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Looking at purchasing a XL Egg

i have begun construction on an outside kitchen and have always been interested in the Egg.

First off let me say that I'm not a newbie to cooking of anytype or style. I have been grilling, smoking, roasting on my Webers for over 40 years. I'm am very comfortable BBQ'ing for 2 or 300, something I have done at least 25 times. I have cooked on every fuel source, but always prefer coal.  
I live in California, so we are out side BBQ'ing year round, and if it's too cold, I have an indoor grill, so you see I grill a lot.

I have only heard great things about The Big Green Egg, and I cant wait to have the Smoking and Oven capability's it offers.

I have a few questions regarding the Egg, that I need answered.

First off, in grill mode I have heard the only drawback is 2 zone cooking is hard to do, But as I look at the size of the coal box, almost 18 inches, I don't see this as a problem...to have a fire burning on just one side, maybe the comments relate to the smaller eggs where the coal box is much smaller...either way, If someone could comment on that it would be great to know your thoughts or experiences.

Second, still a grilling question, In a weber I am used to a coal base, after the pile is lit I spread them out to one even layer under my food, assume your cooking 10 Rib Eye Steaks for this example. If, In the Egg, my coal box is full and I use the starter block, the coals would seem to heat up from one central point and then move outward....how do you get an even distribution of heat under the entire grilling surface.

That's about if, and thanks in advance for those of you who right me back. Bill


Comments

  • Photo EggPhoto Egg Posts: 9,541
    Welcome.
    Love my XL. 
    Duel zone cooking is MUCH easier on the XL as well as multi level zone cooking. Such as having a raised half cooking grate to roast at the same time as using the lower lever for searing.
    As far as using starter cubes...if I want a larger hot area for steaks I would light in multiple spots. Same holds true when I light with Mapp torch. For low and slow I might only light 2 spots. For grilling over the entire area I would light in 3-5 spots to get it going.
    Thank you,
    Darian

    Galveston Texas
  • 1move1move Posts: 511
    edited January 2016
    I dont grill in a 2 zone grilling method as I find the egg does a great job either way. I use direct and indirect methods and find this does the job really well (with the plate setter and without the plate setter). I will let others comment on this as I just use the two methods mentioned above. 

    For the second question, you are right you start up at one central point or you could use multiple lighting areas. What I personally do is start up a central point and let the fire get going well enough where then I stir up the charcoal and let it go for another 10-15 minutes when I come back I have a very even base and it works well for me. I might stir it even a third time just to make sure any ashes drop to the bottom before I throw my steaks on at 600*F.

    Good luck and welcome to the forum.
    XLBGE, MMBGE, CyberQ
  • Bill, welcome to the forum. You and I sound a lot alike with our outdoor cooking experiences. I recently purchased an XL and love it. It holds temperature extremely well compared to the charcoal Webers. With an XL, you can do 2 zone cooking by using the angle brackets or open bar ring. With the open bar ring I put the items needing direct heat in the middle and indirect around the outside. I usually light in 3 places and within 15 minutes I have a fairly even heat zone as the fire has spread. I suppose you could use your ash tool to move coals around as necessary too. I hope this helps and am sure you will get more responses from others who have been Egging longer than me.
    Charlotte, NC

    XL BGE, WSM, Weber Genesis 2, Weber Kettle
  • You're gonna love the Egg. If you are in Norcal stop in and see us sometime, we're in Santa Clara.

     

    -SMITTY     

    from SANTA CLARA, CA

  • bgebrentbgebrent Posts: 19,726
    You have great answers above.  The XL is an amazing beast.  Welcome and post up your cooks.
    Sandy Springs & Dawsonville Ga
  • volfan1volfan1 Posts: 144
    You will love the XL. I cook dual zone all the time, and the XL has enough room to handle it.
    XL & Mini. Franklin, TN. Formerly in Palm Harbor, FL. 
  • THEBuckeyeTHEBuckeye Posts: 4,195
    Nike

    Just do it

    Be about it

    Bust a move
    New Albany, Ohio 

  • Guys, thanks so much for the quick responses. I am very excited about getting the Egg, as I said, I have heard nothing but great things about them and there versatility and methods' of cooking.

