ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Big Green Egg Smoker and Grill

Updated on September 7, 2013

Why We Love The Big Green Egg Grill & Smoker

If you are a grill enthusiast you've probably seen or at least heard of the Big Green Egg grill. The Big Green Egg has been around for over 30 years. It started as a clay grill modeled after the ancient Japanese Kamado cooker. The Big Green Egg smoker and grill is now made of dense ceramic walls built in the shape of - you guessed it - an egg. The reason for the egg shape is to hold the heat in and reduce the amount of charcoal needed to cook with.

The big green egg has gone under many improvements since it was introduced in America in 1974. Early models were made of clay, but the grill is made of durable ceramic which makes the Big Green Egg virtually indestructible. One of the great things about the Egg is that you can cook on it all year long; freezing weather, pouring down rain, and high winds are no match for the Big Green Egg barbeque.

The Big Green Egg cooker is the perfect smoker and barbecue and oven. It is so flexible you can use it to sear steaks at high temperatures, you can cook ribs on it for hours at low temperatures, or you can turn it into a brick oven and bake breads or pizzas. The Egg is unmatched in it's flexibility and cooking capabilities; it truly surpasses other grills and smokers.

There are many different sizes of the Big Green Egg and also many accessories available to allow the Egg to fit everyone's outdoor cooking needs. Read on for more reasons why so many barbecue enthusiasts love their Big Green Egg cookers!

Small Big Green Egg Barbeque Grill
Small Big Green Egg Barbeque Grill

History of the Big Green Egg Barbeque Grill

While barbecue may be thought of as American, the first grills were actually clay pots called kamados, and they originated in Japan, not America. The first kamado was the mushikamado, used in Southern Japan to cook rice and was made with clay. It was round with a dome lid that lifted off the base. Wood charcoal was used to cook the food in the mushikamado.

In the 1960s the kamado was invented. While the design was similar to the mushikamado, the kamado was made of ceramic (to eliminate cracking which was a problem with the early clay models) and was created for barbecue, not cooking rice. A damper and draft door was added to control the temperature better and charcoal was used instead of wood. The kamado was shipped to the United States from Japan and was eventually produced in the United States as well.

The Big Green Egg grill is a modern version of the kamado, and can be used for grilling, smoking or even baking (homemade pizza on the big green egg is amazing!). Other companies that make kamados include Primo, the Komodo Kamado, the Grill Dome and the California Kamado.

big green egg pizza
big green egg pizza

Cook Fabulous Pizzas with the Big Green Egg Baking Stone

One of the biggest benefits of the Big Green Egg vs. other charcoal grills is the versatility. The Big Green Egg is a barbecue grill, a smoker and an outdoor oven all in one.

You'll find many Eggheads who cook breads and pizzas in their Big Green Egg in addition to the more traditional ribs, burgers and other grill foods. To turn your Egg into a brick oven you'll need a plate setter or a baking stone, like this one:

Making Pizza on the Big Green Egg (Video)

Everything You Need to Cook Great Pizzas on Your Big Green Egg - from Amazon

Why The Big Green Egg Grill Smokes Other Grills

We switched to the Big Green Egg Grill about 7 years ago and will never go back to another charcoal grill (or a gas grill for that matter), for the simple reason that when cooking with the Big Green Egg you always get awesome results. But if you're not convinced yet, here are some other benefits of cooking with a Big Green Egg:

Incredible Flavor and Moisture

The Big Green Egg is made of space age ceramic material which retains a great amount of heat and moisture, and not hot spots. Food cooked on a Big Green Egg barbeque doesn't dry out and meat undergoes little or no shrinkage, meaning foods come out juicier and more flavorful than when cooked on other grills. The Big Green Egg is a very forgiving grill for even the most inexperienced grillers!

Unparalleled Cooking Flexibility

The Big Green Egg is a grill, smoker and oven all in one. You can sear steaks at high temperatures (up to 750 degrees) or slow cook ribs at a low temperature of 200 to 250 degrees. Or if you're craving pizza or bread, the Big Green Egg bakes better than a brick oven. The Egg has incredible temperature control, which allows you to cook almost anything on it, and you don't have to babysit it like you do other grills. (Note: the secret to temperature control with the Egg is the easily adjustable dampers at the bottom of the grill, along with the adjustable daisy wheel on top, not to mention the exterior temperature gauge which gives precise readings of the interior cooking temperature).

Safer Than Other Grills

The Big Green Egg's ceramic material means that the grill stays cooler on the outside than other grills, even when cooking at high temperatures. This makes the Egg much safer for children than metal grills. You also don't have to worry about flare-ups with the Egg, and since the Egg has such great temperature control, you can cook for long hours (even overnight) without having to watch the grill at all times.

