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Now I'm not so sure

sjungdahlsjungdahl Posts: 4
edited 3:55PM in EggHead Forum
I was planning on purchasing an Egg this weekend but after reading posts on briskets/butts/shoulders I'm not so sure.
One of the of selling points for me is the ability to easily conrol temp but posts suggest it's not so easy.
I have a Char-Griller with side firebox. The first smoke I ever attempted was a boston butt on the Char-Griller. It came out great the first time. Temp control was certainly not automatic because of the numerous air leaks but was not difficult (most of the leaks have since benn addressed).
I'm not lazy, I love bbq (real bbq - low and slow), but convenience and ease of use is the only reason I'm looking at the Egg. Is that point true or not?
The Egg is fairly expensive, I'm not wealthy.
The real skinny on this would be much appreciated.


  • milesofsmilesmilesofsmiles Posts: 1,373
    I have never had a problem from the git go. I followed the dvd inst. Followed the forum cooks and practice playing with the vents before I went solo. Of course I did watch a few cooks first hand and just followed their instructions. Have not had a bad B B Q yet. Main thing is don't let the egg scare you. It's very forgiving, and It's still the best cooker around. Miles out. I can out cook any gasser around.
  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,523
    The egg is very easy to control temperature-wise. The challenge of the perfect brisket remains, even when you have good temp control. I think that is what folks were saying.
    Good luck, and I hope you end up with an egg.
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
    Instagram: @DizzyPigBBQ
  • bbqmywaybbqmyway Posts: 64
    I have done several overnighters and didn't have to get out of the bead to check all night long. Love my egg and wouldn't trade for anything other than another.
  • DutDut Posts: 81
    I definitely enjoy the BGE over any of the other smoker/grills that I've owned over the years. The learning curve is small but it's fun. By far the best BBQ, Chicken etc I've ever tasted.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    i bought the egg because it IS easy to control temps.

    you don't need any electronic device to run the egg and control temps. that's a convenience, maybe, but not necessary.

    my favorite anecdote regarding the egg and its ability to just chug along regards a snowstorm.

    we were due for a good amount of snow, but i still wanted Pulled pork for the football game. bound and determined to have it, satursay night around 9 pm i dumped (straight from the bag) the lump in, jiggled it around, lit the fire, and went back in just as the snow started.

    after prepping the meat, i plopped it on the egg, set vents for 250, and around 11pm went to bed. the egg was still pegged to 250. at 6:30 or so i got up and looked out the back door. the egg had 27 inches of snow around it, in a drift. an inch away from the egg was melted from the heat, and the snow was still dumping. the lower vent was in danger of getting blocked, so i reached out with a broom and swiped the snow away. after a night in that storm, the egg was still pegged at 250. i did not go outside and open or adjust the egg until i took the meat off, at game-time sunday.

    i have had maybe 2 fires go out. when they go out it;s a function of user-error or bum lump.

    the egg may not be guaranteed to stick directly on a chosen temp as long as you want, but it can if you do some very simple things to insure it. and i maintain that it is easier than any other option you may consider. try staying up all night stuffing logs into an offset. no thanks. unless of course it's a crowd of guys and there's beer.

    that's the only drawback to the egg. no reason to stay up and drink and talk.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • I would not be concern. The members of the forum are great and more importantly are always ready to share their knowledge regarding how to use the Egg.

    I am a fairly new egger as I have had my egg for about a month and quite frankly I love it. It seems like almost anything I can cook on the stove top or oven I can cook on the Egg and then some. I have not cook a brisket as of yet but I will this week.
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,941
    Before getting the Egg, I never made a brisket that was anything other than just edible. With the Egg, I'm getting close to as good as the restaurants around where I live. With ribs and butts, I've mostly got them beat.

    It did take me awhile to get the hang of using the Egg. I kept fussing with the vents, trying to get exact temperatures, say 250 on the nose. After a few months I finally realized that getting within 5 - 10 degrees either way, and just holding that produced much better results, and saved me a lot of bother.

