Direct grilling is one of the most popular cooking techniques for the Big Green Egg. It gives meat, fish, poultry and other ingredients a unique flavour and makes it delightfully crisp on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside. Grilling on the EGG only requires a few accessories and you will become an expert before you know it! Learn more about direct grilling by watching our instruction video and reading our useful (safety) tips.
Stainless Steel Grid or Cast Iron Grid
Are you planning to grill meat, fish or other ingredients directly on the Big Green Egg? You can grill very nicely on the Stainless Steel Grid, which is included as a standard accessory. However, for the best possible results with red meat and poultry, we recommend using the Cast Iron Grid, which creates an attractive and highly distinctive diamond grill pattern.
Ignite the EGG as described previously, place the chosen grid (Stainless Steel Grid or Cast Iron Grid) in the EGG and heat to a temperature of about 220°C . It is also possible to add the grid at a later stage. You can use the Grid Gripper or the Cast Iron Grid Lifter to safely place the grid in the EGG.
Prevent sticking, tearing and smoking
Ensure that the grid in the EGG is as hot as it needs to be before placing the ingredients. A hot grid prevents ingredients from sticking and/or tearing. When you place ingredients on the grid for the very first time, wait at least one minute before moving them around or flipping them over. It is not necessary to constantly move the ingredients.
Brush the ingredients with very little to no oil before grilling. Thanks to the small amounts of oil used, grilling is not just a delicious way of preparing food, it’s also a healthier one. Too much oil can also cause wafts of smoke.
Never over-grill your food
Make sure you never grill your ingredients for too long. On the page Temperature control you will find a useful table with preparations, weights, temperatures and timings. To grill a côte de boeuf or fillet steak medium rare, for example, grill for approximately 6 minutes on each side. After about 3 minutes, give the meat a quarter turn to create a nice grill pattern.
Once you have had a bit of practice, it will become much easier for you to determine when your ingredients are done. If you still lack a bit of confidence, you could measure the core temperature with the Digital Pocket Thermometer, or the Dual Probe Remote Thermometer, or the Instant Read Digital Thermometer.
When your food is nicely grilled, you can remove it from the EGG. Allow grilled meat to rest in a warm place or under aluminium foil for at least 5 minutes before carving it. This ensures that the meat juices are evenly distributed throughout the meat and are less likely to run out when the meat is carved.
Always keep the lid of the EGG closed as much as possible
When grilling, always keep the ceramic lid of the EGG closed as much as possible. The convection heat inside the dome (i.e. the heat produced by the air flow and reflected from the ceramic surface) ensures that the ingredients will cook evenly. The small air vents allow very little moisture to escape, keeping your ingredients juicy and delicious.
Do not overload the grid with ingredients when grilling, as this can hinder combustion and affect the grilling process. Use no more than 2/3 to 3/4 of the cooking grid so that hot air can circulate around the ingredients and the temperature distribution in the EGG remains constant. This is essential for even cooking.
Of course, you will have to open the lid every now and then. If this is unavoidable, open it carefully and in 2 steps, allowing air to enter the EGG gradually. Ignoring this instruction could result in a backdraft and you don’t want that.
Done grilling? Enjoy your food and clean the EGG, or try a different dish!
When you have finished grilling, you can savour your tasty ingredients with their unique flavour, delicious crispy outside and surprisingly tender inside!
After enjoying your delicious food, make sure you give the grid a good clean so that it’s ready to be used again the next time. Read more on the page Cleaning.
Do you want to try another cooking technique? Read more on the pages Indirect cooking, Smoking or Baking.
A Big Green Egg is very safe to use provided the EGG is used for its intended purpose and certain guidelines are followed. You must always be very careful when working with fire or heat. The same applies to working with a Big Green Egg! While using your EGG, heed the safety tips below and be careful when igniting the charcoal and working with the glowing coals and hot surfaces and materials. That way you can enjoy using your Big Green Egg and savour the mouth-watering flavours of all the tasty dishes.
