messing with the plate setter.  Most nights I cook for just the 2 of us, but I've already cooked steaks for 12 and chickens for 8.  Once your neighbors smell your BGE firing up, they will be begging to join you for dinner or a party.  I suggest you get the biggest one you can afford!

    Two XL BGEs - So Happy!!!!

    Waunakee, WI

  • balliardi
    balliardi Posts: 72

    According to the BGE website:


    The Large EGG can cook:

    • 20-pound turkey
    • 12 burgers
    • 6 chickens vertically
    • 8 steaks
    • 7 racks of ribs vertically

    Does quite tally with the real life opinions above!

  • pezking7p
    pezking7p Posts: 132
    OP, I've just bought my Large last weekend.  I'm very similar to you...late 20's, interested in entertaining, but also need a daily-use grill.

    So far I've found the Large BGE to start relatively quickly (10-15 minutes), and my brain is already working through a lot of ways to fit more food into my egg, not to mention the incredible people in this and other communities who have done some very creative things as well.  With a MAPP torch and a fan/blower I could start the thing in 5-10 minutes easy.

    Seems perfect for my needs, I don't think I'll ever have a problem of not enough space. 
  • xraypat23
    xraypat23 Posts: 421
    I can get my large lit and stable at about 350 in under 5 minutes, can hit 650 in the dome in 10-15....than again I start it with a weed burner 
  • I pretty sure if the large and the XL were priced closer together, like $100 apart, the XL would be outselling the large.
    Cowdogs - no offense, but that's like saying "if my Aunt would've had "cohones" she'd have been my Uncle." The point is, there IS a relatively large price difference between the Large & the XL, and justifiably so.

    Using that sort of logic, I'm sure if a Lamborghini was priced more closely to a Yugo, more folks would buy a Lamborghini.

    The real world situation is that the XL is quite a bit more $$ than the Large, and for many folks, that is a HUGE factor to consider when finalizing the decision to buy.

    I fully understand that the XL can accommodate more food than the Large - there's no doubt about that. However, I read, and then re-read the OP's posts & comprehended his inferences when he said that he's a bit budget-conscious.

    That being said, my opinion was that I felt the Large would work for him, and that he wouldn't be disappointed in a Large (actually, I'm sure he'll be quite happy with either the L or the XL, and even happier w/ BOTH) :)
    Don't get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup... Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend. - Bruce Lee
  • Thanks everyone! I guess I need to decide if the extra cost of the XL is something I can muster. I think cooking meat alone in the large with tiered racks would give me enough capacity for parties and would probably be enough to do an entree with veggies for 2-3. I work some serious hours and have a healthy commute home in the evenings so being able to get the BGE up to temp and ready to go quickly is also a concern. Is there much difference in that aspect between the L and XL? Plan on getting a fan of sorts to speed the lighting process, but speed is definitely a concern I have for midweek cooking and yet another reason I am ditching my bullet smoker. Thanks again everyone, keep 'emthe coming!