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Discussion Starter #1
I know that a lot of you guys have Big Green Eggs. Also, I read TroutGeek's thread from last month where he just picked up an XL BGE. My step-son is thinking about getting one and, of course, his Mom (aka Sweetie!) would like to get him one for Christmas. And... I'm thinking about taking the plunge and getting one myself.

I have a 5 burner gas grill which I also use to smoke stuff on. It works as a smoker, although it's not necessarily ideal. He just moved into a new house (from a townhouse) and currently has no outdoor cooking apparatus.

Trying to figure out which size to get for both he and I. I'm usually in the "you can't go too big" camp (except when it comes to my belly size! :banghead: :laugh:) so I'm kind of leaning towards the XL.

So here are some "facts" that might influence your advice to me:
** Both households are childless (although we're patiently waiting on grandkids!)
** We live about 1.5 hours from each other, so it's not like we can just go down the street to use the other one's BGE :laugh:
** Ribs are a favorite of both households. Generally no more than 2-4 racks would be prepared at any given time, although we do have family gatherings.
** Sweetie loves chicken - mostly legs/thighs - I don't generally do whole birds on the grill, although I'm not opposed to it.
** I've recently been playing around with using pizza stones for homemade pizza, so that might be something else that I'd use the egg for.

Would the Large suffice, or should we just jump into the XL and be done with it? Does the XL use more fuel to get ready than the L? In other words, am I wasting charcoal with the XL?

What are the minimum "starter accessories" that I should get for the BGE? A "nest" on wheels? Racks? A starter bag of some special charcoal (or whatever you burn in these things :dunno:), etc.

I've got a local guy that is an authorized dealer. He knocks 10% off the retail price. Is that about normal or should I shop around?

Are they tough to assemble?

Am I missing anything obvious? Am I going to be the best step-dad in the world if I get him one? :laugh: (Although he and his wife had me officiate their wedding, so I'm not sure how much more "best" I can get after that! :bigthumb:)

Not to put any pressure on you guys, but I'd like to make a decision by Monday. The local guy says it takes "about a week" to get them in when he orders, so ordering on Monday will hopefully get it here by Dec. 25.

THANKS for all the advice that I know is heading my way!! You Big Green Tractor Guys are the BEST!
 

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:munch:Will be watching as I am interested in learning more about them also.
 

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I don’t have the big green egg but I have a nice similar style, I have a 12” pizza stone, at first I thought I wanted bigger, but as it turned out this is great. I can make “individual” pizzas since the girls and wife and myself seem to have different tastes.


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I know that a lot of you guys have Big Green Eggs. Also, I read TroutGeek's thread from last month where he just picked up an XL BGE. My step-son is thinking about getting one and, of course, his Mom (aka Sweetie!) would like to get him one for Christmas. And... I'm thinking about taking the plunge and getting one myself.

I have a 5 burner gas grill which I also use to smoke stuff on. It works as a smoker, although it's not necessarily ideal. He just moved into a new house (from a townhouse) and currently has no outdoor cooking apparatus.

Trying to figure out which size to get for both he and I. I'm usually in the "you can't go too big" camp (except when it comes to my belly size! :banghead: :laugh:) so I'm kind of leaning towards the XL.

So here are some "facts" that might influence your advice to me:
** Both households are childless (although we're patiently waiting on grandkids!)
** We live about 1.5 hours from each other, so it's not like we can just go down the street to use the other one's BGE :laugh:
** Ribs are a favorite of both households. Generally no more than 2-4 racks would be prepared at any given time, although we do have family gatherings.
** Sweetie loves chicken - mostly legs/thighs - I don't generally do whole birds on the grill, although I'm not opposed to it.
** I've recently been playing around with using pizza stones for homemade pizza, so that might be something else that I'd use the egg for.

Would the Large suffice, or should we just jump into the XL and be done with it? Does the XL use more fuel to get ready than the L? In other words, am I wasting charcoal with the XL?

I fretted this decision too, but I can absolutely say now GET THE XL! I am sooooo glad I did, I could not imagine using the smaller large now, especially for doing a big brisket or ribs.

It only "uses" charcoal when it's burning (obviously) but the major advantage of these type grills is the air control, you just shut all the vents when your done, the charcoal goes out quickly and cam be re-lit later for the next cook. Nothing is wasted.

