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It’s grilling season

Credit: biggreenegg.com

Credit: biggreenegg.com

In case you hadn’t noticed, Spring has sprung and gone. It is heating up out there, and that means two things:

1 – My offensively pale skin will be making its 2011 debut.

2 – It’s grilling season.

Though the times are a changin’ and gender roles in the kitchen have all but faded away, there is one facet of cooking that remains primarily man’s domain: The grill.

Dating back to the antiquated days when women were expected to cook all of the family meals, even the most macho men still found themselves parked over a pile of coals in the summertime, tending to the meat. Maybe it appeals to our “hunting instincts”, or maybe, like taking out the garbage, it was just something that the men were expected to handle.

But this is 2011, and thankfully, many modern men out there have embraced cooking, and no longer expect a hot meal on the table when they get home. Even today though, I can’t count how many conversations with guys that I’ve had that played out like this:

Me: So, do you cook much?

Dude: No, not really. But I grill out all the time.

Me: Ummm…I’m pretty sure that still qualifies as “cooking”…

Of the bounty of kitchen related wedding gifts that I now have the pleasure of sifting through, one gift reigns supreme. In no uncertain terms, I explained to my groomsman what I wanted from them: A Big Green Egg. I didn’t care if they had to get 20 guys to throw in on it. And hallelujah, I got one.

Aside: Yes, I know that the BGE isn’t the only quality ceramic grill on the market. Primo grills are also fantastic. And both companies are based here in Georgia.

For the last 5 years, the only grill that I’ve had at my disposal has been an old-school Weber kettle grill, little more than a metal drum with a grate and a lid. And I’ve cooked some excellent BBQ on there, if I do say so myself. But now that I have the granddaddy of smoker/grills, it almost feels like cheating. Part of the fun of the kettle grill was the challenge and labor of smoking a pork butt for 12 hours – I actually had to work for it.

It hasn’t made it out of the box yet, but I plan to set that bad boy up this weekend and break it in. And while it is nice to have a high end piece of equipment like this on my back porch, I know as well as anyone that you don’t need anything fancy to cook a good meal.

So this got me thinking…grillers of Atlanta (both male AND female…no need to be sexist here), what is your preferred piece of hardware? Did I miss the boat asking for a BGE and not something else?

What is going to be your summertime grill?

- By Jon Watson, Food & More blog

31 comments Add your comment

Hungry Gringo

June 1st, 2011
1:04 pm

My bbq grill is a 2001 Ford Explorer to carry me the short distance between my home and Fox Brothers.

Kirk

June 1st, 2011
1:24 pm

I bought a cheap Brinkman electric smoker from Walmart. Two bags of woodchips, one mesquite, one hickory filled the order . Over the last three weeks I have eaten some of the most wonderful meats and fish I’ve ever put in my mouth. Pork shoulder, ribs, beef brisket, chicken,and salmon have all had the treatment. I keep my computer busy finding other nuts that have different rubs and brines to experiment with. Everything has worked. My wife says I now permanently smell like smoke. Next on to the vegetables.

Kirk

June 1st, 2011
1:33 pm

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com is a wonderful forum for addicts.

Becky

June 1st, 2011
1:47 pm

Well here goes..I don’t have a “real” grill, because I don’t really know how to cook on a charcoal grill..I do have a umm, gas grill that I love..My husband doesn’t do any of the grilling and never has..:~)

FoodFan

June 1st, 2011
1:49 pm

While my family always used a Weber grill when I was growing up – and I love the BGE myself (had some great chicken leg drumsticks off of it a while go, mmmm, bone-in meat…) – I really like the convenience of my Weber gas grill. I just find myself going to it more/using it more than I would something like a traditional charcoal grill/Big Green Egg. My ideal would be to have one “traditional” grill to be used on the weekend & another gas grill for the week. I grill all sorts of meat/veg/corn on the cob/baked potatoes, and recently even tried some grilled peaches with vanilla ice cream & maple syrup (fantastic!) – really, if it can fit on the grill, it can be grilled.

GrillinGrrl

June 1st, 2011
1:55 pm

I bought my hubbie a Primo Grill ceramic smoker a few years ago because it’s made in the US (Georgia) unlike the Big Green Egg. We generally use it on the weekend when the weather is warm, and use the LP gas grill during winter and mid-week grilling convenience.

Becky

June 1st, 2011
2:13 pm

@FoodFan..You are so right about if it fits on the grill, you can make it..Try “baking” biscuits on a grill..Fun..

