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View Full Version : Anyone Recommend Against using Green Eggs as their main cooker?


CUErious
11-26-2011, 02:34 PM
(Sorry for such a long post)

As a newbie getting ready to compete at 10 - 15 KCBS events next season I am trying to decide what cooker to go with. I know someone has stated on this forum that folks have won the Royal and Royal Invitational simply using trash cans. Bottom line I agree, it's really the cook not the cooker. However since I am just starting out, I'm just wondering if I have all the facts on the Green Egg and Ceramic cookers. Is there a disadvantage to the cooker that I'm not aware of? (besides fragility and weight)

In that same thread they list the top 20 KCBS teams and what they cook on and there were no Green Eggs in sight. I know weight/transportation and fragility is a huge factor when traveling week after week. However here is my question: If this were not a factor would anyone recommend AGAINST competing with Green Eggs? (week after week for 15 weeks)

My other options are something like a Backwoods or a Pellet Cooker.
I do like the idea of using a pellet cooker, (since I may end up being a one man team and the thought of setting it and forgetting it sounds very appealing). However, no one has ever been KCBS TEAM of the Year cooking on a pellet cooker either. I know a lot of folks will say, "many teams compete on Green Eggs". However, I am not seeing Pro teams that win consistently with them. Sure a lot of Eggs come out for folks that compete locally at one or two events per year as do the trash can smokers. In my limited experience I know DizzyPig uses Eggs and they do quite well. However they are also sponsored by BGE. I asked the chief cook of one of the top KCBS teams what was his view and he stated: "I'd love to have an Egg to make pizza in my back yard"..lol

I personally love the eggs it's what I know and what I'm comfortable with however I can certainly use some BBQ wisdom from you guys the REAL pros.

Thanks to everyone in advance!

LMAJ
11-26-2011, 02:42 PM
I don't compete, but one con I could see is space - will you have enough space to cook everything you need? That may not be an issue depending how many Eggs you have access to. Will be following this thread.

CUErious
11-26-2011, 02:48 PM
That's a good point I should have included it in my post. However, space is not an issue. I believe I've got everything pretty much figured out.

MilitantSquatter
11-26-2011, 02:51 PM
How many & which size BGE's do you presently own & how much meat do you plan to cook ?

Fragility and space are two common issues. For those using 2-3 BGE's cost starts approaching pellet cookers, cabinet smokers & some decent offsets..

You've got to cook on what you're comfortable with.. There's no magical pit, as you noted, some of the best teams use drums, BGE's, WSM's, cabinets, offsets..

CUErious
11-26-2011, 03:06 PM
Vinny, In my trial runs I've made 2 briskets, 3 Butts, 4 racks and 18 thighs without a hitch. (Three Eggs) Space should not be an issue. My biggest concern is the flavor profile of the smoker. I like it but will the judges? Is it something that offends some judges? I know I get a great smoke ring, so that's not an issue. Could the flavor profile be different from what they are accustomed to..?

AZScott
11-26-2011, 03:25 PM
When we started out we were using two eggs and a drum. It worked well for a while and we even had a 1st place brisket at one comp with the egg. Ultimately we didn't want to end up breaking an egg so we moved on to an FEC. I love my Eggs but that FEC has opened up a lot of technique options that are not possible in a large egg.

Now, you seem caught up on the fact that no TOY has gotten there with eggs. I think the reason for that boils down to the capacity of the eggs, the fragility, and they aren't too easy to move. Eggs can either produce a lot of smoke or they can burn clean so I believe they could produce BBQ capable of a TOY in the right hands all day long. As far as qty of smoke for winning BBQ, the egg is capable.

TooSaucedToPork
11-26-2011, 03:27 PM
Eggs are great! Doc BBQ uses em, I'm pretty sure he does pretty good!:becky:

As far as Top 20 teams, wait a few years. The UDS's, WSM's, Pellets, and Offset cookers the teams use have been around for years. The eggs will have their due. What about Chris Lilly and his Kamado? He uses that thing to cook in competition, its a ceramic.

I've seen a team get rid of the fragility and transportation issues by mounting them to garden wagons. They have 9 of the XL's and compete a bunch here in Western NY.

As far as flavor profile, I have never tasted anything cooked on an egg that had a specific taste. What are you tasting that is different from other cookers?

