7 Tips for Cooking Success
Sometimes there are items out in the marketplace that receive so much hype and can't deliver on the word-of-mouth that's pushed them forward.
Then there are times, such as with the Big Green Egg Grill, where the hype doesn't do it enough justice!
Seriously, what's better than having any savory meat that you purchase grilled and smoked to perfection? Nothing!
The Big Green Egg charcoal grill will revolutionize the way you grill and have your family and friends begging for a cookout every Sunday for the big game.
There are, however, some things you should note before starting it up for the first time.
There are several tips to consider when it comes to the Big Green Egg grill.
Not sure that the BGE is going to be right for you? Scroll through our article, Big Green Egg vs. Kamado Joe Grill, for a complete comparison of both grills. Also, check out our article on the Vision vs. the Big Green Egg to see how those two grills stack up against each other!
1. Always close the lid while cooking.
The revolutionary design of the Big Green Egg is specifically meant to grill with the lid closed for almost the entire duration of the cooking process. Unless you're checking in on the meat, make sure the lid is fully closed while cooking.
There are several key reasons why you won't want to lift the lid any more than 3 times while cooking.
First off, watching something cook on a grill is like waiting for a piece of bread to toast... it will feel like a decade before the job is done. You’ll get in your head about it, and will be much more likely to overcook or undercook the meat. If you’re looking to cook the perfect Big Green Egg Pizza, an appropriate and consistent temperature is key to success.
Secondly, the Big Green Egg's shape and ventilation system are specifically designed to control the temperature inside of it, so there's no need for you to self-regulate it.
Lastly, the smoke from this particular grill is a big reason for its signature taste and texture. There's a big payoff in store for those grillers out there that let the Big Green Egg temperature control take the lead.
Photo by Brian Kimble on Unsplash
2. Don't EVER use lighter fluid.
When using the Big Green Egg, you'll want to get the full effect of natural cooking over smoke and fire. Don’t EVER use lighter fluid on that grill!
The best way to get that fire going is with a fire starter cube that you place among 4-5 pounds of charcoal at the bottom of the grill.
The entire grill will act as a perfect filter system for the smoke; it can regulate the smoke so that you don't have to. The grill’s specialty components are of the many perks to having a Big Green Egg in the first place!
Whatever you do, never use lighter fluid to start the fire. This particular grill design isn't meant to have a fire kickstarted in that way.
3. Keep the lid closed when you aren't using it.
One of the most important aspects of successfully using a Big Green Egg grill is providing consistent upkeep to it.
Keeping the inside of the egg dry is crucial to maintaining its integrity. Be sure to keep the lid closed at all times when it's not in use.
If any rain or water were to get into it, the egg will wear down faster than normal, and will also produce a less-desired finish to the meat that you grill.
4. Use a proper "check-in" technique.
Even though you're going to want to keep the lid closed as much as possible while the egg is cooking, it's also important to check in once or twice during the cooking process.
However, there is a proper technique to check-ins that serves to a) keep as much smoke in the grill as possible and b) not get a huge wave of heat to your face.
Each time you plan on opening the lid, start by tilting it up a few inches to provide a small opening for the heat to escape, then close it again.
Do that a 1-2 more times before opening the lid completely, and you'll be able to eye your grilling safely and efficiently.
One of the great things about a Kamado grill is that the vents allow you to properly control the temperature for extended periods of time, even when you’re not watching it. It’s a perfect solution for grilling in the winter.
5. Slow and steady wins the race.
A common grilling mistake when using the egg is to let the meat grill at as high a temperature as you possibly can.
For one, if you cook too high on your first use, you'll risk damaging the inside of the egg and the coating inside. Fire up the grill a few times before grilling at extremely high temperatures.
Secondly, it's best practice to gauge and maintain your desired temperature. It's almost guaranteed that your preferred temp won't be any higher than 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
When you grill at temperatures that are too high, you burn away all the complex flavors that are waiting for you at lower temperatures. For example, some of the most underrated seasonings of all time only really bring out the fullest flavor at lower temperatures.
Photo by Nastya Kvokka on Unsplash
6. Use wood to boost the smokey flavor.
Looking to optimize the smokey flavor of the Big Green Egg? Of course you are! The flavor of Big Green Egg recipes is probably a huge reason that you bought the grill in the first place.
You want to optimize that smokey flavor on your Big Green Egg Brisket! We love homemade BBQ sauce as much as the next person, but you definitely don’t want to need it!
The best way to get as much smokiness as possible is to add a few pieces of hardwood on top of the charcoal that you use, not in place of it.
Stack those pieces of wood on the grill from the start so that the entirety of the grilling process has smoke from both the coal and wood. It'll create a flavor you simply can't get anywhere else! A Kick Ash Basket is ideal for holding both coal and wood so that smaller pieces fall through to your ash can.
A smokey flavor also suits meals like Big Green Egg ribs and Big Green Egg smoked turkey.
7. Clean the egg before storage and first use of the year.
When it is your first time using the Big Green Egg, be sure to wipe it down with a dry paper towel to ensure cleanliness while keeping the inside dry. Don't use a wet towel!
Also, you'll want to make sure to do the same before you store it for the winter and right before you break it out for the first time each spring and summer.
The grilling experience will be more consistent from year to year if you don't allow things like ash to build up in it. Proper cleaning is essential to preventing ash buildup, but you should also look to invest in a Kick Ash Can to make cleaning even easier.
It's time to bust out the Big Green Egg grill!
Now that you know several key things to look out for, it's time for your first experience grilling with the Big Green Egg Grill!
Be sure to read this article on my favorite EggFest for insight into the grilling world that you're now a part of as an Egg owner.
For more inquiries, please reach out via our contact form, and we'll be happy to talk with you further!