The Big Green Egg is ideal for smoking products and dishes to perfection. You’ll make an unforgettable impression on all your guests with the characteristic aroma and subtle taste of hot-smoked food. Would you like to learn how smoking in the EGG works? We will be happy to explain everything to you!
Smoking? Use the convEGGtor!
To achieve the best result, we recommend that you use the convEGGtor when smoking with the Big Green Egg. Using the convEGGtor, you can easily achieve the low temperature needed for smoking, while protecting your dish against the direct heat of the glowing charcoal at the same time.
Proceed as follows:
Step 1: Fill the EGG with charcoal and starters and ignite the starters.
Step 2: If you plan to smoke using Wood Chips or Wood Chunks, soak these in water for a while beforehand and sprinkle them over the charcoal as soon as it starts glowing. The longer you intend to smoke, the more Wood Chips or Wood Chunks you will need.
Step 3: Heat the EGG to a temperature of between 100 and 150 degrees Celsius. Smoking is done at low temperatures of between 60 and 90 degrees Celsius, but the temperature in the EGG will drop when the convEGGtor is placed.
Step 4: Position the convEGGtor in the EGG with the feet facing upwards, place a Drip Pan on it and the Stainless Steel Grid on top of that. The drip pan will catch the juices and proteins that would otherwise burn or congeal on the ceramic surface of the convEGGtor. Add some water to the drip pan to create a small amount of steam. This will help your dish to cook evenly. Take into account that the temperature in the EGG will drop slightly due to the placement of these accessories. Of course, the EGG will still be hot, even though smoking is done at a relatively low temperature. You should therefore use fire-resistant gloves (e.g. the EGGmitt or the Silicone Grilling Mitt) or the Grid Gripper to place the accessories.
Step 5: Once the EGG has reached the desired temperature, place your dish in the EGG and start smoking. If you plan to smoke using a Wooden Grilling Plank, soak it in water for a while beforehand, then place your dish on the plank and place the plank in the EGG.
Step 6: Limit the air flow in the EGG by slightly closing the draft door in the ceramic base and the dual function metal top on the ceramic lid. This will ensure a constant temperature in the EGG.
Step 7: Check whether your dish is well smoked and properly cooked. There are two ways to do this. You can either time the cooking (smoking) process or you can measure the core temperature of the food. The smoking times and core temperatures depend on what you are smoking and its weight, as well as your personal preference. In other words, experiment to your heart’s content! On the page Temperature control you will find a useful table with preparations, weights, temperatures and timings to help you along. In order to measure the core temperature of a dish you could use, for example, the Digital Pocket Thermometer, the Dual Probe Remote Thermometer or the Instant Read Digital Thermometer.
Step 8: Once your dish is ready, remove it from the EGG and serve it!
Wood Chips/Wood Chunks and flavours
To achieve the best smoking result, we recommend that you use Wood Chips or Wood Chunks instead of smoke chips or sawdust. The smoke generated by Wood Chips and Wood Chunks in the EGG imparts characteristic flavours and aromas to your ingredients and dishes. This allows you to play around with the flavour of your smoked dishes.
The type of Wood Chips or Wood Chunks used also has an influence on the flavour. Some varieties are more intense than others. In addition, one type is ideal for smoking meat whereas another may be more suitable for fish. Guidelines to the use of the various types are given below.
Apple (available as Wood Chips and Wood Chunks) adds natural sweetness to fish, crustaceans and poultry. It also works well with pork and other white meat.
Cherry (available as Wood Chips) imparts a mild fruity flavour and goes well with anything. It is excellent for using with fish, lamb, all kinds of game, duck and beef.
Pecan (available as Wood Chips) gives fish and poultry a rich, subtle flavour. Pecan works particularly well with spicy smoked dishes, such as the classic American barbecue dishes.
Walnut/hickory (available as Wood Chips and Wood Chunks) works very well with red meat, turkey, chicken and all kinds of game. It is also ideal for smoking fruit and nuts, and gives all ingredients a robust, spicy, smoky flavour.
Mesquite (available as Wood Chunks) will give steaks and chops a delicious spicy flavour.
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 metal top on the chimney
Without the cast iron dual function metal top, 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 the hot air rising from the chimney could cause serious injuries.
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 metal top 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.
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