Sunday, April 11, 2021

FAQ: Replacing the Bands on a Large Big Green Egg

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I got a brand new Big Green Egg!

Replacing the bands on a large Big Green Egg

Not really, but it does feel like a brand new Big Green Egg. In reality, I replaced the bands and hinges on both of our large Big Green Eggs.

This isn't a tutorial; rather, it is just my experience replacing the bands and hinges on our Big Green Eggs. For an excellent tutorial, use the one that I used - Jay Wilson's Big Green Egg New Style Band Installation. 

Are Bands Covered by the Warranty?

By the time you need it? Not likely. People often hear "lifetime warranty" about the Big Green Egg, but that's leaving out the keyword "limited." Here's what the BGE warranty says about the bands and other metal components:

Source: as of 04/10/2021

The good news is, I've owned 3 Big Green Eggs, and none of them have had band issues in the first five years. The downside is that if you need your bands replaced, they are likely out of warranty.

"The Big Green Egg makes every effort to utilize materials that resist rust..."
You know I'm a huge fan of Big Green Egg but I have to call them out on this one.
Several competing brands, like Grill Dome and Vision Grills, use stainless steel bands. This Vision Grills was the third kamado that we bought, and it is still rust-free. 

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Fire Roasted Whole Chicken on the Big Green Egg

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This was one of the best yardbirds I've cooked in quite a while; it was juicy, well-seasoned, and had a crispy skin.

Whole chicken grilled on the big green egg
Spatchcocked chicken roasting "raised-direct" on a large Big Green Egg.

This isn't a recipe post, rather just a quick report about what I did, which wasn't a lot: no dry brining, no injections, no fiddling around with it. 

Smoked chicken leg with Denny Mike's Chick Magnet and Harold's Hog Wash sauce
Chick Magnet Chicken with a drizzle of Harold's Hog Wash mustard-based BBQ sauce.

Monday, April 5, 2021

Loaded Black Bean Dip

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Even though my time lost in the first round this year, I have thoroughly enjoyed watching the NCAA tournament the past few weeks. We've been grilling up a lot of tasty game-day food like this Loaded Black Bean Dip. 

Loaded Black Bean Dip with homemade tortilla chips
Loaded Black Bean Dip with Homemade white corn tortilla chips.

I got the idea from this recipe from Eating Well magazine but called an audible on the ingredients based on what I had. For ours, we used:
  • Black beans, cooked and smashed with garlic salt, cumin, coriander, 
  • fire-roasted poblano, peeled and diced
  • fire-roasted yellow corn
  • cherry tomatoes, cut in 8ths and seasoned with fine salt
  • diced red onion
  • fire-roasted bell pepper
  • green onions
  • Pepper jack cheese

It really isn't much of a recipe rather just the general idea.  Here's the video from the cook, it pretty much explains everything.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Grilled Lemon Oregano Chicken Pitas with Greek Relish

[FTC Standard Disclaimer]  We received no compensation for this post. Any Amazon Affiliate link for which I will earn a commission will be labeled [Amazon Affiliate link]. 

The spring rains were relentless this weekend but I managed to dodge the showers, lightning storms, and flash floods long enough to make these audaciously flavored chicken pitas. The brightly seasoned chicken and pungently flavored relish rock this dish.

Recipe for Grilled Lemon Oregano Chicken Pitas

I knew the storms were going to be coming in wave after wave, so I intentionally chose a fast grilling protein.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Cheddar Jack Double Stack Smash Burger Sliders

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East Tennessee was blessed with sunshine and brilliant blue skies this past weekend so we decided to do our first big BBQ of the year. After a day of shopping and prepping brisket, pork, and chicken, Alexis and I realized that it was 4pm and we hadn't had breakfast or lunch. We were getting on the edge of hangry, something HAD to be done.

Fortunately, it is our "cheat day" so we made these killer Cheddar Jack Smash Burger Sliders on one of our Big Green Eggs.

Cheddar Jack Smash Burgers Sliders on the Big Green Egg kamado grill

Tips for Making Smash Burgers

  • Preheat. Whether you are using a grill, flat-top griddle, or skillet, preheat it thoroughly. The air temp of your grill gets to 450°f a lot faster than the metal will, so give it time.
  • Fresh is best. Use the freshest ground chuck you can get, it makes a difference. My Food City grinds beef in-store a few times a day. Some places ship it out to the store already ground up.
  • Thin is in. Use a thin, metal spatula (Amazon Affiliate link), sometimes called a "fish or filet spatula". It makes scraping under and flipping the burger easier and it helps keep your cast-iron cookware clean.

Cheddar Jack Double Stack Smash Burger Sliders

Published 03/22/2021

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Eight New BBQ and Grilling Books That You Will Want for Summer 2021

[FTC Standard Disclosure] I receive review copies of many BBQ and grilling cookbooks each year; however, none of them are guaranteed coverage and we don't accept any compensation from the publisher other than the review copy (typically, only in PDF format). The links given are Amazon Affiliate links so I will receive compensation if you purchase through Amazon.

There are eight new BBQ and grilling books on my radar for this summer. That's a lot since I'm a jaded, grizzled BBQ veteran and usually, there are only 3 or 4 books each year that catch my interest. 

To be clear, I have not yet checked these books out, except for BBQ Revolution. These are books that I am interested in based on a combination of:

  • Author's reputation in the industry
  • Experience with author's previous works
  • Experience with author's body of work
Here are the eight new BBQ and grilling books that I want to check out this summer. I am listing them in order of release date.

Friday, March 12, 2021

Shaved Steak Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry on the Big Green Egg

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This Beef and Broccoli was one of the most delicious ones that we have done. We had the leftovers last night, and they were even better with a healthy dose of sriracha.

Shaved steak beef and broccoli on the Big Green Egg kamado grill

Stir-frying is an easy, quick, and generally healthier way to prepare food which fits our current goal of trying to lose those extra pounds we picked up during the pandemic. I cooked this on one of our Big Green Eggs, but these tips apply to stir-frying in general.

Stir-Frying Reminders

  • High heat - Chances are that you aren't cooking your stir fry hot enough. Commercial wok burners can run at 200,000 BTU while home ranges usually run from 15,000 to 20,000 BTU. Don't be bashful with the heat; it's almost impossible to stir-fry too hot at home.
  • Velvet your meat - Don't skip this preparation. It takes 45 minutes, but it ensures your meat is silky and doesn't dry out. You coat your meat with a mix of corn starch, rice wine vinegar, and egg whites and let it rest. Then you partially cook the meat before the stir-frying begins.
  • Parboil or steam hard vegetables - Firm vegetables, such as; broccoli, carrot, or daikon, benefit from being parboiled or pre-steamed and then shocking them with frigid water. 
  • Use dry ingredients - Wet ingredients will cause your stir fry to look dull/slimy and be mushy. Take a moment to pat any wet/damp ingredients with a paper towel.
  • Don't crowd the wok. Like with any cooking vessel, overcrowding will cause the food to steam instead of roasting, stir-frying, etc.

Shaved Steak Beef and Broccoli