Big Green Egg XLarge Ceramic Cooker
Big Green Egg XLarge Ceramic Cooker
For many, the Big Green Egg is the Weber of Kamados. They introduced Kamado cookers to the USA and are often viewed as the industry standard. The XLarge Egg is as big as these green guys get. The 24 " grate and XLarge dome can accommodate two 20 pound turkeys. Made in Mexico the BGE design is simple, it is built to last, and it has a limited lifetime warranty.
The exterior has an easy-to-clean green glaze bonded to the ceramic. The manufacturer claims that the modern ceramic material will not become brittle and can withstand 2,000°F, but we wouldn't recommend knocking it over whether hot or cold. Ceramic is very susceptible to cracking.
The base holds an inner fire pit in the bottom of which is a charcoal grate. There's a sliding damper on the outside for air to enter below the charcoal.
Above the fire pit is a fire ring, and that's where the cooking grate rests. There are two metal bands that go around the top outside circumference of the base and the bottom of the lid and they are hinged together. Optional side tables can be attached to the bands. The lips of the lid and the base are covered with special felt for a good tight seal. On top of the lid there is a topper that controls exhaust and an optional "Dual Function Metal Top" with a dial that allows for more precise air control.
There is a device called the "Plate Setter" for all sizes except the Mini. It's a flat ceramic disk that sits directly over the charcoal. It absorbs and radiates heat so you have indirect radiant heat, but there is still no way to get convection heat as you can by pushing the fire to the side on the Primo.
The plate also prevents grease from spattering during the cook, which many believe produces a clean, less bitter flavor.
Eggs have a certain amount of versatility. They are great for smoking and roasting because once the ceramic settles at the desired temperature, it stays there for hours. Eggs are excellent pizza ovens. Remove the grate and you can do Brazilian and Tandoori style cooking on long skewers, all standing vertically in a circle around the small, superhot fire. Although they get pretty hot, they aren't known as searing machines. A Hibachi or Weber Kettle does a better job searing steak.
The vents can be left open for hotter cooking, or closed nearly shut to keep your charcoal smoldering for hours. Some owners claim if you set it up properly you will not need to add charcoal for 24 hours during a typical 225°F cooking session. You could put a pork shoulder in with a small amount of lit charcoal on top of some unlit charcoal, close it, and come back in 12 hours to a succulent clod of pulled pork. If you do have to add charcoal, you must lift out the meat and the grate to do it. That's a bit of a pain.
There's a dedicated forum of BGE users and it has a wealth of information like this: "Tighten the bolts on the stands after the Egg has been used five times" and "If you have a problem with grease sticking the felt shut when it's cold, slip a Weber paraffin charcoal lighter cube in the bottom and wait for the warmth to release the opening. Then change the gaskets."
Replacements for all parts are easily available. On the negative side, we have heard that gaskets need to be replaced after a few years, parts are expensive, and that customer service could be better.
Eggs are not sold on the internet and their prices are not quoted at their website, but they have a lot of dealers coast to coast.
$1,099 Manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP), actual price may vary.
Egg or Kamado Style
Combination Grill & Smoker
452 square inches ( about 22 burgers )
Manufacturer claims that all or practically all of this device is made in the USA
Looked Closely At It
We have seen this product up close and we have also gathered info from the manufacturer, owners, and other reliable sources.
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