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Why should I buy a Big Green Egg?

edited 7:12AM in EggHead Forum
I'm looking for a little input on justifying $500+ plus for a grill/smoker. Please be objective and contructive.


  • Mark BackerMark Backer Posts: 1,018
    Mike Flom,[p]let me just say something that I don't think has been posted on the subject. [p]Of late, the sexy chrome and steel grills have become all the rage. I saw a gasser at kroger the other day for $399. That's right. $399 for something that will need non-warranty parts in less than two years.[p]You shouldn't be asking yourself "why buy an egg?" [p]You should be asking yourself "Why NOT buy an egg?"
  • BlueSmokeBlueSmoke Posts: 1,678
    Mike Flom,
    I'm assuming you are familiar with some grill and/or barbecue cooker. I invite you to imagine whichever cooker you like best, and to read through the postings below - can your favorite cooker produce the range and quality being posted here?[p]If it can turn out consistently excellent low and slow barbecue, baked goods (pizza and cookies, even), beautifully seared steaks - then there probably is no justification for you to spend $500+.[p]Ken

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    Mark Backer,
    what struck me is that most posts by people looking for 'info' are usually at least not antagonistic.

    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Michael LMichael L Posts: 26
    Mike Flom,
    I asked myself the same questions before buying. I don't regret the purchase one bit; in fact, I wished I had purchased sooner, instead of waiting for six months. Here is a list of reasons, to which I'm sure others can add.[p]1. Lifetime warranty.
    2. Incredible customer service: if something goes wrong, Big Green will fix it in a hurry.
    3. Unbelievable versatility: it grills, smokes, bakes etc..
    4. Fuel efficient.
    5. Immediate support: awesome online forum: any questions can be answered here.
    6. Living cookbook: again, this forum will provide you with endlessly creative ways to use the Egg.
    7. Egg Fests: a chance to meet and cook with fellow Eggers.
    8. Fun! [p]Good luck with your choice.

  • Wise OneWise One Posts: 2,645
    Mike Flom, I was trying to figure out how to return the first BGE I got (a gift from my wife) since I thought $450 dollars was too much (for a medium). Seven years (and three additional eggs) later, I think that I almost made the biggest mistake of my life. Once you cook on it (smoke, grill, sear) a bit you will realize that you can do more and do it well on a Big Green Egg than you can on any other grill known. You can cook on any grill. You will excel (or is that EGGcel) on a Big Green Egg.

  • SundownSundown Posts: 2,971
    Mike Flom,[p]Lurk the forum for a while. See what we talk about. Listen to the feedback that the newbies get when they ask questions. A few weeks ago I cooked my first brisket (I've owned and cooked on my Egg for six years) and it didn't come out all that well. I asked what I did wrong and received at least a dozen responses and I now think I have the next brisket aced! Good luck whatever decision you make will be the right one for your needs.
  • Clay QClay Q Posts: 4,435
    Mike Flom,
    Hey Mike, that's a small price to pay. Look at it this way; For one year, a couple goes out to eat once a week at the local establishments. I'll say $25 for two nice meals once a week.(that's cutting it way low) Ok, that's $100 per month.......let's see.....that's $1,200 for the year. [p]My egg cost $800 and it quickly paid for itself under one year and its been saving me money every time I don't have to go out to eat for the best BBQ in the universe and beyond that. Those are some objective numbers to chew on.[p]Well, I got to check on my Railroad Bunkhouse Pork and Beans to give it a stir and add more apple wood for smoke. Yummmmmmmmm.
    Clay -saving ton's of money- Q [p]

  • usa dougusa doug Posts: 96
    Mike Flom,
    BGE is the top of the line ceramic cooker and they don't rust.[p]Doug

  • Mark Backer,[p]Here are the reasons I can think of why NOT to buy an "egg":[p]Initial cost of egg itself
    Weight, hard to transport, move around
    Cost of accessories
    Learning curve of using the product
    Ease of cleaning?
    Maintenance items; I've heard that the seals need replacing[p]Thanks for the input everyone, keep 'em coming.[p]Mike[p]

  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 23,002
    Clay Q,
    ive got a nice chicken breast to cook tonight, $2.72 and ill be pouring 5 20oz pints of guinness at $1.45 each. thats $9.97. now if i went out the chicken would be about $11.75 and 5 guinnesses would be 23.75 for a total of $35.50, not including tips

