Thoughts on the XL Big Green Egg?

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by time916, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. Hi all,

    I'm looking to upgrade to a smoker I can use all year long.  I currently have a Bradley Digital which does a pretty good job most of the time, but is a little unstable and has a hard time maintaining temp - especially when it's cold or windy.  Cook times are pretty erratic, and I could use a little more room for some of the larger cuts...

    I've been considering the Big Green Egg.  The reviews tell me it's awesome, but I don't trust just anybody...  So I thought I'd reach out to the guys & gals that I do trust - SMF members![​IMG]

    I know the price point is pretty high for the big one, but  the results seem to be really impressive.  So before I go and drop a bundle on this, are there any owners of BGE's in the SMF?  Is it worth the $$$?  Are there better alternatives that utilize the whole komodo style grill/smoker?


  2. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I used a big green egg for a summer while my buddy needed a place to store his and I liked it. They hold heat well and are pretty much set it and forget it. That being said I was in the same situation as you I wanted a set it and forget it charcoal burner that was smaller than my smoke shack that I could actually bring places with me. I ended up building a UDS and it was the best decision I ever made and I'll tell you a few reasons why. This is in no way trying to bash the BGE or anyone that owns one I'm just stating my personal preference why I like a UDS better and why it was a better fit.

    1. The UDS is pretty light and I can take it with me very easily and I can load and unload it by myself. (BGE you will need lots of help to move it and if you drop it and break the ceramic well you are screwed.)

    2. I can hold and maintain temps just as well as I was able to with my buddies Egg. I can actually go much longer (+20 hours) then I was ever able to on my buddies large BGE.

    3. I can fit more meat on my UDS then I could on the BGE. My barrel has two 22" grates and if you add a dome lid you can get even more room.

    4. The price difference isn't even close. You can spend $1000+ on a BGE and I have a little over $120 into my UDS because I had to buy all of the parts.

    The BGE is a great smoker and there are others that are similar like you mentioned but I don't have any experience with those. I have personally used both the UDS and BGE and I would rather go with the UDS. This is kind of funny because I was just arguing with my buddy who has a BGE today because he said I needed get rid of the UDS and get an egg  and I said no way.

    My one buddy has a Large egg and my other buddy has a XL and a Large. They love theirs and I have eaten their food and its great. But their eggs never move they sit out on the back porch year round because they are so darn heavy. I take mine with my all over when I am fishing and camping.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2011
  3. flbobecu

    flbobecu Smoking Fanatic

    1, You are not screwed if you break or crack the ceramic. BGE's are covered by warranties, unless you buy second hand. You are right, they can be heavy. A small or medium can be moved by the average person. 

    2, You likely had a bigger "fire box" or somewhere to hold lit lump.

    You are right, if your into fabricating your own, it can be done much cheaper, with similar results. UDS's are great smokers. 

    Other alternatives might be the Big Steel Keg and the Primo. I would go with the Primo, if you can find a dealer in your state. They offer more ways to cook. 

    Big Steel Keg, Primo or Egg if you can't fabricate or locate a drum for a UDS. 
  4. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    By the way I use my UDS all year long and it gets butt cold here. I have smoked with it from -20 degrees up to +100 degrees and it holds temp like a dream.

    Hopefully a few of the BGE users will chime in on this thread so we can get their prospective as well.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2011
  5. smokingowl

    smokingowl Newbie

    I recommend looking at the Kamado Joe. I was about to purchase one after comparing it to the Big Green Egg, but decided to wait because Kamado Joe is unveiling a new model at the beginning of March. Go check out their website. I liked the Kamado Joe because it seemed exactly like the big green egg with a number of small improvements and cheaper.

    As I am waiting for March and this Kamado Joe unveiling I decided to take rbranstner's advice in a reply to a question I posted a few weeks ago and am building a UDS. I am in the early stages but very excited about it. Maybe it will work so well I will pass on the Kamado Joe. We'll see.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2011
  6. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I have a BGE, love it. Great for cooking and baking. Never had great luck smoking.

