When one purchases a Big Green Egg, there are decisions to be made about what accessories are needed. Often the local dealer will “throw in” a couple of things in addition to a bag of BGE lump (during special occasionally like Father’s Day there are frequently more ‘bonuses’).
Necessary starter tools:
(1) Ash tool (to rake the ash from the bottom as well as stir around the lump, like a fire poker)
(2) Grid lifter
(3) Fire starters
Additional start-up items:
(1) Depending on your plans for your Egg’s “living quarters” at your house, you may need one of the nests, a nest handler, mates (shelves), or even a table.
(2) Platesetter (convEggtor): This is used to create an indirect fire for cooking low and slow or for baking in the egg. It is also used in conjunction with a pizza stone for cooking pizzas. Some dealers also offer a cast iron version of the platesetter which has a griddle on the reverse side.
(3) Pizza Stone. Because of the high temps in the Egg, one needs to buy a higher quality pizza stone, preferably a BGE brand. Thinner stones, like those sold by Pampered Chef have been known to crack when used in an Egg.
(4) V-rack. A good, enamel-coated V-rack doubles as a rack to hold large pieces of meat (roast, Boston butt, leg of lamb, turkey, chicken) above a drip pan for better airflow. It also can be flipped upside down and function as a rib rack or to make a large brisket “fit” by draping it over the inverted V-rack.
(5) Drip pans. These can be disposable foil pans of various sizes or pans purchased specifically as drip pans. I highly suggest you wrap both sides of reusable drip pans with heavy duty aluminum foil (inside to make clean-up of drippings easier and on the outside to reduce the amount of staining that comes from the smoke).
(6) Thermometers. You will take your cooking to the next level and create very consistent cooks when you learn to cook to internal temperature versus estimating cooking time or using the “touch” techniques. There are different types and prices of grilling thermometers.
Continuous read: These thermometers have probes that either insert into the meat or measure the grill (pit) temp – or 2 probes to allow reading of both simultaneously. Some models also have a remote feature, allowing you to monitor the meat and/or pit from a distance (great in bad weather conditions or for overnight cooks). I have used Maverick remote thermometers for 8-10 years on almost every cook I do. I have found them very reliable and affordable. Maverick also makes one that is branded “BGE”, but it has about a $20 higher price tag. I don’t like a thermometer where one chooses which kind of meat their cooking and has pre-set “done temps” built in (Maverick E-733). I prefer to make my own decisions about what temps I desire for the various meats (beef, pork, poultry) I am cooking, so my personal preference and recommendation is the Maverick E-732.
Instant read: These are fast, highly accurate thermometers used by master chefs. They are great for double checking the final temps, especially in different parts of the meat, or for those times when a continuous read thermometer is not used. Thermoworks makes several models in difference price ranges. The Thermapen (~$90) is their ‘flagship’ thermometer – fast, extremely accurate and compact. They also make the “ThermoPop” (~$30), which is smaller, slightly less accurate, but with a lower price point. I have and use both a Thermapen and a ThermoPop, though the faster Thermapen is my “go to”.
Now you are ready to get to grilling! Watch for a future blog on more accessories to further enhance your BGE cooking experience.
Your family will not only appreciate the great food you create, but they will have an endless choice of Christmas, birthday, Father’s Day and other gift ideas of Egg accessories, rubs, tools, etc. you will be thrilled to receive!!