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I've Joined the Cult err I mean Club

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Post Thu Aug 02, 2012 7:46 pm
jfm0830 well done
well done

Posts: 2638
Location: Northeastern MA

I've always thought that a BGE would be a nice addition to my grill arsenal. Unfortunately with the economy being rather dicey these last couple years, there's always too much of the month left at the end of the money. Back in the spring when CG came out with their new Kamado grill, I figured that would be a doable grill at a price point I can afford. I was surprised at how well it was built for a Chinese import and really haven't read too many negative comments about it. Everyone has been very positive. It was my intent to grab one with birthday money (0830) and I was quite looking forward to it.

Over the summer I was in for a big surprise. I had bought Apple stock back through my IRA at my old job. This was when the share price was in the single digits and teens per share. My "investment advisors" never wanted me to buy it and up until about a year and a half ago they kept urging me to sell off a lot of it. Fortunately I didn't listen to them and surprisingly this year Apple declared they would pay a dividend. About two weeks ago I found I would be getting a check for just under $2000 around the middle of August. More than enough to get a large BGE and some EGGessories. My thanks to a couple of folks around here who helped set me straight on what were the good things to get for my egg. My BGE was scheduled to be delivered and set up in five days, next Monday. This morning I was out buying some Wicked Good lump charcoal for my new toy and my cell phone rang. It was the BGE dealer asking if I'd like to get my grill installed this morning. Needless to say, that was a no-brainer. So by noon time today my BG was set up and ready to go. There're still a few EGGessories on backorder, but nothing that prevents me from cooking on it and starting the break in process.

For the first few cooks you're supposed to keep the temperature at or below 350 degrees. To me that temperature just spelled chicken. I decided I would redo the Big Bob Gibson's barbecue chicken recipe I made about two months ago. It came out very good, but I did have some issues with the white BBQ sauce not sticking to the chicken. I figured this would be a good candidate for a redo. I would do everything the same, and any differences would be attributable to the difference between the CG and the BGE. Although Wicked Good lump has a reputation of being rather hard to start, I was able to get it going very easily with a paraffin square. My first impression of the BGE was how amazingly precise the temperature control is. The dual precision adjustment of the top grate makes dialing in your precise temperature very easy. It only took me three tweaks before I was at my desired 325 degrees, my target temperature. After that I never had to tweak the grates again. I am really looking forward to using this baby in the winter or in the windy or rainy weather when I don't have my EZ-up shelter up.

Before this gets too long winded and boring let me post some pictures. After the pictures I'll give you some first impressions of my first cook on the BGE.

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My grill and smoker don't know it yet, but there's a new grill in town and their usage won't be the same anymore. I sort of feel sorry for them.



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My new BGE has arrived five days early. And I couldn't be more excited to start using it.



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I still need to get the side shelves installed, which are on backorder. But everything else I need to cook with arrived today.



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Just like we had the opening flame of the Olympics this past week, here is my opening flame on my new BGE. I used a paraffin starter to get it going. The other item you see mixed in with the Wicked Good lump is a chunk of Hickory.



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The chicken has been spatchcocked (butterflied) and is on the BGE after having been simply seasoned with some table salt. I'm using a foil drip pan on the platesetter which is installed for this indirect cook. One of the reasons I picked this meal for my first meal on the BGE was its simplicity. No special rubs or marinades or brines. This would allow for the most direct comparison between how my CG smoker and the BGE cook this same meal.



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Meanwhile back in the kitchen, it's time to mix up the Big Bob Gibson's famous white BBQ sauce. The ingredients consist of mayonnaise, white vinegar, lemon juice, apple juice, salt, fresh horseradish, black pepper and cayenne pepper.

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After I got the charcoal going I closed the lid and use the grates to dial in my desire cooking temperature: 325 degrees. It only took three tweaks to hit 325. I probably could've hit it sooner, but I didn't know how much of an adjustment it took to change the temperature from where I was to where I needed to be. After a few more cooks I'll probably be able to hit my desired temperature even faster. I must say I'm tremendously impressed with the temperature control on the BGE.



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Here is the chicken 45 minutes into the cook at about the midway point. The chicken gets brushed with olive oil on both sides and flipped over to be skin side down.



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Here is the chicken after it's been flipped. The cavity side gets seasoned with some freshly ground black pepper and then the chicken cooks for about another 45 minutes.



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Another 45 minutes has elapsed (90 minutes total) and the chicken is done and ready to come off the grill.



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The chicken is back inside and will get cut into parts, before the parts are dunked into the Big Bob Gibson's BBQ sauce.



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The chicken has been cut apart, dunked in the white BBQ sauce, and is plated. It was served with some roasted squash and mashed potatoes.



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This time around the sauce did stick better to the skin of the chicken. I can't "blame" this on the CG or "credit it" to the BGE. I'm not sure what the difference was here, but it definitely clung better to the skin this time around.