    I have an MES now with an amazen. I love it.

     Have a great day!!

  7. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I will be willing to bet you won't be getting the kamando. [​IMG]
  8. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    1. Good to know about the BGE I didn't know what they would have for a warranty. But if you tip them over or for what ever reason crack or even worse break it and it was your fault does the warranty cover the replacement of that being it was your fault? I wouldn't think so but if it does that's a darn good warranty.

    Yea a small or medium egg would be much easier to move around but to lift it into a truck or trailer and take with you is still a chore. For me there just isn't enough room to do anything on a small or medium egg. I always have way more stuff going on than it can hold. That's the main reason my buddy upgraded from the Large to the XL. The Large is the absolute smallest I would go and to me that is much to small. If I had to pick a size I would definitely have to go with a XL. Once you are use to having a lot of space it really stinks to down size.

    2. Yep I can get a much bigger fire basket in my UDS than in an Egg. That's another reason I prefer the UDS because I can smoke for much longer.

    Like I said I'm not trying to bash the BGE they are great rigs I'm just giving my personal preference and giving you some idea's to think about after having used both smokers.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2011
  9. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    It loo

    sk like the warranty does not cover cracks from owner screwups.. didnt expect it would.  

    I have a medium and it is heavy.

     I would  not consider moving somewhere for a party.

    I love my BGE..but it doesn't get as much use as it did before I got the MES.

    Makes great pizza and the best steaks ever.

    Last edited: Feb 9, 2011
  10. flbobecu

    flbobecu Smoking Fanatic

    If you tip it over, probably not. But if you get a large or XL and you're able to tip it over easily, your a hell of a strong person. Unless of course you have a large or XL in just the 4-wheeled "nest". I could tip over the small I had in one of those things. A table or cart would be ideal, but does add to the costs, regardless if you build it or buy it pre-built. 

    But if you get a cracked fire ring, from normal use, it's supposed to be replaced under warranty. 

    I totally understand where your coming from, and I feel your not "bashing" the BGE, merely implying your opinion. And that's why we come to forums, to gather opinions, experience etc. :) 

  11. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    One place you can find BGE's cheaper is on Craigs List. Well at least around here they are on there pretty regularly. Still very spendy but much cheaper than retail. But then again you won't have the warranty like Flbobecu said. How often does a owner actually need the warranty?? Probably not to often or most likely never but with my luck if it isn't there I would need it. haha

    I really like those tables that a lot of people have with the eggs they are slick. But like you said they add more cost and take up a lot of room. You would need a set area that it will be sitting. My UDS and the BGE when I sued it sit in the garage and I just wheel it out when I am needing to use it. I like to be able to move it around my yard if I need to depending on the wind. Or you can just make up a wind break and you wouldn't have to worry about moving it. Lots of things to think about and pro's and con's depending on what you want and what you are looking to do with it. Either way you go you will like smoking on it.
  12. flbobecu

    flbobecu Smoking Fanatic

    For a BGE, the larger sizes, the warranty is very well worth it. I think a fire ring is ~$80. A fire box is like $200, if I remember. I only had a "small" perfect for one persons, like myself. If you get a crack or manufacturing defect in a fire box on a XL it's going to set you back, if you don't have the warranty. 

    I bought my "small" for $200 even, with a nest, and tons of accessories. I wouldn't have paid much more, considering if I needed a part, I would be paying retail. 

    I'd only buy used, if you could easily replace the internals with new parts, and still be under the retail price. That way, I'd have new internals, plus the internals that came with it, plus some cash on the side. 

    At least, that's how I look at it. 
  13. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I'm not familiar with the BGE, but I have seen them in use at BBQ competitions. Don't know how they were using them, but the sure look heavy duty.
  14. ellymae

    ellymae Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have had a large BGE for 3 years now and I LOVE IT. In fact I want a second but I can't bring myself to pull the trigger.

    I also have a Klose BYC and can tell you since I got the Egg I have only fired up my Klose about 3 times.

    They do have a great warrenty if you but them from a dealer, but you get nothing if you buy it off the internet so if you are considering that you may want to think twice.

    You are talking about an XL - may I ask why? How many people will you be cooking for normally? I have the large and it is more then enough for Al and I and I have cooked for a bunch with no problem.

    Eggcessories are a must - at the minimum you will want a plate setter, a nest (unless you build/buy a table), a pizza stone and an ash tool. The plate setter you will want for any indirect cooking and for making pizza. - you want to make pizza with this believe me! I also have an adjustable rig from the ceramic grill store -

    I like the versatility of the Egg - low and slow, hot and fast, awesome pizza, set it and forget it, uses very little fuel.

    Good luck on your decission.
  15. okiedawg

    okiedawg Fire Starter

    I have a BGE and love it. I also have a Cookshack and I love it also, but it does not get the great taste as the BGE delivers. I will always keep my BGE!
  16. Hey everyone, thanks for sharing your thoughts.  I really appreciate it.  I knew I signed up with the right site!

    I think the consensus is it's an excellent rig, there are alternatives, but if I'm willing to spend the money, I'll get what I paid for...

    Ellymae, the only reason I'm considering the XL is the old bigger is better thing.  I'm always thinking that I'll run out of room, and wish I had spent the extra $$$ up front. 

    It's not that I have a lot of mouths to feed, but I've occasionally run into problems with the size limitation of the Bradley so I'm wanting to be sure I don't have to deal with that aspect again. Thanks for pointing out the issues with the warranty if you order online.  I'm assuming there isn't a lot of difference from one store to the next.  It seems most are within a few dollars of each other.   I assumed BGE would honor the warranty no matter where/how I bought it - provided of course it was not previously used.  The website is pretty cool.  Lots of innovative ideas and products there!

    Again, thanks everyone for sharing your ideas and opinions.  Now I've gotta figure out how to lug that 250 lb beast home!  Oh yeah, and how to pay for it!
  17. flbobecu

    flbobecu Smoking Fanatic

    They are excellent grills, smokers, and ovens. And bigger isn't necessarily better. 

    If you go to the egghead forums, the most common size(s) or "combos" owned, are the Large and Small or Large and Mini. Unless of course you are cooking for a large family. 

    With a large, and depending on the meat used, you can get up to three racks of meat in a Large. That's a lot of meat. The same can be done in a UDS as well. 

    Maybe buy a Large, and see how often you actually need more room. If you are constantly needing more room, pick up a Small or Medium. The XL is extremely heavy, very big and with two egg's, you have more versatility. 

    There is a slight difference when buying locally. Some dealers stock accessories, and parts. Others may have to have them ordered. So if you break a fire ring, go to your dealer, and if they don't stock them, you'll have to wait for the part to come in. My local dealer stocks all egg parts for all sizes, so that's why I decided to pick up mine there. 
  18. ellymae

    ellymae Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I would suggest you go somewhere and see the large and xl side by side.

    You can also look at an Eggfest - you can typically pick up an Egg that is used at the fest for a discounted price. Check out the Egg forum to find one near you. I see one in San Fran in June.

    BTW - what the website? I always am leary about anything that says redirect...
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2011
  19. The link changed to    when I wwhen I

    when I went to   .  If you go out to the site, at least on Internet Explorer, you can see it change to for just a second, then it reverts back to ceramicgrillstore.  The weird thing was that the link in your posting also changed while I was connecting to the site.  No big deal though, because I ended up at which is obviously a legit site...

    I've been looking for an Eggfest around Sacramento, but I don't see anything scheduled.  There is a gathering in San Francisco, but that's a long way to drive... but if I have some time to kill I might go anyway...

    You've got me rethinking the XL size...  I might go with the large instead...  It sounds like it will meet my needs just fine.  But I'm still a bigger is better kinda guy...  I dunno...


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