Lighting and Maintaining the Temperature of the Big Green Egg
Quick and Easy to Start
The core design of the Big Green Egg is all about using 100% natural lump charcoal as you cook with live fire. Lump charcoal lights quickly and heats up to cooking temperature in minutes without using lighter fluid. The patented precision-flow draft door at the bottom controls the amount of air entering the Fire Box. This, combined with the air-tight ceramic cooking chamber and rEGGulator vent cap provides precise temperature control with the touch of your hand.
Start by filling the ceramic Fire Box or the Stainless Steel Fire Bowl to the top with Big Green Egg Natural Lump Charcoal. The Golden Rule: never use quick light charcoal products or briquettes as they contain fillers, nitrates, chemicals, and other petroleum additives which can penetrate the porous ceramic interior and impart a chemical off taste to the food. Big Green Egg lump charcoal is premium carbonized wood with NO additives whatsoever.
If you’d like to learn more about BGE’s all natural lump charcoal, read all about it here.
Lighting the EGG
Most people find lighting the fire a satisfying process that adds to the enjoyment and excitement of cooking on the EGG. Cooking with a live fire delivers incredible, hassle-free results with amazing flavors.
There are three equally fast and all-natural options for lighting the fire.
Option 1: SpeediLight Natural Charcoal Starters
These little blocks of compressed sawdust are coated with natural paraffin wax. With the lid open, slide the draft door completely open. Nestle one or two SpeediLight Natural Charcoal Starters into the charcoal and light with an Extra Long Match or a long-handled lighter. After eight to ten minutes, or when several coals are burning, close the lid and adjust the top and bottom dampers to regulate the temperature. When the desired temperature is reached, you are ready to cook!
Option 2: Electric Charcoal Starter or the Electric EGGniter
If you have access to an electrical outlet, an Electric Charcoal Starter or EGGniter is a surefire way to light the charcoal.
For the Electric Charcoal Starter, simply nestle the round heating coil directly into the coals. This handy device, with a heat-resistant handle, will have you cooking in minutes without striking a match!
For the Electric EGGniter: Just place it into the coals and the super-heated air will ignite the coal in approximately seven minutes.
Be sure to disconnect both from the power source and remove from the EGG once the coals are burning. Close the lid of the EGG and adjust the dampers to reach the desired temperature.
Option 3: Butane Charcoal EGGniter
With the battery-powered Refillable Butane Charcoal EGGniter, an electrical outlet is not needed. Press the button of the EGGniter and the adjustable torch flame will ignite the charcoal. Use the air blower to boost the fire. Once several coals are burning close the lid of the EGG and adjust the top and bottom dampers.
Precise cooking temperatures can be achieved easily by monitoring the exterior temperature gauge and adjusting the draft openings accordingly. For lower temperatures, reduce the airflow by minimizing the openings of both the rEGGulator and the draft door in the base. To boost temperatures, open the dampers wider. Keep in mind that the greater the openings, the higher the temperature. With a little practice, cooking temperatures can be controlled to within a few degrees, even for long cooking periods.
For larger temperature adjustments, use the draft door at the base of the EGG. For more precise adjustments, use the rEGGulator on top.
Bluetooth Dome Thermometer - External Temperature Gauge
This new Bluetooth Dome Thermometer is easily attached to the dome of the EGG and enables cooks to remotely monitor cooking temperatures from their phones. The gauge’s free app connects via Bluetooth and allows users to create high and low temp alerts, set a timer, and toggle between C and F temp displays. Temperature range: 32° F – 842°F.
Extinguishing the Fire
When you are done cooking, simply close both dampers completely to shut off airflow. This will extinguish the fire and preserve any unused charcoal for the next cook. Due to the high heat retention of the ceramic walls, the EGG will take a while to cool down and for the coals to be fully extinguished. Never use water to put out coals inside your EGG. Wait at least twenty-four hours until all the ash is completely cooled before removing it from the EGG in the Ash Removal Pan.
Relighting the EGG
Some of the natural lump charcoal from your previous cook will not be burned and remains in the Fire Box or Stainless Steel Fire Bowl. This charcoal can be reused next time you fire up your EGG. Before relighting the fire, rake the coals across the Fire Grate using the Ash Tool, allowing any ash to fall through the holes in the grate. Remove ash with the Ash Removal Pan from the bottom, add more charcoal to the leftovers to fill and light.
The Big Green Egg Stainless Steel Fire Bowl quickly lifts charcoal out of the EGG to allow for easy cleanup. The two convenient handles provide an easy way to shake out the cool ash to maximize airflow for quicker startups.