Think like a pro, think Big!
The Big Green Egg in the professional kitchen
It was the professionals who quickly discovered the qualities of the Big Green Egg after it was introduced in Europe. The main reason? Flavour! The Big Green Egg allows chefs to add a unique flavour to ingredients or dishes.
Add to that the ease of use, durability and reliability of this Evergreen among kamados, and it’s easy to see why the Big Green Egg is an asset in any professional kitchen. Synonymous with quality, the Big Green Egg is the best kamado of its kind. And as a chef, you prefer to work with the best ingredients and materials. Here we explain why the Big Green Egg is so unique in its field.
The Big Green Egg is more than just a barbecue: you can use this kamado for many different cooking techniques, including baking (e.g. bread and pan-frying), grilling, hot and cold smoking, smoking on a smoking board, poaching, stewing, steaming, roasting, spit-roasting, wok cooking and cooking according to the reverse sear method (a combination of indirect and direct cooking) and the initial sear method (a combination of direct and indirect cooking). With direct heat, your product cooks directly over the charcoal and with indirect heat, you use the convEGGtor to create an oven.
Thanks to the closed system, you can control the temperature inside your EGG very carefully and the high-quality ceramic material provides good humidity, keeping your ingredients more succulent. With a Big Green Egg, you use convection heat (the airflow), radiant heat (the heat radiated by the charcoal and reflected by the ceramic) and contact heat with, for example, the grid or a pan. The versatility of the Big Green Egg allows you as a chef to combine delicious flavours with your creativity. You can, in turn, create unique dishes. Some cooking techniques create a more intense flavour than others. Below, we introduce you to a selection of the most interesting techniques for the hospitality industry.
Grilling is undoubtedly the most widely used cooking technique within the hospitality industry. The high temperature gives steaks a nice brown exterior and keeps the inside succulent and tender. But many fruits and vegetables, such as courgette, asparagus, pumpkin, aubergine, little gem, onion, tomato, watermelon, peach and avocado, also lend themselves well to grilling. When grilling, you use a cast iron grid. Cast iron absorbs heat well and transfers it to the ingredient. The V-shape of the grilling bars makes this happen in a very concentrated way, creating a maillard reaction that results in beautiful (and tasty) grill stripes or checks. Fragile Delicate ingredients such as avocado and peach are best grilled indirectly, allowing them to cook more gently.
Hot and cold smoking
Smoking ingredients allows you to play with flavours. Among other things, you can use the Big Green Egg for hot and cold smoking. Hot smoking is especially common for meat, poultry and fish, but you can also give seafood and certain fruits and vegetables a delicious smoky flavour. Salmon is perhaps the most popular ingredient for cold smoking. But if you want to cook out of the box, you can also cold-smoke products like butter, olive oil, eggs, cheeses, chocolate, nuts, salt or dairy. Smoked dairy, for example, is a great base for ice cream. So, you serve something unique! Depending on the product you want to smoke and the desired flavour, you can use different types of smoking wood . The setting in the Big Green Egg depends on which smoking method you use.
Roasting vegetables caramelises the sugars, which combined with the smoky flavour of the Big Green Egg creates a very special and intense flavour. Many vegetables can be served immediately after roasting, for example roasted potato, root vegetables or roasted beetroot. Or you could add chestnuts, roasted in the Big Green Egg, to your menu as a snack. This technique is also perfect for your mise en place: use the roasted vegetables as a base for a cream, puree or a soup. Almost all root vegetables are suitable for roasting, but don’t forget about peppers, onions, leeks and aubergines too. A baba ganoush based on roasted aubergine is guaranteed to be a hit. With most vegetables, you can also use the EGG’s residual heat for this technique. To do this, place the vegetables on the grid, close the air regulator and rEGGulator, which will extinguish the charcoal, and the residual heat stored in the ceramics will cook the vegetables. Delicious and sustainable!
The Big Green Egg is a fully-fledged oven which can also be used for baking. So breads, pastries, pies, quiches and any other dishes you make in an oven can be baked or cooked in the Big Green Egg too. When you use the Baking Stone in combination with the convEGGtor and the stainless steel grid, you can even set up the EGG as a stone oven. While baking bread or pastries in the catering industry may not always be practical given its capacity, but for quick, hot preparations such as pizzas and tarte flambée, the Big Green Egg is a real asset. Thanks to the Big Green Egg’s temperature range of up to 350°C, you can bake pizzas and tarte flambée at the temperature you want.
There are several techniques that fall under slow cooking, such as stewing and slow cooking large pieces of meat. Because the latter technique allows the proteins in the meat to solidify very slowly, the result is extremely tender. Meat is also slow-cooked using the indirect method. Once the meat is in the EGG, you’ve nothing to worry about until the desired core temperature is reached. Use this method, for example, to cook a sizeable piece of pork belly or to make pulled pork, pulled chicken or brisket. You can serve the meat immediately, or process it further. Pulled pork, chicken or brisket is incredibly tasty in a sandwich, but also as a garnish in a salpicon for mini croquettes.
Because the temperature inside the Big Green Egg is very stable even at low temperatures, this kamado lends itself well to stewing. It adds flavour to, for example, cabbage or a delicious ratatouille that can’t be matched on a stove, as well as taking tasty meat and fish stews to the next level. And because of the 5.2-litre capacity of the oval enamelled Green Dutch Oven and the Cast Iron Dutch Oven , specially designed for the Big Green Egg, you can make large quantities. Put your ingredients in the pan at a higher temperature first, then place the convEGGtor under the grill to allow the them to continue cooking slowly. By installing the convEGGtor, the temperature in the EGG drops about 50°C, immediately reducing the heat and allowing the stew to continue cooking slowly. Always stew in the Big Green Egg without a lid on the pan to add the characteristic flavour of the Big Green Egg to the ingredients.