Review: Big Green Egg Smoker and Grill

The Big Green Egg, looks like a bionic alien spore, but in fact, its a terrestrial made grill capable of searing animal, mineral, and vegetables to juicy perfection.

Well maybe not mineral, but the steaks we tossed on the BGE came out succulent and cooked perfectly. Even notoriously hard-to-cook veggie burgers were moist and delicious while grilled pizzas had the perfect mix of crust and chew. Unfortunately, at 65 pounds, this charcoal-burner weighs nearly as much as the three other grills we recently tested and its brittle ceramic construction made us apprehensive about carrying it down steps, much less tossing it in the trunk for a trip to the stadium. And when we did summon the gumption to take it on the road, we had to wait forever for the thing to cool down.

There’s also issues with its shape. Because of its pod-like form, the BGE cooks food a tad differently than an ordinary kettle grill. Despite constant instruction to keep the lid closed (apart from loading and unloading the food), we struggled to keep from gawking at the progress of our cooking meats, losing precious heat with each peek. The BGE can be configured to handle a range of cooking styles; unfortunately, switching the configurations with white-hot coals inside proved difficult and somewhat dangerous. We did succeed in changing from a baking setup to a grilling configuration, but lost a ton of heat in the process.

The BGE achieved the fastest results in our heating test, boiling a pint of water in 20 minutes from ignition. However, having the vents wide open to blast maximum temperatures ate much more wood than lower settings did — and once the flames started to die out, we had the same troublesome issue of removing hot and fragile components to refill the charcoal again.

Despite these challenges, this was the grill that we kept going back to for our best cuts of meat. And its “cool” factor kept made it the center of attention throughout the testing and cooking.

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