They’re big, they’re green, they’re egg-shaped – but are these grills any good? Join us in this detailed article to find out…
Big Green Egg Grills are designed and made in North America, with some ceramic parts made in Mexico. They were developed by American serviceman Ed Fisher in Atlanta, Georgia in 1974. He enlisted engineers using state-of-the-art NASA ceramics to build a cooker with superior heat insulation.
Let’s crack the shell on Big Green Egg Grills and serve up an ‘information omelette’ looking at where they’re made and by whom, what products are in the range – and how to use and maintain them. (Editor’s note: that’s enough egg jokes Loz!) 🙂
Where Are Big Green Egg Grills Made? (Are They Made in The USA?)
The Big Green Egg is designed in America and all the component parts are made in North America. Some ceramic components are manufactured in Mexico.
Who Makes Big Green Egg Grills? (Will They Stand Behind Their Products?)
The Big Green Egg was developed by Ed Fisher in Atlanta, Georgia in 1974. As an American serviceman, he had enjoyed domed clay cooking in Asia. He was convinced that the amazing Kamado cookers could be produced and marketed successfully in the US.
Ed Fisher enlisted engineers that used state-of-the-art ceramics developed at NASA to build a cooker that provided the best heat insulation.
Three decades later, The Big Green Egg is the world’s largest producer and distributor of Kamado style cookers. They average $5 million in sales yearly.
The Big Green Egg is so succEggful it has developed a fanatical, cult-like following of Eggnerds called Eggheads who have all the Eggcessories (like the ConvEggtor). Eggheads have lots of Eggsperience with the kamado-style tEggnology and enjoy hanging out together at Eggcellent Eggfests – like Eggtoberfest.
What Products Are in The Big Green Egg Grills Collection?
Kamado style grilling began around 3,000 years ago in China. From China, it traveled to Japan. In Japan, a clay pot called a mushikamado became popular. It had a removable dome lid, was fueled with charcoal, and had damper and draft doors to regulate the temperature.
The combination of the egg shape and the ceramic exterior makes the kamado grill an excellent choice for grilling, smoking and slow cooking – all in one.
The smallest Big Green Egg (BGE) is the Mini. It can cook on balconies or be packed for camping and boating. It weighs 39 pounds. It can cook 2 chicken breasts or 2 pork chops or 1 steak.
The MiniMax Big Green Egg is perfect for camping or tailgating. It weighs 76 pounds. It can cook up to one 12-pound turkey, or 4 hamburgers, or 2 steaks, or one whole chicken or one rack of ribs.
The small BGE is a great size for small balconies or patios. It can handle one 12-pound turkey, or 4 hamburgers, or 1 whole chicken, or 2 steaks or 1 rack of ribs. Some Eggheads purchase the small BGE in addition to a large BGE, so they can cook several courses at once.
The medium BGE is sized for small families and couples. It can handle 6 hamburger patties or 3 chickens, or 4 steaks or 4 racks of ribs or one 18-pound turkey.
The Large Big Green Egg is the most popular size. It is large enough for 12 hamburgers, or 6 whole chickens, or 8 steaks or 7 racks of ribs or one whole turkey.
The XLarge Big Green Egg can handle cookouts for all your family and friends. It can cook 12 racks of ribs or 24 hamburger patties or a couple of holiday turkeys.
The largest Big Green Egg, the 2XL, can handle family reunion cookouts. It is big enough for restaurants and catering needs. It can handle a suckling pig. The 2XL can handle 40 hamburgers or 15 whole chickens or 20 steaks or 20 racks of ribs.
What Size & Weight Are Big Green Egg Grills?
Big Green Eggs come in 7 sizes: 2XL, XLarge, Large, Medium, Small, MiniMax, and Mini. Weights range from 39 pounds to 375 pounds.
Do These Grills Come With a Warranty?
The Big Green Egg comes with a limited lifetime warranty for materials and workmanship on the ceramic components for residential users. You’ll need a proof of purchase; a Warranty registration and you’ll have to call or go to your nearest Authorized Dealer.
Do Big Green Egg Grills Also Make Accessories?
The Big Green Egg makes hundreds of accessories. Tables, modular nest systems, mates, custom islands, ConvEggtors, baking stones, thermometers, tools, grids and covers, to mention a few.
