We had the pleasure of discovering and trying out the ceramic barbecue ovens from the Big Green Egg and will share with you everything you need to know about these famous “Eggs”.
Recall the origin of the Big Green Egg
The kamado is a ceramic oven used by the Japanese for thousands of years. It was while doing military service in Japan that an American soldier fell in love with this oven and decided to bring it as a souvenir to Georgia.
This ceramic oven was improved and perfected and the first Egg Made in Usa was born in 1974 under the name of Big Green Egg charcoral grill. It has since been made in Mexico in a state-of-the-art factory specializing in ceramic work. It is the only kamado to be produced in America, with competing products being made in Asia.
Furthermore, the ceramic materials used in the production of the Big Green Egg were developed by NASA and cannot be used by any other brand of kamado.
Present on the French market since 2014, the Big Green is the fruit of 40 years of development and its ceramic is guaranteed for life!
In just 5 years, he has been able to integrate most of the cuisines of the great starred chefs.
Composition of a Big Green Egg
The interior of the Big Green Egg consists of a hearth with a cast iron hearth grate at the bottom, a large ceramic bowl surmounted by a ceramic ring to keep food from fuel.
Composed of quality clay, the ceramic of the Big Green Egg is capable of expanding to offer perfect resistance to heat up to 350 ° C.
Its structure and cover are fully enamelled to withstand all weather conditions: sun, rain, snow.
Its magnificent green color will never disappear even after several decades. Some kamado still in service in the United States are 30 or 40 years old.
We emphasize that the structure remains cold even if the interior of the fireplace is at 250 ° C, which is safe in the presence of children.
How to use the Big Green Egg? Ignition, temperature control and cooking
We poured quality Big Green Egg charcoal onto the hearth grate to fill the hearth without reaching the ceramic ring.
Premium Big Green Egg charcoal is made of oak and hickory with a clever mix of big and small pieces.
It is strongly advised not to use briquettes in a kamado. These generate too much ash and can obstruct the ventilation holes reducing the performance of the kamado.
We simply lit 3 fire starters at equal distances ON the charcoal (and not below).
The fire starters used are made of compressed wood fibers. It is strongly advised not to use chemical or paraffin fire starters because the ceramic could absorb these products.
It is important to leave the cover and the ventilation hatch open until the fire starters are completely consumed in order to create an oxygen supply which will stir up the coals.
After 15 minutes, close the 2/3 ventilation hatch, put the cover back on and open the Reggulator (regulating cap located at the top of the Egg)
The oven temperature rises at a very high speed:
150 ° C after 5 minutes
180 ° C after 10mn
200 ° C after 15 minutes
We quickly reach the desired temperature for our first cooking, namely salmon steaks.
One of the many advantages of the Big Green Egg is its considerable autonomy. Indeed, a Medium or higher model offers you between 2h and 10h of cooking without adding charcoal.
For the Small and Mini Max models, it takes about 2 hours. A kamado is therefore economical.
Another very important advantage of the Big Green Egg compared to other outdoor cooking devices is that its temperature can be adjusted to the nearest degree.
It is easy to increase, decrease or keep it constant for a very long time by playing with both the draw door on the base and the vent plug (Reggulator) located at the top.
To increase the temperature, more air must be allowed to penetrate so open the plug 3/4 and gradually open the window which acts as an accelerator
To reduce the temperature, simply close the vent plug (or its openings) and gradually close the window
To maintain a constant temperature, close the vent plug making sure to leave its openings.
1st cooking: salmon steaks on wooden boards
Before switching on the oven, we took care to immerse two cedar wooden boards in the water for 30 minutes.
So we place our two boards on the stainless steel grid and come to place our 3 salmon steaks there.
Less than 15 minutes of cooking with the lid closed is enough for our salmon to be perfectly cooked.
It’s a treat and the wooden boards have something to do with it.
2nd cooking: a rib of beef
For cooking the prime rib, we replace the classic stainless steel grid with a cast iron grate.
The prime rib is seared for 5 minutes on each side.
Once again, simplicity is at the rendezvous with the Egg oven.
For cleaning, the ceramic interior of the egg is self-cleaning thanks to pyrolysis. As with an electric oven, you will need to raise the temperature to over 300 ° C to burn off the dirt.
Other supports and possible cooking methods
In addition to roasting, grilling, smoking, simmering and baking in a wok, the Big Green Egg also allows you to cook large pieces of meat or delicate ingredients such as fish fillets and seafood at low temperatures.
The Big Green Egg can easily be transformed into an oven using the convEGGtor ceramic extension. The convEGGtor acts as a heat shield and ensures that charcoal does not diffuse heat directly onto food. The cooking process is thus slowed down.
If you additionally use a flat baking stone, you can very easily bake deliciously crispy bread as well as authentic crisp pizza. EGG offers you endless possibilities!
How to choose your Big Green Egg kamado? : Discover the range of ceramic ovens
The range of accessories is huge, it would be too long to list them all. We will therefore discuss the most important:
- The Conveggtor is a ceramic riser for smoking, simmering, and more generally for indirect cooking
- The baking stone allows you to make pizzas, bread or cakes
- The input grid for pieces of meat
- The Wok
- The planchas
- The sauté pans
- The cast iron casserole dish
- 3 chicken and poultry racks, one specially designed for Beer Can Chicken
- Wooden boards
- Teak cutting board
- The only consumables to provide are:
- The felt gasket to be changed once a year to guarantee a perfect seal between the cover and the tank
- Wooden boards with an average lifespan of 5 to 8 uses
5 good reasons to buy a Big Green Egg
- It’s multifunctional: It’s not just a barbecue but an outdoor oven with endless possibilities: cook, roast, smoke, simmer, direct or indirect cooking
- It’s SIMPLE: Never have you lit and used a barbecue so easily
- It’s delicious: If the great French star chefs have adopted it, it’s for its unique and authentic flavors, why not you?
- It’s precise: Control your temperature to the nearest degree, few cooking appliances are as precise
- It’s guaranteed for life: its highest quality ceramic that has a lifetime warranty