Fast Lighting and Fuel Efficient

One of the nice things about the Big Green Egg is that it is so easy and fast to light. The design on the Egg allows air in through the lower draft door, through the charcoal, and out the damper at the top, so your grill is usually ready to cook on after only 10 minutes, and with no lighter fluid! In addition, natural wood lump charcoal is used to cook with in the Egg, which is much more fuel efficient than regular charcoal briquettes. You won't need to add more charcoal while you are cooking and you can even reuse any unburned charcoal.

Very Durable

The ceramic material is weatherproof and won't rust. In addition, it's very durable and can be used year round, even in harsh climates. We live in the Midwest where snow and freezing temperatures keep many people from grilling in the wintertime, but with the Big Green Egg we can cook all year long, even in snow and ice!

Easy Clean Up

Burning natural lump charcoal results in less ash than burning traditional charcoal briquettes, so you don't need to clean your grill nearly as much as you would with a regular charcoal grill. The Big Green Egg exterior has a lifetime glaze that can be easily cleaned using just a damp cloth. Inside, the heat burns off any grease build-up, similar to a self cleaning oven.

Poll Time!

Do you Have a Big Green Egg Grill and Smoker?

See results

Big Green Egg Parts and Accessories

Lump charcoal is used to cook with in the Big Green Egg smoker. You can light the charcoal using natural fire starters, made from sawdust and paraffin and leaving no chemical taste, or you can use an electric starter. Using the electric starter, your coals will be ready in approximately 8 minutes.

From the Egghead Forum (i.e., The Big Green Egg Forum)

The Big Green Egg has a very active forum where you can swap recipes, ask questions and mingle with other eggheads. Check out the links below for some great egghead discussions!

Big Green Egg Smoker
Big Green Egg Smoker

Is The Big Green Egg Grill and Smoker Right For You?

You've heard all the reasons why we love our Big Green Egg grill, but is it right for you?

As much as we love our Egg, there are a few disadvantages:

1. It's expensive. Ceramic cookers can cost from $500 to $1,000, depending on the size you get. They are quite a bit more expensive than your traditional charcoal grills, but many gas grills can cost this much.

2. They are heavy. A ceramic grill and smoker with an 18" grill surface can weigh 140 lbs, which makes moving your grill to a new home a hassle, and you definitely won't take it with you when camping or going to the park for a family picnic.

3. Smaller cooking surface. Because of the egg-shape design the cooking area on a Big Green Egg barbeque is smaller than many gas grills. If you do a lot of entertaining, you made need the larger size or a backup grill to accommodate all the food you will be cooking.

4. Charcoal limitations. The Big Green Egg uses natural wood lump charcoal only, not the more common briquettes. In some areas, this special charcoal can be hard to find and it's usually more expensive than tradtional bbq briquettes.

Verdict: If you are on a budget or you cook for a lot of people, the Big Green Egg may not be the best grill for you. But if you are a barbecue enthusiast and you do a lot of smoking in addition to grilling you will love the quality and the results you'll get with the Big Green Egg.

Need a Table for Your Big Green Egg?

eBay has beautiful wood and stainless steel tables that will make you the envy of the neighborhood!

Big Green Egg Pizza
Big Green Egg Pizza

Big Green Egg Cooking and Smoking Tips

Smoking

The Big Green Egg can be used for smoking, grilling or baking. When it comes to smoking, the thick ceramic walls are perfect insulation for cooking at long, low temperatures needed to tenderize meats, while adding wood smoke flavor.

When setting up your EGG for smoking, layer lump (wood) charcoal with well-soaked wood smoking chips (we like grape). Add more charcoal, then more wood chips; repeat until the firebox is full. You can use either natural fire starters or an electric lighter to start the charcoal (never use lighter fluid!). You're ready to start cooking once the temperature has reached 250 degrees.

The Big Green Egg Plate Setter is great to use while smoking to provide indirect heat and eliminate the need for turning the food. Adding flavored liquids such as apple juice or beer to a drip pan is another great way to add flavor during cooking.

Grilling

Grilling refers to cooking the food directly over the coals at a moderate to high temperature. The EGG easily reaches 750°F for perfect searing of steaks, whether you like them rare, medium or well done. It is easy to lower the heat after searing or for other grilled foods that don't require high heat using the adjustable dampers at the bottom of the grill.

Baking

The Big Green EGG is known for its versatility and that is most evident when baking breads, dessert or even pizza in your EGG. You can turn your Egg into a world class brick oven just by adding a plate setter and baking stone. Once you've tried a fire brick oven pizza in your Egg you'll never order pizza again!

Cooking on the Big Green Egg Barbeque

Big Green Egg Recipes

Now that you've got your Big Green Egg smoker, you need some recipes! Here are several resources for recipes from grilling steaks, to smoking ribs to cooking pizza on your new grill. Enjoy!

Mmmm.... Ribs....

big green egg recipes
big green egg recipes

The Great Debate...

