The first thing we bought from our local butcher after the first batch of pandemic ‘lockdowns’ was a good piece of belly pork. This is something we have never really managed to find in our supermarket deliveries as they are just too thin and lean!…
These pages describe some of our cooking journey using the Big Green Egg® which we first came across in 2013 and since then has completely changed our cooking habits. The Big Green Egg is one of a family of Kamado ceramic ovens and from my experience is the best I have come across. The BGEs were inspired by clay cooking vessels initially developed some 3000 years ago in China. They seem to have been embraced by the Japanese from where the term kamado (oven, fireplace) derives. The story goes that American servicemen stationed in Japan last century came across dishes prepared in the characteristic clay pot and took the clay pots back home with them to the United States to cook their favourite outdoor food! In 1974 the Big Green Egg company was founded and started to import Japanese and Chinese ‘kamados’. Over time they started to develop their own models even using some of the ceramic technological advances developed by NASA and now produced in Mexico, building on their long history of ceramics manufacture. The rest, as they say, is history!
The BGE has some real advantages for outdoor home cooking. Its heavy ceramic dual-layered construction is incredibly temperature stable. This means that although heated using charcoal it can maintain a constant temperature at least as well as an expensive kitchen oven. This is particularly useful when doing ‘low and slow’ cooking, at which the BGE excels. It is almost as useful when ever you want to use the BGE as a ‘domestic oven’ allowing you to take any of your favourite recipes into the great outdoors and add the delight of cooking over charcoal and when you want to, adding subtle flavouring from your favourite woodsmoke. Because of its thermal characteristics the BGE is very economical on fuel. I have done many 24hr ‘low and slow’ cooks and still had fuel left at the end from a single filling! If you are cooking for shorter periods, closing off the air vents means the charcoal just goes out and is left in the BGE to light up for the next cook. It is not just low and slow cooking that the BGE excels at; high temperature cooking for steaks etc at around 250-300C are a joy and high quality searing can be done with no fear of smoking out the kitchen! Pizza cooking at 400-450C – yes quite possible too! These are some of the obvious BBQ targets which are easily done on the BGE, but there is so much more too: gentle fish cookery, bread making, hot and even cold smoking – hopefully these pages will come to show you some of the many things we have done and inspire you to try these and develop and share your own cooking favourites.
We cook on our BGEs throughout the year. When it is warm enough we eat outside too, but as the temperature falls lots of the cooking is still done outside even if the eating is inside! I hope that sharing some of the cooking experiences we have enjoyed will inspire you to do something similar. The recipes here have been developed on and for the Big Green Egg but can be easily adapted for other BBQs as long as there are ways to set up and cook directly or indirectly, and indeed many of these recipes can be cooked indoors. Which ever way, we hope you find some real ideas that appeal to you and inspire you to ‘have a go’ yourself ………………….. bon appetite!
Friends we follow:-
Here are some our friend’s sites. They cook some amazing things on the Big Green Egg – click here to take a look