For just about all first time Big Green Egg owners there are a few hurdles one must overcome in order to get cooking at full capacity. From learning how to control air flow to using the correct amount and types of charcoal there can be several nuances that may turn someone off after they just dropped close to or a little over a grand on what’s supposed to be the greatest cooking apparatus known to man. This piece is an effort to alleviate the burden of trying to figure out which EGGcessories a first time Big Green Egg owner should purchase.
Personally I’m coming up on the one year anniversary of owning my Big Green Egg and I must say that it would have been nice to if I could have found a blog post such as this one several months ago. While I rank specific EGGcessories that you should purchase and when, please don’t take the timing aspect as the gospel. I’ve been slow smoking meats for the past five years so the platesetter was the most pertinent EGGcessory for me. Maybe you want to outfit your Big Green Egg with all of the necessary options for making mouthwatering pizzas. Whatever the case may be this guide is in place to help get those of us that need just a little bit of added direction over the hump.
Top 10 EGGcessories:
1 – 100% Natural Lump Charcoal – Buy Now at Amazon.com
Before you purchase anything else for your Big Green Egg you’ll need to grab a bag of natural lump wood charcoal. Due to some of the additives used to manufacture briquette charcoal you will never want to use it in any form or fashion in your Big Green Egg. There is a slight price difference between briquette charcoal and lump charcoal but the expense is nominal when it comes to protecting the integrity of your Big Green Egg.
2 – Three Piece Stainless Steel Toolset – Buy Now at Amazon.com
No grill or smoker is complete unless you have the bare essentials to arrange food the way that it needs to be. A good set of tongs, a spatula and a fork are about al one needs in order to immediately churn out top notch BBQ on the Big Green Egg. As in any other line of work the right set of tools will make any job a million times easier and these three simple tools are a necessity for every grillmaster.
3 – Platesetter / ConvEGGtor – Buy Now at Amazon.com
Second to lump charcoal the platesetter might be the most necessary component to maximize your cooking experience with the Big Green Egg. Without the platesetter you have a top of the line grill. With the platesetter you have a top of the line smoker, top of the line oven and a top of the line grill. Some might not deem the platesetter as absolutely necessary but without it the Big Green Egg loses most of its culinary potential.
4 – Dual Probe Wireless Thermometer – Buy Now at Amazon.com
One of the greatest upsides to the Big Green Egg is the ease at which one can slow smoke food. The dual probe thermometer will only make the process of slow smoking large cuts of meat twenty times easier. With the ability to accurately read the internal temperature throughout the entire duration of each and every cook you will be able to turn out perfectly cooked BBQ every time.
5 – Cast Iron Cooking Grate – Buy Now at Amazon.com
When most people think of BBQ the first thing that comes to mind are beautiful grill marks synonymous with outdoor cooking. When it comes to the Big Green Egg the best way to achieve that beauty is through the use of a cast iron surface. The effectiveness of a cast iron cooking surface far surpasses just grill marks. The ability of cast iron to retain higher levels of heat make this item perfect for grilling steakhouse grade steak.
6 – Pizza / Baking Stone – Buy Now at Amazon.com
The baking stone in coordination with the platesetter turns the Big Green Egg into a high temperature brick oven capable of producing some the finest artisan style pizza you will ever taste. While pizza will be the main draw you’ll find yourself able to churn out bakery grade breads and various desserts with the Big Green Egg baking stone.
7 – Aluminum / Wood Pizza Peel – Buy Now at Amazon.com
If you splurge on the pizza stone then either the aluminum or the wooden pizza peel would be the next logical purchase. Actually, the recommended purchase would be both. That way you can use the wooden pizza peel to to slide the uncooked pizza onto the Big Green Egg, then you’d use the aluminum pizza peel to pull the pizza off. Acquiring both would prove to be of great benefit if you find yourself making multiple pizzas.
8 – Folding Grill Extender – Buy Now at Amazon.com
Sometimes the allotted cooking space on the Big Green Egg just isn’t enough for some ambitious backyard chefs. In these instances the folding grill extender is the perfect solution. The folding grill extender affords you the luxury of nearly double the cooking area for a very nominal expense.
9 – Cast Iron Dutch Oven – Buy Now at Amazon.com
A nice size cast iron dutch oven can enhance the culinary reach of the Big Green Egg. If you don’t already have an open fire pit the Big Green Egg with the assistance of a cast iron dutch oven will grant you the flexibility to plug and play a number of campfire favorites cooking on their own for extended periods of time. The cast iron dutch oven will open you up to a plethora of options ranging from roasted whole chickens to hearty beef brisket chilli.
10 – Infra-Red Cooking Surface Thermometer – Buy Now at Amazon.com
An easy mistake to make when grilling or smoking on the Big Green Egg is assuming that the dome temperature is the same as the cooking surface temperature. The best way to obfuscate that error is to invest in an infra-red cooking surface thermometer. It has been said that the difference in the two temperatures can sometimes be as much as 50 degrees fahrenheit.
Meat Claws – Buy Now at Amazon.com
I’ve found that with meat claws the time it takes to pull meat apart is reduced to about a third. Whether its chicken or pulled pork meat claws are a definite must if you find yourself pulling in excess of ten pounds of meat.
V-Racks – Buy Now at Amazon.com
While v-racks aren’t essential to producing great baby back ribs they do afford you quite a bit more space to produce even more great ribs all at the same time.
Rockin Pizza Cutter – Buy Now at Amazon.com
Of course a normal pizza cutter would do just as fine but it won’t look as legit as this footlong pizza cutting mechanism.
Ash Tool / Ash Removal Pan – Buy Now at Amazon.com
Both of these ash tools are not essentials but they do make cleaning out the Big Green Egg a breeze. If you use your Egg enough you will appreciate an easy cleaning process.
Calzone Press – Buy Now at Amazon.com
If you’ve gone ahead and picked up all of the other pizza EGGcessories you might as well throw the calzone in there as well. Again not a necessity, but then again, why not?