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.
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.
My new BGE has arrived five days early. And I couldn't be more excited to start using it.
I still need to get the side shelves installed, which are on backorder. But everything else I need to cook with arrived today.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Another 45 minutes has elapsed (90 minutes total) and the chicken is done and ready to come off the grill.
The chicken is back inside and will get cut into parts, before the parts are dunked into the Big Bob Gibson's BBQ sauce.
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.
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.
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.
I have been assimilated.