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almost prime rib fail

did a 4-bone prime rib for a 12 person family dinner. plan was to sear direct at ~700 degrees, and slow roast for a few hours at ~225. got the egg fired up, used barberians rub and popped on the grill after a 30 min burn with the egg just over 700 degrees. within a minute, there was smoke billowing out of egg. figured it was a little hot, but when i opened the egg i got a huge flame of fire (not sure what started first - the twine holding the roast together or fat cap - but turned into a serious grease fire). i was able to get the roast off the grill, but not without taking off most of my arm hair! managed to settle down the fire, and popped the roast back raised indirect on for a few hours under 300. beef turned out fantastic in the end, but it was frankly pretty scary having the huge grease fire. definitely learned my lesson on using the egg at a modest distance from the house.

anyone else have this issue with high temperature direct grilling and grease fires?


  • CowdogsCowdogs Posts: 491
    edited October 2012
    700 degrees is not necessary to get some good color/sear on a big cut of meat like that.  700 degrees makes more sense for something thin like a skirt steak. 

    I would do the 225 smoke first, and the sear afterwards.   Keep in mind that it much easier to raise your Egg's temp than it is to lower it.  Smoke it gently to about 130 internal.  Pull it off, and rest until internal temp has dropped back to about 115-120, and then sear the outside at 450-500 until it looks good.  

    In the event of a fire like that ... I would cap the egg and close the vent, and wait 5 minutes.  The egg is pretty much air tight, and the fire will die.  Then I would remove the meat, rinse the soot off, and try again.
  • DonWWDonWW Posts: 328
    No pics - - didn't happen...

    Seriously... +1 with CDogs on the high temp.  I have done a number of bone on roasts, and I start the egg at about 500-550 and then immediately slow it down to 300-350, depending on the time I have available. 

    I know there is some discussion about whether to sear at the start or finish, but I have always done it at the beginning.  Correlates closely with many other "sear - roast" recipes and strategies.  Also helps lock in juices.
    XL and Medium BGE.  Dallas, Texas.
  • SmokeyPittSmokeyPitt Posts: 10,103
    edited October 2012
    Glad it all turned out OK.  I too have had some scary moments when the fat hits the flame!  I think it is the combination of a huge fatty cut and all that fire :).  At 700 degrees you have a bowl full of fire, so the flames are gonna be worse.  

    @Cowdogs gave some great advice...snuffing it out is another option rather than trying to "rescue" the meat.  

    Even at 500 degrees it is gonna flare up when the fat/grease hits the fire, but with a smaller fire it will be less scary.  If you don't want to battle the flames you can always do the high temp portion indirect.  You may not get the grill marks, but you can still get a nice crust with the higher temps.  If you are gonna sear a rib roast direct then I definitely recommend a couple of pairs of long tongs and some welders gloves ;).  

    Which came first the chicken or the egg?  I egged the chicken and then I ate his leg. 

  • ShiffShiff Posts: 1,745
    When I cook a rib roast, I do it all indirect. I start it at 500-600 and put in the roast for about 20 minutes. Then I close down the vents so that the temp will drop to around 350 slowly.  It seras the outside nicely then roasts the rest of the way until it hits my target temperature.
    Large BGE
    Barry, Lancaster, PA
  • BjorgBjorg Posts: 241
    Fully closed or leave a little airflow Shiff? 
    Quebec - Canada
  • ShiffShiff Posts: 1,745
    I don't completely close down the vents.  I set them to where they would be for a 350 indirect cook - daisy wheel open just a crack and the bottom vent about 3/4 inch.  I usually cook the roast on a V rack but I'm not sure it makes much of a difference. The V rack helps to hold it a little higher in the dome and keeps it upright.
    Large BGE
    Barry, Lancaster, PA
  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 8,443
    Reverse sear, the only way to go with a large chink of meat. Stabilized egg at 225, meat on until internal at 120 or so, then off to a covered rest, open the vents let the egg heat and when at 500 or so, return the meat for a direct sear for looks only. No grease fires and the crust on the fat cap is fantastic... 

    If you sear first, there is a school of thought that other than salt, you have simply burned and steamed off all your seasonings. 
    Delta B.C. - Whiskey and steak, because no good story ever started with someone having a salad!
  • BENTEBENTE Posts: 8,337

    i know there are several ways to skin a cat. iwhen i first tried standing rib roast i followed the simplest directions i could find and no one is simpler than mad max 8-X . i have never changed the instructions just the seasoning and i have never had a problem. 700 is to high imho. here is a link to how max does it

    give it a try next time it is hard to mess up


    happy eggin


    Anderson S.C.

    "Life is too short to be diplomatic. A man's friends shouldn't mind what he does or says- and those who are not his friends, well, the hell with them. They don't count."

    Tyrus Raymond Cobb

  • Searing first does not "lock-in" anything.

    For a big piece of meat, if you smoke/roast slowly first, an added benefit is that some of the fat can be render gradually not leading to increased flare-ups, etc.

  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 28,817
    I do rib roasts at 200 - 250*. The ones at 200* need a sear, the ones at 250* don't


    Caledon, ON


  • Many thanks for all the thoughts. Sadly no pics of the fire @DonWW!
  • I do rib roasts at 200 - 250*. The ones at 200* need a sear, the ones at 250* don't
    Thats a great tip, thanks. I'll be doing one in the next week or two.

    Piero from South Etobicoke in Toronto and sometimes Pinellas Park, St.Petersburg, XL-BGE
  • DocWonmugDocWonmug Posts: 300
    Reverse sear is a new technique to me. Is there any more to it than what Skiddymarker said? Sounds great.
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 29,743
    DocWonmug said:
    Reverse sear is a new technique to me. Is there any more to it than what Skiddymarker said? Sounds great.
    This is pretty informative:
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.  Love me or hate me, I am forum Marmite.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • DocWonmugDocWonmug Posts: 300
    Great info. Thanks.
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