Neil

CUErious
11-26-2011, 03:58 PM
@AZscot
Thanks. I appreciate your comment. I think you stated it very well, makes perfect sense. Any chance I may PM you with a question?

@TooSaucedToPork
Does Dr.BBQ still compete in KCBS sanctioned events? He's also a spokesman for BGE. If it's good for Chris Lilly that says a lot. In regards to flavor profile, I have not noticed anything different, but then again I'm not sure I've tasted BBQ from a Jambo either. However, I agree with AZscott it's about who's controlling the fire and some of the challenges he mentioned.

5am
11-26-2011, 04:49 PM
Ive tried it before and it worked pretty well. The only issues are the ones brought up already. Space was the biggest issue I had. Also being such a heavy,fragile object as the Egg is was a concern.

4 smokin butts
11-26-2011, 07:12 PM
this year we used 3 eggs and a backwoods competitor,and a FEC 500,the last month,we are now retooling,2012 will be a lg spicewine,2 eggs ,and the FEC..were doing ribs on the eggs,capacity can be an issue,they are fun too use,alot of people have questions about them.....they do hold moisture into your product.i have enjoyed using them,but having the FEC makes life somewhat easier.....dennis

White Dog BBQ
11-26-2011, 09:32 PM
I wouldn't worry about what the "top" teams are doing -- worry about what you think will allow you to get your best product out. If you think you can put out your best 'que on Eggs, use Eggs.

FWIW, I think the reason Eggs aren't popular on the circuit is weight and lack of capacity. I think to be able to cook without too many tradeoffs and timing issues, you would need to use 3 (preferably 4) Eggs. 3 Large Eggs is what, 500 lbs and $2,250. For that kind of dough you could get a Backwoods Party, a WSM, a Guru and be 300 lbs lighter and still have some cash in your pocket.

dmprantz
11-26-2011, 10:57 PM
I'm not gonna recommend against you competing on an Egg. Use what you want, though there are several reasons why I don't want to compete on one. I will give you one piece of advice I learned from the one time I competed on an Egg: If you have a smaller space in which to transport your Egg(s), don't think that you can easily just remove the bands which hold the body and lid together and re-attach them on site at a comp. It's darned near impossible unless you isolate the k value of the springs. Fortunately there was an Egg dealer there who talked to the organizer who had some vice grips and zip ties handy. Between three of us, we got Humpty Dumpty put back together, but it was touch and go for a while....

AZScott
11-26-2011, 11:50 PM
@AZscot
Thanks. I appreciate your comment. I think you stated it very well, makes perfect sense. Any chance I may PM you?.

Have at it.

BasicPatrick
11-27-2011, 12:07 AM
Yaba Dabba Que is a top Team at New England BBQ Society (KCBS) events and they cook on Eggs. Cindy and Eric were NEBS Rookie TOY in 2009 (? year) and are always a threat to make the GC walk (and have) in one of the most competitive regions in the country.

sitnfat
11-27-2011, 06:53 AM
Eggsecutive council use to cook on 4 eggs there is another team that cooks on 4 primos, they were having a smooth cook till a lid on one of the primos busted for no apparent reason. If I am gonna cook for 15 weeks straight I want a more industrial built pit that will handle the transporting and up and down temps without me worrying about one breaking mid cook

JD McGee
11-27-2011, 10:20 AM
I love smoking on my BGE...but I can see it being a royal PITA to transport. That would be my only concern...as far as product...the BGE can hold it's own against any other smoker out there...it's just a another tool in the shed! :becky:

drbbq
11-27-2011, 11:25 AM
@AZscot

Does Dr.BBQ still compete in KCBS sanctioned events?

Yep. I cooked about 8 this year and had 2 Grand Championships. I haul mine all over the country without any problems.
Set yourself up with enough Eggs (3-4) and durable carts that utilize that fancy new invention THE WHEEL and you'll be fine.

thillin
11-27-2011, 12:16 PM
If you are gonna be a one man team, consider the loading/unloading of cooker(s). I cooked with 4 Eggs for a season. Hauled in an enclosed trailer. Just strapped them to the walls. I still carry one in the toyhauler strapped to the Spicewine. It's a chicken cooking($ making) machine.

