I got a medium-size Big Green Egg back in January for my 50th bithday. I had mixed feelings about the thing — I always lusted in my heart for it, but its expense (you can buy a very nice gas grill or a decent-quality offset cooker for that price) made me pause.
I’ve made fantastic pork on the Egg. And fantastic brisket. And fantastic steak. And fantastic chicken. And fantastic pizza. And decent ribs (still working on that last one; I haven’t made ribs since the Super Bowl). I use very little charcoal; cleanup is a breeze; I can get an Egg to temperature in 20 minutes or less; life is good.
I had some initial failures on the Egg. Steaks were burned on the outside and raw on the inside; I made some rubber chicken; my first ribs, while edible and tender, lacked flavor.
Two things made the difference: Practice and the purchase of a Woo2 ring, which lifted the grate away from the charcoal and made the fire in the Egg much more controllable.
Tonight, I made Simon and Garfunkel Chicken, so named because it uses equal parts of parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme in a rub (you probably won’t get that reference if you’re under 30). It was crispy, juicy and terrific with no marinade or brining, and I used hardly any charcoal (I had to put some in for the first time in three cooks; I’ve now used 30 pounds of charcoal for 14 cooks, or about two pounds of charcoal per cook, including smoking sessions that lasted into double digits of hours). It had crunchy skin that wasn’t burned — traditionally a problem for me on my Weber kettle — and it was easy to pin the temperature at 400 degrees and just leave it there.
The price of the Egg always gave me pause. It seemed like too little grill for too much money. But now, several months down the road and many happy cooking sessions later, I no longer feel this way.