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Just Purchased Large Egg w/ Woo & Spider - Will it fit my needs ?

Hi Folks,

I am a new poster here on the forums, and new to Kamado style cooking. I have been looking at getting a Kamado style grill for about a year now, and moving to middle TN has given me the opportunity to sell my gas grill and buy a BGE. I've have been reading alot of posts on this forum, as well as youtube videos, to learn as much as I can about cooking on the BGE. 

For the longest time, I was debating whether I should purchase an XL or Large BGE. Since, its just me and wife (and we don't host), I decided to go with the Large. Plus, I like the depth between the firebox and grid on the large compared to the XL. After reading many discussions, I got the feeling that aftermarket grid accessories from CGS would be a good investment (especially compared to the eggspander). I called CGS, because I wanted to explain my cooking style and wanted to see if purchasing the Large Woo would fit my needs. The lady on the phone was very nice and was able to help me determine that the Large Woo can be configured to fit some of my needs (exception of pizza - she mentioned cooking pizza at the felt line was bad, as i would burn the gasket), but the addition of the spider would be beneficial for the searing closer to the lump. Because I am a visual learner, I wanted to post here on this forum to get additional insight from you folks to ensure the large Woo will meet my needs - or if there is something better suited for what I am trying to do.


- Egg & Size:
Large BGE w/ Nest & wood eggmates (its just me and my wife, and we do not host any people or parties)


- What I normally cook:
It's a must that I need to be able to cook a steak (reverse sear w/ ease), chicken wings/thighs, pork butts.
I am very interested (although have never done it) in cooking briskets and pizzas on the BGE.

- What I purchased from CGS:
    - 
KAB w/ Can 

   - Large Woo  with 16inch half Stones and drip pan (At this point, since my cooks are very simple, I did not look at getting the AR Combo… want to be as simple as possible, but still meet my needs)

   - Spider (was told I could drop the spider lower into the fire ring to get a better sear closer to the lump)

   - 14.5inch CGS Stainless Steel Grid (This will set on the spider within the fire ring)


   - 15 inch full ceramic stone (for pizza)

Again, since I am a visual learner, I drew up some pictures to be able to see how I would configure the Large Woo to meet my cooking needs. Can you folks read the below sections and let me know if I am thinking about this correctly? Within each section, I have some questions that I would like to get insight on

 

 

 

For Reverse Searing Steaks (usually only cooking 2x steaks at a time):

 Place the spider on the fire ring so that the ring of the spider sits below the fire ring close to the lump

 -  Place the L Woo into the BGE with 1x 16” half ceramic stone on one side on the lower ring of the L Woo, and the other side of the lower ring open to allow access to the 14.5" SS grid on the spider below

-     Place the BGE Factory 18" cooking grid on the top ring of the L Woo

 



Question:

-     Am I thinking about this correctly?

This should allow me to cook the steaks on the18" grid on the side that is over the 16inch ceramic stone, and then when the steaks gets to the appropriate temperature, I would take out the 18" grid, and place the steak on the 14.5" SS grid for a direct sear on the spider close to the lump

 I guess, i could also use both half stones for a better indirect cook, and lift the entire Woo out of the egg whenever i am ready to sear the steak. The reason I preferred the first option, is because it will be easier for me to lift and store the hot 18" Grid, rather than lifting the entire hot Woo w/ stones and setting that down somewhere.




For Smoking Low & Slow:

 

-     Place both 16" half stones on the bottom ring of the XL Woo to deflect the heat.

-     Smoke meat on the top 18" BGE Grate

 

Question:

-  Will I be okay using the 2x 16inch half ceramic stones versus a conveggtor? Is their an advantage of using the ceramic stones vs a conveggtor for low and slow smoking?

- Is is okay to keep the Spider in the BGE while doing low and slow? I don't have alot of places to store equipment, so i would prefer to leave it in there as long as it won't damage the equipment or interfere with the cook.

      

  

 

 

 

For Cooking Chicken directly at Felt Line:

 

-     Place L Woo in BGE with nothing on the bottom ring

-     Place18" cooking grid on the top of the L Woo ring at Felt line


 Question:

 - Again, Is is okay to keep the Spider in the BGE while cooking at higher temperatures?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For cooking Pizza:

 

-     Place both 16" half stones on the bottom ring of the L Woo to deflect the heat.

-     Place 18" stock cooking grate at Felt Line

-     Place full 15" ceramic pizza stone directly on the cooking grate

 

Question:

-      I know this may not be the best way to cook the pizza, since the pizza won’t be as high in the dome, but is this an acceptable configuration to bake pizza ? I've seen so many youtube videos where pizza is being cooked at the felt line, but the representative from CGS was pretty adamant about not cooking pizza at the felt line due to the head burning the felt. Again, i want to be as simple as possible and not have to buy an extra extender or spacers to cook pizza, but if cooking pizza at the felt line will damage the felt, then it looks like i may have no other option.



