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.