A while back I got an message from a friend of mine asking me about my Big Green Egg that I use as she is considering getting her hubby one for VD. I told this friend that I love mine and sure the price is kinda high but mine is 10 years old and it ‘literally is the last smoker you will ever purchase’ because of the components. Now this friend of mine, I have to feel sorry for her because her mom is as crazy as my mother and sure enough they are friends so I told her to get her hubby one and expect back rubs for the rest of her life. I also have some friends who are thinking of getting one but they just don’t understand how it works by using indirect heat. For those of you who actually read this Crap you may recall this Post when I described the different types of cookers so if you don’t know what I am talking about we can wait for you to re-read that previous post…………..
Ok moving on, here is the way that I set up the smoker and some important tips that you need to know when I have a hankering for some pork love.
I think I got the table a couple years ago from Momma and I love it as I can put my beer down while I am slaving over the hot coals.
If you are going to get one, BY ALL MEANS put a stepping stone between the BGE and the base so that it won’t wobble. I learned that the hard way!
Use Lump Charcoal by all means and here you can see the remnants from my last cooking episode. All I do is swirl the coals around and the ash falls into the bottom of the egg and when it gets full down there, it it with a dust buster. Airflow is key.
After getting the ash in the bottom compartment and that is all the charcoal I will use for 6 hours of cooking. My dad fills it up to the band and he wonders why he never gets good airflow.
Go see Pert at the Charcoal Warehouse on (crime-free Florida Street) and he has lump charcoal and all kinds of woods that is the cheapest in the city. And you can have drink with him too!
I swear by this stuff as I don’t use a charcoal chimney, propane burner or newspaper, I get this at Ken Rash and it ain’t cheap but I don’t use a lot when I have to light the fire either.
A ring around the Rosie and go get the matches
Fire, Fire, Fire! that stuff is like Sterno and doesn’t have any smell. Ruthie
you taking notes for Chunky?
Open the bottom damper for full airflow
Now I do have a fan to help because where my BGE is in a corner and that it speeds up getting the coals hot.
This is KEY
as normally people would leave the lid open to get the airflow but if you do this you will scorch the felt bands. I will show you later what I mean but just put the lid on and leave the daisy wheel off. (notice we are at 350 and it probably has been 5 minutes since I lit it)
Yep that reads 750 degrees and we are almost ready to start cooking.
This is also PARAMOUNT in that you DO NOT OPEN THAT LID or you will have a fire flash. Trust me when you do it, you will burn the hair off of your hand and arm and have to go and change your shorts because you would have shit all over yourself.
Simply put the ceramic lid on the top and shut the bottom damper and get the temp back in the 350 range.
Snapped this at 750 and you can see the heat inside that sucker.
Oh those coals are smokin it so good!
When you get into the 350 range, open the bottom damper halfway and lift the lid about an inch to get airflow into the BGE. If not you will have a fire flash and refer to 2 pictures up.
Can’t see the reddish glow but it’s there, I swish the coals around and then add my soaked wood
Now put your indirect plate with the feet facing up. If you were going to do pizza or bake you would put the feet down. Here I add a water bath plate and no that liquid is not some leftover white wine RxBambi
just clutched her chest in horror or beer and water but actually my ‘secret ingredient’ is cat urine but don’t tell anyone.
Put the cooking grate on and you are now ready for some smoking love.
Which this picture tells me I must have had too much “Robo Juice” the last time I cooked on it because it is filthy.
There we go, go the meat on, let’s shut the lid and wipe our brow as this was hard work you know?
This is personal preference but I leave the daisy wheel like this to keep a constant temp. Newer eggs won’t have the build up like mine has so you may have to play around with it.
(Periodically soak that sucker down with vegetable oil to keep it from rusting or getting gunked up!)
Bottom Damper is about halfway (personal preference)
Now this is the hardest part of cooking on a BGE you know.
(side note – right after I put the chicken on, we went over to a friends house in the neighborhood to hang out, came back 2 hours later and had the same temp when I set it.)
Yep 275 and it will take you a little while to figure it out but that is why I love the BGE. I have done turkey’s the night before and never had a problem with the fire going out.
Now there is one downside to the BGE as if you have to add more wood, you have to take everything off to get to the charcoal. So go get a pair of welding gloves and you will be in business.
Remember when I said to close the lid when you are getting the charcoal hot? This smoke escaping is from either the bottom felt getting burned or some chicken/rib juice got on the felt from a previous cooking and made it hard. If that happens you will need to re-felt it or clean that section if it bothers you that much. I think that little arse air gap is what makes my smoked meats taste better (that and the Cat pee!)
So any questions? Ok Class Dismissed and we will see you at the butchers counter!