    I thought I read a lot on the TBE website about Not stirring the coals...wasn't quite certain about that.....thanks for the Info.

    Is the Torch method of starting easy to do...that's one I've never done, but it does make sense to start several areas in the coal bed to get a quicker even heat distribution.

    And I'm Close to Santa Clara Smitty, Work in Fremont, live back in the Hayward Hills.

  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 20,205
    Welcome aboard and enjoy the journey.
    Can't comment on the XL but the community and this forum will answer all your questions and there likely will be several ways to get things done.
    You do need to take a road-trip to Smitty's very early in the game.  Get your start-up questions answered before you buy too many after-market toys.  FWIW-
    Louisville;  "indeterminate Jim" here; L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
  • SmokingPineySmokingPiney Posts: 2,282
    @Outdoorcook ;  The XL is a great cooker and I certainly love mine. One thing to keep in mind about the coals is the heat of the Egg depends on how much lump is lit. If you light the entire bed, you will be approaching nuclear temps. It's not like lighting charcoal in a kettle. 

    That said, it's very easy to dial in and maintain temperature once you get the hang of it. I light mine with Frontier Tumbleweed starters - one spot for low and slows, and several spots for a hotter fire. 

    I'm also a long time outdoor cook. My Egg has seriously kicked my cooking game WAY up. You will not be disappointed. 
    South Jersey Pine Barrens. XL BGE , Assassin 24, Weber Kettle, CharBroil gasser, AMNPS 
  • YukonRonYukonRon Posts: 14,548
    edited January 2016
    Being an ex weber guy myself, I am sure you are familiar with the chimney, right? Fill that up, light it it, and when the coals are ready dump it in.  You will have even heat in a hurry.
    Welcome to the asylum for the OCD BGErs. The cost to get in is way less than the cost to stay in. 
    Have fun!
    "Knowledge is Good" - Emil Faber

    XL and MM
    Louisville, Kentucky
  • westernbbqwesternbbq Posts: 2,447

    Welcome Bill!  You will love the XL.  I am a weber kettle nut but the BGE XL has taken my skills to a new high level. 

    I use dual zone on BGE with a  vortex in the firebox.  So the sear zone is right in the middle and the warming/finishing zone is the outer concentric ring that doesn't have direct heat under the grate.


    As to the even lighting, I use a chimney, pour lit coals on top of a good amount of lump and 12 minutes later, I have even heat.


    You will be amazed at the temperature control you have by experimenting with the lower air intake and the daisy wheel up top


    Enjoy!

  • THEBuckeyeTHEBuckeye Posts: 4,195
    So, what are you cooking this weekend?
    New Albany, Ohio 

  • Well guys, it's a done deal. Stopped by " Eggs by the Bay" , Smitty's place yesterday and got my self started in the Big Green Egg world. 
    Smitty is setting everything thing up Wednesday afternoon. Very excited about learning about what I can do with the Egg. I will keep you posted as we progress 
    thanks foe all of your input. Bill


  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 20,205
    Congrats on the purchase.  You will wonder why you took so long.  Have fun.
    Louisville;  "indeterminate Jim" here; L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
  • bgebrentbgebrent Posts: 19,726
    Congrats!  You're gonna love it!
    Sandy Springs & Dawsonville Ga
  • Ozzie_IsaacOzzie_Isaac Posts: 9,451
    Congrats on the new egg!  Make sure your outdoor kitchen has room for a 2nd egg.  Thats my favorite way to do dual zone.
    If it is worth doing, it is worth overdoing.

    XL, Medium, Minimax, Mini, Blackstone, WSM
  • abpgwolfabpgwolf Posts: 499
    You're going to have a ball with the new XL! 

    Lititz, PA – XL BGE

  • PSCPSC Posts: 147
    dual zone cooking on the XL is a breeze

    above coal is always hotter center back (DIRECT)
    if dual zone, any zone NOT above coals heat is even
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