More than just a grill, the Big Green Egg offers cooking flexibility, flavor and juiciness second to none. Here is a sampling of what you can accomplish in the EGG. Interested in Big Green Egg Cooking Techniques? Read more.
Direct Grilling: For direct grilling, food is placed over the fire and cooked by direct exposure to the flame and heat. Generally, foods that are tender, less than two inches thick, and boneless are good candidates for direct grilling. It is the ideal way to cook steaks, chops, burgers, boneless chicken breasts, kabobs, fish fillets, many vegetables and other quick-cooking foods. And with a Stir-Fry & Paella Pan in place directly over the hot fire, you can even make a tasty stir-fry.
Direct grilling sears the exterior surface of the meat to form a delicious crust with the juices locked inside. Because of the ingenious design of the EGG and the fact that grilling is always done with the lid closed, flare-ups and hot spots are virtually eliminated.
For some foods, you will want to start out searing over high temperatures and then reduce the heat by adjusting the dampers to finish cooking.
Indirect Grilling and Roasting: In indirect grilling and roasting, the food is not directly exposed to the flames and heat of the fire. Rather, a shield such as a Drip Pan or convEGGtor is placed beneath the food to deflect the heat. Food is cooked by convection heat — actually the heated air and radiant heat, which reflects off the coals, side walls, and lid of the EGG. In addition, once the dampers are adjusted to the desired temperature, the charcoal fire will burn steadily for hours without requiring frequent tending or replenishing.
Indirect grilling or roasting is best for larger cuts of meat such as turkeys, chickens, roasts, and hams, which take longer to cook. In general, use this method to cook anything thicker than two inches or with a bone, such as chicken pieces; otherwise the exterior will be charred before the interior is cooked through. One exception to this would be bone-in steaks, such as T-bone or porter-house, which are best grilled directly over the fire.
Baking: With the addition of a convEGGtor and a Pizza & Baking Stone, your ceramic cooker becomes a classic brick oven that bakes fantastic breads, biscuits, pies, pizzas, cobblers, cookies, and cakes. The combination of precise temperature control and heat retention, with the properties of the ceramics in the EGG itself and the Pizza & Baking Stone, create the perfect environment for baking. As pizza cooks, moisture is drawn to the Stone for an authentic, crispy, brick-oven-style crust that is impossible to re-create in an indoor oven or on an ordinary barbecue grill.
Smoking: Cooking slowly over low heat infused with wood smoke is what smoking—and what some call “real barbecue”—is all about. Cooking “low and slow” is the only way to break down connective tissue and tenderize tough (and typically less expensive) cuts of meat like beef brisket, pork shoulder, pork butts, and spare ribs. For smoking these kinds of foods, cooking times are measured in hours rather than minutes. But boy, is it worth it! The result is succulent, fall-off-the-bone tenderness with the tangy, complex combination of spices, smoke, and natural meat flavors. Of course, you can also smoke other types of foods that do not fit the standard profile. Fish, turkey, nuts, vegetables, and even cheeses do not need to be tenderized with slow cooking, but they taste even better when kissed with the essence of wood smoke.
True smoking temperatures generally range from 225°F/107°C to 275°F/15°C. Once you get the hang of it, it’s a piece of cake to adjust the draft openings to set the proper temperature. But unlike a true pitmaster, who must work hard to maintain those low temperatures steadily throughout the extended smoking period, an EGG can retain heat at precise temperatures for many hours of cooking with little attention required.
A convEGGtor is particularly useful when smoking because it acts as a barrier between the food and the direct heat of the fire but allows the hot air and smoke to flow around the food. In addition, it eliminates the need to turn food during the smoking process.