I've been getting lots of requests for a Big Green Egg update! We are still adjusting to it - it's pretty amazing how it holds heat, and how easy the heat is to control. It's so efficient, in fact, that you sometimes forget how efficient it is, and end up overcooking things. Not us, of course - we would never overcook anything. ever. ahem...
So far, I think the biggest lesson we've learned is the dryness of the charcoal makes a huge difference in the outcome of the product. We've been using lump hardwood only, and even if the charcoal looks and feels completely dry and light, if it has rained recently, the charcoal will produce a ton of smoke. If the charcoal is brand new, and just came home from inside the grocery store, the charcoals will light with ease and there will be almost no smoke. So this pretty much means we will have more smoky dinners than we will have non-smoky ones.
All of the meat products which have come off the grill have had great flavor, even if they've been overcooked and are a little dry. I haven't had a ton of luck yet with vegetables; they've end up too smoky.
Today we had our first true success, I think. I suppose I should say Husband had his first success, because I did nothing but ate the delicious results.
The amazing thing about the BGE is the vent system which allows really great control over the heat. There is a vent under the fire and the chimney top of the egg has a daisy wheel vent; vent the top just a sliver, and you can hold the temperature at 225 for hours and hours - I think we've had it going 8 hours at least on just one small pile of charcoal.
The use of charcoal has been another learning curve. With any previous grill, you just dumped the charcoal in and that was that. The egg actually doesn't want a ton of charcoal. Only a single layer is necessary, and not even a solid layer at that. There has to be a good amount of air flow all around the charcoal, especially moving vertically.
So far, we have not tried baking anything - we really need to get the heat diffusing insert. I cannot wait to try pizza, and a reader asked me the other day if I had tried pies yet - a friend of hers bakes really great pies in her BGE, apparently! Imagine how great a nice apple pie would taste with just a touch of smoky flavor.
Our best successes with the BGE have been fatty pork products (not too surprisingly), such as pork shoulder. The "bark" on the outside of the shoulder when it comes in from the egg is amazing, and the meat inside is always delicious, even, as I've said, if overcooked.
So, what's next? Why, my very own bacon, of course!!
This post has been brought to by the Hamilton Parker Company, they sell Big Green Eggs!!