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Been lurking, using the search function, and I still have a question. Potential Newbie.

MJGMJG Posts: 464
edited September 2012 in EggHead Forum
As the title eludes to I am considering jumping in to the BGE world. I smoked two 4 pound pork butts on my Weber Kettle today. The Weber has served me well and has gotten me into the low and slow method of cooking. I love it. From all of my research thus far I believe that a BGE can do anything this Weber kettle a few other things, and better. I am somewhat concerned with the cost. From reading various posts I believe it best to buy form an authorized dealer, vs from someone on Craigslist, for warranty reasons. I see plenty of posts comparing an XL to a Large, or a Large to a Medium. I have also seen many posts regarding the benefits to having more than one! I am thinking about dipping my toe into the water with a Small or even a Mini. What do you all think? I know size wise a Large would be the right size for my needs but I am concerned as best I can figure I would spend near $1k when all is said and done going the large route. Would it make sense to start with a Mini to make sure I like it before getting down with a Large? Thanks in advance for any responses.
Large Big Green Egg in a nest. North Shore of Boston.


  • I wouldn't start with a mini. Maybe a small. The mini is a nice little product, but low and slows will work out better in a small. Keep your eyes open for deals. Purchase a demo from an egg fest. Maybe you can get a better deal on a medium? I hear they are not a popular size, and may be more likely to be priced to move...

    One thing for sure. Once you have one, you'll wonder why you waited for so long to get one.
    XL BGE - Large BGE - Small BGE - Traeger Lil' Tex Elite - Weber Smokey Joe
  • U_tardedU_tarded Posts: 1,557
    I am a weber convert.  Hard to bite the bullet when you go from the $$ to $$$$ but in the long run I would never look back.  Temp control is key, I can burn lower or hotter then I was ever able to do on the weber, less stress I would never attempt an overnight on the kettle, I am 3 months in and do them nearly weekly without hesitation or a pit controler.  I went large didn't buy a lot of accessories to start just a plate setter and gloves.  I have added a few extras over time to make the initial shock less tramatic (pizza stone gloves, cast iron pieces, extra grids etc) built a table under 200 and we use it nearly 4-5 times a week and I am a slave to the man 60-75 hours a week.
  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 8,347
    edited September 2012
    Welcome to the zoo, well somedays it is a zoo.
    Today I smoked a 7# shoulder on my medium BGE, if you did two 4#ers on your kettle, then a medium is as small as you should go. The medium egg usually cooks for two but can cook for four depending on the meal. The large is the most popular because it functions well for smaller cooks and can handle the larger cooks as well. If you have a 22" kettle, you would feel right at home with large. Given the rigs in your pit, you would not be happy with a mini. 
    Keep your Silver, I still use my gasser. 
    Buy from a authorized dealer and depending on where you live, visit every dealer in your area, then buy from the one that you felt knew what they were talking about. 
    sounds to me like you know the answer, pull the trigger, it's time.  
    Delta B.C. - Move over coffee, this is job for alcohol!
  • MJG - I saw your thread and I wanted to respond before I go because I'm a kettle veteran with a Smokenator myself.  I picked up a large from CL in June and I'm still amazed in the difference the Egg makes. 

    Forget the water bath to moisturize your food because the Egg keeps your food moist by itself.  I have stayed up all night or at least gotten up every 60-90 minutes to tend to the Smokenator's needs like knocking ash, refilling the water bath and adding wood and /or charcoal.  Forget all that too.

    Let's talk money.  You are right.  It does cost a bit of it to Egg.  I bought a large off CL.  With it came a large table, cover, platesetter (for indirect cooking), pizza stone, ash rake, grid lifter and few other things for $625.  Before I bought it I gave it a very thourough examination.  With the things I listed, you can use you Egg in many ways.  I have since bought a small for tailgating, picnics...etc.  I got that at the Indy EggFest in August for $475 I think.  That one comes with a warranty.  Yeah, I bought some toys too.

    Size - You are used to cooking on 22.5 inches of grid.  Going down to a small (13 inches) or the mini (10 inches) might drive you a little batty.  Me too.  That's why I found a large.

