Over the weekend, I was the proud recipient of a new barbeque, called the Big Green Egg. It is, hands down, the best BBQ I have ever used. It a charcoal grill, built from 1” thick ceramic and can achieve temperatures of over 700 degrees, which is perfect for searing steaks. Because of the thickness of the ceramic and ability to control air flow, you can also maintain temperatures as low as 200 degrees for up to 12 hours. This is perfect for smoking salmon, or ribs.
Because of the shape, you can cook large items, with no trouble at all. I got a large egg (they’re available in mini, small, medium, large and extra large), which is capable of cooking a 20 pound turkey, or 6 chickens, were the need ever to present itself. Also, because of the ability to control the temperature, you can bake in it. We’re doing cornbread this weekend.
So far, I have cooked a total of two meals on it. The first was steak and prawns. For the steak, I waited until the egg was 650 degrees, then I threw them on for 3 minutes on each side. The outside was thoroughly cooked, while the inside was juicy and pink. Then, I shut the vents, waited a few minutes for the temp to hit 350 and threw on the skewered prawns. After a few minutes, they were perfectly done. The second meal was burgers. I have never cooked a burger so juicy. It was worthy of a gourmet burger joint.
My next cooking endeavor will be a whole chicken, then ribs for the 4th.
For all of the pros, there are a few cons. The most notable downside of the egg is the price. They range in price from $300 for the Mini (large enough to cook 1 steak at a time) up to $900 for the Extra Large (capable of cooking 12 steaks or 14 racks of ribs or two 20lb turkeys). There are also a bunch of must-have accessories, for which you could easily drop another $100-200.
The other thing people may have a problem with is its size and weight. This is not a cooker you can throw in the trunk when you decide to go camping. The Large egg weighs in at 140 pounds and is roughly 3 feet tall.
Despite the minor downsides, there is no way you will be disappointed with the Big Green Egg. Once you get it, you will spend countless hours perfecting your craft and constantly searching for the best recipes.
(One way you can cut down on the overall costs is build your own table. The picture shown is my Egg in the cart I built, with my father-in-law. A comparable table from Big Green Egg will run you $550, but building it only cost $130 and a weekend. The second external link is to the plans I used.)