Tim

June 1st, 2011
2:46 pm

For smoking you need a Weber Smokey Mountain Smoker. It’s made to do the job. I smoked three 8 pound buts for a party a couple of weeks ago and it was great.

Elizabeth

June 1st, 2011
3:04 pm

I love the BGE! Delicous for smoked trout!

johnny fontane

June 1st, 2011
3:14 pm

Cooking with charcoal on a Weber is easy. 2 beers and the coals are ready. 2 more beers for a med. rare ribeye steak.

BFellows

June 1st, 2011
5:23 pm

This will be my 3rd summer on a BGE. Serious Barbeque by Adam Perry Lang is a MUST READ. Go get it now. Dude worked at Daniel and Guy Savoy before dedicating his life to BBQ. The recipes are difficult but amazing.

Progress

June 1st, 2011
5:23 pm

Just got one of those Char-Grillers with a gas grill on one side, a charcoal grill/smoker on the other, and a smoke box on the side. Awesome. This weekend I smoked baby back ribs, pork spare ribs, and beef short ribs on it for 6 hours. The smoke box allows you to keep the temperature low (+- 225 degrees) and the food doesn’t dry out since it’s not cooked over direct heat. When the ribs were about done I threw some corn and hot dogs on the gas side for the kids and we had a feast. I’ve never been into gas grills, but I’ve got to say it’s convenient to come home after work and cook some burgers or sausage on the grill in 10 minutes without heating up the house and making the AC work overtime.

Baltisraul

June 1st, 2011
5:43 pm

The BGE and Primo would be a dream come true. Just don’t have an extra $850.00 around right now. Did buy a new Webber 3 weeks ago and you can’t go wrong with the ole kettle. At the same time I also purchased a Master Forge electric smoker. The reason for MF smoker was that it came with a thermostate control so you can smoke at any given temp for the time you have on that day. It also has a temp gauge in the hood. Should be a great summer!!!!

RGB

June 1st, 2011
6:37 pm

Congrats on your Green Egg, John. I know you’ll love yours as I’ve loved mine for the past 10 years or so. I’m still learning new ways of cooking and never touched my gas grill again after getting the Egg. Be sure to use the lump charcoal and be aware that some brands seem to work better than others. I like Kroger but don’t like the kind they sell at Home Depot (it doesn’t burn well).

Get a rib rack and catch pan, one of those pizza stones (or whatever they call them) BGE sells (so you can put your rack on top of the stone to facilitate indirect cooking), and also one of those pans with the holes in ‘em to cook veggies, fish, etc. Oh, and get several bags of wood chips though you don’t have to have them. I like pecan for fowl and fish. And go crazy with the marinades. You probably have most of this stuff already.

Oh–the folks at BGE really do back their product. I’ve had a couple of minor issues over the years (and believe me, I’ve used the heck out of the product) and they treated me fairly each time I’ve had a concern.

You’ll enjoy your Egg for a long, long time. Let us know your favorite recipes and techniques.

Fred

June 1st, 2011
8:26 pm

GrillinGrrl

June 1st, 2011
1:55 pm

I bought my hubbie a Primo Grill ceramic smoker a few years ago because it’s made in the US (Georgia) unlike the Big Green Egg
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

ATLBadger

June 1st, 2011
8:29 pm

Love my 22.5″ Weber kettle for grilling and roasting. Yeah it’s not as nice as a BGE, but it’s also only $150. I learned to smoke on it and while it was a bit of a chore, I think it taught me a lot about low and slow because you have to work at it. Now I have a ProQ Frontier for smoking, which is basically an English knockoff of a Weber Smokey Mountain. Plenty happy with it thus far. Between the two, I can’t see myself forking over the funds for a BGE.

Also, is there really a grilling season in Atlanta?! I used to grill in January in Wisconsin!

Fred

June 1st, 2011
8:35 pm

The writing disappeared for me GrillinGRRl after I quoted you.

My friend has a Primo (the Big Egg knock off) He makes the best ribs I’ve ever eaten on it. I got a green egg for Xmas from my wife. I’m still learning how to use it. I made ribs Sunday using “Dr. Rib’s” technique. Mine were good, but his are GREAT. It’s not the cooker, but the person doing it. I’ll learn. Both are very good.

@Jon Watson: Check out the green egg forums and the DVD you should have gotten with your egg. If you use the technique Kevin Rathburn explains on the “how to cook ribeyes” demonstration, it will be perfect.

If would behoove you to go to the Green Egg “headquarters” (the warehouse and store on HWY29 ie Lawrenceville Hwy in Tucker.)

