First Timer Tips
These important tips will help you get safely started as a Big Green Egg owner. Please take the time to read these tips before assembly and first use of your EGG – proper product knowledge will greatly enhance your enjoyment and safety.
We always recommend that you read and follow our Safety Tips too!
The Big Green EGG is extremely safe and hazard free when used as intended and according to safety guidelines, and will provide years of trouble free use and enjoyment.
ALWAYS EXERCISE CAUTION WHEN USING ANY HOT COOKING DEVICE.
THE EGG, COOKING GRID AND CHARCOAL ARE HOT WHEN IN USE!
ALWAYS EXERCISE EXTREME CAUTION WHEN LIGHTING CHARCOAL, USING CHARCOAL STARTERS, COOKING WITH HOT CHARCOAL OR HANDLING HOT COOKING SURFACES.
ALWAYS USE EXTREME CARE WHEN TRANSPORTING, MOVING OR LOADING AND UNLOADING AN EGG AS PRODUCT IS HEAVY AND PERSONAL INJURY CAN OCCUR IF DROPPED OR TIPPED OVER.
EXERCISE CAUTION WHEN MOVING, HANDLING, LOADING OR UNLOADING AN EGG TO AVOID ANY INJURY FROM METAL PARTS.
NEVER ATTEMPT TO MOVE, ROLL or TRANSPORT AN EGG WHILE COALS ARE HOT! NEVER PUSH AN EGG – ALWAYS PULL THE EGG CAREFULLY WHEN MOVING IT.
ALWAYS TAKE CARE WHEN HANDLING THE HINGE ASSEMBLY, DUAL FUNCTION METAL TOP AND STAINLESS STEEL DRAFT DOOR TO AVOID POSSIBLE INJURY FROM METAL EDGES.
DO NOT PLACE ANY EGG DIRECTLY ON A WOOD SURFACE OR ON OR NEAR ANY COMBUSTIBLE SURFACE! THE BOTTOM OF THE CERAMIC VESSEL DOES GENERATE SIGNIFICANT HEAT WHEN IN USE, AND MAY CAUSE COMBUSTION IF PLACED DIRECTLY ON – OR IN PROXIMITY TO – ANY COMBUSTIBLE MATERIAL!
NEVER attempt to use the handle, Nest, EGG Mates or hinge assembly as a personal support or grab-rail, and never allow children to play near a hot EGG.
The metal bands on your EGG are designed to keep the dome of your EGG secure, as are the nuts and bolts on the EGG hardware, casters, Nest or Nest Handler, and EGG Mates. Checking the tightness of these fittings after the first few uses is highly recommended, along with a rechecking at least twice a year. In particular, the band and hinge hardware should be checked regularly for proper operation and tightness.
A Big Green Egg is designed to remain closed while cooking, using the patented air control devices to regulate temperature. Leaving the dome open will accelerate the flame and temperature to levels that are counterproductive to cooking properly – and can be dangerous if left unattended. When checking or removing food, you will prevent heat loss by minimizing the time you have the dome opened.
Remember: “If you’re looking … you’re not cooking!”
You are going to be very pleasantly surprised once you see how easily you can achieve “steakhouse style” grilled steaks by leaving the dome closed and letting the magic of the Big Green Egg do the work for you!
IMPORTANT – do not leave the dome open or leave the vent cap off the dome when your EGG is not in use – It is important to keep rain and moisture out of your EGG.
Use Big Green Egg Natural Lump Charcoal and follow the lighting instructions to achieve best lighting results. Our charcoal lights fast and burns hot – and your food will taste better too!
Lighter fluids will be absorbed into the ceramics, permanently contaminating your EGG with petrochemicals and tainting the flavour of your food. Instead, use Big Green Egg All Natural SpeediLight Charcoal Starters or an EGGniter or Electric Charcoal Starter, all of which are odor-free and will be the fastest method of reaching a cooking temperature without any exposure to chemical fumes.
Do not use charcoal briquettes, self starting charcoal or similar products in an EGG.
This may damage the gasket before the adhesives can cure. Keep the temperature on your first few cooks under 350°F / 177°C to allow the gasket adhesive to fully cure and adhere to the EGG. If you do happen to damage the gasket, you can easily replace it with a self-adhesive high temperature replacement gasket available from any BGE dealer.
