Friday, December 30, 2011


I really wanted to try and make a brisket for Christmas day. I realize that you should never make something you've never tried when guests are coming, but I decided to gamble. 

I started with a whole "packer brisket" from the local Sam's Club. My local grocer sells this variety on occasion, but Sam's is much more reasonable. The brisket I picked was 12.45 pounds.

I could have marinated or brined it prior to using a dry rub, but I didnt have the time. Here is how I did it:

I removed the brisket from the plastic and coated liberally with dry rub. The recipe is:

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
2 teaspoons dry mustard
2 teaspoons ground cumin
While the brisket was coming to room temperature with the rub, I completely cleaned out the Big Green Egg. This meant removing the fire ring and fire box. I wanted to make sure that there was nothing restricting the airflow. To build the fire, I started with larger pieces of lump and kept adding pieces by hand till the lump was at the top of the fire box. I placed a few handfuls of lump in the chimney starter (half full) and fired it up. After about 15 minutes the chimney starter was ready and i dumped the burning lump in a circular pattern. The goal was to hav ethe fire burn slowly and continuosly. I added the plate setter, drip pan and grate and stabilized the temperature at 250 degrees.

I inserted my wireless thermometer and put the brisket on the grill. Since we were planning on eating the next day around noon, I put the brisket on at 8:15 at night. The egg seemed stable so i set an alarm on the thermometer and went to bed around midnight. Unfortunately for me, the wireless thermometer couldn't reach the bedroom and was having technical difficulties. Since I didn't have a plan B, I set an alarm for every 1.5 - 2 hours to wake up and check the fire. I hate waking up like that so that was the most difficult part of the cook. Sometime in the middle of the night, it started to rain. I was worried the egg would have issue, but it stayed on temperature like a champ. i had to adjust the vents slightly, but I was impressed by how well it maintained temperature.

After about 14.5 hours, the brisket was 195 degrees. I took it off, let it rest over an hour (guests weren't here yet), then sliced it. I may have messed up the whole against the grain cutting, but I loved it. This is by far the best brisket I have ever made.

I love my Big Green Egg. Here are the pictures:

Whole packer cut brisket

Rub added and waiting to go on the egg

After 14.5 hours, it is finally done

Ready for slicing


It was tender and tasted great

Food Porn

Sometimes I forget to fully document the items i cook on my BGE. Here are some random pictures of items I have made:



Garlic shrimp and bacon wrapped shrimp - before

Shrimp - After
Sausage stuffed jalapenos - before




Saturday, October 8, 2011

Steaks on the Big Green Egg

The versatility of the Big Green Egg is one of the best things about this cooker. I can sear steaks at nearly 800 degrees, or cook pulled pork at 250 degrees for 20 hours. This post will focus on the amazing steaks that I have cooked using my egg.

Regardless of what type of steak you pick, this method should work. I am partial to ribeyes, but use whatever you like.

You need to get the fire as hot as possible for this cooking method.

1. Top the firebox with fresh lump.

2. Open the bottom vent, light a fire starter and walk away (leave the top open).

3. After about 10-15 minutes, you should have some of the lump ready. Close the top, make sure the top vent is completely open (no daisy wheel, just open) and walk away.

4. This is the tough part. Your egg may heat up incredible quickly, or take 30 minutes depending on various things. 750-800 degrees is what you're looking for.


1. I use a fork or other item to pierce holes on the top and bottom of my steaks. This may seem like sacrilege, but I like it. I think it helps some of the flavoring to get into the meat.

2. Once the meat is thoroughly poked, I add liquid smoke, worcestershire sauce and sprinkle with McCormick Montreal Steak Seasoning. I coat both sides and rub the seasoning into the meat with a fork.

3. Allow the steaks to come to room temperature while your egg is heating.

4. When the egg is 750-800 degrees you need to use an abundance of caution when opening the lid. High temperature gloves are a must. Make sure and "burp" the grill prior to opening to avoid backdrafts.

5. Put the steaks on the grill and shut the lid. After 1.5-2 minutes (depending on thickness), open the egg (use caution) and flip the steaks.

6. After another 1.5-2 minutes, open the egg (use caution) and flip again. Shut the bottom vent and the top vent (use the rain cover) and allow the steaks to cook for an additional 1-1.5 minutes (depending on thickness).

7. Here's where it gets interesting. Do not just open the egg. You will experience hair removal from any exposed limbs. Open the bottom vent all the way, remove the rain cover and listen. You should hear what sounds like a jet engine starting. After that, burp the grill and the steaks are done.

8. Allow your steaks to rest at least 10 minutes.

9. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: I should mention that my method for cooking steaks is based on the T-Rex method as learned from the Naked Whiz Blog.

Here is the perfect steak cooking temerature

Prime ribeye prior to cooking
Prime ribeyes after cooking. These may have been the best steaks i ever cooked

Bone in ribeyes

Seasoned prior to cooking

After cooking

Baked Potatoes on the Big Green Egg

Baking potatoes on the egg is very easy. All it takes is potatoes, foil, olive oil, salt and pepper.

