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 (http://www.biggreenegg.com/johnny.html). 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.