    The point is you will not look back to your kettle.  I use mine every now & then because I have a stash of Kingsford briquettes I need to burn.  Once that's gone, I'm not sure I'll keep my once good & trusty friend.

    Good luck MJG! 

    Flint, Michigan
  • TjcoleyTjcoley Posts: 3,528
    Compared to the Weber Kettle, the $1K may seem high, but Weber gassers top of the line can cost over $2K and don't come with a lifetime warranty. I have a large Egg, and have done three 10 pound butts at once for 27 hours without adding charcoal or needing to adjust the temp. Try that with your Kettle. Take the plunge and enjoy the ride. You will never look back. I've gone through multiple charcoal and gas grills and none of them can do everything I can do on the Egg.
    It's not a science, it's an art. And it's flawed.
    - Camp Hill, PA
  • MJGMJG Posts: 464
    Thanks for all the feedback. I think I just need to dive in, get a large, and start learing. This forum is very helpful so thanks!
    Large Big Green Egg in a nest. North Shore of Boston.
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,935
    While Eggs are rather expensive up front, and more so if you get bit by the accessory bug, in the long run they are economical. They pretty much last forever. I know Weber kettles can be used in winter, but the Egg's function is no different in the most brutal weather than the balmiest. My kitchen stove broke down on Friday, and so I just fired up one of my mediums to bake the bread I had ready to go. They are really good at holding an even temperature for a long time w.o. adding lump. If you gain any skill at all, you will find most restaurant food not worth buying.

    I fussed around for about 2 years trying to decide if I should buy a ceramic cooker, or a good quality off-set. Took about 2 cooks to want to kick myself for not buying it earlier. My water smoker was retired that day.
  • BrownieBrownie Posts: 1,023
    @MJG ;     I am a water smoker convert. I was browsing BGEs for a couple years, but never got serious till I got tired of not being able to smoke in colder weather. I couldn't get around the initial cost of the egg... well I read some where "The Egg might cost more than it should, but it's worth every penny."  I couldn't agree more.

     I bought mine for smoking, but it's so much more than just a smoker... We use our large damn near daily, and I wasn't much of a bbq'er before my egg and this forum. It was very addicting to me.

    I recommend getting the largest Egg you can afford because you won't regret it.
  • Here is what I did after months of research. After deciding the Large was right for me I called around to about 5 or 6 dealers in about a 30 mile radius. I called to see if they had any packages (bundles) going on right now. All said no but one said in about 1 week he will have a labor day package. All the dealers were within 20 bucks of each other but this guy was the only one who threw in a nest, ash tool, starter sticks and a 20lb bag of bge charcoal. All for 855.00. I know that might be high but it was the best deal around here. Hope that helps in your decision making process.
  • Solson005Solson005 Posts: 1,911
    I have a large and love it, but if you are thinking or just getting one of the smaller ones this post by @cazzy can show you a small can be quite the workhorse.. My SBGE Weekend Adventure And you can transport it fairly easy. Any one you get you will be happy with and will probably want to get another eventually! Good Luck! 
    Large & Small BGE, CGW Two-Tier Swing Rack for BOTH EGGS, Spider for the Wok, eggCARTen & and Cedar Pergola my Eggs call home in Edmond, OK. 
  • MJGMJG Posts: 464
    Thanks for all the advice. I have decided to buy a large and have found a dealer in Middleton, MA who seems pretty good. Now I just have to wait until mid-December to pull the trigger for various reasons. I know the cold won't bother me and sounds like it won't bother the Egg either. I will start stocking up on peripheral devices now however....Eggcessories I guess.
    Large Big Green Egg in a nest. North Shore of Boston.
  • GLWGLW Posts: 178
    I have a large, small and a mini. I use the mini the most as i do a lot of searing. I do have a rig to do low/slow but it's really too small for that. If you think you are only going to get one get a large. However, I can do almost everything on my small for a family of four. In fact, unless I am cooking for a group I typically low/slow on the small.
    When in doubt add more pepper.
  • GLWGLW Posts: 178
    BTW, I highly recommend a party Q for whatever you decide.
    When in doubt add more pepper.
  • Austin  EggheadAustin Egghead Posts: 3,907
    edited September 2012
    MJG, start out slow.  Purchase the egg first.  If dealer throws in plate setter then get it, but don't buy if $$ are a concern.  Fire brick, crushed beer cans, or whatever is on hand with an extra grate will get you cooking above the felt line.  A good quality pizza stone for cooking indirect meals and pizza would be my first accessory.  

