Helpful Tips

The Big Green Egg. The Roasting Taste and more

Now you have the green egg - and countless possibilities: With the Big Green Egg you can grill, smoke and bake, cook meat at a low temperature and you can also prepare fish, shellfish and crustaceans in the ceramic grill. Before you put the Big Green Egg into operation, you simply need to decide whether you want to use it for direct or indirect cooking - i.e. slow cooking, hot smoking or baking. With the direct method, not only the cook but also the food has "eye contact" with the glowing charcoal. With indirect cooking methods, a heat shield such as the ConvEGGtor or a pizza stone separates the embers from the food, which is then cooked by hot air (convection), the heat radiation from the lid or the contact heat of the grill or pizza stone. The temperature can be precisely controlled, allowing you, for example, to smoke at 70 °C, cook at 110 °C or even bake at up to 300 °C. How you "set up" the Big Green Egg therefore depends on what you want to cook and how you want to cook it.

Cooking methods and how to set up the Big Green Egg

1. barbecue

When grilling, whether directly or indirectly, the following applies: The lid of the Big Green Egg always remains closed. This gives you full control over the temperature and ensures that meat and vegetables cook at their best and remain juicy. There are different grids to choose from: - The stainless steel grid is an all-rounder for grilling, but requires higher temperatures than a cast iron grid for the same result. - The cast iron grid has more weight, so it retains heat very well and does not cool down so quickly - even when cold meat is placed on it. The wider bars ensure a large contact surface with the meat, which browns well and gets a nice crust. To grill, place the grid on the edge of the fire ring and fill the fire basket with charcoal at least up to the fire ring. The temperature then varies between 190 °C and 230 °C. For indirect grilling, place the ConvEGGtor stone between the embers and the grate. It is best to also use a drip tray to keep the ceramic clean and place the grid one level higher. Then heat the egg to 180-230 °C. Convection and ambient heat heat the cast-iron grid, on which the food grills and can cook slowly due to the oven effect of the Egg.

View into the fire pot

ConvEGGtor with the feet up

The stainless steel grid is an all-rounder for grilling

2. slow cooking and smoking

At 70-110 °C, slow cooking and smoking can easily be carried out at Big Green Egg. The temperature is easy to control and maintain, which is why hot smoking is a popular technique among eggheads. Above all, the results are deliciously juicy and tender.

Place the heat shield (the ConvEGGtor) on the fire ring above the embers, its feet pointing towards the lid and supporting the stainless steel grid. The food should always be placed in the middle, as the hot air draws upwards at the edges. In the "flow", the food would cook too quickly and even dry out.

If you add smoke, you are in the American Way of BBQ. There are various ways to do this. Smoking wood, smoke chips or pieces of wood (chunks) are placed directly on the glowing charcoal. For fish and poultry, it is best to use smoking chips, a handful is sufficient, as preparation only takes around 20 minutes. For longer cooking times and higher temperatures between 110 °C and 130 °C, chunks are recommended. In this way and with 6-12 hours, you can prepare delicious spare ribs, juicy pulled pork and tender beef brisket. Make sure you use a drip tray, as a lot of fat will drip off. Smoking with barbecue planks is also possible at Big Green Egg.

3. baking. Pan or oven?

Yes, the Big Green Egg can also bake! Both in an oven and with a pan. Cast iron pans** are particularly suitable. Like the cast-iron grids, they store heat well, transfer it to the baked goods via contact and are temperature-constant. They are just as good for hot baking as they are for gentle cooking in a direct arrangement. If you want to use the Big Green Egg like a (charcoal) oven, you will need a pizza stone in addition to the heat shield. With just one ceramic layer, the base becomes too hot due to the radiant heat. However, hot air and convection heat should surround the dough and must be hotter than the stone. For pizza and bread, we therefore recommend the combination of ConvEGGtor (at the bottom, feet facing upwards), stainless steel grid and pizza stone. Make sure that the pizza stone and ConvEGGtor heat up at the same time as the Egg. The temperatures when using the Egg as an oven are usually between 180 °C and 300 °C.


If you want to make original Neapolitan pizza, try it with the ConvEGGtor upside down (feet down). This ensures maximum bottom heat for the wafer-thin dough, but be careful: the baking time is then only approx. 90 seconds!

Filling, lighting and controlling

1. the basis: hard or soft charcoal

Big Green Egg works best with soft charcoal, for example beech, birch or oak. Although it does not burn as long as hard charcoal, it usually comes from Europe and is easy to light. The Big Green Egg charcoal made from beech and copper beech wood is perfectly suited to the appliance. As an "all-rounder", it lies between soft and hard charcoal, has a medium burn time and provides a pleasant smoky taste. Hard charcoal should only be used in the large models, if at all. The pieces are often far too large for the small models and take a long time to burn through, and the temperature is more difficult to control. Never use briquettes, they contain many additives that produce an unpleasant smell and taste, their ash quickly clogs the air ducts and they smoke when lit

By the way: Good charcoal hardly smokes at all - a big advantage if you use the Big Green Egg Mini or Minimax on the balcony.