CivilWarBBQ
11-27-2011, 06:38 PM
Our team has had sponsorship offers from Grill Dome, Primo & BGE. We've competed on ceramics exclusively for the last five years, so I have some experience in this area. Here's what I have found to be the strengths and weaknesses of using these clay pots for competition BBQ:

Pros:
- no need to add fuel or water during cook
- no need for expensive fan controllers
- no electric requirement
- rock solid temp once regulated; you can get some sleep!
- high moisture cooking environment makes it easier to keep meat juicy
- very thrifty with charcoal
- easy to reconfigure for direct/indirect, smoke/grill on same cooker
- multiple cookers permits different temps/woods/setups for each meat category

Cons:
- more fragile than steel cookers
- limited cooking area
- heavy for size
- low airflow/high moisture can make setting firm bark a challenge
- long heat retention may be a problem if you need to pack up in a hurry
- multiple cookers means multiple fires to tend, cookers to clean & transport

There is no doubt that kamados pose some unique challenges that other types of cookers don't present, but it is equally true that they offer advantages no steel smoker can match. You need to carefully weigh each criteria while considering your funding, labor and transportation resources before making the leap to ceramics. It's not for everyone, but you can be successful with these cookers in competition once you master the logistics involved.

Addendum: One thing I forgot to mention was that looking at the teams in the KCBS TOTY list may not have much relevance. A team that cooks 10-15 events a year has virtually no chance of placing that high in that ranking. A better benchmark would be to look at what ceramic teams are accomplishing in your local area where you plan to compete.

AZScott
11-27-2011, 11:34 PM
Dr. BBQmentioned wheels for the smokers but that is dependent upon what you plan to take with you to a comp. Eggs + wheels = trailer w/ a ramp. Works great if you have it or are willing to buy one.

BoneDaddy's
11-28-2011, 05:35 AM
So we cook on 2 Lg and 1 XL and to tell you the truth it is great BBQ, but a pain to manage. I am planning to buy a stick burner as I am sick of moving the eggs off the deck every few weeks. I will lawyas love my egg, but, IMO, it should be on my deck.

swamprb
11-28-2011, 06:04 AM
If I was sponsored by Big Green Egg I would use the hell outta them!

Iamarealbigdog
11-28-2011, 08:51 AM
To be honest a ceramic cooker is very different tool then the other options. The product from a stick burner vs. a backwoods vs. a pellet and finally a ceramic is measurable. What is better, I can not tell you; that is in the hands of the cook and their ability to master their own cooker.

We use a Louisiana whole hog pellet cooker and two Primo XL. Transportation is delicate but not problem over the last two years (knock on wood). The Primo is very adaptable to the amount of smoke. However with the pellets we are getting some real interesting flavours from BBQ Delight… (Thanks Candy Sue)

I think versatility is a better option, You cant get everything on a primo or egg so take to opportunity to expand your options and capabilities.

Cheers,

Mike – The Black Pig BBQ

dhuffjr
11-28-2011, 10:15 AM
We compete with Two Large BGE. I know a guy that has done comps with one. THAT takes supreme timing and ingenuity.

I'd recommend 3 or 4 if your wanting to be an all ceramic team. Myself I'm pondering adding to the arsenal a Backwoods or Onyx oven. I'd like more space and space is your biggest drawback with an Egg.

Bourbon Barrel BBQ
11-28-2011, 10:23 AM
I was in your shoes a couple years ago. I had an XL BGE at home and planned on going out and doing some competitions. In the end the price of 3 more eggs was the same as a Stumps Stretch at the time. I went with one big cooker and something less fragile. Im not going to say that buying the eggs is a bad idea because there are plenty of teams that haul them all over the country. For me a large gravity fed smoker had the benefits of the egg in a more durable package.

nukenight
11-28-2011, 11:37 AM
I learned to cook BBQ on a Large Green Egg. I decided against using them in contests because of the breakage issue. The roads here in South Louisiana are not that good and I don't feel like spending $900 every time something breaks. I love my LBGE, however, you are limited by space and the potential for breakage. I bought a Backwoods Party which is another fine Louisiana product! The BGE helped me figure out the Backwoods, which allowed me to get better and start finishing in the top 10 in contests. I'd suggest get a Backwoods for contests....