What Do The Reviews Say About Big Green Egg Grills?
We usually check online at Amazon or a big box store for reviews in this space. However, Big Green Egg reviews are hard to find because Eggs are sold in physical stores by Authorized Dealers only. No Amazon!
The good news is you don’t have to go far to find Egghead forums filled with thousands of glowing opinions, advice and cooking tips. Here’s a link.
How Much Do Big Green Egg Grills Cost?
The smallest Big Green Egg, the Mini, costs around $400. The largest Big Green Egg runs at $2000.
How To Use a Big Green Egg Grill
Follow these simple instructions to make the most of your Big Green Egg Grill:
- Use natural lump charcoal. BGE sells some but you can find some (look for Royal Oak) at many hardware stores. Don’t use briquettes and NEVER use lighter fluid.
- Replace the green ceramic top with the Dual Function Metal Top (DFMT).
- Open the dome and remove the stainless-steel cooking grid.
- Pour in the natural lump charcoal – just to the top of the firebox.
- Slide the draft door open.
- Start the charcoal. BGE recommends that you use either an electric charcoal starter, an Eggniter charcoal igniter or some all-natural charcoal starters. To use the starters, push a couple of squares of the starting material into the center of the charcoal, then light it.
- When you see the starter squares burning nicely, replace the stainless-steel cooking grid. Experts recommend getting a very stout pair of fire-proof gloves. They need to be long enough to cover your forearms.
- Wait 7 to 8 minutes.
- When you see several pieces of lump charcoal glowing, close the green ceramic lid. The dome lid should remain closed as much as possible. This allows the heat to circulate while the food DOESN’T dry out.
- Open the Dual Function Metal Top to it’s fullest for maximum airflow.
- When the Egg is at your ideal temperature, use the Dual Function Metal Top and the sliding draft door to keep the Egg at the temperature. The greater the opening, the hotter the temperature.
- BURPING!! Get your stout, long fireproof gloves on. Open the Egg a couple of inches and allow the super-hot steam to escape. Some experts recommend burping three times. Then open the lid slowly and fully.
- When your Egg is at the perfect temperature, open the lid and load it up with food.
- When you are done grilling, you can extinguish the coals by closing the sliding draft door, putting the ceramic top on, and closing the ceramic lid. After some time, the coals will go out. However, the ceramic Egg will stay hot for some time – up to a couple of hours.
- You can use the remaining charcoal next time. Just rake the old coals and add some new.
Here’s a good beginner’s video on using the Big Green Egg.
Are These Grills Easy To Maintain?
Big Green Eggs are virtually maintenance-free. The exterior ceramic is heavy-duty and built to last.
Big Green Egg recommends wiping down the ceramic exterior occasionally. BGE recommends doing this while the Egg is a little warm. If it is greasy, use a sponge with some mild dishwashing soap and then rinse it off.
Like any other grill, the grids will need to be cleaned occasionally by burning off any food remnants or using a standard grill brush. BGE recommends brushing it when it’s slightly warm.
Periodically, you’ll need to remove the ash from the lower fire chamber of your Egg. Open the sliding draft door all the way and use the ash tool to rake the ash into a shovel. Charcoal ash can be used on flower beds.
Make sure that the small holes in the fire box are open. Small pieces of charcoal can get wedged in them but they need to stay open so air can flow.
Some experts recommend doing a “clean burn” yearly, like in the spring. Fill the Egg with charcoal to the top of the fire box. Open the draft door and the Dual Function Metal Top all the way. The Egg should reach a temperature of 700° F for about an hour.
How Do I Store My Big Green Egg Grill?
The Big Green Egg is famously heat efficient, thanks to the high-tech ceramic exterior. So, while many grills live in a garage for the winter, the BGE can be used all during the winter. If you have a covered patio, store it there. BGE recommends buying a grill cover.
BGE’s should be stored with the lid down and the cap in place.
Summary: Where Can I Buy a Big Green Egg Grill?
Big Green Eggs can be found at many Ace Hardware stores, along with a limited number of accessories. Only authorized dealers can carry BGE. Here’s the link to find one.
BGE only sells through Authorized Dealers who are knowledgeable about BGE. If you buy from an unauthorized dealer, BGE will not warrant the Egg.