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Big Green Egg Review

By: Kelly Burgess on April 26, 2017

Bottom Line

If you want the best smoker you can buy, but don't want to fill up your back yard with multiple grills, the Big Green Egg is the top choice, say experts. This kamado-type grill can smoke, sear and cook foods -- it even bakes -- and owners report excellent results.

Pros

  • Very versatile
  • Easy to use and clean
  • Extremely durable; solidly built
  • Comes in seven sizes

Cons

  • Difficult to find info on pricing
  • Must use caution when opening lid
Our Analysis
Specs

Breaking it down

Performance

Smokes, grills and cooks to perfection. Reviewers are virtually unanimous in their praise of the Big Green Egg's smoking ability due to a design that offers superior heat control. In expert tests, it excels not only as a smoker, but in grilling various meats, cooking brick-oven pizza and even baking cinnamon rolls. Owners also applaud its performance, saying that they use it for everything when cooking during the warm months and that it will smoke anything -- several give it particular kudos for smoking fish, especially salmon, and we saw a number of comments about smoking hams for Easter. The large version offers 262 square inches of cooking surface, meaning that you can cook several different types of food at once, and users say they like that they can do so without the flavors blending. It comes in six additional sizes -- Mini, Minimax, Small, Medium, X-Large and XX-Large.

Ease of use

Trouble-free operation. The Big Green Egg is very simple to use once you get the hang of it, which you will very quickly, according to users. Many say that once they mastered cooking on this smoker, it became so easy that they now do more outdoor cooking than ever before. A few say they put the meat on in the morning before going to work and let it cook all day. Then, when you're done, just shut it to snuff out the charcoal. Reviewers say the louvered top is easy to clean because it's removable, and that the interior just wipes down thanks to the glazed ceramic material. The egg can be used year-round even in cold weather without fear of it cracking.

Durability/safety

Use caution when opening. We found very few comments about the Big Green Egg regarding safety, but one in particular deserves attention. You must carefully vent or "burp" the Egg before opening to avoid backdrafts and flashbacks that could ruin your meat or take off your eyebrows. However, if used properly, this will not be an issue. We recommend a close read of the instructions before use.

As for durability, it doesn't get much better than this: Buy it and it will last forever. Having said that, the Big Green Egg is expensive and it's not easy to figure out exactly how much it costs. The Eggs have no suggested retail prices and must be purchased at a brick and mortar store, so there are no online comparisons. Our research found that the large Egg sells for about $850 for the basic unit in large; delivery, assembly and additional accessories may up the cost to $1,200 or more. It must sit on a specially designed table or "nest;" those can run from $165 to $500 and are sold separately. One helpful suggestion about minimizing the cost of purchasing an Egg: We read a number of forum posts where owners bought a small or medium Egg secondhand on Craigslist or a similar classified site because the owner decided to upgrade to a larger size.

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