The Different Cooking Configurations of the Big Green Egg
The Big Green Egg ceramic grill is incredible because of its flexibility. You are able to set up your Egg up for direct cooking, similar to a regular grill, to barbecue chicken. With only one additional component you can set up your grill to become a slow smoker that is able to do smoking “low ‘n slow” all day long! You can also use your Egg as an oven to cook up bread, pizza or even cookies.
The traditional grilling set up is commonly known as direct cooking, because you are cooking your food directly above the hot coals. Simply set your Stainless Steel or Cast Iron Grid right on top of the Fire Ring, and you are ready to grill direct. Many Eggheads can lift the level of their cooking surface with extenders or lower their cooking surface by taking out the Fire Ring to set the grid right on the Fire Box.Shifting the level of the cooking surface affords you more control over the style of heat your food will encounter; make the grill surface higher to avoid the flames for grilling vegetables, and drop the cooking surface to quickly sear pork chops. Direct grilling is commonly used for steaks, hamburgers, fish, pork tenderloin, and vegetables.
The Plate Setter Accessory is a heat barrier sold by the Big Green Egg manufacturer. If you possess a Plate Setter, you are able to use your Big Green Egg for indirect smoking. To configure your Big Green Egg for indirect barbecuing simply set the Plate Setter right on the Fire Ring with the legs facing up, rest a drip pan full of water on the Plate Setter, and then place your grid on top of the Plate Setter. If you are baking pizzas you can put your ceramic baking stone directly on the grid and you are ready to grill cook indirectly.The basic concept behind indirect smoking is that your meat is indirectly exposed to the fire, so it roasts via convection and radiant heat. This cooks the food slower than exposing it to direct heat, and is the only choice for true smoking. If you want to slow smoke brisket, pulled pork, or ribs you will need to do it via indirect grilling.
If “low and slow” isn’t your thing, you can make use of the Plate Setter to change your smoker into an outdoor oven. Even though the fire is being blocked by the Plate Setter, the internal grill temperature can reach as high as 600F and allow you to cook out of this world brick-oven style pizzas. Just about anything you could bake in a normal oven you can roast using the indirect cooking set up of the Big Green Egg.