DawgPhan
11-28-2011, 11:49 AM
managing one fire is a lot easier than managing 3-4 fires. Top teams have 1 cooker for a reason.

Greendriver
11-28-2011, 12:40 PM
I have a number of friends that compete with ceramics and have myself a couple of times when I first started in 07. I have also thought many times in the past that it would be best to leave this question unanswered because of those friends but feel confident now that they will understand that two can agree or disagree on such and still be friends. I did not hesitate to move away from the ceramics when I decided to compete due to all the reasons mentioned but I will try to elaborate on what I think has been left out so far. The most critical time in doing comps is during the final stage where you are always more apt to be opening the cooker more and the ceramics are just not as well suited for that task. A cabinet style cooker that you pull out a rack and do your thing with and return is too convenient to pass up. Be very careful though about getting away from the ceramics to do comps as they may become a thing of the past for you as you began to realize that they are not needed if you have cabinet cooker and any old grill. I still love em for their versatility aspect (grill and smoke with one cooker) Ė but thatís the only thing I like anymore.

cbagby64
11-28-2011, 05:53 PM
We have competed with eggs in the past and they put out good comp BBQ, our main issue was how long it takes to get them to cool down after we finished. We use a 7x14 enclosed trailer and I was always never about the heat of the egg up against the trailer walls.

CUErious
12-01-2011, 08:16 AM
managing one fire is a lot easier than managing 3-4 fires. Top teams have 1 cooker for a reason.


Thatís really a good point. However, being a newbie and having several fires/temperatures will provide the advantage of having different temperatures at my disposal. I know we can find different temps/hot spots on all cookers. However, I think I like having the flexibility of being able to utilize and control different temperatures is very enticing. Besides temperatures on the Eggs are easy to set and maintain compared to a lot of the OffSets out there. (Although the FEC is a dream in that aspect)

CUErious
12-01-2011, 08:18 AM
Yep. I cooked about 8 this year and had 2 Grand Championships. I haul mine all over the country without any problems.
Set yourself up with enough Eggs (3-4) and durable carts that utilize that fancy new invention THE WHEEL and you'll be fine.

I appreciate your input. Congratulations on the 2 GCs. Ray I met you in Greenville last year and you're the one that pretty much sold me on the merits of the Big Green Egg. I went home and bought one and have simply loved it. I first bought it for my family and personal use. However, it's the that Egg made me really fall in love with BBQ and has given me the bug to start competing. Thanks for helping me uncover this passion.

TELL YOU WHAT BBQ
12-01-2011, 08:16 PM
We have 2 BGE - Party - UDS - all of which have their merits. Nothing compares to a pizza stone blazin on the Egg - BGE is unbeatable (perhaps the wrong word!!) for Saturday NEBS comps. -- BGE rips up to temp. for yardbirds

We use one Egg to 'feed the flock' who inevitably show up -- which also means we need a BAC (Big A$$ Cooler) for COPIOUS libations!

BGE TRANSPORT S-CKS! (at least from my anxiety standpoint). In the word's of Ralphie's old man in A Christmas Story,'FRA-GIL-E!'. We had a lid break at a comp. -- I will say BGE was awesome with replacement!! Much respect.

Party is durable (I am awaiting delivery ANY DAY NOW for my NEW PARTY!!) and UDS (which flew out of truck at 50 mph during a deer strike- long story) is virtually indestructible!!).

CBQ
12-02-2011, 04:51 PM
Yaba Dabba Que is a top Team at New England BBQ Society (KCBS) events and they cook on Eggs. Cindy and Eric were NEBS Rookie TOY in 2009 (? year) and are always a threat to make the GC walk (and have) in one of the most competitive regions in the country.


They make some good 'cue on those eggs, but also have an electric winch to pull the eggs into the travel trailer. Good cookers, but not so easy to move.

CivilWarBBQ was right about TOY. You need to be cooking 25-30 contests a year to be in the running. Ten or fifteen will get you AR and The Jack invites (provided you win GCs) but you should be thinking closer to 30 contests for a run at KCBS TOY. If you are just starting to compete, I wouldn't be worrying about TOY yet. You will probably buy a few more smokers along the way. :becky: