Igniting and extinguishing
Using your Big Green Egg starts when you ignite it and ends when you extinguish it after use. If you are doing this for the first time, we can help you on your way. Watch our instruction video or read all the ignition and extinguishing procedures at your leisure.
Igniting your EGG
When igniting your EGG, you will need natural starters (e.g. our Charcoal Starters), long matches or a safe lighter, and of course the charcoal. You should preferably use charcoal that comes in nice big lumps, such as our Premium Organic Lump Charcoal, for example. Never use briquettes, wood or other materials.
Step 1: Place the dual function rEGGulator on the ceramic lid of the EGG. This will allow you to control the air flow and the temperature in the EGG.
Step 2: Fill the ceramic fire box to the rim with charcoal and completely open the slide of the draft door in the ceramic base.
Step 3: Divide three charcoal starters over the charcoal and ignite them. Leave the ceramic lid of the EGG open. The available oxygen will accelerate the ignition process.
Step 4: After about 10-15 minutes, the coals will start glowing nicely. Place any required accessories in the EGG and close the lid.
The Big Green Egg will now start heating up to the desired temperature. Adjust the dual function rEGGulator and the draft door to reach the desired temperature and keep the lid of the EGG closed as much as possible. You can read more about temperature control on the page Temperature control.
Extinguishing your EGG
In order to safely extinguish the EGG, all you have to do is shut off the oxygen supply. This will cause the charcoal in the EGG to gradually cool down.
Step 1: Close the draft door in the ceramic base of the EGG.
Step 2: Close the dual function rEGGulator on the ceramic lid of the EGG or, better still, replace the dual function rEGGulator with the ceramic snuffer cap.
Step 3: Wait for approximately 20 minutes until the charcoal has completely cooled down. It would be unwise to open the lid of the EGG during this time, as a sudden rush of air could cause a burst of flame (backdraft).
You can use the extinguished charcoal again next time. First remove the old ashes, then supplement the charcoal and reignite the Big Green Egg.
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 using 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.
Help, my Big Green Egg is PRODUCING TOO MUCH SMOKE tips & tricks
Excessive smoke can have multiple causes. Unwanted smoke (which you have not created yourself with the help of smoking wood) can be caused by inferior quality fire starters and/or charcoal, but it may also have other causes. Dripping grease while grilling also causes smoke, for instance. Your first reaction may be to stop the smoke by closing the reGGulator from the top. But then the smoke will remain inside the EGG, while what you want to do is quickly release it and stop it forming, for it’s the type of smoke that gives an overly smoky taste to your food that you don’t want.
Therefore, close the air regulator at the bottom of the ceramic base so that the air supply stops and open the lid of the rEGGulator to allow the smoke to escape. The radiant heat from the ceramic and the contact heat from the grid are enough to complete your grilling session, even if the temperature decreases somewhat as a result of opening the lid.
After a grilling session during which grease has dripped onto the charcoal, brush the grid clean and let the charcoal burn for about 10 minutes before closing the air regulator and the rEGGulator. This will burn off the grease or marinade and any leftover food, so you can start the next cooking session with clean charcoal.
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.
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