One of the many advantages of a Big Green Egg is that you can control the temperature very accurately, almost to within one degree. Do you want your EGG hotter or colder, or do you want a constant temperature for as long as possible? No problem! With such precise temperature control, you can prepare all your dishes to perfection. This precise temperature control is explained below.
Temperature control: the combined action of the dual function metal top and the draft door
Did you ignite your Big Green Egg, and did you close the lid after approximately 15 minutes? If so, your EGG will heat up to the right temperature. It is very easy to increase or decrease the temperature or keep it at the same level. It does require some practice, but after a few rounds of EGGing you will soon get the hang of it.
Temperature control in the EGG is all about the combined action of the draft door in the ceramic base and the dual function metal top on the ceramic lid. With the draft door, you can roughly determine the temperature range in the EGG, particularly the upper limit (the maximum temperature). The dual function metal top subsequently helps you to fine-tune the temperature, almost to within one degree.
Increasing, decreasing and maintaining the temperature
You can control the oxygen level in de EGG with both the draft door and the dual function metal top. The more oxygen, the harder the charcoal will burn and the higher the temperature in the EGG will be. And conversely, the less oxygen, the lower the temperature will be.
Do you want to increase the temperature in the EGG? You can increase the air flow by widening the vents in the dual function metal top, by opening the dual function metal top further and/or by opening the draft door further.
Do you want to decrease the temperature in the EGG? You can reduce the air flow into the EGG by closing the dual function metal top or the vents and/or by closing the draft door.
Do you want to maintain the temperature in the EGG? Close the dual function metal top but ensure that the vents on the dual function metal top are fully or partially open (depending on the temperature). This is how you can keep the temperature in the EGG at a constant level.
Temperatures and settings
Do you want a temperature of between 60 and 150 degrees Celsius? Open the draft door slightly and open the vents in the dual function metal top.
Do you want a temperature of between 150 and 220 degrees Celsius? Open the draft door slightly and open the vents in the dual function metal top to 3/4.
Do you want a temperature of between 200 and 230 degrees Celsius? Open the draft door to 1/4 and fully open the vents in the dual function metal top.
Do you want a temperature of between 280 and 350 degrees Celsius? Fully open the draft door and open the dual function metal top halfway.
Preparation methods, temperatures and timings
You can bake pizzas in about 6-10 minutes at 250°C and you can slow-cook pork belly at 100°C for approximately 3 hours. Each preparation, cooking technique or quantity calls for a different temperature and timing. The table below shows a number of popular preparation methods, temperatures and timings.
|Preparation||Weight||Big Green Egg Temperature||Core Temperature||Time (approx.)|
|Fruit & vegetables||20-100 g||220°C||–||2-5 min.|
|Shellfish||20-100 g||220°C||55°C||13 min.|
|Fish||150-250 g||220°C||55°C||13 min.|
|Côte de boeuf||1 kg||230-250°C||52-58°C||16-20 min.|
|Rib eye||100-250 g||220°C||50-68°C||5-10 min.|
|Lamb chops||100-250 g||220°C||50-68°C||5 – 10 min.|
|Chicken||150-250 g||150°C||77°C||16-20 min.|
|Duck breast||300 g||190-200 ℃||54 ℃||6-8 min|
|Cooking with indirect heat|
|Pork neck||2-5 kg||120°C||65°C||4 hour|
|Leg of lamb||2-5 kg||120°C||55°C||3 hour|
|Rump steak||2-5 kg||120°C||48°C||1,5 hour|
|Full chicken||1,5 kg||180°C||77°C||75-90 min.|
|Chicken leg||250 g||180°C||77°C||35-34 min.|
|Chicken breast||250 g||180°C||77°C||16-20 min.|
|Pork neck||2-5 kg||90°C||65°C||8-9 hour|
|Rump steak||1-3 kg||90°C||48°C||1,5 hour|
|Salmon||180 g||90°C||50°C||20-25 min.|
|Meat stew||2-8 kg||150°C||–||3-4 hour|
|Vegetable stew||1-5 kg||150°C||–||20 min.|
|Cooking on stone|
|Pizza (crust 2-3mm)||–||250°C||–||6-10 min.|
|Roasting potatoes||–||150°C||–||2-3 hour|
|Roasting root vegetables||–||150°C||–||2-3 hour|
|Hot chocolate cake||–||200°C||–||15 min.|
The impact of the lid on the temperature
We recommend that you keep the lid of the EGG closed as much as possible while using the EGG. This optimises air circulation in the EGG, it ensures perfectly even cooking, and it prevents the felt on the rims of the ceramic base and the ceramic lid from burning.
In addition, it helps to keep the temperature in the EGG as constant as possible. Don’t worry about the temperature in the EGG dropping substantially if you have to open the lid from time to time. This will allow more oxygen to reach the charcoal, making it burn more fiercely, which will immediately compensate for any drop in temperature.
Please note that from a safety perspective it is important to open the lid carefully and in two stages, particularly at very high temperatures. Open the lid about 5 cm so that cold air can get into the EGG and hot air can get out. Only then should you open the lid fully. This will prevent the risk of a backdraft.
The effect of accessories on the temperature
The removal of accessories from the EGG and especially the placement of accessories in the EGG can affect the temperature in the EGG. This effect is even greater if the accessories are added at a later stage. Examples include the convEGGtor or the Baking Stone. If these are cold when you place them in the EGG, the temperature will drop slightly.
If necessary, you can adjust the air flow to increase the temperature. Once the EGG has reached the right temperature, the accessories will be hot enough to get cooking.
Do you want to know which core temperatures to aim for when cooking different types of meat and fish? Read all about core temperatures on this page.
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 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 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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