2. filling and lighting

Always fill the fire basket until the holes are covered and the line between the fire basket and the fire ring is no longer visible. If you are baking pizza for a long time, you can fill the charcoal up to 10 cm below the heat shield. For skewers, add a little less charcoal to increase the distance between the embers and the skewer to prevent burning. It goes without saying that you should remove any ash residue beforehand. Before lighting, do not forget to fully open the air supply valve in the ceramic base and the exhaust air valve with the setting wheel in the ceramic lid (rEGGulator). This is important because the Big Green Egg (with the lid closed) works like a natural accelerator: When lighting, the flames draw air out of the regulator in the base. Only if you want to smoke at a low temperature, leave the lid open so that not too much heat reaches the ceramic. Take courage! Even experienced barbecue professionals will need a few attempts before they can get the Big Green Egg off the ground with ease. After five attempts, you'll be much smarter, and after the first barbecue season, you won't even think about it anymore.

- Before lighting the supply air valve ...

... and fully open the exhaust air valve (rEGGulator)

You regulate the temperature via the interaction of the supply air and exhaust air valves

  • So feel free to use firelighters, but only those made from natural materials such as pressed wood and oil. Anything else will spoil the taste! Place the firelighters in a hollow on top of the charcoal, not underneath it, otherwise they will smoke. The quantity depends on the charcoal and the cooking technique chosen. With Big Green Egg charcoal, one firelighter per glowing point is sufficient. Only with hard charcoal do you need at least double the amount of firelighters
  • Light only as much charcoal as you need It is not necessary to burn all the charcoal grey because a) otherwise you would never be able to smoke at low temperatures and b) it would be a waste
  • Place specific glow points. When smoking at Big Green Egg, you only need one glow point directly under the heat shield. To do this, light one or two firelighters in the middle of the charcoal. When grilling and baking, place three firelighters in a triangular shape; when baking bread and pizza, place them close together. Later, move the glow points towards each other to create a natural draught. This brings the egg up to temperature more quickly. If the charcoal glows cleanly and without flames from orange to blue, you can start regulating the temperature

If it doesn't want to:

  • If it smokes too much, check whether the firelighters are still burning
  • Remove smoking and smoky pieces of charcoal (or anything else that doesn't belong between the charcoal)
  • Re-light and blow a little if necessary. Use an electric lighter if necessary
  • You may have used charcoal that is too hard. Try again with even softer or lighter charcoal.

For maximum radiant heat from the dome at low temperatures, fire the Big Green Egg 40 °C higher than the planned end temperature. If you use the cold heat shield, the temperature inside drops by around 40 °C, but the dome continues to radiate sufficient heat.

3. temperature control. The (control) power lies in the calm

Controlling the temperature in the ceramic grill requires some experience and, above all, patience, as the temperatures should rise slowly. For smoking, 15 minutes is sufficient, for grilling 20 minutes, and if you want to bake pizza, it takes around 45 minutes for the heat shield and stone to get hot enough. Otherwise the pizza base will remain pale. The air regulator with the gauze at the bottom of the Big Green Egg controls the air supply and thus how much charcoal is burned. The lower the air supply, the lower the temperature. The control disc (rEGGulator) on the lid regulates the draught and therefore the glow intensity of the charcoal.

Observe a few basic rules:

  • Take your time! The motto is to light slowly and cool slowly.
  • It is easier to raise the temperature than to lower it.
  • The lid always remains closed: when preparing, burning and cooling.
  • You regulate the temperature via the interaction of the air regulator (air supply) and control disc (draught).
  • Both regulators are never closed completely, neither when heating up nor when cooking.
  • If you have just opened the lid and closed it again, wait a minute until you read the temperature

Depending on the cooking method, set the following starting positions for the two controls:

  • Smoking: a few centimetres open
  • Grilling: half open
  • Baking bread: ¾ open
  • Baking pizza: fully open

You can use the gauze, which prevents the ash from falling out, for additional control. First let the temperature rise. Then close the window in small steps until the temperature seems stable. If it has (initially) become too high, close the controls briefly (but never completely!) and wait 1-2 minutes before starting or continuing to regulate. If you want to lower the temperature, this may take some time because the ceramic stores the heat for a long time. If it was over 250 °C, you can lower it to a maximum of 130 °C. Once the Big Green Egg is at operating temperature, always open the lid in two steps. First open it a crack: This allows air to flow in and any flame that may form to escape (without singeing the hair on your arms). Use gloves if necessary.

Tip: If the lid is open for a longer period of time, for example to remove the heat shield, close the air regulator so that the charcoal only gets oxygen from above and does not get hot so quickly. (Open again afterwards!) This is also important when carrying out a step in low-temperature cooking (e.g. wrapping aluminum foil around spare ribs). The EGG heats up beyond the desired temperature due to frequent opening of the lid and the inflowing oxygen. You can also regulate the temperature with the heat shield as described in the tip above. The principle works at almost all temperatures. You can insert a cold heat stone or remove a stone that is hotter than 250 °C to lower the temperature in the Big Green Egg. However, the latter is somewhat difficult, which is why we advise against it. Fireproof gloves are then a must. Even if you want to give the meat a "finish" on the embers when cooking at a low temperature, only remove the convEGGtor with fireproof gloves

At the end of the day. Extinguishing
"Extinguishing" the Big Green Egg is very simple: close all controls and the lid. Without an air supply, the charcoal will go out and the Egg will cool down considerably within an hour. Before doing so, however, make sure that the grate is brush-clean and remove the drip tray. The next time you use the Egg, all you have to do is move the ash to the bottom of the Egg, which is best done with a poker, and dispose of it. On to the next round!