Do not use the EGG indoors
Do not ignite the EGG indoors or in a space with insufficient ventilation. Although some professionals may use the EGG in their kitchens, this is always in accordance with the building regulations and requires the presence of professional ventilation and a fire fighting system.
Take local regulations into account when EGGing outdoors
Cooking on an open fire is not permitted everywhere. If you are on a campsite or having a picnic, you must comply with the local regulations, temporary or otherwise. It is possible that cooking on an open fire is allowed but that special rules apply – for example, in relation to the distance between the cooking appliance and certain objects.
Do not use lighter fluid or other combustible fluids to ignite the EGG
The Premium Organic Lump Charcoal of Big Green Egg ignites very quickly when using natural starters or an electric lighter. Do not use briquettes, lighter fluid or other combustible fluids. This could cause the warranty to lapse and it could also impair the flavour of the products to be cooked.
Keep the mesh of the draft door closed
By keeping the mesh closed, you prevent any sparks escaping from the EGG and avoid the risk of burning charcoal falling out of the EGG, however small this risk may be. You only need to slide the mesh open when removing cold ashes.
Never remove or move the fire box if it is hot or contains hot charcoal
The ceramic material of the fire box retains heat for a long time. Wait before removing or moving the fire box and/or the charcoal in the fire box until you are sure that both the charcoal and the fire box have cooled down fully.
After igniting the EGG, place the dual function rEGGulator on the chimney
Without the cast iron dual function rEGGulator, the temperature in the EGG will rise substantially without you being able to control it.
Never look into the chimney when the EGG is in use
The chimney is not a viewing window. Never look into it when the EGG is in use or when the charcoal is burning because hot air rising from the chimney could cause serious injury.
Be careful when touching the outside of the EGG
Although a Big Green Egg will not become as hot on the outside as a steel barbecue, for example, it will still feel hot when in use or before it has cooled down. Always keeps children, pets and combustible materials away from the EGG.
Use the proper accessories to lift the grids
When the EGG is in use, the grids in the EGG (the Stainless Steel Grid and the Cast Iron Grid) become hot. That is why you should use the specially designed Grid Gripper or the Cast Iron Grid Lifter to grasp and lift the hot grids.
Be careful when removing used accessories
Always apply extreme caution when removing hot components and accessories from the EGG, such as the convEGGtor or the Flat Baking Stone. You should always use heat-resistant gloves such as the EGGmitt or the Silicone Grilling Mitt, as well as the right tools, in order to prevent burns. Stainless steel, cast iron and ceramics can become extremely hot. Place used accessories on a non-combustible surface where they will not be touched accidentally and cause burns.
Always be aware of a fire hazard!
Never leave a working EGG with an open lid unattended. When the EGG is being used, beware of any dry leaves, wooden floors and other combustible materials in the direct vicinity. They could present a fire hazard if they come into contact with sparks or hot charcoal. Also keep a close eye on your surroundings when using the EGG. Fire can be hazardous to people, animals, property and nature.
Preventing a backdraft during or after use
Once the charcoal in the EGG is burning, you must first open the lid carefully about 5 centimetres a few times before opening it fully. This allows air to flow into the EGG slowly, preventing a backdraft from occurring. Be very careful when you open a hot EGG with a closed dual function rEGGulator and draft door, as the sudden inflow of air could cause dangerously high flames. If this does happen, close the lid immediately to extinguish the flames, then carefully open the lid a few centimetres several times before opening it fully. We recommend that you always wear heat-resistant gloves and that you ensure adequate personal protection.
Never extinguish the charcoal using water
If you close the draft door after use and cover the chimney with the ceramic snuffer cap, the charcoal will die down in about 20 minutes. This means that you never have to use water or any other extinguishing agent.
Big Green Egg has done everything possible to ensure the safety of the appliance when in use. However, the users themselves are responsible for their own safety and that of their environment. Users must always act prudently and handle the EGG and the accessories with caution.
If you would like to receive your dose of inspiration by e-mail, then register for our monthly newsletter Inspiration Today and add some more flavour to your inbox. That’s all you have to do to receive the most delicious recipes, inspiring seasonal menus, practical tips and much, much more!