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1rst time eggowner..couple questions

Travelball DadTravelball Dad Posts: 18
edited 10:42AM in EggHead Forum
1rst time poster, Good morning all! I recently received a BGE Large from my father in law as a gift!(I know awesome!) I didn't get the nest with it because I wanted to build a table. It took me a couple weeks working on it off and on. Anyway I got it down, and last night was the first time using my egg. I have a couple questions that hopefully some of you "seasoned pros" could help me with.

* I am using the BGE lump coal. When I lit it I never got any smoke. I ran it all the way up to 600 degrees and never got any smoke. I was looking for the white smoke to appear and then let dissipate BUT never saw it. Whats with that?
** Do you normally run your bge up in temp and then bring it back down to your desired temp for cooking?
** I got the plate for indirect heat cooking but have noticed people putting it leg side down and leg side up. What's the difference uses for, and any tips on using this thing? Can I put raw chicken or fish directly on it, or does it need to be covered?
*** Is there a "guide" to cooking temps and times for different meats/foods?
**** Any AWESOME tailgate recipes to WOW my company coming this weekend would be awesome.

HAPPY EGGING to everyone and I am going to try and pose some pics of my new egg and table and first meal results.


  • AZRPAZRP Posts: 10,116
    On the first time run your coals were all new and the airflow was good enough for the Egg to come to temp very quickly, probably why you didn't see smoke. As you start re-using the coals small chunks and ash will partially block airflow causing a slower temp rise and you will see the nasty smoke. -RP
  • Morro Bay RichMorro Bay Rich Posts: 2,227
    ALWAYS catch your cooking temp on the way up. If you over shoot all that ceramic is SLOW to cool down.
    The platesetter just turns you Egg into a lump fired oven. When using your oven in the house you don't put the food directly on the floor of the oven. With the Egg you don't either. That platesetter gets REALLY hot so you need a pan/rack for the food.
    Remember the Egg is just another appliance so any cookbook will give you approximate times and temps. With the Egg you want to cook by final internal temp of what you are cooking never by time. If you cook by time you will be back on this Forum asking why is your food dried out (over cooked).
  • SlickSlick Posts: 382
    Not sure how many you are going to serve this weekend, but spatchcock chicken is always a winner and easy to cook. Here's a link to Naked Whiz's method that is foolproof.

    While there, check out some of the cookbooks from Egg Fests. They are full of great recipes.

  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,948
    Avoid letting the temperature exceed the one you want for cooking. It is possible to bring the temperature down if it has only been high for a few minutes. But if it is high for 10 minutes or more, the ceramic retains so much heat that it can take 45 minutes to come back down.

    I can only recall a few times when people have cooked directly on the platesetter, and then the 'setter was covered in foil.

    Legs up is often used with a grill on top the legs, with a drip pan sitting on the 'setter. Legs down is a common set-up for baking, with a pizza stone placed on the 3 ceramic green feet that come with the Egg.

    Do a google for "cooking time temperature chart." There are lots out there. One thing that will really help your cooking is an instant read thermometer. The food is only done when it is to the temperature you like, and often, a standard time and temperature will not cook the food to the desired heat.
  • CrazyHarryCrazyHarry Posts: 112
    Nice table, by the way!

    For your party this weekend, look up the recipe for ABTs, or "Atomic Buffalo Turds". They are delicious appetizers!

    Pretty much everything I've made with my new Egg has been great. I've been grilling hamburgers for years but I don't think I've ever cooked one where juice actually ran out of the burger after I bit into it. (Had that experience on Saturday. The Egg really does a nice job of holding in the moisture.)

    Pork butt might be a good choice for your party, too. Just be sure to give yourself enough time. Sometimes the meat will take longer than you thought and you always hear stories about people who didn't get to eat dinner until about midnight. Hehe.
  • CrazyHarryCrazyHarry Posts: 112
    Oops, was trying to reply to the original poster...
  • I allowed 24+ hours for a cook that "should've" taken less, but it took 30! When I brought the Pulled pork over to the party, pretty much everyone had already eaten!
  • jaydub58jaydub58 Posts: 2,130
    Welcome and great looking table; very nice job.
    One very worthwhile investment will be in buying a Thermapen. You can Google Thermoworks web site to see them. This is an extremely fast instant-read thermometer that will allow you to check the internal temp of your cook without loosing a lot of heat or burning yourself. It is a great help in cooking to temp, which is critical.