  • Mark BackerMark Backer Posts: 1,018
    stike,[p]but at least they're "contructive."
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    Mike Flom,
    then don't buy one...[p]if you would like rebuttals, well.[p]1 cost is relative. a 199 dollar gas grill lasts how long? how many do you need to buy over the lifetime of an egg? it also cannot do what an egg can do. apples to orabges, my friend. a microwave is cheaper than the egg, cooks in much less time, and has no learning curve.[p]2 once it's where you want it, you don't need to move it.[p]3 i have cooked everything on the egg that you could want to.
    i had a pizza stone, made a grill extender for about 7$, and all my accessories (therm/daisy etc.) came with it, as they usually do. lots of accessories are not truly 'needed'.[p]4 length of learning curve is mostly about learning to cook. has nothing to do with what yer cooking on. it's just that once you get an egg, you realise that cooking on a gasser was not really 'cooking' at all.[p]
    5 i have never cleaned it (or needed to). except for wiping off exterior dirt.
    now, i remember tearing down the gasser and rebuilding it a few times, and those damn greesey lava rocks....[p]6 the seals need replacing when you toast them. the only reason you toast them is because you walk away and leave the egg spiking around 1000 degrees or so. a problem, admittedly, you won't ever have with any other grill...
    (most fried seals are alcohol-related.... hahaha)[p]anyway.
    you sound like you have your mind made up. except you keep hanging around. which means you are sold, and just haven't realised it

    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • JSlotJSlot Posts: 1,218
    Congrats on your fine showing in, Hickory, Doug! You and Maxine should have pulled that golf cart down on the baseball field![p]Jim
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    Mark Backer,
    oh man, i can't fault that. i'm the king of typos
    witness my use of "orabges" in my reply above.[p](and NO, you hangnail, i have not been drinking!)

    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Mike Flom,[p]I have been using grills of various types for over 30 years. In all of that time, I have never found a tool as versatile and efficient as the BGE. I have cooked steaks better than Ruth’s Chris or Morton’s and true slow cooked BBQ that would rival any found at a restaurant. [p]When I started using my BGE, the most surprising thing to me was the small amount of charcoal it uses. While I did add a BBQGuru to aide in overnight cooking, this last weekend my BGE was at 232 to 250 (I was adjusting the temp for my needs) for 28 solid hours! I never had to add charcoal. Yes, I said 28 hours. I still had charcoal left over too! There is nothing except a ceramic cooker that can acomplish that feat.[p]Over several years of use, the fuel savings will nibble away at the investment you make in your egg and make it cheaper than a metal unit. Besides, I have gone through three gas grills in the last 9 years and they were not low-end cheap units. (I’m not a price buyer.)
    Just get one with a plate setter and add a BBQGuru if you want easy low temp cooking.[p]Just do it…[p]BP in SD

  • GrillMeisterGrillMeister Posts: 1,611
    <p />Flomster,[p]You should get an egg so you can enjoy pulled pork sandwiches all year long rather than wait for the annual ice fishing trip. :) Plus you get to go the Lake of the Woods Eggfest![p][p]Cheers![p]Ed

  • SmokeySmokey Posts: 2,468
    Wise One,[p]That is funny. I know what you mean! I bot a third egg lest week, a small and love it too! They are kinda like your children, I love them all in their own way (no favorites)![p]Smokey[p]BTW, I was thinking of bringing the mini to Greenwood. Good idea, bad idea? What do you think?
  • Mark BackerMark Backer Posts: 1,018
    Mike Flom,[p]Here's what you wrote:[p]Initial cost of egg itself - covered already
    Weight, hard to transport, move around - how often do you move your gasser?
    Cost of accessories - compared to what? Which ones?
    Learning curve of using the product - anything worth doing takes learning.
    Ease of cleaning? no cleaning involved.
    Maintenance items; I've heard that the seals need replacing - yes, after somewhere between 6 months and 16 years, you may have to replace a 7 dollar gasket. [p]

  • Mike Flom,
    1) Yes - seemingly high cost. But lifetime warranty, non rusting and great customer service.
    2) Hard to move ...sometimes. I can move my medium by myself but the large requires the neighbors help but he gets free food. I have mine in nests so I can move them all over the deck/patio. I only move them off the deck when I go to BBQ competitions.
    3) Accessories - The only 2 items I bought that didn't come with the egg were the platesetter ($40) and grid extender ($20). They have more then paid for themselves in catering and BBQ winnings. Yes I charge for BBQ pork made in the egg ... $25 a bag for pulled pork. People are lineing up to pay for it. Even if you don't get the grid extender I would get the platesetter for pizza and indirect cooking. Oh ... I forgot the nest was $80. Well worth it. I can move the egg to face the wind for maximum flow or 90 degrees to the wind for better temp control.
    4) Learning curve for me was 1 month cooking 1 or 2 times a week. It really is easy to control. Air flow + lump charcoal = temperature. The forum helps alot and people are always willing to help. I started with (1) medium that I got for Christmas and have not lit my gas grill since (18 months ago).
    5) What cleaning ... sear a couple of steaks at 700+ and no more gunk in the egg. I take mine apart about once a month to get all the ash out of it. I use a hand trowel after every cook to get 80-90% of the ash out of the bottom. I spend less time cleaning this cooker then I spent scraping, replacing lava rock and filling tanks on my gasser.
    6) I thought I torched my gasket about 6 months ago and bought a replacment ... still haven't installed it. The medium egg seems to be doing just fine even thought the gasket is flat and chared.[p]Find someone near you or attend a BBQ event where one is cooking ... any egger would be happy to show off the egg![p]Doug