1. Preheat the egg to 450 degrees.

2. Wash your potatoes. Make sure to lightly rub the skin while under the water to remove any loose dirt.

3. Dry your potatoes.

4. Tear off potato wrapping sized sections of aluminum foil. Lie the potatoes on the foil.

5. Pour a small amount of olive oil on the potato and rub to coat completely.

6. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper and wrap completely with the foil.

7. Put the potatoes on the egg. After the first 30 minutes, flip the potatoes. This will give them somewhat crispy skin all around. After an hour, the potatoes should be ready. Carefully open the foil and pierce with a knife. If the knife goes in easy, and slides out easily, they're ready.

8. Remove from the egg and enjoy!

 Here is the potato prior to cooking.
 Wrapped potatoes

The finished product

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Country Style Pork Ribs on the Big Green Egg

I have fond memories of going to my parents house to swim while my dad grilled some country style ribs on his barrel smoker. They tasted so good and were so flavorful. Little did I know they weren't actually ribs at all, but strips of pork shoulder. You know pork shoulder, right? Boston butt, picnic roast, or whatever you call it turns out great when cooked low and slow. This is what ends up being pulled pork. Anyway, theses country style ribs had bones and were cooked in about two-three hours. I would have liked to go a bit longer, but the thermometer said they were ready. Here is what I did:

1. Place the ribs on a large sheet pan. Coat completely with rub (recipe to follow). Allow to come up to room temperature while the egg heats.

2. Light the egg and maintain a temperature of 250-300 degrees. The egg should be set up for indirect grilling. I use a plate setter inverted with a drip pan and the grill on top. If you want a smoky flavor, place some hickory chunks in with the lump charcoal.

3. Insert your probe thermometer inside one of the ribs. I use a dual probe thermometer with wireless receiver.

4. Place the ribs on the grill and shut the cover. Since I use a wireless thermometer i just set a high temperature alarm and watched some football (Go Saints!). 

5. When the internal temperature reached around 175, I opened the grill and brushed the ribs with BBQ sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray's Honey BBQ, but you can use whatever you like). After basting, I let the ribs cook another 15 minutes and shut down the grill.

The grill hovered in the 275 degree range, and the ribs were 175 degrees internal temperature after around 2-2.5 hours. I would have preferred to cook them longer and at a lower temperature, but we needed to eat. 

The ribs turned out great. They were juicy, flavorful and had the consistency of a pork chop. One problem with these was the bones. Because they were cut from the shoulder, the bones were not consistent. Some had no bones where as others were mostly bone. Even with this mior imperfection, I loved it. I cant wait to try this recipe again.

Here is the recipe for the dry rub:

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon cayenne (eliminate if you don't want it spicy)
2 teaspoons dry mustard
2 teaspoons ground cumin

Combine all of the ingredients in a glass or plastic jar. Shake to combine. If there are any lumps from the sugar, break them up prior to using. This is my standard rub. I use it on ribs, pork shoulder and brisket.

 Lighting the grill with a paraffin starter.

 I open the bottom vent all the way while starting the fire.

 The coals are started, now it is time to set up, and close the cover.
 Plate setter upside down, with drip pan and grill on top.
 I left the daisy wheel opened while getting to temperature.
 Once at temperature, i slid the bottom vent closed this much to maintain 250-300 degrees.
 When I shut the grill this was the internal grill temperature.
 Sometimes you need to adjust the vents if the temperature gets too high.
 The hickory smoke smelled great.
 The perfect temperature is achived.
 Maintaining temperature

 I had to close the vent a bit more to maintain temperature.
 It started to drizzle so I need a method of waterproofing my thermometer. Redneck engineering at its finest.

 The ribs, post sauce and right before they were removed. Very tasty.

Hot Dogs

Hot dogs are not what one thinks of when they think of the Big Green Egg. Is it worth lighting the grill just took cook hot dogs? I think so. They are actually one of the easiest things I have cooked so far. Here is the recipe:

1. Light the BGE and bring the temperature to 400 degrees. Make sure the egg is set for direct cooking.

2. Place the hot dogs directly on the grate and close the egg. (use whatever hot dogs you like. I used cheap, but good Bryan Juicy Jumbos)

3. Close the lid and cook for two minutes. After two minutes, open the grill (watch for flashbacks) and flip the dogs.

4. Cook another two minutes and check. If they are all ready, you're done. If not, flip again and wait about 1.5 minutes and they should be done.

5. Remove from egg, shut down the fire and enjoy. I like mine with mustard, ketchup, relish, onions and chili.

 The hot dogs as they went on the grill.
 I told you it was worth it.
Check out the glow of the fire.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Ribeyes on the Big Green Egg

For my second meal on the BGE, I decided on ribeyes. Rouse's had a sale on the bone in variety, so I picked up a pack, and added some corn (in husks) and potatoes to throw on the egg.

For the corn and potatoes I knew that I would need a different temperature than for the steaks. I decided on 350-375 based on the BGE DVD recipe. I soaked the corn for an hour prior to griling. For the potatoes I rubbed them with olive oil, salt and pepper then wrapped them in foil. I used a mixture of liquid smoke and worcestershire sauce as a marinade for the steaks. Once that was on, I loaded them with Montreal steak seasoning. I let them sit, at room temperature about 30 minutes prior to cooking

This was my first attempt at regulating temperature on the egg. I topped off the firebox with fresh lump (on top of what was left from my first experience), and dropped in a paraffin starter. To get the fire going, I opened the bottom vent all the way and lifted the top. In ten minutes I had a fire going so I shut the lid and worked on getting it to 375.

