A good charcoal barbecue will see you through a summer of entertaining. We review the Big Green Egg, a multitasking piece of kit that you can also use to smoke, bake, roast and more.
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The Big Green Egg large ceramic grill
Pros: Superb cooking, easy to use, quality build
Cons: Build your own
Overall score: 5/5
Unlike the other charcoal barbecues tested, the Big Green Egg is ceramic. The aptly named egg-shaped case and hood are lined with NASA-inspired high-grade ceramics to lock in all-round heat. It can reach soaring temperatures or hold at an extremely low one for many hours with high precision, making this an extremely versatile grill.
Our Egg came assembled, which is an optional extra and recommended, though you can do it yourself. Setting up the barbecue is fairly simple. After inserting the firebox, filling with charcoal and lighting, it was ready to use in 20 minutes.
Temperature is controlled quite simply from a vent in the dome and a sliding grill at the bottom. Both are extremely sensitive. You will need to be patient though, it takes a little time for the thermometer needle to move up and down, but you get used to it very quickly.
Direct cooking over the coals with locked-in, all-round heat on 46 cm diameter stainless steel cooking racks resulted in the best food that we sampled in the test; super-tasty and succulent, with no sticking or scorching.
Cleaning up was easy – we firstly brushed the grills, shut the regulator and bottom grill, closed the dome and left it to cool. Once cold enough to handle, we raked out the ashes.
Using the Big Green Egg as a simple barbecue is one thing, but this smart grill can do much more. It’s ideal for budding grill chefs and enthusiasts who can enjoy a multitude of functions, including smoking, roasting, grilling and baking, plus there are numerous racks, grills and baking stones available to buy with it. We tested the large model, but they come smaller and even larger. You can choose all the bits and pieces you want, but beware the price can rise steeply.
Specifications (large model):
Cooking grill size: 46cm
Height: 84cm without a stand
Hood and vents: yes and 2 vents
Wheels and locks: yes
This review was last updated in August 2019. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.