So you have finally got your Big Green Egg after reading all about the amazing reviews, congratulations! But now you are wondering how to break into a new Big Green Egg, right?
Well, this post is for you as we take on everything that you need to know on how to get about using the big green egg for the first time.
Breaking in new Big Green Egg charcoal grill has its own do’s and Don’ts so make sure you read this post to the end and do not miss out on breaking in a new Big Green Egg the right way.
Big Green Egg has many models for grills that you can choose from and this information is valid for any model that you own.
No matter what model you have chosen to buy, you need to make sure that you do the proper break-in process when you first use the Big green egg, in order to not shock the grill and keep it functioning properly for a long time.
Of course, it goes the distance and you will have to maintain the Big Green Egg by doing several steps to get the ultimate cooking experience but it is an extremely important thing to know how to begin with it.
If it is your first time using a Big green egg then this post will help you understand breaking in a new Egg from lighting your big green egg for the first time to cooking in it.
There are some processes that you need to take before and when you first use the Big Green Egg while there are also things that you need to avoid while doing the same process.
With this post, I will be sharing with you those processes that you need to do as well as the things that you need to avoid when you first use your Big Green Egg Kamado grill.
Unpack And Assemble the BIG green egg
The first thing that you need to do is to make sure that there is safe unpacking and assembly of the Big Green Egg grill. Any grill from Big Green Egg is heavy so be extra careful with it.
If you need help with your Big Green Egg, you can contact Big Green Egg’s help center through this link or contact your nearest Big Green Egg dealer the moment you see any complications.
This is to ensure your safety as well as the Big Green Egg’s safety. If you as little as bump the Big Green Egg to a wall or a hard object, you can risk cracking or even worse, breaking the grill.
Since the newly constructed Big Green Egg is still a little fragile, you need to take extra care of it. Make sure that you have all pieces of equipment needed to set up the Big Green Egg.
A forklift is not needed but you will need an extra hand to help you with lifting up the grill. My best advice is to disassemble the Big Green Egg first and transfer it carefully piece by piece.
There is a printable manual on how to set up the Big Green Egg and I also recommend downloading it. This will help you a lot with what you need to do when setting up the grill.
The firebox of the Big Green Egg can be removed so you can do that and transfer it to where you are going to set up the grill. Assemble the new Big Green Egg accessories but be careful not to drop anything.
Once you assemble the Big Green Egg, you will now need to heat it up for the first time. The initial heat-up process should be about seasoning the grill to remove all the dirt inside it.
The following is the process of seasoning the Big Green Egg before using it for the first time so make sure that you follow it all the way through.
Lighting your Big Green Egg For The First Time
The first time you lighten your Big Green Egg make sure before you apply high heat to the Big Green Egg, that you season a new Big Green Egg properly.
This is where you will be priming and curing the metal and ceramic materials of the Big Green Egg.
So lighting your big green egg for the first time is a crucial process as you need to season a new Big Green Egg and it is not as straightforward as one might think.
The reason you season a new Big Green Egg before the first time using it is to remove the first that might have got into the grill while it was being manufactured and transported to your house.
Seasoning the Big Green Egg before lighting your Big Green Egg for the first time will also allow the parts such as the ceramic firebox and wall to cure.
It strengthens the materials as well as the adhesives on the gasket of the grill.
The cast-iron grill grates or dual-function metal top will also need to be seasoned so that it does not let food stick to the grates when you finally cook with the Big Green Egg.
The cast-iron fire grate can also be replaced with a stainless steel grill grate as they can both maintain a wide range of temperatures.
So make sure to do the following when you are lighting your Big Green Egg for the first time.
Step 1: Fueling The Big Green Egg (Use Lump Charcoal)
Big Green Egg even sells its own lump charcoal and it is recommended that you use those. It does not have to be from Big Green Egg but make sure that you use lump charcoal to fuel the grill.
Lump charcoal is made from hardwood chips so even if there is not too much fire, the charcoal will still stay hot. While the charcoal quickly heats up, it releases a clean burn that the grill needs.
Fill up the firebox of your Big Green Egg after you have set it up.
The main thing you should avoid here is the chemicals that everybody advertises to light up your grill quicker than anything.
The lump charcoal from Big Green Egg is made from 100% hardwood which means that it has no added chemicals like nitrates, fillers, or petroleum products that will harm the Big Green Egg.
If you are wondering ‘Does the outside of the Big Green gets hot’, then let me tell you, it doesn’t get hot at all.
The Big green egg is very well insulated so the outside of the Big Green Egg does not get hot.
You can easily touch it and you are not going to feel a lot of heat transmitted from the cooking chamber.
The bottom of the egg sucks in hot air but it keeps the outer parts at low temperatures.
So, the outside of the big green egg doesn’t get that hot.
Step 2: Light Up The Big Green Egg
So, this is the part where you are lighting up your Big green egg for the first time.
Once you have your lump charcoal in the firebox, get your natural charcoal starter and light the fire.
You can use different sources to light the fire in your Big Green egg as you see in the video below.
You only need to follow a few easy steps to start the fire because the design of the Big Green Egg allows for maximum airflow.
This means that once you produce an flame and light up a few charcoal pieces, the coals will naturally light up as the air blows and distributes the heat evenly around the firebox and eventually, into the whole grill.
You can use a butane starter but never use lighter fluid when starting the fire in the Big Green Egg. Lighter fluid contains petroleum products that can stick to the ceramic walls of the grill.