  • Mark BackerMark Backer Posts: 1,018
    stike,[p]I was gonna comment on your apples to orabges comment, but now I don't have to. [p]You made a lot of great points there, stike. I may have to buy another egg. I don't have a medium yet...
  • WooDoggiesWooDoggies Posts: 2,390
    It cooks good.
    It's easy to use.
    And it'll cook everything real nice like.

  • WardsterWardster Posts: 1,006
    Mike Flom,
    Just my opinion, but let me try to address your points.[p]cost of egg; While it may seem like a lot of money, so are the high end gas grills. Plus, these don't rust so you don't have to worry about replacing parts. Also, the food on any ceramic is head and shoulders above a gas grill. That is why you don't see any gas grills at a bbq competition.
    Weight and transportation; your dead on there. They are not the most friendly things to haul around. That is why I bought a small, after my large. I can take it anywhere. Don't get me wrong, she still weighs 5x a gas grill, but atleast I can get my arms around her.
    Learning Curve; that's half the fun. Even things you mess up taste great. Obviously you found this forum, that cuts the curve in half. No matter what you buy, feel free to post results and fire away on questions.
    Easy of cleaning; probably the easiest part. Get her up to 900 degrees for a couple minutes and she's clean. When cool, a simple wipe down on the outside can be done.
    Replacing seals; I have had an egg for 6 years and only replaced my seal once. A new seal is less than $10... I can't remember the actual cost. It's really not an issue.[p]All in all, the food results are fantastic on any ceramic you choose. Maybe you can post where your from? I'm sure there is an egger near by who would invite you over for a demo. That is about all it takes for someone on the fence.[p]Either way, good luck in your decision and your always welcome in Eggville.

    Apollo Beach, FL
  • Mark BackerMark Backer Posts: 1,018
    WooDoggies,[p]Great simple answer, woo. Unlike with meat and beer, sometimes with words, less is more.[p]great pics too. I should post a picture of my desk.[p]
  • SandbaggerSandbagger Posts: 977
    Mike Flom, About 9 months ago, I wanted to replace my gas grill. All I wanted was a grill and never really considered smoking anything. I narrowed my search to one or two gas grills and was ready to drop $1K on what I thought would be a grill to last a decade. By chance I asked a BBQ Galore's salesman if they had anything that grilled and smoked. He only pointed to the BGE and my quest began. [p]Here are my thoughts: [p]If you "dig grilling AND smoking meat", then consider a ceramic product, preferably BGE. If don't need to continually feed an army, then the large BGE is plenty big. If you "dig grilling and smoking", then after one year you will spend more than $500 on this hobby, Man needs his fun toys. [p]If you have the time and mental mindset to expand your current grilling and smoking knowledge (take it ot the next level), then this is were you want (need) to be. The experience available on this forum can't be matched. [p]If you are the type of person who just wants a quick way to grill hamburgers, hot dogs and steak, a ceramic will do that for you like no other grill, but you may get frustrated with the intial learning curve of cooking on a ceramic cooker. [p]If you want to smoke a great deal of food at one time, then a steel type cookers may be better for you.[p]To give you an idea on how much food one can cook. On Sunday I smoked 14 pounds of pork butt and a 10 pound brisket at the same time on a large BGE. On Monday, I smoked six racks of ribs on the large and on a medium BGE two (3 pound) boneless turkety breasts followed by a six pound tenderloin. All the neighbors and friend thoughts I was pure genious. The fact of the matter is: first time for brisket, second time for pork butt, second time for turkey, and about sixth time for ribs, every in my life. That is the power of this forum and a big green egg. Less I forget, thanks to everyone for your help over the last nine months.[p]Good luck, Tom
  • Mark Backer and all,[p]Thanks for all of your reponses. To answer all of your inquiries at once:[p]I move my gas grill all the time. It is stored at the edge of my deck and moved to wherever I need it when cooking. I live in the great white North so I move it right outside the patio door during the winter months (usually between 5 and 7 months around here). Don't all of you "eggheads" transport your egg to eggfests around your area?[p]Price is relative. I agree. The $600 now is the hardest part to swallow.[p]Cleaning sounds easy. Just the ash removal.[p]Accessories. You get what you pay for. Are the stands/nests something you can build yourself? Any plans?[p]Seal. I guess you don't really need to worry about it. Just buy a spare for when you need it.[p]Learning curve. Just as long as I don't have to throw out a $40 hunk of prime it should be fine.[p]Anything else?[p][p]

