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New to grilling/cooking

edited 12:57PM in EggHead Forum
I really don't share this publicly and/or in mixed company, but, at 48 years of age, a Texan, former Marine, businessman, and father of 4, ..... I do not have A CLUE about how to cook, more specifically, how to grill. No common sense, no real aptitude, no background ---- it's awful, I know. [p]I have wanted to learn how to charcoal grill for some time, and when a neighbor said that he used a Big Green Egg and he loved it, I got on this site, and what may swing my decision to purchase an egg is this very forum. [p]I am wondering if some of you can walk a neophyte thru cooking anything from good hamburgers to BBQ, to steaks, fish, chicken .... the whole nine yards. This place sounds like you can ask the stupid questions, but I wanted to make sure before I did something stupid.[p]Let me know, and Merry Christmas


  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,172
    Michael Brunner,[p]Yes.[p]At any hour, any day, post questions for cooking advice, help, or emergency solutions and you will without fail receive a number of responses in plenty of time.[p]Anything you can imagine trying to cook on an egg has undoubtedly been tried by a number of folk that frequent this board. Just about everyone who reads this board is more than happy to reach out and help anyone. No one seems to mind the repeat questions, the silly ones, and there are no stupid ones. You will get help here.
  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,773
    Michael Brunner,[p]
    Depending where you are in the world you may find a few of us willing ot drop in and show you how to use the BGE. Being a texan doesn't necessarily mean you are IN Texas.[p] Ask all the questions you want. We will answer each of them.[p] Do not worry about WessB getting grumpy (he always is) or stike being anal (he always is too) or me being sarcastic (I always am).. You and your questions are welcome..[p]

  • RRPRRP Posts: 22,050
    Michael Brunner,
    has that neighbor of yours let you sample some egged food? That in itself will clinch the deal. The BGE is a forgiving cooker, it's fun to use, and the results will make you kick yourself wondering why at 48 you just now discovered it! I hope you stick around and join the thousands of us.

    L, M, S, &  Mini
    And oh yes...also a 17" BlackStone gas fired griddle! 
    Dunlap, IL
    Re- gasketing AMERICA one yard at a time!
  • Michael Brunner, Well Michael, you sure came to the right place. I am older than you, a Texan, 4 kids and someone who had grilled a little bit and owned a Smoker for a couple of years, but was average on my best days ;-) What I cooked was OK, but I never really turned out any good Ribs or brisket until I found the Big Green egg and this site. There are many resources here and by searching the archives and then asking questions you can find out about everything from starting the fire to how long should I cook and at what temperature. In addition the site abounds with suggestions on seasoning, different ideas and recipes etc. You can also get more information from the Naked Whiz's site, one of the best in my opinion. There are many product reviews and comparisons on his site also. You can find it at: There are also some great first recipes on the "offical" site at:[p]I suggest you jump in, buy an egg and start cooking. You will find all the help you need here as long as your not afraid to try things. Being an ex-Marine, I don't envision you being hesitant. What part of Texas are you from?
  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,773
    EagerEgger,[p] You missed a part of the Whiz's site :)[p]The Naked Whiz[p]might as well add this one too:[p]WessB
  • mb168mb168 Posts: 265
    Michael Brunner,[p]A great place to start are forum member's sites;[p]The Naked Whiz
    Thirdeye's Site
    WessB's site

  • EddieMacEddieMac Posts: 423
    Hi, Michael...Yes, this is a place that can really help a neophyte achieve real BBQ and backyard grilling skills...There's a ton of great cooks here...with a ton of practical knowledge....and glad to share it....So welcome aboard!![p]I will tell you this...just like anything in'll get what you put into it...Folks here are willing to share knowlege...But please be prepared to do some work on your own...Read various sites from start to the or WessB's site....You will be able to answer questions before you actually have them!...Get your homework...and become part of the "cult" that is...The Big Green Egg.....[p]Ed McLean
    Ft. Pierce, FL

  • Celtic Wolf, Could not agree more on WessB's site. I had always used but with the addition on the link you gave, it avoids the intro music :-) Thanks as always and nice to see you back around here.

