26 April 2018
How do I maintain my egg?
It’s not rocket science. The better you look after your Big Green Egg, the longer it will last and the stay in good condition. The question is how. Peter Bootsma, Big Green Egg expert since the early days, explains the maintenance required for each component.
Maintaining cast iron accessories
It is important to maintain your cast iron accessories to keep them in tip-top condition. We explain how to do this in this video.
The rEGGulator is a patented air regulator and the successor to the dual function metal top. It is made from durable cast iron and has a silicon handle. The rEGGulator also contains a rust-preventative coating, which means there’s no need to season it. In fact, the seasoning process will damage both the coating and the silicone grip. If your EGG is not kept under a canopy, you can best maintain the rEGGulator by covering your EGG after use, once it has cooled down. If your rEGGulator starts looking a bit dull as time passes, rub on some Crisco or vegetable oil, such as peanut oil. Ideally, you should do this when the rEGGulator is still slightly warm.
Maintaining the Daisy Wheel
If you have a Big Green Egg with a dual function metal top, we recommend performing maintenance on this component once or twice a year. If you don’t, it could attract dirt. To maintain this component, heat your EGG to 250°C and remove the rust with a wire brush. Place the convEGGtor, Disposable Drip Pan and Stainless Steel Grid in the EGG, and place the dual function metal top on the grill. Let it heat up for 10 minutes and then grease it with vegetable oil. Heat for 30 minutes and your maintenance is complete.
Base and Dome
Clean the outside of the ceramic base and dome from time to time (I do this a bit more often because I use my EGG almost daily) with soapy water and some green soap. This is easier if the EGG is still slightly warm. Maintain the inside of the dome by occasionally brushing it with a wire brush (or grit 80 sandpaper).
STAINLESS STEEL GRID
It is easiest to clean the grid when it is still slightly warm. The Dual Brush Grid Scrubber is the best tool for the job. After scrubbing, just rub it with a wad of paper. I always store my EGG immediately after using it, if I am not in the mood for cleaning. When I fire it up the next time, I clean the grid as soon as it starts heating up. This takes no time at all, and cooking on the EGG is so much better without any leftovers stuck to the grid.
CAST IRON GRID
Cast iron is a beautiful and tremendously strong material, but it is also brittle. This means that it does need a bit of extra attention every now and then. Besides cleaning, which is done in the same way as the Stainless Steel Grid, the Cast Iron Grid also needs to be seasoned like the dual function metal top. I explained how to do that in the section on that component. Also, always use a Grid Lifter when placing the cast-iron grill rack in your EGG or taking it out. This will prevent you from accidentally dropping the heavy grid on your fire ring, causing this to crack.
Always allow the grid to heat up gently in your Big Green Egg (in other words, do not place a cold grid in a very hot EGG) to prevent any cracks due to sudden, extreme changes in temperature. This can be done by placing the grid in the EGG while it is heating up. This allows the cast iron to heat up slowly and suffer less stress.
If you regularly move your Big Green Egg around, the nuts and bolts could shake loose so you should tighten them regularly. Cleaning the frame with water and soft soap occasionally will do it a world of good. It will also improve its appearance a lot.
The convEGGtor is designed in such a way that it ensures a good airflow and excellent heat conductivity. As the convEGGtor allows only indirect heat to pass through, it transforms your EGG into a fully fledged outdoor oven. If you want to prevent your convEGGtor from becoming dirty while cooking, put a Drip Pan on it. If you forget to use a drip tray, no worries; just heat your Big Green Egg to 250°C with the convEGGtor inside and all the dirt will burn off. When there’s no more smoke coming out of the dual function metal top or rEGGulator, that means it’s clean enough. If you want to clean it more quickly, you could use the Dual Brush Grid Scrubber.
The felt in your Big Green Egg has two functions: it cushions and prevents damage when you close your EGG, and it makes it airtight. If the felt becomes too hard, it will no longer function properly and need to be replaced. This is done by first removing the old felt. Scrape the underlying ceramic clean using a sharp knife or putty knife and remove any residue using grit 80 sandpaper. Finally, wipe the ceramic with kitchen paper. You can now apply a new strip of felt. When you have finished, the best thing to do is leave the EGG with the lid closed for 24 hours, then fire up your Big Green Egg gently to ensure that the layer of glue adheres well to the ceramic. The felt should be replaced once every two years.
You can calibrate your thermometer to ensure that it continues to function properly (continues to indicate the right temperature). First detach the thermometer from the dome. Bring a pan of water to the boil, place a skimmer on the pan and push the pin of the thermometer through one of the holes in the skimmer. Make sure the tip of the thermometer hangs in the water and does not touch the bottom of the pan. It should then indicate 100°C. If it doesn’t, use the adjusting nut on the back to set to it 100°C. Afterwards, hang the thermometer in a container of iced water (water with ice cubes). After a few minutes, place it in boiling water again. If it has been properly calibrated, the temperature should rise to 100°C again.
HEAT UNTIL WHITE? NO NEED
Let’s start by clearing up a misconception. You sometimes hear EGG users say that they heat up their Big Green Egg until white or clean. They do this by creating extremely high temperatures in their EGG for long periods of time. However, the more you use the Big Green Egg, the blacker it will become. As a consequence, it will function more effectively and become more stable. And that, it seems to me as a Big Green Egg fanatic, is the most important thing. There’s no need to heat your EGG until white. Heating up your EGG extremely high in a short time can also lead to cracks in your fire ring.
The hinge of your Big Green Egg is made of steel, the advantage of which is that it moves with the ceramic. However, this means that it tends to expand or contract when the temperature changes. As a consequence, you will occasionally need to check the hinge and tighten it. While doing so, you should also check that the band hasn’t dropped. If it has, set it again (you can read how to do this in the manual). The heat ensures that the moving parts of the hinge become rough, resulting in friction and a possible loosening of the bolts. While you’re there, you could also spray the hinge with WD-40 or another silicone spray and wash the steel using soapy water.
FIRE BOWL AND FIRE RING
This is easy! These components require no maintenance. Take them out once in a while to remove all of the ash from your EGG.
Tip: also check out the dedicated maintenance page.
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