What are the minimum "starter accessories" that I should get for the BGE? A "nest" on wheels? Racks? A starter bag of some special charcoal (or whatever you burn in these things :dunno:), etc.

For us it was the nest on wheels, the side shelves, the plate setter, and the ash cleanout tool. I have since added the pizza stone and cover.

I've got a local guy that is an authorized dealer. He knocks 10% off the retail price. Is that about normal or should I shop around?
They are pretty price-fixed, so 10% is a good deal.

Are they tough to assemble?
Not at all with two people. The Egg is HEAVY however but manageable.

Am I missing anything obvious?
Yes, some MEAT for it!

Am I going to be the best step-dad in the world if I get him one?
You would be to me! Especially if you got him the CyberQ Cloud from the BBQ Guru to go with it:lol:

:laugh: (Although he and his wife had me officiate their wedding, so I'm not sure how much more "best" I can get after that! :bigthumb:)

Not to put any pressure on you guys, but I'd like to make a decision by Monday. The local guy says it takes "about a week" to get them in when he orders, so ordering on Monday will hopefully get it here by Dec. 25.

THANKS for all the advice that I know is heading my way!! You Big Green Tractor Guys are the BEST!
See red above :munch:
 

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MiniMax for us

As a different viewpoint, we got the minimax for the two of us because
1) ‘we’ can lift it into/out of the truck when camping
2) can still do a small turkey for 4 plus grandkids
3) good tailgater if you do that (we dont)
4) less cost
5) it is portable (see 1 above)
6} great for pizza
 

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We don’t use ours ours for small meals LOL

50FBB6D2-CC46-4676-95B3-1EEED679089C.jpeg

747A6939-5BE3-4594-9A1E-1F21AAA95F5D.jpeg
 

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I guess to start,, HMMMMMM,,,, who is the charcoal cooking guy? :dunno:

If you have only cooked on propane,, sometimes it is impossible to transition to charcoal.
I am a transition,, I used propane for 20 years,, and have used Kingsford for the past 15 years.
I prefer charcoal, but, I know LOTS of people that swear I am crazy for using charcoal.

My grill of choice is a $19 Kingsford grill, and,,, I have zero interest in a BGE.
(my Kingsford grill is a Weber copy)
I use 300-500 pounds of charcoal a year. I do all the grill cooking.

My results make everybody so happy,,
the entire family cringes when I bring up the topic of a different grill,,,
"everybody" equals about 12 people, with some occasional guests.

You do not want to invest in a BGE, then have it set,, too much money invested not to use it.

So, my recommendation is the grillmaster get used to charcoal with a $20-30 grill,,,THEN,,
and only then, spend that much :gizmo: on a BGE,,,
 

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We have the medium BGE, mostly for the two of us. But we have used it for family parties and seems to work fine, although sometimes the large would be better for our use. It is easy to assemble, just some heavy pieces to maneuver into place.

The accessories we have:
Nest with wheels, handy if we want to move from the shop porch to the patio.
Folding side slat or the wooden folding tables mounted on each side of egg handle (whatever they are called)
"convEGGtor" for indirect heat and cooking. We would not be without this accessory.
For hamburger, we added a perforated grid to keep the burger from falling apart and into the fire.
Rib rack for our ribs. We also use the rib rack for roast. Just flip the rib rack over and let the handles become the legs.
The ash tool for cleaning out the ash tray.
The special grill handle tool.
The Green Egg lump coal. We have tried other brands, but seem their coal just lasts longer. After you're done cooking, shut your fire down by closing all vents and you will save on the leftover lump coal for the next cookout.

We have smoked several 15-18 lb. wild turkey using fresh cut hickory or apple wood.

Our favorites though are usually ribs.
Ribs slabs cut in half on the medium size BGE.
rib rack.jpg

We also cook up a dozen tenderloin on a nice day in Sept. or Oct. and then put them in the freezer. The wife reheats them and they last throughout the winter when we don't usually cook outside. IMO, I think they taste as good or even better when we do it this way.
Four tenderloins at a time fit on the medium size BGE.
tenderloin.jpg

Some ideas that may help. If we were to buy another one to replace the medium size, it would be the large size for us.
 