    Don't know where you are, but being able to do lo-n-slo cooks in below freezing weather, and not have to worry about running out of fuel to boot, makes the Egg worth twice as much as any other cooker I've had.
  • Go ahead with your intended purchase. The temp control is easy...just slow it on the way up, and don't worry about a few degrees one way or the other. I believe that many people have problems because they react too much and too quickly with both the top and the bottom vents, usually adjusting both at the same time. This results in "chasing" the temps up and down. While I have not done an overnight cook yet, I have done plenty of all-day-and- part-night cooks without needing to adjust the vents much at all. Really, I just bump the lower a few thousanths just to feel that I'm doing something to participate in the cook. The eggs work well enough for me that I now have four of them and I think I hear an XLBGE calling.....
  • JeffersonianJeffersonian Posts: 4,244
    I was one of those who hasn't had success with brisket, albeit with a single go at it. I attribute that to my own error, not with the Egg itself. OTOH, I've cooked a number of butts and have had nothing but success and delicious pulled pork as a result. Brisket is just far more sensitive. I'll get it in the end.

    Here are some butt cooks I've done:
  • WarthogWarthog Posts: 84
    I ate a steak off an old BGE 20 years ago. NEVER forgot the experience. I have wanted one ever since. Like you, I am not rich. I went to the PNW eggfest last year with the intention of buying a large BGE. It has been almost a year and I have been turning out better and bigger meals ever since. Just did a 9 lb pork butt that took 20 hours. I too was worried about controlling the temperature more than I should have been. You would have thought I was going to be a dad again! There is a learning curve. But it is a slow curve. The people on this forum will treat you with the greatest respect, unending patience and will answer ANY questions you have. They will walk/talk you through anything.

    Then you HAVE to attend an Eggfest in your area. These things are a lot of fun and the information and ideas you pick up there are priceless. Plus, the food you will sample will have you running home to fire up your egg!

    Buy the egg!

  • WessBWessB Posts: 6,937
    There ia a small learning curve to controlling temps, but once you got it ya got it.....there is absolutely no NEED for an external temp control, but is a nice little toy to have....people have been cooking lo n slo on and overnight on eggs for way longer than the gadgets to contol it have been wont be disappointed...
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 23,017
    ths biggest problem i see with newbies and the egg is that alot of them come with experience with propane grills, not smokers that burn lump or brickets, they have no real experience with temp control. i went from a weber kettle to the egg and the transition was easy, first cook was a butt, something i would never have attempted on a kettle. i dont use gadgets to keep the egg cooking, its as simple as opening and closing the lower vent and with a couple cooks you will know exactly were to set it to get the the ballrange of your temps. i do cooks as low as 145 and as high as 1100 degrees, some cooks have had a stable fire in the 20 hour range, and no adding lump during the cook, its pretty easy to use
  • Michael BMichael B Posts: 986
    I've been cooking on a BGE for over 20 years and feel no need for an add on temp controller.
    All those posts about the *need* for a guru or, what's the other one called?
    Never mind.
    Use dry lump, light in a couple places off center, get it stabilized, LEAVE IT ALONE, and it will chug along for as long as you need it to. I've gone 30+ hours, 250* dome, in my large Egg and one load of lump.
  • Beanie-BeanBeanie-Bean Posts: 3,092
    I'd go ahead with your plans to buy a BGE if I were you...You obviously know how to cook already, so it's just a matter of adapting slightly different techniques to come up with the same result. I'd start with something simple like chicken or hamburgers to learn how to control temps on the new cooker. Here are some prok butts cooked for 18 hrs with no devices or gadgets--only a cheapie Polder thermometer:


    I've used New Braunfels smokers, and Weber kettles and gassers. I really don't think I'll be using them any longer, and I've only made the switch over around Halloween last year, and now do all the cooking on a LBGE and an SBGE.
  • OzarkQOzarkQ Posts: 150
    Another thing that might help you out if you're getting started is to attend a Pitmasters class. I did the class several years ago with the PNWBBQ when I lived in Seattle that was taught by Paul Kirk. It was an awesome experience and lots of helpful people. We started at 6am and went till 9pm and did butt, brisket, ribs, and chicken. My partner and I won 3rd for brisket - and it wasn't perfect by a long shot - it was a cold and windy day and I was using a brinkman smoker. The temps were up and down and over and out, but it ended up great with a really crusty exterior. From all the positive comments I'm going to look forward to doing my first brisket too. Just keep in mind that no matter what kind of Q you get - you're still going to have a learning curve, that's part of the fun!
  • Fishless is right on the money.
    I used only a gasser for all of my adult life. I had a little difficulty with the transition but it was fun and the food was still good. as inept as I was, I never really had any trouble controlling temps. I am just completing my second winter of cooking outdoors at least twice a week. Suffice it to say, I have cooked more different types of foods on the Egg than I ever cooked on gasser, stove top and oven combined!