  • Michael Brunner,
    I converted from gas a little over a year ago and I think I'm about as dopey as they come regarding grilling. With the Egg I'm cooking all sorts of stuff now! If I can do it, anyone can.[p]If you don't have one, I can't walk you through it as you need to be able to try and let us know how it worked out.[p]You can do so much with the Egg it's easy to get overwhelmed at first. Pick a couple things and keep trying them till you get comfortable with them. Then add another to work on. Then another until you feel comfortable. Probably once you know you can cook steak, ribs and chicken, you'll be comfortable with anything.[p]Go buy a large and start to play with it. First time, just experiment with temperatures.[p]Give your fire time to establish itself- smoke should be non-existant to wispy light bluish (barely visible) before you put the food on. Don't start messing with smoking wood till your comfortable cooking.[p]For cooking temps 300 and above, I don't use the daisy (leave the chimney open) and I adjust the temp only with the lower vent/sliding door.[p]For low and slow cooks (low 200's) I have the draft door open about the thickness of a nickel and the petals on the daisy closed all but a crack.[p]See how much I wrote for not walking you thru it?
    I keep getting interrupted so I think this'll have to do for now.
    Good luck and good cookin'!!

  • Flashback Bob,[p]Since he's firing up the grill to experiment, why not use the lump to cook something pretty much "foolproof" so it doesn't go to waste? I'd say hot dogs qualify. Maybe some brats....
  • BlueSmokeBlueSmoke Posts: 1,678
    Michael Brunner,
    You're in an excellent position: geared up and ready to learn! [p]A couple of thoughts as you begin. "Good cooking" just means nobody died from eating it. Every dish that hits the plate could be better. If you don't tell the clientele, they'll think it was supposed to be that way. Good cooks figure out what went wrong and correct it; great cooks also figure out what went right and improve on it.[p]Around here, difficult questions get answered real quick. Easy questions usually take a little longer. This has nothing to do with the question or questioner, and everything to do with us.[p]Welcome,

  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,940
    Michael Brunner,[p]Look at it this way. You're about to start having some great fun! And if you start with an Egg, you'll save yourself many, many failed meals. I started cooking over camp fires when I was 12, and in, oh, about 50 years, didn't make as many good meals as I did in the first 3 months with an Egg.[p]I'm sure you'll get lots of help from this forum. Look through the archives. You'll see recipes and tips on just about every kind of food, not just BBQ. [p]Not having any background might make starting a little tough. But, on the other hand, you won't have bad or sloppy habits to unlearn. Like anything else, being a competent cook is just a matter of study and practice. If you have a little success, it'll become a self-rewarding thing. You'll get to eat really well, and, better yet, the smiles and lip smacking from your family and friends is most satisfying.[p]Ask away,

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    Celtic Wolf,
    first day back and already thinking about my an*s. missed you, man. (but not THAT much!)

    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • AvocadosAvocados Posts: 465
    I think that you will find cooking to be fun, easy to learn, and very rewarding. [p]There is something about building a fire and then cooking a meal over it that seems to satisfy some primal instict.[p]The Big Green Egg is a very versatile and efficient cooker.

    You can sear a steak at very high temps directly over the fire,
    slow smoke Pork or Beef BBQ with indirect heat at a low temp,
    and bake great pizza, just to name a few, all on the same cooker.[p]Many of us here on the forum have settled on these excellent ceramic, charcoal fired devices after many years of using almost every other type of grill and smoker made.[p]Get yourself an Egg (and also an accessory called a "Plate Setter" used as a barrier for indirect heat) to get started.[p]Do a little reading, ask a few questions, and in no time you will be amazing your friends and family.[p]The BGE even comes with a basic DVD video to help you get started.

  • SyraQSyraQ Posts: 95
    Michael Brunner,[p]I, also, had never done much grilling before venturing into Egg ownership. Since May 2001, that has been a different story. I wanted to make authentic pulled pork, found the Egg website and rest is history. I love my Egg and I live in upstate NY where the grilling season, unless dressed in a down jacket, is short. Good luck on your decision.

