The Big Green Egg Taste Test
Our good friends Tom and Laurel recently received a Big Green Egg as a gift. If you’ve never heard of a Big Green Egg, it is a thing of BBQ legend. Personally, I’ve seen many of them on food blogs and shows (most notably my blog friend Chris is a huge BGE user), but I’ve never actually even seen one in person.
For those who don’t know, even a starter BGE setup can run over a thousand dollars and you can spend way more than that pretty easily. This is for a pit that holds fire that you can grill on. $1,000.
You can buy a simple charcoal BBQ grill for $50.
To be honest, the Big Green Egg Taste Test came about because I was a bit skeptical about the whole thing. I quickly figured out a way to spend the day grilling on it and doing some blind taste tests to see if it really does meet up to its price tag!
Before we dork out on grilling and dive into our Big Green Egg taste test , let’s talk puppies. Our friends recently got a puppy and he’s a cutie. He also has a ton of energy and could match Porter on the playground.
Meet Percy Waggins!
We brought Porter over and he was actually more mellow than normal. My theory is that after his recent health scare he has slowed down a bit. He’s over three years old now and I just don’t think he can hang with the youngsters.
They were a great play match for each other. Porter would smack Percy around pretty hard and execute some full body tackles, but over the hours Percy learned some new tricks (like going for the ankles) and wore Porter down pretty quickly.
Eventually they both kind of mellowed in the hot August heat and became best buds.
It’ll be interesting in 6 months when Percy is as big as Porter. Based on paw and tongue size I would say that’s definitely going to happen!
Big Green Egg Taste Test
Lighting the Fires
Let’s get this out of the way first: My friend Tom is a much better griller than me. He has lots of cool gear and good recipes. He has a sweet electronic charcoal starter that he used to start the coals in the BGE. Again, something I’ve never seen before.
The thing that impressed me most about the Big Green Egg was just how heavy it is. It’s very impossible to move by yourself. The body of the grill is full, thick ceramic which holds in all that wonderful grilling heat!
I was much more familiar with our tester charcoal grill!
Even though I had never used a BGE before, you just know that because it retains heat so well, it will be better at bigger cuts of meat like pork butts or briskets. It provides a more even heat and can keep that heat for hours and hours.
We thought it would be fun to test a few smaller things though to see if we could tell the difference. Tom mixed up some little beef sliders laced with onion and roasted chiles.
Besides the BGE and the standard charcoal grill, he also had the great idea to cook a few in a lightly oiled cast iron skillet.
This actually scared me because I thought the skillet ones would be best!
Here was our finished slider line up for our Big Green Egg taste test! Tom was the only one who knew which sliders were which and we had a few people taste them (a small sample size, but whatever).
While Tom had made some fun toppings for the sliders, I thought to give the taste test the best chance, I tried the sliders with nothing but a bun first.
Not only was I positive that I liked one the best, I was also positive that I knew which one it was: The Cast Iron Skillet. The one I picked was much more juicy than the other two and had a great crust on it.
Turns out I was wrong. The slider I picked as my favorite in the Big Green Egg taste test was the BGE version.
To be honest, I would’ve happily eaten any of them. The difference was subtle and I doubt it would be noticeable unless you tried them back-to-back with no other condiments.
Chicken Wing Test
Besides sliders, which can be a bit lean, I wanted to test something that had more fat to it. Chicken wings seemed like a good option. I just did a light dry rub on a bunch of them and tossed them with a little hot sauce.
That big hunk of a thing in the foreground is some BBQ tempeh I made also. There were some vegetarians in attendance and you know I’m always looking for fun vegetarian grilled food.
The even heat of the BGE became very noticeable for the chicken wings in our Big Green Egg taste test.
The heat on the charcoal grill was all over the place and the fat drippings from the wings didn’t help. Some were cooking nicely and some were, well, charred.
Meanwhile, I barely had to worry about the BGE wings. They cooked beautifully and after about 20 minutes were beautifully crispy and tender.
The chicken wing portion of the Big Green Egg taste test was a landslide. The difference was noticeable and amazing. It wasn’t that the charcoal version was bad, but the BGE version was just excellent. The wings melted off the bone and were super juicy, but they still had a nice crust on the outside.
Is the BGE Worth It?
I think that’s a tough question to answer, but I must say that I was very impressed by it. It way exceeded my expectations and we didn’t even cook anything on it that really show off its strong points!
Will I be spending a mortgage payment on a grill any time soon? Probably not. But it might be worth it for some!
Have you ever grilled on a BGE (or do you own one?). Would love to hear what others think!