The petrochemicals from the lighter fluid will permanently damage the Big Green Egg. not only can make odors stick to the walls but the lighter fluid will also make the food toxic to you.
Remember to keep the draft door open once you light up the charcoal to distribute the heat to the other coals. Once they light up, you will need the proper temperature control for seasoning.
This is all that you need to do when lighting up the Big Green Egg for the first time.
Step 3: Season The Brand New Big Green Egg
Place the grill grate or the metal top on the proper spot and then allow it to season. The temperature on the Big Green Egg when seasoning should not be over 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
Make sure that you adjust the bottom air vent and the top air vent according to the exact temperature. You do not need too much heat when you are just seasoning the Big Green Egg so keep it at 200 degrees.
Once you have set up all the parts in their proper place, close the draft door of the Big Green Egg as well as the dome. Place the snuffer cap on the top vent and then allow it to season.
This process will take about an hour for the ceramic cooker to cure a bit as well as the cast-iron grill grates. By closing the draft door, it will slowly cool down the coals as it seasons the grill.
Once the cast-iron grill grate has cooled down, get a tablespoon of vegetable oil and then put it on a paper towel. Use your tongs to rub the oiled paper towel on the grill grates.
Bring up the heat once more to 200 degrees Fahrenheit and then repeat the process of heating and closing the draft door so that the oil sticks properly to the grill grates and create a non-stick coating.
The initial heating without the oil is to make sure that you remove the chemicals and other contaminants on the grill while the oil will protect the metal from both moisture and dirt.
Important: Burping The Big Green Egg
Since you are now dealing with heat on your Big Green Egg grill, you need to know that the Big Green Egg acts like a convection oven in a way where it regulates the air inside.
This means that just like when you open your oven, there is a burst of heat that comes right at your face. This can really be dangerous as the Big Green Egg can get up to higher temperatures than an oven.
So in order to avoid that, you need to “burp” the Big Green Egg. Burping the Big Green Egg means that you have to slowly open the lid of the grill instead of opening it right away.
In order to get to the right and consistent temperature, you need to allow the hot egg to breathe a little. This will also help create less ashes or remove some so it does not block the draft door.
In order to burp the Big Green Egg, you will need to open the lid a few inches up to allow heat to come out slowly. From there, close the lid again but be careful not to damage the new bands and do the burping process once more.
After it has released some heat, that is when you can safely open the whole lid. This practice is something I especially recommend with cooking temperatures above 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
Close The Grill
Once you are done seasoning the Big Green Egg and you want to extinguish the flames, just close the draft door and the top vent. This will do the process while it slowly cools down.
Closing the draft door and the top vent will prevent the Big Green Egg from getting more air to fuel the fire. This will basically choke out the fire and keep the extra charcoal in the firebox.
As the fire and heat extinguish, the Big Green Egg will continue to be seasoned which means that it helps the grill become sturdier and more durable when you slowly let the heat die down.
Allowing heat to stay longer in the Big Green Egg will also kill off any contaminants inside it. This will also burn out any food residuals once you cook with the Big Green Egg.
After you have cooked and allowed the Big Green Egg to cool down by itself, you can remove the grill grates and easily remove the food residuals that have been burnt out.
Relighting The Big Green Egg
After you have seasoned or cooked in the Big Green Egg for the first time, there is a possibility that there will still be a lot of charcoal briquettes left in the firebox that can still be used.
Big Green Egg is one of the grills that conserve energy really well. Big Green Egg does not need too much fuel in order to produce high temperatures and sustain it for a long time.
Since you have choked out the flames the last time you seasoned or cooked in the Big Green Egg, there will be extra coals in the firebox that can still be used. So do not let them go to waste.
First, get your ash tool to rake off the excess ashes from the firebox. You can easily do that as most of the ashes fall to the draft door so you can catch the ashes from there or use your shop vac to clean the Big green egg.
Give the firebox a little shake to drop the small bits of useless coals as well as the ashes that might be blocking the airflow. Clean out the draft door and then light up the charcoal again.
From here, you can start the cooking process right away.
The Big Green Egg cookbook does not come with the Egg but you can buy the Big Green Egg cookbook here and start cooking one of the 160 recipes in there.
The large Big Green Egg will put out a superb performance for sure and allow you to cook with culinary perfection, sometimes even better than the Kamado Joe.
Can a Big Green Egg be left outside?
The insulation on the Big Green Egg is so good that you can leave the Big green egg outside without any issue.
The amazing insulation is the reason the outside of the Big Green Egg doesn’t get too hot and you can even touch it while you are grilling inside the Egg at high temperatures.
You can cook inside the egg even in winters because it is hardly affected by the outside weather condition and has amazing heat retention.
This makes it great for lighting the Big Green Egg for low and slow cooking during the cold winter months.
It can be tricky to light the Big Green Egg for low and slow cooking but it will maintain the heat once you get it going.
So, can a Big Green Egg be left outside, Yes! Just be careful not to damage it and leave the new Big Green Egg accessories inside the house.
The Big Green Egg is weatherproof and one can leave a big green egg outside. Make sure you use a cover just to protect it from dust and otherwise you can leave it out.
I hope this post helps break in a brand new Big Green Egg easy!
Now that you are ready for your first cook, I also have here a post about the Big Green Egg temperature control tips that will help you cook any recipe that you want.
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