Before testing the Big Green Egg, I thought kamado grills were way too pricey. Now, I understand why people are willing to pay a premium for them. Kamado grills light almost as quickly as a gas grill, are easy to use, and can be transformed into a smoker or an oven. I liked this Big Green Egg so much that we not only named it the best kamado grill to buy, but I saved up and bought the XL model for my home.
Cooking on the Egg is an absolute pleasure. Like the other kamado grills in this guide, it’s large and heavy, but its cart’s wheels glid while moving it around and lock firmly into place, once it reaches its destination. The Large model had an 18-inch grill space that was large enough to fit a dozen burgers, up to six chickens (cooked vertically), a large turkey, or a few whole pork shoulders. Add in the optional EGGspander tiered cooking system, and you can cook even more. When cooking over high heat, the Egg reached temperatures over 700°F, creating beautiful grill marks on steaks and burgers and becoming hot enough to create a restaurant-quality wood-fired pizza. Using the grill with indirect heat was just as successful, resulting in deeply smoky chicken drumsticks and super juicy, tender pulled pork and ribs.
Temperature control is one of my favorite features of the Egg, and the area where it excelled more than the other kamado grills. After a few sessions, I got the hang of adjusting the top vent and bottom draft door to create precise temperatures. Slide the lower vent so it’s barely open, and you can achieve low, 200°F temps without worrying about extinguishing the coals. Open it up, and you’ll ignite the coal bed, burning them red-hot to reach the grill’s maximum temperature. I also liked that the rEGGulator top vent cap opened all the way, letting in more air than the other kamado grills I tested. Both vents were cool to the touch, even while cooking over high heat. As a bonus, when I closed down the vents once I finished cooking, the Big Green Egg extinguished the coals faster than the other grills—outperforming both charcoal grills and kamado grills by preserving more charcoal for the next grilling session. I cooked on the Big Green Egg for a full week, spending hours cooking burgers, chicken, pork shoulder, ribs, and multiple pizzas. Even after all that cooking, I only used somewhere between 10 to 15 pounds of charcoal.
Of course, the biggest drawback to the Big Green Egg is its price. The $899 Large grill might not seem too expensive until you consider that it's price doesn’t include the cost of accessories. The stand, side tables, and other accessories (like the ConvEGGtor deflector plate, an absolutely essential accessory that turns the grill into a smoker or outdoor oven) add to the total cost of owning this grill. Before you know it, you could easily spend over a thousand dollars on your initial purchase.
If I had one complaint about the grill itself, it's the lack of an ash bucket. Cleaning out the spent ashes from the bottom of the Big Green Egg was a bit of a chore and required a proprietary ash tool (an additional purchase) to work the coals around the firebox, pushing the dust and ash through the holes at the bottom. Then, to remove them, you have to open the screen on the bottom vent and use the tool to rake the ashes into a bowl or bucket. It would have been nice if they automatically fell into a removable bucket.
Unlike most of the grills we tested, the Big Green Egg isn’t available at national chain stores. It’s available at most Ace Hardware stores, but other individual dealers also sell the Egg. Prices tend to vary by dealer, who may sell it as part of a package deal or a special. You can find a Big Green Egg dealer near you to get the price.
For residential (non-commercial) use, the Egg comes with a limited lifetime warranty for materials and workmanship on all of its ceramic components, including the dome, base, damper top, firebox, and fire ring. The warranty on Eggcessories varies from one to five years. Keep in mind you have to be the original owner and register each product.
Read More: The Best Kamado Grills