First off, for thirty days they will give you a 10 percent discount on anything you buy. Secondly, the people that work the store ALL have Green eggs and know how to use them. They will tell you anything you want to know, give you recipes and techniques, ect. There are NO surly people working there. They love their jobs and their green eggs. Enjoy your egg. There IS a learning curve though.

Fred

June 1st, 2011
8:48 pm

ATLBadger: There is no comparison between a Green Egg and a Weber. And I LOVED my Webers. Also, there is no “grilling season’ in Atlanta. I got my Egg for Christmas and have been using it since Day 1. I used my Weber year round as well.

A couple of advantages of a green egg over a weber: The coals are ready faster (no fluid or chimney needed), you can achieve 700 degrees in an egg, when you are done, shut the top and bottom airflow and the fire dies and you can use the same lump charcoal again, you can cook low and slow for over 12 hours. How much over 12 hours, I don’t know. 12 hours is as long as I have done it so far. The heat IN the Egg stays in the egg. You can touch the sides and not get burned. I have mine on a screened in deck. My egg has a lifetime waranty (can’t attest to how long it lasts as I just got it). My Weber is not my FIRST Weber. I’ve had to replace it several times. If I screwed up with my Weber and dropped the lid while cooking, it was toast.

But, if I didn’t HAVE the Green Egg now, I would still be using my Weber. Adn when it wore out I would have gotten another.

Have you ever made a pizza on your Weber?

lal

June 1st, 2011
8:56 pm

BGE here. I’ve had three over the years (two cross country moves to CA and back were a little rough on them), two BGEs and one Kamado. I now have the “new” version of the BGE. It appears to tolerate high temps more than the original and seems more durable. Love, love, love mine. Best pulled pork ever! I’ve cooked whole salmon, turkeys, prime rib, ribs and even bread and pizza. I’m a potter, so I use a kiln shelf instead of a plate setter. I also use a grill wok wrapped in foil for
indirect cooking and as a drip pan. I place it right above the coals and put my grill on top. By the way, I’m a woman and I’ve always done the grilling in our family.

Curtis Maybin

June 2nd, 2011
12:31 am

They are both great grills but I believe that the Primo is the only grill made in the USA. Read the primo grill review and watch the video to see. Both are great summer gift idea.

gotta smoke the legal way

Lal

June 2nd, 2011
1:15 am

Oh, by the way, instead of rib racks, I use skewers to secure each slab of ribs in a stand up circle. Be sure to place them meaty side up (so the fat will baste the ribs). Low and slow… about 250 F for 3-4 hours. Yum.

Georgia Sports Report

June 2nd, 2011
9:50 am

Brinkman Gourmet Smoker. $59 at Lowes. Easiest thing ever

Smoke on the water

June 2nd, 2011
12:42 pm

The best grill I have ever used is also produced here in Ga. by some guys down on Sea Island call the Chargriller one side has Propane the other is setup for charcoal. You can add a smoke box on the side but I opt for a seprate smoker for the volume cooking. Its well made but beware of some that are trying to look like it they are not even close.

I then have an electric smoker for the heavy duty hours long items such as turkey and large batches of ribs and such.

Bob

June 2nd, 2011
2:27 pm

Any suggestions for an electric grill?

PTC DAWG

June 2nd, 2011
3:16 pm

If it’s gas, you might as well be using the stove.

Give me a nice charcoal kettle any day, throw in a Weber Smoky Mountain, and you have an almost unbeatable combo for the $$$.

That said, go charcoal or don’t go at all.

PTC DAWG

June 2nd, 2011
3:22 pm

Agreed about it’s always grilling season in the ATL area.

Becky

June 2nd, 2011
4:42 pm

@PTC DAWG..Can you offer me any help on learning to use a charcoal grill? I have never used one and don’t know how to stack the charcoal or how much fluid to use or how to tell when it’s ready to use…Can’t ask anyone in my family as I’m the only one that grills..The hubby doesn’t do any of the cooking (inside or outside) so he’s no help..Just wondering as I would love to learn to “grill”

Baltisraul

June 2nd, 2011
4:59 pm

Bob ….yes, the oven!

jd

June 2nd, 2011
5:31 pm

Grilldome, also from here in Atlanta, makes another terrific ceramic smoker/griller. It also tends to be priced better than the BGE and Primo. I love mine.

Food and More with John Kessler

June 3rd, 2011
9:08 am

Eddie

June 5th, 2011
7:14 am

congrats on you egg I have been grilling on Weber kettles for 30 years. my wife and daughter gave me a bge for my birth day this past october there is a differance the ceramic construction of the bge or any other ceramic cooker keeps more moisture inside the cooking chamber. enjoy your egg