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This was the most incredible piece of chicken I've ever had!! It was the most moist chicken I've ever had the pleasure of having in my mouth. So after one cook on the BGE, color me very impressed!!

I am so totally blown away by how incredibly good this chicken was! This was the moistest chicken I've ever tasted. Far more moist that a rotisserie chicken or a BCC. Honestly, I didn't know chicken could be this juicy. The chicken also had a wonderful smoke flavor from the hickory chunks I used. Lastly this time around the White BBQ sauce adhered better. This last item I can't attribute to the BGE. I'm still mystified as to why it clung better this time.

I didn't tell my wife that the BGE had come early and she didn't notice it in the backyard when she came home from work. So I just served her the chicken without her knowing anything was different. She noticed right away. She kept saying: "OMG, OMG this is absolutely incredible!" or "OMG this is so moist!" I was totally blown away too. I must admit when I used to hear people raving about food they cook on their BGEs my initial thought (which I always kept to myself) was: "Yeah, yeah drink some more of that Kool-Aid." Tonight I am stunned and happy to say that I owe all those folks an apology. Oh yes and please make sure to pass me some more that Kool-Aid.

Jim
I have been assimilated.
Last edited by jfm0830 on Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.
2 Large BGEs
Kenmore Elite 6 Burner Gas Grill
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BBQ Site: http://grillinsmokin.net

Post Thu Aug 02, 2012 8:20 pm
jsperk well done
well done

Posts: 945
Location: Pittsburgh PA
Congrats Jim. The chicken and the egg look great. Temp control is awesome on the ceramics.
Weber OTG/smokneator/rotisserie
Grill Dome/Stoker

Post Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:00 pm
Nick medium-rare
medium-rare

Posts: 74
Congrats on joining the ceramic cooker world, as you have already seen, they do wonders! I have had my Primo Oval for about a year, and am continuously impressed with how well it works. Not to rush you, but brisket/pork butt over-nighters are really fun to do now that you have this kind of temp control, I did my first one (of many) about a week after I got the Primo, something I would never have done with the kettle grill I used to have. Oh ya, I went from 4 or 5 grills down to just the Primo and a small gasser, you might notice that happens to you too, I never thought it would to me, but it did! Anyway, congrats again!!
Primo XL Oval
BeefEater Discovery 1000e 3-burner

Post Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:09 pm
Dyal_SC well done
well done

Posts: 3712
Location: Lexington, SC
Congratulations! :D I love the pic of that first flame. You're going to be blown away with the ease of this cooker. Feels almost like you're cheating sometimes. :wink: I was cooking on mine a few weeks back in a hail storm with 30-40 mph winds. Granted I have a grill gazebo to deflect the rain some, but the temp still held like a champ in those winds. I have also never experienced a winter like those in MA, but I have used my egg in temps in the teens, and you couldn't tell a difference between that and a 70 deg day. It's like it knows no season. :wink: And don't even get me started on the fuel efficiency! :)

Again, congrats and great looking first cook!!! Your baby looks amazing in her new home! :wink:
Large BGE
CG Duo with SFB

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Post Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:24 pm
jfm0830 well done
well done

Posts: 2638
Location: Northeastern MA

Thanks guys!!

Nick:
I think you may be right. I was originally thinking the BGE would take some of the load off my grills. I wanted to help my 8 year old 6 burner KE Elite last longer. There really is no longer a good mid priced gas grill. The mid priced models now are the lower end models with more useless gizmos and gee gaws added on to make them look like they are a better grill. I was looking at the section on the Naked Whiz website where they talk about ceramic cookers. They claim they are great for paellas and pizzas-two of the things I figured to still use the gasser for. The more I learn about ceramics, the more I am thinking I may just need another ceramic or two to get more grill area. When my CG & KE die off I may replace them with another ceramic.

As for the overnighters, I'd been thinking of a brisket for my first cook. When I got the call that I could get the grill today (5 days early) I wasn't ready for it. I needed to do something quick and easy if I was to use it today. It was funny because I was at a store buying lump when I got the call about getting the grill today. So at least I had the lump I wanted on hand.

The thing I am really looking forward to is not just a long low and slow cook, but one in the cold or windy weather where I am not blowing through two or three 15 pound bags of charcoal, running outside a lot or just having catnaps.

Dyal_SC:
I am already blown away after my first use. The temperature control was so precise I couldn't believe it. My biggest problem was not having a point of reference as far as where I needed to go to hit 325. Vents 1/4 open, 1/2 open....Still it took me only 3 tweaks and about 10 minutes to lock in 325 for the rest of the cook.

I was also reading how great it is supposed to be for baking-some claim you'll never use your oven to bake in again. Then there is piazza and paellas... Exciting and fun times ahead!!!