This was the hard part. I had to try out different settings of the bottom vent and top daisy wheel. I ended up finding a happy medium with the daisy wheel opened and the bottom vent open about 2 inches. Once the temperature was set I added the corn and potatoes.

I decided to sit outside, drink a beer and watch the temperature. I find that an ice cold beer helps when monitoring temperature. I chose a Newcastle which went perfectly with the 90 degree outdoor temperature.

Because this was only the second meal I made on my egg, I probably opened the egg too much. Every 15 minutes or so I opened the top and flipped. The temperature would drop each time I opened it which probably increased cooking time. After about an hour everything was ready so I moved on to the steaks.

Getting the BGE to maximum temperature is easy. Doing so without losing any arm hair is not, unless you take precaution. It is very easy to burn yourself without gloves and/or long tongs. Since I had just cooked with the bottom vent partially opened, I moved it to the fully opened position and opened the slider on the daisy wheel. In a matter of minutes the egg was at 750 degrees.

I seared the steaks with the top closed for one minute per side. Once both sides were seared, I flipped it again and shut the bottom vent and put the rain cap on top. I let the steaks sit for a minute and a half and removed them from the grill. The steaks were cooked rare to medium rare and were amazing. This cooker makes one hell of a steak.

The potatoes and corn was a great addition to this meal. You cannot beat corn or potatoes on the grill.

I should mention that once I was done cooking i shut the bottom vent and installed the rain cap. This puts the fire out, but because the egg is so efficient, it remains hot for hours. When we went to sleep two hours after dinner, the egg was still around 200 degrees and was hot to the touch.

After only the second try, I am in love with this cooker.

Next up...... BBQ chicken leg quarters

 I maintained this temperature for about an hour while cooking the corn and potatoes.
 The steaks are marinating. They aren't very thick, but were pre-packaged and on sale.
 Temperature monitoring assistance.
Taken right before it reached the ideal searing temperature.

My First Meal on the BGE

I didn't know what I should try and cook on my BGE for the first meal. This cooker can cook low and slow or super fire inferno hot, so what was I to do? Since most of my cooking experience was on a gas grill I didn't really want to ruin some expensive meat so i opted for hamburgers.

The BGE is not hard to use once you figure it out. It is especially easy when you're making your fire get as hot as possible. For the burgers, I followed a recipe I found on the BGE site ( The recipe seemed simple enough. Get the egg to super hot temperature, two minutes a side, then shut it down and let the meat cook for another 3-5 minutes.

It seemed simple, but was one hell of a lesson in how hot this thing can get. Since the grill grate is set down into the egg, you have to reach over it to flip the burgers. I can tell you that gloves should be worn when doing this. I learned the hard way and removed approximately 1/4 of the hair on my arm. Hair smoke does not add anything to the flavor of the meat.

Another important lesson I learned from the DVD and online was to "burp" the grill when cooking at high heat. While the vents are closed there is no oxygen getting to the fire. If you just fling the top open, whammo, a giant flame can erupt. I opened both top and bottom events after three minutes and smoke began poring out if the top. I burped the grill by slowly raising the lid and saw a large flashback in the grill. Thankfully I didnt just sling the top open or I may have lost more arm hair.

The burgers had a great taste, but were overcooked. We like our burgers medium and these were more like well done. I still enjoyed them, but will tweak my recipe next time with less time sitting in the closed grill.

I am glad that I did burgers first. I learned some valuable lessons that helped with future cooks and got a feel for the grill. Up next...ribeyes, corn and baked potatoes.

 Here is the firebox filled with BGE natural lump charcoal (Note the two paraffin starters).
The paraffin starters were very easy to light and were more convenient than a chimney starter.

My New Big Green Egg

I finally decided to go ahead and buy a Big Green Egg. For years I have heard how wonderful these cookers were and kept putting of the purchase due to the price.

These cookers aren't cheap. I purchased the large model for $789 from Outdoor Living Center in Covington, La. That price only included the cooker, but I added a plate setter (for indirect grilling), a 20 lb. bag of BGE lump charcoal, BGE fire starters and a bag of mesquite for smoking. The total was a little under $1000 with tax.

The BGE is heavy. My version weighs approximately 140 lbs. Luckily I have a truck. Once home I watched the DVD that came with the egg. The DVD contained lots of good information including an excellent tutorial in assembly. It took about 30 minutes to assemble, but most of that time was spent going in and out to re-watch the DVD and searching for tools.

I built a temporary home for my egg with four cinder blocks and an 18" patio stone. Several stands and nests (rolling stand) were available, but since I will be building an outdoor kitchen, I opted for the cheap temporary kind.

Future posts will detail my cooking experience and any useful knowledge I gain.

Here is my BGE on the homemade and temporary stand. In the background is my worn out Char Broil grill.