The Big Green Egg (BGE) is a charcoal barbecue: the manufacturers recommend lump wood charcoal because alternatives such as charcoal briquettes contain many additives that can contaminate the flavor of the food. The sealed design of the grill results in a slow burn that uses small amounts of charcoal compared to a regular grill, and lump wood charcoal also creates little ash.
Big Green Eggs can be used for smoking or grilling and with the addition of accessories can bake bread or cook a pizza. Big Green Eggs are manufactured in five sizes with the largest being able to cook two 20-pound turkeys, 24 burgers, 11 whole chickens, 12 steaks or 14 racks of ribs vertically.
In addition to the outer ceramic shell there is draft opening to provide air to the ceramic firebox in the base of the unit. There is a daisy wheel damper unit on the top to give air flow control and therefore temperature regulation. An accessory called a plate setter can be placed above the firebox: this prevents direct cooking of the food when using the unit as a smoker. Between the base and the lid is a gasket made of felt that maximises moisture retention during long cookouts.
The BGE is available in the UK from a network of authorised resellers or online from the company website
The Big Green Egg is commonly referred to as a Kamado because of the origins of the basic design that lie in southern Japan. We're pleased to be joined by Big Green Egg guru Nic Williams (AKA VernTheVan) who is on hand to offer advice and share his recipes.
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