Thanks in advance  for reading through this lengthy post and providing insight


Marcus - College Grove, TN
Large BGE - CGS Woo, Spider, 18" and 14.5" SS Grate, Nest, EggMates

Comments

  • Langner91Langner91 Posts: 561
    Wow.  Nice post!

    1.  For steak reverse sear, go over your half stone to your desired IT.  Then, don't take anything out of the grill and flop them down on the lower grate right over the coals.  

    2.  You have a fine idea for Low and Slow.  You want to cover your stones with drip pan or foil.  

    3. Yes, cook chicken at the felt line.  Normally called "raised direct".

    4.  You need to be able to get above the felt line at times.  Not just for pizza, but even spatchcock chicken will crisp up better "in the dome".  You might want some fire bricks, or other devices to get your grid up in the dome.  I have a smaller (14" ?) grid on stainless bolts with washers to raise it up.

    Otherwise, you have already thought about this more than 99% of new Eggheads!
    Clinton, Iowa
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 27,968
    most of us gave up on the felt/nomex gasket along time ago, contact rrp here on the forum and get a replacement rutland gasket, they dont burn out. @RRP, ron sells them at cost with replacement directions and its easier to do when the felt gasket is still fresh.  you have all the basics down for direct and indirect cooking, my spider is always in the egg
    fukahwee maine

    you can lead a fish to water but you can not make him drink it
  • WeberWhoWeberWho Posts: 9,270
    You do some good research. You'll have the best setup right from the start! Congrats and welcome!
    "The pig is an amazing animal. You feed a pig an apple and it makes bacon. Let's see Michael Phelps do that" - Jim Gaffigan

    Minnesota
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 24,219
    Welcome aboard and enjoy the journey.  Above all, have fun.
    Great opening post.  As you are likely aware, this site is a wealth of information BGE and well beyond.  Post any questions or concerns and you will likely get a few different answers-all will work!
    Louisville; "indeterminate Jim" here.  Rolling smoke in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer!
  • danhoodanhoo Posts: 153
    I think you have a great setup and seem to have thought it through pretty well. I suggest cooking, taking notes and adjusting things and see how they work.

    Do you have a remote thermometer with at least two probes? One for meat and one for grate temp? I think this is a must-have.

    I recently bought a thermoworks smoke X4 with a billows.  The smoke X4 allows for four temp probes, and will also control the billows fan.

    there are several other brands of temp controllers so this is just one choice, but I like it.

    Having temp alarms to tell you your egg is too hot, or two cold and to also alarm when you meat hits target temps is in my opinion a must have.

    the temp controller to adjust the fan is really nice.

    good luck !
    2011 large BGE | 2000 Genesis Silver B | 2019 PitBoss pro 820 | 2016 Genesis E330 (bought used in 2021)
  • danhoodanhoo Posts: 153
    Oh, and +1 on ditching the felt gasket. I have a new one from @RRP
    in the mail and need it badly.
    2011 large BGE | 2000 Genesis Silver B | 2019 PitBoss pro 820 | 2016 Genesis E330 (bought used in 2021)
  • johnmitchelljohnmitchell Posts: 5,815
    Welcome
    Greensboro North Carolina
    When in doubt Accelerate....
  • RyanStlRyanStl Posts: 367
    In regard to temp gauge at grate.  I was big on this when I was using offset and drum smokers, but with the BGE I just go by dome temp.  I'm not saying grate temp and dome temp are the same in the BGe because they aren't, but when most people here talk recipes the temp given is dome.
  • FoghornFoghorn Posts: 8,891
    1) Welcome aboard.
    2) Great illustrations.  Keep them handy and hang around.  A lot of folks will benefit from them.
    3) With regard to your question about what to use to block heat - there are several options and they all have some upside and downside - which is mostly related to their shape.  Some say the oval stones are best for racks of ribs laid flat on the grate because they can block the heat in the silhouette of two racks.  Other like the circular stone shape or the ConvEGGtor shape - depending on what they are cooking.  I'm not aware that there is any clear winner - but I welcome others chiming in and correcting me.

    XXL BGE, Karebecue, Klose BYC, Chargiller Akorn Kamado, Weber Smokey Mountain, Grand Turbo gasser, Weber Smoky Joe, and the wheelbarrow that my grandfather used to cook steaks from his cattle

    San Antonio, TX

  • Thank you everyone for the warm welcome and the helpful information. I have thoroughly enjoyed searching and reading content on this forum. There is a ton of good information on here.

    @danhoo - thank you for the insight... I did order a Meater+ thermometer, its only 1 probe but it has a meat sensor and an ambient sensor. In addition to that, I have a Javelin instant read thermometer. Going to calibrate them both in ice water to ensure they are reading correctly.