  • billtbillt Posts: 225
    Michael Brunner,
    welcome, busy day so i did not have time to read the responses. forgive me if there are repeats
    1. everything tastes better cooked on the egg, so relax a bit
    2. bacon makes everything taste better, except for fruit.
    3. buy a thermopen
    4. if you can cook it in the oven you can cook it in the egg. cooking is like chemistry, follow the instructions.
    3.start simple, steaks burgers chicken.
    4.go to the naked whiz website, and playing with fire and smoke and wessB. a wealth of info.
    5.let us know what you bought to cook, ahead of time, and be specific. i.e if you get chicken breasts are the boneless?, boneless skinless? etc.
    6.there was a point in time for all of us when we did not know how to cook. it is a journey smoothed out by the adult beverages consumed while cooking.

  • Michael Brunner,[p]I started barbecuing and grilling only a few years ago. What helped me was buying books and following the recipes and techinques therein. I started off, and totally recommend, with "How to Grill" by Steven Raichlen. Lots of recipes, and the best part, photos in stages of how to prepare the various dishes with step-by-step directions. This will get you down for general cooking times and temps for stuff like steaks, chicken, ribs, etc. After you feel confident with some of the stuff in that book, get our own "Dr. BBQ's Big Time Barbecue" cookbook. Lots of great recipes and techniques in there (plus he's an Egghead who posts here!). Pretty soon you'll be accused of being a Que addict when guests notice 9 or 10 BBQ cookbooks on the shelf, a couple of BGEs on the patio, eggcessories lining your garage shelves, etc.[p]Happy Egging.
  • Michael Brunner,[p]Well -- I'll throw in my two cents...[p]Years ago, I had a little hardware-store hibachi .. and used to incxinerate hot dogs and hamburgers. That's it. Then, I got a Weber-type ketter, and still incinerated perfectly good meat. Then, I got a big [but cheap] gasser from a Big Box store, and within one summer, all the guts had burned out, and I still couldn't cook anything.[p]So -- I totally gave up.[p]Then, several years later, my wife surprised me with a Medium BGE. So, I did the hot dog thing, then the hamburger thing... and everything came out too raw or not cooked enough... and I gave up again and let the BGE sit lonely on the back deck.[p]Then, about 8 months ago, I accidentally discovered this site, which led to discovering the links to others' sites [like Wess, Naked Whiz, ThirdEye...] and a local egger [Eggfoot] sotra adopted me.[p]Oh, my! You should see me go, now! Just completed a cook for 150 -- have done four cooks for 40, and dozens of "lesser cooks."[p]I still have a lot to learn, and most everyone here knows a lot more than I -- [p]BTW -- I'm 65, and am just learning how to cook ANYTHING but frozen dinners.[p]And -- There are no stupid questions, only unasked questions. And the Old Thymers on this forum are worth their weight in Gold![p]~ Best Wishes![p]Now -- Go get that Egg![p]~ Broc

  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,773
    Broc, just across the Muddy Mo from Omaha, Eastward in Eden,[p] Well everyone but egret... He's kind of skinny and doesn't fetch much in the weight department!! My last fattie weighed more.
  • Michael Brunner,[p]Welcome. We can help you out.[p]First, read the naked whiz's site from top to bottom.[p]After that, we can help with other questions, though there
    there is not much the whiz does not cover.[p]Finally, get a thermapen. You are much less likely to overcook
    something if you have one. Use internal temperature as your guide, not time.

  • Michael Brunner,[p]Forgot the link to whiz's site.
  • Michael Brunner,[p]I was feeling exactly the same as you 18 months ago. Check out the Naked Whiz site for step by step instructions on all the basics of the egg and most of the popular egg recipes.[p]You'll be a pro on the egg within 3-6 months.[p]The egg is definitely a lifetime purchase. You will not be disappointed.[p]Enjoy!
  • EagerEgger,[p]The response to my post has been tremendous ---- am really pumped to get the egg ---- will tell my saintly mother that's what Santa Clause can bring me.[p]To answer your question, I live in Houston[p]Merry Christmas

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