    You can purchase a good quality pizza stone from either for Ceramic Grill Store or Amazon (they about the same rate, but I prefer dealing and establishing a relationship with a real person.   Big +, Tom never oversells, he will listen to you and then recommend the best fit for your cooking needs.

    If there is an outlet mall, or a restaurant depot near you scope them out for deals.  Stainless steel and cast iron and ceramic coated cast iron all do well on the egg.  You can also find some killer deals at Kohl's, HomeGoods and Bed Bath and Beyond.  

    The egg opens up a whole new world of outdoor cooking.  When not traveling, I cook on the egg 7 days a week and on weekends multiple cooks. Anything recipe you have will easily translate to the egg.  

    Good luck and remember:  No pictures-the cook didn't happen. :-]

    PS I will probably do both pecan pies and buttermilk pies along with a meat meal-yet-to-be determined at the Texarkana Eggfest next week.
    Large, small and mini now Egging in Rowlett Tx
  • SookieSookie Posts: 329

    We went with the large.  The XL was almost too big for "normal" use for us, but everything else seemed too small.  As far as the money goes, this really is a product that will really last a long time, and I can honestly say it's been one of the best investments we have ever made. 

    If there is an Eggfest near you anytime in the next few months, you can get a slightly used (once) warrantied egg cheaper than the new @ dealer price.  Glad you are converting.  You will love it!

  • FWIW, as I don't own one of the smaller versions, but will someday in the reasonable future, ( I bought an XL) I have read on this site and others that the small and mini are a bit more temperamental regarding temperature control.  I don't suspect it is a major issue and would assume it is only because of the thermal mass that the larger units have.  I think you will be glad that you chose the larger unit when it comes to making a huge Thanksgiving turkey for a large group or massive quantities of Boston Butt for pulled pork.  Welcome to the cult and keep us posted when you make the jump.  You are very lucky to have found this site before owning your Egg, it will save you a lot of time if you follow the first timers posts and learn from their experiences.  I owned my Egg for almost a year before visiting this wonderful forum and learning more in a couple of weeks than I had in some months.  Pay especial attention to the guys that have high post counts, they might be a bit terse at answering the same questions over and again but they know the hows and whys about these fabulous cooking machines.
    A poor widows son.
    See der Rabbits, Iowa
  • MJG said:
    Thanks for all the feedback. I think I just need to dive in, get a large, and start learing. This forum is very helpful so thanks!
    Now your thinking in the right direction.  I was the same way when I bought my first Egg.  Wife was "you are spending that much for a grill?"  And then the What if's???   Decided if I did not like the Egg I could always sell it and at least get part of my money back.  I bought the large and haven't looked back.  Now the wife is "that is the best invest we made buying that BGE."  Yeah right...WE sure did.  LOL. 

    Maybe check if an Eggfest is in your area, you can get a little discount.  I also would stay away from Craigslist for now, you will want that warranty on your egg.  So dive right in, the water is not that deep once your in.

    Welcome to the Swamp.....GO GATORS!!!!
  • MJGMJG Posts: 464
    edited September 2012
    Thanks everyone! I hope at some point to be able to add to this forum. My kids just got me a BGE pizza stone for my b-day...I can rock that on the Weber for now. The wife is out of work for 2 months so i am curtailing spending for now...even though ahe told me to go get one. Cash is key with me vs a credit card. Once I make the jump I will be sure to post up some pics. Thanks again!
    Large Big Green Egg in a nest. North Shore of Boston.
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