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I have the XL and the L. If I were to do it again, I would likely get 2 XL so my advice would be to go with the XL. It is not that much difference in price but the cooking area is a good bit more.

As for accessories, I would get the cleanout tool and the platesetter. I bought the cast iron platesetter as I had 2 of the ones made from the same material as the egg and they both cracked. You can always add the pizza stone if you want to make pizzas on it. I would also advise some mits so that you do not lose any hair on your arm if you forget to burp the egg before opening it fully, been there done that. I would also suggest an electric starter. They get the wood going pretty quickly and is ready to cook in less than 15 minutes.

I personally will never buy another grill of any kind unless it is another BGE.
 

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I have the large BGE, and have had it for about 10 years. I love it, especially for baby back ribs (see cook book for my recipe for ribs and my secret rub). I normally do not use it as for grilling, only smoking. It does have a few drawbacks, so I'll start with them.

I often cook for a crowd; maybe 20 to 50 people. It is too small for the most part; I can cook as many as 5 slabs of baby backs, which will feed 15 to 20 people. This should be plenty for average users, and most of the time I cook only for me and Sharn Jean, and maybe a couple of guests. I also have a Weber Smoky Mountain Smoker. It will cook just as well as the BGE, and is about 1/3 the cost. It is not as convenient (it has a water pan) and is a pain to clean up.

Heat control takes a bit of doing, so you do have to watch it, but they have a forced air device with a thermostat that they say works well.

I didn't care for the original cradle it was in, so I built a table for it out of cedar that works very well also.

I do have a couple of Weber grills that I use for steaks and burgers. I have cooked a cowboy steak (basically a small rib roast) on the BGE and it was excellent. You basically sear it on high heat, take it off until you lower the heat to about 250, and put it back on for another hour or so.

I would suggest that you purchase the Stainless Steel grate (well worth the $60 or so dollars) and the...I think they call it the place setter...a baffle used for indirect cooking. You will need it for a brisket; that's about all I use mine for. I like my ribs browned a bit, so I don't cook them indirect. Takes about 2 and 1/2 to 3 hours at 250 degrees. I also like to use Mesquite, Pecan and Blackjack Oak as my smoking wood.

I also purchased a device that accommodates another grate above the first one, and I use it for such things as Jalapeno poppers, brats and sausage. I also recommend the Weber charcoal chimney. I always use it for my BGE because it doesn't require charcoal lighter.
 

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We are doing four racks of ribs today, all the kids and a few other will be here. I wanted to show how much charcoal was left after the 18 hour big brisket cook on thanksgiving. I had the grill pretty loaded, but there is still enough for today’s 5 hour rib cook.

18D74BBC-EA43-4CBC-BA4A-247EED538F42.jpeg
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'd like to say a big [Bold]THANK YOU[/Bold] to all of you that chimed in! All of your replies were helpful! :bigthumb:

kadorken - I appreciate your perspective on the MiniMax. My stepson tailgates, but I can't see him taking the grill with him. And, I don't camp any more, but I'll bet you guys are the envy of the campgrounds when you have your BGE going!!

CADPlans - GREAT point with regards to converting from propane to charcoal. For the stepson, that's not a problem as he really hasn't been grilling all that long. He is also the type that will take the time to work with charcoal to get the results that he wants. For me, the want of the BGE is more about smoking rather than grilling things like hamburgers. Smoking is a time intensive activity anyway, so I think that something like the BGE will fit well with me. Once I get into it, I would probably start doing more "grilling" with it, especially with company.

Kenny - It's bad enough that you are among those guilty of getting me to spend more TRACTOR money! And then you post a link to that temperature control thingy to help me spend grill money!! :nunu: Sheesh! I don't stand a chance! That will be a "must have" if/when I buy my own BGE. :gizmo: The stepson can buy his own though. :laugh:

One final question - is the "place setter" and the "convEGGtor" the same thing?

Based on your input, I'm going to get him the XL and a Nest with wheels. I might also spring for a bag of charcoal and the ash tool for him as well. He can buy his own place setter. I'm going to get ahold of the local guy today to make sure he can get an XL here before Christmas. If not, there's another place north of me that does have them in stock. I'm still trying to decide if I want to get one for me now or wait a bit. I'll let y'all know what I decide.

