What is The Big Green Egg?

By Chris Johns •  Updated: 07/07/24 •  3 min read

What is The Big Green Egg

The Japanese, who brought us the hibachi, have been cooking outside using ceramic pots called kamados for centuries. These early cooking vessels are the ancient origins of an odd looking, but terribly cool barbecue grill called The Big Green Egg.

It’s easy to see how The Big Green Egg got its name, and despite its strange name and appearance, its fanatical users have buying Big Green Eggs since 1974. Big Green Egg owners (Eggheads they call themselves) are so in love with the beast that they even hold their own conventions.

There’s been a few changes since then, and the latest generation of this grill is better than ever. The biggest benefits of the Big Green Egg, apart from its stylish green appearance, are its versatility and efficiency.

The Big Green Egg is a super efficient machine

The Big Green Egg is made of ultra-efficient, insulated ceramics. The ceramic walls are heavy and thick allowing you to grill or barbecue foods with a greatly reduced amount of charcoal. The manufacturer claims that a 20lb. bag of natural charcoal will usually provide four to six months use, even if you cook out several times per week. No matter how hot it gets inside however, The Big Green Egg’s exterior is always cool to the touch.

When you are through cooking, just close the lid and the top and bottom drafts to extinguish the fire. You can reuse about 80% of the charcoal. When you do burn up your charcoal, it burns down pretty much to the last ash, making cleanup a breeze.

The Big Green Egg ceramic insulation also retain moisture extremely well. For this reason, foods do not dry out, as they can in metal charcoal, gas, or electric grills. Natural juices and flavors enhance the taste without the need for water or endless hours of tending. Meats and other foods are juicier, with little or no shrinkage.

Big Green Egg: Cutaway View

Big Green Egg Cutaway

The Big Green Egg: its a smoker, a grill, its an oven…

Its ability to retain heat is complemented by very predictable heating. By adjusting the dampers, you can attain a temperature accuracy within two degrees. You have total control. An optional heat gauge will give precise readings of temperature, from 50° to 750°. This means you can use The Big Green Egg for a variety of tasks. You can do your grilling, barbecuing, smoking, and baking at exactly the temperatures you need.

Buying a Big Green Egg

The Big Green Egg isn’t found at your average home store. It’s generally carried by specialized distributors, but you can purchase a “kamado style grill” at Amazon. It comes in several different sizes and can be built into a cart or BBQ island. If you like to barbecue, grill, and smoke all on the same machine, and are looking for something a little out of the ordinary, consider buying The Big Green Egg.

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Chris Johns

Chris Johns is the founder of Rock's Barbecue® and has been an avid barbecue fan for over 20 years. His mission is to make grilling and smoking the best food possible easy for everyone. And each year, he continues to help more people with grilling, smoking, and barbecue recipe recommendations.