    I'm a culinary moron, but the Egg has enabled me to cook like I know what I'm doing.

    My first overnight cook (picnic shoulder) was great!
    Moron that I am, I've cooked two briskets that the family thought were great! I don't know how to do a great brisket yet, but they don't know it.

    A lot of folks talk up the gadgets like the Guru, etc. You don't need them. I'm a huge advocate of "set it and forget it" and I find the Egg to be excellent.
    FWIW- even the rotisserie appliance that they advertise strongly as "set it and forget it" comes with lots of warrnings NOT to do that. The Egg on the other hand is very forgiving.
  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    From my point of view...

    I purchased my large late last summer, my medium a month or so ago. You will find people with one egg, for some strange reason end up buying another. In the above posts RVH has 4 an looking for another.

    There are many reasons why people buy more than one, but the question is that for the most part those additional purchases are eggs.

    Before getting my powered vent systems I did several Briskets. All but one was very good. One the fire went out on me (my second brisket cook). I lit the lump in one spot and the fire ended up going vertical rather that horizontal, that fire went out and I ended up not trusting the amount of time it was in the cool zone, so I tossed that brisket.

    From that point on I made sure I lit my lump in 3 spots (3, 6 & 9 o'clock) since that I have never had a fire go out nor have I had a vertical (funnel type) burn. As far as stability. The only time I have had problems with stabilization of a temp is when the egg was new to me (better stated when I was new to the egg). I like most people kept playing with the vents.

    I am able to cook over 24 hours at a stable temp with one load of lump inside my large egg. After that, without adding lump I am able to do another one or two cooks depending on the item.

    On the egg I can smoke cheese at 70° or sear meat at 700°. I have measured the lump temp in my large at 1180° and have put a steak, right on those lava glowing coals to get a sear. 90 seconds per side and I have a great sear. I am not sure if there is any other smoker/grill that can do that.

    The eggs will hold a steady temp better than you oven will if you will take the time to learn your vents and then don't touch them once at stabilized temp.

    I see a lot of discussion posts on the quality of a cook. If you read many of these posts these discussions are the eggers trying to get a better end item - 'trying to get perfection' rather than 'I can't get a good end result'.

    Every cook I have done on the egg is much better than the cooks done on any other type low and slow cooker I have. Over the years I have had many and have spend much more on those than on the two eggs I own now. Any of the egg cooks are better than going to restaurants that offer the same type of foods.

    People say brisket is the hardest meat to cook, for me it hasn't been hard. I think most of the difference is in the meat I have purchased to cook.

    Cooking on the egg is simple and some of my favorite items are Brisket, ribs, pork of any type, pastrami, chicken, steaks, prime rib, fajitas, soups, Dutch Oven cooks - well the list just doesn't end.

    After purchasing my egg, I have never had buyer’s remorse or have had the desire to look for a different type smoker. In fact I have 3 smokers I need to sell or give away this spring.

    I hope we see you posting again with some pictures of your cooks.

    Below is a first time prime rib cook I did on the egg.

    Grandpas Grub


  • BlueSmokeBlueSmoke Posts: 1,678
    There are a couple things that will probably change when you begin to cook seriously on an Egg.

    First is language. What used to be "good" will now be "so-so"; "great" becomes "pretty good" or "okay".

    Second is consistency. I had a Brinkmann offset that I competed as well as cooked for family. One day "the planets we aligned" and I was finishing just one place out of the money, next day the cosmos was in entropy and the youngest child could spot flaws in my work. When I switched over to the Egg, the first few cooks were above average, and have been getting better each time I fire up.

    Third is ambition. From the offsetter's "how do I cover this scorch or that not quite tender spot", to the egger's "how do I make this the exemplar of ... (ribs, brisket, shoulder, etc.)"

    Fourth is focus. Offsetters tend to focus on accomodating to the idiosyncracies of offsets in general and theirs in particular - hard-core Eggers tend to focus on their ingredients and technique.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    some good points you make.

