Big Green Egg Primer? Kernels?

We have a very similar type of grill (Primo) and have learned that grill sponges from Grill Rescue are great for cleaning the grates. No soap, no water, just scrub. The sponge is smooth to the touch but turns out to be quite abrasive. Of course you can use water, we just use it like a grill brush on the cold metal.

Also, bread oven gloves or the gloves that Ooni sells are great:

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I was thinking a $7 pair of welding gloves from Harbor Freight.

This (start small, and never let it get too high) makes complete sense, thanks.

I also disappointed myself that I omitted any wood for smoke. It was 8pm, and everyone was giving me stinkeye.

So, theoretically at least, one could load the Egg full, start in one spot, choke it nearly off before it gets too hot, and then it can run at 200- 250F for many hours? Or is this unrealistic?

Alarash, how do you Egg your brisket?

I have never done an extended cook, and am unsure how long you could take it on a single basket. I would defer to the egghead forum for guidance on technique - those guys are all over long cooks. I would imagine in any case you’d have to keep a constant monitor on the temp - no “set it and forget it”.

OK, you may well be right. I still have my Texas Pit for slow and low, but babying that baby to stay fed and on temp gives even babies a bad name. I was hoping that the insulation, indirect options, and very slow burn would be less trouble and fuel.

Coincidentally, one of my guests this weekend has been a BIL who has installed one of the BGE fan/thermostats on a one-off pit. This thing looks rinky-dink to me, but BIL says it works well. So there is that ($$$) option for minding the store.

Next, I’ll try some plain 'ol steaks and if I’m feeling frisky, maybe a pizza. And I still need to install the new gasket.

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That’s good info! We were gifted an XL Primo we’ve yet to test drive, but look forward to it!

This is the way.

Just as you said, light up the lump, once you get a few red glowing coals so you’re sure it’s sufficiently lit, then close things up and keep the air intake on the bottom and the top exhaust both nearly closed. Let the heat inch up to where you want it and regulate the air intake carefully, sometimes just fractions of an inch adjustment are critical.

It’s not difficult or finicky. It just takes some calibrating of your adjustments of these two main variables (bottom intake and top exhaust). And again, inching up to the desired temperature and holding it there is the best approach. Once the temp is above target, cooling it down is not realistic.


Sounds finicky to me.

But I’m not surprised. Just a little disappointed, since the lack of a way to reduce heat complicates cooks that would start with a sear and then proceed or finish at a lower heat.

I’ve read that one clever way to bring heat down is, paradoxically, to add more charcoal. But to do that, you need to remove your food, rack(s) and plate setter, and then replace everything. I suppose you could build a small, hot grilling fire, leave the egg open, sear, wait for the fire to die down, THEN load and put the hardware and food back in with it all choked down. Is that what you do?

One thing I’ve learned is that you CAN feed the BGE’s fire if you need to (Whether you should ever need to may be reasonably asked). I did so yesterday out of nervousness that a max fill would get too hot, and because I wanted more smoke.

To feed, you must basically take everything out. This would be a total PITA if you had to reach in to remove the hot convection plate. But if you have the aftermarket riser basket (part of the “Eggspander”), the plate goes into that, and you can lift the whole shebang at once–plate, water pan, grate and food. With a big brisket, this takes upper body strength, but it’s doable.

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Kaleokahu, I’ve found The ceramicgrillstore dot com to be a good source of accessories. Having said that nothing egg related is cheap. On the other hand, I really like mine and will be making smoked bacon pork chops soon, and am looking forward to it.

I never sear first and then smoke. The only time I might do anything like that is with very thick steaks indoors using a frying pan to sear followed by the oven to finish things off. But these days even with very thick steaks I cook to completion with the frying pan. This is because I don’t mind and even prefer my steak exterior almost (but not quite) charred.

On the kamado I sometimes grill at high temps from the start. I cooked steaks on my Primo XL two days ago and I worked great. I have no need to close the lid or reduce temperature for that process.

