So your EGG is set up and ready to go ……. What’s next?
What to cook first?
I am sure you are really going to enjoy your Big Green Egg – we have found them amazing! Once you have mastered the basics, which are not difficult, you will produce some great food with it. It is worth spending a little time getting these basics into place and then the great results will come thick and fast!
The best piece of advice I can offer is to start with something really easy, no matter how experienced a cook or BBQer you are! The first thing I would suggest is learning some simple temperature control. Once you have lit the EGG, play with the Draft door at the bottom of the EGG and the metal cap at the top until you get a steady 180°C (350°F). (The main vent at the top will probably be closed but the daisy wheel will be fully open. The draft door at the bottom will probably be about 2 fingers wide). That achieved, then cook something very simple that you have had on a BBQ before. Whilst you are practicing try something like burgers, sausages, or perhaps chicken portions – but the watch words are “keep it simple”!
Playing with Temperature control & setting up for direct and indirect cooking
Once you have had that first cook it is worth spending a little time practicing adjusting the temperature of the EGG and setting the EGG up for Direct (like a conventional BBQ) and Indirect (like an oven) cooking. You can do this after that first cook, or at another time as you don’t need any food in the EGG to practice this
My friend Nic Williams has a very nice page on his website showing the approximate settings of the draft door and the metal top of the EGG for different temperatures – you can find that here: Adjusting the Temperature of your EGG.
Light the EGG and start by getting the temperature to 180C as on the first simple cook:
- simply with the stainless grid or cast iron grid directly above the charcoal. Let the temperature stabilise at 180C – Then……
- add your plate setter and see the temperature drop. Now try and get the setting right so it stabilises at 110C. (you might need to leave a little time to get it to stabilise this low as cooling down takes time with the EGG)
- with the plate setter in place open up the draft door and the metal cap and again bring the temperature up to 180C and let it stabilise.
- once stabilised with the platesetter and the stainless grid in place open the vents a little and bring the temperature up to 220C. If you have a Baking stone pop this on the grid before bringing up the temperature. This is now the perfect temperature for baking bread.
With this experience you are ready to move to something a little more challenging