The Big Green Egg

A few months ago my in-laws downsized and moved into a MUCH smaller home. As a result of this, our home is bursting at the seams with furniture, family heirlooms, and machinery.

I was more than willing to take whatever they sent my way because somewhere packed in the middle of all that stuff was going to be THE BIG GREEN EGG. The grill enthusiasts choice for majestic smoking and grilling. My father-in-law had created masterpieces of meat of this grill and it was going to be my challenge to duplicate his perfection.

My father-in-law is a gadget man. He has all sorts of whosywhatsits and thingamajigs that came along with the EGG and it has taken me awhile to figure out what everything is. But I jumped right in even without using all the gadgets. Fired that baby up within the first few days of unpacking.

First thing I tried was some pork spare ribs I had in the freezer. I used some sort or premade rub I had in the cabinet (actually I think it was a bit of everything I had, not just one specific one). I tend to not use the same thing twice. It could be whatever I have run across recently that I smelled and thought, “Huh. That smells pretty good, I’ll give it a go.” Or it is a combination of things that fall out of my spice cabinet when I open the door, the lids break and then I need to hurry and use it. And yes. This does happen. My spice and herb cabinet is overflowing. I have actually planned meals around something I can try to use up out of that cabinet. I’m a kitchen hot mess.

Couple two or three hours later, we had ribs. Not bad for a first go! They turned out pretty tender, pulled off the bone just right. I like my ribs tender but still needing a bit of persuasion to fall off the bone.

Now we were looking forward to Thanksgiving. I thought about brining the bird but ultimately decided against it. I remembered my in-laws had decided to brine their turkey one year and we had all decided we didn’t think it made that much of a difference and it was a heckuva lot of work. The temp got away from me and the outside of that bird got preeetttyyy dark before we had a chance to cover it (maybe I should check out some of the temperature control gadgets that came along with the EGG). By the time it was at eating temperature the leg bones were very brittle and very black. I figured it would be awful and dry but it turned out suitably moist and amazingly tasty. We always stuff our bird’s cavity with apples and oranges and I think that helps to keep it moist.

We contemplated a prime rib roast for Christmas. Instead we opted for T-bones on New Years. The family had been trying to convince me to do steaks on the EGG from Day 1. Never any seasoning, just a bit of salt right before consumption, the men in my family are purists when it comes to beef. And we like it on the rare side, pleasantly red somewhere between rare and medium, I usually do about 3 or 4 minutes per side depending on the fire. I do the press test…

Raw – Feel the palm of your hand, just below your thumb. …

Rare – Now bring your thumb to your pointer finger, and touch that same part of your palm again. …

Medium/Rare – Touch your thumb to your middle finger. …

Medium – Move your thumb to your ring finger. …

Well Done – Now touch your thumb to your pinky.

Works every time!

I worked on a pork shoulder this past weekend, and after a lot of babysitting, have decided maybe it’s time to figure out the BBQ Guru/Pit Viper thingie that came along with this grilling masterpiece!

“Barbecue may not be the road to world peace, but it’s a start.”

Anthony Bourdain

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