Reviewers say Big Green Egg is the best high-end charcoal grill you can buy, though its grilling surface is just 18.25 inches in diameter (it also comes in 24-, 15-, 13- and 10-inch models). This is a Kamado-style grill, its design based on a traditional Japanese cooking vessel whose oblong shape offers excellent temperature control. You can cook at very low or very high temperatures, and the settings are accurate enough that you can also use it to bake or smoke foods. We did find a few negative comments; namely, the ceramic Big Green Egg can break if handled roughly. If you don't need to slow-cook or bake meats, the Weber Performer (*Est. $325) has a propane-powered ignition, and its dome-shaped top captures smoke if you close its vent.
We found the best expert reviews of Big Green Egg charcoal grill at Men's Journal and About.com; a brief review in 417 Magazine names it the greenest charcoal grill. In addition, a 2007 segment on NBC's "Today" show briefly recommends this grill. Big Green Egg is no longer sold online, so owner reviews are hard to find. This grill gets about 15 user reviews on Viewpoints.com, and several discussion threads in a Chowhound.com forum reveal how much owners love cooking with Big Green Egg.
1. Men's Journal
Adam Perry Lang is the author of the cookbook "Serious Barbecue"; for this review he tests six charcoal grills and rates each one on a score of 1 to 10. His highest rating of 9 goes to Big Green Egg, and Lang names it his "expert's pick." He says, "The grill surface is really nice -- it cooked fish beautifully."
Review: The Charcoal Experiment, Steve Mazzucchi, July 29, 2009
2. 417 Magazine
Reviewer Brittany Leckey says Big Green Egg is the most eco-friendly charcoal grill she has reviewed because it uses little charcoal.
Review: A Greener Way to Grill, Brittany Leckey, August 2008
Derrick Riches is the guide to barbeques and grilling for About.com. He names the large (18.25-inch) Big Green Egg one of the top-10 charcoal grills based on his evaluation of the grill's features, build quality and performance. In this full-length review he gives it a perfect score. Riches praises Big Green Egg highly for its long life, usefulness for smoking and excellent heat control. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
Review: Big Green Egg - Large, Derrick Riches
Derrick Riches included the small (13-inch) Big Green Egg in a previous year's list of the top 10 small grills (both gas and charcoal). It's not included in the most recent top-10 list we found, but Riches gives it a 4.5-star rating in this full review.
Review: Big Green Egg - Small, Derrick Riches
This discussion thread on the cookware forum gives owners' opinions of their Big Green Egg grills as well as advice on how to use this grill. There's also a link to an even longer discussion thread about Big Green Egg. Most owners are crazy about Big Green Egg.
Review: Big Green Egg, Contributors to Cookware Forum
The XL-sized Big Green Egg doesn't get the most reviews here, but it does get the highest score -- 99 points out of 100 possible. Viewpoints.com isn't linked to any particular online retailer; instead, consumers share their opinions in survey-style reviews.
Review: Charcoal Grills, Contributors to Viewpoints.com
This short article contains few details and includes only a few grills. One of the recommended charcoal grills is Big Green Egg. Lou Manfredini discusses its features and sums up his review with, "It looks funny, but, boy, does it make food taste good." A video clip of Manfredini's 2007 appearance on the "Today" show is also on the site.
Review: Need to Buy a Grill? Check Out These Top Styles, Lou Manfredini, June 8, 2007