My use of the kamado is very basic: either 1. smoking circa 225-250 for brisket, chicken, pork shoulder, ribs, or salmon or 2. high heat searing for kabobs, steak, or lamb chops directly over super hot charcoal with flames hitting the meat.

I have an ooni Koda for pizza and a Traeger for weeknights.


Thank you. Their stuff looks nice.

You’re welcome!

Sear over a good hardwood charcoal, finish in a hot oven where you have control. BGE is a waste of time and money. Your guests will thank you.

Get the charcoal pink hot.

You offer this opinion having owned and used a Kamado-type grill, Charlie?

This BGE was free to me, so it’s hardly a waste of money. In fact, in terms of fuel consumption, it’s shockingly economical to run.

In terms of time, this past week’s brisket required a lot less babying over 16 hours than I’m accustomed to with brisket in a Texas pit.

I agree that a new kamado is a waste of money. I bought mine used for $250 and I think I can get most of that back when I’m through with it.

About good hardwood charcoal, I don’t have many options where I’m at. I have a bag of Frontier hardwood lump charcoal. It doesn’t specify further the type of wood but it specified it’s from Mexico.

I’ve heard mesquite is less desirable because it imparts a noticeable flavor. I’ve used Lazzari mesquite and liked the results.

I watched videos on charcoal brand comparisons. B & B oak lump charcoal seems to be generally acceptable and also economical.

What are your favorite brands or hardwood lump types?


Considering that a new gas grill can easily cost more than a kamado, I’m not understanding your or Charlie’s point. Is it the absolute size of the outlay, or is it that they don’t cook any better than the inexpensive steel kettle units?

I’m still getting the hang of running the BGE, but it seems to offer more than the ubiquitous steel kettle. The whole kamado concept seems sound, although it may be oversold. And it is certainly not as convenient and tidy as the electric and pellet “smokers”.

I think we can agree that kamados are or were a trend. I see Traegers (and Teslas) in a similar light. Whether the object of a trend is worth following I suppose can be debated.

I think it’d be interesting to tote up the total cost of outfitting a BGE with all the company’s grates, tools, upgrades, swag, covers, ad astra. Acquiring all THAT would be a waste.

I revise my overly general comment about it being a waste of money. I should have said:

  1. Kamado cookers are expensive in an absolute sense (for my personal economic class),
  2. Kamados are more expensive relative to kettle grills. (I agree that name brand gas grills can be similarly expensive.)
  3. Comparable high heat grilling can be achieved with a kettle grill.
  4. Kamado smoking can probably be fairly well approximated with a ubiquitous kettle grill with mild modifications. I have a friend who makes excellent brisket on his kettle grill.

I enjoy my Primo XL kamado. I foresee keeping it for the next decade and don’t consider it a fad trend. I like it because for me it’s easier to smoke in it than to smoke with a kettle. I have gained facility with kamado smoking but don’t have the necessary experience smoking with a kettle or an offset smoker. I’ve owned kettle grills over the years but only used them for searing.

I think kamado grills have the advantage of accumulating heat in the ceramic which maybe adds a radiant component to the process; And/Or maybe makes temperature stability easier to achieve than in a kettle? Otherwise the vents in the bottom and top of kamados and kettles are similar in principle.

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I’ve had a number of steel kettles, including ones with a riser ring, and I’ve never had much success with them for smoking. They’re OK for grilling, IME. The vents have all been rinky-dink, and the temps have been very hard to control.

I believe the chief appeal of the kamado is its versatility. They may well fit the adage “Jack of all trades, master of none”, but so far I assess they are overall more broadly useful in stationary outdoor cooking than kettles, gas grills, pellet grills and the offset pits. I’ve yet to try a China Box, a/k/a “coona$$ microwave”.

You don’t think there’sa fad/status dimension to the BGE?

It’ll be gathering dust inside of six months. Betcha.