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Smoking on the Big Green Egg

A few questions about the Big Green Egg. May seem silly but my questions none the less. I've always liked cooking over charcoal/wood much more than gas. For years I had a small New Braunfels smoker and recently decided I was going to purchase a much nicer (approx $1000) 1/4 inch steel traditional smoker with the offset fire box. I really enjoy cooking brisket and/or pork butts and also like the versatility of having a large cooking surface for hamburgurs/fajitas or whatever if we choose to cook with direct heat. So here are my questions:
1. I have recently seen the large BGE. Looks very interesting. Will a full "untrimmed" brisket fit on the large BGE? Again, I don't cook them much but visually, it just doesn't look very big.
2. When Smoking Brisket and/or Pork Butt, do you get that good "Black" crust all over the outside of the meat?
3. If smoking a large piece of meat, say 10-12 hours, what do you do when/if you need to add more charcoal/fuel to the fire.
4. Can someone tell me what I "might" be missing if I choose to go the route of the BGE vs the traditional 20" diameter offset smoker?
Finally, Is there any expected difference in taste/texture of smoking on a BGE vs the traditioal offset fire box?

Like I said, some may seem silly questions but I'm just trying to decide which route to take.

Thanks in advance for any help.


  • SPN,

    First, you will get a much moister product because of the ceramic enclosed cooking area. Second, you will not need to re-load lump for a single cook...ever. Third, It may look like a small area but a single large egg can do a lot of food at one time. There are ways to double and treble the cooking surface.
    You will be able to bake, do incredible pizzas, braises and stews and incredible steaks and chops and much more.
    You won't miss anything from a steel smoker. You can even cook bacon perfectly without a pan. ;)



    Caledon, ON


  • This is no brainer anwser----GO BIG GREEN EGG - here are some reasons why. I can't answer #l because I have never tried cooking on my large a full "untrimmed" brisket. Question #2 - I do a lot of butts and I always get black crust. I cook butts slow for 20+ hours. I have never needed to add lump charcoal and always have some left in the firebox. If you feel the large is not large enough - go to the extra large. Once you use to egg, you'll never want to use anything else. The food tastes so good and you can do all kind of things on it - briskets, butts, breads, pizzas,veggies, chickens a million different ways and whatever. Plus, you've got this forum for answers and help.

    Vero Beach, FL
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,940
    I've done a full untrimmed brisket in my Medium. There are several people here who do butts and briskets at the same time.

    If cooking lo-n-slo, it is no problem getting 18 hours of a good load of lump. Some folks report close to 30 hours without a re-load. This length goes for both summer and winter cooking.

    While I've yet to do a really really good brisket, at this point ribs and butts come out about as good as I like, and most everything else is very good.

    I have a friend who has a smallish offset. He does not have the temperature control that the Egg does, and cooking in the dead of winter just sucks up too much charcoal. So while he does have a nice big cooking area, he doesn't get as much use out of it as I get from my Eggs.

    For ease of use and versatility, the Eggs are great.
  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,773
    1. Yes it will. In fact it will hold two with the proper setup.

    2. The type of cooker is not going to change the bark. How you cook it does.

    3. You don't add more because you'll have another 6-8 hours of lump left.

    4. 2" The Large BGE is 18" in diameter. You will be missing filling a drip pan. Missing filling lump every 6 hours, missing not getting any sleep.. You get the idea.

    Yes Food cooked on the gg will be moister. Remember the BGE is not just a smoker. It is a wood fired oven and a grill as well.
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 23,014
    once you set up, you never open the dome til your ready to take the meat out, just one load. the bigger briskets can be draped over a rib rack if you want to, or the inside of the egg can be covered with tin foil and the brisket simply scrunched into the egg, it will shrink as it cooks anyways. bark comes out nice


  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,773
    This from the guy who says he peeks.. :woohoo:
  • You know what they say..."If your lookin''re not cookin'" :sick: :laugh: B)
  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,773
    except every time I say that he tells me he looks..

    I think he snookered me.. :unsure:
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 23,014
    since ive only eaten my homecooked brisket, its hard to say how it compares to REAL bbq :laugh: a newengland yankee giving out brisket advice :laugh: :laugh: SPN, the egg does alot more than grill and smoke, its good for jerkey, cold smoked cheese, breads baking, any style of pizza etc
  • I can answer a couple of them. Yes, you get the lovely dark bark on the outside of the meat. And you won't need to add charcoal or smoking woods during a cook. For low and slow, you can get at least 30 hours on a single load in a large Egg. You may find my Ceramic FAQ helpful. Good luck!

