// //

Big Green Egg: Pizza Oven!

Friday, April 29th, 2011

Posted by johngl

It was destiny: this morning’s newspaper (yes, the paper kind) had one of those annoying little sticky ads pasted over the headline. It was offering a $200 gift card with a purchase of $1000 or more at Barbeques Galore.

Uh oh.

As coincidence would have it, most glorious spousal unit and I were just in the Brodie Lane store less than a week ago eyeballing the extra large Big Green Egg. The Egg alone was priced at $999.99.  Accessories — stand, wing tables, ash scraper, something called a “plate setter”, charcoal — and tax brought the total to nearly $1500.  Eeee-gads. And a gulp.

Big Green Egg

Yet, there it is, in its big green ceramic glory, sunning itself on my patio kitchen.  How did that get there?

It got there with a great amount of effort.

I wandered into Barbeques Galore at around 10:30 this morning, a mere three hours from spotting the sticky.  Who says advertising isn’t effective? I hate it when I feel the need to take advantage of that sort of thing.

Anyway, the folks at the store were extremely helpful and they actually had all of my desired accessories in stock. That never happens.  So, we rang up the egg, which was a penny short of the $1000 requirement, so I added the least expensive accessory to particular charge and got the $200 gift card.

Soon, I was $1250 poorer and my little Matrix was loaded down with pricey ceramics, steel, and wood. As I drove the five miles home, all I could think about was how I was going to get a large 205 lb box of ceramic grill out of the car.

Since I don’t care to think about it for t00 long, it took a half hour, a four wheeled cart, a wheelbarrow, my neighbors driveway, my heavy-duty back brace, and a lot of manual labor (mine) to get it done.

And then the assembly began.

The "nest" and the base

First, I had to assemble the “nest” (they carry the Egg thing a bit too far in my opinion — egg heads, egg-cessories, etc). Wrestling with more than a dozen pieces of steel, four wheels, and a bunch of nuts and bolts was no fun at all.

Then, I had to put the bottom of the egg in the nest.  Hmmm.

I tried tipping the nest on its side, sliding the egg bottom into it, then standing that up, but it didn’t work.  I finally resorted to brute force. I squatted down (keeping my back ramrod straight), wrapped my arms around the 100+ lb behemoth, and with more than a bit of trouble, I stood up.

I felt so…so…manly. I could feel the burst of testosterone was coursing through my old —  hardened — arteries.

The innards felt down right light by comparison.

Big Green Innards

Then came the metal bands that surround the egg.

Bands, Hinges, and Springs, oh my!

There are more nuts on these band thingys than in Trump’s entourage. Luckily, I actually followed the instructions.  Otherwise, all hope would have been lost.

Adding the shelf units went quickly after the hour or so dinking around with adjustments, nut tightening, and test closes.

I’d done it! I managed to assemble an egg.  I have new respect for chickens.

Fire it up!

It was time to fire it up.

I like my chimney starter, so in it went.  Given the risk of fire here in Texas these days, I was really happy to have that sucker down in there and out of the wind. It worked beautifully.

So, now it comes the time where I have to do some myth debunking.  Big Green Egg claims their grill needs less charcoal. Wrong.  In fact, it took 50% more to get the heat I wanted.

They said it gets up to grilling temp in 10 minutes.  Wrong again.  Charcoal takes time to get going.  Ten minutes doesn’t cut it.

Plate Setter and good old quarry tile

I told you about that “plate setter” thing (in white). It was a $90 accessory.  Big Green Egg also recommended the pizza stone.  While I am not sorry I got the plate setter as it has other uses, I could have just used another layer of quarry tile on the steel grate for the pizza application.  Cost of tile: 58 cents each.

Then there is the Big Green Egg (BGE) claim that the outside of the grill won’t burn you making it safer for your children.

Big Green Egg does get hot!

In my world, 216° will indeed burn you (actually, BGE says it won’t “scorch” you).  This temp inside was about 450°, so it wasn’t as hot as my Weber Kettle would have been, but still quite hot.

I’ll just chalk up those claims to puffery, a certain amount of which is acceptable even in courts of law.

So, once this honker got up to temp and held it, I got down to the pizza.

Frozen pizza.

Okay, laugh it up.  Get it out of your system.  But this whole thing was unplanned.  I didn’t intend on buying a Big Green Egg this morning.  Once I owned the damn thing, I was planning on smoking a crown roast of pork as the maiden voyage, then most glorious spousal unit called and wanted pizza.

Frozen pizza, doctored of course

To her credit, most glorious doctors up things a bit and they are actually better than a lot of delivery pizzas.

About 15 minutes later, we had our pizza.

BGE pizza

When I cut into this puppy, the crunch of the crust was noticeable and way better than what we had experienced from the standard oven, even using a pizza stone.

And look at the flakiness of the super-thin crust:

Big Green Egg flaky crust

I’ve never seen that in a frozen pizza.

I’d planned to buy dirt this morning. Dirt to fill the stack-stone raised bed garden I’ve been diligently working on for the past three days.  But alas, the particles didn’t align that way today and instead I wound up with another grill in my patio kitchen.

Destiny had it’s way with me. And I’m pleased.

 

Tags: ,

11 Responses to “Big Green Egg: Pizza Oven!”

  1. Matt says:

    Wait to you bake salmon.
    225 degrees for 3hours. Night before Scaled three or four pound piece, {salted coarse} three minced jalapenos in plastic bag Refrigerate. Baked in v rack with drip pan.
    Jack Daniels smoking pellets
    Sauce:sour cream finely minced jalapenos, lime juice.

    Matt

    • johngl says:

      Hi Matt,

      Thanks for stopping in! I have a question for you though: why would you want to cook salmon that hot for that long? I keep salmon on the egg at 200-215 for about 20 minutes.

  2. Rob says:

    Nice! Coincidentally, I got one a few weeks back too, and haven’t been able to stop using it. As Mr. Freddy said, searing off sous vide meats on the BGE is pretty much perfection!

  3. Holy moly, that’s quite the unit . . . and I think I’d use it to cook nothing but pizza.

    • johngl says:

      Well, that is how I justified the cost. I’ve looked at dedicated backyard pizza ovens in the $3000 range. We have pizza once a week, so it is … ummm … important.

  4. Wayne Oakwood says:

    Just be glad they didn’t go with a pirate/Star Wars theme and call it Rrrrrrrrr2D2.

  5. mrfreddy says:

    BGE’s are awesome, couldn’t live without mine. Sous-vide + BGE = perfection!

  6. Jason says:

    Looks cool!

  7. Paul says:

    You are a bad, bad influence…. lol!

Speak up, you know you want to!

If you'd like to follow comments or get email notifications when new posts are published, please check the appropriate box(es) below. Once submitted, you'll automagically get added to the active subscribers list!

« Back to text comment


Best Food Blogs