Whenever opening your EGG at high temperatures (over 400°F / 204°C), it is essential to lift or slowly crack the dome only slightly a few times, allowing air to safely enter slowly, preventing any backdraft or flare-ups that may allow a flash of heat to escape or burn your hand. Never quickly open a hot EGG all the way. Never allow children to handle or open the dome of a hot EGG!
When handling hot ceramics or cooking surfaces, use appropriate protection to avoid burning injuries. Always use caution when setting hot items on other surfaces.
Although damp charcoal will burn, it is often more difficult to light. You can utilize the charcoal remaining in the firebox from your last cook, but these coals may have absorbed moisture, particularly if it has been rainy or humid. To remedy this, simply mix in 50% more dry charcoal to ensure fast lighting. Try to keep your spare charcoal in a dry environment or in a bin with a lid so it won’t absorb humidity or moisture.
DO NOT allow rain or water to get inside your EGG when not in use. EGGs perform just fine in the rain, or snow, but do not allow water to get inside the EGG when it is not being used as it can penetrate into the ceramic and cause cracking if allowed to freeze. Never use water to clean the inside of an EGG.
Always clean the interior completely and dispose of all ash before storing an EGG. Make sure everything is dry and be sure to clean the firebox holes, fire grate and cooking grid before storing for best results.
EGGs and tables will always look better and remain cleaner if covered when not in use. If storing an EGG, check from time to time to make sure there is no moisture build up under the cover or inside the EGG from condensation or humidity.
If an EGG has been stored for the winter or has been unused for any period of time, we recommend lighting a small amount of charcoal and allowing the EGG to heat very gradually to about 350°F / 177°C to slowly burn off any residue or moisture that may have accumulated during storage.
Your EGG is designed to cook efficiently for long periods of time at a wide range of temperatures. This can only be achieved using the optimum fuel, and that’s why we take great care to specify that only premium select All Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal is packaged in the Big Green Egg bag. Many generic brands and charcoal briquettes are made with wood by-products, chemical fillers, petroleum products and other undesirable materials – and as a result they don’t work as well or they generate huge amounts of ash, which can clog or block the airflow within the firebox of the EGG – to say nothing of the taste of your food! Using our premium charcoal will reward you in many ways – it is the secret ingredient of top chefs around the world!
This will extinguish the flame and allow you to reuse the remaining charcoal on your next cook.
The Big Green Egg ceramic Fire Box has been specially designed to ignite the charcoal uniformly in a way that is best left undisturbed. The coals will burn most efficiently this way, and best of all, you are not bothered with the constant hassle of messing with hot coals. You can leave everything alone and enjoy cooking! The original Fire Grate installed with each EGG has been tested and engineered to provide optimum air flow and performance. The use of aftermarket parts inside an EGG may void the warranty.
Your EGG is designed to be virtually self-cleaning, and the ceramics are porous and will absorb the water. Simply close the lid and both vents after a cook, and the remaining heat will allow food residue to burn off. At the beginning of your next cook, you can easily remove any remnants on the cooking grid with the Big Green Egg Grid Cleaner or the Stainless Steel Mesh Grill Scrubber.
Thanks to its high-tech ceramic composition, an EGG will endure extreme temperature differences and can maintain internal temperatures irrespective of the weather. You will find yourself using your EGG in all seasons. Want a perfectly roasted turkey in the middle of winter … no problem!
However, do not leave an unused EGG open or with the cap removed, and never allow rain or snow to enter an unused EGG. Should the interior of an EGG get wet, dry completely then light a small amount of charcoal and allow the EGG to heat very gradually to not more than 350°F / 177°C to slowly burn off any residue or moisture.
The metal bands on your EGG are designed to keep the dome of your EGG secure. Checking the tightness of these fittings after the first few uses is highly recommended, along with a rechecking at least twice a year. In addition to the band and hinge hardware, all nuts and bolts should be checked regularly for proper operation and tightness.
The hinge assembly, dual function metal top and stainless steel draft door are made of metal – always take care to avoid possible injury from metal edges, and do not handle these metal parts when hot.
If you remove the sliding door and safety screen completely, the correct reassembly order is –
Install the sliding screen first, with two tabs facing to your left; then the solid sliding door placed so it slides on top of the screen (not behind it) with the single tab located to your right. The only time the screen itself needs to be opened all the way to the right would be to remove ash. Keep the screen in place, all the way to left, when EGG is in use. Position of the solid sliding door controls airflow not the screen – which is a patented spark arrestor and safety feature of an EGG. Always handle everything carefully as the metal tabs and metal screen may have sharp edges, or will be hot if in use.