  • egghead2004egghead2004 Posts: 425
    Mike Flom,
    I'll add a few thought s here. I have owned gas, steel kettles (3), and an offset smoker. [p]why not to buy the egg..
    Initial cost of egg itself-
    True, it is not cheap. I had a difficult time justifying the purchase myself. However, if you think about how the egg is constructed, you will find the the lifetime of the egg (probably most ceramic cookers fall into this too) is far longer than that of an offset smoker, kettle, resonably priced gassers, etc. Any steel grill will rust, warp, etc. over a short period of time. I bet you would buy 5 Webber kettles before replacing a large BGE. honestly, you should never have to replace the BGE unless you break it. Now a quality stainless grill will cost you as much if not more than an egg, so that argument is not valid.

    Weight, hard to transport, move around-
    The large BGE is well...large. It is not very mobil. The nests do have wheels to move around your deck or property, but other than that, it realy is not friendly to move. My question here would be what type of grill are you comparing the BGE too? Offset smokers are not mobil, neither are those large stainless gassers. Yeah something like a kettle is light and easily broken down to move, but a smoker? Let's see you try a true low and slow pulled pork butt or beisket on a flimsy high heat loss steel grill. You will be up all night filling it with coal and trying to manage the temperature. See, the egg is a grill and a smoker, a smoker made to go up to 30 hours without re fueling, messing with temp control, AND you can get lava temps for searing steaks.
    They do make a small however, it is pretty mobil, and the mini....well it is made to travel.[p]
    Cost of accessories-
    The accessories are quality, just like the grill itself. They will last for a long time. [p]Learning curve of using the product-
    really this is a non factor. The hardest thing to learn I think would be temperature control. That should be mastered after 3 or 4 cooks. Don't forget the wealth of knowledge from this forum also.[p]Ease of cleaning?
    Natual lump charcoal is far less messy than traditional briquetts. There is much less ash produced so several meals can be cooked between cleanings. OK, gas has the edge here, but other than this and click and light, there is no other advantage gas has.[p]
    Maintenance items; I've heard that the seals need replacing-
    Show me any quality grilling product that is built to last for YEARS that does not have some maintenance. Well, gassers will need yearly maintenance on the burners to keep them running efficiently. Offset smokers....when the doors warp and you cannot control your temerature any can't replace it easitly, if at all. I'd rather repace a gasket. Cheap steel grills...well they are cheap and will not last as long as 2 or 3 gaskets in the BGE...again you will be replaciong the entire grill instead of a gasket.[p]
    Now the quality of the food that a BGE makes? No comparison, right from the beggining you will see how much the food improves.[p]It is your desicion and your money. Look at the long term costs of the BGE as compared to other grills and smokers, not just the intial up front cost. [p]

  • Can some of you who have responded to Mike's questions address the issue of comparison to the competition? I'm not trying to be antagonistic, as I'm sure Mike was not in asking his questions. Just trying to be informed.[p]Also, anywhere in the PNW - specifically the Mukilteo/Everett area (or on Whidbey Island, even better) that I could go see one in action?[p]I can say one thing - I like this forum the best![p]:) Gwen
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 23,002
    Mike Flom,
    i move my egg close to the patio door in the winter and its much more efficient than a gasser when the temps drop. 5 dollars worth of lump will still do a 20 hour cook at zero degrees with some to spare. the gasser wont do it, ive even had trouble with a gasser cooking a goose in the winter and the cook is only for a few hours. the egg is a great winter cooker and will even hold temps at 145 for jerky at that time of year with ease

  • Mike Flom,[p]I don't add my two cent too often, but here you go[p]1. Don't buy an egg if if you're not willing to make a major change in your lifestyle. I used to cook on my gas grill, but now I have a hobby and everyone loves the results.[p]2. If you do buy one and don't like it, sell it! They don't depreciate very much and there are always people looking for used Eggs.[p]3. You can do so much more with an Egg. Initially people will think you're crazy that you obsess about this strange grill, but after the first meal they start to understand. Then you buy your second egg, and the cycle starts all over again.[p]4. I've only made one bad meal and that was my fault.[p]5.
  • egghead2004egghead2004 Posts: 425
    Wonderful Wino,[p]
    "2. If you do buy one and don't like it, sell it! They don't depreciate very much and there are always people looking for used Eggs"[p]A great point if the cost is keeping anyone from buying one.

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