    -the biggest determining factor of the brisket is the quality of the meat. skip 'select'.
    -and the egg is better at temp control than your electric oven. most folks don't realize an electric oven cycles up and down and only holds an AVERAGE temp. wheres when the BGE is at 250, it is at 250 (not cycling from 260-240 and back again)
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Michael BMichael B Posts: 986
    I pick up other type smokers at the dump all the time. I play with them a bit and then give them away.
    Go to 'The Smoke Ring" forum, look back to last summer, and you'll see I gave away a Weber kettle in a stainless table, a 48" heavy walled offset, and a heavy walled verticle.
    I discovered the BGE 20+ years ago and it is still the best cooker around.
  • Michael BMichael B Posts: 986
    Do you have a wood burning oven?
    Because I haven't seen an electric oven that could hold within 10* of set.
  • EggtuckyEggtucky Posts: 2,746
    Sjundahl you are probably asking the wrong group here...there are cooks on this forum that have been cooking all their lives and wouldn't use anything but an egg (myself included). Is the egg as easy as lighting a gasser and setting the temp? No. Is it a little persnickety to get used to? Yes. There is no way to compare the two processes. The two methods are so totally different it's like apples and oranges. EXCEPT the end result. Once you have gotten used to controlling your fire totally on air flow and gotten it to where you can nail a dome temp and maintain it, there is no better food and no better way of preparing it that I know of whether it's a gasser or another type of smoker. I made absolutely fabulous pork butt on my first try. However, I didn't go to bed and forget about it. I was probably up half the night afraid I would lose the fire and waste the meat. That was less than a year ago. Now I am comfortable enough and confident enough in the egg that I CAN go to bed and forget it. Unless your expectations of the egg are totally out of whack with reality, you will not be disappointed with your decision to get one.
  • JeffersonianJeffersonian Posts: 4,244
    It's because ovens almost always use a thermostatic temperature control's either on or's just a matter of how bad it will be and around what setpoint it will oscillate.

    This type of control is inherently oscillatory whereas the Egg uses a continuously variable method that can be adjusted to continuously provide just the right amount of heat to maintain a constant temperature. Ideally, one would use a Guru-type controller that would provide a continuous air flow with a variable-speed fan instead of an off/on type. I don't have a Guru, but my bet is that they approximate this by cycling the fan quickly.
  • tjvtjv Posts: 3,721
    great post and by the way, the first picture is way cool. T ACGP, Inc.
  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    There are so many reasons to get an egg, I don't think anyone could list them all.

    All the posts have some very good points.

    I have a lot of smokers and have never been really happy with any of them. I was told about some off cooker that looked like an egg and that the owners were like a cult.
    I began googling and found BGE then fount the forum. After reading for almost a full day I found two local dealers and had my egg the next day.

    It was the forum that convinced me, and I feel the forum is one of the great 'things' of the egg.

  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    The q2 and stoker both cycle very frequently, much more than I would have thought.

    What I have often wondered, without a powered vent system, how the egg holds the steady temp so well.

    As the lump burns it will go from horizontal burning to vertical burning and different burning surface area and different diamaters (during the burn) - how does it continue to hold a rock solid temp especially during the long cooks?

    As the lump burns the air flow has to change somewhat which should change the overal temp, but it doesn't. As long as I don't play with the vents the egg holds a very steady temp.

  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226

    The adjustable rig was used as is with most of my cooks.

    The adjustable rig and spider are great accessories, thanks for making them available.

    I need to figure out how high I want the woo2 for my medium so I can get it ordered.

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    that's what i said. the electric cycles, the BGE stays pegged
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • dbdb Posts: 37
    This forum is a place where people come to discuss good points and problems while using the egg. Coming here and drawing conclusions on some of the problem posts is like going to a hospital emergency unit on Saturday night, and, after seeing all the injuries from car wrecks concluding, "cars are not safe, I'm never going to buy one". For every problem cooking sessoin, there are ten thousand happening the same weekend with no mishaps.
    Pull the trigger brother.
  • BeliBeli Posts: 10,751
    If after reading all the above you are still in doubt.....then the egg might not be for you. But come on jump into the bullring.......and meet the bulls face to face..... feel the pleasures of having your own chef at home.................................Hope you make one of the most satsfying and rewarding investments in your life. All the best.
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