This will intensify flavor, prolong the smoking value and avoid unwanted flash burning of the woods. USE CAUTION when adding wood chips or chunks – the interior of an EGG is a very hot surface so please exercise extreme care and caution at all times. It is recommended to simply add the chips or chunks before lighting charcoal for excellent results. Chips, chunks and cooking planks may be soaked in water or other options such as juice or wine for different flavors – see recipe and publication areas of our website.
Do not leave a lit EGG with the dome open if it is unattended. Be aware of dry leaves, decking and other combustible materials that may be in proximity to an EGG while it is in use, as they may present a fire hazard if any hot charcoal or sparks are allowed to come into contact. Do be aware of your surroundings if using an EGG while camping or on cookouts, as any open flame can present a hazard to people and property. Do be aware that local ordinances may specify distance to place any outdoor cooker from a structure or may limit outdoor flame of any type during drought or fire hazard periods. NEVER attempt to move or roll an EGG unless the coals are cold. NEVER attempt to use the handle or hinge assembly as a personal support or grab-rail, and never allow children to play near an EGG.
Wind gusts can spread hot charcoal or cinders, creating a fire hazard, and in extreme cases a gust of high wind may cause the dome to tip backward, possibly causing damage or injury. Always exercise caution in these conditions.
This cuts off air supply and prevent the EGG from reaching extreme temperatures.
DO NOT Attempt to Light or Use an EGG Indoors unless it is a COMMERCIAL INSTALLATION OR RESTAURANT MEETING APPLICABLE CODES FOR VENTING AND FIRE SUPPRESSION.
The EGG is intended primarily for outdoor use with adequate air circulation, and away from structures and NEVER inside or in proximity to an enclosed area or inside a vehicle. DO NOT attempt to light or use an EGG inside an enclosed room, garage or any storage area that may contain combustible materials.
DO NOT USE A TABLE NEST ALONE TO SUPPORT AN EGG UNLESS THE EGG IS ALSO HOUSED WITHIN A TABLE OR AN ISLAND OR OTHER TYPE OF A SURROUND! NOTE THAT THERE MUST BE A SUFFICIENT AIR GAP AROUND THE SIDES OF AN EGG IF INSTALLED IN A CUSTOM TABLE OR BUILT IN!
THE LOW-PROFILE TABLE NEST IS NOT DESIGNED OR INTENDED AS A FREE-STANDING SUPPORT for your EGG, and the EGG can tip over if not supported properly. Only the Mini and MiniMax have a low-profile Carrier designed to be used as a free-standing base.
THE EGG IS DESIGNED TO BE USED IN A METAL NEST OR WITH A METAL TABLE NEST, PROVIDING AN AIR GAP BELOW THE EGG – however you must exercise caution and not place an EGG directly over combustible material such as ground cover or an extremely dry wood surface even if using a Table Nest.
Although a concrete paver block (non-porous) or granite tile can be used to support the EGG when housed in a table or built-in, they must be sufficiently thick for proper heat protection.
For optimum heat protection, a Metal Table Nest placed over a granite tile may be used in combination, particularly if the EGG is placed over a wood surface and is routinely used for long cooks or high temperature cooking.
PERIODICALLY CHECK THE AREA DIRECTLY BELOW THE EGG to ensure that over time there is no deterioration on the surface under the EGG due to heat transfer.
IF THE EGG IS INSTALLED IN A TABLE OR ISLAND, IT IS IMPORTANT TO PERIODICALLY CHECK THE AREA AROUND THE SIDES OF THE EGG to ensure that over time there is no deterioration of any surface adjacent to the EGG due to heat transfer.
You may void the warranty, and modifications can lead to damage or injury.
Exercise REASONABLE STANDARDS OF CARE at all times.
ALWAYS USE EXTREME CARE WHEN TRANSPORTING, MOVING, LOADING or UNLOADING AN EGG AS PRODUCT IS HEAVY AND PERSONAL INJURY OR DAMAGE CAN OCCUR IF DROPPED OR ALLOWED TO TIP OVER. EXERCISE CAUTION WHEN HANDLING, LOADING/UNLOADING AN EGG TO AVOID ANY INJURY FROM METAL PARTS.
ALWAYS TAKE CARE WHEN HANDLING HINGE ASSEMBLY, DUAL FUNCTION METAL TOP AND STAINLESS STEEL DRAFT DOOR TO AVOID POSSIBLE INJURY FROM METAL EDGES.