    The Ceramic Charcoal Cooker FAQ
    The Naked Whiz
  • Here's a 14 pound brisket on the large.

  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 23,014
    im getting better, i did wear out my first two sets of springs, that was probably from the really high temp pizza cooks though :laugh: with the really big cooks like that one a few peaks are necessary to see whats happening with the fire, i dont trust my gages and without a power draft system things can get out of hand with that much cold meat B)
  • Would that be a "wood fired oven"? :laugh:
    The Naked Whiz
  • Butt on top, brisket on bottom. Not sure of the weights on these.

  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,773
    That's what I said!!!

    Ouch!! Damn lightening!!! :woohoo:
  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,773
    Ok I'll let you slide...
  • RVHRVH Posts: 523
    I've had
    BGE's for some time now. I decided to buy a big 900lb offset horizontal so I could burn up a few acres of wood that we had as a result of an ice storm. I was totally amazed at how much work it is to keep an even temp in the offset and by how much fuel it consumes. It's fine to have to constantly feed the fire and adjust the temps when there are a bunch of us tending it all night and doing the things that a bunch of guys do while tending a smoker all night.
    The offset requires pans full of liquid: the BGE does not. The BGE is pretty much a fire-and-forget: load the lump, establish the temp, pull when ready. In the winter we have to use a welding blanket on the offset to keep any heat in long enough so we can do the stuff guys do while the smoker is smoking.
    About the only thing the offset excels in is having enough room that you can just toss anything anywhere on all that cooking surface. But as others have posted, the BGE can handle a ton of food, one only needs to learn how to be a little creative. Celtic Wolf seems to be able to cook enough food for an entire base using mostly just a few eggs: do a search for his "prerecorded message" that has pics.
    The BGE is the go-to cooker. It is much easier than using the offset.
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 23,014
    i remember that particular cook well, went out to look at around 2 in the morning, touched the dome as i usually do it it was HOT, not like a low and slow. dome temp and maverick were both reading below 200, opened to see what was wrong and there was an inferno down there. closed everthing back down til the dome was touchable again, cant trust those gages with that sized load of cold meat in there.
  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,773
    Yet I cook all that meat for the troops and never have had a problem like that. Go figure!!
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 23,014
    i think my setup was part of the problem, no platesetter, used a 15.5 inch stone on the main grid which blocked a lot of flow and the air flow i was getting must have been hugging the walls of the egg, i would do things differently now ;) still aint getting a platesetter though :whistle: :laugh:
  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,773
    I have adjustable rigs with the spiders for all 6 of my Larges. Platesetters for three of them.. On the troop cooks I use the rigs with a pizza stone on the spider.

    I have had the temps jump up, but the guru's always warmed me.
  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,773
    This is a pre-recorded message:

    I often hear that the large does not have the capacity to cook for a large family.

    Let me tell you that is a lot of bull. When my family gets together we are typically 20+. My XL sits there and wishes I would use him.

    So here is my proof:

    Please note the amount of sausage on this egg:

    6 7-9 pound butts on this egg:


    Just for contrast please note the amount of meat on this Lang 60:


    I cooked 18 butts on 3 eggs and took up less space.

    My XL gets used when I cater and even then it's only used for something that may not physically fit on my large and can't be cut into smaller chunks.

    Ohh did I tell you I have 2 small eggs too. You will NOT be disappointed with the Egg, unless you fail to learn how to use it or don't use it. Many of us use it as our primary cooking source year round.
  • Wow, Thanks for all the info. All has been very helpful. Not sure why I've got the hangup with the Egg other than down here in Texas the offset smoker is the norm. I'm really thinking that I'll go the route of the Green Egg. If I were to say that I cook most often for my family of 4, occassionally for a party of up to day 12, and 2-3 times a year I'll pre cook 3-4 butts for a camping trip serving 20 or so. Is the large or XL recommended.
    Thanks again for everyones input.
  • when you only cook pork butts, it must be real easy to get into a groove and never need to peek.. :laugh:
  • RVHRVH Posts: 523
  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,773
    I regularly cook for 300-600 on 6 large eggs.

    Get the large..

    Nuff said!!
  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,773
    You might be right, but I don't just cook pork butts..

    Better watch it or you'll have another 14,000 posts just making fun of me.. :woohoo:
  • Large.
  • YOU should become a pro>since you seem to know it ALL!!
  • Rolling EggRolling Egg Posts: 1,995
    Man can live on pork butt alone :woohoo: :woohoo: That's all my father wants off my egg!
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