THANKS AGAIN for all your input!!
 

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Good call Mark:thumbup1gif:

Yes the plate setter and the convEGGator are the same.

Sorry about the link to the CyberQ :hide:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Sorry about the link to the CyberQ :hide:
I forgive you. :angel: :laugh:



Actually, I told Sweetie about the CyberQ last night. She said "Oh, Chris will definitely want to buy that!" :laugh:
 

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Sorry for being late to the show here. I started with a large, and the only time I ran out of room was for large spatchcocked turkeys. You can cook vertically (in tiers), so there's more space than what appears. If you don't want to spend extra on an XL, the large is more than sufficient, but get the XL if you can. Get, at minimum, a heat diffuser (plate setter), and I really like the handler/nest combination. The mates are handy if you don't have nearby counter space. You may also consider a Kick Ash Basket for easy charcoal removal. I think the next most important accessory is a good instant-read thermometer (e.g. Thermapen). Maybe look into a Smobot or DigiQ Guru type device for easy overnight cooks.

When it comes to lump charcoal, any lump will work. Some of the better ones are Fogo, Rockwood, Wicked Good Weekend Warrior. Many people like Royal Oak (who also make the BGE brand -- pretty much the same stuff). Many people stay away from Cowboy. Google "Naked Whiz". He has extensive lump charcoal reviews, recipes, and good all around information concerning kamado grilling. Paella pan -- get a paella pan, and look up the paella recipes on the Naked Whiz site. Excellent stuff.

Stay away from lighter fluid. Turn the band bolts until they bend. Have fun and post your cooks. There are many very informative egger sites. Check out the Big Green Egg site on Facebook.
 

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Looks like everyone covered just about everything. The only thing I can add is to go against the grain and recommend the large. We were a family of 6 when the kids were growing up and now they've all added significant others and the large is still enough. I have never needed an XL
 

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Another thought. I prefer to cook my ribs "flat", which enables me to brown them a bit. However, I can cook as many as 5 slabs with the Weber rib rack, and that's what I use when I cook that many. Here's another one for the FWIW department; my experience with the ceramic covered grates and racks and other ceramic covered paraphernalia has been dismal. They tend to flake off after awhile, so I use the stainless steel versions when I can afford them; otherwise I use the Nickel plated stuff.
 

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Here are a few pics of various cooks on the large.

Baby back ribs using three tiers. Sorry. The first pic looks a little pale, but shows the three tiers.
BBRibs.jpg
BBRibs2.jpg

Briskets using two tiers:
Brisket1.jpg
Brisket2.jpg

Butts using two tiers:
Butts.jpg

An upside-down paella. Cooked raised direct. Hmmm. Well, you get what you pay for.
I prefer to cook paella on the large, because it's an open grilled cook until the very end. I feel that the large is easier to control the temp when cooking with the top open. Less oxygen to the coals perhaps.
Paella.jpg

Just to throw in the XL -- a 20lb spatchcocked turkey. Cooked raised direct. Plenty of space in the XL. Not so much in the large.
Turkey.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #20
THANKS for the additional posts! Even more good info for me! :bigthumb:

I called the local guy yesterday morning and ordered TWO XL's. Also got the Nest with wheels and the Place Setter for both of them. :gizmo::laugh: Writing a check to the guy to save him some credit card fees. So he's giving me a 13% discount, two bags of charcoal and two ash tools! I'm pretty happy. He swears they'll be here before Christmas.

I'm hoping I have a few days before Christmas to try a few things on it first. If it goes well, I'm hoping to do a brisket (or maybe ribs) for Christmas Eve. My plan is to show it to the step son and tell him what a great gift his mom got for me. At some point I'll let him know there's one with his name on it as well! :good2: We got them a Yeti cooler last year and he went crazy! Looking forward to seeing his reaction with the BGE!

Troutgeek - is the paella pan an actual BGE accessory. Sweetie is half Puerto Rican so we're all about a good paella! That was actually what was on the menu for Christmas Eve until I ordered the BGEs.

Thanks again for all the info!! I'm looking forward to posting up some hopefully good results!
 
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