    John in the Willamette Valley of Oregon
  • Travelball Dad- do you have daughter(s) playing fastpitch?

    Nice looking table. I had a model building class in Architecture school. after the first assignment, the teacher said something to the effect of, "those of you who put more time into this project, it really shows".
    I would say the same applies here.

    1) I have NO IDEA why/how you got no smoke. enjoy it while you can et it!
    2) As said previously, hit your temp on the way up. when you get within 50 degrees of your target, set your dampers where you want them. Until you've experimented with the egg, you really have no idea what to set them at. Do a search-Grampa's Grub has posted some pics giving examples of vent settings and temps.
    3) I think the platesetter question was answered.
    4) with the Egg you'll learn to cook to temp, rather than time. (however you'll still need to have an idea so you know how much time to allow) there are some guidelines available online but they generally run higher than the minimum for safety. As has been discussed on here extensively, triconosis "bugs" are dead at 137F, so cooking pork to 140 is safe (it will be pink and juicy). However most guides recommend cooking pork to 160+. Chicken can be considered done at 165 ish, but I prefer the taste of legs and thighs cooked to about 190.

    A thermapen will pricey, will prove invaluable in ensuring cooks to perfection. Mollyshark (or her son) can usually set you up with a good price.
  • golfguygolfguy Posts: 105
    I would rely on the information on this post from Grandpas Grub. I am semi new to the BGE Community and a lot of my questions were answered here. Its kind of like a begginers FAQ...

    Happy Eggin
  • Flashback- No girls playing fastpitch. My son plays travelbaseball. I will say and some people laugh at me that girl softball players have some of the fastest swings. So it's fun to watch a good softball game as well. Dragbunts, slap hits are awesome skills!

    Thanks for the info on the thermometer!
  • Thermapen is great, definitely get one. Also, you need to calibrate the BGE lid thermometer, mine was 50 degrees off from the factory. You take it out of lid, boil some water, hold head with tongs and insert stem into water past the groove halfway up the stem and see if it reads 212f/100c after being in water for a minute or so If it is off, hold nut on back with wrench and turn top dial. Continue to adjust and test until you get it at 212f/100c. (and someone has a chart to adjust further based on number of feet above sea level--I did not worry about that part)
  • B&BKnoxB&BKnox Posts: 283
    Nice table, but I suggest putting the ceramic feet between the egg and the paver. That paver will get really hot otherwise and there are posts on this site showing charred/burnt wood under the paver. Shame to have a house or deck burn down.
    Be Well

    Knoxville TN
  • Serial GrillerSerial Griller Posts: 1,186
    Here's more info on table safety.
    Nice looking table and cook.Looks like you could add a third shelf when you start collecting the eggcessories.
  • loco_engrloco_engr Posts: 3,673
  • that link has some accurate information, but it infers a much greater risk than reality. the good thing is it points out mistakes others (especially the author) have made so we can learn from them. there is a picture of the results of a porch fire that had nothing to do with a BGE. there is a picture of my cracked stone under my Egg that I posted as a heads-up to others about what happens when you use slate and it's less than an inch thick. TNW table building documentary notes the trouble with slate but for some reason I ignored it and went ahead with something doomed to fail.(there was no fire, charring or burn marks after many high heat as well as lo-slo cooks)

    the reson I am saying all this is because you have made a beautiful table. I saw someone on this board hack up a perfectly good table to retrofit it with firebricks because this article scared them so much.

    Put the 3 feet between the egg and stone and call it a day.
  • holy crap! Thanks everyone for the heads up on the feet. My dealer put the egg together and I picked it up out of the crate. I did not receive any feet or the ceramic top with my egg! After reading this, I called my dealer to tell them I didn't receive these items and before I could ask for them they said, "I will go get a set of feet and a CT for you and put it at the front counter!" Customer service is awesome! And thanks everyone for pointing out what I was missing!
  • DCDC Posts: 2
    You can go to the "Recipe" section here and find my "So Simple Pork Butt" if you're going to feed a bunch of people.
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