Despite the title, we’re not talking about Dr. Seuss with his green eggs and ham. Instead, we mean the Big Green Egg cooker, and if you haven’t heard of it, it’s time to sit up straight and pay attention. This cooker is one of the most respected ceramic cooking systems on the market and guaranteed to change your outdoor cooking get-togethers for the better.
There’s no denying the taste difference in food that’s cooked inside a closed dome grill like the Egg versus an open one. This is no knock on grilling, but cooking in this format results in a completely different result, and millions of closed dome cooking fans seem to agree.
The heat insulation and durability is thanks to the tireless work that Ed and company put in. Big Green Egg is now the largest producer of ceramic style cookers, and feature seven different sizes to choose from. With representation in fifty-plus countries, these grills are a talking piece and an eating extravaganza rolled up into one green, extraordinary cooker.
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Which One is Best For You?
In total, there are seven models to choose from:
- MINI Big Green Egg – The smallest of the bunch, the MINI is the perfect complement for impromptu picnics. You can take this unit literally anywhere, and the MINI can easily handle a steak, a couple of pork chops, and a couple of chicken breasts. Feeding up to four people is a snap with this tidy offer, and a generous cooking area of seventy-nine square inches for its size is equally impressive.
- MiniMax Big Green Egg – One step up is the MiniMax. This unit comes equipped with a handy carrier. Tailgating is ideal with the MiniMax as it can accommodate a twelve-pound turkey, two steaks, a rack of ribs, and four burgers. You’ve got the whole family easily covered, and with a best-in-class lifetime warranty, there is nothing not to like.
- Small Big Green Egg – Similar to the MiniMax, but designed to move less frequently, the Small Egg is a popular seller for folks with balconies or smaller patios. This particular size can accommodate one rack of ribs, two steaks, four burgers, and even a twelve-pound turkey. Getting hungry? A 133 square inch cooking surface will do that!
- Medium Big Green Egg – We’re now getting into some serious outdoor cooking territory. You can bump up from one rack of ribs to four, and complement that with four steaks, three chickens set vertically, six burgers, and a nice size turkey – eighteen pounds to be exact. Friends and family will be impressed with this green dome, no doubt about it.
- Large Big Green Egg – Naturally, when you kick it up from medium to large, that turkey also increases in weight. The Large Egg fits a twenty-pound turkey, twelve burgers, six chickens, eight steaks, and seven racks of ribs. This is a serious cook-out, one reserved for only your closest pals. There will be enough food for everyone with its 262 square inches of cooking area.
- XLarge Big Green Egg – You might not have been the most popular kid in your graduating class, or even the most handsome. But you can now make up for all that by throwing an epic reunion with the XLarge Egg as your centerpiece grilling tool. You’ll need to invite the whole class, but with this grill twelve racks of ribs, twenty-four burgers, eleven chickens, twelve steaks, and two, 20-pound turkeys can be easily managed. This one’s for the big boys and girls.
- 2XL Big Green Egg – We’ve officially arrived at the granddaddy of them all. We’re getting into the catering realm here, an Egg capable of some rather astounding achievements; some online reviewers claim to have roasted a suckling pig with this grill. With 672 square inches of cooking space, we don’t doubt it. The 2XL can effortlessly whip out thirty-five to forty burgers, eighteen to twenty steaks, sixteen whole chickens, and twenty racks of ribs. At 375 pounds, this Egg isn’t going anywhere.
When to Replace Big Green Egg Gasket
The gasket is responsible for keeping air out and keeping smoke in your cooker. If the gasket isn’t functioning properly, then your Egg can’t do its job. There are a couple of ways to tell if your gasket needs replacing; the first is to fire her up and take notice if the smoke exits from the top vent – the daisy wheel. If you notice smoke seeping through the bottom, for example, that’s a sure-fire sign you’ve got a gasket issue on your hands.
Second, try dialing the temperature to 225 degrees. If you’ve got the draft vent cracked and the daisy wheel on but are still having issues, then air is seeping in. And third, the eye test. Take a look at the gasket. If it’s worn, cracked, or has pieces missing, you know it’s time for a new one.
Typically, a replacement gasket is needed every four years or so. With that said, the Egg will continue to operate with a worn gasket. But you’ll need to make sure you go easy on the lid by closing it softly, and maintaining lower temperatures will be more of a challenge. To replace the gasket, you don’t need much.
Any do-it-yourself type can manage this process. Go down to the hardware store and pick up acetone, a scraper, rubber gloves, and a gasket kit – any brand will do. You’ll use your scraper to begin removing the old gasket. A drywall blade is also nice to have handy to remove the more stubborn areas. Then apply the acetone, and this should take care of the remaining residue.
Next, most gasket kits come with instructions on how to lay them. It’s rather self-explanatory – once it’s set, grab a piece of cardboard and press it on the gasket all the way around. This will help in uniformly sealing the gasket. And finally, let the gasket sit with the lid open for an hour or so. Once this is done, close the lid and wait 24 hours before using your grill.
Click here to buy your Big Green Egg gasket kit.
Can a Big Green Egg be Left Outside?
A common question in the Egg community is whether they can be left outside. The short answer – yes. These grills are sturdy components and can resist a shower, uncovered. If you’re the kind of guy or gal who likes to cook in the rain, you’ll need to keep an eye on the dome temperature.
When you’re not cooking, you can also leave it out in the elements. Many comments online point to folks living in some pretty harsh environments (Indianapolis winters, Texas summers, etc.). They also praise the grill’s ability to “weather” all elements and emerge strong and ready to cook with the best of them. But with that said, protecting your grill is not a bad idea.
There are more crafty solutions to covering involving tarp and plastic contraptions, and while they work just fine, they’re a bit of an eye-sore. You can find some exceptional professional covers that look great and do all the heavy lifting. So if you’d rather play it safe and keep your Egg nicely sheltered, you’ll want to go with a genuine Big Green Egg cover.
What is the Big Green Egg Plate Setter, And Do You Need One?
EGGcessories are collection pieces unto themselves. Designed to add even more value to your Egg, the plate setter (also known as the convEGGtor) transforms your grill into a convection oven.
In the BBQ world, there’s direct and indirect heat. Direct heat will sear meats, providing those nice grill lines to hamburgers or the crispy skin to chicken. Indirect heat cooks meats and vegetables in a slow, methodical fashion. The design of the convEGGtor, in parallel with the Egg’s thermal properties, allows the grill’s heat to cook meats slowly and prevents the flames from rising up and directly searing your food.
The plate setter is exceptionally versatile, so much so that you can even bake a pizza with it. Everything from ribs to briskets, chicken, and roasts turn out incredibly tasty with this plate setter. It’s a must-have accessory if you’re looking for a way to add extra capabilities to your Egg, while giving you more options for recipes.
You can buy the plate setter here.
To Sum it Up…
The most difficult decision you’ll make is not whether to buy one, but which one to purchase. Available in seven distinct sizes, these Eggs have everyone covered no matter your cooking plans. They’re perfect for camping, cooking on the balcony, prepping for a family reunion, or even using the 2XL version for your budding catering service.
After purchasing one, do make sure to care for it. While they can withstand harsh climates, a cover is still best. You’ll also want to keep an eye on the gasket, especially once the four-year mark rolls around.
Finally, don’t be afraid to invest in some Big Green Egg accessories. They add new possibilities to your cooking experience and are made especially for Egg owners. And as everyone knows, once you’ve been bitten by the Egg craze, there’s no going back.
Check out BBQ Grill Mats next to learn about this awesome tool that works with any grill.