The Big Green Egg is such an amazing grill because of its versatility. Want to sear a steak at 700F? Check. Want to slow smoke a brisket for 20 hours? Check. Want to bake a brick oven style pizza? Check. You can easily do these things and more with your Big Green Egg with just a slight change to the cooking configuration. You may need a few BGE accessories, but read on to learn more about how to configure your Big Green Egg to truly exercise its versatility.
This is the standard grilling configuration. Simply place your Stainless Steel or Cast Iron Grid on top of the Fire Ring, and you are grilling! A lot of Eggheads will raise the level of their grid with extenders or lower their grid by removing the Fire Ring and setting the grid right on the Fire Box. Adjusting the height of the grid gives you more control over the type of heat your meat will see; raise the grid to get away from flames (think veggies), and lower the grid for quick searing (think steaks). Things you would normally grill “direct;” steaks, hamburgers, fish, pork tenderloin, and vegetables. Here are the different ways you can set your Egg up for Direct grilling.
Indirect (Smoking / Baking):
If you have a Plate Setter, you can use your Big Green Egg for indirect cooking. To set up your Big Green Egg for indirect cooking simply put the Plate Setter on the Fire Ring with the legs facing up, put a drip pan on the Plate Setter, then put your grid on top of the Plate Setter. If you are baking pizzas you can put your pizza stone right on the grid and you’re set.
The basic idea behind indirect cooking is that your meat is not directly exposed to the fire, so it cooks via convection and radiant heat. This cooks the meat slower than exposing it to direct heat, and is the method of choice for barbecuing. If you want to cook brisket, pulled pork, or ribs you will need to do it via indirect cooking. Here are the ways to set up your Egg for Indirect cooking.
If “low and slow” isn’t your thing, you can still use the Plate Setter to turn your Big Green Egg into an outdoor oven. Even though the heat source is being blocked by the Plate Setter, the dome temperature can still reach as high as 600F and allow you to cook delicious brick-oven style pizzas or amazing breads. Basically anything you could cook in a regular oven you can cook indirectly on the Big Green Egg (and it will taste better). Having a Plate Setter really opens up the versatility of your BGE. If you don’t have a Plate Setter, check out my review here. If you are looking to double your cooking space, check out this easy way to build a DIY Raised Grid.
Here’s a short video demonstrating the three basic cooking configurations of the Big Green Egg.