Jim
2 Large BGEs
Kenmore Elite 6 Burner Gas Grill
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BBQ Site: http://grillinsmokin.net

Post Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:12 pm
jsperk well done
well done

Posts: 945
Location: Pittsburgh PA
Don't get rid of those other one to quick. Nothing wrong with having different grills. I still love my Weber kettle. I use it as much as my ceramic. Come winter though its mainly the ceramic grill.
Weber OTG/smokneator/rotisserie
Grill Dome/Stoker

Post Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:18 pm
beercuer User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 2287
Location: Southern Californy
That chicken looks just about right, ...right if one is looking for perfect. Jawdropping beautiful, Jim!

Congratulations on your assimilation. It's good to see the Borg continue to evolve. I mean, I remember when they had cubes. Seems to me this forum has gone from a CharGriller country to a Borg Governed Empire (BGE) :lol:

Anyway, now I know how Locutius got his name. Known for his low and slow BBQ.
Got beer???

Post Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:33 pm
jfm0830 well done
well done

Posts: 2638
Location: Northeastern MA

japerk:
Don't worry, I'm not in a big hurry to replace them. Part of the reason for getting the BGE was to extend the life of the two grills. It's just now I can see an alternate universe where instead of replacing them in kind I replaced them with additional BGEs.

beercuer:
You're killing me man with some of those Star Trek references!! It has been a while, so I'd forgotten some of the pun exchanges you and I used to have using Star Trek references. Just now I kept wanting to play rimshot after every line of your post. It figures it would be you that caught my "I've been assimilated" crack.

Jim

Post Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:52 pm
beercuer User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 2287
Location: Southern Californy
... beercuer:
You're killing me man with some of those Star Trek references!! It has been a while, so I'd forgotten some of the pun exchanges you and I used to have using Star Trek references. Just now I kept wanting to play rimshot after every line of your post. It figures it would be you that caught my "I've been assimilated" crack.


And I'm still thinking Shazbot! about your post, Jim. Nanu, nanu! :D
Got beer???

Post Fri Aug 03, 2012 4:59 am
jfm0830 well done
well done

Posts: 2638
Location: Northeastern MA

beercuer wrote:
And I'm still thinking Shazbot! about your post, Jim. Nanu, nanu! :D

Aarr, aarr, aarrr! Earth humor! Thanks again beercuer. Really grate to have you back posting!! May the farce be with you always! And with the wicked heat and humidity we had yesterday let me add: Live long and perspire!

Jim

Post Fri Aug 03, 2012 7:02 am
headbuttrubber medium-rare
medium-rare

Posts: 55
Location: East Central IL
http://www.thinkgeek.com/product/dea2/? ... ID=3198738

Why do I wonder if you may already have this? :lol:
Good Friends and Great BBQ... Life doesn't get any better.

Post Fri Aug 03, 2012 8:19 am
Griffin well done
well done

Posts: 3312
Location: Dallas, Texas

Welcome to the cult, Jim. Seems like you drank the Kool-Aid already. Chicken is a pretty standard first cook for most Eggers. I know my first one was thighs and the next day was spatchcock and we were hooked from there and never looked back. Maybe now you can understand why my gas grill got relocated to my parents when they needed a new grill and my offset got relocated to the ranch. They just weren't getting used any more.

You are gonna love the way this thing can conserve on fuel. Like Dyal said, it doesn't care about the weather. I had mine going for 18+ hours in temperatures below 32 and it even snowed a bit that night (that's pretty unusual for Dallas) and never had to add lump once. And still had some leftover next time I used it. That's 18+ hours on about 8lbs of lump!

Can't wait to see what you do with paellas. That's something I need to tackle. Maybe when it cools off a bit. I know I don't feel like it this weekend with a heat advisory and 105+ temps.

Anyway, glad you got one and glad you like it. It'll change your whole grilling life.

Post Fri Aug 03, 2012 9:54 am
QJuju well done
well done

Posts: 1916
Location: Louisville, Kentucky

Y'all know I could start talking about eggs... :lol: I will just say it is really awesome to hear someone as talented as you saying things that us "eggheads" have said before to a chorus of incredulity. :) Also, there is nothing quite like the sight of the interior of a virgin egg. A great analogy as well in this Olympic time.

A big congrats on your egg!!! I am certain there is going to be much deliciousness to follow. I could make Itzhak Perlman Stradivarius references, but everyone knows that already.

Preach Brother, Preach!!

Welcome to the cult!!! :lol: :lol: :lol: :P
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Post Fri Aug 03, 2012 9:56 am
ScreamingChicken BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 7423
Location: Stoughton, WI
Jim,

Keep an eye on that lid band, OK? :wink:

Post Fri Aug 03, 2012 10:03 am
BBcue-Z well done
well done

Posts: 3039
Location: Atlanta-GA
Congrats on your new grill Jim!!
The chicken looks great and I can’t wait to see other creations that you’ll be doing on it.
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