Which is your favorite type of grill... Charcoal or Gas?

See results

Don't Have a Big Green Egg Yet?

If you stumbled across this lens and you don't yet have a big green egg, head on over to the official Big Green Egg website where you can find a local dealer near you. Big green egg smokers are only sold through approved dealers, and you can't buy one online. While you're there, you might want to browse through the recipes and videos, or check out an upcoming big green egg event!

Disclosure

EbizTaxTips (Kristine McKinley) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com, endless.com, smallparts.com or myhabit.com.

Are You An Egghead? Share Your Big Green Egg Grilling Stories Here!

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • EbizTaxTips LM profile image
      Author

      EbizTaxTips LM 4 years ago

      @ellies lm: Thanks Ellies! If you like to smoke ribs, you should check it out. It's great for smoking and grilling...

    • profile image

      fatih-agri 4 years ago

      Great Griil my Friend

    • EbizTaxTips LM profile image
      Author

      EbizTaxTips LM 5 years ago

      @BarbaraCasey: Barbara - we do a lot of grilled veggies on our big green egg. I confess I don't do a whole lot of baking, but pizza on the bge is wonderful!

    • profile image

      ellies lm 5 years ago

      Great lens and info. I've never heard of the Big Green Egg.

    • xriotdotbiz lm profile image

      xriotdotbiz lm 5 years ago

      Yeah, I want one. I just caught season one of BBQ Pitmasters and they were featured throughout. The egg's really showed themselves when the weather went bad and other pitmasters were wrapping their smokers in blankets.

    • profile image

      BarbaraCasey 5 years ago

      I had never heard of an egg grill before. We don't eat much meat anymore, but I like the idea of an outdoor bake oven. Great info, thanks.

    • EbizTaxTips LM profile image
      Author

      EbizTaxTips LM 5 years ago

      @tssfacts: tssfacts - We love our big green egg and use it almost every day. We have a gas grill also but it doesn't get nearly the use the big green egg does.

    • EbizTaxTips LM profile image
      Author

      EbizTaxTips LM 5 years ago

      @t2000q: ;)

    • EbizTaxTips LM profile image
      Author

      EbizTaxTips LM 5 years ago

      @kevkev227 lm: I agree that the high-heat replacement gasket is a must. We use high heat a lot, although I don't recall at what temp our original gasket burned up...

    • kevkev227 lm profile image

      kevkev227 lm 5 years ago

      Great Lens! I am a proud egghead and owner of an x-large egg. If you want to cook pizza outside, there is nothing better---just like a brick oven in Italy! The only suggestion I have is to order the high-heat replacement gasket from Amazon. My original felt gasket burned up at around 650 degrees...if you want to cook with high heat, the replacement gasket will keep you going. On another note, I am thinking about purchasing one of the egg tables...any suggestions?

    • profile image

      t2000q 5 years ago

      no egg head here - am allergic to eggs

    • IQplusone profile image

      IQplusone 5 years ago

      Wow - nice lens. Thanks for sharing.

    • TheAverageOutdo profile image

      TheAverageOutdo 5 years ago

      Awesome!

    • profile image

      tssfacts 5 years ago

      Some really great information. It will help me to decide if this is the grilling "machine" for me.

    • FantasticVoyages profile image

      Fantastic Voyages 5 years ago from Texas

      I've never heard of the Green Egg Smoker. I use a regular charcoal grill/smoker several times a week. This might be a good investment. Thanks!

    • OHG LM profile image

      OHG LM 5 years ago

      our bge is about 15yo and going strong!

    • profile image

      cyberwizzard 5 years ago

      First time that I have seen one. Now I have to give it a try.

    • profile image

      halloweenprops 5 years ago

      Great info and lens!

    • sweetstickyrainbo profile image

      sweetstickyrainbo 5 years ago

      unique design

    • Markstuffnmore profile image

      Markstuffnmore 5 years ago

      I would like to see more pics of food cook on one of these!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      very cool indeed, I like neat gadgets like this, does so much to the food taste.

    • profile image

      RecipePublishing 6 years ago

      These were great

    • profile image

      blanckj 6 years ago

      I've never heard of this before. Very interesting.

    • EbizTaxTips LM profile image
      Author

      EbizTaxTips LM 6 years ago

      @ohcaroline: Thanks for the blessing!

    • profile image

      ohcaroline 6 years ago

      I came, I read, I liked what I saw. Have a Squid Angel Memorial Day Weekend Bus Tour blessing! :)

    • Mrmakingusmile LM profile image

      Mrmakingusmile LM 6 years ago

      Awesome lens. I learn something new everyday. Thanks for making me smile.

    • brutus1 lm profile image

      brutus1 lm 6 years ago

      Not and egghead yet...but have heard great things and appreciate all of the info!