I’m so excited,
I just can’t hide it,
Got ourselves a BIG GREEN EGG
And I think I like it…
It all started seriously when we visited Carol’s brother Mark in September 2012. They’ve had a Big Green Egg (EGG) for years and always cooked on it when we made our annual visit. The first time we ate from their EGG was the summer of 2010 where Jannie cooked salmon, zucchini, tomatoes and corn all at once. That planted the EGG seed in my brain. By September ’12 we had already moved from San Francisco to Reno, so we were about ready to rock n roll.
And why had we wanted to move from the beautiful San Francisco after 20 years?
Reason No. 1, the hills and steps.
Reason No. 2, we liked the idea of walking out the back door and throwing something on the grill without the hassle of walking through the entire house and out onto the tiny back deck.
Oh yes, before we left Ohio, Mark and I happened to make a small wager…
Mark’s Cincinnati Reds and my Giants are both in NL playoffs. Mark wants to bet.
I said, “I’ll bet the Reds don’t win the NL championship.”
He said he’d take that for $10.
I said, “If you lose, you have to give me my ten dollar bill in Reno.”
He said, “Only if you cook in Reno on a Green Egg.”
We shook on it. Jannie and Carol hooted.
We were outta there for the airport at noon.
So, our minds were primed, but our first real winter in 20 years was coming on and we thought it prudent to wait for spring.
Then we thought we better wait for our landscaping to be finished.
No more excuses…
As he went along, he told us how to use the EGG and how to avoid frustrations that some new owners have experienced. Basically, be patient.
So here we go with my first cooking experience with the EGG… Flat Iron Steak for Fajitas, asparagus, peppers and onions stir fry.
It takes about 20 – 25 minutes to get a 500°F fire going. About the same amount of time to get the Weber Q gas grill up to that temperature. From there, adjust the bottom damper for rough adjustments and fine tune with the top dampers. It is surprisingly easy.
That’s a 10 inch cast iron skillet lid thrust into duty for the pepper n onion stir fry. Toss the vegetables with a little oil, toss the peppers n onions a few times when you turn the asparagus. I’m cooking at 400°F for about 12 minutes, tossing and turning twice. (BGE makes and markets a half moon grill insert, but maybe later… the 40 year old cast iron skillet works fine.)
Next: Baby Back Ribs, low and slow.
Baby Back Ribs
We love them in a restaurant.
We have several really good recipes for cooking ribs in the oven, but who wants to have the oven on for hours in Reno summer?
We have not successfully cooked Baby Back Ribs on the grill except when we pre-cook them in the oven and finish on the grill.
Harold McGee says the inability to make good tender juicy ribs on a home grill is a simple matter of real estate. One can’t get enough ribs for a meal on a home grill to cook all of them indirectly.
On a gas grill, where the heating elements are fixed in place right under the cooking surface, the only practical solution is to turn on the heat on one half of the grill, and cook only as much meat as will fit on the other side. A charcoal kettle is more flexible. It’s deeper, so you can keep the coals farther from the cooking surface, and protect the meat from their direct heat by propping up a foil heat shield. You can also cut the slabs into two- or three-rib pieces and crowd them away from the coals. This uses the space more efficiently, though all those cut edges mean more moisture loss.
My Big Green Egg says, “Bring ‘em on.”
The BGE Cookbook and the BGE website have a number of recipes, but basically:
- Rub the ribs with a BBQ Rub and let them sit for a while,
- Set up your EGG to cook indirectly at 300°F for 3 1/2 hours,
- Mop the ribs with a vinegary sauce about every 30 minutes while cooking,
- Finish the ribs with a sweetish sauce during the last half hour.
Oh my. These ribs are good. They’re moist and tender but not sloppy to handle. All in all… Y U M
It took me about 3 days to post this. The British Open Golf is going on and I had to get my bets down, a complicated process. And last night was the AAA Baseball All Star Game at the Reno Aces Ballpark. We were there in the 8th Row!!!