11 February 2020
Ceramic, the strength of the kamado
The ins and outs of ceramic
If you choose to go for the Big Green Egg, then you’ll be choosing a kamado with the very best quality. A ceramic barbecue unique in its class. The most important factor? The ceramic, on which Big Green Egg offers a lifetime warranty. In this blog you’ll read about the role of ceramic, why the quality is so important, what the advantages are, and how to keep it in good condition.
The role of ceramic
A number of elements play an important role in the proper functioning of a kamado like the Big Green Egg. The lid and shape of the ceramic barbecue, which ensure proper heat circulation, and the quality of the ceramic of which the kamado is made. Ceramic quality is more important than you might think. Because only the best ceramic excels in terms of sustainability, ensures perfect temperature control, and has a positive influence on the taste of the ingredients and dishes you prepare. So the quality of the ceramic is really important.
The Big Green Egg's ultimate ceramic
There are huge differences in the quality of ceramic used for kamados. Ed Fisher, the founder of Big Green Egg, already came to the conclusion in the last century that the ceramic of the kamados he was importing from Asia did not meet the desired level of quality. There was definitely room for improvement! The search in the 1990s for the ultimate ceramic for the Big Green Egg led to North America. A high tech factory in Mexico was found that could produce state of the art ceramic with the ideal properties using technologies developed by NASA.
Perfect heat properties
Since then we have had an exclusive partnership with this factory. The Big Green Egg is the only kamado produced there, in contrast to most other ceramic barbecues that are still imported from Asia. The ceramic of the Big Green Egg consists of a unique and carefully balanced fine composition of clay. This gives the ceramic a fine texture and also makes it strong and long-lasting. The finely textured ceramic also absorbs less moisture from the cooking ingredients than kamados with a coarser ceramic texture. That means food keeps its flavour and doesn’t dry out. Another important point is that when heated the ceramic expands and when cooled it contracts. Thanks to the fine texture of Big Green Egg ceramic this happens more evenly so that the chance of cracking is minimal.
Year round EGGing
One of the properties of the thick, high quality ceramic is its extreme insulation capacity. This means it holds the heat and is not affected by the outside temperature. Even when it’s well below freezing outside, it’s easy to control your EGG’s temperature with precision and keep it constant. What’s more, the ceramic reflects the heat, which in combination with the shape creates that desired air flow. An extra feature of the insulating function is that you need very little charcoal.
Where is the EGG made?
Only top experts with a thorough understanding of the art of ceramic production are involved at each stage of the production process. They have grown up with the age-old Mexican tradition of quality ceramic. The factory is ISO 9001 UL certified, which means that it satisfies the industry’s highest quality standards,production methods, and production quality. A measure of transparency, traceability and reliability.
The exact composition of the materials for the Big Green Egg ceramic should be seen as the ingredients of a secret family recipe. The recipe for Big Green Egg’s ceramic hasn’t been changed since the start of our exclusive partnership with the ultramodern ceramic manufacturer in Mexico. You can only achieve the best results with the best and carefully considered ingredients. But only if they are processed the right way. So the baking process is just as crucial as a balanced mix of materials. The most costly ingredient is time.
The baking process
Before baking can start the ceramic must be 100% dry. After that, the process itself takes another 2 days. After the ceramic elements have been treated with the protective green glaze, the ceramic temperature in the kiln is slowly and evenly brought to 1,300 oC, and then left to bake for several hours. Then the kiln and ceramic elements are returned to room temperature in the same slow and even way, and afterwards the ceramic is left to completely cool. The result? Ceramic that is as strong as cast-iron and able to withstand huge shifts in temperature.
Due to this unique production method, Big Green Egg has a considerably longer lifetime than other similar ceramic barbecues. Thanks to the ultimate combination of materials plus baking process, this ceramic remains unequalled. No matter how often you use the Big Green Egg, the quality of the ceramic remains at the guaranteed standard. We are convinced. That’s why we offer a lifetime warranty on the materials and fabrication of all the ceramic parts. That too is unique in the world of kamados.
Maintaining the ceramic
Sometimes you hear the craziest stories about keeping the Big Green Egg ceramic in good condition. Burn it clean at a really high temperature? Nonsense! The black colour just says something about your enthusiasm for using the EGG. All you have to do is occasionally use a steel brush on the inside of the lid from time to time to remove any loose soot particles.
And the green glazed outside area? If you occasionally pour mild liquid soap suds over the almost cooled kamado, not only the ceramic, but also the look of your Big Green Egg will remain as new.
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