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Big Green Egg

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--- Quote from: gordonstrong on December 21, 2010, 04:07:41 PM ---Good replies, thanks.  Other opinions welcome.

I'm probably not aware of all the various options and such.  I saw the pizza stone and stand thing.  Frankly, that was the one thing that didn't appeal to me for the large.  The grate seemed to be big enough, but the pizza stone seemed quite small in comparison.  I'd like to be able to do a 16" pizza.  Maybe a third party stone or something.

My oven can only hit 550, so I'm looking forward to 700+.

How is it at maintaining the low-and-slow warm smoking temps?  I don't cold smoke much, so that's not a big deal.

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This is where it shines. The thermal mass keeps it much more stable than other smokers. There is a small learning curve in terms of getting a feel for how to adjust the temperature without over adjusting. I did ribs a couple of times since they aren't overnight to get a feel and then my first overnight cook went pretty well. If I sleep 8 hours, I'll typically have drifted less than 20 degrees. I put one of those remote probe thermometer things in there and once it did wake me up in the middle of the night but that was probably poor fire building on my part.

Since I like toys I did eventually buy an electronic controller (turns a fan connected to the input on and off) and I can monitor and control the temperature from anywhere I have internet access. So now I have the confidence to cook something while I am at work, but I don't do that too often. It's nice to be able to run around town and keep an eye on things (especially towards the end of a cook) but it's a toy, not something that is necessary or really even worth the money from a practical point of view.

I did a couple dozen overnight cooks with just a cheapy remote probe thermometer and, like I said, I had one fairly minor problem and got to sleep through the night the others times with fairly acceptable temperature drift.

You'll have no trouble with stability down to about 200F, lower in winter. With the electronic controller I can get stability a bit lower but you really rarely need temperatures between cold smoking and 200, so who cares?

On the pizza stone, keep in mind that you do need space around the outside for airflow.  When you are reaching 700 degrees, you are burning a lot of charcoal, and need to move a lot of air through the coal bed and out the top.  It is also a good idea to have a double layer of ceramic between the coal and the pizza so you don't scorch the crust.  Most people do this with a plate setter (legs down or flat side up) and a pizza stone on top of that (usually with some sort of spacer between them, like 3 balls of aluminum foil, the feet from the egg grill, some small pieces of fire brick, etc...).  If you do get a different brand of pizza stone, make sure it's a good one.  The cheap ones (*cough*pamperedchef*cough*) will crack in the heat.  I believe the BGE stone is 16", but you could probably go a touch bigger.  

The most useful accessory I have found is the plate setter.  Whatever size you end up with, plan on a plate setter. As far as tiered racks, I would lean more towards:  http://www.ceramicgrillstore.com/ceramicgrillstore/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=54&Itemid=226  That is probably my next addition to the outdoor kitchen.

As far as smoking, I have held mine at around 230 (+/-15) for around 22 hours for smoking two 10 lb pork shoulders with minimal fussing.  You can also get a stoker (fan controlled by a thermocouple probe) if you want hands off smoking.

I bought a BBQ Guru at the same time as my egg and have never had a problem keeping it at 225. One time I smoked a rather tough shoulder and it kept 225 for nearly 30 hours, hands-free. My only complaint with the BBQ Guru is that it can't go higher than 350 I believe.

I have the large. Absolutely love it. Put it together myself too...

You can forgo the nest if you won't be moving it around and get the plate setter instead. And, I might purchase the small egg, since firing up the large egg for one steak or pork-chop is a little wasteful. Must add that it's quick to bring up to temp and very economical with the fuel at low cooking.

Bought mine back in August and have used it at least 20 times. The BBQ Guru in on my wish list.


--- Quote from: phillamb168 on December 21, 2010, 04:50:26 PM ---I bought a BBQ Guru at the same time as my egg and have never had a problem keeping it at 225. One time I smoked a rather tough shoulder and it kept 225 for nearly 30 hours, hands-free. My only complaint with the BBQ Guru is that it can't go higher than 350 I believe.

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I have the stoker and it will go higher but you need to buy a slightly higher priced probe. I also like that it is a web server as opposed to the Guru being a USB slave device. I set my router to always give the stoker the same IP address, set up port forwarding and now I just plug it into a bridge and have it bookmarked on my phone (okay, my home IP address is not static, but it rarely changes). Also the open architecture led to the excellent StokerLog third party application (just need an android version and I'm set).

A lot simpler to me. It seems like people who have either love them though.

One upside to BBQ Guru is they sell some budget solutions whereas Stoker only has the one solution which is comparable to the higher end BBQ Guru stuff.

I think these are all overkill for the BGE if you can stay home (even asleep with a cheap Polder type remote probe thermometer as an alarm). Very high cool factor though. Coworkers get a kick out of seeing me control my BGE from my computer at work.


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