    @Foghorn - Thanks for the comments about the illustrations - its just the "engineer" in me. I am a visual learner, and always try to understand as much as possible before trying to do anything.  I also put together some diagrams for the above cooking scenarios using the XL Woo whenever i was debating on getting a XL egg. Maybe I should post them, so that it can be helpful for anyone in the future doing a search.

    Another question for you folks - My egg should delivered either today or tomorrow. I've read information about keeping the temperatures below 350 to help seal the gasket. Is this something that you folks do?  This actually works great for me, because i planned to light up the egg (without any food) and try to play with the settings so i can better understand how to manage the temperatures, especially a low temperature.. How long do i need to keep it below 350 ?
    Marcus - College Grove, TN
    Large BGE - CGS Woo, Spider, 18" and 14.5" SS Grate, Nest, EggMates
  • Langner91Langner91 Posts: 561
    I think I cooked ABT's on my first egg at 275°F indirect.  Then, I didn't pay attention after that.

    I think they tell you to keep it below 350°F so you don't make Pizza first thing and fry the gasket.

    I have cooked at several eggfests where brand new eggs are at 350-500°F all day. They do just fine.

    I follow the advice of my Harley dealer when it comes to new eggs.  "Break 'em in how you are gonna ride 'em."
    Clinton, Iowa
  • 4TheGrillOfIt4TheGrillOfIt Posts: 353
    I don’t recall thinking about the temperature of my first cook on any of my Eggs.  The gaskets will be fine as long are you aren’t going crazy. 
    XL BGE, Large BGE, Small BGE, Weber Summit NG                                                                                               
    Memphis  
  • danhoodanhoo Posts: 153
    RyanStl said:
    In regard to temp gauge at grate.  I was big on this when I was using offset and drum smokers, but with the BGE I just go by dome temp.  I'm not saying grate temp and dome temp are the same in the BGe because they aren't, but when most people here talk recipes the temp given is dome.
    I totally agree most egg recipes use dome. 

    Someday I'll take notes on the differences.

    2011 large BGE | 2000 Genesis Silver B | 2019 PitBoss pro 820 | 2016 Genesis E330 (bought used in 2021)
  • My Large BGE was delivered yesterday. I was able to install the CGS Woo/Spider and take some pictures. I was a little disappointed with the spider, I thought it would significantly lower the grid lower in the fire ring, but its not much lower compared to if I would have just placed the grid on top of the fire ring. It looks like maybe the spider works well when you have a fire ring that has the notches, so that you can put the spider in the notches and get lower into the fire ring. However, my fire ring is smooth and level all around. Not sure, if my expectations were wrong, but im still excited to try it. The 14.5" SS grid from CGS is alot heavier than I expected, so im sure it will absorb heat nicely and sear way better than if I were to use the stock grid on top of the fire ring.

    Additionally, for the reverse sear setup that I drew earlier - it may be a little more difficult that i expected. When i have the half stone in place on the bottom ring of the Woo, and the other side open so that i can drop the steak right on the lower 14.5" grid on the spider, the bottom ring of the woo eats up a good section of space, i am not totally sure i can fit 2x steaks on the lower grid for the searing. I may end up having to take the entire Woo out of the egg, so that i have full access to the spider/grid. I'll have to try it out and take some picture whenever i do my first reverse searing cook.

    Anyways - I'm super excited that the Egg is here. Can't wait to light up my first fire and start playing with the draft door settings to get familiar with adjusting and holding temperatures.... pictures below

     




    kick Ash Basket w/ Can
    The firering is off center on this photo - i ended up adjusting it in the end.




    Spider Installation and 14.5" SS Grid




    Installing the Large Woo 



    Half Stone with limited access to lower grid on spider below


    Both Stones on Lower Woo Ring for Low & Slow Setup


    Drip Pan





    Grid At Felt Line

    Marcus - College Grove, TN
    Large BGE - CGS Woo, Spider, 18" and 14.5" SS Grate, Nest, EggMates
  • bluebird66bluebird66 Posts: 2,499
    Welcome!
    Large Egg with adjustable rig, Kick Ash Basket and various Weber's
    Floyd Va

  • RRog17RRog17 Posts: 533
    I take my whole woo out after the low and slow part of the reverse sear. Then drop it down on the grid on my spider for the sear. Works great and easy. 
    Canton, GA
    LBGE, Joe Jr., 28” Blackstone
  • 4TheGrillOfIt4TheGrillOfIt Posts: 353
    It is always nice to see pics of new eggs with their pretty white interiors and sparkling grids!  You have some excellent accessories that dramatically improve the Egg right out of the gate.  Well done.  
    XL BGE, Large BGE, Small BGE, Weber Summit NG                                                                                               
    Memphis  
  • Langner91Langner91 Posts: 561
    Now, get that egg dirty enough you don't have to blank out the serial numbers!  Two pork butts and a brisket will put enough crud in those numbers no one will be able to read them!

    Nice setup!
    Clinton, Iowa
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